When I opened the mailbox the other day, there was a package waiting for me, in it, a book. I have been selling my pottery on Etsy for one year now. This was surprise addition to my venue, and expanded the geography of my customer base. Last December, the basement at home became the shipping center, and I mailed out as much as seven packages a day. It has been a learning experience, getting packing materials, packing the pottery, shipping method, etc. Then, one day, in the middle of January, I got an e-mail from a customer asking about his order that he had not received. I checked the FedEx tracking, and it showed it was delivered in December three days after he ordered. The package was left on the porch. It was a large package- 30inches long! There is no way he missed the delivery on his porch. We speculated a “thief” stole the Christmas Gift! I claimed the FedEx as missing, and offered a refund to the customer. He chose to pick other pieces more than he originally purchased gracefully. Then, we decided to make sure the thief was not getting away with this package. I found that I can set the date of delivery in addition to collecting a signature. The customer got the package safely two weeks later. His gift was over one month late, so I offered “no charge”. He e-mailed me how we overcame the thief and offered a mysterious note on the payment, “I offer the art for the art”. I had no idea what that meant. Turns out he was the Poet Laureate of the US in 2004. Now I own the book composed by the former Poet Laureate of the US – signed and forward. How cool is it. FedEx recently accepted my claim and reimbursed me.
The book was An Invitation to Poetry, A New Favorite Poem Project Anthology. This comes with the DVD, interviewing the participant of the project with his/her favorite poem. It is very interesting, and strong story of them interweaving with their favorite poem, how it became favorite. Art, and maybe the craft is the reflection of the artist or the craftsman him/herself, and appeals to the people who sense and share their life. If you are looking at the painting, you may feel the happiness of the painter, or sadness of painter when he had a brush on his hand, and his inner expression appeals to you. This brings up the level of the painting to the next level. This is true to the poem and song, as well. Pottery is a bit different creature itself. When you throwing the bowl, it reflects my mood, physical condition, etc, and the clay responds to that, and have the shape defined. During the firing, we lose the total control of the process, the nature (fire, wind, moisture, etc) dominates and adds the characters to each pieces.
Back to the book, I do not have my favorite poem, unfortunately. I had my favorite book, Pearl Buck’s Good Earth, translated “Daichi Vast land” in Japanese. I do not remember the story, but the title remained in my heart like the poem. I grew up very small house in Tokyo,and had constant argument with my parent for my own room. I never had my own room until 18 when I moved out. After reading the book in high school days, the images of the huge land occupied my head. When I was 19, I backpacked around the US in 50 days just to see the huge landscape. I met and talked to so many strangers, a guy bicycling across the US, a summer kid camp counselor and her lone camper, a soldier visiting his family, a girl who had runaway from her host family, my relative family who were a key part of Datsun, and list goes on. I still remember the overnight crossing from Denver to Omaha watching a thunderstorm over the flat land. The trip molded me, and I learned about not only the huge landscape, but the good people.