in about month’s time, we are beginning a major renovation at work, one that is going to last until mid-November. the logistics of this gives me the vapors, both in terms of the physical plant of the studio as well as the concerns and feelings of everyone who uses the studio.
the changes to the basement home of ceramics at MLAC are all going to be good ones. improved light, use of space, an actual HVAC system, maybe even a bathroom so i don’t have to constantly traipse upstairs to use the loo. i’m excited about the changes, despite the temporary inconvenience. it’s the varied reactions from the student body that have intrigued me.
i teach most of the kids’ throwing classes. so every kid, ages 10 to 18, that wants to throw on the potter’s wheel are instructed by yours truly. over the last few weeks, i’ve been talking casually to them about the changes that are coming. we have a tiny little sliver of sunlight that comes into the throwing studio, and i noticed it yesterday morning shining down on a shelf. i told them about the new windows being cut in the foundation wall to add natural light: they were very excited. even more excited for the bathroom, and more sinks.
the adults who use the studio are less enthusiastic. over the last few months, i’ve had to ameliorate situations that could have easily grown into a full scale mutiny had i not used my excellent diplomatic skills (ha) to smooth fears and ruffled feathers. even though all these changes are going to improve the space they work in, there is much sturm un drang and hand wringing over the whole thing. there is a small contingent who wish everything to just stay the same (even as they complain that things should be improved).
so. what i wonder is this: how humans get from point A to point B. how do we go from being excited for change, for new things, for improvement, to being afraid, threatened and undermined by it? is it nature that we become so inflexible, or do we decide to be that way? this is a rhetorical question. change happens. like a big, frightening tidal wave. we either hold fast and drown or ride it out to sea, the water taking us somewhere else entirely.