Monday / by Christina Rosalie

In the studio smoke from the raku kiln drifts in through the open windows, where water runs in rivulets, like tiny tributaries or capillaries, trembling with early summer rain. It’s been raining softly off and on all day, and I kind of like the way it drenches things: scrubbing the sidewalks clean and soaking the tilled soil in my garden making it easier to turn over into raised beds.

Tonight I sit at the wheel and try new clay: porcelain. White and supple and so soft beneath my fingers, like milk. It takes so little effort to center, to pull up cylinder after cylinder, bowl after bowl. I make eleven pieces. More than I’ve ever made in a night. Four soup bowls, four tall mugs, two plates, and a vase. I can hardly stop myself. The clay slips with little effort in a circling center between my fingers, and the studio is full of banter. Marven Gaye is on for a while, then Beck. Conversations rises and falls like a flock of pigeons alighting for bread, then lifting off into the sky to settle on the ridgeline of a roof somewhere.

I love throwing pots in the studio while my guy loafs around, glazing pots in the opposite corner, making people laugh. My mind stays close to its center, at the wheel. I don’t veer into worry, or anxiety or tiredness; like gardening, the simple act of using my hands in a directed purposeful way fills my soul with a sense of even-keeled grace I easily loose track of as the day whips by me, all talk and clatter and eager kids.

I come home empty, in a grateful, open way. Ink and gesso on the pages of an old book; clay on my jeans; a bottle of massage oil on the bedside table. The day is done.