Tortoise Carrying Pot
The idea of Ko, "as the Shwo Wan explains it," is "of now walking, now halting is the tortoise, traveling at ease in the untroubled mind," the essence of Kwang- tzu Tao, where "the largest and smallest creatures do not pass judgment on one another but equally find their happiness."(Legge, Chuang Tzu, Dover I, 128)
In the original Tortoise Carrying Pot of raw clay there are three blues, cobalt carbonate and oxide, rutile, a green, nickel carbonate and yellow iron oxide. None of them will fire as such. The pink and blacks will be blue. When I brought it home I couldn't touch it when unveiled that morning. What use is the potter? I had rolled out B mix, laminated with Jamaica and the last found clays of that bag, took it down to 1/4 inch, laid it on a board, sifted on the oxides, pounded in Aunt Libby's acanthus woodcut, pressed a cedar shim in ledges, rolled it up round a plastic tube, picked it up, set it on end and let it dry a little. Too soon I took off the tube to pack newspaper inside. The whole thing collapsed in a sheet. Using my chest, hands (I had rolled the papers up in a big ball) I stuffed the newspapers inside, picked it up and bounced it then on the board, because otherwise it wouldn't sit up (La Primavera, the first of this series, fell in the firing). When I saw the tortoise I got a chill.
Tortoise Carrying Pot
Comments: "I heard that in Ch'u there is a sacred tortoise which has been dead now some three thousand years and that the prince keeps this tortoise carefully enclosed in a chest on the altar of his ancestral temple." Chuang Tzu
Tracy, she got her name from Hank, the neighbor who raised them, died, and it was left to me to take them or they'd be lost. Hank named her, wrote her name on her shell with his phone number, as he did for Oscar, the half as big male he got from the side of the road outside Nogales in 1950. They are centenarians. Anyway Tracy is not a member of the family in the sense she comes in with the dogs, but every time we see her is an occasion for rejoicing, the way she stands, sits, walks, lifts a leg, her head. She has carved out a permanent domicile under some big logs that border a cement slab, dug way down under. The logs are bermed up on the other side, also there are sand bags and the whole is elevated so the flood cannot intrude. The life story of Tracy and Oscar is retold each August when he mounts her in the garden, very fierce this little guy, and independent, he has many homes and comes out later in the season than she. We have had their offspring for a decade. The babies are hard to spot. Sometimes there are a dozen. When our chow was young she would pick them up and bring them to me in the yard. So I'm saying that to celebrate the tortoise is something longed for.
"But the Cherubim represent animal creation as well as man; therefore the animal creation will also be redeemed with man. G. H. Pember, Animals, 32: "It is not therefore strange that, in describing the great redemption scene at the close of this age, John should say, "and every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sits upon the Throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever" 36.