There is a snippet of a phrase that’s been plaguing me for months- “sometimes a human’s clay is not enough to carry the water”. Im sure thats not exactly right, because every attempt to google it has yielded nothing but soil preparation and water crisis websites. The only thing more annoying than being unable to remember fragments of ideas is when I have classic music melodies stuck in my head. How you do you google ‘that one song where the flute goes dah dah de dum de dam’, I ask you? You dont. Suffer in your musical fragment hell.
Ive gotten off track already.
Many of you will note that it has been an enormous amount of time since I last wrote, and you would be right! I’m not a writer or a journal-er by trade and this was a experiment and attempt to get me to actually record my thoughts somewhere and somehow dammnit. Life is so much more diverting and interesting and its hard for me to hide behind a notebook,sketchbook, or camera and just chronicle it. I want to live in the moment, experience it fully and not be bogged down by phrasing, lighting or getting the shading just right. I like to blame my Aries nature, which delights in the physical, and detests examining. But as Socrates was fond of saying, the unexamined life is not worth living, and so I have dragged myself back behind blank page.
I thought I devoted my year to Earth. I wrote this lovely intention paper, crafted a lovely candle, focused my energies, stuck my hands in the dirt and blithely went on merry way. I think I just wanted to be with Earth again this year; I really resonate with this element. I relish its presence. Ive said before that I have an Aries sun sign, and also an Aries moon. My ascendant is Taurus and I have quite a smattering of earth in my chart. Fire and Earth are my happy places, elementally speaking, and I rarely like to dip my toe in the squishy side of water, or the logic-bound air.
Apparently the Powers That Be decided I needed a good ole’ fashioned baptism. Not the sprinkling that my Lutheran childhood would recognize but the true out in the river dunked by the preacher kind.
There is a story that my friend and priestess Heron tells about her harrowing year of dedicating to Fire. How it was full of upheavals and necessary stripping down of old dead parts of her life. At the time I first heard this story, I was a wee baby witchling and assumed Fire would be this harsh to all of her dedicants. Now I am much older and hopefully wiser and I know that Fire would be as warm and welcoming to me as a cup of cocoa on a snowy day. Instead Water is the mistress of my destruction; this year has been much deeper and more challenging in many ways. Therapy, shamanic techniques, hedge crossing, Baba Yaga teaching through dreamwork, unintentional drawing of deity into my body, communication from spirits… you name it and Ive grappled with it.
This year has also been a sabbatical from my pottery making. Ive been struggling with ways to put whats been going on in this process to words. Its incredibly difficult to try to change concepts I barely understand into easily digestible portions. I live in fear that I will have to eat my words like Milo, and such phrases are much less palatable than mashed potatoes and meatloaf. Art block is a real thing my friends, and I have been hunting for the root of my problem for months now without much luck. Ive thought of all possible conclusions: laziness, fear, perfectionism, etc.. and none have fit quite right. Im frustrated, my well-meaning family is frustrated and constantly asking me about whether or not I am creating. I feel guilt and shame that I cant force myself to go out and make cups and bowls and beautiful things without the soul, the passion that drives me. Its been the secret I havent really talked about or dealt with. My clay hasnt been enough to carry the water. Even the earth must yield to the demands of the tempest. I think its time that I just get out there a do work whether or not I really feel it and hopefully the habit will help the spark come back. Tonight I plan to get back on the horse and get clay-covered, come hell and high water. Water is almost certainly guaranteed.
Just got to get the clay to the point where it can carry the water.
Luckily that’s my specialty.
Until next we meet,