Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Honey Pot Karma

The honey pot!
For the past year or so, I’ve had the goal to replace all of my dishware with handmade pottery pieces. I accomplish this slowly, a piece or two at a time, acquiring them everywhere from yard sales to pottery sales to being given a piece or two as gifts. But the pottery sales are my favorite, because I get to take my son along and pick out a piece together. At the student potters' sale at a local college, we perused items that were decorative, functional, and beautifully one-of-a-kind. But we settled on a honey pot, something I've wanted forever and was delighted to see  priced well within our budget.

On the way home, we discussed the importance of supporting the arts, from my own perspective as an artist. "If we want other people to support our creative efforts," I explained, "then we need to support the creative efforts of others, by attending shows or buying things from artists and artisans when we can." We were vending at an art festival the coming weekend, and as I explained to him, could hardly expect other people to support our work if we did not support the creative work of others.

Jewelry display, festival ready!
I’m a firm believer in karma; I’ve seen it at work in my own life and in the lives of others. If you aren’t familiar with the term, let’s just say it makes for some good common sense to believe that we tend to get back what we give. Karma also extends to the reasons we have for giving – is it a true wish to do good from the heart, or is it based on the idea people will think we’re an ass if we don’t do a particular thing for someone else? There is one truth to karma…the desire to do good must be sincere in order to attract good; there is no place in giving (as there is no place pretty much anywhere else) for the ego. And everything, from the way we treat friends to the way we spend money, has a sense of karma.

All set up and ready to sell! Free trees, diplaced by our garden tilling, at the bottom of display; proud to say we gave them ALL away!
My son is 8, and not so much into art-making these days, but he’s got no choice but to tag along with mom to the fairs and festivals where I vend. So when he asked, “Can I sell stuff at the festivals, too?” I thought, ‘Oh, yes!’ This will make it more fun and meaningful for him, and also, hopefully, teach him a thing or two about karma.

Eric with some of his festival paintings. We had so much fun!
My fervent desire on the rainy drive up Sunday was that people would support his work. He’d toiled over making several small paintings and collecting smooth river stones that we washed and turned into ‘blessing stones’ by writing inspirational words on them with a Sharpie. I wanted him to see the cycle of it all, how our giving support to the student potters by attending thier show and making a purchase would culminate in people visiting our booths at the festival and making purchases.

Festival goers did not disappoint. By the end of the day, my son had sold 3 paintings and over half of his blessing stones. I sold many of my greeting cards and made a trade with another vendor. It was a fun and prosperous day for both my son and myself, and on the way home, we talked about how well we had done.

A quiet knitting during downtime at the festival
“Did we earn back what we spent on the honey pot?” He asked, and I had to smile.

“Oh yes,” I replied. “We got that…and then some.”

Which is typically true…what we put out there, into the world, we get back, and then some, whether it’s kindness or dysfunction, love or jealousy, the idea of giving freely or holding tightly to money and possessions.

Sunny day fun in the garden...
In the garden, as in life, we reap what we sow. In some small way, this weekend, my son got to see this theory in action. For this lesson, I am so grateful.

Sow love.


Virginia ("Ginn") said...

Sweet lessons. Sow love. I am remembering those days when the man and I were on the weekend circuit - selling handcrafted wares almost every weekend, kids in tow (both of us holding down full-time jobs and I was enrolled in college too). The kids learned a lot during those years. They also were entrepreneurial and created items to sell. The man fronted them cash once so they could create be-ribboned, floral crowns to sell at a festival and another time they made hacky-sac (sp?) kits. They made lots of sales and their confidence and financial acumen grew too. Thanks for conjuring up memories for me! Keep enjoying your son and mothering and life. <3 Good stuff! - Ginn

Amy Alley said...

I plan to, Ginn! Thanks!