The theft of the rattle was disturbing. The only item stolen from the studio. Trying to distract herself from this mystery Mary Lou did some research on rattles.
Discovered at archaeological sites throughout the world there was plenty to learn.
Music, healing rituals, spiritual journeys, the supernatural, and simply a child’s toy.
Ceremonial, sacred, magical, powerful, and simply soothing.
Her dreams included the peaceful vibrations of the different rattles she had studied and now created in her dreams. Wooden rattles carved with love, gourds painted and decorated with leather and feathers, and the clay rattles of all shapes and engravings. Rattles filled with rocks, seeds, grains, shells and clay pellets. A sighing haaaa as her breath entered each rattle before it was sealed.
This tube rattle had crossed over from her dream world. Almost alive it seemed to ache to be put to work. Most rattles had a noble job. She wondered at its purpose.
A little sushi, ginger pickled beets and some sake. That would set her straight.
After feeding her growling stomach, she felt the migraine melt away until it was just a regular pounding blinding headache. A second cup of sake and the headache diminished to a roar, she was at least able to think.
This was not the first time Mary Lou had lost time working with clay. But even then, with time flying by, she was aware while working on a project. The total loss of time and memory had only happened once before and was also followed by the intense migraine.
That project was again something she created from a dream. At first she was unable to figure out what it was. A square piece of pottery and the small pile of clay balls wrapped twice in delicate tissue paper.
She was compelled that first time to blow gently into the square, her breath making a soft “haaaaaa” sound. Nine clay balls had been dropped into the square and with a second whispered “haaaaaa” she sealed the square. As she made several small holes to the bottom of the square it was then she realized what she had created.
A rattle. But why?
The impressions she made on that square rattle were done with a hard rubber stamp. A stamp she had never seen before and none of the other potters in the studio had either.
When it came time to glaze the piece she was drawn to cooling and calming colors, shades of blue and green.
The piece had disappeared one night from the studio. No other art had ever been taken before or since but May Lou was too relieved to have it gone to make an issue of the disappearance.
It was what she has learned since that has made her creation of the new rattle comforting rather than alarming.
She smiled again, a bonus was that she could now put off making that teapot for Dennis. This tube rattle had a sense of urgency that couldn’t be ignored.
Mary Lou loved working with clay. She fully intended to start on that teapot Dennis was begging for. Alone in the usually busy studio she sang out loud and reached for the lump of clay.
Her stomach was growling and her hands were screaming. She was exhausted and one of those bullying migraines was dancing around, trying to find its way into her head and threatening to take over her life.
She looked down at the piece she had created and realized that several hours had passed. The migraine, her empty stomach and her hands were forgotten.
This was not a teapot, she had made a tube of some kind. It was something she recognized from the edge of her memory, from her dreams. The wood block she had used to make impressions on the tube was not something she recognized. She had seen similar blocks used by fabric artists, lovingly hand carved and used to create amazing designs.
A small pile of clay balls was piled next to the tube. Each ball was wrapped twice in some delicate tissue paper. So that was what she had made!
One end of the tube was already sealed. Her breath entered the tube with a soft “haaaaaa”. Counting as she dropped each ball into the open end, nine, her lucky number.
With another whispered “haaaaaa” she sealed the tube with a disc of clay. Several small holes were added to each end to allow moisture to escape the tube as it baked in the kiln. The tube joined other pieces waiting to be bisque fired, looking ordinary in their company.
Cleaning up her space her thoughts were interrupted by her stomach. She would figure this all out after some sushi and a nap.
May Lou laughed to herself when she realized that Dennis wasn’t getting that teapot anytime soon.