I didn't drink alcohol this week.
This year is almost over, and what a year it's been. I'm struggling to find the right words for this essay, after missing a few Sunday Reflections. This practice has become a source of zen, week after week. I usually write these from my bed within the first few hours of my Sunday mornings.
There is an anecdote I want to share because it's been resonating with me lately. This is a story about what got me here. I grew up the son of a Rabbi. My father's congregants asked me as early as my Bar Mitzvah at age 13 "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I remember how angry this question made me, and I remember knowing that I would never fit into a box based on my profession. My go to response was "I want to be happy when I grow up". They would usually laugh and then say "Yes, but happiness is not a career. Do you want to be a Rabbi like your father?"
In college, I learned of a very similar story about John Lennon when asked the same question. At 5 years old when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up his response was Happy. They tried to tell him he didn't understand the assignment in school and he told them they didn't understand life. Now, the veracity of this story is not confirmed but the message remains the same.
In High School I was forced to take a test which would determine what I would be when I grew up. I answered a questionnaire and the computer told me that my ideal job would be as an antique dealer. I thought this was pretty funny, and not accurate at all. Today, I feel like that is exactly what I'm here to do in my own way. While it's hard for me to admit that I may have been wrong and "the system" was right, I embrace where I am now.
So now a question is "what makes me happy?" and another is "does this make me a hedonist?"
I find myself to be happiest when I achieve a state I refer to as elemental flow. Elemental flow is full submission of the self to the process, allowing a person to completely detach from daily life and fully be here now. I've achieved this state playing instruments, blowing glass, and snowboarding among other activities. There is nothing quite like starting a project in my studio, and putting the finished piece in the kiln hours later. I'll check the time before driving home and realize how many hours passed without my noticing. This is how I know I was flowing.
Looking ahead, all I can see is my show in February the second annual Vail Cup Collectors Club. Over the next few months I will be creating work for the show, finishing construction in my studio, and helping coordinate everything between the artists and collectors attending the event. In between all that you'll find me in the back bowls of Vail on most powder days. I'm on a new regiment of acupuncture and Chinese herbs, in combination with stretching and working to improve my diet. Cutting alcohol out was the first step towards a healthy life for me, and I'm committed for the first time to prioritizing the way I treat my body. This is where most of my energy has gone this year, with the remaining energy I have put into my studio and Drinking Vessels 100%.
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season, shared with family and friends. Thank you for tuning in to my journey. I look forward to sharing more with you each Sunday in the coming years!
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On Sundays I reflect.