Broken Pots

broken-potsMy foster mother was a potter at Picuris Pueblo in the years that I was growing up. Because she was a potter, I got to hear her songs and hear her prayers. I would go up to the mountains with her and we would dig micaceous clay. We would bring it down and she would put it in tubs of water so that the little stones would sink to the bottom. She would put the clay through a strainer and would let the pure clay sit in the buckets for a while.Eventually the clay would become soft earth and she could work it with her hands. She would roll the clay into a rope that looked like a long water snake about the thickness of my thumb. She would make five or six of these little clay snakes.

She began making her pot from the base, coiling one rope over another. She’d put down one coil and then cut it off with her hand and then she’d start another one and keep growing it until the pot was the size she wanted. When it was the right size she would take half of a broken piece of pottery and smooth out the edges. She used to make up songs that had my name in them. She would be singing and polishing the pottery singing, “Beautiful Painted Arrow.” When she was finished she would put the pot into the fire. After it was fired, she would let it sit until it cooled off. One day, one of the pots broke and she said, “Okay, here’s a lesson for all of us. Here is a lesson for you, too. When a piece of pot breaks, don’t throw it away; you can’t throw it into the trash receptacle, you’ve got to save it, every little piece of it.

“There’s a pile that you take it to where all broken pottery goes. All of these pots eventually go back to the spirit of the micaceous clay where it came from. This piece of pottery that you’re seeing in front of you is a broken piece of pottery. If you will look more closely at the broken pot you will see there are two sides; that is the reflective vibration. There is the reflection in which the pot is going to pottery heaven and there is the other that is lying on the earth. You have the heavenly plains and the earthly plains. Everything returns to the source. Everything happens and then it goes and then it comes around again. In another time, perhaps in another century, that being will come again into the micaceous clay in the mountains.” Then, maybe 2,000 or 3,000 years from now, there will be a potter who will be born in a village and that potter will get some of that clay and get the soul from our pot that ascended into the heavens. The potter will make a new pot and the soul of the pottery will exist once again. Cycles repeat themselves so the pot will be broken again and it will be taken to where all broken pottery is taken. The cycle will start again and the pot will go up to pottery heaven, and then in time it will come back down and this will continue for as long there are the sacred pottery makers. – Being & Vibration, Millichap Books, Page 20

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