Event: Sunday, July 31, 2011; Updated: 17 Sept 11
|Front Gate to Quaker Meeting House in Santa Fe|
Since their normal procedure is to worship in silence, I sat with the gathering of 30 to 40 in pleasant, quiet surroundings. The lady who met me at the door as I came in explained that after about 45 or so minutes participants were invited to speak if they felt "led by the spirit".
An attractive woman was the first to stand, urging the gridlocked Congress get their act together to make a decision on behalf of the country. One or two others spoke identifying themselves as visitors. Then, I was shocked to find myself standing to share my most recent visit to San Ildefonso Pueblo where I learned about the nature of Indian pot making, that "One does not repair pots" and how illuminating that simple statement became for me.
Before long, others in the group stood to talk about their experiences with Native American pots, including a lament by a resident Quaker that their valuable collection of Indian pots had been recently stolen, recovered from a nearby museum and stolen again.
The woman just in front of me announced proudly (while remaining seated) that she made and repaired pots. Another, a retired school teacher, spoke of having spent much time on a local pueblo learning how to make pots the Indian way and how profound the experience was for her. Another lady expressed her grief up to that morning that one of her most cherished pots from Santa Clara Pueblo had developed a crack in it, but now she was at peace with that development in the life of her treasure.
A man then stood to tell of having had a successful career in producing and selling ceramic pots made in Japan. At the end of his career he had taken a young Indian boy under his wing to teach him his business and to learn the Indian way. He was dismayed at the boy's lack of discipline and what seemed a sloppy work ethic. But when it came time to produce something for an upcoming festival, the boy spent over 100 hours the week before to make one pot, which sold for more money than the man had made in months of his own labor!
To top all these comments off, someone spoke of an upcoming discussion on the theme inspired by poet Leonard Cohen about "Light through the cracks"!
"Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There's a crack, a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in."
When a lady announced an upcoming social potluck, I couldn't resist cracking (no pun intended) that I'd never be able to hear the word "potluck" again without remembering this experience. All laughed.
I was invited to return and think I shall.