Fascinated with Bookmarks, Corners and Clay

Yesterday I spent most of the morning writing in my journal.  It was quite a release.  Introspection in longhand is almost like an art that's lost in this internet age.  So in the middle of the rain and sparks of thunder and lightning while the internet got cut I took the opportunity to do it the old way.  I realized that there are some things I can say on a piece of paper and not be able to say online.  The honesty that gets drawn out of me as I hold my pen and scratch the surface of my journal with words is an intimate act of making sacred reveries.

Yesterday I was restless for creativity.  Two hours of writing about it and figuring out the creative urge led me trying to paint with my fingers and sing old songs from the faded sheet music of my favorite grandaunt Filomena.  I listened to my voice and how comfortable it was singing the warm melodies of 1950s music.  Finally my camera, which I have not used in a long time beckoned and I found myself captivated by the booksmarks and corners.  The curves of silhouette made me want to create something with my hands.  Touch a piece of earth or even clay.

fascinated by the curve and the shadows

fascinated by the dried up rain on the window

fascinated by the journal corners

fascinated by the lilting bookmarks on a breviary

Fortunately enough Adi had time to steal away from her family's plans and spend the night.  We had good conversations after 3 long years of virtual interaction, finally picked up a good rhythm of artistic thought.  She showed me her work in ceramics and taught me how to model a palayok (Filipino clay pot).  It was her project before school had ended and she's also spending some time doing research while she is here to have more ideas as she enters her university in the fall.  Of course I didn't have clay and all we had was cheap modelling clay bought at the bookstore.  For me it was good enough.  I've never played with clay since I was in gradeschool and it was a welcome delight.  True enough it released whatever creative restlessness I was feeling and found for me a new medium of pondering the crux between art and learning behavior.  Still mulling about arts based initiatives and what I will be doing with it next year.

So she tells me that her ceramics course has taught her a kind of discipline and reflectiveness that helped her live her life in a more stable rhythm.  Last night while making coils and kneading the modeling clay into strips I realized what she meant.

what my hands could muster is a tiny pot
It's true.  Incarnating something with your hands and molding it to fashion the image in your head is quite the epitome of understanding what God did to create me.  Carefully.  Painstakingly.  I never knew it playing with Play Doh before because the younger version of myself didn't really know how to pay attention.  Paying attention involves slowing down and focusing on something with a disposition of great listening.  True listening, I realized, enables me to respond thoughtfully instead of impulsively (as I would usually do).  And there is alway something peaceful about that.


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