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Little Pearls

June 2011: Showing Up for ALL of Life

It's been awhile since the last e-newsletter.  The whole month of May was a tough one, full of stress, unpleasant surprises and sadness. 


Over the years, I've learned to move through difficult times by being fully present to all that life brings, keeping my heart open as much as possible.  This is never fun, yet showing up with love and faith eventually leads to unexpected growth, new possibilities and renewed creativity.  These times create rich compost for the garden of life.  The gifts can be spectacular.


It's not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; it is how you handle what happens to you. ~ Zig Ziglar

For the Love of Animals

In May, we had to say goodbye to both our old cat Molly, who was almost 19, and our old dog Mitch, 15, the original Dog Star for the Dog Pearls series. 


Losing elderly or failing animals comes with anticipatory grieving and often some challenging hospice-like care.  Long-term family members, who have woven themselves intimately into our hearts through so many years of love, seem to come to a peace with their leaving long before we do.  They have a depth and acceptance at the end of their lives that always amazes me. 


Once again, our animals have helped me learn, at a deeper level, to be fully present with what is.  My heart is broken open.  Grief and relief flow together now that they are free.


We also lost another of Our Dog Stars in May.  Weazie, a young rescued Yorkie with special medical needs, was filmed with the two other dogs in Marlisa Mills' family for the Dog Pearls series.  He was a spunky, big presence in a small body. 


So much loss lately, yet life goes on.  We have just adopted a rescued puppy who brings us great joy.  You'll see him soon!

DVD Sampler Challenges: Re-newing Music

We had hoped to have our brand new, user-friendly DVD sampler out by now, funded in part by a Grassroots Arts Program Grant from the Asheville Area Arts Council and the North Carolina Arts Council, a state agency.  Many of you helped us match this grant in December through donations and sponsorships, and we are most grateful. 




We HAVE made tremendous progress on the new DVD, but this project has involved many, many more details than I ever had imagined.  One detail has caused big snags: music rights.


I knew we had an issue with one Pearl, but had no idea there were problems with ALL of the early Pearls.  I found myself in the scary, dark swamp of music copyright issues that would delay the completion of the DVD.  It was very stressful. 


We are moving through new licensing agreements for all older Pearls, and each requires something different.  The process is exceedingly time-consuming and tedious. 


We will need to re-record the audio for two of the early Pearls, then re-edit them for the DVD and for sharing online.  That will cost extra money, and we will be asking for financial support to re-new these two Pearls.  More about that soon.


Once we resolve the music challenges, Pearl by Pearl, we will be clear on music rights from now on.  That coming clarity looks like daylight to me!

Spotlight Pearl: The Best and Most Beautiful Things...

Just in time for Father's Day, here is a much-loved Little Pearl, featuring Shane and his son Elias:  The Best and Most Beautiful Things...


In addition to being a great father to Elias and his little sister, Shane is also the cinematographer and editor for the Dog Pearls.  We'll be creating at least two new Dog Pearls this summer for inclusion on the new DVD sampler - stay tuned!

New Dog Pearls this Summer!

Mitch was our original Dog Star, the funny collie mix I envisioned running on a mountaintop ridgeline after our dog Katie died.  You can see him here, in the beautiful Coming Home Pearl.  This Pearl moves me to tears because I miss Mitch so much, yet it is also especially comforting now.


I was hoping to complete a couple more Dog Pearls before Mitch died, including a new one about falling in love again, based on footage of his accepting a new puppy, Gracie, into his world three years ago.


A special gift in Mitch's passing is this sunset image, taken from Shane Peters' HD footage and transformed by the digital magic of my friend Robin Thompson Duehring.


More on the new Dog Pearls, and how you can help, in the next newsletter.

Learning More:  Cool Links

7 Pearls in 5 Minutes! ~ our online sampler, for a taste of our work

Our Sponsors

GreatLittlePearls on YouTube ~ all Pearls are here, plus some of our longer videos


Portfolio ~ all Pearls and their stories are linked from here

Upcoming Pearls ~ the Pearls of our dreams

What's New! ~ recent news, e-news links, newspaper articles

Dog Pearls ~ Dog Stars ~ Do(g)nations ~ learn more about this dog-loving series

The Cat of My Dreams ~ a touching, recent article in the WNC Woman animal issue

Viewer Feedback ~ what you have shared with us

Sharing Little Pearls with the World ~ the many ways we're getting out there

Connect with Us Online




Check out more social networking and non-profit links below.

Gathering Energy for What's Next

Day-to-day life can be fraught with difficulty or it can be filled with positive glimpses into goodness and light.  Little Pearls reminds me that there is good everywhere....  Having a bad day?  Pull up a "Pearl" or two and smile your cares away. ~ Jill Z


Because my life and work are so intertwined, it has been hard to find enough energy to DO all that needs to be done with Little Pearls.  I have needed time to BE, for the difficulties to transform into rich compost for the next phase of the journey. 


Finally, my energy and momentum are returning.  We'll have the new DVD, with new Dog Pearls, this summer.  I'll let you know soon how you can help, too.





Linda McLean

Executive & Creative Director

Little Pearls


Little Pearls • PO Box 8641 • Asheville, NC 28814

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