Joy in the Clay
The clay is a cool hump under my hands,
Turning on the wheel, circling to symmetry,
Pushed and pulled into a centered mass
Spinning with possibilities.
I open the center of the spinning clay with two fingers,
Making a well, a space for the spirit of the vessel.
At that moment the pot receives its essence;
Though I don’t know yet what it is,
My hands are eager to find the shape of the vessel
In the moving clay.
I dribble water over the clay
And pull up the sides of the pot
With the tips of my fingers
Transmitting all the force of my arms and back
Into the thinning walls of the vessel.
The pot grows under my hands, still spinning,
Slower now as I round the sides outward, narrow the top,
Filling the pot with the breath of my intention.
I shape the lip of the pot, giving it strength and endurance.
I smooth the sides of the pot, cleaning away any mark or spot.
The pot will dry to leather-hard strength before I trim it,
Shaping a foot to hold it upright and firm.
When it is completely dry, it will be fired in the kiln,
Tested and made strong, ready to be adorned with glaze
And fired again to a shape strong enough to endure fire and water.
I am part of that pot as it is part of me, and I rejoice
In the feel of the clay and pleasure of making.
So my God made me,
A formless lump till God centered and shaped me
With a hole at my center for Spirit,
Blessed with water and filled with God’s breath,
Pushed and pulled and smoothed and trimmed,
Tested and burned and glazed all over with the glory
And the joy of the Creator’s creation creating.