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Life

Deeper and deeper
Pottery and poetry

Ahmad Piraiee
January 4, 2005
iranian.com

I am not so handsome nor so ugly, not so tall nor so short, not so fat nor so slim, not so intelligent nor so dull, not so brave nor a coward, like nobody and like everybody, a person left from a forgotten generation.

I am a potter. I live in a small, cozy, old-fashioned house with two little cubic rooms inside and a small, cozy, basement made of adobe. It has 7 steps, a little kitchen, mediocre hall, and a tiny bathroom. The furniture is not so precious but sorted decoratively.

An ordinary house at the center of a big city full of good-hearted people. A house with a beautiful little yard with yellowish-brown tiles and a small, dark-brown, wooden door, some tulips and lilies at the corner of it's diamond-shaped little garden.

My workshop is in my basement, but this is not an ordinary basement. It has something that made it unique. My basement floor is clay. I dig some and put it on my pottery desk and start to work on it.

When I'm working on the clay I just think I have created the best I could with the best quality, in order to sell it at the best price. But I'm not just doing pottery for fun, I live my life for it, to create something with my hands, to create something that no one ever created before, my magical ceramics; they are all the meaning of my life, they are all I have, they are my life.

The ceramics I made are not ordinary, they are magical. Whenever I finish one, I put it in the oven and when I take it out suddenly a row of alphabets start to glitter and a poet appears on it. The poet is the meaning of ceramic and ceramic is the symbol of the poet.

I love my ceramics but not just for myself. I like them best when others like them, when they value them, revere them, and purchase them. But whenever I have gone out full of energy and enthusiasm to try to sell them at the best price, no one even looks at them. They rarely admire them.

Let's be fair. I remember once or twice that some people came who were so gentle. Judging by their expressions I thought they must be aristocrats. They came close and said how much is that? I told them the price. They said, Oh it's really expensive; they're not worth more than two pennies...

They couldn't understand that they were not trying to reduce the price of my art but were in fact killing my spirit. Who cares...

From time to time I give away my art to people for free, to those I like. Some of them just say thanks or smile, and some just shake their head.. In any case, it's better than bringing them back home.

"I am a potter's complete lack of surprise."
"I am a potter's wasted life."
"I am a potter's inflamed sense of rejection."
"I am a potter's broken heart."

Like a frustrated nuclear weapon, I went back to my basement. I wanted to change the world, to blow it up. But I was the one about to explode. I was so angry, exhausted and depressed. The only word in my mind was that they are worth more than that, I am worth more than that...

I closed my eyes, held my head with my hands, pushed it, harder and harder, like I wanted something to come out of it; there were only tears, for hours...

Then for a second something sparkled in my mind. I had found it! No more sorrows! I realized there is someone who knows the real value and true worth of my work, someone who can distinguish between my work and others very well, someone who is ready to purchase them, by all means...

That person was no one other than me, yes
No one feels me like myself; no one nourished me more that myself

So I started walking around the basement. I had a strange feeling. Then I started to dig the ground to make a ceramic. I was in deep hypnosis, somehow ...

I dig and dig and the basement becomes deeper and deeper, until I can't get out any more. But I was not sad because I had nothing to do outside, no love, no interest, nothing to arouse curiosity, no passion.

Sometimes I missed the blue sky or the touch of the wind on my face or hearing canaries sing in my little yard. I even missed the one or two people who came and asked the price of my art. But still I preferred to stay in the basement because I had to make ceramics for the right person.

So I started to dig the ground to have more and more clay to make more and more ceramics. I dig and dig and finally the basement became so deep that I disappear in there forever. Just some people sometimes talk about a potter who made ceramics with little poets on them...

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