Monday, May 9, 2011

Chapter one Staying Inspired

coffee beans growing on the Big Island of Hawaii, Kona
Today I drove the island looking for potteries and coffee farms.  I want to know how others stay inspired and I will also tell you what works for me.
The first potter I saw had a great set up.  Originally from Oregon he moved to Hawaii 18 years ago and started a pottery, gift shop, coffee and macadamia nut farm and also sells shaved ice.  The man’s shop was immaculate.  Never have I seen a coffee-roasting machine right next to a potter’s wheel and not a spot of dirt next to either one.  The shop was immaculate.  The sign read, pottery and coffee welcome and enter.  I pulled my rental car down the hill into his small private driveway and parking area.  An English bulldog who was simply doing his job announcing my arrival greeted me.  I stepped into the gallery and saw several crystal fired pots, jewelry, soaps, teas, canvas bags and a bar with a big shaved ice sign next to a display of coffee tea and nuts.  The potter welcomed me and handed me a small fresh cup of coffee.  I introduced myself and we began talking about inspiration and pottery.  He took me through is studio and led me to the balcony where he pointed to his coffee trees.  He explained that he used to be a seminary student and switched to clay and then began making a relationship between growing coffee beans, making clay and God. 
He explained how you start with a 100 year old plant, wait 4 years and the flowers begin to grow.  Many of the flowers fall off the branch; some remain and turn into the coffee bean.  First they turn yellow then green then red and then purple.  After that no other beans grow on that area and later the top of tree blossoms and it is trimmed and new branches appear.
He was thinking hard and the harder he thought the larger his eyes got and the more he questioned my religious beliefs.  He quoted the bible and told me how he was an atheist and thought he knew all the answers and then became a spiritual person.  He said he had been married to a new age woman and participated in her rituals and how that did not work out and he remarried.
He asked me about my religion and I confessed that I am a Unitarian and he was not sure what to make of that.  It was like he had heard of it but was quite skeptical.
“What do you believe in?”  He asked me.
I said that most people think Unitarians don’t believe in anything but that is not how I feel.  I told him we as a group do not believe in original sin and have a great sense of fairness for others and we are political watchdogs as well.  His eyes got a little larger and he looked at me skeptically.  I said, “I am an optimist and a positive thinker and I don’t think most people are evil.  However I am no fool, I know people do bad things as well.  I am not a Pollyanna.  I like the fact that our church will marry people in love from varying religions.  I think that is a good thing.”
He went on to load his kiln as my cell phone rang and I think he became more skeptical about me. 
“I don’t think it works, people who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior getting married.”
I was only asking about inspiration and his pottery and somehow the conversation kept rolling back to religion.
I walked back over to his sales area purchased some of his prize winning coffee for my husband and he handed me a New testament and I said thanks and crammed it in my purse.
It was not exactly what I had in mind about what inspires others but it just helps prove we are all in it for many reasons.  I drove off and headed for coffee farms and the Kona coffee guild

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