It's been a big puzzle. It's one thing to know that you're coming to the end of something. It's another thing to know how to shape what's coming next.
So, you know that the biggest burden and hindrance to your survival is the place you live. So you simply leave and set up elsewhere, right?
Well, maybe. But what if where you live is also central to how you make whatever living you're capable of making? What if you can't make a greater annual income -- no matter what you do? What if you are 60 years old and have never been employed at anything else...so you're essentially unemployable at anything else anyway....
....unless somehow you can survive on a whole lot less? What if the problem isn't how much you're capable of making so much as it is that your circumstances -- the very circumstances you require to make your living -- take too much of what you make? In the words of Yul Brynner: "Is a puzzlement!"
Well, I now have an outside source of income. And it involves doing what I do. I still make pots. I just don't make MY pots anymore. Oh, I do make my pots still -- or, at least I will until I finally move from this place, at which point I won't make my pots anymore unless I can figure out a way to set back up.
Anyway, as I said, the great extraction has begun. I'm selling off stuff. I'm going to have to learn to be a nomad. No more grand old house with the two kilns out back. No more pastoral poetry about life in this old place with its wooded acre and 40 acre conservancy across the street allowing me to feel as though I'm in the country. No more poplar floors that I refinished with a belt sander. No more 11 foot ceilings and 12" baseboards and 6" mouldings with wooden shuttered windows that I made.
And I can't see lugging my pottery collection around. 40 years of collecting things that simply don't fit in a nomadic lifestyle of cheap rental houses. The antique furniture will mostly go off to live with the next generation of my family if they want them.
I remember hearing someone saying something like, "I hold the things I own lightly, that way it won't hurt so bad when they are someday pried out of my fingers." It was good advice.
I'll be trying ebay to sell off the pots. I have a few of them up right now (it's a long process).