I am writing sparingly for a while, due to intense pain in my wrist (the dreaded carpal tunnel syndrome). No matter. The moment I want to share today is best captured with few words.

Sometimes I come across a piece of ceramic that is quite simply perfect. This is one, from the wonderful Brooklyn Museum. Created in 2000 by Sakiyama Takayuki (a Japanese artist born in 1958), this vessel, which stands about 24 inches tall, is called Rippling Wave--Hamon. Slabs of clay were carved into a pattern that suggests the movement of water; the glaze was infused with sand. This piece, which could hold a single branch, is many worlds in one: vessel, garden (kare sansui), and, in the tradition of the raked garden, ocean.

It caught my eye; I caught my breath. And gazed in wonder. What the human hand--and heart--can create is nothing short of astonishing.

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