I know now that love and creation are the same thing

December 27th, 2013, 6pm

Inside a tiny gallery in Asheville, a Japanese artist makes teacups. They are grotesque and avant-garde, and I get right away that I won’t be able to make these after six weeks in Intermediate Pottery class. Some have jagged edges and scores cut into them, and others are lacquered to look like birch bark.

Meandering slowly through quiet wooden shelves, my initial disinterest turns into intrigue. Maybe this isn’t some hack looking to be different in a saturated ceramic market. This could be art, and the realization is delicate and jarring all at once. The seeds of curiosity nestle deep within the soil of my heart, warm and uncomfortable like wearing wet clothing after being caught in summer rain. I start to realize that I could stare at each bowl for hours, getting lost in the lines. Each errant curve is beautiful in the way symphonies are beautiful— in the way something is more than the sum of its parts. What’s more, he looks at me like he knows what I’m thinking. Like it’s only a matter of time before I’m taking pictures and understanding why one tiny plate is thirty five dollars. Or maybe that’s all in my head, as I take out my camera. I have never swung from hate to love so fast, and I almost hated to do it.

In the corner is a small counter lined with candied ginger twists, and dense pecan shortbread cookies. There’s a cute Japanese girl behind the counter who asks if I’d like to order anything. “Did you know,” she says, “that his wife makes all of these pastries fresh every day for him, and he makes all of the plates and cups that they go on.”

I crack a little like birch bark.

Love is not a torrent of emotion, nor is it just the comfortable slow growing of tree rings. Love is a circle where one creation sustains another.

Linda, Christine, Shu, David Wade and 36 others said thanks.

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Janet Yeh

Sooner or later, all our games turn into Calvinball

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