I woke up this morning with my, of late, customary Dread That Has No Reason other than The Usual. I had planned on taking Oliver out to the Angeles National Forest for one of those Jim Robertson Aboriginal Skills classes* that I told you about more than a year ago when I started homeschooling. This one was Primitive Pottery. Reader, I did not want to go this morning and spent a good half hour in bed pondering whether and why. I finally decided that since I'd paid and gotten a babysitter for Sophie, I would do it.
Well, thank the good lord I did it.
I bet ya'll didn't know that you can drive for about 51 minutes outside of Los Angeles and see this.
Jim made fire the primitive way, and then we passed around a smudge stick to introduce ourselves.
Then we set about making pottery, right down to the clay. We even made what's called the "temper."
Here are a few of the pots made in previous classes:
Oliver and I warmed up -- very chilly in the woods -- while eating our lunch:
Here are our pots:
Then we made paint. We literally made paint:
Ya'll I am not an artist, and while my intention was stronger than the finished project, my little one came out pretty damn good. I even made a lid for it. We learned all sorts of things about clay and paint and firing and all that jazz, but I won't tell you here (mainly because I didn't know what the hell I was doing).
What I can tell you is that I highly recommend a full day (ten hours for us!) in the woods. I feel utterly relaxed tonight, and I haven't felt that way in a long time. I'm not even irritated at myself for going so long without this kind of natural respite.
Jim made us a pot of soup right on the fire. It had some kind of organic vegetable bouillon, greens and herbs from the woods and water. Someone asked Jim whether he meditated or prayed. He said,
No, I don't pray. My life is a constant prayer.
*Other Jim Robertson Aboriginal Skills posts:
In His Element: Dispatch from the School of Revolution
Aboriginal Skills Part II
The Burn Bowl