I sit on my shelf in the potter’s shop and I look down to realize I must have fallen because I discover a crack in the middle of me. I don’t remember falling nor do I remember how it got there. One thing I know is that I didn’t start out this way, I must have been created before this crack had formed. But there I sit on my shelf with this crack.
But the old potter comes and looks me over. It’s as if I want to scream, do you see my crack?! Did you put it there? Can you fix it? He must have felt my objections because he picked me up and inspected me. His hands were gentle but so expert. He looked me over, mulling and musing, looking over my pottery work and large crack. He must have deemed this an emergency fix because he took me off the shelf immediately and put me on his work table.
I looked back at the shelf I had been on and thought, oh no! I had been on that shelf in the potters shop for so long, I didn’t know what to do now that I wasn’t there. I was thoughtfully placed on that shelf a long time ago, almost at the inception of my creation. I honestly couldn’t remember life not on that shelf, placed among the potter’s other pieces of work. I loved where I was and where I had been.
But the potter had different plans for me. He came back to his table with all his necessary tools and got to work. But for some reason, he did not begin the simple procedure of fixing my crack, no, instead, he poured water on me to wash me out and began to rework me with his hands. He began to entirely remold me, pressing and pulling me and reshaping my very structure.
Oh the pain, oh the discomfort to feel my entire foundations shifted, reconstructed and changed! I wanted to cry to and ask him to stop, to end this work and to just put me back on the shelf. I was better back there where I used to be, I was even better with that crack, I thought. At least back there I wasn’t going through this process, this horrible, painful process.
But the potter keeps going. We can’t go back now, he says to me—as if knowing my painful objections. I have better plans for you than just fixing that crack, he says. I want to object more, as the pushing and pulling and molding and shaping continue but he says to wait just a little while longer.
He stops for a moment and leaves and I think it is over but I hear the fire of the kiln turn on. No! I want to scream, anything but that! I have seen others go in there before, maybe I went in there once a time ago, but the threatening lick of those flames looked nothing but safe every time it opened.
The potter picks me up, with his gentle hands as if not to ruin the work he had just completed. I have resigned myself in exhaustion to my fate, having grown weary from the remolding that already took place. He takes me over to the kiln and places me in. I brace myself as I sit in the middle of those flames, but instead of the flames hurting, I begin to feel myself stiffen up, grow strong and more rigid. This fire wasn’t melting me, it was strengthening me. I feel unwavering and as I look down, I see the glorious work of the potter’s hand. He had entirely reshaped me anew and it was beautiful! I feel like I stiffened up even straighter as I allow the work of the flames to harden and reinforce the work of the potter’s hands.
Before I knew it, the potter was back to take me out of the kiln. I felt change, renewed, transformed and solidified in that reworking. I expect the potter to put me back on the shelf I began on, but instead, he takes me to the front of his shop and puts me in the window front for all who walk by to see. He puts me there proudly, proud of me for my obedience in his reworking and proud of his own work. You have become too beautiful to be put back where you came, the potter tells me, as I sit there proudly. I want all to see what the work of my hands can do, he says, as he adjusts me just so in the window.
This time, I look down and I see no semblance of a crack left, no even reminder scar of it being there. No, I look down and I see something made marvelous by the hands of the potter. I think back to the remolding I went through on the potter’s table and I think it was worth it, every last moment of it.
One thought on “In the Potter’s Hands”
a wonderful story- transformation