Last weekend we went to Hebden Bridge to visit my late mentor David C White’s grave yard. It’s been already five years this October since he passed away. It was rather emotional day for me.
Before he died, I promised him that I shall carry his spirit in me. So I did, working hard and actually had a good start of my studio time after the graduation of BA in 2012. Then shortly after that the things have significantly changed, because of my pregnancy and my daughter’s unforeseen medical condition. The priority quickly shifted. As you know I kept the studio door closed for three years. You might think returning to the studio must be giving me a fantastic feeling. Well it was and also it was not. My self esteem and confidence could not keep up, as I struggled with timing and fatigue from working just one day a week plus many night shift after daytime job as an instructor for the rest of the week. In the back of my mind, I felt really bad for not keeping my promise to David and felt like I let him down. Of course I do what I do for me, not for him. But I had this niggly feeling all the time.
Interestingly since I started my Instagram, I have connected with many fellow potters and potter enthusiasts. They have been a great asset and online community to share the knowledge, skills and more so passion. They encourage each other. Slowly something inside me clicked and started to look up more. I realised I felt much happier showing my work and getting feedback. This helped me to keep my mind focused on what I really like to do. Since I’m getting this solid feeling as I felt happier, that also affected how I speak to my family. The whole thing connected again.
When we went up to David’s beautiful grave stone, which was made by his fellow potter Jim Robison, I asked my daughter to say hello to David and give him a hug. So she did. She called the grave yard “David’s mountain”. Indeed we went up the little mountain to look down a breathtaking view of Hebden Bridge that he used to long for his ideal studio view. He is up there now, so I guess he’s happy.
After placing a bunch of dried lavender, I quietly told him.
“I’m keeping your spirit, so not to worry.”
Sun was shining beautifully on the hill as we went down.