6 comments on “Patra 107

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    Anita Stauffer Post author

    Martha received vessel 107 in early December, 2013. It was an honor to give the vessel to Martha as her life has repeatedly been an inspiration to me. Throughout a series of life challenges, she has embodied gratitude, love, determination, patience, surrender, acceptance, generosity and an ability to take joy in the present moment. Those she has loved and loves have obviously been transformed by her presence. Martha is thankful to have the Patra vessel in her home both to celebrate the present moment and as a reminder to herself as she faces health challenges that threaten her survival. I hope that we will inherit her gifts.

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    Martha Robison

    Yesterday I was honored to pass my Patra Bowl on to my dear friend Eileen Gardner. Eileen and I have been dear friends for many years and have seen each other through many transitions in our lives.

    During my months of enjoying the bowl, I have been dealing with end-of-life issues related to metastatic breast cancer. I have found the bowl a comfort to use during mediation and reflection. I am especially drawn to the concept of a link to the present moment; that whatever is received in the bowl for the day is enough.

    Eileen has recently begun a new chapter in her life, taking early retirement and setting out to explore the world’s possibilities. Eileen is drawn the the giving/receiving aspect of the project. I know she will be a worthy recipient.

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    Eileen Gardner Post author

    Please accept my apologies that we did not notify you before the bowl passed to me: however, Martha was in the last stages of metastatic breast cancer and she felt some urgency to pass the bowl to me while she was still cognitive.

    So on Thursday, March 20, 2014, Martha gave me the bowl (see the above photo).

    And on Thursday, April 3, 2014, Martha died.

    Martha bestowed on me the greatest honor and trust when she shared with me, this marvelous project. The day after Martha died, I sat in my family room with the bowl. When I held it in my hands, it contained the spirits — not just of Martha, but also the spirit of Anita Stauffer, the person who gave the bowl to Martha and of course, your spirit.

    We are connected to each other through beauty, through memory and through death..

  • Reply
    Anita Stauffer

    I had a visit with Martha on March 25, several days before her death. Although she was very weak and in a wheelchair at that time, she did not complain. Martha embodied an appreciation for each moment as it was, and this appreciation was present even in the midst of enormous discomfort, a significant loss of control in her life, enormous uncertainty and clarity that her lifespan would now be brief. She shared with me the lyrics of a Josh Ritter song that she intends to have played at her memorial service on April 26:


    The golden ratio the shell
    The stairs ascending round themselves
    The trees rustle as if to kneel and listen
    To the heartbeat of a lark or the lark in my heartbeat

    The oxygen in priestly green
    The answers dressed in labyrinthine
    The telescopes atop the mountains of ecstatic vision listening
    To the heartbeat of a lark or the lark in my heartbeat

    I am assured, yes I am assured yes
    I am assured that peace will come to me
    A peace that can yes surpass the speed yes
    Of my understanding and my need

    The meteoric warp and went
    In counterbalance to the spark ever ascending
    The arrow time shoots forward though it moves through repetition
    To the heartbeat of a lark or the lark in my heartbeat

    What is it that drives the driven snow now?
    Upon whose temples with I rest my weary hopes now?
    The rain distills down steeples fills the ears of lonely church mice with the
    Heartbeat of a lark or the lark in my heartbeat

    I am assured yes I am assured yes
    I am assured that peace will come to me
    A peace that can yes surpass the speed yes
    Of my understanding and my need

    Thank-you, Martha.

  • Reply
    Eileen P. Gardner

    Anita, I am so gladdened that you have shared the lyrics of “Lark” — which had so much meaning and import to Martha — as did the Patra Vessel. In her final days, Martha selected images that match and reflect the lyrics. Her husband, Jerry and I shaped a slide-show of those images which will be included with the song during her memorial.

  • Reply
    Eileen P. Gardner

    When I was entrusted with the Vessel in March by my friend, Martha Robison, I was touched, honored and pleased that she considered me worthy to receive the Vessel.

    When Martha died just a couple of weeks afterward, the Vessel was a source of contemplation and comfort during those first difficult weeks as her husband and I planned her memorial..

    In July, when it was time to pass on the Vessel to someone else, I just wasn’t ready to let the Vessel go. Instead, I retained the Vessel as a tangible reminder of Martha and our friendship. I found solace in holding the Bowl during meditations and remembrances of good times.

    Now that it is time to return the Vessel to Lynda, it is like a fresh goodbye to Martha. I feel sorrow at letting go but also joy that I was a part of the marvelous event.

    Thanks to Lynda for sharing her creativity and for creating an unlikely community in the Patra Project.

    Eileen Gardner

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