I was walking back to my truck last Sunday after church when I met a woman walking a service dog-in-training, and stopped to compliment the dog and thank the woman for being part of the training program. I then mentioned how much service dogs and therapy dogs mean to patients at "the hospital". Our conversation was then off and running...we covered hospice, chaplaincy, experiences in our lives that involved the deaths of loved ones and friends, how those experiences moved us to do greater and bigger things of ourselves, things we might not otherwise consider doing. We spoke of how our hearts and minds were shaped by the love of others, our mothers, our teachers, and those who were and are in the greater, wider world. Chief Joseph, Desmond Tutu, Mother Theresa,
Mahatma Gandhi, The Mothers of Plaza de Mayo, Martin Luther King Jr, adults and children, from past to contemporary lives, such as that of Fr Gregory Boyle in LA, who is author of "Tattoos on The Heart", and his work with changing the hearts and minds of those swept up by gang violence and the endless whirlwinds of darkness. His depiction will be the newest piece of the collection.
In that time that lasted about 45 minutes, I discovered Meera Censor of Ashland, Oregon. I discovered someone who believes as openly as I do that everyone is deserving of love and kindness and mercy. And we both felt that we are called in our own individual way to making sure that message is heard and felt in the world.
Her story is made of fairy dust and real grit. An amateur sculptor who displayed her work at the Oak Street Gallery, she was discovered one day by the current Dean of Hannon Library, Paul Adalian, who suggested to her to do the extraordinary work that is on long-term loan display in the Hannon Library on the Southern Oregon University campus in Ashland. Meera speaks to school children about her sculptures to create an awareness of the impact these people have had on history and society. Please read more about Meera in the link of her name.
It is my hope that you all will either see the works on line in the link below or visit it locally at the Hannon.
Peace People founders, Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Betty Williams, Northern Ireland
Meera Censor's sculptures are inspired by individuals who have used the power of spiritual insight and nonviolence for the upliftment of others.
She presents them as reminders of the invisible spirit behind all forms, a power of Love and Wisdom available to all. See them in the online gallery.
Photos of her scupltures, with accompanying stories, are now available in a book.
I highly recommend viewing this collection online or in person. And perhaps you will run into Meera, walking her dog in training for service to others, on the streets of Ashland. You will be blessed if you so fortunate.