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Patra 40

Patra_40_Inner Light_Olson Today I am am packing up this beautiful bowl, called Patra 40, to send off to a friend for a temporary visit. The bowl, one of a series of 108 bowls made by artist Lynda Lowe is part of her project called Patra Passage, based on the idea of the bowls that monks use for begging for food–and that whatever one receives is enough.

Patra 40, which was passed to me by my friend, artist Iskra Johnson, has held several positions in my life since I received her in February. For a while she sat in my dining room next to a Chinese Buddha. Every day the bowl seemed to fill with light, reminding me to pay attention, to center myself.

Then, in early May, I took Patra 40 on a rafting trip down the Grand Canyon (carefully packaged in bubble wrap and Tupperware). I photographed the bowl on a travertine waterfall on the clear blue Little Colorado. And then I hiked her to the top of Deer Creek canyon where I photographed her on shards of rocks, the same colors as the bowl–which seemed to imply that she belonged there. Another lesson–about being present wherever we are.

Having something so beautiful and fragile, something that reminds me to look inward and reflect, knowing I would have to give her up–has been an interesting experience. The temporary nature of our time together made it all the more precious. Like life.

And now, Patra 40 travels on to a friend in another state, before returning to Lynda in the fall.

I am grateful to Lynda Lowe for creating these amazing bowls and sharing them with many people. It is good to be reminded of the idea that what we receive every day is enough, now matter what it is.

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