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Monday: May 21, 2018:

We’ve had such wonderful spring rains that my yard and garden are profuse with greens and splashes of color from irises, roses, and pots filled with geraniums and impatients. The recently planted knockout roses are taking root happily beside the studio, as are the pink and white dogwoods in the back yard. My space is so happy, which makes me happy as I walk out to the studio with my morning coffee.

As I check my email, I find that a friend and former student, Glenda Lawrence,  has sent a response to my invitation to the Open Studios and Garden with a photo (above) she took in Vermont last summer and dedicated to me. Her thoughtfulness inspired me to do a new blog. I am quite honored the photo made her think of me.

I am reminded of the quote: “Bloom where you are planted.”  But sometimes we are uprooted and have to “bloom wherever we land,” as did this pink rose. It is blooming in a most unlikely place. In fact, roses are known for being finicky and picky and difficult to grow. But not this one. This is one strong, pink lady! Thank you Glenda!

Somehow I feel that something within me has bloomed with the publishing of Woman Alone.  Though some of you may feel, after reading Jude Bennett’s story, that I am even more “weird” than you thought (one student said I needed to use that line in the marketing), writing it was such therapy for me.  It was an opening up to the guiding of Spirit and therefore the voice of Spirit that so came through in the themes and insights and Shamanic Journey’s I included. Some of these journeys were actual experiences, but the last one totally came to me as I was writing. The concept that we are loved and guided through every experience in this life is so powerful for me. I did experience a painful divorce. But in that “journey” I was reminded that through it all I was loved, and even, to the best of his ability, by my partner who was, at the time, hurting me deeply.

Perhaps the most powerful insight I received in the writing of Jude’s story is that it isn’t about how well we are loved by others, but how well WE LOVE. That was a “wow” for me. A personal response from another invitation to the Opening said: “Jan, remember that even when you are alone there are those who love you, even if they are not always present in your life.”  Writing this novel has been a reminder that I am not alone in many ways.

Woman Alone is fiction, meaning a few bits and pieces of my own experience, mixed with bits and pieces of the experiences of many I know well,  stirred into a big dose of imagination. As a result I hope it will speak to many who are looking for the love and care God surrounds us with in even the most frustrating or painful experiences. Like the rose in Glenda’s photo, I hope you grow and bloom wherever you have landed. I believe we are here to learn, grow, and LOVE…..and “the greatest of these is LOVE.”