79: Open, Close

Today we open the kiln and take out the bare clay bodies after the first round of firing. Yay!

I am immensely proud of what I have created. Mostly because just a few weeks ago I could hardly imagine myself making all these pieces! Now it’s time to choose glazes from the samples behind:

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Noon arrives and there is a flurry of activity at the studio. Lunch is at sensei’s new house today and so it is both housewarming and Sakura viewing time! Everyone has brought delicious home cooked food. I am bringing the most important of all – rice ūüėÄ

One of the ladies specially made chicken wings because she heard me declare a few days earlier that it was my favorite food. Tajimi folks are honestly the nicest bunch of people I have ever met!

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Sensei’s house is elevated on the hillside, overlooking beautiful Tajimi¬†and surrounded by¬†trees swaying nonchalantly¬†in the wind.

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Drunk from the glorious spread of food, we return to the studio to continue working on our pieces. I slowly polish my bisque wares, pondering how I should glaze and decorate them. Each quietly waiting for its own clothing to fit its form.

At 4pm, class is over and I wander out alone to see the sunset. Buying myself a nice cold drink, I head to Toki kawa, the main river here at Tajimi.

The bright orange yolk hangs low and heavy, just above the mountain range in the distance. I cycle on slowly, accompanied only by the sounds of rushing water and the occasional car passing by. How many sunsets will we actually get to witness in our lives? And how many beautiful sunsets do we miss from just commuting or being preoccupied with work? Or being too frightened to stay out alone after dark? How many more chances do we have left before it is time for us to face our own sunset?

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The sun is rapidly declining into the shadows of the hilly range. I imagine the Earth spinning, carrying all of us along for the ride. Spinning, spinning. Each of us a wind-up toy, slowly winding down.

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The sun ducks behind the mountains, and as I look up I see the pale, silvery moon already high in the sky. The sun still illuminates our world, even when we cannot see it.

Open, close. Open.

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