Sunday, June 14, 2009
The Process of Good-Bye
Yesterday afternoon I loaded the gas kiln for the last time at Atlantic Pottery. I still have two weeks in North east Florida, but our class session just ended. For the rest of the month I am having a big sale in my online store. I'm struck by how thoughtful I've been lately about moving. The past four years have gone fast, and at times really slow. When I was in China last summer, the process of leaving was lengthy, and I'm feeling the same way as I prepare myself for the next chapter in my life. At least this time I gave myself three weeks to pack and prepare, but I think that sometimes when I'm packing I'm not making much progress, I'm just organizing and purging things from my life that I don't need to be attached to. Papers, clothing, random objects, so many things that I want or need and don't need at all. This is the part of moving I love, compacting my life into boxes and shedding all the dead skin. The personal good-byes are harder. As an adult I've never been afraid of picking up all of my stuff and moving somewhere else, this may have something to do with the fact that I don't really own any furniture, and since college I can't say that any of the places I've lived (mostly cheap apartments) really feel like home. I'm starting to relish things that I do for the last time here, like the kiln loading yesterday. Usually when I load the kiln I've got it down to a science, where some people may spend a day, I take two hours. I knock old glaze off shelves with a chisel, and don't think twice about anything, after all I've done it a hundred times. Yesterday it was hot, hot, hot! The heat index was 105 or something. But I got out the grinder, and really paid attention to the shelves, as I put them in. It didn't take much longer than usual, and I felt better about it when I was done. I have a lot of spare time right now, since I'm really only packing and working part time. But I think I'm learning full-time about the process of good-bye.