#97: Squeezing the Toothpaste

I’ve been seeing pottery ideas everywhere around me. The bark of a tree outside my window. The feathering of a goose by the Huron River. The coloring of a geode. The flesh of a kiwi that L cut for me before leaving for work at 8:30 AM (actually reproducing any of these things on a pot, though, is still a monumental challenge). In the mornings at home now I hear the drips of the faucet in a kitchen slightly less cold. A rubber washer around a screw inside a stainless steel casing has expanded. Spring is here.

Tidying up feels natural with the change in season, but for me it’s a slightly more regular occurrence. I call days like these “squeezing the toothpaste” days, as in when you can finally be bothered enough to realize the tube is lumped and wavy, the gel inside having been displaced over weeks to the left and right of each unconscious pinch of thumb and forefinger. So you force the toothpaste back onto itself again. Starting at the end, you make a simple motion that sets you back to the beginning.

Projects are wrapped up, nagging errands resolved. Scattered notes and papers on the desktop, both physical and virtual, collected and filed or thrown into recycling. I seem to finish every book I’m reading at once. At home I swiffer the floors. At the pottery studio I consolidate the wads and scraps of clay, the unmade handles and cut-off rims and trimming keys. I poke holes in the reclaim and add water to keep it moist for the future turning-into of a mug or planter. I finish a round of glazing, toss away pots that aren’t good enough, wash my tools, bring home the apron and towel for laundering. I contract so I can expand again. A few simple motions and I’m ready for a new month, a new season.