Monday, November 06, 2006

Extended Hands

Hey Folks:

Dick Lehman is a potter and writer from Goshen, Indiana, where I grew up, who has been a friend and mentor of mine for several years. Every time I put out an announcement about an exhibit or publication I am involved with, he is one of the first -- sometimes the only -- person to take the time to drop me a quick note of encouragement and congratulations. And he was a vital conversation partner with me as I crafted my master's thesis last year. I only run into him once or twice each year, but we always have warm, heart-felt conversations with each other. I suspect that he has been this kind of friend to the many people he encounters around the world.

Dick was diagnosed with Lymphoma a couple years ago. In recent conversations, I am struck by how he continues to be peaceful and attentive even though he wrestles with a tormenting physical illness. Nonetheless, his ability to do studio work has been seriously limited, and as a result of a stem cell transplant this fall, he will likely not be able to work in the studio for many months. I am sure this is both a spiritual/emotional as well as financial hardship for one who earns his living by making pots.

To help with the later, some of Dick's colleagues have assembled a benefit exhibit that is both online and on display in his studio showroom. I donated a piece to the show, which opened last week.

I originally intended to blog about this, making a plea to all of you to find the website and buy some work to benefit Dick. Well, the exhibit opened on Nov. 1, and already it looks like about 3/4 of the more than 300 pieces have been sold! So, now I don't feel as much need to plea that you buy them. (Although, certainly buy what's left...) However, the exhibit is a beautiful collection of contemporary ceramic work by a wide variety of artists from all over the world, so it's worth checking out the images (http://www.claylink.com/lehman2006.html).

Meanwhile, I have revised my plea: Strive to be the kind of listening and gracious person that Dick has been to me and many others (so much so that he has inspired this amazing outpouring of support in response to his pain and need) -- it might just change the world.

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12 November, 2006  

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