Try, Try, Try . . . and Try Again

The proverb says if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again, right?  Well, I did, and I wasted at least two pounds of clay.

With the kids out of town and the littlest one sleeping, I decided to revisit the ol’ pottery wheel.  It’s an electric, so I feel like it’s just a machine.  The clay, on the other hand, comes from the earth, so I feel like it can have a mind of its own.  At least, that’s what I’m going with.  I tried with at least three helpings of clay and at least a dozen times to get it centered today so I could make a vase or even just a small bowl.  It wasn’t happening, and I could feel my temperament sinking, even with my now awake daughter watching me.

Thoughts going through my mind:  Perhaps I am not a potter.  Of course I’m not a potter; I’m a writer.  But everyone can write.  Can’t everyone wield some clay?  I’d just like to make something nice for someone.

Why won’t this center?  Am I not centered?  Are my arms that weak? My husband says that it’s not about your upper body strength.  You don’t have to strong-arm this.  Then why the hell is it knocking me around???

I’m not a quitter, but I know when I need to stop and get a new perspective.  I cleaned everything so that it will be nice for my husband when he decides to use our last bit of clay.

How many times do you not succeed before you give yourself permission not to do something?  (I’m trying to keep this as optimistic as possible; pardon the double negative.)  My thinking is that the answer is not simple.

Rather than try to make a concrete decision as to whether or not I’ll accept my fate as a non-potter, I’ll take the lesson that I have more to learn and more practice to do.  It’s a hard lesson to take, but our number of practices is determined by how well we can accept the current moment for what it is, no matter what we are doing or want to do.

I need to exercise my patience better.  I’ll stop by the clay studio and ask for a reminder lesson.  And I’ll practice more, if I can make myself take the time.  Some lessons take a while to sink in.  I am grateful for my time to grow.  No, really, I am!

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