Letters to the editor (3-23-16)

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Special thanks and a nod to personal sacred spaces

Spring has sprung. The month began with glorious blossoms. Rain and sunshine brought even greener grass.

Congratulations to outstanding photo-video-journalist Shavonne Potts Walker on her multimedia articles. “Dazzling dolls” from Japan story (March 14) was colorful and informative.   

I want to thank special folks and others in the background. 

First, there have been at least three Japanese named Yoshiko here. First there is the beautiful, youthful, Yoshiko Kikuchi. She demonstrated the intricate folds of the kimono. Then we know Yoshiko Clifton, matriarch of Spencer.  Finally there is Yoshiko Otey, my wife of over 55 years, about whom my daughter Mimiko Otey Little wrote the book.

Beth Nance and the Morrises helped make the Spencer Doll Museum event a grand success. It was held in a sacred space, at Spencer United Methodist Church.

What is a sacred space? It can be physical, mental or spiritual, a place between heart, mind and soul. It can be an object which helps someone to focus and perceive the unseen.

Think of a spot between earth and sky with sun rays through the mist. Perceive a spot where elders over 90 reside when they seem to be absent-minded.

It occurs when ailments mix with the joy of meeting the Lord. There is a longing and  yearning where loved ones abide — memories become transcendent.

My mother witnessed my father standing by the bedroom door shortly after his funeral. My mother meditated a lot.

Sacred spaces come in different ways, forms and places. For Moses it was the burning bush. Jesus wept in the garden at Gethsemane.

My best friends include: the Rev. Bob Freeman, the Rev. Andy Whitted, Carroll Fisher, Ralph Ketner and his sister Dot Swing. They have all reached 90.

They acknowledge spirituality and are role models. They have had ups and downs in life and yet remain faithful.

— The Rev. Fleming Otey