Friday, January 27, 2006


There was a time, wayyyyyyyyyyyyyy back in 1987, when I was almost able to achieve it: single minded focus. I was so intensely immersed in a developing passion for pottery, that I did little else. I woke in the morning, went to my job as a kindergarten teacher, and from 3:30 in the afternoon until sometimes 2-3 a.m., Monday- Friday, I worked in a small studio in Hell's Kitchen. I would fall asleep with pottery books open across my chest and dream of the next day's undertakings. Weekends were spent entirely at the studio; if I went for a late dinner, it was with fellow potters and the subject was always clay and what you could make with it. I ate, slept, bathed in it. It was the beginning of a relationship that has lasted to this day.

Fast forward so many years later, and while my love for clay has not decreased in intensity, my commitment to it has had to change. Building this company, marrying my soul mate, having two amazing children; all of those things have made it necessary to limit the amount of time spent focusing on my craft. An adjustment of priorities certainly necessary to have a full life.

But sometimes I find myself like a horse in a race who has lost the blinders usually placed beside his eyes to keep his vision locked upon the finish line. There is so much that provides a distraction. So many reasons not to work intensely. So much frivolity to chase after.

Focus. Stop answering Emails. Do not join the discussion about what's on HBO. Worry about dinner when 5:00 rolls around, not now. Be present. Fully.

Find the blinders, put them back on, run your best race. Remember, they shoot old horses. Focus focus focus.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Getting started shouldn't be the hardest thing.

When Jesse (my 4 year old) sits down to draw, or sculpt, or do ANYTHING: there is no hesitancy. The reason children don't hesitate before they create is because they are focused only on the act of doing~on the process and not the product. They are not just fearless: they are joyful.

It's only as an adult that we learn to pause before starting on a blank piece of paper, a blank canvas, a blank screen. I think we have a tendency to think ahead to the end results of our efforts and to become concerned with how they will be perceived by others.

Jesse finds the joy in the doing. As he renders his 29th drawing of spiderman with seven fingers on his left hand, he is not thinking about what will eventually become of that picture. It doesn't matter a whole lot if it ends up on the fridge, gifted to a grandparent, framed in gilt, or filed away. For him, the joy was in putting marker to paper.

Getting started shouldn't be the hardest thing.

Hey look, I started.