Until We Know…

You know that old saying about not knowing what you don’t know until you know? Well, it’s been a week like that around here!

In order for me to explain, I need to remind you that I have lots of frequent flyer miles with my buddy the knee surgeon. Lots! And, while I’m blessedly better than I used to be, my left knee has the occasional hissy fit and buckles, randomly, which results in my falling down.

Falling down is not on the approved list of activities when you’ve had knee surgery as many times as I have.

(Neither, for that matter, is spending  big chunk of a week on the floor at the vet’s office, but Phoebe’s feeling better so we’re just going to overlook that!)

All of which means that, the vast majority of the time, I use a walking stick. One of the snazzy looking ones that implies that I might be headed off for a hike up Stone Mountain. (Not!) The cool thing about it is that it’s completely height adjustable. It’s also a fun toy for my girls.

One of the things the walking stick means, though, is that my right hand is engaged in walking and standing.

And one of the things that means is that I’m addicted to pockets. Preferably pockets in denim vests and jackets which have lots and you can wash them to get out the inevitable crumbs of dog treats.

So here’s what I learned that I didn’t know I didn’t know.

If one happens to live in a place where it is currently cold and needs to go to an event where the mythic denim vest might be rather too casual and, oh, by the way, has suddenly developed the need to schlep really cool new business cards and art books and sketch pads, along with the basic necessities like phone, keys, and lip gloss, and still be able to walk and shake hands, there is an opportunity for problem-solving!

Oh, one more thing… the short black boots with the pink faux fur, complicate things just a bit more.

The good news is that I got some things sorted out in my closet and found a couple of great paint shirts that had somehow managed to escape notice for a while.

Clearly, I needed a cross body style bag that worked with black, pink, and all my more usual, artsy sorts of choices.

Not too much money.

Just the right size.

And not likely to show an occasional paint spatter.

Oh, and I needed it now.

Much research ensued. Art stores. Office stores. You name it, I cyber hunted there. All in the midst of setting up my very own space at FineArtAmerica, where reproductions of some of my work are beginning to be available for adoption.

I found the answer about 5:30 yesterday morning.

I seriously considered swearing Bill to secrecy and never telling anyone. And then I decided that life changes and change means challenge and we’re pretty much all in this together, so here goes:

I bought a diaper bag!

Light weight. Accessible pockets. Fabulous (washable) fabric. And exactly the right size.

I even love the symbolism in the print.

It’s due to show up by the time you read this.

And, yes, I’ll post a picture.

But, for today, some symbolism that also matters very much to me. Every chance I get!


What’s In A Name???

When I was very small, I was known to the world around me as Susie. (It’s worth noting that I haven’t admitted this in public for about 50 years.)

Along about third grade or so, I decided that I would much rather be Sue and simply quit responding to anything else. This was a strategy that was, apparently, annoying to many of the tall people around me.

Little did I know that it was simple back then!

I have spent my adult life, since the year I was 19, hassling with people about my name.

Birth name. Married name. Birth name reclaimed.

I swore I’d never change it again. Until I did.

Modern name, that time. Hyphenated when Bill and I got married. I was up to my eyebrows in exams and in love.

Then, the real problems began. Southern traditions. Miss Manners. Computer fields too short for my whole name and mythical algorithms randomly choosing whatever batch of letters fit in their boxes, leaving me with a whole bunch of stuff that didn’t match and irritated the fool out of me.

Eventually, I became the editor of Monday Morning magazine and the masthead had room for only half of my name. I was delighted and picked the half I was born with.

This did not, of course, solve my challenges in the rest of the world.

Lots of life and knee surgery followed.

Finally, about four years or so ago, I went to court and changed my name legally back to the name of my birth.

If you want the official version, I am, in these days, The Rev. Dr. Susan L. Boardman, RN, MDiv, DMin, Intentional Creativity Teacher. Almost always, other than when I’m lobbying politicians, just plain Sue is fine.

Except in Cyber-Hell.

Having had two or three email addresses, a similar number of domain names and blog titles, not to mention WordPress accounts, Amazon author accounts, and Facebook pages, all of them with passwords according to the bizarre rules of this site or that, I find myself awash in a morass of reminders that my name should be what I say it is.

As should yours.

You are, perhaps, wondering why this matters in this moment.

Well, my dear writer friend, Dr. Cynthia Levy, sent me a copy of the eulogy that the amazing writer and teacher of writers, Deena Metzger, offered at the memorial service for a very young woman killed at the Thousand Oaks massacre.

Cindy sent it because it’s all about hope in the midst of the situational angst of this world and she knew that, because you hang out in this place, you would want to hear it, too. I’m grateful.

And frustrated. WordPress, it seems does not believe in name changes, and I don’t have the technical skill to convince them otherwise. I wanted to give this space, today, to Deena, and the wisdom of young women like Noel, of whom we need whole lots more, rather than less.

I couldn’t make it happen, but that’s a problem for a different day. (And some talented friends!)

Today, dots. And a link which I hope with all my heart that you’ll press. We all need these words. And this hope. And the power of the names we choose.

The Eulogy that Deena offered at the Memorial for Noel Sparks killed by the Thousand Oaks Shooter

As this season of light begins, bless you and yours. And bless Deena Metzger for speaking the truth.



Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity®
Color of Woman Teacher & Coach