Just another nasty lady from the thin places!

I didn’t sleep too well last night, though Stephen Colbert tried his best to help. I imagine you didn’t either.

I huddled with the flannel sheets and quilts until I finally slept. That’s when I knew.

No, not the election results. What my Work-in-Progress painting wanted!

You see, I’m not totally in Georgia at the moment. I’m also, virtually, at an Intentional Creativity® event in California, with paint sisters from around the world. The paintings we’re making began with working titles along the lines of Legend… the Mystic.

This retreat, like so many good things, is kind of hard to explain. There’s meditation and teaching and carousing and drumming and, well, painting going on. The picture, above, all coded with things that matter to me, is what mine looked like when I gave up on election returns and went to bed.

But, before I say more… a snippet from my email, which made me feel better enough to engage with my literal canvas again here in Georgia:

Prayer for the Morning
~ Audette Fulbright Fulson

Did you rise this morning,
broken and hung over
with weariness and pain
and rage tattered from waving too long in a brutal wind?
Get up, child.
Pull your bones upright
gather your skin and muscle into a patch of sun.
Draw breath deep into your lungs;
you will need it
for another day calls to you.
I know you ache.
I know you wish the work were done
and you
with everyone you have ever loved
were on a distant shore
safe, and unafraid.

But remember this,
tired as you are:
you are not alone.
and here
and here also
there are others weeping
and rising
and gathering their courage.
You belong to them
and they to you

and together,
we will break through
and bend the arc of justice
all the way down
into our lives.

Amen. Amen. Selah.

And now, back to California.

This is what the eventual she looks like now:

First, let’s be clear… there is symbolic meaning in the the color change but it has nothing to do with political parties.

Well okay, maybe just a little. You see, as soon as this step is dry, there will be another step and things will get quite different. For now, though, what I can tell you is that, while my Muse was whispering directions in my ear, she also suggested a new working title for the painting:

Beware of Nasty Ladies in Thin Places!

Stay tuned…

ps… Many thanks to Dr. Leeann VanDyk, President, Columbia Theological Seminary and my dear paint sister & friend, Wendy Dewberry, for sharing!

pps… For more about the notion of thin places, click here!

ppps… Thanks be to Bill who’s off shipping Etsy sales to their new forever homes!

Thin places…

As you may have noticed… I like learning new things!

The concept of thin places is one of those new things, just now. According to Celtic traditions, a thin place is where one can walk in two worlds. Such places are not experienced with our usual senses of seeing, hearing, touching, etc. They are, rather, more occasions of gnosis… the Greek word for the knowledge of spiritual mysteries.

This feels like a time of thin places.

The moon will be full early in the morning. I’m not an expert on the lore and symbols of the moon. (We didn’t cover that in Seminary!) I can tell you that the moon is considered by some to be the feminine co-creative energy of God, as you see in my painting, The Co-Creative Soul.

In non-pandemic years, we would be celebrating (or avoiding) Halloween. The Beasties don’t understand but I’m glad for their sakes that we’re avoiding the ghoulies and ghosties this year. Too much door bell ringing!

Personally, I prefer the tradition of All Saint’s Day, observed on November 1.

Growing up, all I knew about Saints was that the Catholic kids in our neighborhood got to stay home from school on a whole bunch of days we public school kids didn’t and it had something to do with Saint days.

If you’ve been hanging around a while you’ve heard me tell this next story before…

When I was working on my doctorate, I was taking an on-campus class at Columbia Theological Seminary which is just down the road from where we live in Decatur, GA.

Walter Brueggemann was teaching about Imagination. (If only I’d known then where that would lead me!) He was also preaching in chapel, on November the first.

Now, Saints don’t come up much in chapel at a Presbyterian seminary. At least they didn’t somewhere in the mid 1990’s. Walter, thinking perhaps that we needed a bit more education, decided to explain things.

Saints, he said, are all the people who believe for us on days when we can’t quite believe for ourselves.

I’m not sure that’s how those long-ago Catholic kids learned it, but Walter’s version totally works for me and I’m blessed with a list full of those folks.

I’m betting you are, too, if you just ponder about it for a few minutes. And the world is better when we remember and choose to believe.

Then there’s the thin place looming over any American who’s paying even the slightest attention, along with most of the world. The election.

I’m reminded of realizing, a while back, that we don’t really have control over much of anything. On good days, we have influence.

And, like so many of you, I have influenced myself to the point of exhaustion over this one. Now, we wait.

And vote, just in case you haven’t yet.

And put it all out there with our friends and family about why we’ve chosen what we have, if they’re still wondering what they will choose.

That can be scary. It’s also an act of huge courage and hope in a world that needs both, desperately.

There’s no telling, in this moment, how long this particular thin place will last. For now, hug (virtually, if need be) the ones you love. Make one more contribution, even if it needs to be smaller than your email suggests! Give someone a ride to the polls if you can. Remind yourself, if it helps, that we’ve been through thin places before. And know that there are still lots of us believing. (Probably not all at the same time, but it works, anyway!)

ps… Many of you live in other lands. I think I speak for lots of Americans when I say that we’d be grateful if you were believing with us, too!

pps… #Biden/Harris2020

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