It was a very special honor to be a guest on The Potters Cast with my mentor Paul Blais.. talking about mentorship.
Ciro Di Ruocco is an emerging visual artist/curator, splitting his time between studios in Nanaimo, BC, Canada and his hometown of Duxbury, Vermont. Ciro’s work in ceramics is complimented by an affinity for printmaking and surface/ texture design. Ciro combines a utilitarian sensibility with a contemporary street art aesthetic, fusing his own imagery to create works that are inspired by our daily lives. Ciro is currently an MFA candidate at the Vermont College of Fine Arts.
"They were doing it for issues around the Vietnam War, and we're doing it for sleep health; not just about narcolepsy but to bring more awareness to North Americans that sleep is imperative to people's health," said Di Ruocco. "As we get busier, as a population. .. we slack on the sleep and that has effects on everyone's health, not just the person with narcolepsy or insomnia or sleep apnea."
As I lay in bed hallucinating, waiting to fall asleep, I see a brighter future for the place I grew up. Maybe my experience can help. I don't have a desire to live back in Vermont but I would like to be of service. How can I do that? How can I impact a change to a place stricken by prescription pills and heroin, my home that I am proud to be from but scared for friends and family.
Yesterday, I tried to get out of bed.. I could not. My body felt like the pit of despair. Quickly, I ran through my reasons to be grateful. I read the poem my Nan gave me. It’s posted at the head of my bed.
Suddenly, my eyes became cloudy. Tears running down my cheeks. The feeling of hope and determination surfaces. I put my headphones on and listen to my morning music.. I message Kendall and my mum to tell them what’s going on. I send them my crying face photo. I talked about my feelings and then my day started like any other day.
Ceramic work and the dedication it evokes has given me a renewed sense of self-confidence. When I am at the wheel, I don't feel tired. I am not fighting off sleep. I am just innocent and me. The clay reflects back an honesty about where I am at that I am unable to see in the mirror. It teaches me self-care, patience, and humility. Without that perspective of self.. I am lost.