Sometimes We Get Discouraged…and THEN

I’m one of those people who keeps at it. I hardly ever stop. Today I stopped. I was tired and I felt beaten. Now I think I’ve caught a cold, but whatever the reason it was a “down” day…


“We blessed our church mouse in lieu of live animals for the Feast of St. Francis at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church today. We decided to keep it and hide it around the sanctuary.”

This message was posted on the Facebook page for all the painted rock people in the San Luis Valley (there aren’t many of us).

A month or so ago, I gave the mouse to my friend Elizabeth to be the church mouse at her church. St. Stephen the Martyr is a tiny Episcopal chapel in Monte Vista that was built to replicate an English village church. It was built by English immigrants. It looks a lot like the little church at Gfenn…

I’ve been to church there a few times even though I can’t recite the Apostles Creed, cross myself, sing hymns or take communion, everyone is always very glad to see me and I like going there…

Then I heard from my friend Lilliana who is an artist, is in her 90s, has survived heartbreaks that are beyond imagining and is yet a very alive, very positive force in my life and the lives of many other people. I wanted a print of one of her paintings. She offered me a deal. A copy ofย Martin of Gfenn in exchange for the print. She loved the novel and today she wrote me:

I just got Martin of Gfenn back — my Dog walker wanted to read it seeing how engrossed I was in it when she came to get Have’- she loved it and is going to make a report of it to her book club. I love the story and the way you tell it is so beyond inspiring– I never knew that much about leprosy but I do know about the power of art and the creative spirit– I kept thinking of the amount of research it took for you on so many levels — how Martin describes getting and making the materials for his fresco was so awesome– I will read that part again– and othe passages too. One beautiful sentence after another — thank you for expanding my world. Love, Lilliana

8 thoughts on “Sometimes We Get Discouraged…and THEN

  1. And THEN….it takes someone who really gets it or wants to get it to read the book. Martha, this made me smile. And, oh, the church mouse…!! Kudos to you. I hope this made you feel better.

    • It did. ๐Ÿ™‚ All of it, but especially the church mouse because I love that little church and its welcoming people. I can’t join, or attend often, but I really wanted some bit of me to be there and a way to say “Thank you.”

  2. Two encouraging bits of news from people we care about can make up for days of disappointment, and I’m glad you received the message you did at the time you did. I have been meaning to tell you, and wish I’d done so sooner, that I have made progress on my books to read list this summer and Martin of Glenn is nearing the top of the list. I thought I’d buy it from Amazon, but if you have copies I’d rather buy one directly from you so you can sign it. Let me know if that could work.

    • I have copies of Martin of Gfenn, but you don’t need to buy one. I seriously like giving them away, something I realized a couple years ago when I was still working at the artist coop. My neighbor came in and we started chatting. My books were there. She said something about wanting to read them. I grabbed Martin of Gfenn and gave it to her. That’s when I realized that one of my problems with the artist coop was sitting there all day hoping to sell something. ๐Ÿ™‚ You can email me your address.

      I’ll be very happy to send it to you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Oh, it’s Martin of Glenn. Really, I hate the way my eyesight has declined in the last few years! Here’s the thing: I like paying people for the immense amount of work I know a book to be. So, please, let me send you a check. In the meantime, I’ll email my address. Can’t wait to get it.

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