Today is the day we must part with “our” patra, pass it along to another holder, a day of excitement that someone else will share in its aura/journey/influence, and of sadness, that it will no longer be physically present in our home, exhibiting its beauty, exerting its subtle influence on our lives. There is a bitter sweetness in giving up something to which you have become attached so that another can experience it. Part of the lesson of giving and receiving, we suppose.
While it was physically present in our home, the patra was a daily reminder of humility and generosity, kindness and reciprocity. Every time we walked past it, or reflected on it, we were reminded of these qualities, and made a resolution to incorporate them in our relationships, with each other and all those we encountered.
While with us, ”our” patra demonstrated a personality and agenda of her own. Rather than being a benign object, quietly resting on an altar and wafting her aura throughout the room, we discovered that she had an impish and somewhat irreverent side (she was in the custody of Gary May, after all, so you know that in addition to being in a place of love and family, she was going to exist in an environment of unpredictability, humor, irreverency, … and cars.) And, by the way – she told us early on in her stay that she was channeling Eos, the beautiful Greek goddess of the dawn, who every morning awoke and used her rosy fingers to open the gates of heaven, which allowed her brother, Helios, the sun God, to ride his chariot across the sky. The gist of her legend is that Eos brings the hope of a brand new day. (We were pretty stoked about the hope and new day thing, but a bit taken aback when we learned she had neglected to tell us about Eos’s insatiable appetite for young men – but, in her defense, it was all because Aphrodite put a curse on her. True, Look it up.) She asked us to call her “E” (she did not much like “Patra #84”.)
We never knew where we were going to find “E”, as you can see from the photos we have included. She was always jumping off her roost. One day, we would find her at the pool, hanging out with one of a score of Gary’s bunnies (he collects them, in all shapes, sizes, poses, mediums) – her favorite seemed to be a carved wooden totem constantly munching on a carrot; another hanging out in the cabana with the sheep (given to Gary long ago by a friend after a trip to Scotland, have fun with that one ); in the garage with Gary’s favorite Corvette (we think she likes hot cars): sometimes just “zenning” alone by the pool, or somehow gathering all the model cars (and some bunnies) in the house around her altar for a little tete a’ tete. We still wonder what she said to all those cars. She enjoyed communing with her “sister”, the patra we really do “own” – if you can own one. Perhaps our patra, Vesta, owns us, we aren’t sure. But, we do know they got along, famously. We often found ” E” investigating the wine cellar, and occasionally in our luggage when we took trips – to Montana to see friends, to Los Angeles to visit Michael, in the car when we went shopping, to our second home in San Francisco. Either she just did not want to be left behind, or she wanted to watch over us, or maybe not let us out of her sight – as if she were the parent. Or, maybe she was just pranking…
It was quite a dilemma, trying to figure out where to send her next on her voyage. After all, as with a child, we were responsible, to a degree, for her development, and we did not want to relinquish custody of her to someone who would not revere and protect her, or take her another step down what we see as the “right path”. Who was deep/dependable enough to deserve the honor? Or interesting enough to enrich her history? Or in need enough of her power to inspire, comfort, – or even heal – their lives, emotionally or physically? Friends in Europe, so she would gather experience from another culture? Friends who are more ethereal in nature and would appreciate the solemnity and spirituality of the message of giving and receiving? Friends we thought could use rescuing? Someone who would appreciate the artistic expression of her (for she is quite beautiful)?
In the end, we decided on keeping her in the family. For good reason.
During the time in which “E” graced us with her presence, wondrous things happened in the lives of Gary’s sons that were perfect opportunities for reinforcing the message of giving and receiving.
A couple of years prior to “E”, Gary’s son Bryan’s then girlfriend of Turkish descent, Ikbal, was denied re-entry to the United States after a wonderful (car) trip the four of us had made to Italy with a LeMay group. In the intervening time, Bryan and Ikbal were married in Turkey, and Bryan/Gary worked non-stop to secure her re-entry to the United States and her place by Bryan’s side. Two and a half years of lawyers, consulates, congressmen, nothing budged, Ikbal was still denied entry. Two months after “E” arrived in our life, Ikbal was with us in the U.S., just in time for Thanksgiving. Coincidence? Maybe. But, the happy ending to that ordeal, and the real beginning of Bryan and Ikbal’s marriage/life together, began after “E” graced us with her presence. Who better to pass her on to than Bryan and Ikbal, at this stage in their lives, to reinforce the joy and experience of giving and receiving?
And, following Bryan and Ikbal, there is no mystery as to who will next receive “E” (we wonder if she will take on different personas as she passes from custodian to custodian, but we will always refer to her as “E”). Gary’s other son, Michael, was married in January, again while “E” was in our custody. Another spiritual beginning for two people beginning their journey of giving to and receiving from each other, much less the rest of the world, as one. We believe “E” will have influence on their lives as she did – and will continue to have, even though she is no longer physically with us – on ours.
The rest of E’s journey and influence is with her, and Michael and Bryan now, until she returns to Lynda and the place of her physical birth/personification. We hope to be there to hear of her adventures.
Patra photo 3
It’s been a year of vast changes in our lives. Amy and I got married in January, we witnessed many friends also get married this year (what is it with weddings and 2014?), traveled, worked hard, and are settling into our new life together.
For the short period of time this patra vessel has been in our lives it has helped us take time to appreciate our good graces. No matter where we have placed it in our home, we’ve discovered that it is always near photos of our families. We either have too many photos of relatives or there’s a message about love and family that the vessel wishes to share.
Everyone that has entered our house has noticed this beautiful vessel. We will miss its comfort, power, and support as we prepare to send it home.
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