I’m reading Daniel Raeburn’s Vessels – his harrowing memoir about his first daughter, stillborn. Like the best of memoirs, this is not about a single, isolated event in the couple’s life: it is about their marriage in the wider sea of family and friends.
His wife, a potter, told him early in their relationship:
There are three tests for a pot, she said. First, when you throw it, it has to feel right in your hand. Then, after you fire it, it has to come out looking like something you’d want to keep. Then comes the third test: You have to live with it. You have to use it. This is the real test.
–– Daniel Raeburn, Vessels
Today, seventeen years into parenting, I’m home with a house full of teenage girls. Doesn’t that single sentence contain an infinity? Ten girls with their own long legs, ten hairstyles, ten unique pasts, ten pairs of eyes open to their budding womanly futures.
Like clay, our lives are slipping, hardening, crumbling, ever changing. Use it. Embrace it.