My first ceramics course started this past Saturday and it appears that my teacher is a well known ceramics artist here in Istanbul. She even invited me to her presentation at Istanbul Modern the next day! I was nervous because it was in Turkish and didn’t know anyone else, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and went anyways. So happy I did. All part of my master plan to push myself.

Recently, I just finished watching the first season of Orange is the New Black. Essentially, this WASP woman gets sent to jail for a crime she committed 10 years ago. Oddly it reminded me of living abroad… stay with me here. In one scene she is talking to a juvenile in a scared straight situation. She basically tells the girl that the prison isn’t actually the walls, but the prison is your mind because in jail, you cannot hide from the truth of who you are; you have to face yourself.  There is literally no where else to go, so you must deal.

With traveling and living abroad I find the same rationale to be true. The same routines, excuses, or getaways sometimes just don’t work as you are in a new culture with different expectations and people. Often the place is unfamiliar and the bonds with people just aren’t as well established as someone you have known since grade school. The ways in which you might have looked at or handled a situation in familiar territory are now under a new, sometimes, harsh light.  And if I am being very honest, sometimes that light can really burn and it’s just no fun!

However, I also find this light interesting because it can also be warm and refreshing, guiding you to challenge yourself or just appreciate what you have. Also, this light can spotlight the good people and things you have in your life. That same light can also serve as a guide to a new approach in thinking and open up doors that you never knew were there, literally and metaphorically. But like I said before, sometimes this light just stinks and well, you just gotta deal.

Right now, I am really looking forward to this new ceramics class not just because of the creative aspect or my well known teacher. It will be interesting to see where this new avenue takes me. Maybe it might just be a couple of new vases. But maybe, just maybe, it will open doors to new opportunities that I never knew were out there.


  1. Susan Wachowiak

    Interesting revelations, Claire. I hope this will help you in life’s journey. Ceramics look interesting. What color glaze to you plan on using on the necklace?

    1. I can’t really decide on the glaze color – could go elegant or bold! I will see on Saturday! 🙂

  2. David Tanaka

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me! You have extended yourself in so many terrific directions, Claire! I love the mix of photography with blog.

    1. Thanks Dave – it is great to hear from you! I hope all is well with you and your family – one day, we need to have a beer!

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