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Archive for November, 2012

I am a work of art. I am the result of intricate craftsmanship, and years of seasoning. I am still in the act of becoming.

I chose this blog title because it had been floating around in my head for months and months, actually probably more like a year, but it didn’t seem right for a public blog. This is different.

Clay Child is a name I was given while doing journeywork. As far as I know it doesn’t correspond to any actual personage or place, or even a culture, so I feel fairly secure in adopting it without stumbling into the dreaded area of cultural appropriation. Let’s hope so, anyway. I’m not even sure if it’s a name, per se, or a title I was given for that specific journey, or a descriptor of the animal spirit (Hellbender) that was involved in the process.

What I do know is that I’ve come to see the aspects of myself that are Clay Child as symbolic of my personal journey, my strengths and weaknesses, and my goals. I am malleable. I shape myself to my surroundings. I am so contained within myself that I need some sort of stimulus to change. Even though I feel like I’ve made so much progress, I am still unfinished. I will be shaped by future changes, and continue to do so until I die.

And in a way that’s very comforting.

I like clay. I grew up in a land of clay soil. I grew up digging in the yard, rolling balls of dirt between my hands. I once made a mouse-sized replica of a Navajo Hogan in the backyard, and it lasted through the winter. I loved the pottery class I took in grade school.

When I moved to upstate New York I wanted to learn about the soil there, which was so different. When I visited the gorge and had that amazing experience there, the most prominent aspect of the geology was the shale. Shale is muddy clay soil that has been compressed into layers. So even though this clay in New York was very, very different from that in my hometown, I could still feel a sense of connection, of recognition. I was not so old as shale. I was clay. But I could still fit in there.

(Now I am in a place that appears to have very sandy soil, but that is a different situation altogether)

Nowadays when I think of clay I think of Yixing teapots, which I’ve come to be a little obsessed with. And really, I shouldn’t be surprised.

The interesting thing in the past few days is that I think I’ve stumbled onto a system of energy work that actually works for me and feels relevant! (gasp!) I mentioned in a thread on TC that I visualized Pu’erh tea, the feel and smell of it, to help me in grounding, and that worked more effectively than the regular tree roots visualization. I used them in conjunction and felt way, way more grounded than with the roots alone.

Today, after reading through threads on Reiki (sounds scary!) and personal boundaries, I tried brushing up on my centering and shielding. I wanted to visualize a shield that was strong, but still able to absorb energy from me that I put into it, something that could be reflective to protect me from negative flotsam and jetsam (thanks social anxiety!) and something warm, to keep me feeling safe and grounded.

A TEAPOT.

The beautiful luster of well-seasoned Yixing ware, which is constantly refreshed and bathed in infusions of tea. It was an amazing visualizing experience, and I supplemented it with the cleansing, centering sound that Yixing makes, a sort of ringing tone that is clear and wonderful. I’m refreshing and checking in with the shield throughout the day, and I’ll see how it works out tonight. I’m meeting some of Girlfriend’s coworkers for happy hour, and I’m feeling pretty good about this potential social situation so far!

I feel like a work of art. I feel like I’m crafting something with myself that will last a lifetime. And I love it.

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