Thursday, April 10, 2008

What Do Gardeners and Potters Have in Common with Copywriters?

Most artistic expressions have similar correlations that can be drawn between them (or so I believe).

For the last few weeks, I've been gardening: I'm growing sprouts for lavender, basil, oregano, tomatoes and peppers.

And this past Tuesday I began a pottery class.

I've uncovered lessons in both practices as I believe both gardening and pottery-making are true art is copywriting.

So what are the commonalities? How are these 3 things like the other? (I can't help it a song just popped in my head- the Sesame Street song "One of these things is not like the other"!). Are these 3 things alike or not?

They are in several ways including learning to be present, tapping into patience and accepting and believing that something new will be transformed from the current state we are working with.

Allow me to explain...

When gardening you must present so that you are conscious of where you are planting your seeds (not too close and not too far apart - which is another beautiful metaphor for relationships but I digress), when you are planting them and how they are planted.

When throwing your pot (I have yet to call myself a potter), you must be very present with the material you are working with.

I found that when I was centering my clay (the part where you make sure the clay is centered and attached properly to the wheel), I had to stop thinking about what I was doing...and just do it! The more I learned to let go of what I thought I should do, the easier it was to actually do it.

Cool huh?!

And as I formed the clay into my bowl, allowing the present moment and the movement of the clay with the gentle touch from my hands, the clay simply transformed itself. It became the pot.

There's a very significant lesson in that. All new things come to form and fruition with simple and gentle guidance. It's the difference between power and force. Some may say that's just semantics but it's not.

Power is found inside of us, it is innate, it is our direct line from the Divine. Power simply allows something to come forth into the world.

Force is what we make happen.

I see the difference between the two as being a difference of faith. When we have faith that all things happen in due time and in due course (with appropriate levels of action), then we have tapped into the force within us, the God potential inside of ourselves.

Power is what we do when there is a lack of belief. When we think we have to steer our own ships with no outside assistance.

Force requires patience, unyielding belief and faith.

To me force is the most beautiful of the two because of that extra unseen factor, that mystical quality that faith requires.

I've taken a bit of tangent to explain how gardening, potting and copywriting are all linked! But I think they are all similar in the respect that they require faith, patience, persistence, belief in an unseen force and a willingness to tap into that force and let a new development unfurl from its current state.

There's a transformation that takes place when you plant a sprout, when you take a piece of clay and you take some words. They all start as being in one state and eventually grow and become another state (the sprout becomes a seedling which becomes plant, the piece of clay becomes a bowl, a vase, etc and words become a power within someone compelling them to act in a certain way).

And that's the beauty of art: showing us how things change states and evolve...and the life that flows through each of those changes to create a new being in the world. Fascinating!

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