Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Pride and Prejudice

After Marilyn and I met, we did what every new couple who meets does; we talked about our hopes and dreams, things we'd like to do, things we hope to do, and interests that we have.  One main thing she expressed was the desire to learn how to make pottery.  It was both something she'd been interested in before her illness and something that she thought may be a good therapy.  Upon her moving from her parents home (where we're house sitting now while they're away for awhile) south to come and live with me, she found a pottery studio in fairly close proximity to where we were living, made a phone call and the next week I took her to her first class.  What I didn't know at the time, was how big a part of our lives pottery was about to become!

Her instructor was knowledgeable and educated in what she was doing and really took time with Marilyn to explain not just how to do things correctly, but why they needed to be done that way and what could happen in things were done incorrectly.  It turned out that she's really an outstanding person and someone who's become a good friend to both of us, especially Marilyn.  From that day forward "pottery talk" would become a staple in our household.  I try and keep up, I really do but honestly it's not my thing and Marilyn knows that so she tries to keep it basic.  If I were to use an example: it would be like me talking football all the time.  She listens for so long but eventually the volume goes down and I'm basically talking to myself.  It's the same thing for me with her and pottery.  I try to keep up and pay attention but invariably my attention span dissipates and I'm thinking about a host of other things.  Thankfully, she already knows this so when she reads it I won't get in too much trouble.  ;)

After a few months of taking her back and forth (she lost her license due to the seizures), she began making hand built items at home and that's when things for her went to another level.  Throwing on the wheel (think the scene from 'Ghost' if you're not sure what I'm talking about) is difficult for her due to her leg issues so she's relegated to about 20 minute sessions on days when her legs are good, which as of late hasn't been very often.  Not one to be deterred she began hand building items.  She did her first small sculpture; a dragon, which led her to making a whistle that looked like Jimmy (no, really.  A ceramic whistle that worked and also looked like her son's face), which led to a host of other items.  She let her imagination combine with things she saw weren't being made and ran with her ideas.  Soon after she had a website and not long after that she was putting items on Etsy.

When we moved north to her folks home, she had the opportunity to take things to another level.  While she was sad to be leaving the studio that she learned her craft in, it was an opportunity for her to work fully from home.  She was able to gather much of the equipment that she needed by scouring craigslist and by the time we moved up here, the enclosed porch on the back of the house became a fully fledged pottery studio that she could both access with her crutches and wheelchair.  To say that it made things easier for her would be an understatement.

And that brings us fairly current.  Over the fall she had a great sculpture she did of bloody Army boots in sand with a flag featured at an art event.  Recently she had an item selected as the best item from Maine on Etsy in a local magazine, and the other day the Etsy item on the Facebook ad was one of her creations.  I'm so damn proud of her it's hard to express.  Every day she's faced with issues that could easily derail any of us and send us down a road of depression and low self worth and yet she gets up and pushes forward with vigor and love for life.  Personally, and I may be a little prejudiced here, I think she's the best at what she does.  It's more than talent, which she certainly has.  It's the love and devotion she puts into her work that makes it so special.  I don't mean that to take away from anyone else's work as I've both seen and own some very outstanding pieces since she began her pottery odyssey, but seeing what she goes through on a daily basis and knowing that she won't give up on her dreams, even if she has to alter them a little, is inspiring and for me adds a little something extra to each of her creations.  

Though not every entry on here won't be filled with happiness and joy, it's my belief that the overwhelming majority will be on the positive side.  We work together in nearly everything we do (I even help with the pottery stuff when I can and she's been known to sit around while the games are on).  We have a thorough belief, sometimes naively, that together we can concur anything.  Whether it's her pottery or my dream to someday publish a novel, we work support and stand beside each other even during the rough times.  I'm truly a lucky man that the same talented hands that form incredible works of art out of nothing, are the same hands that I get to hold at night as I fall asleep.

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