Today, I elected not to travel to class, which in essence, is a three hour commute both ways. This was a hard choice for me, but one I needed to make. It seems like there will be an issue about gas supply in the Southeast, due to Hurricane Katrina, and since I have made the trip three times this week, I felt like I might should do my part to lessen the impact of my ecological footprint--which is already three times the size it should be. Sigh. Selfishly, I wonder what impact this energy situation will make on my ability to learn about clay and design. I worry, and then I feel guilty because the suffering from this disaster is catastrophic, wrenching, and devastating. It is stunning and breaking. And, even though I know that we need to continue to live the regularity of our daily lives as we usually do, in spite of feeling 'survivor guilt', this is a conundrum. We need to live the dailiness with awareness, thoughtfulness, compassion and generousity. But, there is more for me. I wonder, how does action, solidarity, justice, connect with making art? Especially when one is a middle aged part-time student, and nearly full time professional? Is it frivolous to want to burn a quarter tank of gasoline so that I can learn to throw two pounds of clay into 6"-8" high cylinders, over and over and over--with no clear direction or goal of the outcome? The materials of art, according to the book, Art and Fear, are seductive. The tooth of good paper, the glide of an delicious pastel, the bristles of the perfect brush. Clay, for me, is seductive. It calls to me, flirts with me, sings sonnets that circle in my head and heart, beckoning my hands to dig deep, practise, learn, create. Justice and mercy, practice and seduction. This is the tension I hold in my body today.