Yesterday I took my first pottery class, and for a little over an hour I got to play with beautiful red mud. It is such a calming relaxing experience. Toying with the clay, plying it, transforming it from a clump of wet dirt and giving it shape gave me such a feeling of calm. There are at least three factors at play here: the dirt, the creativity, and the concentration.
The earth is one of the elements around us. It is the ground and thus grounding. Playing with it, having pieces in your hands, your pores absorbing its various qualities and minerals as you work. Rejuvenating what is essentially ours. Dispelling all excess energy, especially the negative can only be healing.
The joy of creating something from nothing but a clump of mud, seeing it take shape and form. The process of deciding your next move and taking it. Stepping back and seeing your vision come alive. How can that sense of accomplishment not give you a surge of good energy? To create something tangible and physical that is your creation, that is a manifestation of your imagination and choice, is uplifting.
When the mud I played with had to be formed, the racing thoughts in my head ceased to exist. In their stead came focus. I was focused on the object in front of me. Making it resemble the image I have in my head. While turning my handiwork into a piece of pottery, I was so engrossed in the details of the work, I barely noticed the time flying by, let alone all my worries and stresses.
Looking at my first piece, it isn’t perfect, it isn’t anything special. But to me, it is my first piece, it is very special. It is my work, a labor of love and joy. It is perfect. I loved the learning process. I loved the mud. I loved the absorption. Getting my hands dirty was blissful.