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  • loisdehart

Permission to Play

Updated: May 5, 2022

This past Saturday was the second time my daughters and I sold our creations at a craft fair. Our expectations were low. We're just happy to cover the cost of renting the space 😁 Our first experience was in a shared space at the Bearzzar at Olympia High School, and we didn't know if we would sell ANYTHING! Well, both times were a success, and spurred us on to plan for more.

Before I get too far, let me just share that I am a potter in process 😁 I have classes from decades ago, and I am currently apprenticing with Darby Huffman, owner and seasoned potter from Laughing Gnome Pottery in Port Townsend, Washington. But, for this show I wanted to venture out on my own and make something other than gnomes, and pie gnomes, partly because I just wanted to, and also because I have a lot of clay that is screaming to be used. I made a variety of cute stuff that I will share pictures of, and the stuff I can't share with you is because to my amazement---people wanted the stuff I thought looked ugly, bad, or just a plain old mistakes. My daughter and I giggled all the way home at peoples fascination with the stuff that we thought was "off." But this was not even my biggest takeaway or learning experience.

The potential customers that were looking at all the fun stuff we made and seeing how much fun we were having... they wanted in on it too. People were asking me even before the sale started if I would be interested in teaching them how to work with clay. I was very transparent and shared that I am still a student at this, but I do have teaching background (Special Education and Art Education Degrees).

I have a confession, I am 61 years young, and most of the people interested in learning were probably my age, or close 😁 When I told the potential students that I COULD teach them (what I know) but I would be MORE interested in hosting a "play with clay" afternoon or evening in our DeHart Studio.

I saw in peoples faces, "Wow, this is way better than a class where I am expected to perform and produce. This Lois person is giving me permission to just play." As adults, we forget the value of "being," in contrast to "doing."

A couple of years ago now, in probably the first or second session of some life altering counseling, my very gifted counselor advised with this: "Find that toy or activity that your 4-year old self would have LOVED playing and DO IT." Even before she finished her sentence, I had in my mind the very clear childhood moment, as if it happened yesterday--playing with mud in the backyard of my childhood home. The vision is clearer than any image anybody could ever invent. I can almost taste, feel, and hear, and see it all. Yes, this might sound a little weird, but that's okay--I'm weird, and I'm good with that. The other toy--Playdough. Same damn thing! I remember as if it were yesterday, the first exposure to the magical stuff. I was playing at a pretend kitchen set, and I was cooking with Playdough. This was the beginning of my love affair with the stuff, and knowing the smell of JOY 😁

I am a CREATIVE, and I love being with people. I hear this is a rare combination. I want the world to know that we need to give ourselves permission to play and not take ourselves and everything we bring to the table sooooo seriously. Find the activity, play thing, toy or otherwise that made the 4-year old you relax, rest, be at peace, and ultimately find joy.

That's all for now,

Carefree Quail

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3 commentaires

08 mai 2022

This was so wonderful and inspiring to read…I am so proud of you with your new journey, actually journeys!


07 mai 2022

I am so happy for you Lois! Thanks for sharing.

07 mai 2022
En réponse à

Thanks Chris. It's a story of redemption. God is good all the time:)

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