One Story ....
I'll start with when I came
"of age", in the 60's. It's a time that for me is caught
up in the song "Alfie", by Burt Baccarach. Sorrow and
hope, despair and longing for love are all embedded in
Dionne Warwick's soulful voice and those anguished
it all about, Alfie? Is it just for the moment we live?
was a strange time of opposites when friends were heading
fearfully off to war in Viet Nam while in the streets the
Flower Children were singing songs of love and peace. At
Michigan State University I was more concerned with my inner
turmoil over questioned family values than I was about what
was happening with Martin Luther King's March on Washington
or the increasingly violent anti-war protests. My world
religion class was right up there with the sexual revolution
and relaxed views about drugs in breaking open that secure
little box in which I held my grip on the world and my rightful
place in it.
summer of 1966 I headed off to Mackinac Island for work
as a salad girl at one of the resort hotels. I don't recall
reading the news that whole long summer, but in the streets
of Cleveland and Chicago there was turmoil boiling over
into race riots and outrage. I was living out an idyllic
summer romance, relatively free from worry about life, limb
or happiness, while across the world future friends of mine
were seeing their culture erode and begin the slow slide
into despair, a despair which would eventually end their
way of life and result in their refugee status and 1980
placement in our home as members of our family.
A lot has happened since then, but the questions
and the questioning ... and the listening ... have
remained my companions, my way of holding the opposites
in place along a teeter-totter line of longed-for
understanding. And continued sorting. And tossing. And
learning. And hope. And love.
All of those experiences brought
me to where I am today. Here. With you. It's a good place
I love journey stories and walking
sticks and unexpected happenings along the way. But maybe
I always knew, in some part of my knowing, that I'd be a
spiritual director, and be working with Spirituality, Creativity
and Imagination. Looking back I can see how it all makes
Prior to 2010 I didn't have a name
for what it was that I did, or what happened, when people
told their stories. I just knew that stories mattered,
and that respectful listening in a safe environment allowed
people to fit more comfortably into their own skin, to dig
more deeply into their own stories in order to find what
really mattered to them. And, for me, Spirit was always
a part of all things, everywhere and everywhen ... in remote
corners of woods and late night conversations as well as
in magnificent structures and in gatherings of celebrants.
Seems like I've always been looking for the "Face of
My understanding of God and the Sacred has changed since
those dorm room conversations of 1965. But what I know is
that we are connected by a mysterious force that is within
each of us, yet is more than our individual selves. Some
of us call this force, God, and others use names like Higher
Power, Inner Spirit, Great Father, Divine Mother, Allah,
Mystery and Jehova, while still others leave this force
totally nameless, beyond all names and all definitive knowing.
No name at all.
I know now that I can not define
Spirit or put God in a box of my making. What I can do is
experience wonder and joy and love. And, in some mysterious
way, I can experience the Sacred through each of you as
we are the Face of Love to each other. And I can be silent.
And I can listen.
A Chronological Biography
First 20 years:
Born in 1947. Grew up on a farm in Elsie, Michigan.
Explored life. Active in Methodist Church, 4-H.
Exchange student to the Netherlands through Youth for Understanding.
Attended Michigan State University. Met husband Dan
on Mackinac Island. Fell in love with Dan and with life.
Next 20 years:
Graduated from Cleveland State University with a B.S. in
education. Taught 5th grade in Berea, Ohio.
Moved to Prior Lake Minnesota. Involved parent of
Jenelle and Renee. Foster parent. Sponsored/befriended
a family of 7 during the crises in Cambodia. Became
a working artist. Thoroughly loved being a part of
the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Began to take very seriously
the making of art as symbol and story
Flew through 20 more:
Took interest in creativity and art into the area of product
design, teaching, authorship of how-to books and videos.
Involved with the crafts community at a national level.
Wrote magazine how-to articles. Appeared on HGTV and
other cable television craft programs. Worked with American
Art Clay Company as a polymer clay designer and consultant.
Developed gift lines for the collectibles market, including
Carlson's Center for Creative Arts in Jordan, MN, USA.
Wondered where all of this was heading, and why? Combined
storytelling with artmaking and called it Storyclay Telling.
Began the latest 20-year cycle:
Completed class work
for spiritual direction at
in St. Paul, Minnesota. Entered the supervision process
of spiritual direction training. Continued private spiritual
direction, hosting of retreats and classes at Maureen's.
Continued authoring how to books and materials for adults
and children. Continued Storyclay Telling to adults and
children. Intrigued by what it means to be a lightworker
and a storycatcher. Continued to celebrate life in
all of it's complexity.