Big Dogs Snoring and Tony Bourdain!

If I knew anything at all about digital music or how such a miracle comes to be, I think I could create the world’s greatest meditation recording.

It’s playing now, in the live version, as I write.

Yes, you guessed it! A trio of big dogs snoring gently in a unique chorus of peace.

(If you had a digital version, you might not still be freaked out from the big event of the evening in which the bass member of the trio urped his dinner all over the blessed rubber mat on the floor in the place formerly known as the breakfast room  and the resulting yuck involved in solving that problem!)

Please keep reading… it will get better, soon!

After all was clean again, I repaired to the magical chair, always willing to adjust to whatever my knees and back desire in the moment, and, deciding on a brief vacation after a major meeting with my new friend Barry at digital arts printing, summoned Netflix where I encountered Parts Unknown and the late Anthony Bourdain, mid-episode, in the Republic of Georgia.

I was intrigued.

Let me admit, before I go on, that my grasp of contemporary world geography is nowhere near adequate and I missed all of the 1980’s as a single mom earning four college degrees. Then, I spent the 1990’s enmeshed in church politics so it’s safe to say that I am in need of a bit more learning on many of these matters.

Tony, as was so often true, was glad to oblige.

Beyond quite the soliloquy on homemade hootch and something to do with chicken baked in a pumpkin, much of the conversation had to do with Georgia’s precarious geographical position, essentially between Europe and the former Soviet Union. Here’s the sentence that hooked me.

We wake up every morning and find out where we live. 

This I understood, for I heard the same stories when I was in Hungary, just before the former eastern bloc fell. I was, naively, I suppose, mind boggled by the notion of waking up to find out who had taken control of your country overnight.

Now, if you’ll pretend for a moment that it’s time for a commercial break, I will take you with me to the land of Shiloh Sophia and Intentional Creativity where we are painting about consciousness. We’re pretty much always painting about consciousness but it’s been particularly intense for me, having two CODEX paintings in process at once.

Basically, that means we’re painting about thinking about thinking. And, in the moment, we are allowing any of the things that may have been non-conscious historically, to become conscious if that is safe and helpful at this time.

We’re not really talking about consciousness in the sense of above or below but, if you want to paint it you have to have some way to represent the whole thing visually. The picture above, which you’ve seen other bits of before, is essentially an image of those things that are safe and helpful (though sometimes a bit unsettling) “rising” into awareness.

Now, let us return from our commercial break to Tony and the Republic of Georgia.

First, the big flash for me. (It’s ok if you’re ahead of me here. We all learn when we’re ready.)

You don’t have to live in the former Soviet bloc, or in a tiny country between Europe and Russia and parts of the Middle East to wonder who will be in charge when you wake up in the morning.

It’s just as true in the United States of America.

The thing that really blew my mind was the hopefulness of my new TV friends in the Republic of Georgia.

We’re hopeful, I heard most of them say. What else can we be if we want a better future? 

And, somehow, because of the place where inviting new consciousness meets embodied memories of eating and drinking and dancing with old friends in Hungary, I suspect I will be more hopeful, as well.

And busy making prayer dots. Wearing, I might add, my Fiercely Compassionate Grandmother tee-shirt! My girls are growing up in this country!

For now, warming a bowl of really good soup and wondering where Tony is headed next.

PS… Just in case you’re curious, where Tony went next was Senegal, where a native leader said: This world is going to be a better place when more cultures are actually given a chance to be put at the table. And, after a few bites of lamb, Tony responded, Democracy, as it happens, requires regular maintenance, diligence, and a willingness to stand up. RIP, Tony.

WIP Wednesday… this week!

In the land of Intentional Creativity, Wednesdays are Work-in-Progress days. A time to reflect on where we are and, often, to share a glimpse with the community.

In the land of Sue, Wednesdays are also blog days.

I have this apparently bizarre notion that I will leave space in my calendar so that getting a blog done doesn’t wind up feeling rushed or exhausting.

Sometimes it works!

Sometimes, though, Wednesdays come after rather intense Tuesdays.

Yesterday’s Tuesday was great in the sense of good friends and lots of painting. And hours of leaping the studio angels! I got pretty tired in a good way, but tired all the same.

This morning, when I noticed all three dogs laying in the hallway, I decided to wander through the studio to the kitchen in search of one of my favorite sunny yellow mugs with lemon and hot water.

(I hate to admit it, but I’m sleeping lots better since I’ve backed way off the tea again!)

The face in the painting pictured above was basically the last thing I saw last night and the first thing I saw this morning. Fortunately, the light was good for getting some photos just then.

I often see something new when I look at my work through the eye of my camera.

This time, I realized that I had been dreaming about her.

Some of you will recognize her as my Codex painting, moon 7-9. For the rest of you, she’s almost 7 moons finished in a 13 moon journey with a world-wide group of artists. The tricky part???

We have no idea what comes next or where the paint journey is going. (Though I suspect the inner journey won’t actually end!)

Here’s what I can tell you. The face you see represents the inner Observer we all have but aren’t necessarily well acquainted with. Her job is to give us a place outside our old stories and immediate experience from which to watch what’s unfolding. Rather, as I’ve always imagined, like an owl in a tree. To notice and wonder and, perhaps, to learn new and helpful things for understanding where we are and envisioning where we want to be.

From the unknown consciousness where myth and imagination live, through what we were taught to be, often in order to exist, in whatever enmeshed systems we encountered, to the personas we became, to the crafted, or curated, beings still developing from our experiences and intentional choices, our Observer helps us to see more clearly and choose according to our deepest, and ever-shifting, awareness.

I met my Observer 20 or so years ago in my hypnosis and neuro-linguistic programming journey.

Now, with the brilliant help of Shiloh Sophia, Jonathan McCloud, and the Intentional Creativity community, it feels as though she has moved from high in the tree to deep inside me. It’s amazing!

Last night, she surprised me yet again with her insistence on the bright yellow drips of paint that surround her.

What do they mean? I’m not totally sure yet but it feels like it has something to do with busting out of the box! (And something this Grammy needs to spend some time contemplating!)

For this moment, while my friends, imaginary and real, are hopping up and down to join the conversation, Sarah would like you to know that she was very, very cooperative for her chiropractic treatment today and that Luther made it back into the library to hang with Maren, our new dog Auntie. Phoebe, of course, showed up too, hoping for treats even though she didn’t have to twist and pop.

I, on the other hand, had the odd sense while we were working that a portion of my Observer’s wisdom lives in these three dogs. (This is not official teaching… just truth.)

For now, we all took a vote and decided that a nap was in order. Sarah’s taking hers in the bathtub!



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