The Perfect Selfie
Jaslyn started taking selfies when she was backpacking solo across Europe during her student exchange in Amsterdam. The permutations of facial expressions were endless against the backgrounds of cathedrals, stunning lakes and quaint buildings. She also developed the habit of scrolling through her photo album, staring into her face and figuring out what exactly she was thinking or feeling when she took that selfie. Jaslyn became quite obsessed with this activity, trying to figure herself out through those selfies. Surely those solo travels are a process of self-discovery, and the beautiful sights inspire a kind of beauty? Yet the closer she stared at those selfies, the more strange she felt to herself. It was the same when she put her face close to the mirror till even the carefully concealed blemishes became apparent. There was this prickly discomfort the more she did so, and that made her try even harder to get that perfect selfie. innisfree, Etude House, Majolica Majorca. Jaslyn could rattle off the makeup brands she had gone through in the search for the best concealer, mascara, lipstick.
It was in Italy that Jaslyn learnt that majolica referred to the exquisite ceramics that were twice-fired to create that stunning iridescent effect. No matter how she turned the hand-crafted plate around in her hands, it remained a flawless work of art. Jaslyn was seized with the urge to know the potter behind this majolica. Surely he who made the stunning piece must have a kind of beauty too. A selfie with him will be perfect. Somehow she managed to extract the information from the shopkeeper, and started the search with an address scrawled on her train ticket stub. He was damn hard to find. When Jaslyn was finally on the right street, she paused. Her heart was fluttering in anticipation. As she neared the house, she could see the potter's wheel. And then, the potter.
How can the potter be described? There was nothing in his appearance that should be desired. But still, since she had come a long way, Jaslyn approached the figure bending over the wheel. The potter, sensing her presence, paused and let her watch the wheel spin to a gradual stop. "I always tell tourists to take a picture of the earthen clay instead", his soft voice broke her trance. "See, the blemishes on this bowl have to be smoothened out before it can be fired the first time." His deft fingers ran across the clay. "But it is only in the transformation from fragile clay to ceramic, ready to be turned into a work of art, that these blemishes fade into the background. Refining fire. Making these majolica has taught me much about beauty." As Jaslyn looked full into the potter's badly scarred face, her heart welled with the recognition of deep beauty. "Yes, that would be perfect."
I know this is not from me because the idea literally walked into my mind when I was on my Hallelujah playlist on the way home today. Thank you, beautiful Potter.