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]


Maria Gabriella Perin

HopeI often recall the sacrifices and trials I endured to raise my son. Would I say I have regret? I really cannot because this is how it happened.


Earl Frost

HopeEarl Frost discovered his talent for music thanks to the support that others showed in him. In this audio clip, he shares what he has learned about faith.


Tom McGrath

DeathClearly my father understood his situation: he was dying and there was more pain to come. And yet here he was saying, as if he was letting us in on a secret, ‘All in all, we’re in pretty good shape.’ Was this just the medicine talking? The truth is that I had heard those words from him so many times, a frequent refrain through the years. I looked at my daughter and was deeply grateful she was there to hear this message of faith and hope and blessing from her grandfather.


Joe Schneider

DeathI was a bomber pilot in World War II. We were the bombers who were knocking out hundreds of bridges in Italy. We became known as the ‘Bridge Busters’. We had to fly straight and level, otherwise we would never hit a 100-foot bridge. It was very touch-and-go. And we lost an awful lot of people.


Tony and Grace Naudi

Struggle[Grace] You want to get on in the world, you want to be a success, and you think that’s really important. But in the end, that’s not what’s most important. The important thing is to find yourself, to know yourself, and to be grateful for what you have. You tend to exclude the frivolous things when you come face-to-face with hard facts. Then you know what is important.


Razanamialy Simone

Struggle[W]ith the grace of God I changed. I continue to work as a laundrywoman and now have some savings. My community does not see me as a parasite anymore. I have a good relationship with my daughters. They give me pocket money that I use to buy yogurt. I even managed to improve my house; there had been holes in the roof for years. And I was blessed in another way: caring people took me to the doctor and helped me get better. My feet and knees feel better.