Deep Spirals This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   A casual encounter caused me to re-evaluate how I goabout my life. It was one of those perfect autumn days, and my motherand I had decided to go to a Renaissance fair. These fairs promise alarge number of talented artists selling their wares and I was lookingforward to seeing what they offered.

After an hour, we came to apottery vendor in an isolated corner of the fairgrounds. Her work wasgorgeous! Even though I had just begun my second year of pottery, Icould recognize the artist's skill. All the pieces were crafted in dark,mottled stoneware with deep blue, brown, green and purple glazes thatglistened in the sun.

One piece in particular caught myattention. It was a large serving bowl; the outer surface was a roughlyincised design of goddesses and spirals. The inside glaze at firstappeared to be a deep indigo, but in the sunlight it exploded into abrilliant purple with warm brown highlights. What really struck me aboutthe bowl, however, was a deep spiral worked into the bottom.

Theartist saw my interest and asked if I had any questions. I told her howmuch I liked it and mentioned that I had put a similar spiral in apiece, but my teacher had tried to convince me to smooth itout.

"Oh, don't ever let them tell you what to do on apiece!" she said. "If you think it needs a spiral, put aspiral. Listen to your heart."

She went on to explain herreasons for the spiral, discussing utility versus decoration. My motherand I spent half an hour talking with her about various pieces.Regrettably, I couldn't buy the bowl; it was priced accurately for itsartistic value, putting it way out of my range. Her comment, however,stuck with me.

Every day, the artist's advice to listen to myheart comes to mind, not just in pottery class, but in everything I do.Those words cause me to stop before I say what I think someone wants tohear, rather than what I want to say. When I write, I write what feelstrue instead of considering what sounds appropriate or conventional. AndI put spirals in my pottery when my heart calls for spirals. From thatbrief comment, probably quickly forgotten by the artist, I have learnedto be more freely myself. I have learned that I am a person full of deepspirals and there is no need to smooth those spirals out.



This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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