What brings you joy?

23 Feb 2020

On Fridays for a couple of years now I spend two and a half hours making porcelain. I am lucky living in a big city that the local arts centre, in a big park, holds all sorts of classes. When I joined up I had no idea that porcelain was made by pouring slip and so my initial ideas of throwing clay around were dashed. Porcelain requires incredible patience. It's intricate and tricky and demands concentration.

So there is an atmosphere of quiet calm, punctuated with humour and interest in each others' work and lives. We all bring our own baggage, but disabilities, caring commitments or worries are set aside for a few hours.

This week I have tried a new technique 'Nerikomi'. It involves making a Swiss roll of coloured clays, cutting into small pieces and then assembling in a mosaic-like fashion to create a piece. I found it utterly absorbing. For two and a half hours my life felt good, and I could set aside the strains of parenting a school avoiding teenager and a job that I am really disliking.

A number of years ago a good friend of mine, a religious minister and mental health chaplain, talked about finding what gives you joy. When I was deep in depression it was not the easiest time to start new things or find joy, but if you do know what brings you joy, do it, and if you don't, try something new. After all my first week of puzzlement has become my favourite part of the week.


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