I dreamt that the assignment was to make a log seat out of a stump. Not like a lounge chair or rocker, just a sitting stump. I had apparently searched hard and found this really big, really heavy stump that had beautiful markings and colors on it. I dragged it to the “meeting place” and was eyeballing it, imagining carving out a butt-shaped seat, trying to figure out how to make a backrest that wouldn’t have a hard edge on it. Then I looked around. Other people were sauntering in, effortlessly swinging paper bags. When I looked inside one of the identical bags I saw something alarming: a “log chair kit.” Log chair kit?!? Suddenly I looked at my gorgeous hunk of weighty wood and felt kind of silly.
I spent the next day musing interpretation. Hmmm, does this mean that I make things too complicated? Have a bit of baggage that I’m too attached to? Stubbornly opposed to “the norm?”
Nah. I think it’s just about pottery class.
I signed up for pottery class when I decided that rowing intensively, daily, would get in the way of “pursuing other activities.” Suddenly I needed to find an activity (other than sitting on the couch spooning Nutella out of the jar) and pottery class fit my creative need. Hamilton’s not so big; I wasn’t worried about hopping on my bike to get me there and back.
At least not at first.
The first class was great. We made ugly “oil burners,” bought a heaving hunk of clay to transform into kindergarden art, and talked about all the Christmas presents we would burden loved ones with. All was exciting and fun until I discovered something unexpected: everything we make, everything we need, everything we’re working on…it all goes home at the end of the day. What did this mean for me? It meant trying to balance a crate on one hip, board balanced on top with a new damp pot, backpack painfully cutting tracks in my shoulders from the clay, trying to stop without crashing at intersections, awkwardly walking my bike across bridges. The first day it took me 9 minutes to bike to class. And 25 minutes to bike home. By the third class, the return trip took me about 35 minutes with 3 near-death weaves into traffic and 3 nearly broken pots. I arrived home shaken, sweating, as if I was carrying a baby bundled in that newspaper and dusty dishcloths that I almost spilled onto the road.
Last night the added element of rain pushed me to find an alternative. The bus. This time, it took 20 minutes to get to class. And 55 minutes to get home. [Hopefully though I’ll find it unusual for the bus driver to stop, climb out, and smoke a cigarette.] The glorious result: I get to keep my “log” (even if “beautiful” isn’t a word to describe any of my knobby creations) AND the bus seat IS certainly more butt-conforming and back-supporting than my bike! :)