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lessons from the great pottery throwdown

there is a moment each episode

when everyone’s glazed pots

enter the kiln, perfectly

finished or otherwise

and the host declares with finality

that there is nothing more

to be done by the potters

i imagine being forced

to surrender control

at stakes like these

to be exponentially harder

than all the sadistic builds

and timed horrors

the judges throw at them

in their post-game interviews

some potters affect ease

with cheeky grins

though their use of words

like “hope” and “pray”

betrays their doubts

others wear a nerikomi

of angst on their faces

their sleepness nights

laced with nightmares

of shattered vases and dreams

their fates out of their hands

the potters grudgingly accept

this truth and beauty:

that uncertainty is a fact of life

and attachment exquisitely futile

humbled by the clay gods

all they can do is wait

as elements fuse recklessly

in the kiln’s black box

knowing they have given

all they can


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