Feb 2010

Dear Friend

We are all still reeling from the catastrophic magnitude of the earthquake that crushed Haiti’s capital city Port-au-Prince. In the midst of the carnage, a woman cried, “The world is coming to an end.” While we know the earthquake will not defeat the Haitian people, our hearts go out to them in this great natural tragedy. Compassion and empathy aren’t enough in time like these. Life isn’t fair! We are called to exercise active-virtue and do the right thing at the right time for the right reason. I urge you to send money to this poor country that has to struggle so hard in their suffering.

Peter and I were on book tour in San Francisco with my color book in October 1989 when a similar 7.0 quake struck. Our events were scheduled to be held on a pier and were canceled, but there were champagne block-parties, as well as after-tremors; less than 70 people (reportedly) died in this California quake of the same magnitude as the one that struck Haiti.

I remember writing my website before Hurricane Katrina because I was going away and wanted to get it completed before leaving, and then disaster hit New Orleans. One woman wrote me the nastiest E-mail, telling me how insensitive I am not to have acknowledged this disaster. I was on vacation when this happened. Upon my return I telephoned this person on a Sunday morning only to learn her husband was deployed to serve again in Afghanistan. She was upset, and so was I. Just remembering this makes me sad…

There is so much sadness everywhere we turn. This seems to be a time when we can use our inner resources to rise above the outside circumstances we can’t control and be moved by a higher power of awareness, consciousness and clarity. This interior light is in our control and can guide us through the darkness.

Bob Herbert wrote a moving op-ed column in the New York Times after the Haiti apocalypse: “Resolve Among the Ruins,” where he wrote, “Just when you think the ultimate has happened, the absolute worst, something even more dire, comes along.” And yet, he believes, “there is no quit in the Haitian people.” Herbert quoted a favorite thought, William Faulkner wrote, “I believe that man will not merely endure, he will prevail: He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.” Each of us faces challenges, and the dark times of others puts a shadow on our light. But in these times of bad fortune, we can do everything in our power to keep our energy helpful and be as useful as we can.

I’ve decided to take a sabbatical in Italy. The outpouring of love and good wishes I’ve received after my news that my books I’ve loved writing will not be published in the near future has been comforting. Of course, it is a little death to have a book not published, but I am resilient and am working on a new book that I’m passionate about. As a writer, nothing is ever wasted, and I’ve had many struggles in the past. I’m tenacious. Living a Beautiful Life, took years to write and become accepted by a publisher. I will not give up or give in. I promise.

Peter and I are going to relax, rest, look around and savor the beauty of Italy. We’re only going for a week, so my time off will be brief, but timely. I feel a great need for change. I want my creative imagination to click in, and remind me why I love life so dearly and why it means so much to me to write (and publish) books!

I am not discouraged. I know that when the doors are all closed, there is an open window. I will find my way, and until then, I will keep writing. This is a perfect time for us because Peter is waiting for his book of wisdom, Figure It Out, to be published and I’m trying to figure it out!

Happy February! This is a good time to think about all the people we love, and feel grateful for the abundant blessings we experience every day. Continue to participate with joy in the sorrows of the world and stay connected to the purity of your source, the force that gives you your true essence – love and joy.

Love & Live Happy

Have you taken photos at one of Alexandra's events that you'd like to share? If so, you can email them to AStoddardInc@aol.com. Please be sure to include the names of those in the photo and where and when it was taken! We will try to include them on the website in the future.

Peter Megargee Brown

This is a favorite photo that Alexandra took of Peter at Claude Monet's beloved house and garden in Giverny. This is the photograph selected for Peter's new book Figure It Out.

Alexandra and Peter's cottage just after the renovation.

If you would like to get an autographed copy of Alexandra's book, please send your order (including inscription information) to:
Jane Hannon
Bank Square Books
53 West Main Street
Mystic, CT 06355
(860) 536-3795