Sunday, July 26, 2009

None of Us is Separate

I've gotten a few e-mails telling me that I should be using my time in a "better" way than trying to help the quiltmakers in the Ohio Reformatory for Women. I would never think to tell someone what she should not do something. I do believe in interdependency and that creating art puts good energy into the world. I hope you agree that the world needs as much positive energy as we can muster. Last night I was reading something that I thought spoke to exactly how I feel. Don't you love when that happens? It's from Buddhist teacher and philosopher Joanne Macy in her book World as Lover, World as Self, she says:

"I used to think that I ended with my skin, that everything within the skin was me and everything outside the skin was not. But now you've read these words, and the concepts they represent are reaching your cortex, so the "process" that is me now extends as far as you. And where, for that matter, did this process begin? I certainly can trace it to my teachers, some of whom I never met, and to my husband and children, who give me courage and support to do the work I do, and to the plant and animal beings who sustain my body..."

I love the idea that we are a continuing process of energy exchanges. I just want mine to be a positive as possible.


  1. Wow, I cannot believe that people would spend their time telling you that you should do something better with your time. Really, they have nothing better to do? I say to them, get a life. What you do is beautiful and powerful just like the art you are encouraging and people whose lives you have touched.
    Keep up the wonderful work Karen!

  2. I echo Jeannette's comments. Keep up the great work. We are all connected. The more open we are to experiencing those connections, the more complete we are, IMHO.

  3. I'm sorry your decision to help others was challenged. I for one, am in awe of your dedication and really look forward to reading your blog updates. These women have endured so much negative in their lives and I believe your display of interest and compassion brings some light to their darkness. Thank you!

  4. Karen,

    I know that your loving self came across to each of these women. I know that you treating each woman as a quilt maker was felt by each one of them. I also know that you taking the time to talk to each of them, has changed them in a positive way.

    Wasting your time? No way. You were there to collect more stories from quilters and the fact that you gave them love back is not a waste of time. Your positive feedback to them is a good thing. I can hope that the love that you gave to the ladies will help them when they get back into the real world.

    Not one of us are perfect, and there is an expression "but for the grace of God" any one of us could have been caught up in a mess.

  5. I normally do not read all the posts but this one caught my eye. I am touched. We all should never judge anyone else. You think about it these women started out like everyone else in their mother's womb. We all had the same chance but for whatever reason they went a different way. I can't explain it no understand it.. I guess it is our freewill that is given to us by God to go our way in life. I think instead of you wasting your time in the prisons as some say... you are doing a wonderful service to these women. If only someone had cared about them like you do a long time ago they may not be where they are today. I admire you and you give me inspiration to do something like this myself or in some capacity. I am going to add you to my blog so others can see this story. God bless you. You richly deserve it!


Love comments! Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me.