I have mostly been hand-building in pottery lately (see picture above of my pumpkin leaf), and it has been over a year since I have thrown on the wheel (with my most recent effort the vase seen below.) Anyway, since it has been so long, it was like starting all over again, and my teacher recently repeated her directions to me for what it takes to center the clay on the wheel. This is important, for without centering the clay first, nothing worthwhile can be made.
I found her summary fascinating since it struck me that it applies directly to being “centered” in one’s own life — spiritually, emotionally, mentally, metaphorically.
Here is the essence of what she said: “Centering requires the clay to be kept wet so it is malleable. The most essential elements to bring to the clay are moderation and balance. You have to be strong, and you always have to go slowly, no matter how fast the wheel is going.”
It is definitely worth the rewards both in life and in pottery to learn the art of centering. It is often not easy to do, but keep trying, for frustration with the process is the antithesis of the concept of centering itself. Therefore, I would add patience to my teacher’s list, and experience as well. These will streamline the process. Frequently practicing the art of centering yields not only beautiful pottery but a wonderful life. Once centered, it is a starting point for terrific unfoldment of any kind.
But consider a whole other metaphoric level, where God is the potter and we are the clay.
The Bible says in Jeremiah 18:3-8, “I went down to the potter’s house, and behold he wrought a work on the wheels. … Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying… cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand…”
And it says in Isaiah chapter 64, “Oh Lord… we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.”
Do you feel Him centering you? Are you malleable, responsive and obedient in His hands?