A Call To the Living – The Garage of Blessings in Oak Harbor, Washington

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recent photo of Mike Rowe and Kristiina

The Garage of Blessings

Quote by Algernon D. Black, former senior leader, New York Society for Ethical Culture:

This is a call to the living,

To those who refuse to make peace with evil,

With the suffering and waste of the world,

This is a call to the human, not the perfect,

To those who know their own prejudices,

Who have no intention of becoming prisoners of their own limitations.

This is a call to those who remember the dreams of their youth,

Who know what it means to share food and shelter,

The care of children and those who are troubled,

To reach beyond barriers of the past,

Bringing people to communion.

This is a call to the never ending spirit

Of the common man, his essential decency and integrity,

His unending capacity to suffer and endure,

To face death and destruction and to rise again,

And build from the ruins of life.

This is the greatest call of all,

The call to a faith in people.”

My sister Vicki Hand who lives near Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island in Washington has been telling me about the Nonprofit Organization THE GARAGE OF BLESSINGS for months and months. She is one of the volunteers at this place of giving and providing, to those who are less fortunate, the very basics of life – not just warm clothing but soap and toothpaste, blankets and food and most of all love and recognition. I was there myself on a recent trip to visit my sis and I was overwhelmed with the organization and the efficient cooperation of its volunteers. But there is an ambiance that surrounds all of the hustle and bustle as people are assisted in finding what they need to survive – and let there be no mistake I do mean survive. The only words that begin to give you a feeling for the rarified air of this place are simply the words Love and Respect, for all those folks who come in the door and are greeted without judgement and an eagerness to be of help.

Founded in her own garage by an extraordinary woman named Kristiina who has a heart as big as the planet and goals to match, the Garage of Blessings had a visitor yesterday, bringing a camera crew and bundles of great joy. Mike Rowe of the TV show “Returning the Favor” paid her a visit, listened to her story, met everyone and managed to enlarge and enhance her warehouse space in ways that she might have needed years to accomplish on her own. Kristiina dreams BIG and so does Mike Rowe so they are a match made in heaven.

If you are fortunate to be moving to Oak Harbor, Washington, (lucky you) or you already live in the area and you would like to volunteer your services or donate goods just get yourself over to the  Garage of Blessings – everyone knows where it is.

Go to http://www.garageofblessings.com for more information.

Look for Mike Rowe’s TV Show – “Returning the Favor”

https://www.facebook.com/GarageBlessingsOH/

 

GARAGE OF BLESSINGS VOLUNTEERS

Volunteers ready and eager to be of help and take your donations!

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My Injured Buddha

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I collect Buddha sculptures wherever I go. I have them displayed in my home and studios in a variety of materials and sizes. I do not discriminate. It matters not to me  whether Buddha is represented in bronze, stone, marble, solid silver, gold, terra cotta, jade or agate and if I see a plastic Buddha that stirs me I will buy it, because I am sure that the humble Buddha does not mind and I personally have no shame. In my collection I have Buddha likenesses from Singapore, Thailand, Cambodia, Japan,  Hawaii and various other locations around the world and in the mainland USA.

By far the most unusual geographic location in which I have ever purchased a Buddha was in a little shop specializing in Tibetan jewelry and other exotic treasures in Flagstaff, Arizona. My sister and I were wandering around aimlessly one morning following our fancy wherever it led us, having a great, leisurely escape when we stumbled upon the place – the place where I found the Buddha for whom I carry the most affection of any in my possession.

I was going through a hard time during that month, feeling a little wounded and beaten up by life. The event that caused those feelings actually escapes me now, years later, which is a good thing. Whatever it was, it was only temporary. Maybe my sister would remember. Vicki? Are you there?

I saw this remarkable Buddha in the glass case. I asked to see it, touch it and admire it closer. The face appeared to be gold leaf, but I doubted that preciousness coming from there, a tiny little shop in Flagstaff, AZ. and it truly did not matter to me whether it was genuine gold leaf or not. The lady removed it from the case and sat it on the counter. I sensed its weight with that gesture; she said it was heavy steel. I immediately noticed the deep crack that meandered from the golden forehead up into the head; it had been damaged somewhere and sometime in the very distant past. I found that both sad and intriguing. She assured us it was from Nepal.

She told us that she had another one, identical except for the crack, in perfect condition and asked if perhaps I’d like to see it. Of course!

It was perfect. I could not believe there were two. Obviously I chose the blemished Buddha, because upon that day, when I felt the pain, I decided to embrace it. I was sure I was meant to have the blemished Buddha, and I felt I had found a true, personalized relic meant as a treasure just for me…found randomly in a tiny shop in a very unlikely location a world away from its birthplace, and now mine. It seemed like Karma to me.

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That which does not kill you…..

IMG_7156 Ten moons til the move is over – Conifer Colorado, August 2015

That which does not kill you….makes you stronger, they say. Not sure about that, but I am in the ugly process of moving to a different part of the Denver area and I am really strong right now from lifting boxes that I should never be lifting. I have muscle definition and even abs. Still, I think it might kill me too. I am so driven to get this horrible transition over and done that I am being a little stupid. And there are stairs involved. I am trying to do as much of it as I can, myself, before the big truck pulls up. The other day I turned a large table upside down and slid it down the entry stairs, hanging onto one end of it for dear life so that we both would not smack into the front door at the bottom. After this entire process is over I will return to my former degree of common sense, jump back into the old groove and be writing regularly again.

I said my book would be published in late summer of 2015 and I still plan to achieve that goal if you will be kind enough to consider Indian Summer as being within the parameters of summer. Oh come on….stretch a little bit and just give me that. Yes there have been a few delays and if I explained them to you they would sound implausible so I won’t bother, but just take my word that they are not within the normal range of belief, but they are indeed true.

My website for the book is going live soon – very soon – even before the book is published. I will also be releasing another tidbit right here and now – this time the official book description. Please enjoy.

“A Canary Flies the Canyon” – a novel by Jo Ann Brown-Scott. Book description, all rights reserved.

Have you ever questioned randomness?

Do you wonder in your life, or any life, whether or not the choices we are offered are really choices or if fate determines our destiny?

With her third book Jo Ann Brown-Scott offers a fresh and energetic novel about the life-long evolution of a contemporary woman artist. In her characteristically vivid, painterly voice, at times both irreverent and profound, Brown-Scott composes the story of a maverick, free-spirited woman, awarded with creative DNA and privilege at birth yet scarred with a childhood of loss and family dysfunction. Fueled with these ideal circumstances for artistic creative development, the heroine Annie breaks loose to become the Bohemian abstract artist she was born to be.

During her artistic maturation, relationships with three prominent men in her life, a salesman, a contrarian and a Swede bring seemingly random disorder, chaos and instability as her art continues to acquire complexity and growth toward success. Facing complicated challenges Annie gradually becomes faith-based, spiritual and enlightened during her struggles to thrive. She questions randomness; can life’s moments of perfect timing be attributed to mere coincidental chance? Do we have any real choices, or is a life already written in the stars as karmic retribution or reward?

Art mirrors life; paintings are a life journal. In Annie’s mixed media life we discover her soul – her humor, courage, passion and her relentless amazement at life itself partnered with her embrace of all that remains mysterious and unknown. She learns of possible past lives; she questions the complete and utter finality of death. Her paintings morph into powerful, carefully structured compositions indicative of her intellect, fire and passion. Her messages about life are evident in the exuberant color and pattern of her art.

Only after Annie hits emotional rock-bottom and is brought to her knees with adversity does the universe present her with an option that hints at both restoration and renewal. They say that karma is a bitch, but more often it is just karma. When it does intervene it is nonjudgmental; pure, swift and arriving in the nick of time to level the playing field once again. It comes bearing gifts for a gutsy, risk-taking woman, many times burned; a chance and a choice that just might balance the scales and enable Annie to grasp some reward in the last chapter of her life. If she decides to take one more leap of faith, the results could be astounding. Will she choose wisely? What is her destiny?

Blog www.thecreativeepiphany.wordpress.com

Art Originals & Prints http://joann-brown-scott.fineartamerica.com

Book http://joannbrownscottauthor.com – coming soon!

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