Newsletter

 

 

January 2008

Marshall would like all his fans and dear readers to know that he is healthy, happy, and well.  He lives mostly in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina and enjoys the town, its kind and caring people, and the beautiful views of the Smokey and Blue Ridge mountains.

Marshall's days are full of activities such as visiting various places in the town and spending time with his immediate and extended family that live in the area.  Marshall keeps up with his mail, he listens to a variety of music, and to literature readings by friends and family and also spoken-word audio recordings.   Although he has developed a wide range of interest in music, his primary love still remains the music of Johann Sebastian Bach.

An exciting event brought Marshall’s poetry and loving message to new audiences in July 2006.  Marshall’s poetry was the basis of a new multimedia stage work called “Slightly Uncomfortable” that was premiered in the July 2006 Capitol Fringe Festival, Washington DC.  This work featured Marshall’s work recited and acted on stage by an EMI award winner actress, and by projecting his powerful poetry on screen accompanied by original film, music, and dance segments.  Marshall attended 2 out of the 3 night performances and was cheered and honored on stage with flowers and standing ovations in sold out performances.  "This is only the beginning for Marshall’s work" was the comments of his collaborators in Slightly Uncomfortable.   More and more people read and are touched by the honesty and the powerful message of Marshall’s poetic works as Marshall continues to communicate and write new works.  He  intends to collaborate with more artists in the future.

Other projects in the works are a new website, and perhaps a new published work.  And of course promises to keep the fans up to date more often!

Here is a short excerpt from a conversation with Marshall from last November: “Marshall is interested in feelings about Good God… we need good thoughts now… that is the work.”

Also, there are many wonderful activities and innovations in the field of understanding and helping children with Autism at the Thoughtful House Center for Children.  This is the organization founded by Marshall’s parents and inspired by Marshall Ball.

To find out more please visit

www.thoughtfulhouse.org

or you can contact
Thoughtful House Center for Children
3001 Bee Caves Road
Austin, TX 78746

Telephone : 512-732-8400
Fax: 512-732-8353

Email: info@thoughtfulhouse.org
 

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May 2005


Marshall who, despite his own physical challenges, brings joy and messages of hope to the world through his poetry has been the inspiration for another wonderful effort in bringing healing to our world.


In the honor of Marshall Ball and a legacy to his immense love for humanity, Marshall’s parents Troy and Charlie Ball recently founded the Thoughtful House Center for Children. This new initiative in Austin, Texas, provides specialized clinical and education services for children affected by childhood developmental disorders, in combination with a dedicated research program. The mission of the Thoughtful House is championing the recovery of children with developmental disorders through the unique combination of medical care, education, and research.

The original "Thoughtful House" was a small stone cottage built by Marshall’s parents in Austin as a special place of reflection and learning within the grounds of their family home and served for a number of years as a schoolhouse for Marshall. A small pathway accommodating Marshall’s wheelchair lead the main house to this beautiful small cottage which was named by Marshall “The Thoughtful House” describing its function and blessings in Marshall’s life growing up. Marshall used to spend much time there listening to music and learning from his early teachers and parents. Just outside the doorway to the cottage was a chiseled stone plaque naming the Thoughtful House by Marshall including the year 1994. When the family recently sold their property and moved to Asheville, North Carolina, the plaque was removed and will be placed on the new building that will be built to accommodate the Thoughtful House Foundation activities. The site for this building was donated by Marshall’s parents.

In the same spirit of Marshall’s early educational years, the goal of the Thoughtful House Center for Children is to utilize the benefits of past and current research and combine the talents of leading clinicians, researchers and educators in one dedicated facility. Thoughtful House is a data-driven, results-focused environment for generating "best practice" educational models and setting new standards of medical care for children affected by childhood developmental disorders. In addition, Thoughtful House plans to address the physical, recreational and creative needs of children in areas of occupational therapy, speech therapy and hippotherapy. Its clinical services began in December of 2004 with pediatric and pediatric gastroenterology clinic for children with autism and related disorders.

To find out more please visit

www.thoughtfulhouse.org

or you can contact
Thoughtful House Center for Children
3001 Bee Caves Road
Austin, TX 78746

Telephone : 512-732-8400
Fax: 512-732-8353

Email: info@thoughtfulhouse.org
 

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News from Marshall’s Mother as transcribed by Tony Bernardi

January 2005

 

Late this past summer Marshall and his family moved out of Austin, Texas where they had lived for many years.  It was not easy leaving Marshall’s childhood residence, Listener’s Hill.  Many dear friends and precious memories were left behind, however the prospect of an “On Ward” life in quieter Canadian surroundings and the prospect of meeting new neighbors and friends eased and greatly encouraged their move.  Marshall did his part by offering beautiful poetry and words of wisdom to everyone involved in the move.

Arriving in Saint Andrews, Canada, the entire Ball Family was warmly welcomed by new and old friends. Saint Andrews is not very far from Lubec, Maine where Marshall’s dear friend Lovely resides.  Lovely is the name Marshall calls Mrs. Lois Johnson who is an unbelievably creative lady that considers Marshall her great-grand son and has much affection for him.  Coincidentally, Marshall received a beautiful painting by Brooks Anderson of the Lubec lighthouse from his parents this past Christmas.  Marshall has many fond memories of the times he spent in Lubec with Lovely and her dear late husband Mr. Ryerson Johnson. Surely one of the incentives for the move to Canada must have been the prospect of frequent visits with Lovely again.

Late summer in Saint Andrews offered Marshall and his family many blessings. Marshall took strolls on lanes along the clear waters at the shore, and often met the kind people of the town that had read his books and were happy to see him. Taking naps at Katy’s cove while listening to the music of children’s voices playing in the distance also served as an enjoyable meditative time for Marshall this past summer.

As the days grew shorter and Saint Andrews became wetter and colder, the family and Marshall set out to winter southward.  An old southern house in Asheville North Carolina has given a wonderful abode and all the blessings of the easier southern living to the Ball family.  Marshall’s parents now have more time to spend at home since they do not have to endure long daily commutes any longer.   They treasure their time together especially when taking lazy walks in the smoky hills of their neighborhood.

One of the blessings that has graced Marshall’s family for as many years as they can remember is the helping angels that come to their lives to aid with all the chores and responsibilities of their household.  Asheville is no exception.  A lovely young lady recently joined these helping angels at Marshall’s home.  She comes to the family having read Marshall’s book at the time when she needed it most.  She tells us how she use to take care of a very special young boy called Luke and shortly after his untimely passing she discovered one of Marshall’s books. Not unlike many that have been comforted by Marshall’s miraculous works, she says Marshall’s poetry was instrumental in helping her recover from her grief.  Arriving at the Ball household, carrying with her a picture of her dear late Luke, her joy was restored meeting another Luke, the energetic and kind Luke Ball, Marshall’s youngest brother.  It does not cease to amaze us learning how many lives Marshall’s inspirational and comforting poetry touches everyday.  Her arrival was also quite joyous to Marshall who continues to be cheerful, energetic and full of smiles these days.

Marshall had great fun touring the wonderful Biltmore Estate with his family over the holidays.  Marshall seems to have taken to Asheville well.  It seems to be his kind of town.  He also frequently visits downtown Asheville patronizing street musicians, and enjoying the company of his brothers and cousins taking strolls in the downtown streets.  We have to confess that Marshall is starting to be a regular at the Woolworth’s soda fountain since he has taken a liking to their special milkshakes.  Asheville, in many accounts is a beautiful town that affords its visitors all around easy access and has many conveniences for young poets and alike.  Marshall is looking forward to making many new friends in Asheville and he plans to share his loving kindness with all of his old and new fans or “good thinkers”.

 

 

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News as reported by Tony Bernardi

June 15, 2004


It has been a while since we have reported on the wonders at Listener’s Hill (where Marshall and his family live) and the gentle life of the precious Marshall Ball. Many projects are in the works and I am excited to report to you on a few fronts. I had the privilege to spend some time with Marshall and his gracious family and I am happy to bring news to all his fans and friends.

Marshall is enjoying a good Spring with frequent gatherings of family and friends at Listener’s Hill. His dear Grandma’s weekly visits bring him his fan letters and hearing from all the wonderful people that write to Marshall gives him a joyful diversion from his sometimes-busy days. Marshall is always creating and helping others in many ways. He has been writing a few lovely poems and has been a great source of inspiration and wisdom to many family members, friends, and fans as usual.

A major project well underway is Marshall’s Poetry Recording CD that is scheduled to be release early next year (2005). Marshall has been instrumental in this project guiding its creation and creators. We might be able to preview some samples of this CD on the website soon. The CD is going to have music from Marshall’s favorite composer J.S. Bach as accompaniment to some of Marshall’s best-loved works as well as new and unpublished poems. The Title of this album is “Kissing You”. The release of this CD will coincide with the release of Marshall’s new Website. We hope that this website can become an additional avenue for Marshall to share his beautiful poetry with the world in a format and presentation that complement his genius.

On my May visit I had the privilege to spend some time with Marshall’s brothers Coulton and Luke. I was tremendously touched by Coulton’s gentility and grace. It did not take long for Coulton to accept me with open arms and hugs and allowing me to become his friend.  I am blessed to have witnessed his new advancements in walking and communication. Marshall’s youngest brother, Luke, is a brilliant young man whom I had fun sharing a few exuberant conversations with as I learned how responsibly he aids in caring for his brothers. Luke safely and competently drives an electric car around the grounds of Listener’s Hill helping out and having fun.

It is not difficult to see how much Marshall cares about all his dear family and friends in his published poetry books, the Kiss of God and the Good Kiss. I was able to put faces to many of the names we read in his poems and it was truly a privilege to meet the people that have inspired Marshall’s lovely works. The miracle of love is a daily occurrence around Marshall and an inevitable result of his “quietly kissing gorgeous marvelous thoughts.” “Poetry is the Kindness of the Heart”, Marshall teaches. I am glad to report that this source of kindness continues to radiate strongly and constantly from Marshall as it is clearly reflected in his poetic genius.

On other practical fronts the major commotion visible at Listener’s Hill is the activities associated with the move to Saint Andrew’s, Canada. The Onward House, a wonderful new residence awaiting the family, was lovingly named by Marshall’s brother Luke. Naming of this house is in keeping with the long standing tradition started by Marshall many years ago.  On a number of occasions Marshall related to me how much he looks forward to his stay in Canada. Rumors have it that Marshall’s work has attracted much interest in the Canadian fans and they eagerly await his arrival. Marshall is forecasting much productivity and creativity in the Canadian air. In one occasion, overhearing an uncomplimentary conversation about Canadian Januaries, Marshall offered an inspiring new perspective on the topic in the following poem:

Feel a Fine Beginning

January brings a New Earth;
Feeling angels give Marshall Peace;
Bad feelings answer questions about
feelings Good God does not know;
Begin feeling a good January;
January brings beauty.

That settles that. “January brings beauty” is the correct perspective and sets the tone for an Onward approach to life! It all makes sense now. I have to admit; I have learned so much by being around Marshall and his family. I understand and acknowledge Marshall Stewart Ball as a true teacher and I marvel at his gentle and graceful voice for Truth.

The move to Canada is scheduled sometime early this summer barring all logistical maneuvers involved. The fans and friends in Austin, Texas are promised to be kept informed by the new website with up-to-date reports and pictures. I promise to do my best.

I would like to close this newsletter with a beautiful and poignant poem and message Marshall shared with us on May 21st, 2004. Here he seem to be addressing all of us in the shadows of the current world events. I am signing-off with blessings and gratitude for the privilege to be of service through relaying Marshall’s Loving Messages to you.

Marshall feels thoughts you give;
Going to feelings give answers;
Will you go to feelings now?

Will you feel Good God
in feeling about bad people?
We need to heal the world;

My Angels give Marshall Answers.


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News as reported by Tony Bernardi

January 15, 2004


I am happy to report that miracles continue on Listener’s Hill. That is where Marshall Ball and his beautiful family live. The Angel of Christmas brought peace, joy and good health to the Ball Home and made Christmas Eve even more special and joyful this year. Coulton, Marshall’s dear brother that was on a special school-and-board for a while, has happily returned permanently home now. Michael joined the team of helping angels in the household. And Troy, Marshall’s mom reports that Marshall was especially happy this Christmas as he reveled in being surrounded by his family, aunt, uncle, grandmother, and cousins. For all these blessings and more we all gave thanks.

Marshall is feeling well and healthy now and has fully recovered from a few minor ear infections he had earlier. He is getting stronger and stronger everyday. On a conversation with his mom he said, “Marshall feels good about living”. We all feel joy and peace to see Marshall in good health and hear that he feels well. I have had the great privilege of being directly addressed by Marshall in a few occasions last year as I know many others also did who had sent him notes through his website. Many thanks go to Marshall’s dear grandmother Louise (a.k.a GM) for facilitating most of this communication.

Marshall began this New Year by receiving a very special guest. Mr. Ben Rhodd, a Lakota Sun Dancer and holy man, came to extend his blessings to Marshall and pay him a holiday visit. It was a wonderful experience as Ben spoke about Marshall’s sensitivity to him and Marshall’s ability to feel many things around the world. He told Marshall that perhaps because of all the turmoil in the world at this time Marshall may feel greatly burdened. He went on to say that he also knows of a hand full of other people with such sensitivities. Ben then sang a prayer song and presented Marshall with a gift of Sage in a beautiful conch shell for burning and smudging. This sacred gift was placed near Marshall’s bed where it hangs now. A beautiful sacred eagle feather, Ben’s gift from a few years ago, also hangs in Marshall's bedroom on his window. Mr. Ben Rhodd and his wife Juanita are beloved friends to Marshall and his family. Juanita teaches special education on their reservation.

Marshall receives many blessings and prayers among other gifts every Holiday Season. Among the special gifts he received this year was a beautiful hand painted tablecloth decorated with quotes from Marshall’s work written around it’s edges from his adopted great grandmother Lovely. Lovely is the name Marshall has given to Ms. Lois Johnson, a most dear friend and unbelievably creative lady. Marshall and Lovely have talked about creating a tearoom called the “Friendship Garden” where people can meet and share ideas with one another. This tablecloth is a proto type presented to Marshall for this endeavor. Plans are to begin holding such meetings once a week in Saint Andrew's, New Brunswick, Canada this summer. We hope many will join Marshall and Lovely there to share moments of stillness and beauty with them.

It is a long-standing tradition for the Ball family to have Marshall christen and name special people and places in their lives. This tradition continues now also with Luke, Marshall's youngest brother that has named the recently purchased family home in Saint Andrews “The Onward House”. Marshall says he loves this name, as now "We are listening onward." And so we all begin this new and blessed year with “Listening Onward” as our motto.

On a quick footnote I would like to add that since my exposure to the Ball family, and especially Marshall’s Grandmother Louise, mom, dad, brothers, and his other relatives, friends, and helpers, I have been honored to witness grace. Marshall is surrounded by loveliness and beauty that invite miracles everyday. I am truly privileged to get permission to maintain and upkeep Marshall’s Web site. Ever since reading Kiss of God and The Good Kiss and especially my visit with Marshall this past fall I have bonded with this special young angel, and my life has been changed. As his dear grandmother Louise has told me, I must have been touched! Now I dedicate all my best efforts to help bring Marshall’s Divine Message and Joy to the world. I am truly grateful for the privilege to be of service as I feel that through serving Marshall I am serving the world.

I now leave you with Marshall’s New Year blessing that circles around the theme of “Kindness”. May everyone feel Marshall’s Joy, Peace, and Love in 2004.

Beginning to love

Kindness begins when we love
Regal rewards find a good fine love
Love knows only feelings of kindness


Of occasion give Love
Often give Love
Kindness is Love




 

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News from Marshall's Aunt Cindy

November 5th, 2003


It's November and I've finally returned home for a brief visit. Seeing family has been wonderful, especially my sweet Marshall. Upon arriving at Listener's Hill (where Marshall and his family live), I quickly worked my way into Marshall's warm and inviting room to shower him with hugs and kisses. When we were finally able to sit and chat, Marshall said to me, "Marshall has had a very good year."

Marshall and his parents went up to St. Andrews for a late birthday trip in September where they have recently acquired a summer home. Marshall’s birthday was on July 26th and this trip also coincided with Charlie’s (Marshall’s dad) birthday in September. Shortly after they arrived at St. Andrews, Marshall and his family enjoyed a warm welcome from many residents. It was at Charlie’s birthday dinner party however where many new friends and town’s people thanked Marshall for encouraging his parents to come to St. Andrews. They expressed to him how much he was loved and appreciated by many there. Marshall and everyone present were deeply touched by this openly public heartwarming expression of appreciation. As a result, Troy sent a case of Marshall’s book, "Kiss of God," to the proprietors, Jay and Greg, at The Windsor House (a guest house at St. Andrews) and asked them to offer a copy to anyone they thought would enjoy Marshall’s work. Later Troy realized that Jay and Greg had decided to put a book in every room at their guesthouse as a response to a popular demand. Apparently the first copy they had received from Marshall was repeatedly passed along and read by many guests. The Windsor House, by the way, was beautifully featured on the cover of the July issue of Victorian House magazine.

This trip was especially a wonderful trip for the family and Marshall because Ms. Lois Johnson, a dear friend whom Marshall has named "Lovely", could also join them for the celebrations!

I hear that most everywhere in St. Andrew’s is accessible to pedestrians and wheelchairs. Out on the peer, along the shops on Water Street, through nature trails, to Katy’s Cove, and even at the beautiful Kingsbrae Gardens. Marshall’s Family plans to spend the summer next year at St. Andrews. Apparently there are many wonderful meditative places in St. Andrews. Marshall especially loves the cove by the sea. It is not difficult to imagine Marshall sitting there, "Listening", pondering life, and sharing his love with the world.

This past summer I received an e-mail from a gentleman named Tony Bernardi. He wanted to send flowers to Marshall for his birthday as a show of appreciation and to tell how much his poetry had changed his life. Since I wasn't at home, I decided to forward the e-mail to GM (Marshall’s grandmother) and let her decide the best way to handle this. I responded to Tony and told him that he should be hearing from GM and that we are always happy to know people appreciate our sweet Marshall. Well, GM wrote to Tony and Tony started communicating directly with Marshall. He ended up flying to Austin from Washington D.C. to visit Marshall for an entire week. They had a wonderful week together and Tony has offered to start helping Troy with Marshall's Website. So, we all have our fingers crossed that it will just get better and better! Tony promises to maintain the Website and I promise to write more newsletters.

Well, I'm headed to Florida for the Winter and would love to see friends down there. Let me know if I'm in your neighborhood!

Aunt Cindy

 

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Marshall inspires music and writers!

April 17th, 2003


On December 28th, Marshall received an e-mail from a musician who wrote:

"I am a singer, songwriter, and music producer from LA. I have been signed with major Record Labels and received a Grammy for "Best New Pop Artist" in "96." I currently reside in Utah and have my own child abuse foundation. I love helping others and have a close connection to children. I have truly been inspired by Marshall and wrote a song called "A Kiss From God" that has become a favorite with the music industry and is being released this year (2003) with my new album. I would love to send Marshall a CD of course, along with some photos etc. Thank you. We love you Marshall XO, Camielle

Of course, Marshall and his family were delighted to have received this e-mail and look forward to communicating with Camielle in the future. Over the years, Marshall has been contacted many times by individuals with musical talent wishing to record music that Marshall has written lyrics to. Several people have sent self-published CDs to Marshall that have been inspired by his writing. Always, Marshall's family plays music that has been sent because they know this music has been sent with heartfelt love.

One of Marshall's favorite activities is listening to beautiful music. Amazingly, around the same time of the e-mail, Marshall received a letter and a CD from Margret Avery whose CD is titled "A Place That's Make Believe." She wrote that on this new CD, the last song entitled, "A Seed Planted," was written as she felt "channeled" to Marshall. She was represented in Cannes, France last month at the International Music Festival. Marshall's mother has enjoyed playing this soothing and powerful CD for him recently as he rests on a bed nearby.

Also, one of my dear friends, Christopher Howell, was so inspired by "Kiss of God" that he put together a collection of music from various performers that he felt best expressed selected writings of Marshall's. It is a wonderful CD, and even includes Marshall's favorite Bach piece.

Marshall is delighted that he inspires such talented and creative people as musicians. He hopes that this inspiration is carried on to each listener over the years.

The Austin International Poetry Festival held its annual event recently and Marshall was a featured Poet in their evening of Spiritual Poetry. Poems selected from both "Kiss of God" and "A Good Kiss" were beautifully read by Ms. Kimmika Williams from Darby, PA. She is an Assistant Professor in Theatre at Temple University, has been honored with numerous awards and is the author of eight poetry books. Her readings brought Marshall's words to life! It was absolutely wonderful. After hearing Ms. Williams, Troy and Charlie were so inspired that they have asked her to possibly make a CD of Marshall's writings. Troy also gave a short talk about Marshall that evening and discussed how his poetry has developed since he was five years old. As usual, she was eloquent, gracious and quite beautiful!

When GM (Grandmother) asked Marshall if he wanted to include anything else in this newsletter, he wrote "A good idea to mention that Aunt Cindy and Uncle Don are going to travel for a while and rest a while. Going is resting for Cindy and Don." (Does he know me or what?!) We have purchased a large trailer and will be traveling all over America working at Festivals and various events making novelty signs of all kinds. Both Don and I love to travel and meet new people. If you would like to communicate with us, we'll keep everyone posted as to our whereabouts on our website - www.signsonthego.homestead.com. We'd love to hear from you. Marshall also wanted me to let you know that I will be donating his books to libraries across the country as we travel. I'll try to write something in the front of each one, so if you find one in your library, you'll know I've been there!

And a final note from Marshall: "God is loving great people now."

Have a beautiful Easter and a wonderful Summer!


Aunt Cindy

 

 

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