Monday, January 4, 2016

When Your Head is Too Noisy...

What do you do? Seriously. What do you do when your head is full of noise?

I clean.

It's the thing I can control, and the act of cleaning, making order out of chaos, helps to soothe my mind and bring me to the present moment. The act of getting rid of old and useless things is freeing.

After a busy Halloween season, I needed to do some organizing, which I did. But I still didn't have enough space. So I started combing through the stuff that was hanging around, and had been hanging around for a couple of years. Unfinished things. Failed experiments. Things I had meant to get to and hadn't.

I pitched them all. Straight in the trash can. I felt I had learned a bit from them, at least, and now they were just gathering dust and taking up space. Out they went! Make some space for new things, right?
Did it make enough space? Not really. But it did make a bit more. I figured out a temporary fix for the space issue, and that's to throw, trim and start the initial drying process on my wooden shelves, and let them finish drying in the kiln while I throw the next lot. It clears the few shelves I have, anyway, until they get filled and are cleared off into the kiln.
I still have a ways to go, as you can see, but at least it's a start!


This afternoon, I came home from work and got back into the studio right away. This morning, before I left for work, I had thrown the body of a small teapot, and needed to throw the lid and spout before the teapot body shrank too much. I had also made some wine cups, which needed to be trimmed and stamped before they got too dry. Fortunately it's been cold and damp due to some much-needed rainstorms, and my work isn't drying out too fast.

I listen to my iPod on "random" while I'm working, and let me tell you, I have a very eclectic taste in music. I have a little jazz, some bluegrass, punk, electronica, trance, blues, Irish traditional, and on and on. 

While I was stamping a cup this afternoon, this song came on. It's from one of my very favorite movies; The Legend of 1900. (I bought the soundtrack a few months ago because it was so very beautiful.)

The music just transported me, and for a moment, I laid down my tools, closed my eyes, and listened with my entire body. It's a piece which makes the heart soar, filled with hope. When it was done, I played the entire album from start to finish. Twice.

Of course, once I was done in the studio, and had cleaned up and mopped the floor, I went inside, poured a glass of Malbec and stuck the movie in the DVD player.

There are many fantastic scenes in this spectacularly underrated film, from the piano duel to the Magic Waltz scene, but one of my very favorites is between a passenger and 1900.

The passenger happens upon 1900, noodling on the stand-up piano where the third class passengers hang out. He's telling 1900 a bit about his life, and he tells him why he decided to come to America. He describes the first time he sees and hears the ocean...
"And then I see the most beautiful thing in my life: the sea."
And 1900 says, "The sea?"
"I'd never seen it before. It was like lightning hit me. Because I hear -- the voice."
"The voice of the sea?" 
"Yes. The voice of the sea."
"I never heard it."
"The voice of the sea, it is like a shout. A shout big and strong, screaming and screaming. And the thing it was screaming was, 'You -- with shit instead of brains -- life is immense! Can you understand that? Immense!' I never think of it that way. An evolution was in my head. That was how I suddenly decided to change my life. To start fresh. Change life. Start fresh."
And I thought to myself, "What a wonderful thing. A new year, and starting fresh."

You, with shit instead of brains! Life is immense! Go out and live it! ;)

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