Author: scott

Re-Awakening for Spring, Vol. 52

March 2024 “I push my paintbrush and conjure a new world while this one is slowly washed away…” — XTC, Ballet for a Rainy Day “God, what a mess! On the ladder of success. Well you take one step and miss the whole first rung.” – The Replacements, Bastards of Young “When it rains it pours, but you didn’t even notice. It ain’t raining anymore, it’s hard to breathe when all you know is the […]


“Your skin, oh yeah your skin and bones, turn in to something beautiful.” — Coldplay No one will ever care about this span of my writing here like Carter did. He was my ideal reader, editor, confidante; companion for this stretch of dusty trail, naive but willing recipient of every joke and allusion and overloaded sack of metaphoral falderall I could dream up. The Wittgenstein to my Diogenes, and the counterbalance to all my worst […]

-87: war

“This is my world, and I am: the world leader pretend. This is my life; and this is my time.” — R.E.M. I do not understand how my Red State neighbors can’t see that this is our world war. It’s not like post-9/11, with no discoverable, definable enemy. It’s not like Vietnam, with murky-at-best motivations and no sense of costs versus benefits. It’s not like Korea, settling old scores and setting up the pieces for […]

-88: reboot

“And someone with strengths, for all the little things you make …” _ Wheat Four years ago this morning, I woke up in a much worse place. Vastly worse. The day after a catastrophic election, one that I’d unknowingly been using to prop of the last of my fading hopes, it all started to unravel to the end. Loop chain. Since then, I went to therapy to start fixing my brain, and to discover that […]

-89: Sunday

“And you, you’ve got this wild-eyed gaze, and a smile that you’ll carry through your days.” – Vance Joy Sundays used to start in restless sloth and regrets. Now I set my alarm, like five other days each week, and am usually awake before it rings. In the car by quarter to seven, on the track, going in circles, by just after seven. then, after some warm up, pounding up the stadium stairs and gliding […]

-90 : Saturday

“Why don’t you give yourself a rest? Oh, give yourself some room. You can’t get your arms ‘round everybody, you cannot carry the doom.” — A. A. Bondy Back when I was uninterested in living, Saturday was just another hard day. Always fending off my family to rush off and grind in the studio. Always ignoring the screaming need to slow down and just float, to rush off and grind in the studio. Always reflexively […]

– 91 : Thirteen

“In my place, in my place, were lines that I couldn’t change. I was lost, oh yeah.” – Coldplay It’s been thirteen months since I shook that darkness, and it’s not coming back. I’m not afraid of it anymore, because it’s no longer a thing that could just happen to me, like a flood or the New Madrid faultline opening up and swallowing everything I know here. Nope — it will only go dark again […]

-92 : glitter moments

“So here we are again, in the middle of the night. We dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light.” — TS A thought, on the plane ride back to my real life, as I was folding and refolding and unfolding and then doing some more folding of the nicely slick, semi-cardstock paper of my boarding pass: If you start with garbage, then anything you do is an improvement. So maybe that’s where I should […]

-93 : Wayfinder

“And now the floodgates cannot hold, all my sorrow all my rage, teardrops fall on every page.” – David Gray I met an old friend of a new-old friend last night, whose insistent, deadpan delivery of some bit I can’t even recall this next morning started me laughing and then laugh-crying and then turning away from the table, afraid that last poorly-timed mouthfull of salad would come out my nose. It was glorious; rediscovering that […]

-94 : Swift Birds

“Skies grow darker. Currents swept you out again.” — TS Those little moments of grace when someone gives you exactly what you need, despite it not being your right to ask, or their obligation to do so. The nascent ability to just shut the fuck up and take a lecture, when and where one is offered. There’s always some worthwhile truth in a lecture, if you pay enough attention, and stow your ego long enough […]

-95 : Triangulation

“I’ve got that deer in the headlights look locked up.” – Family of the Year I came to Portland because I need to keep the depatterning going. A sense, a hunch, that getting far enough away from home, on my own, just for a few days, might clarify. Add the kind of perspective I’m missing, up so close to all this new action. And, I suppose, because it takes three points to triangulate, and the […]

-96 : Tears

“There is beauty behind every tear you cry.” – Bea Miller I started crying again last fall. At first, a lot. A dam breaking. Crying for all those years, all that missed time; for the thousands of moments where I was physically present but not really there; not really here. And, I suppose, for what could have been, what I could have been. For the love that I could suddenly see and feel but that […]

-97 : re:Birthday

“Everybody’s got to lose their darkness sometime.” — Sting A year ago today, I took my first dose of an SSRI, and it changed everything. It changed everything, and almost immediately. Like, the very next day. I was sure it was wishful thinking/the placebo effect, at first. Then that following week was just an epic trainwreck — I mean, the timing was ridiculous. I noted that, too: I wasn’t blogging then — I wrote two […]

-98 : 1988

“Hello from the other side.” – Adele I was just lying face down on the floor of my childhood bedroom. Stretching out my spine, after the last night in this loaner bed of our annual summer trip, back to where so many of my patterns either first revealed themselves or were first set into motion. Or some of both — it can be two things. Fifty light lumbar bends, ten deep press-ups, a hundred reverse […]

+99.9 : Apogee/Apology

“Memories seep from my veins, that may be empty; Oh, they’re weightless, and maybe, I’ll find some peace tonight.” – Sarah MacLachlan This is the last link in this loop chain, as far as it can possibly go, before I turn it around and follow it back to where it started. Apogee: the point of an orbit farthest away from earth before god and gravity make whatever they wanna make. Apology: I’m sorry; sorry, sorry, […]


“I draw a jackal-headed woman in the sand; sing of a lover’s fate, sealed by jealous hate, and wash my hand in the sea.” – 1o,ooo Maniacs So here’s the thing: I thought I’d hatch a dream, to escape the dreadful void of not knowing What I Was Going To Do With My Life, and then I’d instantiate it — make it real — and then everything else would just sort of sort itself out. […]


“Trying to tear her down was your first mistake. ‘Cause little do you know, she wasn’t built to break.” – Grace VanderWaal I approached the gods and I was found wanting. They sent me back here, for more practice. That’s OK. The trees are awfully nice, especially at the start and end of each day. And I get to sing songs with my daughter — honestly, we’re both terrible, but wow is it fun to […]


“Tilt your head and turn it towards the sun.” – Stars “Waterfall goes softly to the sea. And I feel my hands are finally free. Oh, give me a chance so I can find the sea. One and one; one and one is me.” – Wheat Well, well. Fancy meeting you here again. So, I have been writing, despite lack of all evidence here. In fact, writing so much that it’s seemed a little overkill […]


“I love you to the moon and back…” – TS It’s sale day. The last thing I should be doing, three hours and fifty seven minutes before opening, is writing a blog post. That’s why I’m doing it. Well… That and I feel like I kind of left you hanging there. After twenty thousand words in October, and another twenty in November, I was certainly paid up on my Karma Payment Plan for December — […]


“I recall late November, holding my breath, slowly I said, ‘You don’t need to save me…’” – TS A whole decade of before. A post shared by Scott Cooper (@stearth) on Nov 28, 2017 at 1:30pm PST … And, starting today, a new after. A post shared by Scott Cooper (@stearth) on Nov 28, 2017 at 1:31pm PST The difference is shocking; startling; surreal. If this was a dream, you guys would let me know, […]


“And the time on the clock, when you realize it’s so late, and this time we’ve spent, together.” – Dashboard Confessional I just realized something. Something that probably shouldn’t have taken 46 years, 5 months, and most of 16 days to figure out. Something that maybe I used to know, once, in the shining moment of youth, and then forgot, along the hard way. You have to be chasing something. It almost doesn’t matter what. […]


“In silent screams, and wildest dreams, I never dreamed of this.” – TS winter. night. firing. breath. A post shared by Scott Cooper (@stearth) on Nov 22, 2017 at 1:52am PST Back to my faux death, the one where I tripped in the studio and drowned in a bucket of white slip: it’s interesting that near the start of this fall run of writing, I was thinking in terms of death metaphors. Not intentionally, but […]


“Candle wax and Polaroids on the hardwood floor.” – TS My new favorite sound in the world is the bell that rings in Taylor’s Gorgeous. It happens — I dunno — four or five times in the song, right before that killer chorus; you’d think I’d have memorized every bar by now, for the number of times I’ve listened to it the last few weeks. The rest of the tracks — the synth bass, the […]


“Don’t we dream impossible dreams?” – TS So I spent about 2o,ooo words calling to The Muse in October, and in return she graced my first firing of the season. Not that it’s strictly transactional like that, of course, but I’m quite sure it’s related. And it feels like if I keep dancing before dawn every morning and playing at least one song on the guitar at night and writing writing writing, but also pausing […]

+ 95

“I’m so happy I can’t stop crying.” – Sting Ugh, this is a hard one. So now I cry almost every other day. For a while there, it was even a couple times a day, face down on my yoga mat in the corner of the showroom, where I hope people will come stand soon to look at the pots that are still too hot outside in the kiln. Pretty sure that was on five, […]


“And someone with strengths, for all the little things… You need.” – Wheat Today feels good, and also very random. Waking up at 4:30 and starting to work will do that, I guess. First light. 1167•F. A post shared by Scott Cooper (@stearth) on Nov 16, 2017 at 4:23am PST OK, so I am admittedly a complete homer on this, but I say that “Gorgeous”, “Call It What You Want”, “Delicate”, and “New Year’s Day” […]


“Yesterday we broke from the parade.” – Wheat Spoiler alert: there’s no Pottery Bloggers’ Club. Of all the peeps I came up with, in the Golden Age, pretty much all have quit now, or stopped, yet again for an indeterminate time. Just like I have before; just like I will again. No shame in that, but it does get a little lonely sometimes. We, collectively, made a thing, a spark of beauty in the world, […]


“Squeeze my hand three times in the back of the taxi. I can tell it’s gonna be a long road.” – TS That’s a strange phrase, “like the back of my hand”. It seems like I know the front of my hands a lot better than the back. Maybe focusing on the front is a potter’s thing. We like insides just as much as outsides; a lot more than the average Jane. Things finally seem […]


“I am not the type of dog that could keep you waiting… for no good reason.” – R.E.M. I told that anecdote from The Night Of a couple weeks ago. Don’t worry; no spoilers coming. If you’ve seen it, you know the one I mean — about the care package. If you haven’t seen it, just imagine that it’s a great story, but one that a person like me really should never attempt to use […]


“Don’t we dream impossible dreams?” – TS And here’s me after just two days back at ten: David Carr, whose passing I still lament: “Hope is oxygen for someone suffocating on despair.” And he knew, more than most, about real despair. I’ve had my taste, and no thank you. Not anymore, if I can help it. I’ll go to the doctor, go to the mountain, look to the children, drink from the fountain — you […]


“I’m a crumpled up piece of paper lying here, ’cause I remember it all, all, all… too well.” – TS So here’s me after about a week at five, written a couple days ago: It’s been intense. I’m worn out. Worn down. Worn. Trying to work when everything is screaming that I’ve earned another hour off, a day off, a week off. Imagine: taking a whole week off. Insane, but definitely insane in November. Potters […]


“You make me so happy it turns back to sad; there’s nothing I hate more than what I can’t have.” – TS I went back up to ten. It was getting a little too sad in here; sad in a way that felt too familiar, and so a little scary. There should still be a range, ups and downs. There’ve been a lot more ups — like, super ups — lately than I’d have guessed […]


Things I Shouldn’t Have Said This Week Vol. 373 – Maybe by different starlight I could find another dream worth having. – That’s how it works… – Your instincts on these things are usually wrong. – I actually feel sorry for the sanctimonious jackasses who are too far gone to enjoy this. – Gygaxian Premise – I’ve been waiting for that invite for ten years. – Oh shit! [Not sure if I actually said this […]


“And I never saw you coming. And I’ll never be the same.” – TS On a typical day, now, I wake up thinking. I’ve got an idea for something to write, and I’m just going to keep thinking it until I’ve filled up my RAM and boxed myself in somewhere. I have to write it to get out of the box. When I don’t get to write it, I can just keep thinking myself farther […]


“And I know I make the same mistakes everytime, bridges burned, I never learn, at least I did one thing right. I did one thing right.” – TS Now if I could just figure out what that one thing was. Call it what you want to. Man, those typography videos just nail it for me. Even the parts that are a little obvious or formulaic; all in all they’re just grand. I love — love! […]