The Potters Apprentice

by Ms. Leah

“I don’t know, I just feel like an imposter”. 

James sat on the edge of the kitchen counter speaking with Lilly his Mom.

“I don’t want to be a lawyer, or a doctor, or a husband. I wish I could just be me, and in being myself make someone happy and in making them happy, find myself complete.”

“It sounds like you want to be a stepford wife!” his Mom snickers.

“Mom!” James sighs in exasperation. “I’m not saying I want to be an automaton - I just want to be me, and I don’t know who that is.”

His mother holding a wooden spoon she is using to stir a cheese sauce with in one hand has a look of bemused concern on her face. “Oh Jamie, it doesn’t matter to me who or what you are, you are always my baby, now your father on the other hand”

“I know Mom, he wants me to be an updated version of himself, he wants me to be everything he aspired himself to be, but the truth is, I am not him, if anything i think I’m allot more like you.”

“You can always just stay here with us until you figure it all out you know; your always welcome here with me.”

“Thank you, mom, I love you too - but I’m 24, I can’t live with you and dad forever”

“Well, your father will be please to hear that.”

“Yea, I know. Regardless, I need to be on my own to find what I really want to be in my life. I can’t do it here, it feels too suffocating.”

“I’m not suffocating you hon, I’m just trying to be your friend.”

“You are my friend, but your also my Mom. I think I need to just start my life.”

“Well, I understand the urge to live without restraint dear, but always know you are not without means. Why not college? or a girl friend? or a boy friend if you wish.”

“Mom!” James rolls his eyes

“You know if you hung out with some girls your own age…”

James lets the musing linger in the air.

“Oh Jamie, I’m just worried about you. You were such a happy kid! Remember when you and.. what was that girls name you liked in grade school?”

“It was Kimmie, Mom.

“Do you ever see her?”

“No.”

“I always thought you and she would be a good pair” 

“She was my friend Mom, we were six, we played dolls together.”

“Your not gay are you?”

“Mom!”

“Well I will always love you in spite of your dreams”

“In spite?” James guffaws, “what does that mean?”

“I mean not because of what you choose and not regardless of if your dreams agree with mine but in spite of who you become, I will always love you.. simple. in spite of anything.”

That night James made up his mind, he would head out the next day. He had some money in his account, he would leave a note and hitchhike away. It didn’t matter where - but living in northern Florida it would have to be north and west.

He slept uneasily, the conversation with his Mother echoing in his head. Your not gay, are you? Why don’t you have a girlfriend? I like girls he thought, it’s just, I find most men toxic, I don’t want to be a toxic man, hell, I don’t want to be a man either, but then what?

He drifts off to sleep. 

In the morning he leaves his note and packs a backpack and is off. His parents won’t find out until they return from work that day, he’ll leave a message on the home phone and talk with his Mom before then. An ancient Bowie song is rolling like an ear worm in his head, Take a walk on the wild, side. I said, hey sugar - take a walk on the wild side!

In spite of your dreams.

In the morning, James awakens early and waits until his parents leave for work, then quickly putting together his camping gear and some clothing, a credit card, smart phone, sleeping bag, he pauses sitting down on his bed, staring at the closet. His closet, the very closet he yearns to get out of.

Take a walk on the wild side.

He gets up, and in that very closet reaches up to a small suitcase and opens it on his bed. It is filled with his clothes, his girlie clothes, panties, bra, breast forms, skirt, tap pants, gaff, blouse, and his makeup too. He rummages through these treasures and selects only a few - but enough for a full outfit. In the bathroom he grabs his razor and some creams - puts together a small package and stuffs it into his backpack.

Oh my gosh he thinks, what am I doing? Is this really what is important to me?

He is reminded of a story told about some native cultures finding the clarification of if a child is to be raised as a girl or a boy;  in the night a fire is set upon the hut they are sleeping in, their parents awaken the child in a start and say, grab what you care about and lets go! Set aside are boy toys and girl toys, bow or doll, the child chooses in the heat of the emergency and this becomes their destiny.

He shuts his mind down, packs his treasures and writes a note for his Mom. He will call late tonight but in this moment he has his whole life before him. He slips out the back door, not to be seen by the neighbors and jogs out to the the road.

I like you and I like it all, and you look divine…

He makes his way to the bus stop and takes the bus as far out of town as he can then sits on the side of the road with his thumb out.

James on road His first day is miserable and he starts to question his motives. Why can’t I just bloom where I am planted? Why can’t I be myself here? Maybe I can transition here? He stops, the thought that just went through his mind shocking him into a recognition. 
Am I really simply bent on living my life as a woman? Is that what all this uncertainty and rebellion is about? 

About that time a truck stops and the guy driving it opens the door, James climbs in.

“Where you goin?” says the man in dirty jeans with a wad of chew in his jaw.

“Um, west” says James.

“Duh” says the guy. “My name’s peoples.”

“Peoples, what kind of name is that?” laughs James.


“Its my name” says peoples, “Like we the peoples” He looks at James out of the corner of his eye then busts out a big grin.

“Naw, I’m Paul. I’m headed outta New Orleans, whats your name?”

“James”

“First time out?” says Paul “You look kinda soft” he suggests.

“Yea, just headed out”

“Well” says Paul, “I just want you to know that I just took some acid about 30 minutes ago and am starting to come on, so if you see my driving get too weird, you should take over."

“Uhh okay” says James, fear rising inside himself. What am I doing? he thinks, maybe Paul is just messing with me, if only I wasn’t having to be cool. Fuck. I want to scream.

“You know, you can live on those tomato packages for a while, but if you really need to keep going on the cheap I choose a slice of onion and a piece of sausage. Yea, if you can get that in your mouth you can keep going all day, just remember that little youngin.” says Paul.

“Uh, I will” offers James. “Thanks.”

After about 20 minutes Paul starts to look twisted and James is getting scared. He starts to giggle with the fear.

Paul looks at him, startled to see him there, says “Oh, I thought you were a girl when I heard you giggling. um. I better stop driving”, so Paul pulls over to the side of the road, looks at James and says “Are you a girl?”

“Um. no, Um, I don’t think so”, stammers James.

“You don’t think so!?” laughs Paul, “Well you aught to know!”

He is laughing now uncontrollably.

“Girl” he says “you should go now, I wont be able to drive for hours, your best bet is to find some guy you can work and get on the road to wherever you are headed.”

“Uh.. thanks” replies James. He grabs his duffel and slips out of the car, thankful to have averted being in an accident with this acid head. I really need to be more careful he thinks, walking off a bit then setting down to the side of the road for a breather and to contemplate all that has happened.

After getting a couple of rides out, he finds himself outside of Clarksville, off Hwy 20 smack dab in the pan handle. While sitting under a Sycamore tree, the strangest of things happened.

The Mystic and the Mystery

Marly and Jen Marly and her partner Jen are traveling on a cross country road trip to view the sites, meet up with various mystics and as it turned out - see one of the weirdest cultural phenomenons they had ever witnessed. Gaggles of middle age grown men - drunk as fuck - all riding vespas. Like a motorcycle gang, around and around and around on the two main streets of Key West. Swerving, laughing, ridiculous and thankfully due to their slow speeds relatively harmless. It was like watching a hazing ritual for a privileged class of overgrown boys.

Regardless, She and Jen had a wonderful time exploring the waters and meeting up with a long time friend in Sarasota, talking about galactic wars, and inter-dimensional accords and other meaningless speculations. 
They were tired of their travels, their car overloaded for the long trip and headed back, seeking to make some time thru the pan handle as it was not a place either them wished to languor.

As they were cruising along Marly in the passenger seat sees a young person sitting on the side of the road eating their lunch.

“Stop the car!” she shouts, “We have to see him!”

“What?” replies Jen “We don’t have room for a hitchhiker, plus we don’t know if he’s even safe.”

“Oh its not that, I just need to meet him” says Marly, speaking louder and faster than she needs to.

Jen for her part is used to such unexplainable impulses from Marly and pulls over. 

Marly opens the window.

“Hi! We don’t have any room for you in here but I just wanted to stop and say hello, you don’t really seem like you belong here, so I do hope we meet again, do you need any cash?”

“Um, no” replied James. “I’m good, but why did you stop?”

“Oh, I just felt the need to connect. Like We already know each other, or will in the future. Anyway… Many blessings to you, hope your travels go well" and they drove off.

“What was that about?” asks Jen.

“Well, I think I will be working with her, I mean him - sometime in the future. Its kinda weird I know but… hey. I’m kinda weird, you know.”

“Yea, I know you” says Jen, and they drive off down the road making time to get out of the deep south back to a more open minded west coast.

That was strange thinks James, they stopped offered me money but no ride. And I felt like I knew her, like she was connected to my future, but. Wow, off on my own with no place to go and I’m already falling thru the looking glass!

Several days on, Marly and Jen return to the pottery, south of Reno - their trip complete.

Marly gets back to the work of the pottery, Jen is off to her gold claim two hours to the east where she spends most of her time, pick ax, sluice box, chemistry lab. Its her passion but not Marly’s. Marly is a 52 year old, lifelong potter, mystic, witch, desert dweller transplant from the Pacific Northwest. She often misses the trees and the rain but not the people. Too much society makes her uneasy, she prefers time in her studio, finding her world most alive when engaged in her work. Her dish-pan hair is starting to turn grey , she wears it long - tied back in a bun or hidden under her hippy baseball type hat, good for the sun but made of hemp, long lasting, practical, earthy, natural.

Marly herself had been an apprentice to Bill McKinsey, an old potter who while traveling in china studied under the great glaze master and sculpture Hsian Lee - known for his amazingly lifelike sculptures and iridescent glazes that conveyed the glow of life itself set into stone.

She works primarily in Hsian’s style now, being passionate about her sculptural work. It is often described as transformational, original, timeless. Her sculptures are done in fine porcelain, colored to give the glow of living skin, convey a fullness of form, as though they have been created from the inside out. In each of these sculptures however Marly holds a secret.

As she sculpts “her” people, as she thinks of them, she transforms them, or more honestly from her perspective, they transform themselves. It is her real work, she knows this in her bones, but who can ever say such a thing, how can it ever be openly shared without being burned at a stake. Some of her people become stronger, some more creative, some more pretty, some more dull. some becomes social, others creative but always what they have always meant to be. All the workers at the pottery, “Mist Pottery” have been transformed by Marly’s magic. She has sculptures of them all. They are very happy to be themselves. And why not? Their dreams come true.

“Good pots require the ardor of vocation and the devotion of a lifetime”. Bernard Leach

Marly’s Story

“I first became aware of this talent when I was studying In Minnesota” she had said to Jen, the first and only person she has ever really shared the fullness of her talent and story - and interestingly, one of the only people she has never tried to sculpt.

William was having some back pain from unloading a truck full of raw clay gathered from a local quarry. His spine had been misaligned when the work started so it progressed into an acute pain after he was done.

I was in the studio sculpting as I tended to do for relaxation and empathizing with his pain and feeling concern for the school and studio if he was going to be unable to continue his work. As I sculpted I found I was working on the back of a man that I realized was Williams. I could feel how in the clay, some of his vertebra were misaligned and so I simply pushed them back into alignment - and as I did this, William who was puttering in the studio attempting to do some clean up while suffering, his back, made a cracking sound and realigned at that same moment.


He stopped, and said wow! Wow. He felt good again!

Sculpting At first I didn’t make the connection, of course, why would I? I was simply happy for his relief - and my own anxiety about out future quelled somewhat. I continued on this sculpture, refining this torso. I aligned the vertebra of course but then also added a bit more muscles into the shoulders and strengthened the lats, I still wasn’t aware that I was unconsciously working on Williams back - as in my mind it was just another mindless sculpture. But ,the next morning when we started up again, William remarked how good he felt and that his back felt better than ever.


I noticed he was standing straighter and when he lifted his first block of clay to his work table, he did so with a new found ease. He was around 55 years old at that time and was wearing an old t shirt he often wore but today it fit him more snuggly than it had and I could see his lats and shoulders where significantly more defined.

I almost fell to the floor with the thought that there was a connection between my sculpture and his bodies changes yet there it was, his back had the same symmetry as my sculpture. I walked out of the studio.

“Marly? Where you headed?” William called.

“I’m off for a walk, I have to settle some thought in my mind”

“Well, have a great time!” he said with a lilt in his voice. “I feel awesome today, going to work on something really big!”  he laughed in delight. I stumbled out into the winter sun shivering as the blood seemed to leave my limbs.

I had always been interested in transformation, in magic, in the collision between the astral worlds and the physical. Having studied early dutch magic as a child I came to encounter numerous stories, where a lock of hair tied to a doll offered an astral connection, or a tear or in some more advanced witches just holding a meditative thought of the person in question.

It appears this is what was happening to me, It wasn’t unusual in the old stories that each witch would have their own ways of working, there was nothing that said that holding ones mind focused was more affective than working with some gathered toenails - but that each must find there own way. It appears I had found mine and this changed everything.

I couldn’t wait to sculpt but was afraid to do so when anyone was around so I began sculpting alone, at night, in my private studio. First I tried making changes to myself but found nothing worked, then to my dog, my cats, even to the birds outside. Nothing seemed to work, maybe I was just making it all up.

Then came February 2. On that day my old dog was stiff with arthritis, as she got up from her bed and whimpered. I again was overwhelmed with empathy for her and rather intuitively found a piece of clay and began to sculpt her back legs, focused on the joints themselves. I could sense the dryness in her joints and simply reworked the hard little roughness in the joint and smoothed them out, again as I did this I saw my dear pup, sigh with relief and start to run around, wagging her tail, snuffling in the cold snow. It had to do with my connection and their desire, to empathy, I thought. Of course, of course, we can’t perform magic against another's will, it can only be in working together in harmony with their own unconscious desires that transformation can take place.

I was overwhelmed with a sense of purpose, I had discovered my dharma, my role in this life. Yes, I could run a pottery, but my magic was in my sculpture and in the end I could be a healer though forever not acknowledged. 


Was I limited to healing a body? What about a mind? A soul? 


I continued to work in Williams studio for three more years until it was time for me to go out on my own, building a pottery of my own to help employ and create in the arena I had the most knowledge - but most importantly to find people who’s lives I could assist in bringing their most precious dreams into reality.

I realized I was first and foremost a sculptor, but while my medium was the clay I was so fond of working with, my subjects were living beings.

I relocated to Nevada, the mineral rich land spoke to my romantic idealism of turning raw minerals into objects of beauty and the dry climate meant that I could work fast, both in the production of functional art as part of the pottery but also in my own studio while feeling my way through the forms revealing themselves in my clay. 


It turned out that all aspects of a persons lived experience could be altered, or totally reformed. Even their minds, their desires, even to a degree their personalities. I of course tread cautiously in this regard. I was not seeking to be a Dr Frankenstein - I could not make someone into something they were not themselves seeking to become - yet the depth of their mental emotional desires I was able to reach into and to reform, could easily appear to be profound.

“In pottery, every piece is unique, just like every person.”

Marly in the Studio Upon returning Marly is relieved to find what she had expected. While she has been away, the girls, primarily Ann at this point - have kept the entire operation running smoothly. Marly has little she needs to do other than unpack and reintegrate to her work here. Jen leaves her to it, they are both so similar and so different. It’s nice to have a partner who lets you be yourself.

Mist Pottery is run currently by three women and Marly. Ann, Kali and Gwen, sisters in spirit and a co creative force to be reckoned with. Marly has worked on all of them of course, their paths would not have intertwined otherwise. Ann, seeking self security and strength, creative expansion and personal strength. Kali - independence and a wild desire to tame natural elements of which she had been deathly afraid. And Gwen, a wall flower and lesbian who desires to be a friend to all and to find her best friend and partner, along with a hip deformation that has kept her sedentary, her transformation has been evolving perfectly over time, her hip, only a memory, her shyness, transforming into a purely delightful personality, that has even captivated the heart of Jen and Marly together.

Like the clay that has been recycled and reclaimed, our lives have the capacity for change


After the weirdest of days when James and that crazy woman met, her offering cash or blessings - but no ride, James feels like he is floating in a bardo of nothingness. No rides, no conversation, no progress, just himself and his backpack, his withering dreams of escape, only 100 miles or less from his home, stuck on the side of the road.

He called his mom last night, they spoke at length, all was good, he had their support and blessings. This was a great relief because he also had a credit card that they would help cover the balance on. With this security in mind He decides to call it a day and walks to a nearby hotel and get a room. Its a shabby hotel, but its private and its out of the heat of the day.

After lying down and shifting his head he decides to take a shower to cool off and refresh. There are numerous creams and soaps in the shower to use, some with the most delightful scent of jasmine, one of his favorites. He slips into the shower and takes his razor with him. After a warming shower he starts to methodically strip his legs of all the course and ugly hair on his legs. He has been fortunate to have little facial hair growth so while in the end he does trim off and smooth his face, he can delight mostly in stripping the hair from his legs and underarms. Pleased with the results he puts on some silk tap pants and sprawls upon the bed exhausted. He strokes his legs, and tucks his penis hard between his legs, later he will use a gaff he has packed and squeeze it even tighter inside, pressing and grinding until he cum’s, deep inside, his prostate bringing him the release he seeks and fall into a deep sleep of rejuvenation.

The next morning he decides to dress in his tightest jeans and keeps the gaff in place, donning a small amount of eye shadow.

Jamie Hitchhikes Jamie emerges to begins h.er journey in earnest and hopes that this way s.he might actually find a ride to get h.er further from this northern Florida hell hole s.he has thus far been stuck in.

S.he barely gets to the road when a truck stops.

“Hop in honey” a middle aged slightly plump man says as he pokes his head out while opening the passenger door “Where you headed girl?”

“Um, west” Jamie utters in her best girl voice.

“Well, ain’t that serendipitous, as so am I, in fact I’m headed all the way to Reno, where you making your final stop?”

“Ah, I was thinking San Fransisco” says Jamie.

“Well, girl this is your lucky ride then, I can get you almost all the way there and with the help of my little helpers, I wont need to sleep until after we arrive. Of course we can take a little rest now and again so were not all tuckered out when we arrive.” He lifts his brows a bit. “My names Sid, you can call me Sid.”

What is it with these dudes and their names, thinks Jamie.

“Hi Sid, my name is Jamie, thank you so much for the ride, this will be great. I spent all day yesterday here and no one stopped, well almost no one” she said.

“Well, I just don’t understand that” says Sid  “A girl like you can open any door you choose, especially mine.”

This comment made Jamie feel a flush of cold run over her, what am I getting myself into s.he thinks. and then a tingle of delight follows. Indeed what am I getting myself into?

“Thank you so much, this really is an amazing ride, I don’t know how I can thank you.”

“Oh - we can work it out” says Sid.

It turned out that Sid has a family in Ohio, drove miscellaneous items, currently carrying some custom car out to Reno for some rich collector. He even had a daughter about 10 he said. As they chatted Jamie began to feel more and more comfortable, Sid using a little speed from time to time, but he really did seem to be using it simply to stay alert and never got weird like the acid head of the day before. They chatted. Jamie making up a life story of her upbringing, Her parents lived in Miami, she was going out to see her boyfriend in San Fran, she had dropped out of college, she had been an art major focused in ceramics. She even created a best friend and spoke of how they liked to tease the guys they met, letting them take them out to the movies then ditching them before they were asked to go have sex.

“Now thats just a dirty trick”, laughed Sid. “But I suppose if I were you, I’d consider it too, your not all that tight now are you?” asks Sid.

Jamie looks at him, her groin growing tight “Well, I’m not okay sleeping with just anyone, but I’m not against a little sex either.“

“Well” says Sid, “I’m not exactly just anyone and I’d be happy with just a blow job for the ride, if you ever feel the desire.”

Jamie feels extremely excited and more than a little scared. S.he has never actually been with a man other than online. She has however studied how to be a girl, how to give head, and to act, to some degree always be safe she remembers her sissy community repeating, I think I am well past being safe, s.he thinks, Still, Sid seems safe enough and this is exactly part of what she was seeking when she left her life in Florida.

She giggles, and blushes, Sid, sits upright in his seat, the road rolls on, both of them silent for another 30 minuets or so, when Jamie decides to lay her head onto his lap, Sid unzips his pants and pulls out his huge erect penis while he strokes Jamies hair. Fellatio, she recalls the heading at an online school, you could say that this word is on everybody’s lips! The remembrance makes her smile, I’ve got this she thinks.


Ready to start your training?

Submit your application today!

 

autumn reign

This is the greatest find to date. Thank you, Superiors.

spreader