Running in sand

I have other things going on today but I promised that I would write here every day and here it is. Short and sweet. (A cliche)

I'm firing tiles today and right now the kiln is open and on medium. Around 1230 I'll close it up and go to high. These are the Christmassy tiles that we made using the underglaze with a clear glaze on top. Some of the pieces have a base coat of color glaze and then underglaze on top then clear glaze. I'm very interested to see how that turns out.

It just occurred to me that I could make tiles for each season and leave the mounting board up over the woodstove, then change the tile pieces on the board to match the season. It would add a little decoration to the house and give me something to aim for with the tile making. If I do that I would have to make sure to mounting the Velcro sticking material very firmly to the board backing as it would be up year round ideally. I like the idea though. It would only take a little more to make that happen.

I also plan on painting today with acrylic paints. I need to paint every day in order to get better. I also need to critically look at what I want to work on and how I can get better at it. I need to study up on showing light in pictures. There's a lot of information out there available to learn from.

I'm also expecting the repairman to come in a little bit to look at the dishwasher. We've been pushing and pulling that dishwasher along for quite a while and I imagine that pretty soon we'll need to replace it. I'll speak to the repairman to get his take on what brands are worth looking at.

In the meantime, I've got this new idea for a character that I'm excited about and I think there's a fairly unique story in that. The situation is ripe with possibilities. As long I eschew my tendency to write in cliches. I do love those cliches.

* * *

When we last saw our hero he was running gleefully, almost maniacally along the streets of Kansas City Missouri. He'd tossed his fashionable hat and coat and ran with the strength of a thousand Englishmen along the suddenly deserted sidewalks of the busy city.

Midday turned to evening before his eyes and still he ran on. The city streets turned into the outskirts of the city and then he was on a two-lane state highway and the surroundings gave way to pastures and stubbled fields and the sky turned to an orange glow, then purple, then the darkest blue-black and still he ran.

He saw no cars and the country that he passed gradually changed. It became a place far away from Kansas City. A place he'd seen only in pictures, in magazines, on calendars. He ran in the American southwest desert beneath a perfect sky of stars and a bright band of light he knew was the Milky Way. He knew that because he'd read about it in Life magazine, but once again, like the stars, he'd never seen it in person. It was brighter and grander than he'd ever dared to imagine. He looked at it as he ran. He dared not stop to look at it. If he stopped, it might all fade. But Solomon Hirsch was not greedy, not at all. He was satisfied with this jerky, blurry view he had of the eternity above him. He knew he was lucky to be seeing that much. He was Blessed by God, to be given a glimpse a peek of God's great work. It was like God was showing him what He, The Creator was actually capable of. In a way, though, it only made Solomon a little sadder to compare the heavens with His lesser works.

Solomon took in huge lungfuls of the clean air of the unpolluted desert. To Solomon it smelled of heaven. Again, a smell that he now reveled in, but had never before experienced. There were no clean breezes able to make it through the maze of buildings in the city. Clean air could not compete with or displace the heavily used and unnatural odor-laden air that lay on the streets of the city. No wind was powerful enough to push it out of the way to make room for the clean air that lay elsewhere. It was like the rain, no clean rain fell in the city, by the time it made it to the street it was tainted, dirty, ruined, like the people who lived down there on the city streets.

As he breathed in the high desert air, he wondered how the air of the street was able to keep living things alive. Things of the city must have changed inside to allow them to survive on the only substances available in the deep urban canyons. Like those pictures in Life magazine of blind fish in deep caves or fish and worms that lived in the pitch black, crushing depths of the oceans. That is what he'd become in order to live in there.

Still he ran. He saw perfectly well in the starlit night even before the moon rose illuminating the whole scene with cold white light. He saw all the scrub grass, bushes and cacti around him as he swiftly passed them. He never swerved to avoid any, but missed them all, feeling only light brushing against his legs from those he passed closely.

His legs were like steel machines, like a pair of those massive air hammers that the workers used to break apart concrete and stone. Tireless, endless, relentless, painless, they drove him on through the great desert. He knew where he was going and he hoped he would make it in time. He had to.

Then as a glow began to form in the sky of the horizon, signalling the approach of dawn, he pushed harder. He had to "step on it" if he was going to make it now. As the sky grew lighter his legs began to feel heavier. Aching grew with every impact with the ground. The ground began to feel harder, as though it was hitting back at him through his feet.

Now he saw it. It looked at first like a thin dark line on the ground ahead of him but as he got closer, the line grew along the sides and broadened in the center. An impossibly large hole in the ground. Ah! He became excited again. The heaviness in his legs grew but he was so close.

"Please God! Let your triumphant creation reach his goal." Solomon prayed aloud as he ran, but now his lungs began to burn with growing fatigue.

"You made the desert and the stars and the moon and the Milky Way, You can help me to reach my goal," and then silently as if God couldn't hear him as he thought, "You owe me that much."

** Enough for today. I just broke and closed the kiln, turning in up to high.

More later,


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