Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Yes, I'm Still Here

Doorway in Paris, July 2009
Last week was a very busy one. I saw my friend Kathleen, who you may remember as Hayden's & Gunnar's mom. She is doing well, and I am grateful to God for sustaining her and giving her joy in life.

I worked diligently on the Open Door blog with my friends Chris, Karen J. and Robin. It was a deep week of mining our memories of the passing of each of our children. We wrote our memories and read each other's. These are hard stories, and they bring up deep grief for ourselves and for one another - yet the work is good, powerful and meaningful. I read, wrote and prayed a lot. On those days, there was little time or energy left to write here.

You may recall the poem, Litany, by Billy Collins. I had an inspiration (and a visual concept) after watching the videos of Samuel (the 3-year old  boy) and Mr. Collins himself reciting the poem, so I wrote to him and asked his permission to create a book out of it. He said, "No." I loved my concept so much that I dared to argue with him (politely) in an email. No go. I am still working on it, for myself - not for publication - and devoted hours to the project last week. It was challenging and rewarding to see the images in my mind take shape, and a good counterpoint to all of the mental work I was doing last week. I am happy with the product, although I was disappointed to learn that Mr. Collins' considerable creative imagination does not stretch as far as I had assumed a poet laureate's would. {Other applications for a work of art ARE possible, even though they are not what you had in mind when you made it. But it is his masterpiece, so I will leave it at that.}

I met with another bereaved mother, a talented sculptor whose son died over 20 years ago, and heard/discussed a vision that she has for a local group of moms of children who have passed away. It was fascinating, and I will wrote more if/when it comes to fruition.

A reporter friend came to interview me about Katie's Comforters Guild, blogging and what is going on now. She did a wonderful job of making me feel at ease, and it was a pleasure sharing news with her. We had four new offers of help and/or inquiries about membership last week, including a donation of fabric. The guild continues to grow and to be a blessing - I'm very thankful for each offer of help and each member's contributions.

Gregg and I spent a quiet and happy weekend exploring our area on foot, seeing friends, pruning plants and cleaning up the yard, watching good movies and enjoying each other's company. I love that guy!

The Zags lost their basketball game in overtime.

All of this means that the house is in a bit of a mess, and I have to get busy cleaning now. Blessings on your day.


deb said...

I'm glad you are still here.
And you live so intentionally .
Just sharing like this ,
it's more than enough because of who you are.

Jennifer Stumpf said...

I have a jewelry artist friend who had a less than enthusiastic audience with Mr. Collins as well. Apparently he is known for his abrupt put offs. Anyway, happy to read your blog again here in my office. Happy day to you! xxoo jennifer

Busy Bee Suz said...

I knew you were there...you were being busy though. You have a lot of eggs and a lot of baskets Karen.
I have to say that just reading the word: "NO" stung me. I am sure it did for you too.
I am so glad to hear that Kathleen is doing well, I really do think of her often.

the Lola Letters said...

You have a beautiful life Karen. Thank you for sharing.

Allegra Smith said...

I am visiting carefully but I wanted one of my first venturing out to be to you and to your dear dear friends who so generously send good thoughts and prayers while I was at Death's door and poor B.Loved was as lost as one could be under the circumstances.

I am slowly, albeit still spending a lot of time in bed, venturing downstairs, getting into my atelier but only to make sure things are in order there, visiting blogs but my eyes get tired easily still.

I am delighted you liked the little tokens, as I was to give them to you when you came and I totally forgot. Give my love to Gregg and... we may be coming up to Seattle Feb 11 and staying until the 14th! Hope this happens and to see you both some time that weekend. Much love and gratitude to you and everyone who send me love and prayers from here.

Lynda said...

Hi Karen,
I've been meaning to post for eons...so glad to see Allegra here, loved the D'Angeli-Brogan photos of our old neighbors in December, all of your little side-trips in the NW keep us inspired. Hope one day you come to Whidbey and I can have coffee with you and Christy!
I really appreciate the intentional way that you are spending your thoughts and your days.
Happy New Year.

Super Anonymous said...

You are so busy! It all sounds like good work.

Elizabeth said...

I knew you were still there -- here -- everywhere, in all your sweetness.

Thanks for bringing us up-to-date, though because it's always, always good to hear.

the Lola Letters said...

Thank you for your kind comment on my Housewife on Fire blog! Coming from someone like you, it totally made my day.

I've been reading deeper and deeper through your posts and all I can say is - what an amazing woman you are!!

You've got a new follower in me.

Karen said...

Karen, your world is wide and your reach is beautiful. You touch us all with your graceful approach to living--even when there is so much going on. It is okay for you to go as long as you come back. (haha)

Good news from Allegra, too. So happy to hear it.

rebecca said...

dear karen,

you fill your life with devotion and compassion. i love reading where your heart takes you and all the people whose lives you touch profoundly.

so glad to know you and also enjoy the love you so generously extend in your ever day.


Mary Potts said...

You've done grief work while evoking strong memories in the company of kindred spirits. You stay in touch with others who walk a similar path. Your creative energies flow with purpose and intention. And you've got a kick-butt husband to share it all with.
You GO girl!

AnnDeO said...

I am tickled by your tenacity... in coming up with an idea and still pursuing and believing in it when obstacles are placed in your path. Blessings to you in all your endeavors.

Dawn ~ BJSMomma said...

Thank you for sharing....I love to see what is going on, on your coast. Enjoy!

~ although I never got to meet her, I do think of Katie often...and her name is spoken here in Delaware, especially when I am praying for your sweet family!

Jason, as himself said...

I'm glad you're using your creativity to deal with your loss and helping others to deal with theirs.

What a bummer that he said "no" to you. Maybe he'll come around.