TODAY I AM A POT
- by Joy Krauthammer
When I was a potter,
some pots needed orphanages,
whether birthed or aborted, a mistake.
Too raw, I recycled them into
mud once more, back to the earth.
No ritual burial, no chanting Kaddish.
Kneading clay back to fertile birth
spinning centeredness and stillness
turning round and round
mound of moist mud
ecstasy through my embracing fingers
and all over my soaked
We were one.
Clay called to me,
"Come play with me, form me, caress me,
harden me, color me, use me, delight in me."
Vessels of ceramic beauty,
weird, altered, exploding pots
push past boundaries
and respond to my touch.
"In what fire will you finish me?
In what kiln will I cook?
Electric or Raku or Anagama?
Heat high my body -- transform me
until I am birthed firm and beautiful."
When I did what I loved,
and I loved what I did,
in delight and joy
night and day
on the potter's wheel,
although I didn't understand Oneness
I was Oneness.
Then, I didn't know "G*d".
or did I?
Thank you, G*d,
for the glory of creation,
of immersion and joyous passion fulfilled.
Today I am a Pot
May my outer self portray
My inner self --
awakened, conscious, mindful
of the wholeness, the harmony,
the character, the integrity,
and the honesty of a good pot,
half-filled or half-empty,
glazed or not.
Gaze upon me
or fill me with nature's treasures:
tea leaves, a sunflower, pebbles, a pod,
seashells, lavender buds, fruit, or a feather.
Discover even more pleasure
when you look inside.
"Surely G*d was in this (sacred) place, and I, I did not know."
"Achen Yesh HaShem, B'makom hazeh, v'anochi, lo yadati."
Parsha Vayetze, Genesis 28:16.
"Like the clay in the hand of the potter - he expands it at will - so are we in Your hand, O Preserver of loving-kindness..."
ArtScroll Yom Kippur Machzor, page 121, evening service.
"And now Hashem, You are our Creator, we are the clay and You are our Potter, and we all are the work of Your hand." Isaiah 64:7
ArtScroll Siddur, page 127. Tachanun read before Torah, weekday mornings.
OTTO HEINO, potter extraordinaire, died July 2009. Otto showed me his first place, award winning pot from the International Ceramics show in Paris, and exclaimed to me that he "won FIRST PLACE because it was an HONEST POT" . That emet / truth has permeated my being. Today I held one of his baby pots.
TODAY I AM A POT reprinted from "The Deronda Review" Vol. III. No. I Fall-Winter 2009-2010
a journal of poetry and thought. http://www.pointandcircumference.com/
published in American Ceramic Society Design Chapter, ACS-DC Newsletter,
March 2013, Vol. 14, Issue 22, page 12.
Published also in The Jewish Woman 2010
Huffington Post. Religion blog, Sephirat HaOmer 2013
TODAY I AM A POT, Aleph's KALLAH 2011, Univ. of Redlands, CA (by Joy Krauthammer)
TODAY I AM A POT, Makom Ohr Shalom, Encino, CA (by Joy Krauthammer)
TODAY I AM A POT, Sound and Light studio opening, Sherman Oaks, CA