cycles

Did you have a good halloween? Ours was jam-packed with kiddo fun on Friday and Saturday nights. Little boy had great fun with his best friend and our combined families. I only did a minimum of pottery work this weekend- trimming another dozen berry bowls. After my last day at the farmers market, I decided to use a portion of my sales to buy this fancy trimming tool that I'd wanted for years. The Giffin Grip really does make trimming (especially centering) easier and nearly fool-proof. I can't tell you how many times I watched in horror as a pot lost its gob of anchoring clay and went flying off the wheel. No longer! I can't say that I'm trimming faster, but I am trimming better. It was money well spent.

Yesterday I spent the day being a lazy lazy lie-a-bed, doing a little Christmas knitting and a lot of contemplating. I meant to load and fire this body of work, about 40 small crosses from a workshop I've been teaching at the cathedral, but I never made it past the den. I'll fire it and the rest of the dry ware that didn't make the last firing today. This little workshop will be finished on Wednesday, when we glaze our work. While I've enjoyed it, I have also realized that my teaching days (with the exception of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd work) are over for a while. I've been teaching in full-to-part time capacity since 1997. Sometimes elementary and middle schoolers in reading (once the kids are physically bigger than I am, something changes and teaching gets a LOT harder), sometimes as a grad student trying to cajole undergrads into reading and discussing Faulkner (this was when I put any thoughts of a PhD out of my head), and for the last eight years, as a teaching artist. After I left my museum job, I knew I was tired and wanted my creative energy to go into my own work and family. But when I started dragging my feet with this fun little workshop for people I know well, I realized that my teaching cycle is over, at least for now.

Lots of things seem to be beginning or ending their cycles lately: the changing seasons, little boy's new school and the challenges and opportunities that go with this new community (one thing that I'm very excited about is the school's garden and its expansion), the calendar year is winding down, and I find I'm narrowing my focus and gladly dropping what isn't working anymore. Regardless, it is interesting to detach a little, sit back and watch these cycles begin anew or play themselves out. So: teaching- ending. Making- beginning and continuing. Living- continuing to figure out what works and what doesn't. I look back fondly at some things that are ending- and am grateful that others are over. I wonder at what will happen in the future, which doors will open. Life is good right now. Life is good always, even when I have to puzzle over it a bit.

And speaking of making- off to work. Hope your week is a productive one. I know mine will be!