Author: Charles LaFond

Glaze as Gauze

The other day, as I was glazing bread bowls in a stormy blue glaze with a line of glazed pots on the shelf by the glaze buckets, I dropped a mug into the Stellar Rust glaze which then splashed all over the blue bread bowl.  I let out a few bad words, aware that now I had to wash the entire bowl and start again after a few days of drying -delayed now for some other firing.

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We, in the West, do not like to let go of things.  This is proven by the storage industry. Last year alone, Americans spent $38 billion on self-storage – to store things they wanted to keep, but did not want to see, use or touch. Hmm. What could $38 billion, used differently do?

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The Daily Sip: The Fall into Grace

As a person who writes, I get a lot of mail.  About 25 emails or letters a week, given eight thousand on the registration list and the thousands on my Facebook friends list. They sometimes rail at me.  But usually, they write in dulcet, quiet, frightened tones as if we might be overheard by someone.  “Is it true?” they say.  “Is this all a mystery?” they ask.  “What will happen to me if I do not subscribe to the dogma but just enjoy the community and the music – will I be cast out?”

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The Daily Sip: Formation is in our hands

It is so easy to confuse equanimity with indifference. With indifference, one simply does not notice when bad things happen or, worse still, we anesthetize the pain with substances or experiences. With equanimity, on the other hand, one welcomes the abuses and betrayals that happen in our lives as teachers sent from a cosmos in whose kiln-of-life you rest for a time, becoming something. The longer and hotter the fire, the more beautiful and durable is the pot.

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The Daily Sip: Loopholes

Mum would say “That’s the end! Go to bed.” And I would say “It’s not the end, there’s an epilogue.” And then Mum would yell at Dad for teaching me big words like Epilogue. She would say… “now! …will you look at this word, your son’s throwing back at me!”  I was always “your son” when I was in trouble.  I was also always in trouble.  The pattern continues to this day.

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The Daily Sip: Resilience

Beauty comes from hardships.  Blemishes to body and spirit. I wish it were not so. Grace comes from letting it all happen the way a pot lets me chip it when I carelessly knock it during my own life-tantrums. Grace comes from us letting others hit us in their tantrums. 

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The Daily Sip: Delightful Darkness

Now, we are in another such time of transition. And the effect on the church is pronounced. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, Generations X, Y and Z have been quietly leaving the church.  By 2000 and, for the first time in the 2000 years of the Church, three generations in a row were staying home to their grandparent’s annoyance and the tithe dependent church’s confusion.

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From the Daily Sip: Leaving a mark

We all want to “make our mark” on the soft clay of our lives and the lives of others.  The word “humble” comes from the word “humus” or “earth.”  To be in the mud – the dirt – the clay, is a humble place. You should see the mess I make after a day of making 50 tea bowls – clay in my hair, on my glasses, under my fingernails, all over my clothes.

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From the Daily Sip: It’s Dangerous

Stuck in a tiny home in a real pandemic in Christmas week, I have found solace in good food and tv.  Again, not high-brow, but real, honest, more comforting than some lofty sermon by some clergy caricature. ‘Nuff said.

Watching a tv adaptation of The Stand this week, I heard one line spoken by the protagonist whose fight is not just to stay alive, but to find others and to discern evil from good.  He said, “It’s dangerous being a prophet; especially in times of upheaval.” 

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