Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Because I am the CLAY

I have been playing with clay since secondary school days. I am a kinesthetic, tactile kind of person. I'm sure you will be able to see the manifestations of this 'everything-must- also-touch-kind-of-person'; if you are one yourself: This person learns visually, loves colour, loves to doodle, loves to know how things click.

People who like clay usually find working with all types of clay very therapeutic. Do you? Well, i do! I get into 'flow' very easily when my hands touch soft, moist, malleable clay. I have had very brief experience working on the potter's wheel, throwing clay as well as the 'coiling' method. The feeling of creating something out of moist earth is nothing short of 'spiritual.'

What's my journey with clay like? After my secondary school days, there was a kind of hiatus for many years years. i took it up again in 2004 when i was quite depressed due to my late mother's long illness.

The doctor's prognosis about her brain tumour was dreary; it was like the hot humid Suzhou weather - it sucked the life out of me. i asked God many questions and subconsciously perhaps, my hands went back to earth for an answer. Or i had wanted control of life's unexpected situations, or should i say, evil turns and smashes - as if life is like a very evil squash player giving those deadly shots which drop dead in front of the wall just below the red line - i mean these are the balls which you cannot ever hope to be able to return. You reciprocate by giving equally deadly shots - except in that situation when the elderly neurosurgeon said that there's nothing he could do about it - robbed me of any opportunity to serve.

Anyway, clay gives me comfort. Whoever mixed different compounds of earth for him to be able to draw in caves and create idols must be really creative. It speaks of man as having the authority and the will as well as resourcefulness to show that he was on top of things. Man, as i understand it, was given the privilege of naming things; he created the labels. What he created was thereby given the visual-physical, mental and symbolic association of things.

Handling clay is just but one instance of man fufilling the role of his calling.
(picture: clay dove facing dawn; 2005)