"Ring the bells that can still ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in." -Leonard Cohen
I've been taking a beginning ceramics class for the first time since mid-January. It is totally outside my zone of comfort and familiarity, and I've alternated between loving it and hating it. But it is full of lessons, joys, and surprises...as much about myself as the material of clay itself.
This was one of the pieces I was most excited about. It was a platter, and I was excited because I was focusing more on the decorative rather than structural aspect; to "draw" on the clay with a fine, sharp needle tool felt easy, relaxing, enjoyable for me. I was confident that this one would be a success and be very "me."
And yet...there is always the glazing and the firing to contend with. Entirely different processes. So I was surprised when I found this finished piece to have a huge crack right down the center of it. I'm not sure exactly what happened, but my best guess is that I dug too hard into the clay with the needle tool on that line, and it weakened it to the point it could not withstand the heat.
So of course, I was disappointed. But then I remembered the words my instructor uttered on the first class, urging us not to get attached to any one piece, and not to get upset when things break or collapse (because they will)..."just make more." And so I am.
I'm also happy to see this as an opportunity to befriend my personal imperfections, of which there are many. And to embrace "Beginner's Mind" again and again as I try new things. Because that's where the light is.