"Go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."
At the age of 55 I took up an art. I enrolled in a ceramics class. My secret dream was to throw pots on the wheel, but it was one of those things I barely let into my consciousness. Part of me just dismissed it as something I wish I would have learned.
Two years later, I'm completely hooked. Completely. I would do it every day if I could. 8 hours a day if I could. If only someone would pay me by the hour, I would quit my job and just sit in front of the wheel and spin it.
The great thing is, I can't really tell you why. Perhaps that's the point. I make my living with my brain. I love that too, but after 25+ years of trying to figure out the human condition, my poor brain needs a break.
The rhythm, the feel, the spin, the bringing something beautiful out of the mud, brings me a satisfaction that reaches my bones. There are so many things I love about it, but the best one is this:
I have to pay attention every minute.
Every mishap I've had at the wheel, or at the glazing table, was due to the fact that I wasn't entirely present to my task:.
Kind of like life, right?