BC: K.L. | HAPPY 50th BIRTHDAY!! Produced by Rachel Lam Glassman and Wendy Lam 8.12.2012
FC: HAPPY 50th Birthday! | 8.12.2012 | ___ | KL
1: For | KAREN | in celebration of her 50th birthday
2: Karen was always very independent; I remember when she was two, we were living in Macau. I was pregnant with Wendy and had difficulty getting up at night to take her to the bathroom. However, once I explained the situation to Karen, she understood and went to the bathroom on her own – highly unusual and mature behavior for a two-year old!
3: Since Karen is the oldest, she always takes it upon herself to take care of her siblings. For example, after Hung died she would handle any issues with Wendy and Roger. This really helped me a lot, as I was a bit overwhelmed and had countless things to manage at the time.
4: Karen, it’s hard to believe that it’s been 50 years since you were in my belly! Even though I may not say it enough, I really appreciate your character and love you very much. For example, the video that you made about the Lam family took a lot of work and was truly special – thank you. Also, thank you for helping Nga Ching Yee so much, as I realize that you did it all because of me. Happy 50th Birthday! It is time now to enjoy life – I hope you will enjoy your life to the fullest! Mum
6: What I Love About Karen 1. I have always looked up to Karen as “Ah Dai” – an example to follow as a human being trying to make one’s way in this sometimes complicated world. 2.Karen is a beacon of integrity who always does the right thing. I think I got my sense of not doing what’s easy but rather what’s right from Karen. 3.Karen is one of the most loyal people I know. Once she gives you her love, it is forever. 4.I can always count on Karen. I know that she will always be there for me in fair weather or foul. This is not an easy thing to accomplish, as foul weather often means doing things that may be to one’s own detriment. She embodies the Chinese saying: “Shuet chung song tan”. 5.Karen always has the best of intentions.
7: 6.Karen does not realize how wonderful and beautiful she is, so sometimes she seems dissatisfied. If only she could see herself the way that I see her, then she would always be happy! 7.I have always admired Karen’s strength – strength of conviction, and strength of character. 8.Karen is beautiful on the outside and, more importantly on the inside. She was always the beauty of the family. 9.Karen is a “Classic” – classic beauty like Lin Xing Xia, Class act – never out of style and always relevant. 10.Although we live far apart and don’t see each other much, distance and time are not an issue -- Karen is the best sister that one could ever imagine or wish for! Lots of Love, Wendy
8: 5 Things I Like About Karen 1.Your discipline and devotion to your family and profession! 2.Your constant curiosity to better understand circumstances and situations. 3.Desire to live in cities which yield LARGE crustaceans at reasonable prices! 4.Your Generosity to your extended family in the US and Hong Kong! 5.Rachel – The living being and perfection of Karen’s (and Peter’s) devotion and character! Happy 50th Birthday! Todd
10: 11 Reasons I Love Karen 1.Her heart is full of kindness- she flew across the country without hesitation to help when Jordan was in the ICU 2.She is a great leader 3.She is fiery when provoked- I pity the fool who crosses her 4.She carries herself with grace and elegance 5.Her nostrils tell the story of her moods
11: 6.I see Mom in almost every bit of her! 7.Endless optimism for her garden, despite middling results 8.She has tremendous empathy for others 9.When we were kids, she would make all the small talk with the neighbours, allowing me valuable time to relax 10.She lets Rachel wear her boots, despite the substantial risk of irreparable damage – that’s Love! 11.She makes good neen go Love, Roger
14: Of all my nieces, I often think of Karen, not just because of her intelligence, but also because she smiles a lot. From a young age, Karen would smile, even with tears on her face. When Karen smiles, it shows her heart – very natural and infectious – as if telling people that life is perfect and filled with hope – something to cherish. Time flies like an arrow – Karen is already 50. We wish her “To laugh often and much”, and “May fortune follow you everywhere.” Uncle and Aunt 2
15: Karen has always been a smart girl. She could quote Tang poems almost as soon as she could speak! When Karen was little (3 years old or so), she loved to bite people – even total strangers! Once, Shui Fun was carrying Karen, and we were walking down the street. Suddenly, Karen bit a small child in the arms of another woman (who happened to be my landlord)! Aunt 4
16: One time many years ago, I was travelling in Beijing and staying at the Peninsula Hotel. I met with a friend, who was a female lawyer from Hong Kong; we were on our way to dinner when I discovered that it was cold outside and that I might need a jacket. I turned back to go to my room. Just as the elevator was closing, someone tapped me on my shoulder – I turned around and it was Karen! My first thought was “Oh no, Big Wok”. However, after all these years, still no one knows of this small incident. Therefore, I really appreciate Karen for being so closemouthed and considerate. Uncle 5
17: Dear Karen Being a 50 year old woman, you are mature with wisdom, look gorgeous and fabulous. Being a wife to your husband with similar belief, you are holding each other's hands going through all the good and bad days. Being a mom, you take good care of your daughter and show her the best example to become a decent person. Being a daughter, you love and respect your mother, brother and sister. Being a member of Lam's family, we all love you. Happy 50th !!! Auntie Judy and Uncle Sidney
18: 50 years ago at Rua de Pedro Coutinho No. 34, a beautiful, adorable little girl called Karen was born. As she grew, she was intelligent and lively, bringing the Lams a lot of happiness; she also gave the Lams many interesting stories to talk about. In the blink of an eye, Karen is now a mother; her daughter Rachel is elegant, polite, and has inherited Karen’s outstanding characteristics – congratulations on a job well done! Aunt and Uncle 8
19: When we think of or talk about our niece Karen, we always have a warm feeling in our hearts. We have known her for 50 years, ever since she was born. Three impressions often come to mind quickly, although they are certainly not her only attributes. One, she is tremendously sensitive to her environment and the people around her. This sensitivity is manifested by, or perhaps is the primary reason of, her ease in interacting with people in difficult or awkward situations. Two, she is very, very diplomatic when she deals with people in different walks of life. In numerous instances, Karen demonstrates a lot of deference to differing opinions, and strives to reconcile, or to reach a consensus in her decision making processes. Three, she can be assertive, if and when she has to. This serves her well as it is indicative of her inner calm and a strength of her character. Uncle and Aunt #10
20: We are so thankful for everything that Karen has done for us, especially her help in selling our house. Although Leung Uncle and I dared not ask her for such a big favour, Karen offered to help us of her own accord. I don’t know how to put my gratitude in words, so I keep it in my heart. Happy Birthday, Karen! Nga Ching Yee and Leung Uncle
22: What I Love About You, Karen 1. Your wisdom – not just your good brain, but your soulful desire to dig deeper into people, subjects and the world around you. You love to learn, to grow, to explore and you generously share your wisdom with those around you. 2. Your grace – You exude a grounded energy which is attractive, contagious and thoroughly yours to have, to share and to continue to grow into. I can’t wait to see what another 50 years will do to this aspect of you! 3. Your ability to love deeply – Pleasure and pride resonate in your words when you talk about Peter and Rachel. Your deep love and caring for Wendy and Roger and your mother is prevalent as you speak of your family. Your love for your father and his family was evident in the pride and compassion you showed when you created the documentary to honor them. Your commitment to a vast array of friends, colleagues and co-learners shines through when you keep connections alive, and grow and nourish your relationships. 4. Your humility – You are committed to taking risks and with that desire comes a bump in the road now and then. You have developed a strength of character and professionalism that allow you to stretch and grow and expect that perfection will not always be the result. The humility that you demonstrate and how you forgive allow for others to grow and stretch with an expectation that growth will not always be smooth, but will make us stronger. 5. Your gift as a human being – Karen, this encompasses everything about who you are. You have been a true gift to me as a friend, colleague and companion. You have taught me, loved me , inspired me and demonstrated your commitment to me over and over again. I am forever grateful for who you are and what you bring to me and to the world around you.
23: Love, Kathy | ~ Best wishes for a truly beautiful birthday! ~
24: Karen, You came into my life at a time when I was feeling unmoored, adrift, a bit lost at sea. You smoothed the anxiety and the insecurity on my brow with your wise questions and gentle confidence. You walked me through the "yes I can" imagery that even the most competent of women often need to see brightly in front of their eyes, You unlearned me and realigned me - it was like a psychic chiropractor. How do you make the pieces come apart and fall into place with such grace? You have grown to be much more than a coach and a guide, you are a friend deep inside the places where so few go, How do you know all that you know? I give thanks for your being and the mother who made you as artfully and as beautifully as the jewellery she makes now and that I wear with such joy and pride. I give thanks for you and your daughter who holds your light and shines it forward for a whole new generation to feel Karen's power. I give thanks for you and your loving partner who stands by your side as you stand by so many whom you guide.
25: Happy Birthday, Karen. Happy Birthday, Friend. Happy Birthday, Woman. Happy Birthday, Sister. Happy Birthday! Happy Year! Happy Decade! Love, Kavita
26: Dear Karen, This is an impossible task to express my affection and admiration to one of the most wonderful people in my life in just a few words. So, allow me to simply say that I love you and I am eternally grateful for you! You’re very good at GIVING – whether it be insightful advice, your undivided attention, thoughtful gifts, or your beautiful smile. So, for THIS birthday year, my wish for you is to focus on your Self Care. I suspect this will be a difficult concept for your selfless spirit to accept, so I’m hoping you’ll listen to a wonderful author you once sent my way. “Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.” ~ Parker J. Palmer May you spend your special day with all your greatest loves, and may they extend throughout the year! Love, Hugs, and Blessings, Bonnie
28: 5 Things I Like / Love / Appreciate About Karen Karen, I love your tender loving heart. You love so beautifully. You melt my heart when we are together. I can see your eyes light up and feel your heart open to me when I am in your presence. Thank you for the gift of your loving me. I feel wrapped in the warmth of your embrace just hearing your voice. I appreciate your generosity. You give of yourself so readily of your insights, knowledge, laughter and love. You have shared your insights with me over the years and they seem to come at “just the right time” for me, challenging me and gently nudging me to become the More of me. I appreciate your honesty, and the deep soul wisdom you bring. I love the beauty you bring. I remember the wonderful wild floral arrangements you have made for me at the retreats. Your sense of natural beauty moves me. How you appreciate the wonder of nature inspires me to look with new eyes. Your perspective on nature is one place I experience the deep feminine power of you. I think about what your beach place on the Island means to you, how important it was for you to give yourself the soul stirring wild feminine energy of that place. I love witnessing the relationship you have with that land. How it feeds you and how you have taken on being a steward of that particular place on the earth.
29: Thank you for sharing your very private and sacred love of the Divine with me. Your commitment to your spirituality is present in your personal work. I love watching you bring it to your work in the world and how you touch people with the love of the Divine Feminine in you. Some of the most heart opening, sacred and magical moments at Lucid Living workshops have taken place because you brought yourself so vulnerable in your pain or joy. These moments profoundly shifted the experience of everyone in the room and opened us into profound sacred realms. The power of your vulnerability is so sacredly magical. Thank you for boldly sharing yourself in this way. I LOVE how you love Rachel and Peter. How you delight in their presence. How you stretch yourself to bring more love and understanding to them. How you rejoice in their love and appreciate the gift they are to you. Your love for them moves me. I am touched by how you are committed to be the best Karen you can be for them. Happy 50th Birthday beautiful Karen! I celebrate the magnificent woman you have become. I honor the deep personal work you have done to emerge the powerful sacred woman you are today. In your next 50 years I wish you boundless joy, new passions to ignite your spirit and the love of many friends seen and unseen. Big hug and a smooch! Jeanine
30: Karen is like a book, so look beyond its cover. Beyond the brilliant and intellectual mind is a warm and caring heart, and beyond the straight and serious talk is the affection for connection and relationships. Karen, congratulations, and welcome to the new middle age group. Kenzie
31: 5 things that I love about Karen : 1) she always try to excel herself, she will send me information on knowledge, new things she learnt (the book – Loving what is – is one of the examples) 2) she is always approachable – when we need help and send her an email, she will definitely respond. 3) she knows what fits herself best – she uses her strength to create the best for herself and her client 4) she is extremely client focused – when she notices that the client is not ready, she revisits what works best for the client 5) she is a model in learning – she creates her own branding by learning and weaving her knowledge and experience in communication, personal branding, leadership development ( the combination of these 3 is amazing). I am sure not a lot of people can do such integration as good as her. | 2 memorable events with Karen : a) she taught Influencing Skills for TSMC – that program was one of the most popular program at the senior level at TSMC b) she gave me a book – Loving What Is by Byron Kate – the philosophy and ideas in this book deeply influenced my life (particularly the path that I am choosing now) | ~Alice Law~
32: 7 Things I Love About Karen | Happy Birthday From Michelle
33: 1. Warmth – I have always felt a Soul Connection with you, Karen. From the early days of our LL work together, I looked forward to our time together. It is wonderfully nourishing to be with you. The warmth and love you bring to our friendship is extraordinary. 2. Trustworthiness – You so naturally inspire trust. There are few people who will be honest and stay engaged, present. You do this with equal diligence during times of challenge and times of celebration. I trust you so much and love how you trust me! 3. Humor – You are one of the funniest story-tellers I know! You bring an endearing humanity to the sharing of your many adventures. It creates safety for me to look at my adventures/challenges through the lens of loving humor. 4. Passion – Whoa! If you want to see what a woman on fire with passion looks like, start talking about what you want for women in the world while looking in the mirror. You’ll inspire yourself as you inspire all of us who know and love you. You ARE creating new maps for women, and these maps create an energetic wave that ripples through all time and space, liberating the ancestors of all traditions. 5. Brilliance – Magical Brilliance. You have a particular gift for putting your insights into words that are compelling, clear, and poetic. I always love reading what you write. It’s a glimpse into your beautiful mind. 6. Beauty – In your beauty there is such strength. In your strength there is such beauty. You create the presence of Beauty – the life-giving, healing presence. 7. Inspiration – You spark the exceptional in me and in others. You inspire me to move beyond ego and into personal greatness. Sometimes by asking me to do so, more often by doing so yourself.
34: We met Karen in the spring of 2008 and within moments of speaking with her we knew that she was someone very special and a person that we would feel blessed to call a friend. Heather remembers clearly, having met Karen. Rachel and Peter in the pool of 888 Beach and then running upstairs, all excited, telling Ted that she had just met the most marvelous family. Karen is luminous. Her kindness, gentle wisdom, compassion, warmth and clarity shine through everything she does and says and brings light to all her friends. We are so happy to have Karen in our lives and we wish her the happiest of birthdays. Love, Heather, Ted, and Serena
35: I came to know Karen through our darling daughters in 2006, when the girls were both in grade 6. My first impression was that she was a lady of intelligence and knowledge who exuded calmness around her. As I have got to know her better over the years, I have come to know Karen as a remarkable lady of purity and justice, who is a leader and trainer, artistic and compassionate. She is a wonderful friend, kind, loyal, generous and reliable. I like her zest for life and happy laugh. Happy 50th birthday Karen and may you have lots of loving, fun and happy times and memories in your next 50 years to come. | Lots of Love, Jayne
36: Happy, Happy Birthday!
37: 5 things I Appreciate about Karen* 1.Her unyielding hunger for, and commitment to, truth. 2.How she indulges me by playing the Mandarin guessing game (hours and hours and hours and hours of fun). 3.The way she always welcomes me whenever I see her, with a brightness and a generosity that helps me feel incredibly smart and special. 4.Her deep and inspiring devotion to her spiritual path. 5.Her wacky, innocent, and inviting sense of humor (ask her to tell the, “I deam, I deam”story) * (it is VERY hard to limit this list to 5. But, for the sake of following the request, I will-picture me with the back of my hand pressed to my forehead, and sighing as I lay back on a feinting couch) | Happy Birthday from Jeff!
38: What I love about you, Karen I love your innocent heart, your deep inherent goodness, your honesty with yourself and fierce determination to understand what is true in life around you. I love your gentle laugh and sweetness. I love your ownership for your impact upon others, more often for what isn’t right, more than what is beautifully and magnificently true in you and I love your curiosity and your kindness and I love just being with you. I love how, in your presence, I feel seen, appreciated and known with a level of childlike trust yet always with the mature discernment of a responsible adult. You are a unique blend of innocent goodness, truth and beauty and a willful determination to stand fiercely as the best human being that you can be in this lifetime. You are loved, cherished, and adored by many more people than you admit to yourself. In your quiet compassion, deep understanding, willingness to be responsible for yourself and so many, always seeking to do the right thing, you make so many of us feel good about ourselves. I see you as one of the most precious, treasures, that if for any reason you were gone, I would deeply grieve and wonder what was I thinking, not spending more of this lifetime in your loving presence? | Happy Birthday, Sweetheart. | Love, Maria Danly
39: 5 things I love most about Karen. In the language of the Uncommon senses, I love your: Light – Your easy laugh and the way joy lights up your face Warmth – Your depth of love and caring, knowing that your love matters, and making mine matter so much. Substance – Your Depth. Your beautiful relationship with your Soul and how much you are willing to FEEL and admit that you are feeling and what you are feeling. Your stand for intimace: I love that you are willing to be mad at me Karen, and be present for all the fallout and impact, and love me through it. Movement – How easily moved you are; whenever we have a conversation we end up crying because we are both so touched and moved and then laughing for joy at the fact that we are so moved and we are having an emotional experience together.. Voice – when you enter a room, the room fills with Beauty: joy and peace simultaneously. Your beauty is radiant – And your commitment to being responsible is DIVINE All of these add up to loving our Friendship, our Soul-Sisterhood and loving You, Karen Lam. Thank you! | All my love, Keri
40: Karen, You are such a gift in my life, I am so grateful to have you as a friend and teacher. You helped me to find my authentic self, to listen to my heart, and to discern how I want to meet each day and how I want to show up in the world. Today, and always, I am celebrating you! From across the miles, I’m sending you a great big hug and All of my love, Happy Birthday!!!
42: After meeting Karen for the first time a few years ago, my husband Werner had a difficult time reconciling her with the mental image he’d held after nearly a decade of hearing about her. In his mind, Karen was a female version of Yao Ming, a larger-than-life person who towered over the rest of us. In spite of her petite packaging, this is precisely how I think of Karen. | I revere her keen intelligence, her fierce commitment to truth and beauty, and her generosity of spirit and love. Karen often describes herself as a “lifelong learner”. What that doesn’t say about herself is that she’s a brilliant teacher—she inspires those around her not to know more or do more, but to be more. For that and for all the myriad gorgeous qualities she possesses, I will always be grateful for the gift of her friendship. With love, Kristine
43: What To Remember When Waking In that first hardly noticed moment to which you wake, coming back to this life from the other more secret, moveable and frighteningly honest world where everything began, there is a small opening into the new day which closes the moment you begin your plans. What you can plan is too small for you to live. | What you can live wholeheartedly will make plans enough for the vitality hidden in your sleep. To be human is to become visible while carrying what is hidden as a gift to others. to remember the other world in this world is to live in your true inheritance. You are not a troubled guest on this earth, you are not an accident amidst other accidents you were invited from another and greater night than the one from which you have just emerged. | Is it waiting in the fertile sea? In the trees beyond the house? In the life you can imagine for yourself? In the open and lovely white page on the waiting desk? ~David Whyte~ (The House of Belonging) | Now, looking through the slanting light of the morning window toward the mountain presence of everything that can be, what urgency calls you to your one love? What shape waits in the seed of you to grow and spread its branches against a future sky?
44: Five things (only five?) that I love about Karen Lamb By Rick Tamlyn 1.If I were to look up the word “sweet” and “beauty” in the dictionary, Karen’s face would so be there. 2.Karen’s vulnerability opens us all to our own humanity—we love ourselves more when Karen is in the room. 3.Loving Life is Karen’s mission! 4.Loving ourselves is her passion! 5.Being a recipient of her Love has transformed my life. 6.When Karen laughs, the world lights up that much more! | Happy Birthday dear sweet Karen! May you receive a bounty of love today and always! Love, Rick Tamlyn
45: There is so much I love,like, appreciate about Karen. She is a woman of great integrity and is so trustworthy. And her blend of serious and playful is something to truly behold. And when she speaks of Peter and Rachael it is as though they are with us, they are so alive and loved in her heart. Speaking of her heart, she has a huge one. She loves so deeply, you can feel it everywhere. What I most appreciate about Karen is how she calls me and so many others forth. She sees what is magnificent in us and then holds the mirror so we can experience it ourselves. What a gift that is and she gives of it so generously. Happy Birthday dear Karen!!! I love you, Judy Seropan
46: Five things I cherish about Karen Lam: Vulnerability: I love Karen’s vulnerability. There are moments when she shares herself so fully that we all just weep at the beauty of her Soul. She is willing to be moved, and in sharing it, to move others. She also carries an innocence that is magnificent. Hunger to Learn and Grow: Karen is a voracious learner. She is curious and passionate to always be growing, always be discovering more of herself, of life and the exploration of consciousness. She has such dedication, and I love her eagerness, her earnestness. Laughter: Karen’s readiness to laugh is an absolute joy. Of course, it’s always fun to make her laugh, but my favorite is when she stumbles into an absurdity and laughs at herself, which she does with humility and such adorable self-revelation. Soulful Teaching— Karen has a remarkable ability to tell a story that powerfully and poignantly illuminates a moment. Often it’s a discovery she is having about her own life or a deeper understanding of a metaphysical concept. I’ve watched this happen on too many occasions to count. Karen will hold the room in rapt attention as she meticulously describes a scene, bringing it to life for others and creating unforgettable moments. It is always a gift to have Karen in the room.
47: Gratitude/Reverence: There is a unique quality that Karen has which is difficult to put a word on. It’s a combination of gratitude and reverence for the sacredness of life. Perhaps it is an expression of her devotional nature. There is one moment that stays in my mind. At the end of our retreat in Calistoga, Karen wandered the hills, gathering an enormous bouquet of wildflowers for Jeanine and me. The flowers were symbolic of her gratitude, and the bouquet itself is difficult to describe in its beauty and wildness and bounty. It wasn’t just that she gave us flowers. It was what this particular bouquet of flowers expressed—about her, about her love for us, and most of all her love for the Divine—that I will never forget. This is just one of so many cherished memories of Karen. Of course, I have to mention one of the big laughter moments we all remember, which was the “soup order” at the retreat at Emerald Lake. And the evening in Mexico where we made up stories about Theodora, the Slave Princess as we swam in our private pool on the ocean I remember so many moments of profound beauty as she spoke with the group, a particular moment in Canada when she spoke about the violence of chauvinism, a special moment in Santa Barbara when she talked about the movie she made for her family reunion, so many times she has moved me with her insight and her magic. When I put all these things together, and so much more that I love about her, it is a synergy of Karen’s BEAUTY that knocks me out. Leza Danly
48: Thank you for being you... | Lots of love, Georgia
49: Karen welcomed me into her family with open arms and I couldn't have asked for a better exchange mom! I feel so lucky to have two families and I can't imagine my life any other way now! Karen is always positive -- the glass is always half full rather than half empty and when you're with her you can't help but feel the same! She sees the potential in everyone and everything. I've got such happy memories of paddling round False Creek with Karen and Rachel in a kayak and of our bike ride around Stanley Park -- both ended with everyone feeling rather "shattered"! I love that Karen is an incredibly talented actress, especially when consoling people over sunken cakes! I remember looking at a website full of confectionery gone wrong my first year in Canada. Little did we know that the cake I baked for Karen's birthday the next year could have ended up on there! Dear Karen insisted upon eating the thing, exclaiming how delicious it was with tears in her eyes! This was only after Rachel and I had managed to light the candles after ten attempts hidden behind that rather skinny tree. I love this memory of us all on that day going from kitchen to beach, laughing non-stop.
50: Love, Nick
51: 5. Beauregard the Basset hound introducing Karen to the life of dog ownership by saying hello, wagging his tail, then urinating in her bed. 4. The look on her face when I explained the New Hampshire police were not necessarily upset that I crashed my best friend's car into a tree, but that they did not take kindly to us leaving the scene of the accident, waiting for them in a swimming pool down the road, then falsifying the police report to say that I was not the driver. 3. Her loving support of the white tuxedo and peach cumberbun prom outfit decision. 2. The constant use of napkins, handkerchiefs, or anything handy to put between her clothes and the belt in the "Circus Jeep" in Hong Kong to prevent staining. 1. Karen doing my mom proud by walking down the aisle with my best man on our wedding day.
52: Happy birthday from Emily!
53: I can't imagine my life — or any of our lives — without Karen. Through the years she has given me unconditional love, friendship and inspiration. I believe her to be one of the most intelligent people I've ever met and I appreciate her ability to really listen and to insightfully probe when I'm facing a challenge. There are so many aspects of the way Karen lives her life that inspire me — she is always open to embracing new experiences and activities; she somehow manages to balance her demanding career with her family; and she always, always puts love first in her life. Is there anything Karen isn't good at? Not to my knowledge. Karen, I love you. Thank you for being such a vitally important part of my life and for always letting me know that I have a home. You inspire me.
54: Though we live on separate coasts, it never feels like you’re far away. I just have to summon up your image and I feel your presence in my life. You are more than a sister-in-law to me. You are one of the reasons my life feels good. I know I would have been a less realized person, without your influence. Looking forward to more adventures and hilarity with you!
55: With love and gratitude, your Maine devotee, Nancy | If Karen were to go to: ...the West Bank, she'd have Israelis and Palestinians rewrite their stories, so they could let go of their sense of victimization and listen to each other. ...Afghanistan, she would facilitate a change in Taliban group identity, leading them to respect women and embrace dissent. ...Dohar, Qatar, for the World Climate Summit, she'd show world leaders how to let go of their concepts of what can't be done, so they could see their way to agreement on substantive and restorative change. ...North Korea, she'd help Kin Jong-un recognize the weakness of his nation's position of isolation and of having a starving, repressed, insular populace, so he could sign a treaty on nuclear non-proliferation, make ties to the rest of the world, and make progressive changes for North Koreans. ...a Tea Party convention, she'd have everyone un-learning, so they could discover what the U.S. Constitution really says, and what true democracy and patriotism actually mean. ...a Ted Nugent concert, she'd deck him, and then go onstage and sing better than he could ever do.
56: I think that only Karen could help me find the words and insight to describe the feelings, love, respect and appreciation that I have for Karen and the extraordinary impact that she has had on my awareness of being. She helps us all to see more, to understand more, to unlearn and experience more and to be more. She does this in a way that is as inviting, welcoming, and natural as it is challenging. Karen is genuine, she is talented, astoundingly intelligent, fun, funny and always so loving. She has told me so many astounding, radical, life changing things in the most direct way. My favorite: “Trust your anger until it transforms to a more loving energy.” To the list of superlatives, add: Karen is the most trustworthy. Thank you for sharing Nia with me (even though Rachel and I teased you about it!) Thank you for creating my press kit for me and for sharing Becky with me (We’re both praying you will do another unlearning conference so we can finally meet!) Thank you for believing in me. Thank you for sharing your altars, your spirituality, your extraordinary and steady glow. You told me many years ago that you wanted your altars and your deities to reflect your own body and I have tried to bring that thought to Pres’ and my home and the to Healing Center. Your simple statement made the Goddess real to me. Thank you for the 84 saris. I have never seen such gorgeous and insane colors. And what sparkles!!! I knew you were the right person to conduct Pres' and my wedding. I knew you would take us both and everyone there past the confines of tradition and beyond rote sentiment and into the mystery of how to love more and be happy. Thank you so much for the most beautiful wedding ever. I struggle always to live by what you have taught me: to love what is. Stay in my life. Come back to New Orleans and do another Unlearning conference!! Oh! And thank you for making Peter so happy and for bringing a Bodhisattva to earth.
57: So much love and gratitude to you, Karen. You are a blessing to our family and our world. | Love, Sallie Ann
58: At one point I anticipated meeting Karen in New York. Peter was arriving for a visit. It was mid summer in the city. As it happened, Karen, a figure Peter described as magnificent, smart and fun, was something of a mirage. Family plans changed; Peter arrived with a young Nick; in a sense, because Manhattan was under a gross blanket of humid air and the apartment was a tenement cell that allowed little if any circulation, Karen was spared a rough night in sweltering conditions, sleeping beside an air shaft with a fan providing a bare modicum of relief. Poor Peter and Nick. I believe we had Chinese dinner in any case. Various points place that non-meeting, a first acquaintance in words alone, a quarter of a century ago. A few months later, circumstances of a relationship prevented my traveling east for the wedding in Hong Kong. So I met Karen already incarnated as my sister-in-law. The difference in Peter confirmed his description of Karen. But soon after there was a time of turmoil for our family as Big Jim was succumbing to illness. Karen's genius for care, camaraderie (and feeding) improved that time significantly. Dad's reaction showed in his eyes. I knew the suffix "in-law" was a formality. During Henniker years we had more time to visit. It was there and then that I saw dimensions of Karen that fit and expanded Peter's description. The first summer they were in Henniker, Karen was working with young students, one of whom revealed Karen's mythical transformational identity as a quasi-animal spirit, introducing her to her mother on the beach as K.C. Sheep. Naturally, I was impressed. At the same time, it was simply fun to share time, and dinner was always satisfyingly good. Back in Hong Kong, where I finally had a chance for a long visit in the summer of '92, Karen was magnificent even in sweltering summer heat. In such a setting, old and new, exotic and modern, vitally developing before one's eyes while retaining aspects of ancient culture in temples and on the harbor islands, especially the fishing village in Lantau, and fantastic cuisine, the best of which came from Lilly’s small kitchen, Karen was a great guide and modeled street bargaining in ways that set me loose, though I regretted getting so good at the process that, in my ignorant confusion over the exchange rate, in some cases I must have robbed sellers of needed profits. It was in HK that I met some of the Lam family and, among other intriguing impressions, began to be aware of diminutive Karen's serious capacity to take in and enjoy good food. | A Trip Down Memory Lane From Andrew
59: But it would be later, south of San Francisco in Fremont and beyond, after Karen and Peter had begun to raise our dear, dear niece, D'Niece, within mountains of stuffed animals, wire cages full of highly illustrated books, thoughtful, consistent routines and excursions, to wild beaches and within the amazing warren of stairs leading to the extreme gourmet quality of crab in black bean sauce a la Green Tree, and later mornings in Hayward where a young voice pronounced the merits of daily soups determined by the presence or absence of "flavah," that the consistent caring attention of Karen's vigilant motherhood and the fine development of her daughter during many visits across the continent confirmed all I anticipated. Perhaps family prejudice conditions and shades my perception. Verifying vision requires an objective stance. What could certify vision and judgment more than a survey of other external eyes? There were many on the dock at Battery Park in New York harbor who witnessed the magnificent performance of gimpy woman on crutches marching past many hundreds of passengers embarking for Ellis Island, as if migration authorities jumped out of history and granted access on the basis of shere pluck. But the true clincher came that evening in December 2010, when a server at Katz's Deli asked for which diner Peter and I were ordering a second pastrami special, looked over at Karen seated at the table with her crutches leaning beside her, and nodded with respect. That face, accustomed to hordes of eaters of all stripes, a judge of ample wisdom and experience, silently pronounced Karen a mensch. No kidding.
60: HAPPY 1/2 CENTURY MOMMY!
61: Happy birthday Mommy! I love you soooo much and am grateful everyday to be your daughter. Thank you for the thousands of gifts you have given me – a most idyllic childhood, a beautiful home, long calming talks, exciting travels, a healthy love of food! You are an amazing role model and an amazing mother. Whether toting bags emblazoned with “LIVE YOUR EMOTIONS” or telling Mrs Smith to watch where she’s walking, you never shy away from your true self or your true convictions. I admire your unabashed, fearless nature and your confidence in who you are, quirks and all. I love your embracing of all things “nouvelle-age,” your outrage at the commercials during Modern Family, your weekly reminders to rinse cups before drinking from them, and your insistence that no piece of food get left behind. I am so grateful to you for making me feel empowered to venture out into the world, for giving me freedom to explore. You are so selfless, graceful, wise, and wonderful. I hope this year, and the next 50 years, are everything you want them to be. So glad to be having this adventure with you in Thailand! Love, Rachel
62: Dearest Karen, I know the fiftieth year of life can seem to some people a crossroads, but this isn’t a landmark anniversary for you because you always have lived as a soul eternally young and forever an elder. You are filled with the elder’s wisdom, conscience, grace, and invaluable power to influence. Yet you also are leaping with life. Almost every moment for you makes a moment for curiosity, enthusiasm, deep feeling, powerful thought, joy, joy, joy. I know you will embrace your mid-century as the best of seasons. You’ve worked with such courage and honesty to shape your thought, liberate your emotions, find and free your true nature. Some may say you’ve had a fortunate destiny. Perhaps this is so, but I believe you’ve created every molecule of your character and consciousness – and thus have authored the life of peace and abundance others may regard as foreordained for you, or deeded to you. You who are so modest, who measure yourself against the most lofty standards, are a woman of incomparable integrity, openness, kindness, and generosity. You constantly are giving to others. You give insight, hope, healing. Content and connection. Clarity and expectation. Some people who have some of these traits are just reductive gushers. Not you. You’re always complex, earnest, and profound.
63: You have your being in infinite intelligence. No one feels more than you do, but you always have your compass in your splendid fertile intellect, and I and everyone else who loves and needs you honor you for that. And for your incomparable sincerity. You always are changing, yet you always are constant. You always are you – intense, impassioned, caring, now fifty years of age but always and forever as you always have been. I love your wisdom, I love your ardency, I love your ceaseless inexhaustible quest for learning, I love your compassion and tenderness, I love your brilliance, and I’m certainly keen about your stunning beauty. You cook good, too. Now, there are about thee some eccentricities. You’re an infinitely principled person, but you have nothing whatsoever to do with any received convention. You’ve got ways of your own, lots of them, and God bless every one of them. For example well, you eat a lot. You keep odd hours. You keep a lot of peculiar preserved snacks in your desks and other crannies. You don’t discard many objects or items. What I tell you and whisper forever is bless your heart, thank you for the ocean of joy you give us, thank you for our blessed daughter, thank you for our home, thank you for the magic you make of every moment, thank you for seeing beauty everywhere and creating beauty all around us. And happy birthday, my beloved.