Beth Bolgla has a unique and wonderful vision for living. She’s present, clear-eyed, and curious, with the kind of positive attitude that seems both innate and thoughtfully considered. She’s is also optimistic about things that most people aren’t.
Beth visited our home a few years ago to discuss featuring her ceramics at Catherine’s Table, my former home goods business. I forgot she was coming and panicked when my husband walked onto the porch and said, “Someone’s at the door.” as if she were a traveling saleswoman. I was in my robe, and the trail to my closet went one way, through the front hall and up a flight of stairs. With no safe path to new clothes, I was forced to greet her in a furry, lime green robe with tropical print Lily Pulitzer pajamas inside. I don’t remember what my hair looked like.
If Beth had an opinion about my appearance, I couldn’t detect it. There was no brow lift or eye widening. You know, those microsecond facial changes you catch when someone’s social code is disrupted, and their judgy reflex kicks in. She greeted me and walked in with literally no perceptible response to my robe and pajamas.
I realized later that Beth wasn’t just being polite. To her the robe was a garment like any other, not clothing with a designated role. As we talked on my couch, I became more and more fascinated by Beth’s vision. Her perspective on things was so pure, and she expressed her curiosity without hesitation. Beth told me about her eyes weakening in middle age as if it were a gift, sharing how she could see things from a new point of view. It wasn’t just gratitude; she was curious and looking forward to opportunities to see things new ways.
I can see Beth’s vision in her ceramics, the variety of color and texture and the unique shapes. The words thank you at the bottom of her mugs are true. She is grateful for everything she has and experiences. I am inspired by Beth because she represents how we can be in the world: people who are present and willing to entertain new perspectives. I love the memory of our first meeting in my robe. She showed me how rich your life can be when your vision is pure.