My friend Mimi just completed a pottery class and has a collection of vases, bowls, and cute little-girl-tea-party-sized pieces to show off. As she showed me her handiwork, I was fascinated by the process of a mushy, gray lump of clay transforming into these beautiful objects. Seeing Mimi’s works enticed me to take the pottery class myself and I had visions of my own dinner set on the table and Christmas presents for everyone.
Her “ugly” pieces were still in the kiln which is the oven that bakes the pottery. She joked that I should stop by and see them when they were done and then maybe I wouldn’t want to take the class anymore. So I went with her to the studio and this is where I learned the kiln has magical powers.
I expected the kiln to look like a pizza oven, but this kiln was shaped like a giant vase with a lid. It holds multiple pieces and it is big enough for a person to sit inside. It takes 3-4 days for a project to bake and another 1-3 days for it to cool before the kiln can be opened. The kiln’s magical power is the ability to transform ugly things into something beautiful, hence my friend being shocked by her ugly ducklings.
Whenever we dance we are transforming ourselves like works in the kiln. I can practice the difficult part of a dance over and over and not be satisfied with the results. Then I try it the next day and it’s much better. Or there might be a dance that I don’t get very well because it is too advanced but when we cover it again a few months later I find my steps are crisper, I can move my hips more, or it’s just so much easier to remember the steps.
So for those things in life that seem ugly, I guess we never really know when they will transform. We just have to keep dancing and expect something beautiful to happen.