|Photography by John Holliger||
In this Day Apart we will explore the gifts and wisdom embedded within our imperfections; that our flaws themselves can lead us to the Center, our Essence, where God is.
Here is how Svend Bayer describes the spirituality of imperfection:
If you look for perfection in my pots you will not find it. Look at them as you would on survivors, or maybe your oldest and dearest friends. Like them my pots have scars and blemishes, the signs of a life lived.
My pots have to be picked up, felt, turned over and around and examined. Every time you look closely at them, they will tell you something new.
Pottery as spiritual practice, as selfless concentration, requires the abandonment of anxiety, and the perfection of skill to the point where it can be forgotten and one becomes absorbed in the tactile sensations of the process.
The potter has been a spiritual guide for his little community for thousands of years, Here the meek of the earth have simple, profound wisdom for our journey. And the wisdom of the trees, expressed by poets like Wendell Berry can open us in new and unexpected ways for the journey ahead
There is a profound nobility in all this beauty that can elevate our lives.
In the place that is my own place, whose earth I am shaped in and must bear, there is an old tree growing,
a great sycamore that is a wondrous healer of itself. Fences have been tied to it, nails driven into it,
Hacks and whittles cut in it, the lightning has burned it.
There is no year it has flourished in
that has not harmed it…Wendell Berry
I came to love the handmade pot because I see that it is made with love.
Physical decisions have been made over every inch of its surface. Countless split-second calculations, corrections, compromises, surrenders, and triumphs have led to this piece of earth in this exact form.
So when I hold it, each pot has something to say to me. Not intending to teach, it cannot help to do so.
It did not trouble; it soothed; quiet, never insisting upon attention.
Yet past that, or below it, or inside, there is the memory of fire.
The fire remained a mystery. I saw the piece burn with its own flame. I saw it burn but not destroyed. It had emerged, in form unchanged, but clothed in surfaces not hinted at before. Joe Spano