Parenting Through Childhood Cancer by Lelania Harpal Kaur Avila
abecedarian (ā′bē sē dâr′ē ǝn), n. 1. a person who is learning the letters of the alphabet. 2. a beginner in any field of learning. –adj. 3. of or pertaining to the alphabet. 4. in alphabetical order. 5. rudimentary; elementary; primary.
The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, College Edition ©1968
abecedarian (a′bǝ kǝ dâr′ē ǝn) n. a poet arranging life experiences alphabetically.
Lelania Harpal Kaur Avila, 2020
This December the Northeast Harbor library will host an exhibit by Lelania Harpal Kaur Avila, An Abecedarian Reflection: Parenting Through Childhood Cancer. The exhibit features twenty-six action verbs illustrated with art and poetry to describe one mother’s journey. A collection of hand-lettered poems accompany multi-media art pieces (pen and ink, pencil/colored pencil, pastels, watercolor, acrylics, collage). This show was inspired during the January 2020 open mic at the library. As Lelania viewed art from students at Mount Desert Elementary on the walls, she envisioned 26 words, with poems scrolling beneath.
Lelania considers herself a process artist. One word at a time she answers the question: “How do I navigate what’s coming up in my heart?” Many of the pieces depict releasing perfectionism through valuing and allowing process. Materials chosen for these pieces also reflect her life-long commitment to address overconsumption as a first-world human. For instance, the scrolls are displayed on holders created from the gobs of ‘medical mail,’ and molded via papier-mache.
Copies of the art and poems were collected into book form as well. It’s Lelania’s hope that copies of the books can go to children’s hospitals and clinics as an offering to other parents on similar journeys.
This exhibit will be up for the month of December and is available to view during the library’s operating hours. Please contact the library with any questions at 207 276 3333.