Emil and I were first attracted to each other because we were both potters. We had a small pottery business in the early years of our marriage. Then it faded into the background as other things became more pressing.
Now that we have extra space in my basement, we're going to rechristen the pottery studio. I am so excited about being able to share this with him again.
Emil's work with clay began at a pivotal time in his life; he has long felt that working with clay is deeply healing for the soul. He'll be glad to have that back in his life again.
Making pottery is so good for both of us as individuals, and being able to share the joy and energy of that creativity will be wonderful.
Lise and Emil in Berlin. by Photo Credit: Susanah Stoessel
Meryl Ann: The way you solved your marriage issues is ingenious, and you and Emil -- the whole family - you are clearly all exceptionally creative. I know that creativity really comes in handy when raising a family, and also for problem-solving -- since a lot of that is behind you, how else is that creativity expressing now?
Lise: Aside from the whole pottery venture, Emil and I do a lot of collaboration on creative projects. As a Waldorf Nursery teacher, I often have ideas for toys and classroom equipment, and Emil, the builder, really enjoys bringing my ideas into fruition. We also work together in the garden, growing flowers, herbs and veggies, and try to do a little canning and tincturing at harvest time.
I'm sure your book will be an inspiration to many -- and, likely, a marriage-saver for a lot of readers, too.
Lise: Thank you so much, Meryl Ann, for helping us get the word out. It is truly our deepest hope that the book will inspire many others to find creative ways to not only save, but also reshape their marriages.
Pottery studio floor painting. by Photo Credit:Lise Stoessel
Lise's painting on the floor of the new pottery studio is a meadow-y lawn strewn with petals and seed pods, and seems like the perfect foundation for birthing a creative new season in their lives.
And one is left with the feeling that a couple that has negotiated such dangerous interpersonal waters, and come out not only afloat, but with sails intact, must have a better understanding of what real love is than any of the saccharine-laced princes and princesses of fairytale lore.
Stoessel family: Julie, LIse, Emil, Lisi, Susanah. by Photo Credit: Nora Mertens
"Living Happily Ever After -- Separately" (Nov. 2011, Brandylane) by Lise Stryker Stoessel is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other bookstores.
The Cast of Creative Characters
LISE STRYKER STOESSEL has a Master's degree in Waldorf Early Childhood Education from Sunbridge College (2006) and a Bachelor's degree in Social Welfare, specializing in Mental Health, from Stony Brook University (1976.) Her book is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Website: http://www.LiseStrykerStoessel.com ; (Although I haven't been in contact with Lise for a couple of decades, except for a few short emails peppered through the years, she and I were friendly due to being members of the same loosely connected community of artists in Virginia Beach, VA, in the 1980's. My strongest memories of Lise at that time are as a potter and embellisher of wearable art. Our mutual geographical changes launched both of us into new and unconnected life journeys, and reading the review copy of her book - which I requested from her publisher - and interviewing her has been the first major reconnection in these many years.) Lise also makes jewelry, knits, and dabbles in a wide variety of decorative arts. Daughter Julie models one of Lise's knitted creations below.
Julie models one of Lise's knitted creations. by Photo Credit: Lise Stoessel