There are a lot of things we don’t get do very often since starting Maek. Over and over I am caught of guard by the totality of starting a business, even when it isn’t taking all of our time, its taking our emotion and our creative liberty, at times I forget all of the other things that fill my heart and mind with joy. Which isn’t to say I don’t absolutely love what I’m doing and who I get to do it with. Today began slow, I awoke to the sun shining through the back window, then a good phone call from the homie Joel Aldous, and coffee with Michaela as we planned our day. I spent yesterday on the wheel so she is throwing and trimming today, which left a pretty open morning for me, so I decided that I was gonna make a pretty little video about a lazy Tuesday in the shop (in hopes of attracting a few insta-followers of course), and as I got out my gear and started taking clips I realized that I forgot to love the craft I do. There’s that saying or whatever about comparison being the thief of joy, as a person who generally thrives in competition I never put a lot of equity in it, but–I’m learning–it’s probably more true than I give it credit for. As our time in San Diego was coming to a close at the end of last September one of the elements I had not considered to appreciate was the gravity of a community that doesn’t care what you do to make money, a community that is more concerned about who you are than what you do. Since moving up to Clayton we spend a lot of time in our small mountain studio, we have everything we need to make killer stuff and ponder new ideas and strategies. It’s a pretty ideal situation, and yet, I am constantly filling my head with voices and images that are concerned more with what I could be doing than the person that I have already become, and I’m not saying that I believe I am as good as I can be, (that’s straight up laughable) and maybe its the Strengths Quest mentality deep inside me, but there is something powerful about tipping a hat to the elements of our lives in which we are confident and proud of before we go about trying to attain more of what we don’t have, or compensate for our shortcomings. I think looking at all of the amazing ceramicists out there, envying my friends with epic(ly paying) jobs, and reading about social media strategy for small businesses has become a new iteration of the consumerism I am so quick to denounce, the consumerism which drove me to abandon all plans and enter a life style of snail-paced production.
So there I was framing shots and laying on the clay ridden ground in all black to get the clip, running back and forth while Michaela is laughing at me for moving the one flower in the vase that will balance the shot. In that moment a very small shift happened, I was making for me again, well at least for the reasons I have given myself, rather than all the voices who don’t know me, rather than the frenzy of internet marketing, or the pressure of making more money. The video is whatever, and probably–in all honesty–would look the same whether or not I enjoyed making it as much as I did, but the reminder it has left me with is that I can rest in the work I have done to lay a foundation below my path. I have had trusted voices speaking into my life and those voices deserve my attention, those voices have valid accolades (not to mention criticism), and there is heaps of joy in that. I also have a hunch that better work flows from that.
That leaves me, in this moment, considering those voices once again, testing them against my spirit or brain (or wherever you place your consciousness). I think for me, those voices reinforce a metaphysics of elevating that which has been cast aside, of humility in the face of achievement, and of soft words (paired with firmer actions) which ask towards hard and veiled truth. What that means in the studio is different than behind a camera or on stage at church, or behind a screen writing this blog, but there is common ground between those positions: find my equity in the voices I cannot abandon, and give that equity away freely to those around me because the source is much greater than I could ask for or imagine.