We always had a kitchen full of homemade pottery, which I wasn't used to. I became fascinated with Jordan's pots. I became a ceramics critique, commenting on the glaze and the weight, the color and the curves, and later I was bold enough to comment on the theory of pottery aesthetics from my unqualified position.
I discovered that these handmade creations made me happier. I liked eating with them, handling them, and even washing them wasn't such a chore. There was often some small detail to be rediscovered. Beyond that, realizing the creation process made a difference to me. That is, looking at the pottery, I instantly recognize the object as being hand-made. With that, I know an individual put some care and time, thought and energy, into the pot. Looking at a plastic plate, or a mass-produced ceramic model, that process is instantly obvious as well. Maybe some assembly line worker glanced over my plate and checked it for defects as a machine pressed it and passed in on by. Which is sort of depressing to think about. The image reminds me of a job I had in a factory, staring a computer terminal, looking at x-rays of wheels to make sure they weren't defective. That was sort of depressing.
Being as I like to eat at least 3 times a day, I interacted a lot with Jordan's pots. I learned something from Jordan's pots. The first is that my environment really makes a difference, whether I like it or it not. This replaced my former notion that if I was just well-balanced enough internally, I could achieve maximum happiness in any environment. While I still find this notion of internal enlightenment attractive, the idea that my environment affects who I am has a nice twist hidden with in it: that I affect my environment. Specifically, I'm referring to the subtleties, like difference between a Wal-Mart plate and a Jordan Taylor plate from a distance. The difference may not even consciously register, but it's there.
So, I decided I wanted to be a handmade pot. I wanted to have that subtle texture that made people in my environment a little happier because I was somehow a little more appealing. I started shaving again. I switched from the big-ass lamb chops I'd been wearing to some more conservative burns. I even tried to shave every few days to stay maximize the clean-shaven look. I realize that not every one's got the same taste, but I figured maybe some people of the world held the view I do -- people that look like they've put some effort into grooming themselves are generally more attractive.
There was no tangible result from my experience, but that's what I expected. Instead I got a strengthened sense of how I'm connected with those around me, and how our happiness might be intertwined. All that from some pots.