Brene' Brown states "The magic of all art is the ability to both capture our pain and deliver us from it at the same time". As an artist, I occasionally feel a brief glitch in the belief that my pottery actually does this. But when my customers share their very personal stories with me, I am reminded that my pottery may not touch everyone, but it touches who it's supposed to touch. Below are a few of those stories.
WARRIOR MUG: A woman in her early 30's was quietly browsing my pottery display. Although she looked healthy, her bald head was adorned with a pink flowing scarf. She picked up the mug, stared at it for a bit, turned to me and said "This is me, I am a warrior". She shared her story with me as she was purchasing her mug, and when she walked away with mug in hand, she left behind an air of strength, one that only emerges from our struggles.
SHE WHO IS BRAVE IS FREE VASE: A woman who appeared to be in her 50's, came into my tent and spent a good while just looking. Eventually she came up to me with this vase in her hand, and shared that after 30 years of marriage, her husband walked out on her last month. She said "Every morning since he left, I wake up and I struggle to get out of bed because I feel my world has ended and I have no purpose. But this vase gives me hope and I think I'll be okay, so thank you".
LEAN INTO LOVE VASE: A middle aged woman shared that she had been in and out of relationships her whole adult life. She stated that the vase made her understand why, and said "I guess I never leaned into love, I always leaned away". I believe her story resonates with many of us, for leaning in makes us vulnerable. What I've come to understand is that it takes courage to lean in, and by leaning away rather than leaning in, we miss the opportunity for true connection, true love.
GRATEFUL LEAF PLATE: An 18 month survivor of cervical cancer spoke of the gratefulness she now feels every day she's alive, and how she finally understands the TRUE depth of this word due to her battle with cancer. She shared her new perspective on life, and an understanding of the silver lining that accompanies such a terrifying experience.
DAD...KEEPER OF MY HEART PLATE: A middle-aged woman shared that her brother had recently passed away, he was the father of her two nieces. She purchased a plate for each niece as a reminder of their Dad's continued love, even though he was no longer with them.
TRAVEL FAR ENOUGH TO FIND YOURSELF PLATE:
1. The mother of a college student spoke of her son who was struggling with being homesick. She was hoping this plate would be a reminder of the importance of embracing his college adventure.
2. A young woman in her 20's lost her father in the last year. During the year, her mother had been struggling to figure out who she really was without her husband. Her mother decided to sell everything, buy a camper and travel. The daughter felt the plate would show support for her mother's new adventure. A perfect reminder it's never too late to find yourself.
JUST PASSING THROUGH LEAF: This was a saying that a woman's father said his entire life. After his death, she wanted a daily reminder of him in her kitchen, a keepsake to keep him close even though he was gone.
BELOVED LEAF DISH: As I sat at my booth during an art show, I could see that a couple in their 40's was moved by this piece of pottery as she held it in her hands. As they were purchasing the dish, they shared that their son had passed away at a very young age and the word "beloved" was the word they had associated with him and his life.
I LOVE MY TRIBE PLATES: A woman purchased 6 plates for her book club. She shared that although the women were just acquaintances when the book club began years ago, they had become much more to one another over the years. Through promotions, divorces, deaths, births and everything in between, they had become a tribe, they had become her tribe.
HEAL STONE: During an art show, a quiet man in his 20's purchased a small stone that said HEAL. The next day he came back and said thank you. He shared that he had felt a heaviness in his heart lately, and when he meditated this morning he laid the heal stone on his heart, hoping it would help lift the heaviness. He then bought a few more stones and was on his way. Without even knowing it, he reminded me of how lucky I am to be privy to the continual flow of sacred stories that are shared with me.
BE STILL AND KNOW DISH: During an art show, I noticed a woman in her 60's that came in and out of my booth a few times. It appeared she was wiping away tears as she looked at the pottery. Although she wandered in and out a few times, she never purchased anything. A few days later I received an email from her. She shared that she had recently lost her husband and when she saw a piece of pottery with the word BEGIN on it, she knew it was time to try and figure out how to begin her life without him. We worked together to customize a piece for her, one that I hoped would bring her peace and help her adjust to her new solo life.
ALL IS WELL WITH MY SOUL VINTAGE LACE DISH: A woman in her early 60's shared that she had worked a job that she despised her entire life. A job that had depleted her soul over the years. She had recently retired and was using her time to advocate for animals, something that she had always been passionate about, but unfortunately never did until now. As we spoke, she asked some questions about my pottery, and the road that lead me to it. I explained my story of finally being true to myself. After we were done talking, she said she was buying the plate because she wanted to support my efforts of being true to myself, and because she too was FINALLY being true to herself.
Tell me your story......