Pots- best china and everyday crockery
One of the things that I find attractive about the craft of pottery is that it is about making something special out of the basic ’stuff of the earth’. Also, that the 'something special’ is more often an item of basic practical everyday use, in contrast to the ’Sunday best’ china or the ornate porcelain vase that is worth thousands of pounds.
In the world of craft pottery every item bears the finger-marks of the maker. It is individual and it is special, while often being quite ordinary and for basic purpose.
This prompts me to take more careful notice of the ‘ordinary’ in other areas of life, as it is very likely to hold aspects of the ’special’. People, in particular, may not stand out in a crowd for any reason, yet be ’special’ in so many ways, as created by the Divine Maker. Some everyday tasks will just be done in the course of things yet, if not done, would reveal an importance.
So many of the images we see in magazines etc. have been very carefully planned and posed, while most of those that we capture on our phones are very much ‘of the moment’ and capture the ordinary aspects of life. Much of life easily passes us by, but caught by the camera our attention is drawn and the special is revealed.
We have two sets of wedding photos. The album created by a professional photographer carries the planned and posed while a collection of informal shots taken by a friend capture the really special moments that were probably not noticed at the time. It is this latter collection that is most special to us, as it captures something special about the day and those who were there.
Andi Ashworth writes in the Art House America blog of how her mother and she record the ordinary, everyday.
Many of her diary pages contain only the fragment of a sentence — “sewed and listened to baseball game.” Other pages report cleaning the house, having friends over for dinner, taking kids to the doctor, canning peaches, meeting with clients, watering the yard, cooking, ironing, keeping grandchildren, paying bills, running errands, going to meetings, and visiting neighbors. By keeping track of her daily life, she gave a cheerful dignity to all the particulars.
… the words on the page gave me eyes to see the significance of the smaller things that are always present.
Sure, there are high points, nameable moments of climax — but most of my daily life still takes place in the in-between. I live in grocery stores and farmer’s markets, at the stove and the kitchen sink. I pull weeds in the garden, sort the recycling, fold laundry, write e-mails, get the oil changed in the car, meet younger folks for coffee and long conversations, and sit for hours at my computer laboring over words and sentences.
Along with the aid of my journals, perhaps it’s been easier for me to see how much the smaller things matter in the creation of a whole.
Paula Gooder -Everyday God - Spirit of the Ordinary
Ordinary Time is probably the soggiest season of all …
I remain passionately convinced that we need to look again at a spirituality of ordinariness because without a proper understanding of the importance of ordinariness, our lives become an impoverished waiting room, as we loiter between one big event and another.
What is important is the celebration of the ordinary in all its forms: in the lives of ordinary people; in a God who defies our best attempts to put him in a gilded palace; in a kingdom that is best likened to seeds, yeast and fishing nets, and in everyday decisions which, lived out with God have extraordinary consequences.
The Bright Field - RS Thomas
I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
treasure in it. I realise now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying
on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.