Travel to the end of Route 128 in the North Shore of Boston and you will end up in Rockport, Massachusetts – a charming town on the rocky Atlantic coast, where art galleries mix with unique shops and beautiful gardens. Before turning right to Bearskin Neck in the downtown area you will pass a pottery shop called “Too Fortunate Pottery“. It is a small space filled with light, uniquely crafted pottery, and a potter’s wheel. I first discovered this shop years ago when, wanting to escape the madness of an American mall at Christmastime, my husband and I chose to do all of our Christmas shopping in Rockport. Wandering in to the pottery shop I wanted to stay forever. It wasn’t just the pottery itself, beautiful though it was, it was the peace and the space transporting me to a world beyond my current reality. Perhaps it was all in the timing as we found this shop in the middle of a critical process of culture-shock, experiencing our first Christmas in ten years in the United States after moving from Cairo.
On one of my future visits to the shop I began speaking with one of the owners. I asked her about the name of the store. She looked at me, paused, and then replied “One day, as we were working and creating, we looked at each other and realized that we were too fortunate to have this shop and do what we loved all day long. The name came to us that day – Too Fortunate Pottery.”
I have never forgotten this conversation and this window into the creativity and gratefulness of the artists.
Perhaps it’s my limited view but I see fewer people passionate about their work. I can’t think of many who could put up the sign “Too Fortunate” to describe their life’s work and calling. There are also many who may not be willing to give up their retirement plans, yearly raises, and that critical 2-week vacation that the west understands as the American Dream to do what they are passionate about. For others, it is finances and life circumstances that dictate their work, demanding attention to jobs that are not their life choice.
This is what makes the work of the artist so critical and desperately needed – creating a space where the majority of us can rest and feel the sense of timelessness and peace so that we too consider ourselves fortunate.