Day Twenty-Three


I am loosing my daily rhythm. I want to get up early in the morning and go swimming before I get in to the studio by 8am. I want to meditate and do writing before I go the pool. These days I get up past 7am even if I am in bed by 10 in hope for getting up around 5am. I don't like when I get up at 7am the minute after I wake up I feel rushed, that I need to get out and start getting things going right away. It works much better for me if I have some time to relax and not get rushed by emails and things on the phone. I want to make tea and just sit down and look outside the window even though my window is facing the back of the building where I can peak at the neighbor's rectangular lappable outdoor swimming pool with a plant-filled covered terrace, the adjacent neglected garden with painted decorative tiles on the wall illustrating something - Brooklyn Bridge? - and rows of two-chair balcony where one opens the door to it the sun reflects right back to my room. I spent most of the past three weeks in the studio and in my small bedroom. I did not take the subway, I did not go to the city, I did not visit friends, I did not go see a movie or an exhibition. No I did spent some time outside of working; I went out to dinners to my favorite local restaurants, to Hip-hop Vietnamaese restaurant for their delicious Pho, a coffee shop, the stroll, the park. I am kind of puzzeled by the ideas between being satisfied and wanting more. If I learn to appreciate what I have and be happy with what exists instead of love what I don't yet have and want more, where is an improvement or an exploration? I want more and want to try more.

Yesterday I did not do much. I threw one more of the tall bottle because I broke one and I like making more than the exact quantity because there can be cracking and glaze faults. Its my baker's dozen - a potter's dozen. It is the piece I make in two parts so I made the bottom and then the top and have them rest to firm up. The kiln temperature was still high and I had a few more hours to unload. I worked on my laptop and it was already past 2pm. I was tired. The thrown pieces are still too wet to assemble. The kiln is still cooling down and the recycled clay on the wedging table is also still wet. I decided to take a few hour break and headed home for lunch and a rest. I fell asleep with a book in my hand and woke up after over an hour. I kept the computer at the studio to have another reason to go back. I did not particularly feel refreshed after the nap but back at the studio I assembled the two parts, unload the kiln, load another bisque firing, wedged up the clay, cleaned up and left. 

I prefer not to have tight deadlines. I started working on this project last year while I was working 3 days a week in the city. When I made the commitment I knew it was going to be tight and asked for an extension which got me an additional week. Still, I thought being able to work full time in my studio would dramatically help me with the time line. Sure it does but not so much like I hoped. What can I do differently? Get a help I think. it's better to start getting a help when I am not pressed with time. I can also think that this is natural that I feel pressured because it is a challenging work for me. I would probeably not be satisfied if I was working on things I have already known how and feel that I should be doing more, something new and something more than I would feel comfortable with. Otherwise where is my challenge and where am I going from here?