Zoic: The Ceramic Pot

Alex Skelley

Just for a moment, imagine a ceramic pot. This pot is yours. It doesn’t matter how you acquired it, it’s yours, and it’s a gorgeous pot. Now, imagine inside of that pot is love, and wonder, and happiness, and everything good. Just having that pot makes you happy. Unfortunately, you let stupid stuff get in the way of you enjoying this ceramic pot.

Obviously, you can’t take it everywhere. You have school, work, sports, and other obligations. Everyday, you say goodbye to the pot before you go to school. Throughout the day, you take little sneak peeks of a picture of the pot that you have, counting down the minutes until you can go home again and enjoy it in all it’s amazingness. You get through school, work, and practice, or whatever you have for the day. You get home to enjoy your beautiful pot, but when you get to your room, it’s not there. You ask your mom where it is, and she says she’s getting it cleaned. Devastated and upset, you cry yourself to sleep, as you spent all day waiting for something that didn’t happen. Oh well, you’ll see it again soon.

And you do.

Still, the same occurrence of the absence of the pot happens every once in a while, and it’s demoralizing over time.

One day, while you’re enjoying your pot, a friend comes in and says that’s a mighty fine pot. He says he wants it too, though he can’t have it, because it’s yours. Your friend spreads the news to everyone about the amazing pot you have, and now more people want it. You know it shouldn’t bother you, but you start to worry about it. You believe to think that other people might try to take it, and might even be successful. You become anxious and insecure. You begin to prevent your mom from cleaning it. You begin to skip stuff just to enjoy it, freaking out about how someone will steal it, even though it’s not going to happen. You try to calm down, but then someone actually steals the pot. It’s fine though because you get it back, but your fears are confirmed, and you know it could happen again. You begin every measure possible to keep your pot safe, but you don’t realize the toll it’s taking. It’s stressful, and you’re anxious, and you just know someone will probably steal it again.

Now, you’re just paranoid, always feeling like you’re about to lose the pot. You begin to feel like you have to enjoy the pot as much as you can, while you have the chance. You begin to stress over enjoying it. Then, you begin to stress over if you’ll even enjoy it the next chance you get. You begin to think, “what if I don’t enjoy the pot.” You start trying to force yourself to enjoy it, but it becomes a chore. Then, your thoughts become a self fulfilling prophecy, and you no longer enjoy the pot, and only stress about it.

Imagine during this entire time, the pressure was on. You just couldn’t lose the pot. Your mom loved it and said not to break it. Your dad was proud of you for having it. Your friends were jealous and praised you for having such a great pot. And it’s great. But this too starts to stress you out. You believe you have to have the pot to keep these people happy. Everyone would be so devastated if you lost the pot. Your mom would be sad. Your dad wouldn’t be proud anymore. Your friends wouldn’t like and respect you. You believe that pot is what makes you appealing to other people. You try harder and harder to keep that pot safe. It becomes a chore. Every little things seems like a threat to it, and you freak out about it all.

Eventually, with all the stress and pressure, you start to suffer. Your sleep is affected. You no longer enjoy other stuff, and everything is about the pot. You start skipping work, and baseball. You stay home from school. You become even more anxious and stressed, and even depressed. It’s not all because of the pot though. A little thing hear and there make it worse. You then start to see the pot less and less. It’s all overwhelming, and you feel like the only reason to live is to keep the pot safe. You don’t enjoy the pot as much anymore, but fear what life would be like without it. The problems just get deeper and deeper.

Now, you start to blame the pot for your problems. You believe it’s the pot’s fault that you’re worried, and scared, and sad, and everything else you feel. The pressure to keep it safe starts to get to you. The paranoia that someone else might steal it starts to get to you. How you see and enjoy it less and less because of the stress gets to you. How nothing makes you really happy anymore starts to get to you. It all gets to you. This is not to say you never enjoy the pot. When you forget about everything, and sit with it, it’s like when you first got it. Still, your ability to get your problems off your mind is running out.

Eventually you snap. It’s all too much, and you believe you’d be better off without that dumb vase. You go up to it, and smash it on the ground. At first, you feel great. You feel free again, like all your problems have melted away, but that feeling sinks back down. You go back to being unhappy, and anxious, and stressed, not about the pot, but about everything else.

Then the regret hits. The smoke clears, and you realize you did the wrong thing. None of it was the pot’s fault, it all was yours. You let a bunch of stupid selfish emotions get in the way of you enjoying the pot. Now, you realize that all you want is the pot back. The pot did nothing. It was your own insecurity, and worrying, and stressing that ruined it. You try to fix the pot, but you can’t. You could tape it back together, but it wouldn’t be the same. There would be so many cracks, and it would just be too easy to break again. You think. If you could, you’d go back to the beginning. You’d do it differently. You’d be okay with it being cleaned, as if it’s all dusty, you can’t see all the pretty patterns. You’d let people admire it, as it’s beauty should be shown off. You’d pay just as much attention to other parts of your life, as you do to the pot. You wouldn’t stress, and worry, and you’d be secure in the fact that you know it’s yours. You’d enjoy it stress free just like in the beginning. You’d keep all the petty, selfish feelings out of it. You’d enjoy it when you can, but you wouldn’t force it.

But you can’t. You’ve broken what you had. What once made you happy, was destroyed by you. You’d do it different if you could, but you can’t. This is how life can be. Once you let jealousy, and anxiety, and worrying, and all those negative emotions get in the way, you’re destined for a destitute life of sorrow, depression, regret, pain, and guilt. What worrying will lead to will eat you infinitely more than the worrying itself. What will be, will become what could have been. What is, will become what was. So it’s best just to be grateful, and enjoy your ceramic pot without stressing about it, because no one wants a broken pot. If you do break it, it’ll be a terrible, guilt ridden path. You’ll long for the days where you’d just look at its patterns, feel its shapes, and picture what’s it’s been through and how it was made. Take care of your ceramic pot.