Before I started making pottery, I had the idea that you had to make a perfect pot. Over time I have come to realize there is no such thing as a perfect pot. There is a relationship between the potter and the clay, and the clay has a mind of its own. You can shape it and bend it to a certain extent. But if you try to mold the clay in a way it doesn’t want to go, it will end up in your lap. [laughs] Pottery is a good teacher. It teaches you patience and how to get centered and not think about anything but doing pottery. If you start thinking about something else, you’ll end up with the clay flying across the room. It just keeps me in the moment. It took me years and years to learn that you don’t try to create a certain number of pots in a given period of time. You just have to concentrate on what you’re doing right now and hope that you get something that somebody will like. A lot of times I will work on a pot that I don’t think is all that good, but then somebody comes by the table and really enjoys it and pays money for it. Evidently, somebody liked it. [smiles]


Marijke Elsenburg

Years later, Debby, the daughter of a good friend, came to visit. She had just discovered that she was unintentionally pregnant. I held back from saying much; I only listened. I was just there, for her and with her. There was trust. She felt welcome and safe. The picture of her daughter now hangs in…


Margaret Irwin West

Irish artist Margaret Irwin West believes that hope is like the sun: even if you can’t see it, it’s always there. In this audio clip, she discusses what inspires her artwork.


Chan Jae Lee

Chan Jae Lee is the 76-year-old founder of Drawings for My Grandchildren, a popular Instagram account (@drawings_for_my_grandchildren) in which he and his wife create paintings and stories for their grandchildren in the U.S. Lee and his wife live in Korea.


Maria Soerinah Hoetomo

I protested to God. I was angry with him. I felt he was unfair to my family. I did not want to go to church, and I did not pray anymore. I did not want to communicate with the ‘evil’ God. Then one day I found an image of a cross torn in two on…


Greg Boyle, SJ

With the help of parishioners and the local business community in Los Angeles, Greg Boyle has worked to build Homeboy Industries into one of the largest, most comprehensive, and most successful gang intervention, rehabilitation, and reentry programs in the United States. In this audio clip, he discusses God’s loving mercy. [Greg Boyle, SJ] I think…


Joseph Gicheru Chege

I remember seeing soldiers coming home after the war in 1945 when I was a young boy. We were scared. We were told that Hitler and the French and British would be coming to Nairobi to have some tea and that we should put out our lamps. The French ended up settling in Isiolo, the…