Sunday, March 17, 2013

Visiting Chicago & The Newberry Library!!

This past Thursday I left Ottawa to travel to the United States to visit with my two daughters, Emily and Kristin. I flew into Cedar Rapids, Iowa where my daughter Emily picked me up and we went to see the screen printing company where she is the office manager, Apparel 1.  I was fascinated my the amazing size of the screen printing shop and also the wonderful embroidery set up they have.

Emily and I then left to drive to Chicago where my youngest daughter Kristin is in graduate school at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. We arrived on Michigan Avenue around 12:30 a.m. to pick Kris up at her studio and head to her apartment for the night. We were able to visit her studio the next day. It is in a building directly across from the Art Institute of Chicago. She has a nice large space in the graduate school student studios. I was thrilled to see her workspace and now will be able to imagine her working there during those long periods when I can visit her in person!

The next morning we took the "L" elevated train down to meet my dear friend, Paul Herrera, at the AIC for lunch and then a tour of The Newberry Library in Chicago.
My daughters Kristin & Emily, myself, and Paul Gehl reviewing the 1507 Hardouyn Book of Hours edition: the subject of my Master's Thesis!
My dear friend, Paul Gehl, Custodian, John M. Wing Foundation on the History of Printing, was kind enough to give us a wonderful tour of the library, including a visit to the Rare Book Stacks. Here he is showing my girls and me the 1507 edition of the Hardouyn Book of Hours that I wrote my master's thesis on back in the day. When I was in graduate school, and the girls were 12 and 10, Paul invited them to come and see this book and told them how important the research I was doing was to the history of printing. They were fascinated then, and it was amazing to be able to view the book again with them as adults. I was really surprised at the emotions that welled up in my heart seeing "my" Hardouyn again. I have always felt that this work was unfinished, and now, I am eager to search out new possibilities for lectures and publishing in early printing history. Stay tuned for developments in this regard!

This afternoon I will be venturing out to get the art supplies for my Wednesday workshop for The CATFISH Letter Arts School. I am excited to begin the final preparations for the workshop. This is the first time I have led a workshop in Iowa in over 14 years! It will be a small group, but sometimes that is so much the better. Former Catich apprentice, Paul Herrera, as well as former Catich student, Amy Nielsen, will be joining me for the workshop and to share the work of The Art Legacy League with participants over lunch. Both are also "Core Faculty" for The CATFISH Letter Arts School and it will be a joy for all three of us to be together again in the classroom.

As I think of my time in Iowa, sharing with not only my dear girls, but with friends and colleagues from my life, I think of Father Catich and his request to us all to pray for his soul. My husband emailed me his homily this morning, and I think these Bible verses are so important, I share them here:

Listen without interrupting (Proverbs 18)
Speak without accusing (James 1:19)
Answer without arguing (Proverbs 17:1)
Enjoy without complaint (Phi. 2:14)
Trust without wavering (1 Cor. 13:7)
Pray without ceasing (Col. 1:9)
Give without sparing (Proverbs 21:26)
Forgive without punishing (Col. 3:13)
Speak the truth in love (Eph. 4:15)

In this season of Lent, as we examine our lives and the life choices we have made and make every day, it is wonderful to think about the shared grace of mutual friendship and love shared over time. God calls us to love unconditionally, which is sometimes very hard to do, but even though it hard sometimes, it does not lesson the call. I am so very blessed to have received the gift of a plane ticket to come here and share time with family and friends.

As the sun rises in the sky this morning, I am home in Iowa. Tomorrow I journey on my own to my hometown, Clinton, Iowa, to visit with friends from my youth. We will break bread at my favorite restaurant in Clinton, Rastrelli's, and share memories of when we were young and stories of our todays.

My heart soars like a hawk when I think of being home, driving by my childhood home, and visiting with people from my formative years. Our stories began together so many years ago, and in many ways, they are still intertwined, even if we are distant geographically from one another.  I have been so very blessed in my life by the companionship of wonderful people and shared memories.

My heart is full as I know that all will be well, and all will be well, and with the grace and infinite wisdom of God in her mercy, all will be well.