Out of my head

My brain is a noisy place. There’s a whole host of characters up there clamoring for attention, talking over one another and the other characters in my life – the ones who share my house, not my head. There’s so much to think about, so many things to learn, absorb, plan and create. If I’m not careful, I could end up like this guy, locked in my skull trying to sort through the static.

I’m able to shush the crowd by meditating and/or doing yoga, but I confess to being a slacker about this, especially lately. (Bad Lisa!) But this past weekend, I got to indulge for the second time in a newfound passion that gets me quiet and focused faster than anything else I’ve ever done – throwing pottery on a wheel.

It makes sense that I’d love the feeling of wet clay on my hands. I love to garden, after all. That wheel, circling around and around, is mesmerizing, as are the spirals and whorls forming and disappearing in the clay as you stroke, stretch and pull it from a lump into a bowl. There’s no room for error, which keeps you honest and in the moment, because one wrong move and everything collapses.

My friend Jen is a fabulous potter, and she’s a great teacher, too. We spent three hours huddled together over her wheel, and thanks to her hands-on instruction (and occasional saves), I made two serving sized bowls I’ll be proud to use, presuming they survive the firing, glazing and re-firing. There’s always a chance they won’t, but I’m hopeful.

Throwing on a wheel has held a high place on my to do list for years. Now that I’ve experienced it, I refuse to scratch it off. I’m in for the count, looking forward to more sessions in Jen’s studio and maybe even getting a wheel of my own someday. You know, when I grow up. 😉

Tell me, what gets you out of your head? Is there anything you always wanted to try and finally got a chance to? Did you love it?



8 responses to “Out of my head

  1. That’s another nice thing about potting. It’s an exercise in letting go. You can make something gorgeous, but there’s no guarantee it’ll survive to the finished piece.

    So many things get my out of my head – music, movies, reading. My kung fu though was something I always wanted to try and I never would have guessed what I would get out of it. Six years later I’m not longer with my original school, but I’m loving it all the same. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, a sense of peace, and a pretty healthy outlet to boot! 😀


  2. Raymond Bolton

    Soaring and sailing once provided ways to escape. The former, however, is now beyond my means and as for sailing… I live in New Mexico now. Nor am I any better than you at sitting on a cushion, though I don’t beat myself up about it. There are enough forces in the universe working against me and I refuse to join their number. Instead, over the last seven years I learned to work with stone. I’ve erected rock terraces around my house and laid flagstone paths, going through nearly a dozen pairs of heavy duty leather gloves in the process. Hardscape requires patience and immersion in the process. That and gardening are what preserve my sanity these days.

    • Sailing is on my to do list for sure! One of these days, I’m going to sign the husband and me up for lessons on the SF Bay.

      Chop wood, carry….rock? Good for you. I need to do some hardscaping in my yard this summer since they’re beginning to meter our water, making me want to get rid of the remaining lawn. Now I know who to holler at if I need advice!

  3. For me, it’s physical exercise – walking on the beach, the gym, the pool, boxing with Saeed (I get to box, he’s just the punching bag, and since I got great new pink! gloves for Valentine’s Day it’s going to be even better).

    The last 3 months have got me a long way away from this – but as of this weekend I think I’ll be back on track. I always find it hard to work when I’m frantically running from place to place or thing to thing – one of the disadvantages of working for yourself. But things are looking up as of now. I even managed to tidy up my desk yesterday and get ready for serious writing starting tomorrow. Though I expect birthday celebrations over the next week will interfere with that a tiny bit!


    • Pink boxing gloves? Fabulous. It’s very romantic of Saeed to let you whale on him without hitting back. =)

      Yay for birthday celebrations!!! I wish I could be there to join in the festivities. Oh, well. Maybe next year. And I’ll definitely be there in spirit. (Especially if the spirit in question is wine.)

  4. Jar O' Marbles

    Playing the piano always used to get me out of my head…granted, I don’t have a piano at the moment. But I have always wanted to play the guitar so a year or so ago maybe longer, I picked one up and taught myself to play. Not as fun as the piano, but still pretty damn cool.

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