October 22, 2016
Clay pots don't just fall from the sky and break. Clay pots slip off the hands of those who the potter entrusts its care to.
Clay pots are not meant to be simple artifacts, they are created to be vessels of life and beauty, they hold the pure and fertile soil which the flowers rejoice in.
Not many things matter when it comes to clay pots, but what matters is that there is so much beauty in them. This beauty does not depend on fact that they are pots, it doesn't matter what they can or cannot do or if they're fragile or what great vessels they can be. The beauty of clay pots is in the very clay. Without clay there wouldn't be a vessel or a fragility. Without clay the potter would have no work.
Clay is a humble material, it's worth nothing, but the work of the potter is invaluable. In other materials like gold and silver and many other perfect and shiny elements you notice they are worth by what they look like, by what they are thought to be. However, the work of a smith who arduously crafted a golden or silver creation is forgotten by the beauty of these elements, nothing matters but the shining gleam of gold and silver... and people like these things, they become amaze because they are hungry of amazement.
People prefer gold and silver because it is more comfortable to be sure they own something that will never fall and break, a final or close to perfect product you would barely need to worry about, an artifact you can trust and proudly present as part of your collection.
But clay... you need to found it well so the wheel won't complaint and throw shapes out of kilter.
And again and again with your hands on the edge you need nothing but patience.
As it spins round and round, is the potter who knows how much pressure can take his creation.
When the fire is high it wont consume but endured, and the clay can now serve a new purpose.
Clay...When it's done it can easily break, who wants clay anyway? Do you?
There are those who would dare to own it, but it takes more than the eye to assimilate what a marvelous pot has been created. It takes heart to really grasp that the real value of clay pots is not the art but the artist who made it.
God forbid we look at a clay pot and only perceive its frailty or roughness and unfairly anticipate the time this pot will break... Do you that because it can break, doesnt mean the potter intended his pot to be broken?
And what if it breaks? If nothing matters but the clay, what if it breaks?
Clay pots don't just fall and break, sometimes things happen.
Sometimes clay pots are given to the wrong hands, sometimes clay pots are stolen, sometimes life happens, so they brake. After all the work, after all the spinning, after all the endurance and the love of the artist to make them, they brake.
The pot will never be what it was. If it comes to the hands of a stranger who does not understand what the clay hides within, he will toss it.
But if it goes to the artist, he wil not only restore it, but transform it. The pot can never be the same, "it cant be fixed some say" but the potter loves his clay and wont let it go to waste. He would get the pieces and find the way to make a new creation out of it, he will make a lamp, he will make a birdhouse, he will be creative and use every single piece of this brokennes for a new purpose. Because is not what it was or what he thought it would be that matters to him, but the clay...the pure clay.
Some potters are braver than others. In the Japanese culture there is an art called kintsugi, it is the art of repairing broken pottery, they mix powdered gold to glue the pieces together, thus the imperfections are highlighted and give the pot a new beauty. This broken clay pot now becomes shiny and visible, the pot is now more special than before and its imperfections are what define it. But they do not define its mission or the type of flowers or soil it will hold, or if it will be placed in a house or a garden, the imperfections define the frailty of its nature, something that was meant to be rejected and thrown out by everybody, but the artist saw in its brokenness the perfect lines to make it unique, so that the world will notice... because it is still clay, it is still a pot, it is still like the others, it fell and broke once, but it still clay, it can hold the same flowers and many others.
Jesus, only in your hands we find completeness.
We, the clay! Make of us nothing but the work of your hands.
St. John Paul II
Pray for us.