Reason for Being: Michael Ruh

Michael Ruh

A global pandemic and our thoughts turn inwards to safety and preservation. We’ve continued working in the studio, our little “studio family” carrying on with the one thing we know - making - albeit with new physical parameters. It offers security and continuity.

It seems ridiculous at a time like this to be making and somewhat to our surprise others think of us and place orders, for which we are grateful. Natascha is doing the administrative work from home. We share the home schooling of our child but unevenly, Natascha bearing most of the duties while I’m at the studio.

The studio is peaceful, the phone quiet, the comings and goings of the neighbouring workshops diminished, the noisy mechanic next door silent. An incongruous tranquillity in the midst of menace.

I read the headlines and am relieved of the apprehension that I may be required to grieve my parents. Both Natascha and I each released from that heaviness already. Another incongruous tranquillity.

We have experienced a frenzy of gardening, our allotment certainly wondering why it's receiving so much attention lately as we crumble the clay soil through our hands. Sowing seeds expectantly and impatiently, birdsong prevailing over the absent airplanes. Bucolic urban bliss, this thing of planting uniting us as a family.

I bake bread twice weekly now. It brings those lost near to me, and helps me to join with those still here. It’s a kind of personal bread charity, uniting me with elderly neighbours or friends in need of something that reminds them of home. Feeding the starter daily and planning my activities around baking day gives me a tranquil routine of duty.

I think of what it will be like “when this is all over” and imagine joining together with friends around one table to eat. I imagine the landscape of the table. The tools for eating, drinking and serving, and my heart remembers the path binding me to times past and yet to come.

Michael Ruh, Glass Artist
Reason for Being

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