Some mornings you wake up and every old hurt, old demon or old struggle seems to be at the foot of the bed waiting on you.
That's what this morning was for me. I rolled over and thought, "perhaps an extra twenty minutes of slumber would do the trick." Turns out, that gang of uglies had nothing but time to wait me out. I got out of bed and grumbled through the usual morning practice of preparing a snack for my geriatric pit bull, then preparing the coffee pot for myself. I figured I had about an hour to enjoy at least a cup and a half of coffee before I made my way to studio. One hour turned to two. Two to three...you get the idea. I talked on the phone. I stared listlessly out of the window watching neighbors going about their memorial weekend plans. I avoided my happy place.
Finally, I lingered around the house long enough to feel antsy, and I headed to the studio after making a compromise with myself. I would go, pick up the materials I needed, bring them home and hand build. I could continue to maintain my self-ordained productivity while working through whatever feelings were stirring about in me.
Attempting to throw with a cluttered mind and spirit and next to impossible. Beyond getting the clay firmly on the wheel head, anything else is a minor miracle. There are times when you can fight it, and center yourself as you center the clay...but today was different. I just didn't feel like wrestling with the clay...or me. I wanted to fester in my own discontent.
Hand building is new to me. I'm still learning to master pinching. But something about the lack of a motorized wheel, and the need to balance myself against random rpms, makes hand building "feel" easier. I know it's not. But my mind can wander as I pinch, compress, shape and pinch again. My fingers do the work and my head wanders miles away, to wage it's battles. I can lose myself for a few hours, at least long enough to send the monsters back under the bed.
I did that today. I pinched, compresed, shaped and pinched again. I lost myself, and lost some of those monsters too. As the sun begins its initial descent, I'm not magically transformed...but I'm better than I was when I woke up.
...I'll take my progress however it may come.