Thursday, January 12, 2012

changing Kirk's moment in time into glass

Africa, boat on river, photo by Kirk Barbner

 It was back in the days of 1984 or so when I became friends with Kirk in college.  I don't think either of us were studying for what our future jobs would be.  Kirk would venture south and possibly the last time I saw him was in West Virginia.  His heart and soul were being pulled toward helping people with a critical need for housing.  He drove me around those mountains and to this day, I will not forget what he taught me and though I have not made it my life's commitment, the need to feed the hungry and house the poor were ingrained in me.  Although I may have been leaning that way already.  Who knows, but Kirk surely opened my eyes. 

I moved on to MA, and OR, and IL and then back to PA.  At some point Kirk landed in Georgia where he does amazing things at The Fuller Center for Housing.

This past year we found each other on facebook and became reunited.  I read about his journey to Africa.  One day I got a message from Kirk's wife who wanted me to create a gift.  She sent me photos and I resonated with the one above.  It was all those bright clothes.  Then the color of the river.  The streak of violet across the horizon came much later.  She was well pleased with my choice because it was her favorite.

So I said, "If you want realism, go elsewhere, but if you want me to spend time with this photo and create a design.  I am your man."  She said go for it.  And then the glass was there.  Purple water glass!  Mystic purple glass for the boat's reflection!  Youghiogheny glass that had never been called into a piece said, "Now is my Time!"   

It was a blessing to create this for my friend.  May we look into each others eyes, shake each others hands, and have a conversation this year which does not involve technology.

Peace and Hope

Stained glass by Wayne Stratz, Kirk's River Side View

Stained glass by Wayne Stratz, Kirk's River Side View


  1. That's beautiful, Wayne.

  2. Elise-- Thanks. I hope I can continue to feel the awe and joy of being trusted to create these special gifts.


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