Autumn is definitely here. Even the odd days above 70 degrees have a little bite to them. Autumn and Spring are my favorite seasons. The Transitions. This past Monday I joined the Women’s Group from Tokyo American Club on a tour to Mashiko, Japan.
Twice a year in Mashiko, Japan they hold pottery festivals, and since the tsunami/earthquake, many of the displaced and traumatized potters come to the festival to help rebuild their trade. It’s a great opportunity for us to get great pottery at good prices too.
I was advised by a “veteran” to take a suitcase or rolling bag and I am glad I did. When you buy earthenware in sets of 6 and big serving platters, it gets heavy quick. We had about 4 hours to shop. On the 2 & 1/2 hour bus ride I enjoyed chatting it up with some of the ladies on the bus, but once we got to Mashiko, I decided to go it alone. Some of the ladies were suggesting that we shouldn’t take time to even eat! I was raised by a Korean mother, so when I get hungry, it’s a life or death situation. I made the time to sit down and eat inside a very quaint Korean cafe on the premises.
As I walked around, I enjoyed not just seeing these beautiful creations but touching pieces with my hands. Recently, I attended a Japanese fine pottery lecture. There, I was introduced to a Japanese philosophy known as WabiSabi. For a country full of perfectionists and right angles, their appreciation for the “imperfect” seems ironical to say the least. But when I reflect upon the asymmetry of Japanese gardens, Japanese teeth (also known as Yaeba), and of course the pottery, I think maybe they aren’t being complete hypocrits. I’ll admit, I am a recovering perfectionist. Sometimes I fall off the wagon, like when I strive for flawless skin, and I’m sure Chase would throw me under the bus since I am his personal tutor. That being said, recovery is not easy.
One of my goals was to find a gift for my girlfriend Beth. My friend who believes in “God’s will” not the birth control pill who just had her 5th baby. I wanted to get her something special for just being such a good friend to me. I finally found the perfect cup. In only making 2 of these perfectly imperfect cups, this also felt like a sign because I was planning to get one for myself as well. The colors are rich and earthy. When I held it in my hand, I loved the gravity of it. There is no handle, but there is an indentation where my thumb fit, as if it were still a live, moldable piece of clay. While I was having my first cup of coffee, I received another sign that told me I had done the right thing:
Until next time…