A Bowl

October 4, 2010

The pottery lady spotted me and waved. She’s grown used to me admiring her wares at the farmer’s market. Useful things: mugs and bowls and plates; colanders and casseroles and soap dishes—in subtle blues and greens and browns. Sage, touches of cobalt, hazel, black iris—thrown and drawn at the wheel, their thin walls belying their earthiness.

I scan the rows before I touch a piece. Each shape tilts me in a different direction, playing on my emotions. On the last day of the indoor winter farmer’s market I spent time and couple of hundred dollars choosing pieces for my family and friends. Each piece was chosen for the person. But the task on this particular fall day was a bowl for me. An oatmeal bowl.

I picked up a sage and hazel bowl and cupped it in my hands, imagining oatmeal with nuts and cranberries, conjuring the steam and warmth into a bowl displayed in the october chill. Then I reached for the same shape in cobalt and black iris. The bowl had absorbed the warmth of the sun, and I remarked how it was easy to imagine something yummy in it. As I set it back on the shelf, the pottery lady said: “They were all so cold this morning when I was unpacking them.”

I shuddered, imagining her unpacking each piece in the early morning, and numb fingers impatient to finish the task. Instinctively, I rubbed my hands for warmth.

A nice thing… the small, almost imperceptible moments of nostalgic  pleasure and empathic response in an everyday exchange.


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5 Responses to “A Bowl”

  1. So what bowl did you choose?

  2. OwlSaysWho said

    I like the way you drew the reader into the scene, then into the process of choosing a bowl . . . including the way in which you connected with each piece.

  3. @Ken… Moi? Make a decision? I’m still thinking about it. But it will probably be the hazel/sage. Here’s her work. It’s light as a feather. No hippie heaviness.


    Owl… thanks. I love seeing you here.

  4. Laura said

    I’m not an oatmeal person, but I bet I’d like it the way you make it. Cranberries – what a great idea.

    I love the line “each shape tilts me in a different direction.”

  5. Dale said

    How loving the telling; how alive the moment told. This is as delicate and earthy and colorful as one of the bowls.

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