At The Wheel

The potter at the next wheel turned a ten-pound lump

of black clay into a bowl of perfect grace rising from

the base in an arc like opening wings, while the clay

I worked refused to behave, wobbled drunkenly and

did not mince words in letting me know that whatever

I thought I was making would shortly be lump again

as the whole spitting affair collapsed, a squelching

glob to be scraped away, wadded up and not thrown

away but set aside for an hour or two to stiffen up

for another go at becoming something other than dirt.

 

Clay has its own mind, and persuading it to assume

any shape takes practice, practice, practice, with nothing

but failure assured until a truce is struck; potter and clay

having their say and yielding, one to the other, in an act

of co-creation. The Genesis stories only hint at how this

was done, omitting the part about first, second and third

attempts at making a human by a deity who hadn’t done

this before, as well as the moment of divine glee when

Adam was finally pulled from the mud, followed by the

less joyous moment when the man of earth grabbed God’s

nose and gave it a painful tweak.  It wasn’t biting an apple

that stirred up all the trouble, but the raspberries Adam

blew on that day he was formed, sparking the wrestling

which will continue as long as the wheel turns.

 

©Dana Hughes 7.20.18

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