Calm in the storm
So much of global and national backdrop these last few years has been mad, scary... and getting more mad and scary still. I don't suppose its going to get better any time soon. It would be too easy to sink into a pit of despair about despotic leaders, war, environmental damage, the cost of living crisis, Brexit, sexism, racism, hatred, the evils of social media and so on. Probably, like most people, the despair and worry is a permanent backdrop that you learn to live with. Its important to do so while seeking silver linings anywhere you can find them. Ceramics has been my calm place among the storm through these last years. Mostly when I am in the studio, I feel a deep sense of peace and serenity (the only exception being when I am packing pots to go to a gallery (attachment issues) or I am problem solving some frustrating mysterious issue with the work!). I recently learned about "Ikigai", which is a Japanese name for the thing that gives you meaning and purpose. In theory, to achieve this, there should be a convergence of what you love with what you do well, preferably also coinciding with something other people need and will pay for. I know I have found my Ikigai because if someone asks me what I want to do for my birthday, I want to do the same thing I do everyday - go and work in my studio. Its the place where I am most happy and content and the troubles that surround us can mostly be forgotten. So to other people I might seem strange or obsessed with my work, but its just that I have found my reason for being. Why would I want to do anything else?