Tea Breaks & Clay Days

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We ventured to another time, where people were one with the clay. Entering the classroom was to know that nothing else would exist for seven hours. Just you, your hands and mind wrestling with the clay.

The struggle was real, and it was beautiful.

We made tea when our hands could no longer understand the signals from our weary minds and when the body was too exhausted from spiraling, wedging and throwing the clay.

We’d sit outside on the wooden benches drinking slowly and breathing even slower to try and attempt it once again.

Here we all were, each with a quiet fight all our own.

I grew frustrated.

I cursed at the clay in my mind and thought, ” how do my hands and mind keep missing one another?” Like star crossed lovers never to kiss. So close, yet so far.

And she told us of Japan. Artist in residence for three months, when all she thought every morning as she cast her sheets aside, gazing out to the grey shackled rooftops-“No, I’m not home I’m still in Japan. Way too early to begin to craft something so fragile. So earthly.”

And we all marveled at her stories, and her wisdom. She breathed art, and Arita porcelain and spoke wonders of the ceramist who taught her everything she knew. Now here we all were attempting the very same craft that takes two years to master in Japan. Naively attempting to do it all in just two weeks.

I felt broken each morning.

Not wanting to get up. The silica had taken its toll on my back, hands, fingers and forearms.

“Not again.” I thought. But the beauty in the struggle was too wonderful. I had to beat it. I had to make something. I had to keep creating. Fighting to do at least something. Anything. My hands grew desperate. Only finding solace in her words…

“Art is a process not only a thing.”

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And thats the crux of it isn’t it? As artists in the Western world we are defined by the number of pieces we create. By a finished product.

Yet, here was something so pure, so true, so innocent setting me free.

“Art is a process not only a thing.”

There’s beauty in learning. There’s beauty in the struggle. Growth as artists only happens as you learn new things. Taking different snippets of the various arts there are and mixing them all together to become an entity,  an aura all your own.

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Yes, I was impatient. But I learned not only from the clay but from the many talented colleagues around me. Colleagues that taught me patiently different aspects of creating, so patiently as I was on the verge of tears.

We humbly made tea for one another, and fed one another.  Each afternoon we’d all take a break and listen to each others stories and our instructors oracles of Japan. Of the grey roof tops, the beauty of community, China on the Park and breakdowns at Narita airport.

We sipped our tea, immersed in the clay on our shoes. Growing more as artists-if I dare call myself one-and cheering one another on, even when our pieces were warping into other worldly things.

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My hands will not be the same after this class, my muscles, my creative process, my mind.

There’s an honesty, an immersion that happens when you all are in one same creative spirit.

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Go out and DO. Do something that you wouldn’t typically do. Because its only stagnant things that die. I may be far from pleased with my finished pieces, but this time it wasn’t about the outcome it was about the process.

 

All my love,

-Diana Processed with VSCO with hb1 preset

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In the wake of spring when beautiful things begin to bloom and unfold an unexpected wind came coasting in. At first I was indifferent to the breeze not wanting to get caught up in its wake. Yet, little by little, early morning coffee sessions, midnight drives, sitting beneath trees-it blossomed. It blossomed delicately and suddenly and we both embraced it.

River walks to fancy dinners at Marcello’s and kissing at red lights-an epic windswept adventure. Where our eyes smile from our cheeks and we laugh at things we can only understand, a secret between lovers.

We journey hand in hand, wherever the journey may lead, for this time is ours.

-Diana

*A picture of I and the blokes walk from our time by the river.

With Wonder

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We explore in order to discover. We stop seeking in order to find. We risk in order to gain. In this season of my life a lot has been held in the paradoxes of life. Am learning that sometimes what may be right for me may not translate to other people and thats okay. Its okay to be unconventional. Its okay to do things in my own way, and to cast a line out to life and believe and hope for the best.

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I am learning to go back to the basics. I’m learning to let things go that are beyond my control, its a way of living that I’ve always strived to know. And its not easy, every morning when the anxiety of the desire to control sets in I breathe look to the sky-the beautiful face of God- and believe, and trust him through the heartache. I didn’t get the promotion that I worked so hard for, and for a while everything I hoped for was threatened. A dark cloud spread across what I thought was going to be the start of a great year. BUT GOD-in all his godliness reminded me that its not the end until he says it is. Until he bolts the door and tosses the key. Its not over until my God says it is.

I had lost faith in journalism, I had seen too many horrid things. Things humans shouldn’t do to other humans but then one morning over coffee and an ancient face and voice met with me and reminded me of the power of the lens. Of the weapon that a camera can be and the passion that never lets you give up even when you just feel like its not worth it anymore. There in the Frontier over breakfast burrito, and surprisingly good coffee I left with a hope-a vision to create, inspire, innovate and create change. There in the ancient eyes of one of my mentors I refused to give up. Processed with VSCOcam with b5 preset

And so we “beat on like boats against the current,” attempting to live each day in beauty. Grabbing coffee in the early morning at Limonata as the sky lay covered in looming grey clouds bringing in sleet and snow. And we sipped our coffee and we scribbled on the condensed filled window the word friend, and fought for our happiness. Fought to relinquish control, breathe and savor the moments left before the Great Departure. And it all felt like breathing. And it felt like a great rebellion to the sadness in this world.

And we drove. We drove in the same familiar red Jeep to a new place. Where a part of Korea lay hidden like a gem in this tired city. We greeted the face of the old man with “Annyeonghaseyo,” we bowed and I looked on with curiosity at the touch of a faraway place, while my dear friend smiled at the familiarity. There sprawled on shelves lay treasures of a culture that has grown like moss in me. There sprawled on the shelves lay my desires to know that place and to visit it one day. There on the shelves lay a new adventure waiting to be tamed, ventured and lived.

And there on the tongue of the old man lay the language of something so new, shiny and utterly enticing.

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But isn’t it like God to bring wonder into our lives? Isn’t it like God to resurrect dead bones, and to breathe into a life that couldn’t bare with the monotony anymore. Isn’t it like God to spark new desires and goals so that our souls won’t grow old. Isn’t it like God to make treasure out of rubble. And isn’t it like God to create life over and over and over and over again?

Isn’t it glorious to know that no matter how hurt we are, that no matter how much we screw things up that HE STILL HAS A PLAN FOR US.

Isn’t it grand to know that such a God exists?

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“so we beat on boats against the current,” with eyes wide in wonder of what still is to come. The trips that still need to be taken, the new friendships that have formed, the new language that is to be learned, the new book that needs to be read, the cup of coffee that will be savored, and the prayers that will be answered.

22-23 “Your eyes are windows into your body. If you open your eyes wide in wonder and belief, your body fills up with light. If you live squinty-eyed in greed and distrust, your body is a dank cellar. If you pull the blinds on your windows, what a dark life you will have! (Matthew 6:22-23 The MSG)