Saturday, March 21, 2015


"Indwelling," glass art by Karen Bourque
The latest acquisition in my collection of Karen Bourque's stained glass art is a piece showing Karen's concept of a cupola and flowers in my Grandmother Nell's yard, shown above. The rendering of amethyst, green jade, Carnelian, pearls, recycled silver jewelry, and stained glass will be photographed and used for the cover of my latest book of poetry, The Lonely Grandmother.

The gems in this piece of art symbolize calm and protection against fear, envy, and anger, as well as spiritual characteristics such as faith, charity, healing, and inspiration. I love the purple hues in Karen's interpretation of wisteria (plant of steadfastness) and in the cupola itself. Karen named the work "Indwelling" to denote indwelling goodness characteristic of Grandmother Nell.

We received "Indwelling" at Cafe Creola in Grand Coteau where Darrell Bourque (Karen's husband and former poet laureate of Louisiana), Vickie Sullivan, and I enjoyed a shrimp eggplant casserole (excepting me as I'm allergic to shellfish), spa salad, stuffed potato, and French bread, then went out on the front patio to sit in the sunshine and talk about our respective writing/art projects.

Darrell and Diane
Darrell is still performing readings as far afield as Ada, Oklahoma and closer at home in the Jesuit Center across the road from the Creola Cafe, touting the art of poetry. He says his work with the retired Jesuit priests is as satisfying as any work he has done in his career as a poet. He's presently working on another book of poetry that will include his work on Amédé Ardoin and outstanding Cajun musicians who have emerged from the south Louisiana culture. He's also a board member of an organization that is raising money to provide for a statue of Ardoin—a drive headquartered at NUNU Arts and Culture Collective in Arnaudville, Louisiana.

Karen showed us two volumes containing photographs of nearly 200 stained glass pieces she has created, sold, and distributed throughout Louisiana and farther West—pieces ranging from depictions of Madonnas to Grand Canyon scenes. The volumes include some of the most original and stunning stained glass art I've seen, and the accompanying legends about the works are as inspiring as the art.

Karen, Vickie, Darrell
Vickie Sullivan and I are co-authoring a mystery based in south Louisiana, and while leafing through the photographs of glass art, we found one, only one, piece that Karen hasn't sold. We enjoyed an "aha" moment as the piece will be perfect for the cover of the mystery.

A certain synchronicity of spirit is always present when we get together with the Bourques, and we're blessed with mutual moments of inspiration for the crafts we pursue. You can see from the happy faces of Karen, Darrell and Vickie, and in the photograph of Darrell and me (both always in black), sunning side by side, that Life is good and Art is binding.
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