I didn't plan on writing a book, but the voices wouldn't leave me alone. I am a potter. For the past twelve years I have made my living exclusively by playing in the mud, making stuff. With one semester left, I dropped out of college nine years ago to follow my passions, and I still am.
I was just minding my own business when the voices came. I don't remember the day, but I remember where I was. I was working on the wheel when Isaac started talking to me; telling me his story. Over the next few years, he brought his friends and they had tea parties in my head, messing up my hair and refusing to leave me alone.
I am not a writer, but I am a dreamer and I've heard they might be cousins, or maybe step-brothers. As these voices continued to visit me, I began taking notes. The things they were telling me were beautiful and instructive and meaningful. But I am potter. They should know better. I spin mud into vessels, not words into tales.
But they kept coming and bringing more friends.
Five years ago, as I sat at my wheel, my hands stopped working; at least the way I had been used to. I was confused. I am a potter, after all. I need my hands to make stuff. The voices danced about me, telling me they needed a voice others could hear. I reminded them I was a potter, but they wouldn't leave me alone.
So I began.
In the evenings, I started to write. The notes I started eleven years ago were jumbled and crazy, but the voices straightened me out. Their stories needed to be told. The people of Niederbipp needed a voice.
I am a potter with busted hands, but my ears still work. They told me they could work with that.
They don't pay much. In fact, I have yet to receive a dime. (They tell me the check is in the mail.) I realize I didn't do this for money, or for fame. I did it so the good people of Niederbipp would have a voice.
I hope it helps.
Ben Behunin 2008
(From the Prelude at the front of the book)