My bubble buddy, and new friend at the fine arts centre has watched me patch up "clay fails" and creatively tend to mishaps that would make most potters cringe and scoff. Generally the idea of being so attached to a piece that one tries to save it is relegated to noobs who could use practice in 'just make another' don't waste your time and learn through the doing. Most serious potters tend to toss imperfect greenware into the Reclaim Bucket, or smash Bisqued and Glazed pieces into the ceramic graveyard of mosaic hopefuls and archeologist dreams.
I create with intention but keep very close the knowing the life of a piece may be found short at any moment. But I can't say it is non-attachment, for surely it isn't. One swift movement, jerk of a hand, hidden air bubble, too hot and dry air too soon, too cold air too soon, a poor dip or drip, a fusion to a kiln shelf, catch of a finger nail, an exploding kiln neighbour, ripped out bottom or snapped off handle, each can spell death to a piece, and I will love each for as long as they live just the same.
And just like those parts of ourselves that feel broken or dreams we thought were destined for the reclaim bucket or graveyard - sometimes we can put our perfectionism and consumer conditioning aside and love it back - again and again if we must.
I remember being very small and looking closely at a plastic horse that I had, noticing how the eye paint was askew and there were chunky bits along the mould seam. I knew that no one had touched it when it was being made, no one had cared for it or noticed its details. There was a sad vacancy and I wanted to love that little horse more to make up for it somehow. I hadn't read it yet, but knew Velveteen Rabbits were real.
Perhaps that is why I hesitate to toss so easily into the reclaim bucket, why I slow-cook and hand stitch aspects of my life together. If you know me though, you know I am a strong advocate for letting things die when it is time. Perhaps surprisingly so. But some things quietly call for being loved back to life.
This piece was gifted to me half a foot away from the Reclaim Bucket. As you can see, so far it has been resuscitated at least twice and it certainly isn't out of the woods yet. Some of my pieces hold this story of reclamation with them and I softly wonder if anyone might feel it. If they don't, that is okay. I do.
I didn't hyperspeed this up because reclaiming by way of loving takes a little time - as it should.
Passage through portals ~ Samhain
In the lead up to our monthly circles I spend time listening, with all of my senses, for incoming messages that support our moving in a good way through unseen, "felt", energetic currents that are always present and perhaps go unnoticed.
Something that came up last week was the invitation for us to pay extra attention to the portals we pass through. The thresholds we cross. The transitions we experience. Everything from actual household doorways to shifting between sleep and wakefulness. The portals we pass through when we work with Spirit, the veils that we part, the auspicious moments in time... like a Full Moon or Samhain (or as the case is this year - both!) Have you ever walked into a room and completely forgotten why you are there? It is called the "Doorway Effect". Our brain is triggered into forgetting. There can be great medicine in forgetting, but there is also much to be had in remembering.
What came through was an invitation for slowing things down enough to reallllly notice - mostly that we are in fact crossing a threshold, but also, since we are noticing, to mindfully experience the qualities and stages of them a bit.
~ Standing at the doorway. Is there trepidation? Expectation? Preconceived assumptions? A leap of faith? I'm sure we all know the 'hand on the doorknob steeling up to actually enter' feeling, or that chest flutter just before declaring a final decision. Are We opening it or is something else? Can we choose to keep it closed? Did we prepare?
~ The sometimes very brief moment of being In a liminal state, neither fully here nor there. Is there comfort in this? Discombobulation? Can we hear/see wisdoms easier or feel more blind? Perhaps we are here longer than anticipated, it can feel dizzying and fast or sometimes a timeless limbo. Is it solid and sturdy or is our safety in jeopardy?
~ Emerging on the other side. Is it a jolt to the system? Do we feel welcomed and in the "right place"? Did we come out standing on our own two feet or crawling on raw hands and knees? Do we need a rest now or feel invigorated? Have we really made it fully through? Are we where we expected to be? Did we kick the door shut or did it lovingly, gently, click closed behind us?
Did we even notice?
We pass through so.very.many. Every day. All day.
But perhaps the great forgetting is upon us.
Think of all the stories we have known, stories of ornate doors with missing keys, stories of secret words to clear blocked passage, the tunnels that are stumbled upon, fairy rings bumbled into, forbidden rooms that force one into an initiation of sorts, creatures of myth who cross boundaries and worlds and realms. These stories have long captivated our attention, and there always seems to be an aspect of "the human" and an aspect of "otherworldliness" to them.
This week and into the next, if you are inclined, I extend this invitation from somewhere trusted on "the other side", to notice the portals that you pass through. Be they your front door, a video call, into/out of meditation, spirit journeying, creative state, ritual acts, or ceremony space. Between daydreaming and presence. When you get in and out of the car. Heck even half asleep midnight bathroom trips.
We don't need to over analyze.
A bean feasa of Gaelic heritage shares stories & insights from her animist and 'shamanic' practice on the West Coast of Canada.