Full Book coming soon…


When my daughter was 3 and her sister was a rolling heartbeat in my belly,

she asked if we could make party hats for the ball family.

34 balls came to the party at the dining room table:

tennis balls,

old fashioned red white and blue rubber balls

souvenir balls with airplanes or dinosaurs or swirly bits of twirl

suspended in some magical compound of clear bounce

tiny jacks balls

baby bocce balls and bowling balls

miniature baseballs, soccer balls, basketballs

handfuls of the sweetest little bouncers

in every colour,

from games and loot bags and plastic globes in mall dispensers

all corralled in a gossamer bag with a satin ribbon from Mama.

We made the party hats from any kind of paper:

gift wrap, tin foil, coloured paper, paper coloured, scraps.

we wrapped the paper into a cone,

and cut it where it would fit the ball

and taped it into place.

it was quite the party!

Ever since that day,

when we three

were such a huddle of closeness,

a bubble of party planning,

I’ve come to imagine,

over the years,

the games the Ball Family

might have played at their parties,

their family reunions and assorted festive gatherings…

What if they invited a boxful of alphabet pasta

to play Ball Family Scrabble and Boggle

and Balderdash and Charades?

What if the letters made friends into words

and the Ball Family played hopscotch and leap frog

and Red Rover?

What if they all went to the beach in the summer and wrote

messages in the sand and slipped them into bottles,

the Ball Family bouncing in to make stop dots and other marks

when the word lines got carried away

like those dancing trains at wedding parties

or what if, in the winter, the Ball Family put on their toques and went outside as snow balls

and pelted sense

into ice cubed messages on frozen rivers and lakes

and amongst the stars?

And what if the Ball Family realized they could use their bouncy selves and pointy hats

to bring meaning – through their dots and dashes and marks and curves and glyphs

of every imagining – to the tumbly, jumbled pile of letters, words and sentences

that form those endless, dancing trains of thought;

the poems and shimmering prose,

those heartfelt trains of soul and song,

of jazz, of rhythm and blues

that track their ways onto pages

and screens and scores

to make a magic code

that I could write and you could read

and we’d both know the knowing.

And what if that were all true?

and who’s to say it isn’t so?

now I’ve thought it

and written it

and drawn it

and told it

it’s as true as that huddle time so long ago

when we first made party hats for the Ball Family

and we shared a little bubble of knowing

there is always some way to make sense of the jumble…

Welcome to the Clay It Forward Studio

Coming Soon…

Using Clay Arts to teach kids the basics of financial responsibility and freedom using tips from experts in the field.