For the longest time I have wanted to start a blog. Unfortunately, life had swept me downstream, but I finally feel like I have gotten my bearings and can begin a new chapter in my life. Pottery is everything to me; it saved me in a time of great illness, and has calmed me when things have gotten stressful. I am grateful though to have a supportive family and lucky to have found my passion in my art. I feel like most people these days never get to discover a hobby that they can connect to and feel strongly about. For me ceramics is more than a hobby, and honestly, I cannot fathom a life without pottery in it.
This brings me to a new fear that has surfaced recently for me. If you work with your hands, if it be with clay, wood, or charcoal, your greatest fear would be losing the function of your hands and the capabilitiy to express yourself with them. I consider it a scary campfire story, thinking about an artist who is unable to create because of an inability to move their hands. My hands are special, they are important, they are essential to my business. Losing them would be like losing my ability to speak and communicate my views. So getting a diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis at 25 years old is a frightening thought. Having this become a reality has been gut wrenching, and all I can do is wonder, how much time do I have left to use them properly?
Perhaps I am over thinking this. Maybe it won’t be as bad as I envision. I am currently in school to become an art teacher, so even if I lose my hands I will still have my voice to teach children. Still, I am facing a fear only an artist could truly feel for, the inability to create art that moves the world. I know what I need to do, what I want to do next. I will make artwork that will move me, will motivate me, and I will create things as if the world around me is falling apart. Through blood and sweat I will continue until the end. I am motivated beyond belief; I will win this battle some way or another. I’m not talking about desperation, but a great need to express what only I see and imagine. Making my thoughts into reality brings such satisfaction for me, and somehow I need to continue that.
I believe that with whatever happens in the future I will be able to work around it. My family’s motto is to “take it one day at a time”, and for us it really is important since auto immune diseases are common in my family. This diagnosis wasn’t out of the blue for me, and I know that I will roll with the punches. Life moves on if you like it or not, and I feel that if need be I will be modifying how I create my art so I can work. I guess the reason I write all of this is to make you aware of the value of your body, of the weight of an artist’s hands. Most importantly, for any artists out there, do not take for granted the power your hands have.