Friday, October 08, 2010

Snippet Update

Oh dear. This has been an intense week. It is Friday and I am catching up on bills and paperwork and blog visits and emails and phone calls and also squeezing in calm replenishments.
The YART is over, the afterglow remains. I can't express how wonderful it feels to witness worthy artists who may have never sold their works at a fair or directly to customers before. Both JB and I feel so honored to have provided a forum for that to happen.
And I also can't express how wonderful it feels to watch my good friends meet my good friends and maybe become good friends themselves. There was some magic in the YART weekend: lots of connections among people, lots of sharing and caring and enjoying...not to mention the singing.
I love unplanned sing-a-longs. Have you been part of any? Do you play the guitar or know of anyone who does? Because there is something so affirming that happens when people sing together. And by the way, I can't sing. I can't carry a tune. But I sing anyway. Just like I dance anyway.
I stopped being so self conscious probably 15 plus years ago. I am more concerned with enjoying myself than I am with being judged.
I've had a hard week at work. I've been happily worn out from the YART so I planned to take things easy this week. But my clients had different ideas. I spent three unplanned hours at a crisis center with a scared woman with scary thoughts, who needed to be hospitalized, and I learned that an 11 year old little guy has become quite physically violent with his classmates.
And a former client--a woman I so admire--called to tell me her sister, who I came to know, was violently murdered by her daughter's boyfriend. The %%&&$ then rode his bicycle back home. A horrible horrible story. I used to read things like this in the newspaper and now sometimes I feel like I'm somehow part of the story. I truly wish I weren't.
I love this job, but more and more I am realizing how responsible I feel, how responsible I probably am, for the well being of others. It's not that I AM responsible, but I see what is needed, what is possible, what I and others can/could do to help if I/we were able to do more, and I have to step back, know that I do what I can, that being a caring healthy and skilled witness is enough.
Tomorrow Mr. Ryan and no-longer-baby Drew are coming for the weekend. I love spending time with them, though they exhaust me too! Perhaps the most wonderful things are exhausting, kind of like a passionate night of making love. The truth is I don't want my life to be any other way. I want and welcome the passion, however I am lucky enough to have it.
By October 15th I will complete a grant proposal for Renee's Book of Love. I am hoping to get
$ 1000 from a local arts council for much (not all) the set up and publishing. A few weeks ago I took samples of Renee's blog to the American Cancer Society and asked for a letter of endorsement for her book. I got that and more. They want to use Renee's book, when it is ready, to train volunteers. OH man, how great is that!
Please cross your fingers for the grant approval. And please write or illustrate something if you want your tribute to Renee to be included. So far what we have is wonderful. Check out if you want to see for yourself.
Okay. This is long enough. There is plenty more I have to say. Maybe later. But for now thank you for stopping by, thank you for caring about my colors and words here, thank you for sharing so much with me. Blogging continues to be one of those passionate gifts I gratefully receive.


  1. Wow KJ I don't know what to say about your work!!! It's hard not to feel responsible and take it in to your heart.

    I'm so happy for your YART tho! I wish we had something like that here!

    You lucky getting to spend time with you r 2 grand babies...

    I so wanted to write something for Rene's book ~ but I'm just not good at expressing myself ~ When both my grandparents died I was the only one that couldn't stand up and say something about these dear people. It's like I need to keep her memory close to my heart... I love what all the others have written ~ She was much loved and will never ever be forgotten. Thanks for doing this KJ.

    Much love on this Friday!

  2. oh dear kj, this has been an intense week. So many things. I hope this weekend will be fun but also restful for you.

    That is such exciting news about the book, you do so much for so many, and it's all just from the goodness of your heart.
    You are one very special person.


  3. Again, I am happy for all of you having had YART! It sounded fantastic and then some.

    Your work issues are very very stressful, we cannot help but be affected by the tragedies we help others through. Be gentle with yourself.
    I know you know how to take care of yourself.

    Wonderful about the book!

  4. I've been thinking about you this week - quite a bit.

    and then this interesting post.

    Have a lovely weekend - albeit an exhausting one - with the babies. I heard Ryan ask you last Saturday
    "Gram - do you have room for me in the house this weekend" and your loving reply about the upcoming weekend. He seemed pleased....

  5. What a week.... I was hoping it would be a calmer one for you....
    but as we know, life doesn't always cooperate..... you do SO MUCH for your clients....I know you wish you could bring happy endings to all of them... but, you DO bring each one of them a measure of happiness and some joy into their lives..... and believe me, tht is HUGE!

    When I think about the future of "Renee's Book of Love".....and how many people will now read it - and learn from it - and be inspired by it.... ah, KJ - you ARE an Angel too! Renee is so proud of are we all.

    Love Mim's quoting Ryan....that is too adorable! I saw those two boys with their "Gram".....and the love they have for you was written all over their faces!

    I am still "afloat" with happiness with "YART FEVER".... I keep saying: "one week ago we were doing this and going there".....etc.

    I miss you all......

    Have fun this weekend at the Fair and take a lot of photos!



    ♥ Robin ♥

  6. hi pattee! i understand about renee's book. you're not alone feeling that way. you gave her such happiness through being her friend and our gypsy caravan. she read the cards for me, pattee! i know she did. ♥

    lori, i am no more and no less special than the rest of us! but thank you for saying that. i can't wait to have the boys here. we're going to a fair in one of the ten hilltowns. all i can think of is taking photos of all those homemade apple pies!! ps ♥

    thank you so much, lynn. i know you understand. for me i've not have clients so affected by poverty and class before, so that's an extra dynamic. thank you for your visits here, lynn. xoxo

    oh mim, i love that you heard that exchange! i was so touched that ryan asked if he could stay. it is so great to love these boys, as you know for yourself!!! been thinking about you too, dear friend. missing you :)

    robin, it is very special to me to have shared my space and place and the people in it. thank you so much for being such a vibrant part of a vibrant weekend. tsupmwah big time!!!!!

  7. to face pain and tragedy such as you see in your clients, wow. My heart aches for them. And all I can say about yourself is you are amazing. To listen, to witness, is a lot.

    May your time with the grandkids this weekend be playful and fun. They are such dolls.

    You have an amazing capacity to "do" life, in all its various aspects. I am honored to know you.

    And how wonderful about Renee's book. Soon it will be out there helping hundreds of people. These are beautiful stories. It will be an amazing book.

  8. Oh, I know of the murder incident you speak of. Yes, he rode his bicycle quite a distance home in the middle of the night! Unbelievable.

    My fingers and toes are crossed for the grant.

    I've been reminiscing on the YART all week.

  9. Hey kj! I am crossing fingers and toes for Renee's book. Won't that be something? :))))) You must be absolutely exhausted. Here's to weekend with kids sitting on the floor with you, playing and imagining, and charging those batteries! Sorry I missed out on all the fun, it sounds like a wonderful fabulous time. Happy weekend! xox Pam

  10. Oh, wow, you have been one busy woman. Your Yart fest looked wonderful - how fun it would have been to have been a part of something like that!

    But your work week sounds too intense - and so sad in so many ways. I wish you much strength and a fun, fun weekend with Ryan and Drew!

    Love, Silke

  11. "Gram, it's me Ryan. When I'm four will my name still be Ryan?"


    That's all I have tonight as I give in to this cold, the first in a bazillion years.
    Like Chewy, I'm still basking in the glow of what was last weekend.

    More later...


  12. Kj-So sad to hear the story about your friend's sister.Sending love and prayers to her and the family and to you. I will also do same for Renee's beautiful book and the grant I know you will get. Such a wonderful thing for you to be doing. Have a fun weekend with the BOYS.Kiss Stella for me.

  13. Hello Honey. I dreamed I met you last night and you gave me the hugest hug! Love the past post and so happy that your YART sale went of with a bang. And you do make a difference kj. You can't control all the dickwads in the world unfortunately.

  14. dear special friend, have FUN with those little guys, i hope you do take photos of those apple pies! it will be good inspiration to bake next week! apples are falling off the trees here!

  15. Just checking in to let you know I have been reading. Time to take an emotional step back from most of your clients kiddo.

  16. Damn! - I forgot to plant my leftover Dum Dum Pops in Emily's garden.

  17. I don't envy you - I felt worn out all week and I hardly did anything while I was there. But I tell you, I swear patients can sense when you are weaker and become, in response, needier. I'm serious. Long before I was visibly pregnant, I had people in crisis left and right. Same when I my brother died. Same when I found out my son needed brain surgery. And even when I am just tired. It's like there's a disturbance in the force and people feel it.

  18. suki, you are extremely generous with your compliments here and i am honored, though i'm not sure i do much more than show up and fight like hell! still, thank you so much.

    chewy, i've been reminincing too. it was awe-some. it really was. please keep your fingers crossed! this grant will motivate and push me forward, and the truth is i would do just about anything for renee.

    happy weekend to you, pam. you must be exhausted too. i hope you sit on the floor and play too. ♥

    silke, if you (and daniel too) would like to be part of the YART next fall, you are totally completely invited!!!!!! i mean it!

    lo, does the world know you sound just like mr. ryan when you imitate him? i love when you do that, just as i love you. xoxo

    annie, i think i will get the grant too. or to clarify: i think RENEE will get the grant. xoxo

  19. hells, omg, you can be damn sure my hug would be a super hug. i love that you dreamed of that! i missed you terribly and i am glad you're back. i told JB today i HAVE to get skype figured out so i can talk to you! ♥

    dear special friend, no apple pies! they were almost sold out, plus i had a little guy holding my hand and i couldn't manuever to the pies as i would have. and YOUR day: i hope it was nothing short of super duper! ♥

    mark, you are a great guy. thanks, i know. ps i like that you call me kiddo xoxo

    damn chewy, i forgot to plant them too! that was on my list in preparation for our YART!!! :)

    cs, what an interesting observation. it also reminded me that we have known one another for a long time now. i remember some of those crises. xoxo

  20. Amazing post, full of the highest of highs and lowest of lows...that is life. It can be wearing and demoralizing but as long as the good outweighs the bad...we keep on hopin'...