Tuesday, July 9, 2013

The Quests of Everyday Life

Most of us think our lives are pretty dull. We read or listen to stories  and watch the news about others; some of us gawp at accidents; we watch movies and television; all as a way to vicariously experience the excitement of another’s life.

In truth, however, most of us are on an almost constant quest, journeying to seek what it is we want. Sometimes the quests are as simple as putting food on the table or earning the money to buy something we want. Almost all of us, though, are on another quest that we hardly acknowledge for various reasons – excuses – that we choose individually. This quest is to improve our lives and the lives of those people most important to us.

There is no more noble cause.

This quest is the foundation of the most fascinating stories ever told. When we want something better than what we have, we struggle first to motivate ourselves to step beyond our comfort zone, because we cannot obtain it from within that zone. But there are impediments. Most often they come from those people we love. They laugh at our dreams; they ridicule us for trying to be better than they are; they tell us we’re not good enough, though usually in different terms.

But they’re simply telling us the lies they want us to believe, because they don’t want us to succeed and make them feel uncomfortable enough to have to begin the process of leaving their comfort zone to embark on their own quest.

Another impediment, an even greater one to overcome, is the lies we tell ourselves. “Oh, that would be nice, but I’m fine, really, just the way I am and I am content staying right here.”

Perhaps we are fine, but couldn’t we be so much better?



The last few days have cooled off, but more heat is coming. For awhile the summer temperatures were getting unbearable and the reprieve was wonderful. One of the saving graces of summer for me is the beautiful landscape we’ve created around us.

Here are some yellow roses Ben and I brought to Montana from the Stockwell family farm in Wyoming. It’s been growing here for eighteen or nineteen years and is one of our sources of pride. Ben took this photo just a few days ago and already half of the roses have shed their petals, so we have to enjoy them quick.

The rose below, from a bush still tiny because it’s only two years old, Ben grew from seed we took from a rose bush growing in the flower beds of the Food Coop parking lot. To you it may be just another simple red rose, but red perennial flowers are difficult to cultivate around here, so we’re quite delighted.




We have a break now, which may even last until September, from landscaping. We’ve been building fence, but I over-extended my back and have been out of commission for a few days. And now we’re getting back to a little studio work and I’ve decided to use this time to work on writing up that pottery article we took photos for last winter, but never had time to work on then.

We’re also sampling some more new glazes, too. We’re still working on developing some new glazes and glaze patterns; we’re a bit more desperate now, since one of our favorites, the turquoise-green glaze, has gone to hell. It’s pitting terribly, which I think I could overcome, but since one of our glaze ingredients has changed, the color and visual texture has changed as well, giving us a completely different look. Unfortunately, several experimental re-trials of that glaze have not rendered improved results.


  1. Ben and Steve,
    Just visited this site for the first time in a long while, and have enjoyed it so much.
    Miss you both, try to plan a trip to WI.

    Julie C

    1. Thank you, Julie. We think of you often. It would be nice to see you and Jeff again.