This is the time of year that my fingers become magical. I am amazed at the response of my tools, my materials and how things take shape. Tuesday evenings are pottery nights; the last bout of creativity before Saturday rolls around again and I spend my weekend in the sewing room or in the kitchen. Monday nights are for creating nourishment – which in and of itself is a magical act. But Tuesdays, I drive through Milwaukee to the pottery studio and marvel at what happens between my two hands. I feel the strain in my shoulders as I use my stringy arms to shove the clay into the center of the wheel until it stops shaking and passes smoothly against my cupped fingers, ready for lifting and pulling and shaping into something beautiful.
I drive home through the middle of Milwaukee, past all of the storybook brick houses of Wauwatosa, past the dingy restaurants serving fried food, pass the six-way intersections crisscrossing one another, past the empty eeriness of the scarcely-used cemetery, and finally past the warehouses and plots of vacant land that distinguish the north side of my city. And at every bus stop, every intersection, I love the people and I hope that they are happy, they are safe and they are given dignity.
My home welcomes me with warm cider, with my husband’s company and piles of wool and jersey to cut and measure and tame into warmth. I make a secret wish for snow and the incredible cleansing cold that follows. I am totally content and yet feel the longing for a true transition into winter. This is a new feeling for me – contentedness and longing coexisting happily with one another.
I discovered that Pete Seeger did a Christmas album, once upon a time. That makes me really happy.