Monday, November 13, 2006

monday afternoon

it's a fabulous dreary day. perfect in every way. my windows are cracked, and candles burning. i'd take a walk but my body is completely exhausted. the quality of light, the smell of leaves, the slight drizzle on the glass.

i want to write a few things before i fall asleep (at 4:20 pm).

yesterday i was in montreal. the day began in the lovely breakfast shop--i was so happy that i understood the waiter's question "quel qu' chose a boire?" and could say "un cafe". the music was spectacular and i sat alone and drank coffee, watched the rain. this november is fabulous for rain.

i drove slowly home, enjoying the scenery after i finally conquered the montreal highways. they kept conspiring to keep me driving endlessly in circles, exiting at the wrong places and saying bad words in my complete befuddlement. i was truly amazed at my ability to get distracted right at the moment when my last chance exit was at hand, and then cruise blissfully and with great expectations into the country side before becoming suspicious that i'd missed something. french teeny-boppers at the gas station weren't much help.

upstate new york is lovely, especially in the fog. i decided to see what the back roads looked like. i guess i'd had the exact same urge about a year ago while driving the same route...and saw the restaurant "the black bear" or something like that--that i ate at last time.

continuing, i followed signs deep into the boonies that promised "fawn ridge pottery". at one point, the road became a one lane deal and as it forked left, i saw a horse with its reins dragging on the ground crossing the other fork. the man carrying a bucket across a yard didn't seem to notice.

since one of my fantasies is living far from civilization and being a potter, i was eager, yet shy, to chat up whoever was at this place. if it was open. well, it was, and the owner & potter was very friendly.

he gave me a tour of his studio, gave me a little advice, and told me that a kiln costs about $2000 but the electric bills aren't prohibitive. he said my best bet is to get lots of experience and since I have access to the studio at school i've got a great situation. he & his wife gave ski lessons to pay the bills while they got their studio off the ground.

then he mentioned that he'd apprenticed with another local potter, and sent me over to red truck pottery. i was welcomed into and liked the large, warm workroom with jade plants, classical music at full volume, and a quiet, intelligent dog at the door. bill fixed a pottery wheel as we chatted a bit. what i recall that he said is that there's plenty of boredom in his job too--the items that pay the bills aren't the ones that require great creativity, but the ones that are ordered by the 1000's that are cranked out mindlessly. i could see that this guy's work was wonderful. he had some interesting metallic oxides decorating some of his pots. i did one thing like that and really liked the effect. his was brilliant, though. a real master.

i asked him if it was a lonely job, and he said yes. it's also long hours, and you have to do what needs doing when the clay is ready, and not necessarily when you are.

i could have purchased the newly repaired wheel for $700, but instead i think i'll get involved at the studio at school or the one a few blocks from my place. he advised me to volunteer help with the firings at school to get experience with that. i asked if he studied chemistry to help him understand the science of glazes and oxides...he said he'd studied it but it didn't really help, as there are way too many variables involved. apparently he even uses some materials he digs out of the ground--he doesn't really even know what it is.

after all these excursions, it was nearly dark as i pulled back onto the highway. the coffee i picked up later to help my droopy eyes unfortunately had the effect of not letting me sleep much last night even though my body was collapsing with fatigue. instead my mind whirled with ideas for my new coffee shop. like a. suggests, i can make mugs and offer them for sale. my yellow sofa can live in the shop, along with my stylish retro red chairs, since i'll be living in a tiny little room to try to get by. then my brain informed me that i'll have a chalkboard on which my regulars can make requests for the daily bakings--which will be done twice a day. a few loaves of buttered fresh bread, oozing chocolate chip cookies. oh, and i'll bring back real organic chocolate from peru or somewhere. joel has already offered to make sure i have a fabulous selection of music appropriate for every mood. paintings and framed photography for sale on the walls.

i'm still committment phobic. i'm still scared of making a mistake. does the fact that i can SEE what is wrong with math education mean that i'm the one that needs to stick around and make changes? because it's so completely wrong that it would probably take YEARS for me to be even remotely happy with the curriculum, at least at my school. it's SO wrong right now.

is it bad that i just don't want to deal with it any more?

is it bad that i want to dedicate myself to beauty and comfort?

1 comment:

herM said...

no it's not bad to dedicate yourself to beauty and comfort. too few do, and it will bring the same to others.
welcome back to the rain :)