“Time won’t fly, it’s like I’m paralyzed by it. I’d like to be my old self again, but I’m still tryin’ to find it.” – Taylor Swift

“Why you do this to me?” – Kaiya

Rounding the corner into spring. Hairless late-winter shins, sticking out of my too-soon shorts; weather a month ahead of reason; fewer nighttime fires in the stove and the first tufts of green along my usual walking routes.

I used to adore this time of year, like a first love again each time. Which makes the fact that I hate it now even worse. Recursive loop. Bizarrely, it makes me long for the start of winter again: the post-sale lull and the promise of starting over and going anywhere the clay leads, with empty shelves and hope for new discoveries; and without clear boundaries or hard deadlines. Yeah, a little S.A.D. and bitter cold mixed into the bargain — I mean, winter definitely sucks, too. But hey. Can’t have everything.

Making the transition from starting pots to ending them is always rough. Losing that momentum at the wheel (and the thought processes and the daily pattern) is like a minor death each time, and I sputter and wail my way through the encapsulated stages of grief before I can get moving again into bisque and bricks and glazes.

Every cycle, I think, “This will be the one where I keep my shit together; where I don’t get derailed by illness or schedule weirdness or outlandish circumstance; where I somehow manage to keep throwing a little all the way through glazing and firing. Just a little pulse of wet clay, so I don’t lose that connection completely.” But that’s a foolish fantasy, and I am the Fool. (Damn, that idealism dies hard! When will I learn?) Because there is always illness and weirdness and circumstance — usually a boatload of it. Those are just euphemistic names for all the parts of life I try to ignore or avoid or procrastinate out of existence. Inevitably, they come leaking back into the daydream, like cruel clouds on a sunny February day.

So I sulked and moaned and tried to find buoyance in others’ good news, while not getting dragged under completely by others’ tragedy… I’m sorry, so sorry, and feel worse that “sorry” seems to be all I have to give. Eventually, this week at St. Earth, I got ‘round to loading that bisk — instead of wedging more clay, goddamnit, and just as I was getting a feel for four pounds and those taller cylinders! — and cutting those shelves, trying to minimize the strain they put on my ol’ L5, and at least thinking about how to clean this dump up enough that I can wax and glaze. Time to start rolling this admittedly-quite-promising mass of half-finished pots uphill to the finish line.

That Michael Simon quote; you know the one.

If you know that Taylor Swift song, referenced above, listen to it again and consider that instead of a past relationship, the person with your scarf is the Muse that keeps drawing you back to clay. “So casually cruel in the name of being honest.” Pretty much nails it on the head. And, a complete surprise to me, it’s also a damn near perfect song.

And, lastly, as I try to refind my footing here on the blogging stone, I’ll say that I found another small new path that might make things a little better; or, if not better, at least similar in a different way. For all my bitching about Spring, it does seem to still launch something in me, a renewed belief that it’s worth trying something different; worth taking little chances. Last year it was that risky tower of brick and inviting other potters’ pots into my showroom. This year, if it works out, it could be weird and cool and maybe even circumstantial. In a good way.

“Autumn leaves were falling down like pieces into place and I can picture it, after all these days.”