Pleasing Tasks

Human beings seek pleasure and avoid pain.  Most of my last year has been about avoiding pain.  Wear a wide-brimmed hat to tolerate overhead fluorescent lights.  Stop an activity once a headache starts so my head won’t pound for the rest of the day.  Rest when needed, so dizzy / glassy-eyed / duhhhh feelings pass as soon as possible.

Since my one year injury anniversary last week, I have been contemplating what activities I pursue for pleasure.  In the past, I had roller derby, exercise to get better at roller derby, and….?  Roller derby took over my life for five years.  That is not the case now.  Roller derby was obsession, sport, community, friend.  How will I ever fill that empty space?

Numero Uno ~ The Foggy Shore Blog.  This blog has turned into an amazing outlet for me as I heal.  It feels good to know people read what I write.  I feel a sense of personal fulfillment and accomplishment each time I post.  This blog has become a fixture in my life, and a good beginning to help me move forward.

And. I want more.  I need more.  What else can I do with the energy, with the body I have right now?  Skiing?  Pickup basketball?  Rugby? Indoor soccer? Volleyball? No, all have too much risk of head impact.  Running?  Never fun; I did it for derby.  Karate?  Local dojo not a good fit.  Guitar? Interesting and fun, but not providing that deep sense of fulfillment I need.

Last Monday, I had an epiphany… or, more accurately, I experienced clarity after giving myself Reiki, a somewhat common occurrence.  Earth.  Clay.  Wheel.  BCA had a clay wheel 1 class starting Thursday.  I signed up.

The first class was fun.  I tentatively feel like a natural.  Centering was simple.  For this, I give a nod to roller derby, who taught me how to push / brace / use my body in all sorts of forceful yet controlled ways.

So fun!

Day one

I was feeling so good about the wheel, I went to open studio this past weekend and spent more time on the Center – Drill – Open – Volcano – Pinch & Pull process that is the basis of bowl creation.  Unsupervised, a funny thing happened.  I asked each lump of clay what it wanted to become before working with it.  Strange behavior for a scientist, but it felt right.  Unexpectedly, the clay answered.

A flared top on a bowl was the plan.

A flared top bowl was requested.

A flared belly that narrowed again on a large mug was the idea.

A big bellied mug was the objective.

None of my pots survived the day.  I indulged my impulse to push to the edge of my ability and beyond, so all of them ended, again, as lumps of clay.

Working with Earth feels so good, so right.  My mind and body working together to Create.  Dear Friends, I believe I have found a second pleasurable, fulfilling activity to help me reframe my life.

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2 Responses to Pleasing Tasks

  1. Ruth Wittorff says:

    Yea for you, Kim! Looks like you hit a sweet spot! I always wanted to get more into clay than I did in a frosh “try everything” art class. I only got to the wheel once or twice, as I remember. Never got close to clay again, except during a student teaching assignment where my host “mom” was glazing and firing greenware from molds and let me play, too. Fun with the glaze, then.
    Go for it!


  2. Anne Ferry says:

    Way to go girl! I too am looking for an activity to provide a long term bliss hit. The pictures make it look like you’ve been doing this for quite awhile. I always wished I’d taken a night class when I was in Alturas. Thanks for sharing!


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