We received our Patra and waited to open it so we’d have time to make it a special event. Unwrapping each part of the package was significant. As we finally revealed the vessel and base, we were in awe of it’s beauty. We have it close to us and enjoy it every time we pass it. Daily, one of us picks it up and envisions who the next recipient will be. Thank you for letting us be a part of this grander picture of art and community.
We packed the vessel today and feel excited to have our cousin and her husband receive it. It brought us much joy to have it in our room and we looked at it each time we passed. Now there is a space that somehow pulsates where it sat. We will remember its beauty with fondness.
I received the beautiful bowl from the Patra Project! Thank you very much for thinking of me as a recipient for the bowl! I am deeply honored and I have several immediate and positive reactions to share!
The bowl arrived as a representative of you and a connection of me to the McFarland family. The connection is particularly special for me this weekend when you are celebrating the McFarland women’s retreat. While I am not able to be with you in person, I am thinking of you, Mel, Deena, Julie, Kari, Kris, Brie, Laresa, Dienie, Audra and little Adelaide. In the space (which I imagine as both familial and geographic) between you and me is the spirit of another creative McFarland woman: my mother. I feel that you have reached across that emotional, complex, and mysterious space to offer your love and support! I cannot tell you how much that means to me.
The Patra story is something that would have delighted my mother–as it does me. As you know, she was an artist and loved many forms of artistic expression. The bowl itself displays sublime beauty and simplicity. My mother would have been enchanted by the concept that the emptiness (of the bowl) is form and the form emptiness. She would have been intrigued by the connections between people receiving and giving the Patra bowl. My mother deeply felt the interconnectedness of all things through her experiences and observations. She also would have understood the truth of giving away something precious to increase its value.
The Patra bowl arrived at our home in Santa Barbara on Friday, February 28 in a heavy rainstorm. Across the parched southwest, we are celebrating the blessing of rainfall. This year, the expected January rains never came. Day after day, the winter weather was unseasonably warm and dry. The southwest is experiencing an extreme drought. The day before the Patra bowl arrived, a major storm moved east from the Pacific onto the California coast from San Francisco to Baja California. In this storm, we have received over 5 inches of rain and we are jubilant in this land of little rain: the severe drought is broken!
I placed the Patra bowl in our home below a painting by N. Bonifazi of mysterious lady playing the mandolin within a gold frame (see attached photo). The painting hangs in an arched niche at the bottom of the stairs. I have often thought that I should arrange a few gold candles as an offering to this enigmatic painted musician. The Patra bowl–with its luminescent gold burnish–is a beautiful offering in this space.
We bought/received the Bonifazi painting from dear friends moved from Santa Barbara, where they lived for many years and raised their son, to Berkeley for work. He, Robert Bijou, is a fine art dealer and she, Irma Vega Bijou, is a ceramicist. In preparation for their move, Robert sold three paintings to us that were very special to him. The mysterious lady playing the mandolin once hung in Robert’s and Irma’s bedroom, the most personal of spaces. Robert and Irma knew how much we admired their paintings. With the excuse of moving, Robert offered to sell these favorite paintings so that we could enjoy them in our new home. The paintings were so deeply discounted that we knew they were really a gift from Robert and Irma. We realized that, as difficult as it must have been for Robert and Irma to part with these beautiful paintings, the act of giving the paintings to us increased their value–measured in the love for friends.
The story of the painting mirrors the intention of giving and receiving the Patra Project bowls.
Thank you again for awakening these reflections in me by sending Patra bowl #102.
My time with Patra Vessel 102 is quickly coming to a close. The beautiful ceramic bowl has added elegance, serenity and thoughtfulness to our home. Today I removed the bowl its niche and reflected wistfully that, when it is gone, I will miss it. Before I part with this migratory vessel, I felt the need to offer it a special experience, unique to my temporary custody.
Today, I took Patra Vessel 102 to Ganna Walska Lotusland, a botanical treasure in Santa Barbara. My husband is a research associate at Lotusland and we are deeply connected to and appreciative of this garden.
It was a particularly lovely day at the garden. After months of severe drought, we had a surprise thunderstorm yesterday that provided a quarter inch of rain. The thirsty plants soaked up the water and, today, they were glistening and glowing.
Each person in my tour group was photographed with Patra Vessel 102 in remarkable settings in Lotusland.
Patra Vessel 102 at the lotus pond. After a record-breaking heat wave last week (mid May), several lotus blossoms opened (middle right). In a normal year, the lotuses in this pond bloom in July and August.
Satie Airame with Patra Vessel 102 in front of the fragrant lemon arbor.
Patra Vessel 102 with terrestrial bromeliads.
Our docent Susan Bjork with Patra Vessel 102 in front of a Chilean wine palm (Jubaea chilensis) in the blue garden.
Doris Bleecher holds Patra Vessel 102 near a blossom in the cactus garden.
Sage Davis with Patra Vessel 102 in the rose garden.
Frank Soares with Patra Vessel 102 in front of the silver cactus by Lotusland’s main house and pavilion.
Patra Vessel 102 with more terrestrial bromeliads.
Lindsey Kaplan with Patra Vessel 102 at the koi pond in the cycad garden.
Heather Stanford with Patra Vessel 102 in the cycad garden.
Patra Vessel 102 with giant clam shells on the “beach” by the swimming pool.
Geoff Jewel with Patra Vessel 102 amidst palms.
Christine Yi with Patra Vessel 102 in the Japanese garden.
Patra Vessel 102 with a musician in the theater garden.
I was moved by the beauty of the bowl the day I received it from my dear friend and “sister” Satie. I knew the moment I opened it where it should live in my home. My mother recently died, and Satie and I were reunited through her dying. Both of us are motherless now, and our moms were both creative women who loved the arts. I put the bowl at the center of my mom’s altar and it has held healing herbs within it the entire time. It has lit up my mother’s altar for now two months.
I feel blessed to have had it absorbing the good energy from the candles and the prayers for all this time, and I feel positive that with the bowl coming back to it’s creator, it will further along the transition for my mother’s spirit into the next realm.
The vessel returned happily to my home after a journey of over a couple thousand miles and a exhibit at the museum. It is in a special place in our home where all can view it, hold it, contemplate its life, and bring a feast of beauty to the eyes. Everyday it accompanies me as I journal my prayers and praise to the Lord. Jesus would have loved it. He loves it now. And it reminds me that we can really get by with so little.
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