I don't remember how it happened exactly, but one day, this past March, my world collided with something/someone very very special. I remember stopping and staring and taking a deep breath and giggling a little inside, knowing immediately that I had found a treasure.
Her name is Lori Portka and she brings magic to life through her playful, beautiful, filled with color and life paintings. And here's the thing, she is just the most lovely person. You can tell by looking at her photo (bottom of page) that she is pure goodness. Though we have yet to meet in person (that just has to happen someday), Lori & i have had some beautiful exchanges (through email & via our blogs).
What a pleasure it is to have found you & your artwork, Lori. And such an honor to have you here today. You truly make this world a happier, more beautiful place.
By Lori Portka
I was in my early 30's and I just lost my husband and my job.
And I was moving.
And, I was literally out of money.
I remember thinking that every day I needed to get up, get myself outside and walk the dog, take a shower, put on a little make-up and wear only clothes that I loved. My husband left me, making it nearly impossible to believe that I was anything other than entirely un-lovable. But I knew, deep down somewhere, that wasn’t true.
Every Thursday I went to a local Al-Anon meeting. I showed up scared, confused, and unable to contribute anything other than tears. I sat in the circle and cried, and people sat with me and held the space while I cried, without offering advice. And they told me they were glad I was there. And they told me to keep coming back. And I felt loved and cared for and heart-broken and lost, all at the same time.
We had beautiful gardens around our house. When my husband moved out, and I knew I was moving too, I let the gardens go and never brought cut flowers into the house. One day I had revelation that I could have the flowers, just for me. I cried at the thought of being so nice to myself. When I pulled into the driveway later that day I was unbelievably shocked - stunned. There were thousands of gorgeous little wild poppies growing all over the backyard, with their thin, delicate stems and bright orange petals. Never before were there poppies in my yard. They were fragile and sweet and wild and beautiful. I call it, My Poppy Miracle. That night I brought mason jars filled with poppies to the Al-Anon group. And I cried.
My ex husband and I were teachers in the same school district. When we split up, I wanted to move near friends and get out of the town that brought me so much pain. I used the last of my money to secure an apartment and then I was panicked. How would I have enough money for gas or food before my new job started and I got my next pay check? Then I remembered that we saved change in a big jar over the years. I lugged it to the bank and found out that I had $250.00. This turned out to be exactly the amount I needed for my life until the pay checks started coming in again.
I learned that even when I am at my most fearful and uncertain, I always have everything I need. In this case- a little make-up, nice clothes, circles of friends who understand, enough money, and poppies.
There were poppies just for me.