72 comments on “Patra 026

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    Oh my, I am SO honored to be the next ‘holder’ of the bowl. This project is so incredibly profound and I am excited about the journey.
    The bowl will come to me on Dec. 30th and I have invited a circle of my dearest friends over on New Years Day for the opening of the package. I’m open to the gifts that having it in my life will bring and I am excited to discover who it is that I will want to pass it on to! The PASSAGE begins as I write this note. Thank you my most special, lifelong friend Andria for sharing this passage with me as I will be turning 60 this spring and it is a joyful rites of passage for me on many levels. More to come.

    • Reply
      Jan VanSchuyver

      And I’m blessed by your giving and receiving, Donna. It was a pleasure and an honor to hold your Patra bowl # 26, and your gift to me, my matchbox shrine, has an honored place in my home. I appreciate it’s fleeting time with me before it goes to grace the home of another puppeteer.

      • Reply
        Donna Stjerna

        Wow Jan, thanks SO SO MUCH…the more PUPPETEERS the BETTER…that’s what I say! Yeah, glad you are part of the journey.

  • Reply
    Andria Friesen

    We celebrated Patra 26 and the Solstice with a blessing at the job site of our new home. Here are excerpts and photos from the blessing:

    May this home be a lucky place,
    Where the graces our life desires
    Always find the pathway to our door.

    May we have the eyes to see
    That no visitor arrives without a gift
    And no guest leaves without a blessing.

    With Love and Gratitude – Robert DeGennaro + Andria Friesen

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    Oh how lovely! I love the blessing for your new home and I will read that blessing as I welcome it into our home! I am SO incredibly honored to have been chosen by Andria to be the 2nd recipient of the Patra Bowl. I look forward to the interaction with it and the journey that we take together. I especially look forward to reading the inscriptions on it! Happy New Year to ALL.

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    Years ago my partner & I were gifted a weekend retreat at a local resort spa from friends in our community, as a ‘thank you’ for the community service that we have done though our music. It was a struggle for me to be open to receiving such a gift. I did a lot of introspection at that time and wrote this song. I still have much to learn about receiving…it is a challenge for me, much easier to GIVE than to receive. I welcome this gift with open arms as my TEACHER!

    Giving & Receiving Words and music Donna Stjerna

    I once knew a girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead
    When she gave she felt good, when she took she felt horrid
    But giving and taking are a circle indeed,
    if you give you gotta learn to receive…
    open your arms like a basket, open your heart like a well.

    Let the gifts come flowing in And fill your basket to the brim
    When your baskets good and full
    Pour it out and you will know
    That giving and taking… Are a circle indeed…
    if you give you gotta learn to receive…
    open your arms like a basket, open your heart like a well

    Last night I had a dream, I was a sieve And love was flowing
    out of me…just like a river like a river full of knowing…
    that giving and getting are a circle indeed..
    If you give you gotta learn to receive
    Open your arms like a basket, open your heart like a well.

    Fill your bucket from the well Drink until you’ve had your fill
    Then spill it out upon the land And fill your bucket up again…
    Cuz giving and taking are a circle indeed I
    f you give you gotta learn to receive
    Open your arms like a basket, open your heart like a well.

  • Reply
    Robert and Andria

    As we pass Vessel 26 to Donna we created one last memory…
    Blessings on your journey Patra 26!

    Robert and Andria

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    Greetings and Happy New Year!

    Patra Bowl #26 was opened today, Jan. 1st… in the presence of 16 dear friends. Each friend held and beheld the vessel. I created a special place for it in my Tree Room (inspired by Andria Friesen’s book SPEAK FOR THE TREES). Andria is the one who passed the bowl to me so if felt like the rightful place for it to reside.

    I leave for a week long trip to California tomorrow to visit my sister and when I return I want to begin a ‘musical’ conversation with the bowl. Recently I acquired an amazing handmade fiddle. It is an Ozark Hardanger fiddle with a lion’s head scroll and 8 strings, 4 are simply sympathetic. (A Hardanger is a traditional Norwegian fiddle, but this has a totally different body shape). It was made by a 90 year old man who lives back in the Ozark hills. I fell in LOVE with the fiddle but couldn’t afford it…so I wrote and asked if he would consider BARTERING a SONG for the fiddle. He agreed! I wrote a song about him and Fang (that’s what I named it) is now part of my world.

    The reason I say all this is because for the past 30 years or so…I would ONLY play my fiddle when I was learning a song to perform. My fiddle had sadly taken a ‘back seat’ to my love of songwriting. So I intend to begin each day with fiddle in hand and attempt to be ‘empty’ like the bowl and to allow a ‘musical’ offering to transpire. It will be an adventure…my personal journey with the bowl. If I can figure out the technology I might even try to record these musings! LET THE PASSAGE BEGIN. Yippeeeee.

    • Reply

      New Year’s day at Donna and Kelly’s home is always noteworthy, filled with creativity, friendship, fine food and joy. This year was especially endearing as a small group of friends gathered to witness the opening of this beautiful bowl and hear Donna’s intent to use this vessel to further her life goals of peace, music and the creative spirit. She made each of us matchbox shrines embellished with a special message and collage to brighten the receivers life. Thank you Donna for all you do to inspire the best in all of us!

      • Reply
        Donna Stjerna

        Oh Cindy…thank you for posting your thoughtful words
        and for being part of my LIFE JOURNEY in so many ways.

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    Here’s a photo of me and FANG. Before I leave for California tomorrow…I think I’ll introduce Fang to the Bowl!!! Maybe I need to give the bowl a name while it’s in my presence…I name everything…even the trees in my neighborhood. There is some amazing writing on #26, I’ve yet to decipher what it says. Hmmmmmmmmmm.

    • Reply
      Donna Stjerna

      Hmmmmmm…I had grand schemes of writing a fiddle manifesto for the bowl on my new fiddle Fang, as a daily meditation of sorts, but you know what they say about the best laid plans. I did introduce the two of them (the fiddle and the bowl) and had a lovely ‘jam session’ one afternoon but that is all that became of it. My partner calls me his ‘schemer’…guess it fits. Maybe some of that music found it’s way into the bowl and resides there???

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    I’m making tiny shrines out of little matchboxes and mailing them to folks who have touched a corner of my life. I’m giving them the link to the Patra Passage Project so that they can widen the circle and be part of the sharing. If they so desire they can too pass along the simple shrine as a symbol of giving in this circular way. I am attaching a scan of the first shrine that I sent to the artist Lynda to thank her for creating the Patra Passage circle!

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    I hosted a 5 course sit down dinner and concert last night for 10 folks as a fundraiser for The OMNI Center (our local Peace, Justice & Ecology Center) and before the concert I passed the Patra Bowl around and gave each person a ‘personal’ matchbox shrine so they could be part of the journey. I tried to post all 10 but it didn’t work…so I’m just posting my favorites!

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    Sent our 30 matchbox shrines in the mail today! I’m beginning to see who I will be sending it on to…getting a glimmer!

    Here’s another little shine

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    My fiddle Fang is in the instrument hospital till Monday so I can’t begin my musicial bowl offerings till I get it back next week. Here is another couple matchboxes.

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    One more! Happy Wednesday and almost a FULL MOON! Bowl #26 (Genii) has a lovely silver interior that reminds me of the MOON.

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    This little shrine I gave to my Mother-In-Law-To-BE. I adore her. Her son and I have been partners for 18 YEARS and we are finally tying the knot. She was one of the several loved ones that witnessed me unveiling Bowl #26! The photo Cindy posted is of Marybess and me opening the bowl. I am BLESSED!

  • Reply
    Andrea Turner

    Was happy to be part of a gathering of creative like minds who shared in the presence of Patra Bowl #26 this past weekend at a cabin near Beaver Lake. The bowl became a central point of inspiration for many creative exercises. Five of us gathered around the bowl Sunday evening and created our own Patra artwork and it was exciting to see the variety of interpretations that came through each individual! Donna, thankyou for letting us be a part of the journey. The vision was shared. We rallied around the bowl through music and art creation. We began our retreat with Donna presenting the bowl to us and throughout the weekend we wrote thoughts down on paper to be held in the vessel until we ceremonially burned them right before we began the drawings and paintings – some even used the ashes in their artwork. What an experience!

    • Reply
      Donna Stjerna

      Thanks for inviting the Patra Bowl to our ‘No Boys Allowed’ weekend. I feel refueled and refreshed and thoroughly enjoyed the interaction and sharing of the bowl. Your suggestion for us to DRAW the bowl was a challenge for some of us (myself included) but we all rose to the adventure with gusto. All the offerings were moving to me and I’ll hang them on the door near the Patra Passage Altar. xoxoox Donna

    • Reply
      Donna Stjerna

      Here is a scan of the ‘card’ I made of the bowl. It is in two installations, the front and when you open the card there is lettering. It is a section of the magical writing that is on bowl #26. I wish I knew what it said or meant, it is SO MYSTERIOUS and I am SO CURIOUS!

      (My lettering doesn’t come close to capturing the mystical quality of Lynda’s letters but… Oh Well, it’s the thought that counts.

      • Reply
        Donna Stjerna

        OK…here is the inside, a snippet of magical writing. If anyone out there can tell me what it says I will be eternally grateful! (Tee Hee)

  • Reply
    Dirje Childs

    Dear Donna–how very moving to find the beautiful little shrine you sent me…..the little shrine says it all. I am deeply honored to be a part of the Patra passage…and am sending you love an energy to rest in and fill bowl #26….as artists we are like empty vessels that are constantly open yet full….I let the little shrine rest on one of my latest labors of love. Permission. Permission to be filled with our song, and then to pour it out……with much love and joy,

  • Reply

    Dear Donna,
    I just received my shrine, and I love it!!!!! It is special to me and I can’t wait to be apart of the sharing circle! Thank you for always being there for me, and being so wonderful!!!!! Thank you for being the best god mother in the world. I love you so much:) Xoxo

    Blue (Your god child)

    • Reply
      Donna Stjerna

      Thank you darling BLUEBERRY…I just got the little crocheted birds you sent from Costa Rica, The Hummingbird is nesting in the Patra Bowl for a while! You are precious, thanks for the posting.

  • Reply
    Alison Moore

    I received my matchbox shrine just as I was hitting the road for a month-long trip to Arizona. It became the dashboard shrine and reminded me to breathe (which I often need to be reminded to do).

    I read Lewis Hyde’s “The Gift” in grad school and was so struck by the concept of potlatch and gift-giving as a metaphor for the creative process. Hoarded, objects lose power; given away they have motion and energy. And so it is with art. As a writer, I know that a manuscript kept in a drawer does not receive the magic of the reader who transforms my written words into imagery with her imagination. It’s the transformative process that continues the creative process. What I love about real books is they can be shared. In this spirit of creativity in motion I received this matchbox shrine as well as the wonderful story of Patra. Both will be passed on.

    • Reply
      Donna Stjerna

      Oh Alison…you have such a beautiful way with words, you are truly a gift in my world. Thanks for the lovely post and being part of this patra journey with me.

  • Reply
    Budhi Whitebear

    This bowl and the PatraPassage experience have touched me because my friend Donna received Number 26. On NewYear’s Day she gave me the matchbox shrine with the cat-being that says, “Try Something Different.” Recently I finally figured out how to interact with this website!

    Donna and I have set aside a couple days to spend in my studio out in the woods above the Dry Fork Creek. Over the years, in the deep of this natural quiet, we’ve shared a lot of discoveries as we worked side by side creating images out in the little glass building. Tomorrow we’ll be stoking the wood stove as well as the fires of our creativity. This time outside our daily routines, outside the noise of the town, outside! is a gift we give ourselves and each other. The Bowl is our guest, invited to share whatever we experience and to inspire us as we inspire each other.

    Being exposed to the PatraPassage focuses my attention on themes related to those Lynda speaks of in the movie: the potential of art no longer present; the role of undirected trajectory in an artwork; spinoff experiences with the patra; the experience the bowl ‘collects’ as the project proceeds; “the object is not the gift, it’s the opportunity for the gift”; how we re-experience something when the object is no longer with us. My matrix for my time together with Donna and Bowl 26 is to explore my experience with my own art, gifts and gifting.

    I’m grateful to be part of such a wonder-full, open ended, exponential image experience. Thank you.

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    I am at my friend Budhi’s house for a weekend with ‘Genii’ #26. The post above is me holding the bowl in 3 positions…Inward, Neutral & Outward. This is the way I interface with life…often my heart (bowl) is OPEN and gathers MUCH but often it is simply in the NEUTRAL position and more than I would like, it is in the INWARD position. All three positions are natural but I desire to focus my bowl more OUTWARD more often. A month ago I flew out to California to visit my sister. I am not a fan of flying and I was sequestered in the last seat on the plane. It was LOUD and the plane was full except for the window next to me, I was grateful for the empty seat as my bowl was facing as INWARD as it could possibly be. Before they closed the door a large man lumbered down the isle towards me. He was the window seat. I politely let him by without thinking about offering him the isle seat. He wanted to converse with me and I wasn’t in the mood and feigned sleep. That eve when I was settled in my room the idea of the bowl being part of my heart center and the different
    ‘positions’ came to me. I thought about that fellow traveler and was sad that I didn’t offer him the isle…and that I didn’t take the time to
    make his acquaintance. It’s not that I would have needed to engage in a full fledged conversation with him but maybe I missed an opportunity to meet an amazing person! I’ll never know. I am trying to turn my bowl OUTWARD more and more after that experience.

  • Reply
    Budhi Whitebear

    This is a 17 syllable poem that came as I drove to pick Donna up on Sunday to come out to the country with No. 26, “Genii.”
    I am the patra.
    This bowl begs to receive the
    gift of your love. Now.

    In the interim since Donna and I set aside this time to be together with the bowl out here by the Dry Fork Creek, my friend and close neighbor on the creek became seriously ill. She was to have major surgery on Monday morning. Donna and I decided that we’d make ceremony with the bowl to honor Francesca’s journey, which incidentally would involve the healing of her feminine vessel, her womb. Sunday evening we took “Genii” to her house so that she and her husband could experience the bowl. They took us on a walk to a vortex on the creek where eagles roost. As soon as we reached the creek, I found a white heart rock that looked just the size to fit in the bowl. I saw that we’d include the rock in our ceremony, then give it to Francesca. We saw two eagles. Francesca sang while we watched the eagles fly in for the night. Back at her house, she and Vela wrote messages to put in the bowl as part of the ceremony we would make down at the creek in the morning during her surgery.

    Monday morning we tore pieces of handmade paper from Nepal into 108 pieces that fit in the bowl. Donna and I each wrote something to go with Francesca and Vela’s writing. Another friend came by and joined us, doing the same. He brought feathers as gifts. We packed Genii up and carried her–filled with these tokens– to the creek, where giant ice cycles are dripping off the rock bluffs. We found our spot and placed the feathers in the four directions. We lit the colored papers and messages and they burned around the heart rock. The wind came up and the dark sky cleared to let the sun through. When the fire went out, we emptied the ashes in the flowing water.

    Then we carried Genii with the heart rock inside over to one of the giant ice formations and watched–and listened–to the melting drops as they filled her up. I love the contrast and blend in the music of the creek flow as it joined with the hundreds of droplets melting every second. We felt complete with the ceremony.

  • Reply
    Budhi Whitebear

    This is the final photo of this particular journey. The bowl got filled and we emptied it. The sight and sound in the moment was exquisite. It makes me think of how “my” bowl is filling as it empties, emptying as it fills.

    Now a new phase of No. 26′s journey begins. She’s going to hang out here in the country for a little while before she is presented to the the third recipient. I’m overflowing with new images and thoughts about “the gift.”

  • Reply
    Budhi Whitebear

    2/22/14 This bowl likes to travel. Today she’s going with me to Women’s Land. There’s a Grove, a sacred circle of trees there, and I hope we get to visit that spot. Whether we do or don’t get to the Grove physically, that’s my image today: I’m carrying a vessel made sacred by all the love that’s been poured into it to a place made sacred by Nature and years of women’s experiences there.
    I am the vessel
    that holds the gift.
    I open to Your love.

  • Reply
    Budhi Whitebear

    I’m intrigued to see objects interacting with each other. Sharing the Patrapassage and the bowl with other people is fun–I love to see their faces light up when they see the bowl come out of the box, and then when they see the web page with all the other bowls and the scope of the project they’ve just become part of.

  • Reply
    Budhi Whitebear

    Last Saturday, No.26 and I travelled to visit and paint with Ariel (that’s Zoe under the table). No. 26 offered her unobtrusive but powerful presence–she’s there sort of hidden in the middle of the table. The conversation was about the power of gifts, and we painted about gifts we’d like to give and those we’d like to receive. This bowl has a way of deepening conversation just by it’s presence–another gift of the Patrapassage.

  • Reply
    Budhi Whitebear

    Out here on the Dry Fork we’re iced in good. And the icy quiet has created a wonderful time out of everything. Francesca had her surgery and came home from the hospital and her friend Violet’s visiting to help her as she begins to heal (see post of Feb. 18). I saw us making papier mache bowls, so they braved the road and came up to the studio and two days we’ve been stoking the fire and making, making, making. Francesca sees 108 bowls. No. 26–and the Patrapassage–is at the heart of all this. Thank you so much, Lynda. I think the poem I wrote this morning tells it best:


    The women are making bowls.
    The women are bowls.
    We are spirit bowls,
    sacred bowls,
    bowls of ceremony.
    The women are making bowls.
    Bowls with holes,
    hoary bowls,
    paper bowls with antique beads
    and rove from sheep they’ve tended.
    The women are making bowls to focus their awareness.
    Soul is the bowl that holds everything.
    The women are making bowls.

    108 bowls
    imagined in ice by fire.
    Did you know
    that the Sun is 108 times bigger than the Earth?
    that the distance from the Earth to the Sun
    is equal to 108 suns side by side?
    that the distance from the Earth to the Moon
    is equal to 108 Moons side by side?
    (There’s more.)
    One thing.
    No thing.
    Every thing.
    108 paper bowls.
    What can they possible hold?
    God, emptiness, and infinity,
    enough love.
    Enough love for what?
    Enough love to make the Joy Giver smile.
    These bowls contain the whole of existence.
    Then empty them out!

    The women have been making bowls for a long time.
    They laugh and eat and relax together while they make.
    They tell stories and recall ancient myths and other lifetimes.
    Fingers remember forgotten folds and far away poa fields.
    Friendship tea gets cold while they sit in silence.
    they weave wordless poems into
    paper vessels
    to honor each other and the One.
    This love making honors she-who-is-in-need-of-healing
    as well as all those who’ve ever hurt.

    The women have made 108 bowls.
    Contemplate the Great Vessel that holds us all.
    Contemplate the void.
    Contemplate eternity.
    Remember giving and receiving.
    These bowls hold love.
    Empty them only to fill them again.
    Be the bowl.
    Be empty.
    Be full.
    Be whole.

    When the ice melts
    carry the bowls into the woods and dance.

    • Reply
      Donna Stjerna

      What a BEAUTIFUL poem and photo of the paper bowls with GENII. I just LOVE the stories that you have poured into her…this has been such an amazing journey. I am in awe!

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    We had an intimate wedding ceremony on Earth Day April 22nd 2014. Genii, Bowl #26 was an important part of the celebration. She held 2 candles that we lit for our parents who have passed on so they could be with us in spirit. Also a long piece of white ribbon that Kelly and I have been ‘tying the knot’ on once a year for 16 years. We each added a new knot with a pearl bead in between to signify the new journey as husband and wife. My heirloom ring also rested in the belly of the bowl. Kelly’s great aunt bought the ring in 1904 at the World’s Fair and gave it to Kelly’s grandmother. Kelly’s Mom inherited it when she was in High School and now it is mine to treasure. One final element in Genii’s trust was a small piece of Shungite. Shungite is a carbon-like mineral that is over a billion years old and is only found in an area on the Finnish/Russian border. The very place where my Saami relatives come from. As I changed my last name from my old family name Stjerna…to Mulhollan I wanted a natural representative to bear witness on behalf of my ancestors.

    Genii has gathered so many amazing stories and has many more on the way. Blessings!

  • Reply
    Donna Stjerna

    One more picture…the PATRA WEDDING KISS. We get home from Costa Rica on my 60th birthday, May 7th and on the 8th…I will pass Genii on to the 3rd recipient but I don’t want to spill the beans yet as to WHO it is. I have learned so much from that lovely bowl over the past several months, even though I am passing her on…her essence and lessons will always be a part of me. Thank you Lynda for allowing all of us to be part of this passage, I am eternally grateful and awed!

  • Reply
    Cindy Wiseman

    With gratitude and an open heart I accept this beautiful bowl and am listening to where the journey will lead.

  • Reply
    Cindy Wiseman

    This bowl #26, which Donna dubbed Genii in reference to the creative muse within us all, is quite an active bowl and has stimulated a lot of contemplation, activity and interaction while it’s made its presence in the Arkansas Ozarks!

    The way I received the bowl was quite an unusual experience. Recently I’ve taken some needed time to assimilate how the events leading me into receiving the bowl came about as well as reflecting about my letting go of many things within a short time period. The night I was to receive the bowl was meant to be an offering ceremoniously given after a beautifully prepared meal and within an intimate gathering with four close friends with the sweetest of intent…but plans changed and it ended up with my opening the carefully packaged bowl by myself late in the night after being in the hospital for many hours with a friend who was in a crisis situation. I was not expecting to be a recipient of the bowl as it was meant to be a surprise, and indeed, this was the case. It came to me at an unexpected abrupt ending of a relationship and at the beginning of my exploration of what it meant to be empty so that I might be filled with the things I wish to perpetuate in my being…importantly, that of the evolution of love and family, and of creative energy and gratitude.

    After setting, contemplating and musing on the experiences I am having around receiving the bowl, I realize that, not unlike Donna’s way of creating a shared experience within her period of time with the bowl, Genii’s evolution in giving and receiving is continuing to be not only a personal introspection, but also a group shared experience. This exploration has brought to light as to what constitutes family and how who we deeply connected to can take many shapes and definitions. The bowl has led me into interacting creatively with what the definition of family means to me and about the diversity of those who I consider to be my family. This family of my choosing includes others that have participated in this particular project previously, such as Donna, Kelly and Budhi and leads me into what has evolved on how I would like to use my time with bowl #26 and perpetuate the creative genius in myself as well as other participants.

    Musing on the power of family and using the bowl as a vessel of introspection came about again when my sister Trish recently came to visit. We had not seen each other for over a year, and during this visit had we an opportunity to talk of family and life and what we would like to do with this precious time we have on earth. Genii became the vessel we used to burn things we wished to step away from as well as burning written musings on the things that we desired to perpetuate in our lives. The ashes were placed in my garden to stimulate new growth.
    I will further share adventures of this journey with Genii on this blog: geniipatrapassage.blogspot.com Check it out!

  • Reply
    Cindy Wiseman

    Genii (bowl #26) continues to inspire reflections within the pages of my sketchbook, which is a usual place for me to muse on life, creativity and projects at hand. These pages hold collages of Donna receiving the bowl, my addition to Budhi’s project of 108 bowl made in offering for a friends healing, the gift of the bowl to me and my introduction of the bowl to the creative Ward family matriarch Rita and patriarch Leo. Oh the joy of giving and receiving, offering and exploring the vessel of gratitude. The muse leads onward….

  • Reply
    Cindy Wiseman

    The beautiful and spirited Genii, Patra bowl #26 has been living with Lyn and Xi the last couple of weeks. I look forward to hearing of their experiences and explorations. Tomorrow they will choose another member of the Ward family to share the vessel with and Genii moves onward…what a spirited and spirit-filled bowl this is!

  • Reply
    Bill Ward

    PATRA BOWL #26
    I received Patra Bowl #26 as the last in line of the Ward Family segue given from the loving heart of our dear friend Cindy Wiseman. Thank you dear Cindy, for your continued sharing of healing and passion.

    My perusing of the writings attached to the sibling Patra Bowls created by Lynda Lowe, confirmed I was not alone in my initial petrification of emotions and expressions. I now feel that the concept of the Patra Passage Bowl Project is one of self not one of programming.
    108 bowls: With expressions of heart- actions of art- precede me and ask of me to contribute in a like manor. My need to feel worthy for having Bowl #26 pass through my hands has stifled me. The action of artistic expression, shared only with compassion, separated from the needs of the ego and leaving only true non-attachment, is the trick I think this Patra Project in searching for.
    Needless to say, bowl #26 sat on my table, pinching me as I walked by, pricking my thoughts for a week and yet, still no divine intervention directed me on how to express my short time of possession.
    I thought of photography; showcasing the beauty of bowl #26 against the colorful sunsets over Beaver Lake (a place I revere). Alas, a weekend of camera gear showed no answer.
    I thought of a free-form abstract painting, one with no planning or forethought, quick and spontaneous while focused on Bowl #26. The paint tubes stayed sealed.
    I then felt that a small cast bronze base designed from small weathered-worn cedar twigs gathered at the lake would be a great gift to bowl #26. A contribute to pass on with Bowl #26 to its final resting.
    I designed seven unique legs encompassing the painted block and suspending the bowl in a welded ring. The original wood mock-up excited my creativity, the concept invigorating and the goal: One of great ego contribution to this project.
    The casting showed to be difficult and the results, less than satisfying, not expressing the excitement I felt from the original concept. I abandoned the project once I realized that Bowl #26 had helped me feel the muse of artistic expression living in the present moment of creativity and there was no need to complete this base for the purpose of sharing my ego needs. The personal act, alone in my shop, was full gratification.
    Plus, how would Patra Bowl #26 have felt being displayed, standing alone, different, out of place by being elevated on a bronze base next to its 107 siblings?
    Bowl #26, again sat on the table, but this time more present and less demanding of me.
    My wife, Nancy, was invited by the bowl one night to turn up the music and dance in front of it, sharing great emotion.
    I accepted the bowl as it was and dropped my need to push action and art deep into its crevices. In doing so, a spontaneous opportunity opened: My grandson, Oliver Lucian Ward, of 18 months, was lying on the carpet, beautifully open and full of smiles and grace. I lay next to him and in a spontaneous moment asked him if he would like to see the Patra Bowl. I place #26 in front of him and quickly grabbed my camera. The photos that ensued were his expressions not staged or provoked. I saw in these short minutes the many depths of Bowl #26 and how he was open to its energy, accepting the gratitude and emotions that preceded him:
    His excitement of the bowls beauty.
    Meditating on its passion.
    Expression of need.
    Begging for compassion.
    Eating of its fruit. (raisins)
    Want to pass its Blessing.
    I saw pure moments of connection through his eyes, emotions I could only vicariously feel……..and this was enough.

    • Reply
      Donna Stjerna

      Since I passed #26 on to Cindy my world intensified (moving Mother-in-law to a new home and so on). I knew Cindy was sharing the experience with the Ward family who I ADORE but I had not been visiting the site as often as I did when Genii was in my possession. Today the blessed rain if falling and the universe gave me a breather…I chose to curl up and read current postings. I am moved to tears and the message of the bowl is breaking me open ONCE AGAIN! Bill…the photos of your grandchild with the bowl are priceless.


  • Reply
    Cindy Wiseman

    Bill, as usual, you were able to wax poetic regarding your experience with our Patra bowl, creativity and sharing your joy! More posts to come soon from the rest of the families experience. Love and the creative spirit shine on through your post.

    • Reply
      Donna Stjerna

      Wish I could have been at the Solstice Gathering when the bowl was shared at Rita & Leo’s Labyrinth!!!

  • Reply
    Rita Ward

    In the cycle of passing the bowl around our family, Lyn gave me Patra Bowl # 26, now known as Genii, in June and I am Grateful. The Patra Project is a most penetrating example of how one artist can encourage Creativity, Spirituality, and Balance in many others. I am a long time potter, an almost daily Labyrinth walker, an I Ching student, and a believer in the hidden power of Gratitude. I enjoy the concept of “Participatory Creativity.” Often I make flower arrangement containers and like the feeling that my creation will become the canvas and frame for someone else’s creation.

    I am Grateful for the opportunity to have been invited to participate in this novel method for the giving and receiving of Creative Energy—what better way than with a simple handmade bowl. While Genii was visiting me, she was a welcomed guest at our annual summer Solstice Celebration on Labyrinth Hill. During the Solstice, friends and family came together to celebrate life, gratitude, and family. An apropos time to fill Genii with the joy of the season!

  • Reply
    Lyn Ward

    I received this vessel at a very joyful time in my life. My life feels full, full of love and family, and full from celebrating a loving connected relationship.

    This vessel – The Patra Bowl, holds so much in the way of metaphor and symbolism. The bowl is only a vessel because of the emptiness it holds. The empty space – is full. (the heart, my heart, once empty is full again)

    I’ve been a potter for over forty years. I’ve always loved the Art of turning the elements – earth, water, air and fire, into stone. This, to me, is Magic. Being able to manifest these into form and function and timelessness. That earth can be transformed – turned to stone – so fragile, yet it could endure thousands of generations. This is the beauty, the Magic. We are the creators, we can manifest reality, and make it beautiful.

    The bowl sits empty – yet it is so very full.
    The bowl holds so much beauty.

    As this Patra Bowl travels from person to person, it holds – Hopes and Dreams – Love and Loss – Gratitude – Peace. The stories of the lives it touches, creates a collage of the Living. There are many chapters, collections. Through this “touching” it becomes ALIVE! From hand to hand it is filled with our human experiences and becomes the experience as this is shared.

    I sat in the misting rain one night contemplating, this is what came;

    An Offering in the Darkness

    A candle in the bowl
    floating in the water
    like a little beacon
    to guide my way

    filled with fire
    small candle
    flickering in the

    the stars twinkle on
    yet eternity
    pauses for awhile
    it rests in my heart
    and ignites my

    Now its full of clouds and moonlight and rain – Now its full of warmth, sunlight and morning dew.

    My mind was racing in the darkness, I thought of ideas and intentions that could fill the bowl without actually being tangible things, trying to come up with a hundred and eight “ideas”, maybe you can add to the list…

    Giving, receiving, joy, lore, myth, devotion, honor, love, hope, dreams, memories, peace, desire, gratitude, inspiration, nothing, loss, stars, spirit, wisdom, excitement, faith, sorrow, time, bliss, amazement, smiles, frowns, enchantment, fear, creativity, ideas, thoughts, meaning, pride, arrogance, enchantment, unexplained, intangible, intuition, whims, honesty, integrity, value, interpretation, analysis, light, wind, invisible playmates, mystery, magic, imagery, icons, right, wrong, unknown, poetry, new, old, song, warmth, cold, romance, abstraction, intention, solitude, company, engagement, belief, energy, passion, antiquity, security, insecurity, power, procrastination, sacredness, randomness, gain, attention, righteousness, indignation, loneliness, fulfillment, profit, satisfaction, completion, eternity…

  • Reply
    Leo Ward

    Rita passed the bowl on to Leo at the weekly “Bean Day” gathering. On Tuesday’s, members of the Ward family and selected friends gather around the table to share a meal, contemplating gratitude, and celebrate the bounty of love and creativity of spirit.

  • Reply
    John Ward

    Recently my mother Rita passed this bowl on to me as it made its way around our family. I am a life-long potter, sculptor, painter and photographer. Currently in my artwork, an area I’ve been focusing on is micro-photography. I zoom in on very tiny sections of my paintings, sculptures, or objects of interest, which allows me to explore the artwork in a completely different medium, creating a visual terrain that is more detailed than the human eye can usually perceive.

    Since the Patra bowl is a three-dimensional surface, the curve of the surface creates a visually exciting depth of field to photograph. After receiving bowl #26, it became apparent to me that using the type of photography that I’ve been exploring was a way to see the bowl in a very intimate and unusual way. This process allowed unexpected interpretations of the surface to come to the life, creating a way of seeing the bowl in a completely different light.

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