Friday 22 May 2009

The Sweetness of Friendship

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, for in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.” Kahlil Gilbran

You know what? I have a confession to make and it’s this: sometimes I'm so moved by the generosity and sweet thoughtfulness of my wonderfully inspiring bloggy friends that I get all choked up! It could be because of a post which reaches out to touch the very heart of me, or something someone did to help make a particular life a little less painful. Perhaps it was because of the courage and tenacity of somebody whose own life has been torn asunder by illness or loss, maybe it was a poem or a lyrical piece of prose or it could have been a beautifully rendered work of art. Often it’s because of the many wonderful comments on a post. Sometimes, of course, the teariness is a result of tummy-clutching hilarity. Many of my blog friends are not only heart-warmingly self-deprecating, but can make me rock with laughter at their madcap antics and Wildean sense of humour!

I know that there are some bloggers who are a bit sceptical about awards – but I’m certainly not one of them. If someone out there in the blogosphere has decided that what I write delights and amuses or holds some sort of resonance for them, then I’m enormously proud and honoured to be given the accolade that these awards carry with them. Above all, it is surely an acknowledgement of what I do here on my blog is worthwhile and so each and every award I receive is cherished.

It is in that spirit that I would like to pass on the International Reach Out Award. You see, it was a very special friend’s birthday yesterday.....

Dr Maithri Goonetilleke has reached out across the world to touch the hearts and minds of so many on his blog ‘The Soaring Impulse’. Quite apart from his exceptional talent with words and music, I immediately felt a connection because of his humanitarian work in his capacity as a doctor with the sick and dying in Swaziland, a place I knew well. Of course, most of you have ‘met’ Maithri, and I know that all of you have been deeply moved by his work with the Good Shepherd Hospital and Baylor Clinic in Swaziland.

Inspired by the way in which he reaches out with such love and compassion to build the bridges that he speaks of so eloquently, I have created my own special award in his honour on his birthday. It is to acknowledge the depth and breadth of the warm open-heartedness from bloggers all over the world who reach out and touch their readers with their words. The award is also a way of saying thank you for your contributions - in both words and deeds - to the people of Swaziland.

“It has been my experience that whenever one human being reaches out to another in compassion, a bridge is built. A bridge which leads out of despair, into the light of hope and the possibility that tomorrow will hold a few less tears than yesterday” Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke.

In no particular order the International Reach Out Award is for these special people who have all, in their own unique way, done exactly that – they’ve built bridges:

Val, Karen; Beth Kephart; Bee; Lola; Nicky; Mama Shujaa; Zurama; Rosaria; Cuban in London, Anna Lefler, Angela (Geli); Vanessa Brantley-Newton; Lori; Ces; Renee; Bella; Elizabeth Wix; Barb; Erin; Grace; David (authorblog); Cynthia; Amy (Uncensored); Delwyn; Jinsky; Tracy (Hey Harriet); Yoli; Yoborobo; JuneMoonToon; San; Delwyn; Karin; Nancy; Elizabeth (A Moon); Thousand Clapping Hands; Irene (Gossamer); Willow Manor; Deb (Artshtick); Rob; Linda Sue; Rose-Ann; Butternut Squash; Sara Lulu; Holly; Adrienne Trafford; kj (Options); Polly (Sotto Voce); Pyria (Plum Tree); Soulbrush; Studio Lolo; E (Tear Stained); Sallymandy; Reya; Meredith; Anaka; Ribbon; ValGalArt; Pink Dogwood; Karen; Tracy (Pink Purl); Exmoor Jane.

You can click and copy the award and paste it on your sidebar if you’d like to. No obligation, of course!

We’re off to Turkey tomorrow – so I’ll ‘see’ you all when I get back. In the meantime I wish you laughter and love and happy days.


Rosaria Williams said...

Tessa, I underline and ditto everything you wrote about folks building bridges across cultures. I also second your choice for Dr.
Maithri at The Soaring Impulse. I handed him an award too: The Shining Light Award.

We know good people and good things wherever these are.


kendalee said...

Hi Tessa, I've been directed to your lovely space by wonderful Renee, who I think recognised that I would enjoy your art and that we have a fair bit in common (although not our artistic ability, 'cause yours is amazing and mine is non-existent!). How apt on a day that you've posted about building bridges through blogging! I've just had a lovely browse through some of your previous posts and she was right, I love what I've found. Anyway, I didn't want to leave again without saying "hi!", from one chronically homesick African to another... Oh, and enjoy Turkey!

Amy said...


Many, many thanks. Your writing is so beautiful and for you to acknowledge mine amazes me.

Many thanks and much affection,


Elizabeth said...

I really do think that Blogland is a place where people from all over the world can come together in friendship!
It makes me really happy.
I'm thrilled to get an award. Have a super terrific time in Turkey and take lots and lots of pictures to share with us.
Happy weekend.

Eleonora Baldwin said...

Your generosity has earned you yet ANOTHER pair of wings, Tessa. I'm allowing this powerful wave of affection to swallow me whole. I reach out to you and all my worldwide fellow (often mutual) blogger friends and help build a bridge made of love, solidarity and hope.

I am honored to be among the worthy recipients of the International Reach Out Award honouring the inspired work of Dr. Maithri.

Grazie, Tessa of my soul - all my love to you and yours. Have a great time in Turkey! Ciao

Anonymous said...

Oh Tessa, your words are spot on. This is exactly what I love about blogging and the many wonderful bloggers I have met. They share, they amuse, they teach and they care. I love your award, well done for creating and sharing it as well as for your wonderful words.

A Cuban In London said...

First of all, many thanks for this award. It's an honour coming from someone as thoughtful, cheery, intelligent and earnest as you are. I also feel proud because of the company in which I am, in this task of building bridges.

Secondly, since Wednesday I have been trying to enter Maithri's blog without success. My explorer crashes the minute I go it. In fact, it was happening with most bloggers on, because I posted comments on a couple of blogs on wordpress and nothing happened. So, I will make another attempt after I finish and if I'm not successful, please, Maithri, if you read this message, i wish a happy birthday, mate. You deserve it so much because of the work you do and your poetry, too.

I have so many more things to say, the opening quote by Gibran is absolutely beautiful, your illustrations, once again, are adorable. Many, many thanks. Have a fab time in Turkey and I look forward to the chronicles of your journey.

To the rest of the awardees, congrats!

Greetings from London.

Bee said...

Oh Tessa, I'm so touched. Thank you, thank you.

Time with you is always so well-spent. I adore your art, and I'm very touched to be the recipient of such a beautiful piece! xx

(Have wonderful adventures in Turkey; and I can't wait to see the pictures!)

sallymandy said...

What a dear and generous friend you are, Tessa! You yourself deserve the award you created. What an honor to receive your award, that recognizes a man doing such important work.

In a moment of temporary dismay, about a month into my blogging life, I told my husband I didn't think it was real and maybe I'd just give it up (I had just lost all my posts!). He, the very practical guy that he is, said, "It's absolutely real! Those are real people out there, and you're BUILDING BRIDGES right now, and our world needs that!"

♥ Tessa!

Ces Adorio said...

Thank you Tessa. I echo your sentiments. Have a safe and happy trip to Turkey.

Woman in a Window said...

There are special spirits out there, light and inviting. Yours is one of them. You deserve every accolade, Tessa. You draw positivity to you. Have a wonderful time in Turkey!

Debra Keirce said...

Tessa, Thank you for this award!! You have reached out and touched so many...I only hope to help you in your efforts! Have a wonderful time in Turkey!

pink dogwood said...

omg, omg - I cannot believe it - now I can legally copy the beautiful zebra over the moon and post it over my blog

xxx said...

Hello... so happy to reach here today. Blogger for some odd reason hasn't allowed me to access your site in previous days.

Yes I too some time ago offered an award to "the soaring impulse"... His blog is a very influential experience that I feel we all need to have.

Thank you so very much for also offering the award to myself and of course congratulations to all of us who have been honoured with this award.

It's the beauty of your blog that I'm drawn to like a moth to light.

Enjoy your time away. Hope it's warm and sunny for you.

Must away as this comment is getting longer than a post :-)

best wishes Ribbon

xxx said...

PS... I'm very excited to have the awesome image grace my blog too!!!!!

xx ribbon

Delwyn said...

hello there, I hope that you have a restful happy break away and return with many new and interesting stories for us.

Thank you for the inclusion in your beautifully rendered award presentation.

The value to me in this 'bridge building acknowledgment' from you is in having experienced the warmth and generosity that comes through your own posts and comments - you exemplify those qualities and we are the lucky beneficiaries.

Happy Days

Bella Sinclair said...

Tessa, you are a wonder. I proudly walk across the colorful bridges you build, and I am giddy to walk along this enchanted striped bridge that takes me over the moon and back. You are darling, and your art is passionate. Have a fantastic trip to Turkey! Can't wait to hear all about it.


Irene said...

Dear Tessa, you're one sweetheart of a woman and I very gladly accept this award. I think it is beautiful and of such a high standard that I can only be proud of it. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


Maithri said...

Dearest Friend,

I know you know that my internet time is sparse here in this little hamlet on the edge of the world...

But I wanted to say..

Needed to say...

I can feel the touch of your wings this morning... so many mornings...

When I think of your heart, your compassion, your strength to stand up for what is right and never flinch,

I am humbled beyond words, and I honour you and all those who congregate here at this place so deeply infused with your grace,

I have much to tell you about what we've been working on here and will email you soon,

From 'under our blanket of stars' I remember that we all share the same sky,

That when one cry goes unheard, it diminishes us all...

That when one reaches out to build a bridge,

That all of us grow stronger...

My father used to say "Humanity is a spiders web. Touch the web at any point and the whole web vibrates..."

I feel the earth moving beneath my feet dear Tessa,

Thank you for touching my life and this world with your love,

Always, Maithri

Lynn Cohen said...

I just found your blog through Mim's. Your art sings so loudly and beautifully. Wow!!!!!!!!!!

pRiyA said...

Oh thank you Tessa! I will post it up soon!

I love looking at that first illustration on Friendship. It warms the cockles of my heart :-)

Linda Sue said...


Val said...

wow Tessa - this award is so beautiful - both visually and in intention. thank you so much for including me. I shall be proud to post it on my blog and truly cherish the bridges built through blogging.

Have a wonderful trip to Turkey and come back safely :-)

Elizabeth said...

My goodness, thank you for this! I am unashamed to admit to loving all awards -- it's a bit of sunshine that I never turn away!

Good thoughts to you and I look forward to continued reading!

Cynthia Pittmann said...

Tessa, like you, I am sometimes (daily)moved to tears "by my wonderfully inspiring bloggy friends" and today is not an exception. I am overcome that you would connect what I do at Oasis Writing Link (OWL) with this profound and committed group of bloggers. Thank you!

When I read what Maithri wrote here in the comment section, I knew that you have touched and helped him to continue with his difficult work.

You are amazingly talented and shine beauty from deep within your heart.

May many blessings rain upon you, and to: Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke, the Good Shepherd Hospital and Baylor Clinic in Swaziland, and the bloggers you listed here who reach out to others in acceptance, connection and strength to enhance our committment to built a better world.

Love to you and all of those you touch. Thank you again for the beautifully designed and conceived award! It will go on my sidebar today.

Enjoy your visit to Turkey! <3

pRiyA said...

tessa dear, i have to change my mouse because the right click does not work and hence i cannot copy paste and display the wonderful award you have bestowed on me.

i am on a blog break, but as soon as i get a new mouse that is the first thing i will be doing :-)

Grace Albaugh said...

Sweet Tessa, Thanks for your lovely award. It means so much to have someone say "well done" I started my blog really for myself to condense all of the wonderful things I'm studying and I'm glad that it brings light to others as well. What is the point of learning if we don't somehow pass it on.
Your blog is beautiful. I stop by often and it lifts my spirit. Both the beautiful paintings and your words. Thank you.

I will post my award as soon as I have the administrative glitch on my blog fixed. Thanks again!

Renee said...

Tessa hav the best time ever.

I love the award and I love who it is for.

I'm grabbing it and running.

I actually held my breath in hopes that I would get it and when I did I was thrilled.

The people you have names.

Oh my.....

Love Renee xoxoxo

Holly said...

Safe travels!

Polly said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful award, Tessa, it means a lot to me! I remember when I bought my Coffee Picker from you I was really happy to have contributed to such a worthy cause but also a little guilty that it wasn't a selfless good deed because I got this beautiful picture.

I'll post this award with link to Maithri blog so that everone visiting me can go and see it. Many thanks.


Grace Albaugh said...

Your beautiful award is sitting comfortably on my sidebar. Thanks again!

Frank Baron said...

How nice of you. I'm sure the recipients are honoured, as is the inspiration for the award. Dr. Maithri sounds like quite a person.

Congrats on the design. All bridges are magical, connecting as they do, this to that and here to there.

Anonymous said...

There is a game of tag going on in blog land. I've tagged you. See my blog for details.

Sarah Laurence said...

Have a lovely trip with much laughter!

kj said...

tessa, of all the awards in blogland, i think this one is the most beautiful. i am over-the-top grateful that it will grace my blog.

in the coming months i hope to spend more time at your blog. i will be buying some of your prints: i love them.

and i thank you for all you are and all you do. xoxo

karen said...

thanks so much, lovely Tessa! I'm over the moon with my lovely zebra!! will proudly put it up on my blog in due course.. hope you are having a great time in Turkey! xx

Yoli said...

Oh my sweet Tessa I am so honored. I have been nominated for other awards but I never felt that I should take them, I thank the people but I never take them. This one, I will take with pride and joy. This one speaks to my soul and I am so proud and again honored, to receive it.

Have a wonderful trip my friend. Wish you much joy and please share all that is Turkey when you return. It is a country I have always wanted to visit.

ceecee said...

I am honored beyond belief, dear Tessa, and I will post this beautiful award on my sidebar. I share similar feelings with you about these awards. I am always touched, always moved, always surprised. I hope you have a most relaxing and heavenly vacation.
Much love to you,
Catherine xx

studio lolo said...

This is a wonderful award in honor of a great humanitarian. Bravo Tessa for honoring him. May there be many Maithris yet to come along in this torn world to help heal the wounds and close the gaps.

I'm honored to be in the company of so many bloggers that have moved me as well. You, my dear are one of the best out there!
Thank you for your beautiful art and your kind, kind heart.

Reya Mellicker said...

The generosity with which bloggers share their unique views of the world is tremendous!

And ... The power of our connections is something I am truly in awe of. I believe we are participating in the making of a huge intercultural tapestry. It feels evolutionary to me and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

Thank you for this and for including me in your list.

Hope your time in Turkey is wonderful!

Anna Lefler said...

Tessa! You are amazing. I cherish this award for so many reasons.

You are a gift to the blogosphere.

Thank you so much.



Beth Kephart said...


That you created the honor — that would be enough. That I am included — a curtsy in your direction, dear Tessa.



Michelle said...

Hi Tessa

I received your lovely award via a line of other award-winners. I thought it only fair to return to source to say hello and acknowledge the originator. I'm so glad I did, what a great blog you have here! :-)

When I started blogging I actually said I felt like a bridge, being African born living in Scotland and sharing (back then) a blog with an India-born friend living in England. I now have my own blogs, but the aim is still the same - connecting and building bridges. I was going to leave the link to my award here, but given the theme of your own blog, I'd rather leave the link I think you'd enjoy reading the most, as a fellow African.

Renee said...

Okay Guy give her up. We need Tessa back.

I want Tessa. I want Tessa.


JuneMoonToon said...

I predict that will be one very prolific zebra! We're going to be seeing him everywhere. Thank you very much, Tessa. I am so tickled to be able to put that beautiful award on my site. You make me aspire to be a better person. Hope you're having a wonderful holiday.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Maithri, you are amazing.

JuneMoonToon said...

Tessa, thank you again for the award. I'm writing to let you know I have awarded him to you, one of my all-time favorite bridge-builders.

kj said...

p.s. tessa: you are an angel....


Lori ann said...

Tessa, you are the best.

I hope you are having a wonderful holiday. while you were in Turkey a small part of you was also in Africa with me, one of your tiny paintings came along in my journal. We had the best time.

adrienne trafford said...

i thank the stars that a path was made from you to me - you inspire me daily - thank you for the award - love love love you xoxoxo

Renee said...

Okay, it is not funny anymore. I think you need to get back home.

How is the world supposed to run if you are always on holidays.

Love Renee xoxoxo

Hana Njau-Okolo said...

I love the paintings and your lovely, thoughtful post!! Indeed I know Dr. Maithri and his amazing dedication - thank you for recognizing him with the award. And all the other awardees - I will make sure I visit each one - Congrats!

R. Ramesh said...

wellmeaning blog..cheers and best wishes

Renee said...

Is this a joke? I am seriously going to have to send out Scotland Yard.


kj said...

you have no idea how much i love this award of yours, tessa. it is just so damn beautiful to look at.

when you have the chance, would you stop by my place. there's a heart felt award now waiting for you.


Debra Keirce said...

Thank you, thank you!! I am honored by your friendship!

Exmoorjane said...

Wow, thank you SO much. Feeling very humbled by this.

soulbrush said...

omg tessa this is an amazing award. thanks for the honour and the kind off to the hospital now. will catch up with you and your trip later. hugs...xxxx