Wednesday, November 30, 2016




Plaster of Paris Mold - Slip Cast Sculpture of Craig Overby's Hands - 
Taught by George Lowe - Village Potter - Holden Village - 2016 


Elsa is my first ever sculpture. She is about about 24 inches tall. Red, gritty clay. Turbaned. Pensive.

Holden Village Pottery Studio - 2016 
With Gratitude to the Village Potter, George Lowe 

Historic Silver City and Bruneau Canyon - Idaho

Road Trip - November 2016  


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Prayer for Dick Staub

This poem by Mark Nepo, from his book Reduced to Joy - 
is for Dick Staub - who I've always thought of by his real 
name, Richard the Lionhearted. I selfishly pray you regain 
your health, for we can't imagine our world without you in it. 

For Joel at 94
They say that miners in South America
strap small lamps around their chest, that
this works better than the light coming
from the center of your head.
They say the head can be fooled,
but the heart can’t turn without
the body. This makes me think of you
digging your way through your long life,
lighting everything with your heart.
It’s a good way to live. And when we
sit at the end of the day, our hearts
illumine the day and we see each other
in its radiance. I can tell, it reminds you
of many circles you’ve been a part of.
It’s a good way to measure time.
To make our way on Earth
by the light coming from our heart —
This is what you’ve taught us.
Is it any wonder that what you
touch, including us, glows.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Making Good Beer From Scratch

Craig, Terry, Seth, and George malt their own barley, roast their own crystal and chocolate, use real hops picked local. They've made many batches of really good beer from scratch - from classic pale ales to dark stouts with roasted cacao and espresso beans. I'm learning to like beer. It is fun to watch the process.

Making Good Beer From Scratch is written by our own renaissance man, Terry Sanderson. 
Holden Village - 2016 

Beautiful Hands

Ruth Playing Harp - Holden Village - October 2016 

Wednesday, November 23, 2016


Wind is blowing 
up the channel
chasing the fog
and scouring 
the clutter in my 
mind, making room
for probable 

Monday, November 21, 2016

I've Tasted Grace

Savory crusted crumbs
of it still cling to my lips.
Kiss me. It will return
to thee.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Leaving Holden

I only scored a 3 on the “Delivers Results” section of my six month review. Gulp. A 3 isn’t a very good mark. I was blindsided. I needed improvements made in many sections. I did not know the village had reviews till the day before. 

But the important thing is that the things that matter and add value don’t compute in tidy columns or add up on this sort of corporate institutionalized measuring stick. 

Trudy told me when I started that my real job was to make the craft area a warm and welcoming place. And Peg told me to just do what I do. I was happy and willing to do this. 

There have been wonderful, enchanting, magical things that have happened down in my work space that my supervisors don’t know about. Perhaps these never tells have changed someone’s afternoon, or day, or year? I hope so. 

A potter I know always tells people when they weigh their homely, clumsy first piece of bad pottery that “you can’t weigh art.” 

My dearly beloved……

Go make something happen. Make art. Your lives are poems and stories that aren’t finished yet. Rip up that review and keep that stack of love notes and thank you cards. Measure your worth and value by how you care for others, how much nourishment and aid you offer, by how generous you are with grace and giving out A’s. Be lavish with kisses and hugs and well done’s. 
Don’t fear the performance police. Don’t be merely a cog or robot when what the world needs are linchpins. The world needs your curiosity and enchantment and the magic way you see. 

Serving, being hospitable, loving, seeing and meeting the needs around you…..these things are never on the bulletin boards, nor is there data available to prove it happened. But those who have received your care and love and respect know. You know. That’s all that matters.  I give you and A +. You have changed my life in unbelievably sweet ways. I’m so glad to be a part of your lives. Relationships are what give us momentum and energy for doing our day jobs. Relationships are the only things that we take with us forever. I want to take you with me for the rest of my life and beyond. 

What are you doing that the people around you have shining eyes. Keep doing that. 

A review has no capacity or ability to measure flourishing or those who help others flourish.  

I hope the magic and enchantment of Holden Village comes back. But in order for that to happen it needs a connection with its heart and soul again. Brains managing managers in the context of a business will never seed and grow hospitality and servant leadership in a village community. 

I recommend every staff member and manager be required to read Seth Godin's Linchpin and Ben Zander's The Art of Possibility. 

We left the village yesterday with tears streaming. But we didn't leave with any shame. It wasn't a rash decision. We don't regret our time there. It has been an incredible experience and we have grown and stretched and grown wings. We feel privileged to have been part of the work that will enable guests to come again after the mine remediation ends this year. 

Thank you Holden Village for eight incredible months. It has changed the trajectory of our lives. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Speaking Australian

I'm down the
mountain, down lake
from you this week and
I dream we're rooting.
I end up with
a pash rash
red enough
to scar me. It will
make people
wonder what we've
been up to.

Have I told you lately
that I love you,

For Ben

He says he wants 
to bail out,
leave the village, 
begone -
because he 
fit in. 

I say a hearty, Welcome
to the "fidn't dits!" 

I'm one too, I say 
and tell him 
that if he goes 
I'll miss him. 

So stay, 
I say.


For our young Ben - somewhere on the spectrum - Holden Village 2016 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Touch Me

Belovedness comes my way
via hard hands clasping
my own softer, smaller ones.

Belovedness comes my way
via kisses air blown, thrown,
caught and returned.

Belovedness comes my way
via sparkling eyes lighting up
from across the room.

Belovedness comes my way
via scented, enveloping hugs.

Belovedness comes my way
via lips wrangling kisses and
dancing tongues.

Touch me where belovedness
lives - the warm place we return
to being the beloved again
and again.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Reading With Jan Richardson

Everyone in the room has 
or will experience grief
at some point 
 she promised. 
Her tears did not fall
but a woman's mouth tells all. 

Jan Richardson gave a reading from her forthcoming book, A Cure For Sorrow.  Holden Village - October 2016 

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fresh Aire

It's not sweet floral scents
that send my senses spinning
now. I crave pungent
ones that make me gasp
and wake

I want to be ...

where eucalyptus sheds

where sequoia, bay laurel
and oak are mantled by morning fog

where conifers cast off needles and pinecones

where ferns, bracken, and sorrel edge paths

where crawdads hide in shady creeks

where salt spray and
sand debrides my soul

take me there
to breathe

Saturday, September 17, 2016


An unfired, dried vase whirls
upon the potter's wheel. Silky,
wet slip spreads slowly up and over
each of her curves -
waist, hips, thighs, breasts.

I blush. I want to
be the vase.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Morning First Word at Holden Village at Six Months

Good morning! 

My name is Kathleen. I serve the village as……

lead hugger, hand holder, tear wiper, lover, mermaid, listener, encourager, bread baker, barber and poet. 

I'm starting to keep a list of things I love and am grateful for - to offset the things that I find difficult and challenging at Holden. Here is a partial list. I hope to keep adding to the beauty… remember and keep a healthy perspective on the hard days. I have learned that hard can also be good. 

I love experiencing communion served from hand thrown pottery. 

I’m thankful for Beanie’s and the baristas behind the counter. 

I’m grateful for the lime green velvet couch in our cozy room at the BOTTOM of chalet hill. 

I’m thankful for Terry, his guitar and his songs that make me cry and laugh. 

I’m glad Craig has learned to make good beer from scratch. 

I’m thankful Carolyn generously shared her weaving wisdom, enthusiasm and experience with me. 

I love the snow globe like atmosphere of winter here in the village. 

I’m glad I have been able to try snowshoes for the first time ever. 

I love being able to play with clay and to have the opportunity to learn from an artist and teacher of George’s caliber. 

I’m thankful I’m learning how to weave baskets and backpacks from Marty even though mine will never be collectibles. 

I love getting to know the looms and learning to weave textiles. 

I love the river flowing beside the village. 

I love all the heart shaped rocks I find. 

I enjoy the deer and their fawns. 

I love observing mama bears with cubs. 

I love seeing Craig during the day and getting lots of hugs, kisses and whisker rubs. 

I like seeing Craig driving the Bobcat. He's a stud muffin! 

I love not having to deal with traffic and light pollution and grocery shopping.   

I like seeing new green ferns sprouting through charred ash and wood.

I love the waterfalls cascading down the mountains. 

I love the children in the village. 

I love meeting people who have traveled all over the world and experienced incredibly varied adventures.

I am thankful for the pictures I’ve captured of beautiful hands doing lovely work.

I’m thankful for the pictures I’ve captured of villagers at play and full of joy.  
I’m thankful for the love and affection people give me. 

I am thankful for being asked, invited, and included. 

I’m thankful for a porch swing and those who come to swing with me. 

I’m grateful for a hummingbird feeder to invite the jewel birds. 

I love the spring wildflowers which bloom in such profusion. 

I’m glad to be able to see the stars and the moon hanging above the basin.

I’m thankful for sweet water to drink. 

I’m grateful for rainbows. 

I enjoy the Lady of the Lake ride to and fro - on beautiful Lake Chelan. 

I’m glad for wholehearted people who crave intimacy and connection and engagement. 

I love the accessible hiking trails to Hart and Holden lakes.  

I’m thankful for soft shoulders to cry on when needed. Danielle’s are the best - FYI. 

I dearly love bagpipes echoing through this valley.

I’m thankful for our beloved medic who knows looms and how to fix them when they break. 

I love pursuant people who are curious and interested. 

I love to cheer and clap and celebrate with you. 

I love being brave enough to dance and risk look ridiculous in public - for the first time. 

I love having water to swim in. 

I love all the places available to hang my hammock. 

I’m grateful our chalet has a fireplace and a piano. 

I am grateful for the supplies in Curley that enable me to bake bread in our own chalet. 

I’m thankful for people who allow me to pray for and with them. 

I’m glad for the raku kiln which doubles as an awesome pita bread hearth oven. 

Most of all - I’m thankful for candlelight. It makes us all incredibly beautiful.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Coffee Mug

Tension by way of pressure
points equaled inside and out
stack clay into a cylinder worthy
of stretching a round silhouette
resembling a wide hipped woman
carrying a belly full of grace

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Assuaging Loneliness

Four miles up into the mist
mountaintops tip homage
to their maker. The trail floor
springs back - meeting every
step with years and years
of cushioned forest loam. Ferns,
bracken and berries soften the edge
of the shady path I follow to
Hart Lake. I go by myself -
to see it different. I pray. I sing.
I listen. My heart pounds when
I see signs of a bear who recently
passed through, foraging as he
went. The water falling down
granite walls imbues me with
energy and enthusiasm.
The lake gives me peace like
a much needed transfusion. On
the way back, I stop to eat lunch -
then hitch my hammock between
two trees by Horse Ford and
swing to the rhythm of water
rushing over rocks. It's nice
to be lonely alone.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Wrecked by Raku

A kiln is built
with an arched roof
a chimney hole
a removable door
and a peekaboo

glazed bisque placed
in the preheated oven
turns hot orange -
matching the walls
without melting

the door is removed brick by brick
and long tongs reach for one
piece at a time to bury
in sawdust while a pail
waits to smother flames

one smoking piece at a time is
baptized in a bucket of water -
we gasp as humble clay
surprises us with patches of
unpredictable beauty

George Lowe and Daniele Maeder doing Pottery Vespers - Holden Village 2016 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Coloring Outside the Lines

I heard a story yesterday from a young man whose chorus teacher who told it in class one day. The teacher was this child.

During a kindergarten art session with crayons and a coloring book page and instructions from the teacher to carefully stay within the outline, a child decided with purpose to color beyond the outline. He figured that if he cut it out afterward along the outline he would have a piece filled in perfectly. 

His teacher came by, looked down and saw what looked like a rebellious and deliberate mess. This child deliberately had flouted his instructions. The teacher held it up for the class to see and told the other students that Johnny was disobedient and had colored badly. Don't color your page this way, he said. The entire class laughed nervously. 

Johnny kept silent, but knew in his heart that the teacher couldn't imagine what he knew the finished product could be. He knew he was right. He cut out his picture - pleased by how it turned out. 

I wish every child had the strength to withstand such onslaughts. Most people are crippled for life from these experiences. How many artists could there be in the world with this kind of knowing? 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Wheel and I

Inexperience begged for
a wheel with years
of practice and mastery

I perch awkwardly
on the bench, settle in -
and breathe in the fact

that a lifetime's longing
is coming to pass
here and now

Looking out the window
hosting red geraniums I see
a deer framed

Elton John sings in the background -
he's the only one to witness
my tears as

I take clay in my hands
and throw it into what I hope
is the center of the wheel

Wet eager hands cover clay
One foot kicks hard to make
the wheel spin silently

Hovering, I press and pull
the lump toward my belly
where butterflies flutter

This moment bends me
into a prayer - one I've
been waiting for so long

Village Potter

George Lowe serving as Village Potter - Holden Village - 2016