That was the epiphany that went through my head last night around 8 pm when I, still working, got up to ice my wrist so I could keep throwing, to make enough pots to fill the kiln and pay the bills for one more month.
"This is bullshit," I thought. "It can't be that the only way to make a living at this is to injure myself. Other people manage without that." And, for the 10 millionth time, I thought: "I'm doing something wrong."
It seems the Week of Reflection has come early this year, thanks to a recurrence of my old nemisis, depression, bringing with it its characteristic ruminations. As this is meant to be the Week of Gratitude, I'm embracing my mental state as a gift, although as gifts go, I'd rather have the toaster oven. Nevertheless, the analytical mindset is what's necessary here, rather than just stupidly soldiering on, icing and throwing and icing some more.
It isn't that I am a fragile flower prone to injury; if that were the case I might be inclined to become another sort of artist. It's just that the only way I can make enough stuff to make a living is to work 10 and 12 hours a day, seven days a week. See what I mean? This is bullshit. I am doing something wrong.
I have a pretty good idea what it is, too, and although the solution will require more rumination before I commit to it, so far the more I ruminate the better it looks.
I'm off to teach my handbuilders this morning; catch you on the flip side, with more thoughts.
Dear Holland Bulb Company
2 hours ago