The kids are doing ceramics this term. Dash had no interest in the “hand-building” class, but thought pottery on the wheel sounded like a lot of fun. I had to ask specially for him to be allowed in the class, which is meant to be for ten year-olds and up, but I’d heard it was in danger of being cancelled for lack of interest, so I thought they might take an enthusiastic nine and a half year old.
Yesterday was the fourth class, and Dash was a little less enthusiastic than previously. Turns out, pottery on the wheel is hard. It takes a while to get the hang of. You have to keep at it. Every day so far he’d ended up with more or less the same splats of clay that he’d started with, in spite of all that time it had spent spinning around between his hands.
This week, when I peeked into the room about 20 minutes before the end of his class, the teacher beckoned me in and said “Show your mom what you made!” Two pots – real, round, proper, smooth, lovely pots – were proudly on display on the drying shelves. He acted all nonchalant, but I knew he was bursting with delight at finally proving his worth on the wheel. True to form, twenty minutes later he was regaling us with tales of how he’s probably the best potter ever.
I hope he remembers this, because if he learns to trust the process before he’s even ten, he’ll be saving himself a lot of angst later on. It’s a lesson I’m only just starting to appreciate. I know I said it in my last post about writing, but the more I think about it the more it applies to so much of my life.
Running round the lake is boring, but every now and then I notice that I’m not thinking about how boring this is or how soon I can stop, and that I’ve gone further than I expected. I just had to get through those first two weeks of seeming non-progress first.
Writing a book sounds daunting, but I think I can do it now, and I’m just going to plug away and trust that I’ll get there. Sometimes you just have to keep going, one step after the other, one thing at a time, and it’ll turn out that you’re not a freak of nature but that, in fact, what was true for others is true for you too. You can do it.
I don’t mean you should keep doing what you hate for the sake of it, or pigheadedly refuse to change a course that’s not working. Don’t flog a dead horse. But if you can have faith in something that you know will take time, it will come. Trust the process.