Hope Floats


I walked into her room in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.

“Who are you?” she demanded.

“I’m an artist,” I said.

“Awesome,” she said.

We were off to a good start.  I placed a lunch tray upon her lap,

opened a bag of clay and pulled out my toolbox filled with screws and plastic threaded dowels,  black rubber wheels from a broken truck and various “tools” to make impressions

in the clay.

“I love art,” she said and started to push and pull the clay, forming a small sculpture of a mushroom.

I told her about my clay project in the lobby of the hospital.  “I am making a clay boat and visitors and staff are helping me,” I explained. “I  have a small bowl filled with water and next to it are pieces of paper.  People write a wish or hope or concern onto the paper and then place the note into the bowl of water.”  “Cool,” she said.  “I then smear the wet notes onto the clay boat form and cover the notes with moistened, small clay patches:  almost like a patchwork clay-quilt.  Their wishes and hopes will be fired right into the boat,” I told her.  “That’s awesome,” she said.  “I think so too,” I said “and talked about healing and art and how the two are a natural fit.”  “You sound a little bit hippy,” she said.


When I left her room and returned to my work table in the main lobby, I noticed numerous notes floating in my bowl of water:

“For my sister.”

“Healing for my dad”

“My mom is really sick.”

“That my husband finds the strength to get better.”

“Joy to all.”

“Remission for my friend.”

“That my friend may find her way out of darkness.”

We often don’t know and cannot see what people carry in their hearts.  When I look into the bowl of water and read the cares and concerns, this is what I see:  Hope Floats.

Jude Prashaw
a Journey in Clay


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