Saturday, October 3, 2009

Lump

Before anyone walks in the room, there is clay. Lumps, torn for a greater whole, placed on brown paper towels, the kind you find in restroom dispensers at school. One sits in front of each chair, waiting under the lights, in the humming silence of anticipation.

Buzzing bees, people amble through the door in packs, filling the moments between breathes with boisterous accolades of acquisitions, conquests of portfolio performance, romantic escapades or last nights television shows they live through vicariously with vacant eyes. A few even rattle off tales of kids soccer games or this years vacation from three months ago.

Styrofoam squeaks, drooling brown java into rings around its base, absently one hunk of blue clay rolls to the center of the room, it's previous resting place now used to clean up the mess. A well intentioned shiny leather shoe finds it, dragging it into the carpet in a great smearing arc, until a throat clears like a bull horn squelch, bringing the room to order...

Use your clay to make something that represents you.

All the pretty words that once floated on the breeze vanish into the vacuum of air leaving the room. Every idea becomes crumpled paper balls cast at the waste basket of expectation. What do they want me to make? What will they think? What is the right answer?

Even the crickets have gone quiet, then one black suit, harrumphing in frustration rises to the occasion, belching under his breath of better things to do as he pushes through the door, escaping to a sterile world of spreadsheets and emails, where he does not have to think about who he is.

Because in the midst of everything else,
he has forgotten.

What will you make with your clay?

28 comments:

willow said...

Mine would have to be a wild swan, in flight.

Pastor Sharon said...

Well, this is certainly thought provoking. In the midst of our busy lives of teaching others, we do often forget who we are if we are distracted by the outside stuff.

Maggie May said...

Not sure what represents me! I once had to do this and made a nest with a bird sitting on eggs.
Mother hen??????
Messy stuff, though good fun.

Wings said...

Intentionally or not, I think mine would wind up creepy.

Or a coffee mug.

otin said...

I would make a little Brian Miller doll as a constant reminder of the good things in life!

Did you get your computer fixed?

blueviolet said...

I'd like to make a heart because my heart is so full and happy.

Daniel said...

I fear that it would be me who stormed out of the room in frustration. Probably a reaction to the fear I would sense at expressing something meaningful or representative of who I am. This was a nice post that made me think past my impulsive answer.

TechnoBabe said...

Cinnamon rolls. Comfort food.

Baino said...

probably a horse, it's the only thing I can make out of clay but doesn't really say much about me! If I had the talent, I'd make me a Toy Boy!

Kathleen said...

An empty vessel.

Kathleen said...

What did you make of yours?

JeffScape said...

Clay might be too tough for me at the moment... might have to whip out the Play-Doh.

Brian Miller said...

willow, i can totally see that.

ps, indeed.

maggie, a mother hen, hmmm....

wings, that would fit...smiles.

otin, lol...i was going to say something about anatomically correct, but...nope, not yet on the laptop...aarrrgh!

blueviolet, nice. i like hearts.

daniel...trying to think of something that reps you...

technobabe...nice, i dig it...

baino...lol. a horse or toy boy...much difference?

kathleen...mmmm....and i would make a rose slightly unfolding, with thorns on the stem...

jeffscape..palydough is always good!

The Retired One said...

Wow..my heart would want to make a zillion things, but my hands would probably not cooperate....
however if you asked me to photograph others in the process of their art masterpieces or to take photos of their art...ahhhh...that would be an entire different matter!
Our art talents may take many different avenues.
Like your writing, for instance!

subtorp77 said...

I'd make a bowl,
To serve up my soul,
That part of me,
That yearns to be,
Shared among thee...

That or one really big coffee mug ;)

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Hands. Busy hands, caring hands, loving hands, cooking hands, clean hands, dirty hands.......hands.

The Things We Carried said...

I would make a million things with clay. I want to take a class.( I am dying to, but so many arts I long to tackle. I must choose one at a time. For now it is photography, but mark my words I will take a class and learn to handle clay!) I would make people, one at a time, of course :)!

Joanna Jenkins said...

Hmmm, I just watched "Ghost" on video today. Remember the "clay scene"?
Another good one Brian. Thanks.

Alix said...

I've been there. Art major, yannow.

Your description couldn't be more perfectly spot-on and the moral is a sad but true one. So much easier to leave the scene than confront the assignment. We do that a lot in our day to day lives, don't we?

I think my clay would be formed into a big beautiful cup waiting to be filled with something wonderful. Similar to your squeaky styrofoam cup, but more a work of art leaving its own distinct rings behind.

darsden said...

well, you know I am going to say I would mold a camera ;-) to capture God's beauty daily

oh wait, I am already doing that..hummm

let me think on it

Candie Bracci said...

Beautiful,you know someone told me once that we were all made of clay.
I'm so many things at once that it's a tough one picking just one!:)

tony said...

I sometimes create my Life to avoid such questions! But (as Youve asked!)I would make Mine Heart -Shaped!

Dot-Com said...

Think I would have made something abstract so nobody could say it didn't look like what-ever it really was :-)

Stacy (the Random Cool Chick) said...

I think I'd make mine into a flower...not quite fully blossomed. :)

Lorraine said...

I hope I can make something that will make people smile...
brilliant writing Brian :)

Meeko Fabulous said...

Brian! Such a thought provoking post! So many of us feel compelled to fill a mold that society has set before us. So many are more than happy to comply. Love this post.

Goofball said...

eeek coffee in styrofoam cups. :(

I wouldn't have a clue what represents me.

Kulio said...

It doesn't really matter what you make, does it?

It's just about not forgetting to make something.

nice.