Honoring Function – Picture to Ponder – v4 – Issue 40: Clay Vase and Alstromeria

by Sheila Finkelstein on October 28, 2008

front of stoneware, hand-built vase

rear of hand-built, ceramic rectangular vase

hand-built ceramic vase with burgundy and white alstromeria

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Front and rear close up of a Hand-Built, Pottery Vase and the Vase with flowers in it

The Story
I created this vase over twenty-seven years ago, always liked it and had it out on one surface, or another, throughout these years AND, in all those twenty-seven years, I never took advantage of its function as a vase!

Because of an opening, halfway up from the bottom, I made the decision that it couldn’t really hold enough water to accommodate flowers, so never bothered.

Last night, as I was looking for one of the usual glass vases that I use for flowers, this one caught my eye and said, “Try me.”

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
Today, I invite you to look into your life to see:

1. Are there things or people in your life right now, who have been there for years and who, or which, have served the same function, or lack thereof, with no opportunity for altering that during an extended time period?

Of course, given it’s inanimate, the vase never got the opportunity to state what it was capable of doing or holding, although somehow last night it communicated with me that certainly, almost half-filled with water, it could sustain the flowers.

The low opening in it would even allow me to easily see when water needs replenishing!

I invite you to look at some of the “old” things, or people, in your life to see if there IS a way they can be contributing to you and vice-versa. If so, I invite you to take this on. If not, it might be time to discard it or them (although I myself am still challenged with the “discarding.”)

[Note – A subscriber e-mailed me the following suggestion:  “Perhaps if,  for yourself,  you transformed “discard” into the word “contribute” you might have an easier and more enriching time of creating more SPACE for yourself in your environment.  Very different processes.

The item is moved out of your space in both instances. The first feels negative (discard, throw away, get rid of, etc); the second feels positive and productive.

Just a thought which has helped me to switch my thinking in order to pare down and simplify. Feels good to do so.”

Thank you, C, for pointing this out. How right you are.  I cringe now when I look at how I used the word “discard,” especially since I also referred to people in our lives with whom we are no longer in alignment.  You certainly don’t want to “discard” them AND you way wish to remove them from your life now – move away from the old and limiting feelings which may be there for you.

2. In contrast to the last query, regarding usefulness, let’s switch to, “Are there people or things in your life whom, or which, you know you love and to whom you have not paid much attention recently, if at all?” If someone, or something, comes up for you, I invite you to spend a few minutes, or more, determining what it is you love about him/her/them/it.

I love this vase for its textures, contrasts of light and dark and for the fact that is unique and somewhat atypical in its rectangular shape, not the usual cylindrical shape of most vases. The pride, for me of my accomplishment with the making and keeping of it is also there.

Lastly, when you discover what its is, I invite you to pay homage to whomever or whatever it is. As, I write the latter, I pause to caress this stoneware piece, turning it and honoring all of its sides.

As always, have fun with these queries and this week also remember to look for something in your environment that brings a smile to your face!

Follow-up to the Last Issue of Picture to Ponder
And, speaking of smiling, for those who enjoyed last week’s Arizona Scarecrow, check out this week’s Southeast Florida Scarecrow on the blog.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nancy Dault October 29, 2008 at 11:32 am

I’ve been challenged by one of my longterm plant companions: a little fir tree that had begun to die off. Finally I decided I better take him out of his pot and see if I could figure out what was wrong. It turned out his roots had wrapped around the pot and blocked the drainage, and the tree was slowly drowning. It was easy to solve the problem once I gave it my whole attention. But when I just looked from a distance, “wondering” what was wrong but never taking the time to really find out, I couldn’t be of any help.

Now, his pot is clean and dry, and the tree’s root ball has drained. He smells good again, with that Christmasey smell. I think he’ll be with me a while longer.

Yes, if we love something or someone, we need to give them our attention. And it feels really good to.


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