Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Blessing of Memories and Dreams

blessingsBlessings Mandala - (Circles of Light series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

He came to the office inquiring about an apartment.

“My wife and I are looking for a place to live, and I wanted to find out about low income housing.”

I proceeded to explain the guidelines to him…all of our units are filled from a waiting list, one bedroom apartments are reserved for the elderly and handicapped, the waiting list is about three years long right now.


“My wife and I are homeless right now, and living under the 101 bridge. My wife is dying. I’m trying to find something for her.”

I’m uncomfortable, feel helpless. I offered other suggestions of where he might go. “Those folks are a joke, worthless. I’ve been there. They don’t help. And I won’t go to a shelter because we have a dog. We picked him up as a stray and he has been loyal and I won’t abandon him.

But my wife is dying.”
memoriesMemories Mandala - (Circles of Light series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008

I knew there would be days like this when I accepted this job, meeting people on the outside of society hoping for something we cannot offer and not finding anywhere else to turn.

“I wish I had something else to suggest,” I murmured. “It’s not your fault. It’s OK,” he replied.

He seemed unwilling to leave. So we shared silence for a while. And in that silence I called to the Universe to assist him in finding what he needed.

This is a true story.

I created this suite of mandalas as an honoring and a blessing to this anonymous man and his family. Like the man, I could not bring myself to break up this grouping. They all belong together. A Blessing of Memories and Dreams.

dreamsDreams Mandala - (Circles of Light series) - © Sue O'Kieffe 2008


Irene said...

It's a sad comment on society when there is no place for people like this to go to and be safe in. We should be able to embrace everybody with all they have and as little as they own. Wish life were kinder to people who struggle...

dianeclancy said...

Hi Sue,

Ouch ... I am so sorry that that family is in those straits and that you could not help. So hard!!

I particularly love the first mandala.

~ Diane Clancy

John M. Mora said...

A most touching story and leaves me so sad. There but for the grace of God....the top work here is utter perfection. The three images cannot be broken apart, but thast one holds the mystery and joy and grief that is life.

This is probably my favorite Cat Stevens song - it was used a year ago for a tv commercial (sung by a woman). But his version, like that first manadala, is spot on powerfully perfect.

You do very well with light/white mandalas - you have a light and an energy and it comes through.

Thanks for the song here.

John M. Mora said...

To me white has a component symbolic of purity and cleansing - like the dove like Holy Ghost - white can be introspective and hopeful. To me, white is not persuauvive the way a red or blue hue can be.

Whuite uis all lights combined and reflected.

Do you have your camera?

The Artful Eye said...

I read this at work and teared up.

If we can somehow find ways to contribute and make any difference in someone's life, we can then live with ourselves.

Beautiful honor and blessing.

I pray for this man and his family.

Unknown said...

thank you all for your comments on this suite of mandalas and the events that inspired their creation. i am learning from my work that there is much need in our society, and not enough time, resources or people to help with the issue. doing this art and being involved in this work environment has touched me in deep ways i think is part of my calling.
~sue okieffe

Artists With Artitude said...

The world needs more souls like yours. Very moving..

We have been blessed with a talent for a reason. And you proved it.

Artists With Artitude said...

Hey Sue, your advice worked! Thanks..

The Cat Stevens comment was certainly NOT directed at you :) I know how you think and how wonderful you are :)