the next drop


I took this photo with my sister while we were on a walk recently.  She lends me courage.   My friend Tom Brackett taught me the phrase “lending courage” and I use the term often.

We humans are so fragile.  Mostly water and some calcium.

As a potter I spend a lot of my time making funeral urns.  I got into making them after an accident in which the doctor said “We need to know what to do with your remains tomorrow.”  Hard words to hear, but not terrible words – I have lived a fine life and done my best.  But when I survived that night, I wanted to make pottery funeral urns because I realized, on that gurney, that I had no funeral urn of my own.  And as a potter who makes a lot of cookie jars, it seems I should have an urn for that inevitable day.  While making funeral urns for a recent gallery exhibit, I did some research and found that seven pounds of clay makes an urn the right size for a human remains after cremation.  About 5 cups of bone meal.

So we lend each other courage because we live and then we die and we know not when or how.  And we lend each other courage because our bodies are frail, like this little leaf.  And we weep and drink and find liquid to be essential – just as does this little leaf.

We need courage because everything is always changing.  And I find that though I wish I had a water bottle – there is always one more ball of water falling on the leaf of my life – always just enough if someone can lend me the courage to know that the next drop will very soon drip.

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