Pleasure eternally new

Pottery on display in an outdoor market, Concordia, Mexico 2004

Pottery on display in an outdoor market, Concordia, Mexico 2004

“There’s a joy without canker or cark,
  There’s a pleasure eternally new,
  ‘Tis to gloat on the glaze and the mark
  Of china that’s ancient and blue…”
Andrew Lang

Although a man wrote these words, most of the people I know who would really understand them are women.  I’ve found that I am among a large number of people who admire china and pottery.  I would gladly fill my cupboards with glorious varieties of dishes in beautiful patterns, if I had the unlimited space and money to do so.  As it is, I admire and often photograph beautiful displays of china or pottery in shops and markets wherever I go.  On reflection, that’s really better than owning it anyway; no need to wash, dust or worry about breakage.  Hats off to the skilled artists who brighten our everyday lives with useful art!  (A confession: I had to look up the definition of the word cark.”)

This post was originally published seven years ago today. You can view the original with comments here.


  1. Good morning, Julia!
    I took your advice and took photos of the lovely glassware I saw in one shot in Akumal. I think Patrick was afraid I’d be tempted to buy something. He kept saying, “you can buy all this stuff at Goodwill” (presumably having been brought back from other tourists visiting Mexico).
    Instead I bought – ice cream! Something useful! LOL

    • Great call, Susan! And Patrick is right. I’ve been amazed at what lovely glassware I’ve seen at Goodwill. I can tell I’ve gotten old because I like the merchandise at antique shops and thrift stores more and more…it’s all from my past! 😀

      • Yes! I was out looking for old sconces with my friend, Kate, and I could see the danger clearly … While looking is fun, and we may see something our moms had when we were young, what is really tempting to “own” are the items we remember from our grandmothers’ houses.

        • Yes, I am continually coaching myself that enjoyment does not require ownership. Right now I’m in the stage of applying that to stuff I’ve owned (and loved) for years. If I knew anyone who would want or appreciate my possessions, I would happily give away over half of them right now. If anybody has any particular trinkets on their own personal “want” lists, they should let me know. I might have something I could give them. I don’t like fooling with selling things, so most of what I part with, I give to Goodwill.

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