The time has come, the walrus said..

To talk of many things. Of shoes and ships and sealing wax. Of cabbages and kings.

Well, sort of. The things on my list are different than those on the long gone list of Lewis Carroll. But, the time has, apparently, come.

This is a good thing, in the way that newness often is. And a challenging thing in the way that new things often are. You see, on this particular Wednesday, I am even more conscious than usual of being my own Work-in-Progress!

As you may have noticed, one of the owl eggs in the painting on the right is beginning to hatch!

But first, a bit of reflecting on a couple of other art forms. The massive bone broth cauldron is enthroned on the stove. No heat yet. Just raw bones bathing in very cold acidulated water. Bird bones, in this case. But no owls!

And, in addition to the beginnings of a pot of bone broth, quilts.

Last night I dreamed of the endless hours I used to spend, staring at quilt fabric strung across the back of my couch, trying to feel which ones belonged in a particular project and which ones needed to return to the stash for a different moment in the sun.

It seems I am doing that internally at the moment. And the scraps for the project hatching inside me are books and symbols and stories, collected over the last couple of decades, interesting individually and increasingly fascinating as they jockey for position in the mental quilt I am composing which will be called something along the lines of Making Sense Out Of The World.

Perhaps you are hatching such a project as well!

I hope so. I find comfort in the notion that there are many of us at work, creating new patterns and perhaps even comfort in the face of – well – current events.

And I’m really grateful for a host of brave and brilliant teachers through the years. I’ve shopped, in a sense, through classes and books and experiences, for just the bits of knowing that feel so much like brilliant scraps of quilt fabric in my heart.

There will be more to come about all of this.

Soon!

First, I need to learn a bit more about Zoom and what happens if my new project thinks it needs two cameras at once. Right after I ship some art supplies to Texas and Tennessee.

Should you happen to be a wise soul with knowledge of such unquilt-like wisdom, PLEASE leave me a comment, below, or email me at suesvoice@gmail.com

If ever there was a time when we’re all in this together, it seems to be now. Blessings for you and yours. And for the symbolic baby owls hatching in your heart.

ps… A very, very happy birthday to Kelly who “hatched” my favorite owls!

Compassionate Distancing with a Twist!

I’ve spent the weekend marveling at the world. Yes, there are still things that scare me and things that p*ss me off. There are things that feel sad to me. And things I choose to ignore. But this weekend there’s been a very dear voice echoing in my ears and heart.

The voice belongs to my Farm Gramma, Elsie. She’s still famous for a great many things among the family, but this is my favorite…

Doesn’t that just wonder you?

There are lots of things to wonder about in my world!

My kids had brunch with their neighbors, everybody in their yards on their respective sides of the privacy fence. Chatting like, you know, telephones before Face Time!

Then, there’s Greek mythology. I’ve got a lot more homework to do and it has to do with our new medicine painting process called Hydra’s Flare. We started yesterday. We, in this case, being about 3000 women all over the world, gathered via the miracles of livestream, connected by virtual red thread or, in my case, literal red thread bracelets handmade by my girls.

Our teacher, Shiloh Sophia McCloud, asked gently, before the healing journey began, what we were hoping to heal.

My intuitive answer was fear. Most immediately, in this moment, fear of germs, of the Legendary Husband snuffling, of what’s next in the USA… well, you get the drift. And so I began with an intention of letting go of any fear that was available for healing.

Favorite colors, good music, a bit of dancing, time for chocolate, a tear or two, and big dogs to leap in the studio.

There’s more painting to do but I’ve learned a lot. Perhaps the most important part was realizing that the big picture fears I thought I brought for healing turned out to be the particular fear of pain.

If you’ve known me a while, you realize that I’ve had a bit of practice with pain. Mostly the orthopedic kind. I won’t bore you with the details. Feel free to fill in the blanks from whatever parts of you might relate.

There were, however, other things on the weekend list as well. Some time to hang virtually with our kids. A chicken to dry brine. And chocolate. Two kinds.

You see, in addition to being what Shiloh refers to as Mamas’ Day, it’s also our 30th wedding anniversary. And the 30th anniversary of my graduation from Columbia Seminary, the first time.

So, chocolate. The dark, yummy, mini-muffins Bill loves. And the raw, dark chocolate bark with roasted almonds and Maldon sea salt that works for my stress reducing obsessions with really, really good chocolate and salty, crunchy things.

Roast chicken, too, of course. With a bit of wild rice stuffing and some excellent gravy that’s mostly roasted veg.

And stories. Wedding stories. Kid stories. Healing stories. Paint stories. Blessing stories. And, I suspect, less fear. I’ll keep you posted.

For this moment, Happy Mamas’ Day to you, in whatever way you relate. Happy Anniversary to the love of my life. And Happy Healing (Soon!) to all.

p.s. Elsie wants me to add, Happy Wondering!

Railroad Bill’s Songwriter is Back!

It’s been a “pen in my hand” kind of day. Well, the good parts!

I’ve been extra achy lately which I’m betting has to do with weather changes. In any event, just between us, I could do without it. Then the air quit working.

The heating & cooling repair guy showed up about 1pm. Neverminding for the moment that he was early and messed up my plan for painting and then having lunch while the paint dried, I learned two useful things.

First, I was right. All was not well. BUT, it wasn’t a huge issue!

Second, I was right. I’m decidedly NOT ready to cope with re-opening Georgia.

For boring personal history reasons, I’m at higher than average risk, not for catching the Corona virus, so much, as for having significant complications if I did. I’ve taken the notion of Compassionate Distancing seriously. Very seriously. Hence, major anxiety at the thought of letting him in the house. Where, you know, the whole heat/air thing lives.

He, thankfully, was all decked out from mask to shoe covers. Bill did the in-person interacting. I hid in the family room, door closed… anxious, nonetheless.

Then, the metacognitive drawing appeared in my head, and from there to paper. I did the outline first and then, while bumps and bangs floated up from the basement and doors slammed – a lot – I decorated my drawing with dots.

Or, more specifically, I prayed in dots. Prayers for me and mine. For you and yours. For all the world. And, I must admit, for some additional sanity at work in the USA. And, as I prayed, Railroad Bill began to sing in my head. Well, technically is wasn’t the character, Railroad Bill – who could use some lessons in politically correct – as much as it was the songwriter in that particular folk song who insists that he has the pen in his hand and can do whatever he wants.

After a couple hours of trying to drown out the banging with dots and humming, heating and cooling restored to health, it was time for the day’s ration of Zoom meetings. Two separate groups – with a lot of carryover from one to the other – women working to bring newness and wholeness into the world.

It isn’t easy work. Our filters are all overloaded, too, and too much of the racket of the world wants in. There were fears and tears in the conversation. And then our leader in the second meeting, the utterly marvelous Julie Steelman, asked us all to write ourselves a permission slip for just what we needed now. (Okay, you might have guessed that!)

It was awesome! And you can write one, too! Permission to be where you are, ask for what you need, move at your own speed, or take a nap. In short, take care of you!

And, trust me on this… actually writing it will make it work even better! Stick it to your bathroom mirror or the back of your cell phone or wherever you’ll see it often. Make several if you want to!

It really is okay if “now” is harder than you’re used to and it seems as if the questions are piling up lots faster than the answers. We’re all going to need some new answers. That’s called growth.

I so wish I could make this all go away, but I can’t. I can learn from it. Starting with learning more about taking care of me.

And giving thanks for the heat/air guy who taught me some things even while I was strenuously avoiding him. Let’s hear it for Railroad Bill’s songwriter buddy!

Of DNA and Dreams…

I’ve been hanging out in the past, lately, learning from some recent DNA results. The family stuff, for sure. People – my people – from so many parts of the world. Places I’ve been and places I barely had room for in my head, before they became my places, too.

More recently, the cellular stuff. Specifically some magic known as a nutrition genome test. Let me start by assuring you that I understood the family stuff a lot better! Here’s a brief glimpse of an email I got from my doc last week, “explaining” some of the results:

DOA is a gene that shows how you process histamine – normally if this is not working well then allergies are more frequent. It can also contribute to migraines.

You do carry some mutations in this gene… and I think perhaps it plays in (it is not the only allergy determinant) looking at your tendency to med and environmental allergens.

Intriguing, as pea green pollen season persists in Atlanta!

Not as intriguing, though, as hanging out in the future! You see, I’ve also been busy coloring my homework!

For those of you who’ve known me a while, you may be surprised to learn that I’ve been making a Biz-ness Plan! Yes, I know, it sounds somehow odd for me. To me, too! But this is not some mind-numbing spreadsheet thing full of numbers. (Bless you if you understand those!) This is an Intentional Creativity® Biz-ness Plan!

There’s a glimpse of it, above. And, while this is Sunday, it is, indeed, a #WIP – or work in progress – which usually happen around here on Wednesdays. Just one more thing that feels ass over applecart these days, I guess!

The “page” you see on the left is the one about WHY? Or, Passion. Or, for me, the dream that bubbles under the plan.

It starts with my girls. Or, as I spend a lot of time mentioning to politicians these days, “I have two granddaughters growing up in this world…”

And beyond all the changes I think we need – Feel free to fill in the blanks! – I want them to grow up in the sure and certain notion that they have super powers they can use for good.

I want that for everybody, really. But I feel especially called to share that amazing truth with women and girls. And, while the Why? page isn’t a recipe, per se, it is all the reminder I need of the future of my dreams. Which, when you think about it, is pretty good for a piece of watercolor paper that’s nowhere near finished!

The page to the right is the How? page. Since you’re probably reading this on a device that is programmed to resist attempts to read in a circle, let me help!

Creating empowered futures with community, experiences, stories, images, and tools to unstick stuck stuff.

And a whole bunch of prayer dots! In this case, so be it…………………

All wrapped in the red thread which connects us, one to the other.

There are blanks to fill in and more coloring to do. Coloring is fun!!! And, undoubtedly, more plans to share.

For today, the sure and certain knowing that a whole bunch of those people from places I never related to before carried within them a belief in the same Why? and, apparently, a bunch of allergies!

Oh, a hint… do what you can to experience some pandemic-appropriate community today. For starters, the studio angels and I are really glad you’re here!!!

ps… I’m figuring out how the website update works! Hallelujah!!!

Sue Boardman, Certified Intentional Creativity® Color of Woman Teacher