With Mother’s Day coming up this Sunday, I’ve been thinking about how parenthood is the ultimate creative endeavor. What an amazing process it is to create and raise a small human!
Well, I wanted to write a heartfelt and inspiring new year’s message, one that summed up this crazy year and offered sparks of hope for 2019…
I just read this great tweet: “So my 3 year old appears to have misheard the phrase ‘happy holiday’ this morning and has been going round wishing everybody ‘happy heart today’.”
Happy holidays! It’s been very busy around here. We’ve been remodeling our kitchen since September—so long, peeling 1994 formica! I’ve also been helping our son with college applications, planning for a couple of trade shows next month, filling holiday orders, and rehearsing for concerts with my choir—all while my husband and helpmate has been sidelined by a back injury.
So we don’t yet have a Christmas tree, nor have I done my holiday shopping. But last week I finally managed to heave our Halloween pumpkin into the woods, so there’s that!
If your holiday season has been as full of hustle and bustle as mine, you might appreciate some ideas for meaningful gifts. Makino Studios is offering free shipping on US online orders of $20 or more thru Sunday, Dec. 16 with promo code JOYFUL2018.
Humboldt folks, you can find these featured items and more at the Makino Studios booth at the Holiday Craft Market in the Arcata Community Center this coming weekend (10-5 Saturday and 10-4 Sunday). I hope to see you there.
Whether the holidays have got you merry and bright or dazed and confused, here’s wishing you all the best of the season!
P.S. My 2019 calendars, boxed notecards and small prints are also available at the Pierson’s Made in Humboldt fair thru Dec. 24.
Perhaps it’s the dark times we’re living through, but lately I have been drawn to stories of heroes and rescuers. Like this New York Times piece titled “The Japanese Man Who Saved 6,000 Jews With His Handwriting,” which describes the work of Chiune Sugihara, who ran the Japanese consulate in Lithuania during World War II.
Defying his government and sacrificing his career, he issued transit visas to Jews fleeing German-occupied Poland, writing as many visas in a day as were normally issued in a month. His wife would massage his painfully cramped hands every evening.
When he was finally forced to leave the country, he threw visas out the train window to refugees on the platform. The article says that more than 40,000 people are alive today because of this one man.
He once explained, “I told the Ministry of Foreign Affairs it was a matter of humanity. I did not care if I lost my job. Anyone else would have done the same thing if they were in my place.”
The photoblog Humans of New York recently ran a series on heroes of the Rwandan genocide. I was especially moved by the story of a brave pastor who hid more than three hundred people in his church, saving their lives.
An excerpt from his story: “The next time the killers came, there were fifty of them. All of them had guns or machetes… Every time I recognized a face, I called to him by name. I said: ‘When I die, I am going to heaven. Where will you go?’ … Some of the killers grew nervous. They began to argue amongst themselves. Nobody wanted to be the first to kill… And they began to leave, one by one, until all of them had run off.”
Most of us will never have our courage tested to this extreme. Day-to-day, our heroism may consist of nothing more than rescuing a spider from the bathtub. But when the need arises, we can step up however we are called.
For example, my daughter’s friend Amelia was out running last month when her dog alerted her to a two-day-old kitten abandoned by the side of the road. She took him home and spent weeks feeding him formula from a dropper every three hours, day and night.
Despite all her care, it was not clear if this tiny hairless bundle would survive. But now he is a healthy, curious five-week-old named Renaldo who is busy exploring his world. A world that includes its share of suffering, but also people who show great compassion and courage in times of need. And for that I am grateful. Happy Thanksgiving!
inside us all
Makino Studios News
Thanksgiving sale: Use promo code TAKE20 to get 20% off all orders over $20. Sale runs through this coming Monday, November 26.
Made in Humboldt event: You can now find my calendars, prints and boxed notecards at the “Made in Humboldt” event at Pierson Garden Shop through Dec. 24.
Holiday fair: Makino Studios will have a booth at just one fair this holiday season: the Holiday Craft Market, Dec. 8-9 in the Arcata Community Center.
New holiday notecards: Check out my four designs of boxed holiday notecards!
2019 calendar: This 2019 mini-calendar of art and haiku makes a great holiday gift—and don’t forget one for yourself!