Losing them, fixing them, forgetting to put them in
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M.C. Richards is a freelance potter, author, poet, and teacher. She lives, teaches, and works at the Camphill Village for the Mentally Handicapped in Kimberton, Pennsylvania.
Knowledge and consciousness are two quite different things. Knowledge is like a product we consume and store. All we need are good closets. By consciousness I mean a state of being “awake” to the world throughout our organism. This kind of consciousness requires not closets but an organism attuned to the finest perceptions and responses.
I grew up in Portland, Oregon, went to public school, and was educated to be an intellectual of the verbal kind. When I was four and a half, I had a library card. Because I could read I was thought to be a person who would follow a certain line of development having to do with verbal skills. They didn’t notice that the books I took out were picture books. I grew up, as many of us do, thinking that there are two kinds of people in the world — intellectuals and artists, or rather intellectuals, artists and women! It is difficult if you are a woman trying to find your way; it’s difficult to choose a path to follow.