Today marks the 6th month anniversary of Studio Asobi! My mind is filled with thanksgiving as I recall back to a year ago when I was about to start my stay-in studio pottery program in Japan. I was excited for a hundred and one reasons, but the idea of becoming a full-time potter with our own studio was not one of them. It was simply too far removed from reality and my imagination. I was merely a pilgrim on my sabbatical walk into the unknown.
As much as I wanted to see far ahead into the future, I could not see beyond the immediate day. My internal weather meter was capricious; switching between hazy and clear as it pleased.
I thank God, I thank my wonderful husband, and I thank all of you who have generously supported us in one way or another, because whatever we do would be a symphony played in an empty forest if there was no one there to share in the experience.
There are still many uncertainties ahead, but one thing I know is clear. If we can anchor ourselves to a singular worthy purpose, all roads will lead to Rome. There aren’t well marked or well paved roads we can follow, but we can travel light, hand in hand and venture boldly into new territories with uplifted spirits.
For what is life but a story waiting to unfold?
Picture: Raku Museum in Kyoto, 2014
Asobi (遊び) means play in Japanese. It also means journey or to wander in Mandarin. The pictorial form of this character 遊 depicts a journey (巡行) with a flag (旗）and a student (学子). It represents how people used to go on boat journeys to observe and learn from different places in the olden days. It is interesting how it came to embody an element of play when the character is incorporated into the Japanese language. Perhaps this is indicative of how journeys are inherently fun by nature!
I have always been a fan of Chinese Calligraphy as there is a certain spirit imbued within the moment of writing, which is captured on paper with ink. The thought of trying out calligraphy has been swirling in my mind for some time and I finally got hold of some paper, ink and brush yesterday. What I felt at the moment, I transferred to my brush. In many ways, it is like how I work with clay. I find it easiest to create when I immerse myself into the moment when it is just me and the way the clay is responding to my hands.
I have not taken any lessons in calligraphy and hence the writing is raw. I decided to give it a go nonetheless, because this is what asobi is about to me – to have a free spirit of experimentation and not be daunted by the unknown. Like the ancient student sitting on the boat going on a voyage of learning, it is exciting to find our way in this world and to choose where to dock.
2014 is coming to an end, and a new beginning awaits in 2015. May you continue to enjoy your personal voyage through life!
Clay is older than man. Moulded through the ages by the wind and waters, each minute grain has seen countless lives come and go; has seen dynasties rise and fall. Has seen suffering, and joy. And hate, and love.
In the beginning,
after light was separated from darkness;
after the sky was lifted up from the sea;
after the ground sprouted seeds and fruits;
after a greater light and a lesser light were formed to govern day and night;
After creatures in the sea swam and creatures in the sky took flight;