The Gifted Blog

May 12, 2010

Potter's Hand

Traveling light is an art. Influenced by G.'s more basic needs and Unclutterer's distaste for unitaskers, I have learned to pare the contents of my suitcase down to the most useful, versatile items.

We tried especially hard to pack light for our trip to Japan, knowing we would be towing our luggage on and off planes, trains, and aerial ropeways. In the spirit of traveling light, I looked for just a few souvenirs for myself.

The teacup (on the right) was purchased at an outdoor flea market at Kyoto's Toji temple.
This stall I'm standing by had all these interesting, bohemian clothes in Indian textiles.

And here is the stall where I found my cup.

A personal highlight of our time in Kyoto was being immersed in a city where so many artisans are making things, right there. The ceramicist who made the wares above was also manning the booth. There's something special about buying an object and getting to tell the person who made it - "I love it!"

The bowl I found at Nishiki Market, a famous stretch of shops along a covered walkway in Kyoto. I saw it on a table and immediately felt it: this is the most special bowl here.

I asked the lady at the cash register, "Was this made nearby?" She nodded, then pointed behind the counter.

The potter's wheel was right there! (Can you see it?) Maybe 3 feet away. I just loved that. And the lady is the mom of the ceramicist.

I know that, in the end, this is just a cup and a bowl.  But I appreciate the work of the hands that made them. It feels good to see the mark of the potter's hand on them.
Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand.
                                       Isaiah 64:8
I didn't start this post thinking about Isaiah, but maybe there's a deeper reason this bowl and cup are striking a chord for me. I can't always see the beauty in each person, but if you look, we each bear evidence of a master potter's hand.


  1. that pottery is beautiful! i can't wait to find some treasures in asia this summer.

    and i've never seen you with long hair. love it!

  2. bo - Ooh, you're going to Asia this summer? Look forward to hearing about it on your blog.

    The fact that you've never seen me with long hair speaks to how very long it's been since we've seen each other in person. Geez!

  3. Wow, these cup and bowl are beautiful. And story of your treasure hunting is exciting!

  4. Makiko - Aren't they? I had a great time looking for them; it did feel like a treasure hunt!


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