There are times in everyones life that, looking back upon them, we can clearly delineate the “before” and “after” of who we are. Events that shaped us, people that influenced us, nuances and subtleties that made us change directions without a moments hesitation. It’s that profound shift, the “Aha” moment, that can leave us breathless, hopeful and full of life.
Since returning from New Mexico, I have thought a lot about this. Exactly what part could I look back upon and see where the shift occurred. I have been undeniably changed by my time spent at Ghost Ranch and yet, incredibly more myself than I have ever been. And still I ask the question…….”When and how did the shift occur?”
While talking with a friend today, just by happenstance, I realized the answer. Something that stood by, gentle yet bold, subtle yet incredibly profound, just waiting for my attention. It was the massively, beautiful eroding landscape. It’s like nature took a paintbrush and a steady, gentle hand and removed the rough edges. The softness of color – where each layer of sediment and rock melded into the next without effort. The fluidity of shape – either influenced by the sky, the light, the weather or the simple passing of time.
One of my greatest aspirations with my work is to remove the sharp, jagged edges. To evoke an overwhelming sense of movement and gentility with each piece. To simply create something beautiful, without rhetoric but with a sense of kindness about it all. I realized, with its subtle profundity, that the landscape eased my pace and helped me to finally understand that the rush to complete a creation is a massive disservice to my work and to the clay itself. Nature didn’t rush the birth of the clay so who am I to tell it that it has to hurry up and be beautiful?
It is with this knowledge that my best work is still to come. That with each passing piece, I can let go of the fear of finishing and just enjoy the moment of creation. That no matter what, I will honor the pace of the clay and of the vision that flows through me. Once again, I bow in reverence to those that have come before me, knowing that with a clear heart and a steady hand, I will honor my art.