The store window of a small rusty shop displayed a bowl with a subtle hint of glitter.
A variety store in Chelsea, London has an ordinary look from the outside. There is not even a storefront. As a stranger in the city, I am not sure why I was so eager to open the door to the store but I was attracted to an exquisite bowl on display that seemed to greet me with a smile.
The bowl had a unique tint - a light, pink base that resonated the sky at dawn and a thickly applied glaze that enlaced like a silver cloud. The pool of glaze inside the bowl resembled a pond full of tiny bubble lights.
It is just a bowl, but to me, it looked like a rose colored spiral nebula.
That morning, I received an email from my mom at home. She mentioned that the very first bowl I made that I gifted her suddenly broke and asked me whether I was alright.
I had an electric furnace in a one room mansion in a city. I started creating pottery to start making a living as an artist. I thought about how long I had continued to do this. It really did not do justice to think only in the number of years. I spent so many years devoting my time into creating but everything I made seemed mediocre. They were somewhat decent pieces but there was nothing that stood out, except for the bowl I made for my mom.
I was kind of giving up on myself, that it was not worth my time.
That was when I decided to take a trip.
The inside of the store was spacious with not a lot of things on display. The white shelf on the wall had no products, only a few cardboard boxes. I sat down towards the back of the shop and a lady who was closing the cardboard boxes stood and looked back. She had a white shirt and wore an apron. She was a small lady who had her gray hair in a bun and smiled at me as she saw me.
“I am sorry, but we are closing as of today.”
She was the storemaster. “If it is at all possible,” I asked. “can you show me the bowl that is displayed in the store window?
“Oh, of course.” She replied with a bigger smile.
“I am glad you like it.”
She took the bowl as if she was picking up her most valuable treasure and showed it to me. I knew how precious it was, so I hesitated.
“Can I touch it?”
She nodded and said, “Yes, please. You will get a better feel by actually holding it.”
The bowl just slipped into my hand as if it was meant to be mine. The warm touch, a luminous complexion, and a sturdy weight
- this tiny universe sat gently on my hand after being born from flame and ashes.
This simple, single bowl, as I held it in my hand, touched my heart and soul.
The storemaster was silent as she watched, then she whispered to me.
“The shape of the bowl mirrors how the artist’s hand is shaped. You are now putting your hand on ‘her’ hand. Don’t forget her
The bowl was placed back to where it belonged, by the store window.
I went out on the street and looked through the window one last time, to witness the spiral nebula that was shaped like her hand.
I was inspired to create again, and to respond to her voice.
First, I will create one for my mom, then another, for myself.