In a week’s time, there will be an opening of a pottery exhibition at Edge Gallery on the evening of Friday, November 7th in which 20 funeral vases will be displayed along-side prose and poetry relating to life and death, permanence and impermanence, beauty and form, earth, earthenware, stone and gem.
Topped with a semi-precious or precious stone, each lidded vessel will be asking different questions in an exhibition which demands that we wonder about death, life after death, endings and beginnings. Committal prayers from the Book of Common Prayer, music from ancient monastic rites, and clay will take the gallery-goer through a process of discovery regarding the intersection between form and function as well as between things spiritual and things of the earth.
The night has been spent nursing the kiln with friends. Hour after hour as the temperature and fire ferocity increased in the kiln chamber from 1500 degrees (F) to 2,000 degrees to 2,300 degrees; we three friends told our stories. We discussed how life has transformed us as the pottery inside this chamber was being similarly transformed.
We often talk about stewardship and how we give away our money. Sometimes we even dare to speak about the stewardship of our time – life’s most valuable commodity in our society. But we rarely discuss the giving away of our story. And yet, in our liturgy, telling The Story is the central act of thanksgiving – the same story – every week – sometimes many times a day – that one story of a man who modeled giving by giving himself to us.
When we create beauty, whether in clay or in words, in food or in painting, whether among flames or among friends, we are making art- telling a story – making beauty. And so, we live into our having been made in God’s image as lovers, givers and creators. And that is enough.