Sunday, January 8, 2012

The impulse to impress.

Potter at wheel.jpg
I am slowly working through Jan L Richardson's retreat for Women's Christmas - what an awesome concept, what a lovely journey. (

Jan writes of an artist-in-residence at a gathering of clergy. This woman is a potter and caught Jan's attention because, as she watched her and listened to her, it became obvious that they were 'encountering a woman whose life and creative work had worn away the impulse to impress, to prove, to convince. In her years of working with clay, the clay had also worked on her.' Jan goes on to write, 'Shed of pretense the potter held out to us what she had to give. It was more than sufficient.'  She held out a small piece of pottery cupped in her hand, like a humble offering.

This made me think about what I have to offer from deep down within me. If I drop my need to please, to manipulate, to hide behind my appearance what will be left if it is simply me that stands there with my hands cupped and held out in front of me? Is simply being me sufficient?

Quite sometime ago I stopped hiding behind my hair when I cut almost all of it off and stopped colouring it. More  recently I stopped wearing make up, and I am still finding this a little difficult at times, but mostly I feel freer. Everyday I wonder what I am to do with my clothing. As I journey along on The Simple Living Challenge perhaps the biggest challenge will be to learn how to be me - simply Asta and to know that I am enough.


  1. Lovely thoughts Asta. My grandfather was a potter and I used to love watching him work...loved the way the clay was so pliable. It was just dirt but became something useful in his hands...abit like us dont you think? Jesus can make us into something that we wouldnt be otherwise...maybe work some of his spirit etc into us? Guess the secret is to remain soft and pliable, which can be darn hard sometimes!! Shelley

  2. Thanks for your thoughts Shelley. Yes He is the potter and we the clay. What a lovely thought really. Asta x