Last night, unexpectedly, I received a phone call from my precious friend Anna. We talked for over an hour and it was so good to spend that time with her. I wish there were a word to describe relationships that go far deeper than friendship because I feel that that "friendship" is far too simple a word when I think of the connection we share.
I don't know if you heard, but there was a big explosion of an underground steam pipe in NYC that blew a crater sized hole in the street above. It sent steam, mud, concrete and asbestos flying high into the air, (for two hours!) killing one and seriously injuring about 30 others. Anna said seeing it on TV was like watching 9/11 all over again. I can't imagine what that was like for her and countless others affected by 9/11.
Tuesday would have been her son Ken's 44th birthday. I had planned to mark the day with a post dedicated to him, but in all the craziness of having fallen down the stairs that morning, I neglected to do it. It was more special to talk about him with his mother last night. It's funny you know, Anna always thanks me for coming into their lives and tells me what a difference I made for them, but I think in all honesty, what they have brought to my life is far more. I can't remember who said it (someone wise, anyway) that one of the most beautiful compensations of this life is that the more you give, the more you get to keep for yourself. That is so utterly true. She almost had me in tears last night she was so sweet to me. (Relationships where you can say exactly what's on your heart are incredibly rare.) Our conversation was so poignant that my heart was full by the time I hung up the phone that I found it impossible to sleep last night. I lay awake for hours thinking and envisioning a piece of art I want to make. I just need to figure out how to do it. I believe it begins with some paper clay which means a trip to the craft store to get some this morning.
Oh and if you were wondering about the quilts, those were gifts to Ken's family when I went to meet them in person in July 2004. The one with the stars and Ken's name on it is a replica of the block I made for the United In Memory quilt to honour Ken's life. I wanted Carlos & Anna to have it so I recreated it and finished it as a wall quilt. There are 38 stars on it, one for every year of Ken's life. The house quilt was for Ken's widow, Mary and the friendship bird for Ken's sister Suzy. I spent hours on those quilts, but each was a labour of love.
To think that this relationship began from one small piece of art...amazing. Art heals.