JulieLeung.com: a life told in tidepools

pictures and stories from the water’s edge

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Like clay in my hands

May 28th, 2004 · 1 Comment

So much buzz in the past day about the fix – as blogging is described in a New York Times article. Recently I’ve been thinking about why I feel addicted attached – or at least why I find myself staying up late into the night typing away at my desk. I think that the conversation aspect that Jeff Jarvis mentioned is one factor. Responsibility, for me, is another: I almost feel that this blog is like a living creature, a pet of sorts, that has daily needs I must tend.

But I think that I also feel, as I am sitting here pressing keys beneath my fingers, as if I am sitting at the wheel, clay in my hands, pulling up the walls and pressing out the floor, shaping a pot. I have a hard time describing the feeling, this inner sensation, but it is almost visceral. Three different times in my life I’ve found myself working in a ceramics studio, kneading clay against the table, the feel of grit and smooth on my fingertips. Although I lack natural talent for throwing pots, it is the art I love most for I put my entire body into the process, spinning wheel with my feet, bending my back, my hands immersed in the middle of the vessel I am making. I hold it in my hands and shape it into life. Stress dissolves and elation takes its place as I play with clay.

As I sit here working on this blog, orienting pictures, shaping pretty phrases, I feel as if I am in the pottery studio again. The way I polish words or alter html reminds me the way I might smooth a bowl with a rib, or flatten the lip with my fingers. Throwing a pot is three dimensional, physical, and tangible; by contrast this seems simpler, virtual, much more mellow. But the sensation is the same: I am creating.

Tags: blog

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Nathan // Jun 4, 2004 at 10:19 am

    A verse Katie found for me yesterday — good for all who work with their hands (as we writers do):

    Psalm 128:
    1 Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways.
    2 When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.