• Ona Graham

Sacred Shards

Timing is everything. Once you tune into the rhythms of the universe and resonate with the harmonic vibrations of the earth, another world unfolds, a more subtle world, one that can easily be dismissed and replaced with rational thought. “Just a coincidence.” “You’re reading into things”. “You’re getting kinda weird, you know, really out there”.

And yet the Joy is unrestrained, pure and delightful. You know it when you get there. And more is wanted. To live, to breathe delight! It is simply every hearts’ desire.

One of my earliest desires was to become a potter and a sculptor of clay. Got majorly sidetracked. When a recent potter friend of mine, Tom Johnson, introduced me to the anagama kiln during a communal firing, he directed me to look at the stream of red hot fire through one of the side portals. A visible stream of molten lava in gaseous form glowed with solar intensity.

Secretly, I am a pyromaniac. Once as a child, I set a wooded area a fire, not intentionally. The beauty and power of fire left its mark on me as I fled the scene. Now every time I light a fire, be it a pile of leaves or a stack of dead branches and tree roots, I dance with eternal delight. It is transformation of the most earnest kind.

And so Tom and I have been playing with the idea of a pottery at Spirit Farm. He did pottery demonstrations at the last powwow. We did a primitive pottery firing a few months ago. Tom has even used a big mail box in the wood pile as an oven of sorts. Leaving behind each time, shards of pottery touched by fire and transformed.

Some 40 years ago, I met Connie, a Catholic nun on a mission to reclaim her identity. She wanted to be an Occupational Therapist when she entered the convent, but was told she had to be a teacher, and without any training, she taught for 25 years.

I think she hated it, because she was very angry when I met her. But she was now on her way to fulfill her dream. She told me about the ancient oriental tradition of making a perfect bowl, shattering it and putting it back together with gold to mend the cracks. She thought that life was like that. We are perfect when we are born, life smashes us and God puts us back together resulting in a unique and breathtaking vessel.

Shortly after she had shared this with me, I saw one of these bowls on exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Coincidence? Or timing?

As the inspiration to build a studio took form in my mind, the resistance to going with the flow increased. All sorts of rational diverted me from the vision of a pottery/art studio. Into the anagama my spirit went, to be transformed and unburdened from all of the “that’s stupid”, “that’s too expensive”, “that’s just crazy” and “that just ain’t gonna work”. There is little I hate more than having a fight with myself.

As the inner fires abated, I was able to see for the 1st time this new creation. As I looked out the window toward the old barn the other morning, I saw something that I had never seen before in all of my 18 years and 6 months on this farm. It took my breath away.

The sacred fires of the morning sun had transformed the old barn into pure gold!

That is exactly where the studio will be.

Coincidence or perfect timing?

Blessings! Ona



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