Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. Isaiah 55:1-3 (NIV)
My name is Island Rider, and I am a glassaholic. I must confess that I am addicted to fusing glass. My addiction began last March at John Campbell Folk School and grew over the last year. I started out with a small grinder and ended up with a large kiln. Just like an alcoholic or drug addict craving their next high, I am fixated on creating glass pieces. It doesn’t matter if it is a little pendant or a picture made of glass, I constantly think about what I will do next. I plan colors and arrangements and contemplate ideas in my head before sketching them out. I make lists of projects to try. I think of new techniques to incorporate and read everything I can find about the craft. When I am at work, I long for my kiln. I slip away from the office to go to the glass store where I buy more and more pieces of glass and supplies to implement my designs. I search for just the right shade of blue and spend money I don’t have so I can bring home precious bundles of glass wrapped in brown paper and newspaper which I squirrel away in the closet so my husband does not know where I have been or where my paycheck went. Whenever I have free time, I am out on the porch cutting and grinding glass. When darkness or mosquitoes drive me inside, I glue and layer small chips of glass into patterns and scenes. In the manner of all addicts, my compulsion shows on my body. Instead of bloodshot eyes, bulbous nose and shaky hands, I have cut fingers. Each finger has at least one slice and usually three or four. My hands are raw from my work. I even have a scratch on the end of my nose where I rubbed it not realizing that I had a sliver of glass on my hand. My skin is cracked and dry from leaning over a hot kiln. When a piece comes out of the kiln, I critique it thoroughly. What did I do right? How can I improve? Then, I am drawn to start all over again. I never dreamed that I would enjoy a craft so much, but am passionate about my new found artistic side. What about you? What are you passionate about? It is photography or writing? Cooking or sewing? Do you work in wood or garden? Is their dirt under your nails or do you smell like garlic? Whatever it is, I know it gives you great pleasure. But, no matter what, it will never be enough. There will always be more supplies to buy, and one more project to finish. The only place we can find complete fulfillment is the One Who gives us the desire to create and to see the beauty in this life. Enjoy your passion, but leave time and energy for a relationship with God as well. Only He can truly satisfy.