The weeks spent in Varanasi have been a roller coaster start to finish. But as our journey through the city comes to its ending, I look around me and watch all the new beginnings take their lead, including my own. But even though I am leaving such a vibrant multi faceted city, that does not mean I am leaving behind the lessons I’ve learned here. The most prominent idea I’ve had the privilege of truly understanding is the power of patience. While in Varanasi I elected to take pottery classes with a man named Narayan Ji. This amazing man had the power to teach me so many more things beyond pottery. I signed up for the class knowing absolutely nothing about the craft but still eager to learn. After sitting with my Guru Ji for the first time, I was more than ready to spend time with such a talented artist. His home, which is where we met, was lined with all different types of artwork ranging from painting, sculpture, carvings, murals, creative architecture, and more. I could feel that a true artist was about to me teaching me. Its hard to even express all that Narayan Ji has taught me. For starters he showed me patience, grace, flattery, and appreciation. He never failed to make me feel like the most gifted potter in India even when my pieces were less than appealing. And in my moments of frustration, when my pieces weren’t what I was envisioning, he reminded me of the art of patience. “Nothing beautiful is made in a rush”. This was something he said to me in one of our earlier classes, and I’ll never forget his words. My hands covered in clay is now one of my most beautiful accessories I can have. My artwork may not be museum ready, but that’s not what matters to me. What’s really important is how I feel while making the art. When my hands are patient and gentle and I’m confident in the movements of the clay in my hands, then my pieces will be perfect not matter what.
Even though I learned this while sitting at a table with a man in a Adidas jump suit 3 times a week, my goal is to carry this new knowledge with me for the rest of the trip and my life. I value this lesson more than I can fathom, and I would have never understood it to this extent if it weren’t for Varanasi, and the exposure to such talented artist and wise people.
Here’s to our future journeys’ in not just India but also life. May we be graceful, patient, and confident with every movement we take.