Creativity is like Medicine

Carla


My to-do list is ridiculously long. I’m thankful for each item on it— from the ability to do laundry (hey we all love clean clothes!) to the people I get to reconnect with before I go back to Thailand. A friend had asked if I would make her some pottery. I responded with an enthusiastic yes! And a couple of days ago I got to this creative task: make pots.


The shaping and making of pots feels like slipping into my favorite pair of worn blue jeans after a day of wearing pantyhose. Or like filling my lungs with my first deep breath after swimming under water until I feel like I’m going to explode. Creating feels like life. I had forgotten this part of me and was delighted to find the artist part of me again. Oh hello.


My hands honestly seem to remember more than I do! They effortlessly prep the clay, with fingers and hands eagerly coaxing the slippery, spinning mass into the shapes I’d researched and sketched and dreamed about in my journal days before. These hands easily lift softly shaped pots off the wheel and gently plop them onto a board where they’ll dry for a bit. Days later I visit them again. Flipped upside down now, I begin the process of trimming pedestal type bottoms for them to stand upon. Guiding my aesthetic decisions is my core belief that pots should be inspired by hippos to include little feet and big bellies. I know it sounds funny, but I’m serious! The details are incredibly important as well and this reflects the thoughtfulness and intention of the potter. 

After you do something for awhile it just becomes an extension of you. I felt like God and I were doing pottery together that day. A dance through the processes without criticism, but full of spins and abundant in explorations. I’m sure that sounds funny to some of you? This is similar to how my relationship with God continues to unfold. There is an effortlessness and ease in coming together, but I still need to make time to be present for that encounter. God has been speaking words of rest and abiding to me; an invitation to not just to DO but to be. Sure we get things done together, but in His strength not mine. As I zoom in and focus on the details of these little pots I think about the details God focuses on in ALL of His creations. This is mind boggling and amazing to me. 

Eleven years of making pots and nine bowls later, some of these pots will go on to brag about about holding berries and others yarn. My heart is exploding with joy and feels as though it is floating in a sea of thankfulness. I hope you are able to take some time to craft or write or dream about something beautiful today. I hope you have a dose of creativity today. 

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