whole



When I first saw the bowl-with-a-hole-already-right-in-the-very-bottom, I made an agreement with myself that I would not offer to adopt it until

 a.) I had first put my broken vessel  to use and
 b.) I had figured out how to accentuate the bowl's natural blemish.

I only kept half of the deal with myself but figured inspiration would set in by the time the bowl arrived in the mail or I would simply use the bowl in its already beautiful natural state instead of trying to turn it into an object lesson for my classroom of one.

I thought I might attempt to seal the hole- perhaps with a clear epoxy I've used in the past. I would prove its usefulness despite the natural handicap it had been created with.


As the days ticked past, I occasionally found myself humming "There's a hole in the bottom of the sea." and one day last weekend, without any particular song in mind, I queued up my Paul Wright playlist. It was only a short trip from 'My Everything' to '...inside my bowl, there is a hole, that only you can fill...'
(Actual Lyrics: ..."Inside my soul, there is a hole, that only You can fill")

Hole in my bowl,  in the sea,  in my soul.
Sea Soul Bowl

There's a log
from my eye
in the hole
in the bottom
of the sea

::Time Out:: 

There was a time many years back when the song 'Ocean's Floor' by Audio Adrenaline found me. I clung to its reassurance of clean slates and new mercies sung over and over to my broken spirit. Around that same time, I was given a ring by my sister,  a simple silver band inscribed FORGIVEN. She wanted me to remember that we can all be forgiven, and also that we can all  forgive.
One stormy night, that ring was taken from me and flung far into the rain-drenched night by a  person who wished to make it clear that I was not forgiven, not by them. Nor would I ever be.

::Time In::

The bowl arrived and I started to think about how some holes have purpose. If you clog them, the results aren't nice. Drains, for instance. Tracheas. My desire was not for the bowl to hold water, or candy or even air. I wanted it to hold a story.

And so, I knotted and knitted those various strands of thought and song together and filled the bowl with a reminder: a forgetful blue sea with a chasm of forgiveness at the bottom.



Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger forever, because he delights in steadfast love. He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18-19

I may add more sea elements as time allows-- perhaps a big ol' fish swallowing Jonah. Me and that guy have a lot in common. 

broken

The listing read "Stitch me back together." It was a hand-turned vessel, made from grapevine, that had cracked under pressure.  It caught my attention. I am drawn to finding beauty in broken things because I am a broken thing. If we were to have a show of hands, I'm probably not the only one.
So it was that I adopted this broken vessel as a kind of self-portrait.


When it arrived, I discovered 'FRAGILE' apparently means something like 'Please shake til glass breaks' in post office speak. The test tube had shattered. While it retained its shape, it would not retain water. What's more, it was not keen on leaving its cozy wood lodgings; it was stuck. The two vessels were broken individually and together. 


Yesterday, I finally found a chance to sit alone with 'myself' and consider the broken vessel. 

Before contemplation: 


I started to use gold paint with kintsugi in mind, but rather quickly had a different inspiration.

After contemplation: 

Faults hold worlds only appreciated by drawing near.


I wanted the shattered glass to find redemption, too. I fashioned a small candle from a trimmed wick and the scrapings of soft wax from a candle. I let my little light shine. 



You'll notice that the light is most visible where the vessel is most splintered. 

When the flame was extinguished, a beautiful, relaxing smoke curled up and up for the longest time. I do love that smoky scent. I could burn incense here too, if incense smelled good. 


I am eagerly awaiting the next package from my woodworking friend, Brock. It is a bowl with a hole already in it! 

Though most of his work does not come pre-blemished, you should check out his wares.
But I call dibs on the misfits.