During the last couple of phone calls I’ve had with my son Josh, I’ve learned that a mouse was living in his pottery kiln and that he’s taken up Scrabble. I’m shaking in my boots on the second count because, according to the scores he’s been reporting, he plays Scrabble better than me, and I’ve been playing on and off for a couple of decades.
“But you never even liked the game growing up,” I questioned. He explained that he didn’t understand the strategy then. He had played once and didn’t like it. Occasionally Dylan, his younger brother, would play with me.
“But that was only because he knew how much I liked to play and Dylan is sweet that way,” I said. Josh, who likes to play games competitively, agreed.
No sooner had Josh finished the loading, firing, cooling, and emptying of a new kiln, the 1st Annual Holiday Sale at the newly renovated Clay Space Co-op gallery, which Josh was hosting, geared up.
And then he caught his breath, which came in the form of playing Scrabble with his girlfriend Anna. Anna is also a good player, but it’s hard to compete with a play that involves the letter Q on a triple letter box going in two directions.
I’m not surprised that Josh, a word lover who has been published in Studio Potter magazine and recently had his handwriting on the front cover, would catch the Scrabble bug. He likes to play Mad Libs and recently coined the word “chillaxing,” by mixing chilling and relaxing together.
We’ve been on the phone more than usual, making plans for his trip home this weekend to host a Hometown Pottery Show, Saturday and Sunday from 12-6. It’s an open house and the house that will be open is mine. I’ve been telling friends who know I’m a reclusive non-entertainer that now is their chance to finally see where I live.
So no more chillaxing for me. I’m going to vacuum and sweep the cellar floor.
Post notes: The first photo is one taken by photographer Frank Bott, who is documenting the evolution of Asheville’s River Arts District where Josh’s Clayspace Co-op is. The second photo is of a recent Studio Potter magazine cover, an issue on clay and words. It features Josh’s handwriting of a quote by Shoji Hamada speaking to a young potter. It's written on the ClaySpace wall and says: It is important for him to dig deep beneath his own feet to find the spring water. This is better than finding a section of the river of tradition that has already become unclear and weak. True tradition never comes from water flowing above ground: it comes from underneath the ground, from a man's own experience. Individualism is important, and without it one cannot do any good work in this age. To find real individualism does not mean the we should follow the new fashion, but rather the old way, the classic way. What is classic is always new. Fashions are always old ...
~ Originally posted on Loose Leaf Notes on December 11, 2007.