An afternoon in Italy

September 26, 2009

I worked in the pottery studio yesterday afternoon, the sun warm against the earth outside, the clay cool and damp between my fingers.

Loop, wire and wooden modeling tools felt awkward in my hand at first, then, over the afternoon and with instruction, I saw how they helped me give life to the clay. For years my sense of myself was that I had no creativity, really. I was a journalistic writer and couldn’t draw more than a stick figure. But when I gave voice to my inner being in words and visual arts, when I let go of form and structure, and most of all, judgment, I created things I liked and was even proud of. Creativity is about confidence. It’s about suspending the American urge to constantly evaluate and meet some external standard of success. Sometimes, creating isn’t about anyone else’s opinion. Just your own.

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