My bowl arrived shortly after we got back from Holland, in the midst of a strange time. We’d spent nearly a month with Beja, Fritz’s sister, who was going through chemo for stage 4 colon cancer, and when we returned we learned that Newman, our cat, had gone missing. Finally we found him on an adoption website, sick, shaved and half his normal size. We adopted him back. At least we could try to cure him. We set the bowl up on the kitchen table and put one cat vitamin in it, then lit a candle for Beja.
Now, Newman likes to hang out on the table with the bowl.
I thought about sending the bowl to Beja. I know she’d think it’s beautiful, but I also know it would be too much trouble for her to send it on. Instead, today I will ship it to Ann Starr, the intrepid artist, writer, and art blogger I met at Ragdale during the same magical time I met Lynda. She’ll understand the project. In the meantime, Newman is back to his robust self, Beja is still on this Earth, and we have been joined by a new dog, Willem.
PS from Margaret: Here’s the link to Ann Starrr’s art blog, evidence that Bowl #59 is traveling to a good home: http://starr-review.blogspot.com
Thank you, Margaret, for casting no. 59 down the ever-longer stream of our continuing givings and receivings.
I found that the bowl had arrived from Margaret when I arrived home from a week-long trip I’d made to visit artist friends in Regensburg, Germany. The week had buoyed my spirits and energies immensely, so there was something almost triumphant about finding the gold-rimmed bowl. Humble? Hmmm…Didn’t exactly feel that way. The only humility I felt was in having been selected to receive it by Margaret.
I have sent it off very quickly, as I am leaving in a week for Dakar, where my younger daughter will have her first baby within the next few weeks. I will stay for a month, to assist her and her husband, and to get acquainted with my grandson. Although I had #59 a brief time, I felt that I sent it off brimming with joy. Now it goes to a colorful friend whose gift for giving to the other people in her world is vast; whose losses in life have been great; whom I believe to be rarely seen behind her color and kindness. May the happiness greet her as part of the bowl’s beauty. May peace travel in and out of that small vessel with the capacity to comprehend her magnitude.
Ann Starr and I are at the edge of the same group of artist musicians. She serves them as a writer. I have served them as an enthusiast. Her recognition of who I hope to be across crowded rooms has touched my heart and given me great hope. I was amazed to receive her tribute in the guise of this bowl. I gave it immediately to my mother who is no longer able to receive it in its spirit. But then she was never able to receive the spirits of others. At least not directly. So I gently took it back and now will pass it on to a steadily evolving soul. A beautiful dancing woman who saw me as a mentor when I invited her into my dancing community when she was in her twenties. Now in her forties she shares hers with me.
When you wrote me that it was time to pass it on, I almost wrote back
Come and make me.
I had the strong feeling that it was not time to pass it on, that things have their own timing and this vessel has been more erratic than most in its movement, and we all just had to respect that. And, too, I had put pieces of paper with some things I longed for written on them. The vessel held my heart in some way. I wasn’t done needing that.
Then, after 30 years, by chance and the internet, I reconnected with someone who had been a most important professor in my very early formative days in art school. He was someone who might have been a friend but we did not cross the professor/student social lines, and we went our separate ways.
The conversation just exploded in that next week. We had 30 years of talking to do. I would have written on one of those pieces of paper “Talk to Richard again” had I known enough to ask for it. So I emptied out the vessel of the dreams and desires that I still have, and sent it along.
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