Sunday, February 3, 2013

Another Common-Thread Give-Away!!

February’s featured artist is Jon Katz, a New York Time’s best-selling author and professional photographer as well as husband to my friend, Maria Wulf. I remember first meeting Jon when he and Maria came to my house to photograph some of my pincushions for Maria's Pig Barn Gallery Functional Art Show.  I kenneled my then unruly puppy, as I didn’t want Cassie’s over-exuberance to violate he and Maria.  I hadn’t a clue that it could have been my dog, Cassie’s best experience ever with this gentle dog psychologist, nor did I know that Jon would have been proud of me for taking in this out-of-control bizarre and homeless puppy, and so I locked her up and didn’t let Jon near her. I now know that Jon loves animals, and writes  many stories about these precious and often irregular animals.

When Maria told me that he is a writer, I didn’t understand and thought perhaps he just journals like I do. No, Jon is a professional writer, and not an unpublished or unknown one at that!  He is a New York Times best-selling author, as well as a professional photographer, journalist and blogger.  Shortly after meeting and listening to Jon talk, I couldn’t wait to read about him and started with his autobiographical book, Running to the Mountain:a Midlife Adventure.  The timing was just right, as I was encountering major alterations in my life and my first encounter with him at the gallery show proved to be a meeting that opened up a whole new aspect of myself.  Jon has that affect on people.

Jon captures the hearts of his readers.  His transparency and love benefit all who come to know him. Although his beloved stories about his dogs are likely what he is best known for, his life’s experiences and deep probing nature makes him a truly interesting person and reading his daily blog has become my antidote to the toxic world that can de-rail us all.  Each day brings a refreshing glance into the world of Jon’s Bedlam Farm experiences, which is to encounter what I consider to be the real issues of living and embracing life and love. I encourage all of my readers to get to know Jon as I have through his blog and books.

Don’t miss his featured Common-Threads free Give-Away, a signed print of Fran and Meg, shown above. It is suitable for framing and will bring a touch of Bedlam Farm right into your home. Simply sign up for this free give-away by visiting his wife's website, and leaving a comment for him there anytime Monday through Wednesday of this week. I would encourage you to browse and read Jon's blog, well.

I have written an Ode to Jon, for he has become one of my favorite authors. It falls short when it comes to being lyrical and I will not attempt to sing it, but it is truly a heartfelt praise of this beloved author and friend.

Ode to Jon Katz
He is a kind, gentle, and creative man,
A mesmerizing story teller,
Who puts all at ease.
With a perceptive and artistic eye that
Sees within and captures the good in all he encounters,
With photograph and words he shares all he sees.
Daring to ask the raw and gnawing questions,
While facing life squarely,
He transparently shares with us all,
His yearnings, thoughts and feelings,
His short comings and his fears.
Serious, but humorous as well,
He is a seeker, a lover of life,
Devoted husband to Maria,
And good friend to many.
He is a gentle master of his animals,
Though he might say he is a steward of them instead.
Respecting, and earning their trust and affection.
They know his character and he knows theirs.
Always reaching deep within
To find their hearts and souls,
Just as he does with people,
Drawing out the inner beauty within.
Taking care each day to not neglect
An opportunity to love life,
Jon embraces the world, his animals, and his friends.
It is no secret that he is soft.
He writes of that softness
And all who read Jon’s blog
Or his books will agree
There is no malice, but only love within.
It makes me smile when I think of him.