Open and Listening

Me with FRAN FEARNLEY

Me with FRAN FEARNLEY

In the midst of all of the tumultuousness that is going on in the United States and Across the World…
I met this Lady.
Her name is FRAN.

My close friends who live in PeterBorough, Ontario took me to ZIMART one summer’s afternoon.
Visit Here: www.zimart.ca
It was a Scenic Summer’s Day.20160718_175307
My friends have an elegant Home, and they collect some of the most unique and delightful pieces of Stone Carving I have ever seen.
I guess I was expecting to see just another Gallery.
Nope.
A mere 15-minute drive, and we were on a picturesque Length of Property overlooking Rice Lake in Bailieboro.
Amidst the Grounds, Popping up in this most exquisite setting, were these Amazing Sculptures
…from Zimbabwe.
As it turns out, this Marvelous Creature by the name of FRAN FEARNLY travels to Zimbabwe every year.
She returns with a number of the most select and Divine Hand-Carved Stone Sculptures.
20160718_170806 20160718_170743
Very Often the Tools that were used to make them are made by Hand as Well.
From what I understand, she used to offer only Stone Sculptures,
But now she has begun to get into Sculptures from Recycled Materials, as well,
And they are equally Amazing.
There was a Stone Carving WorkShop going on while we were there.

My friends explained to me that FRAN sponsors an Artist from Zimbabwe each Summer, bringing them here and putting them up.
This year, she has brought us the esteemed WALTER MARIGA.
She features her Artists’ work in the Beautiful Setting of her Humble and Enchanted OutDoor Gallery.
The Artist leads Stone Carving WorkShops and Classes.
In many cases, they return to Zimbabwe with enough to build a House there (Needless to say, it costs way less than what it would take to build a house here, but still, their Life Improvement from the experience is Significant!)
Slowly, Patiently, Kindly, and with Seismic Effect,
FRAN changes the World
For the Better.

SAM, WALTER, and FRAN

SAM, WALTER, and FRAN

I met SAM, a Local Artist who works with FRAN on these projects.
I learned of FRAN’s programs to help fund schools in Zimbabwe.
My friend bought me a Stone PaperWeight — all proceeds go toward building schools there.
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I was Awestruck!
Gobsmacked!
How was it Possible that all of this Good Work was happening across the World
from this one Gracious, Intelligent, and Unassuming Woman
On this little patch of Land only 15 minutes from the City?
How had I never been there before!?
It appears that the World is not changed by Armies and Invasions and Large Corporations, after all.
The real effect on the Quality of Life we Experience here on this planet
Is Affected by People just like Us.
20160718_175003 20160718_171835
I could not wait to speak to FRAN, and hear a bit of her Story.
She told me that she had been working in Publishing, and decided she was ready for a Change.
She gave them 5-Years Notice.
Not knowing what the Next Thing would be,
But planning a trip to Africa,
She knew in her heart that she would find it there…
After two years in Africa, she returned to Ontario.
Soon afterward, a show of Stone Carvings from Zimbabwe made its way to Washington DC, with a planned tour across the country.
Apparently the show kind of collapsed, as Galleries across the US learned of the complications and expense of transporting Stone Carvings (Think of the cost of packing and shipping, and the special requirements necessary to avoid breakage!)
Seizing the Moment
Embracing the Day
Rising to the Occasion
And perhaps knowing that she was Born for Just Such a Time as This,
FRAN Spoke Up, “Bring it Here!”
And so the Show of Zimbabwean Stone Carvings was transported to Bailieboro, Ontario.
And her new Life had begun
Just by being Open,
Listening,
And having the Courage to say, “YES!”
20160718_172323
So Many Lives have Benefitted in the 15 years or so since the Day this one Human Being said, “YES!”…
Not knowing How
Not asking Why
Just Showing Up for her Life and Embracing what was Before Her to Be Done
So Many People’s Homes have been Beautified in ways beyond what they’d ever imagined…
People from all over the World get to come and take WorkShops with the Great Stone Carving Artists of Africa whom she brings to Ontario…
Centuries-Old Traditions of Stone-Carving are taught and shared and brought to all the World…
Just by having the Courage to say, “I don’t know what the Next Right Thing is, but I am Open and Listening and Willing to travel as far as I have to go to find it!”
Just by having the Openness to view the collapse of a Touring Art Show as not a disaster, but an Opportunity!
Just by using what you’ve Got — Clearing some Property — and Creating a Home for Art!
Just by having the Willingness and the Courage to say, “YES!”
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It was a Most Inspiring Meeting!
It was a Most Full-Of-Wonder Day,
Experiencing the Magic that this Woman Created
In her Yard
In our World.
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I have been to the World’s foremost Museums all across the planet,
And the Magic this Woman has fashioned just north of PeterBorough ranks with the Best of Them.

If we have the Willingness and the Courage in our own Lives Today
To Go There
To See Crisis as Opportunity
To Say, “YES!”
To Open
And Listen
And Embrace Our Life Journey…
Who knows what Magic we might be Capable of Creating!?
And how we might Change the World for the Better?

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