- John O'Connell
READ A SAMPLE:
brings new light
and new ways
of seeing things
It may happen through contact with a beautiful bowl
or while watching a potter at work. When it does happen there is the realisation
that the potter has always been within, just waiting. And then the journey
and the cold too
of early morning
in the desert
He was working in the open outside his mud-brick
house, squatting at his wheel, which turned on a hub fixed into the ground.
The potter formed a small bowl on top of a mound of
clay, and then cut the bowl from the mound. He placed the bowl beside him,
turned the wheel and formed another bowl.
When a lot of bowls had been made and allowed to dry
they were carefully stacked on the ground and slowly surrounded by fire.
The bowls, having been fired so they would be hard
enough to be used, were allowed to cool. Then they were loaded onto a wooden
cart and taken to the town.
In the middle of the night, as the crowded train
pulled slowly into a crowded station, tea sellers called from the platform.
Chai garam. Chai garam.
Carriage windows were pushed up and sleepy passengers
passed their money. Small, unglazed bowls of hot tea were passed back.
Some passengers left the train, others boarded. And
the train moved on, into the night.
The simple clay bowl sat perfectly in the hands. It
was delightful to hold, delightful to drink from, as delightful as the tea
It was the custom, when the tea was finished, to
discard the bowl. So the empty bowl was crushed in the hand and dropped beside
the railway track. It was like a beautiful flower, withering, falling to the
ground, its purpose having been fulfilled.
in the afternoon
the rain came
and quiet colours