Balls of Clay
A potter sits with a ball of clay, shaping and molding this piece of raw material into whatever they dream or desire. After they get it to the desired shape, they allow it to dry and do special steps to prepare it for the kiln. After trimming and waiting for it to get to a certain texture, they fire it. If they want to paint it to decorate it, they put a special glaze on it before firing it again. This is the transformation from raw material to a useable tool such as a bowl, plate, cup or vase.
One of the biggest takeaways that I experienced while traveling across the south west and installing these solar panels, is that in some form or another everyone is in various stages of turning themselves into beautiful pieces of pottery. Many people are still these raw pieces of clay. They haven’t been transformed by life or have allowed themselves to dry out to sit in the fire. Some people that I met were exquisitely shaped and painted into beautiful pieces of pottery, but weren’t very functional. Some people were not so pretty on the outside, but were functional as hell. Regardless, I’m starting to tell who are the people who allowed life to transform, mold, and shape them into functional works of art. They did the work to allow themselves to sit in the fire to harden them into who they were meant to be. They didn’t run from the discomfort of life trying to teach them a lesson. They learned to push forward even when it was changing the very constitution of who they were.
I would like to touch on the people who I saw that are still raw balls of clay. They keep being pounded on by life, constantly being changed and molded into different shapes. When put in different situations, they can’t make up their mind or go back and forth because they are missing the experience of sitting in the fire to have them make that strong and confident decision. Some have a natural default of being a “victim” because they are complaining of how life keeps happening to them, being beat this way and that. Others who are still clay tend to “go with the flow” and depend on others to make decisions for them so they don’t have to make a choice (which allows them to not sit in the fire).
There is no judgement, just observation on my behalf. But there is definitely a sadness that wells up in me when I see someone that is well into their “adulthood” that is still a ball of clay. I see the potential for them to be anything that they could or would want to be, but they choose not to.
The biggest growing experience was interacting and working with one or two of these people. I was angry at their indecisiveness, until I looked inside myself to ask why. I found a part of me that was a ball of clay that had not been shaped into a functional tool. It was being beaten by life, and I found an aspect of myself as the victim ball of clay. I was angry at myself because it was a resource within myself that was wishy washy, not sure of herself, and not fired by life. No wonder why the balls of clay got under my skin. I was one.
I share this because of connection. Not because I need connection, but just to relate my experiences to any other balls of clay out there that are scared to sit in the fire. Ask yourself the question if there is a part of you that is done with being shaped and knows what shape you need to take? What parts of you have already been shaped and fired once, but need to be decorated with different glazes so they can be fabulous? With the fire and the hardening comes a concreteness of knowing who you are. These are also ways that you can really dig deep for those resources and USE them more effectively in your life. This is the path of self mastery, and of getting to know yourself that much more deeply. Interesting thoughts to ponder as a majority of our society is in quarantine at the moment.
Lots of love from me to each and every piece of pottery, and the hands that shape them 💕