Experiencing someone who has allowed a passion to follow her and is eager to share it makes for an enlightening afternoon. Meeting the artist, Alicia Lowe, at The Potter’s Barn was exactly that. Passion in the form of daily life.
Passion looks different as you go
Before I go too far, I will agree with what many think. The word passion is often overused and can create stress. The idea that life is not complete until you follow your passion is just too much for me to digest. After all, passion is something that has looked very different throughout my whole life and not something that I have been able to consistently follow.
It Is about discovery
Passion is more about discovery and isn’t that how life flows? My passions change as I uncover new interests and learn new skills. As a teacher, I always came alive when it was time to teach writing. It excited me because this was the time of day when I really got to know my students. Whether they realized it or not, they were expressing themselves and revealing their current passions. I was not writing as much at that time, but today I can see how my work as a teacher was creating this passion called Daybook.
Turn Right for The Potter's Barn
I have passed the weekend sign on the corner of Highway C40A nearly every time we travel through Inglis headed to Yankeetown, Florida. In fact, I have been seeing this sign for nearly 3 years. Each time I would point it out and read it out loud. I wanted to go, but for one reason or another, I always turned left and not right. I finally get to share this with you because just recently, I turned right.
the Potter's barn....Creativity in all directions
Her unassuming iron gate was open and gestured for us to drive in. We followed the gravel drive noticing that her property looked more like a park than a residence. There was creativity in every direction. As soon as we reached The Potter’s Barn and closed the car doors, we heard “Come in! I am so glad you decided to come see my space.”
Time with the Potter
I spent over an hour in The Potter’s Barn. Alicia, the artist, was ready to share her space and tell her story. On the surface, it is easy to say that her passion is pottery and to think she has followed it most of her life. Ok, this is probably partially true but after connecting with her I was able to walk away knowing that pottery was the unexpected vehicle that drove her to find her life’s work.
Discovery by accident
Like many, Alicia discovered her art form by accident. She simply took an elective class in college to satisfy a requirement. After a few semesters, she found herself employed as a potter and focusing on her craft. She was putting in the hard work to become skilled. Many, many years later, she finds herself with a thriving business, in an amazing, reclaimed barn on the property she and her husband have worked tirelessly to make their own. She sells a few pieces from her barn but mostly sells in a local shop where other local artists gather and encourage supporting small local businesses. Confirming even further that her hard work has landed her in a place she couldn’t have imagined while in her early twenties.
Still Creating Pottery
Years later, she finds she is creating pottery. Her life’s work developed her passion, not the other way around.
Life brings you to your passion
As we drove away, I realized that passion is not something we can force. I cannot allow the world to force me to “follow my passion”. I have had many careers and all of them have brought me to where I am right now…here, writing with you. Maybe it is wise to realize that you do not have to follow one passion. Life allows us to walk through seasons, do the work that is in front of us, and ultimately see that our passion has followed and evolved right alongside us. In so doing, we live a life we choose without the stress of “following our passion”.
Visit the potter's barn
If you find yourself near this uncommon place called Yankeetown, Florida on a Saturday, look for the open sign and visit Alicia in her peaceful potter’s barn.
The Potter’s Barn in Yankeetown, FL & Coastal Art Gallery in Crystal River, FL