Tea… and news!

Hurricane news, to begin with. I grew up in Florida and I have this proverbial T-shirt in lots of colors!

As is the norm, some people are fine. Some are not. Lots aren’t sure yet. And nobody needed this! Except, perhaps, certain camera hungry politicians.

Fetching a re-used plastic tray of watery glue from the fridge came next. It was time to paste more leaves! Also, time for learning!

Turns out I needed some leaves where the words went right to left, instead of the more predictable way!

Joan Baez was kind enough to keep me company while I glued. My Legend painting has been officially up-graded to a mixed media piece!

Frankly, ripping pages from my copy of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene (Jean-Yves Leloup) to cut into leaves felt pretty weird. The Muse, however, was insistent!

(And, yes, the shiny, new copy has already arrived!)

Also, the leaves will be green, eventually! (Well, by Thursday! There is, indeed, a calendar issue involved!)

While the paste dried, though, there was touch-up painting to do. And stars to add. And laundry. A process which was complicated by the expiration of our clothes dryer!

We got a bit of welcome rain. Enough to discourage the folks with the big toys tearing up what used to be a park next door.

The noise is tough enough to ignore. It’s the ground shaking bit that’s really scary.

All the disruption is also a reality check.

A reminder that with all the storms and fires and earthquakes and utterly needless shootings, there are a great many people with huge challenges.

There’s also global warming. Which, in a surprising sort of way, helped me stick with the leaf pasting! It’s time for good news of many types… just about anyway we can share it!

Which leads me to some words from one of my favorite share-ers of good news! These are the words of Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes…

We do not become healers. We came as healers. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are. 

We do not become storytellers. We came as carriers of the stories we and our ancestors actually lived. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are

We do not become artists. We came as artists. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are. 

We do not become writers, dancers, musicians, helpers, and peacemakers. We came as such. We are. Some of us are still catching up to what we are.

We do not learn to love in this sense. We came as Love. We are Love. Some of us are still catching up to who we truly are.

A Simple Prayer for Remembering the Motherlode

Let us give ourselves, in this moment, permission to become the healers and storytellers and artists… the writers, dancers, musicians, helpers, and peacemakers we were born to be! Let us catch up to our calling to be Love. So be it for me and for you and for more and more of us every day!

ps… thanks to Lori Sweet for posting this amazing quote in a place where it found me, even in the midst of this day!

pps… if it’s been a while since you’ve read Dr. E.’s work, they’re all great. Untie the Strong Woman is timely!

ppps… one of my dear buddies bought some leggings. She loves the fabric! And she really loves being able to get matching pairs for herself and her young granddaughter! Tempted??? FierceArtWithHeart! Choose two pair and save by adding the magic code at checkout. BUY 2 – SAVE $8 Also a great deal for back-to-school, and there’s now an option for splitting payments up on most items!

Let Courage Be Our Teacher!

Some people like to talk about fearlessness – having no fear – but is that really possible? Courage is feeling fear but doing something anyway.

I read these words Sunday morning, in a Facebook post from Sara Jewell, quoting Morgan Harper Nichols, and passed on by Natalie Moyes.

It really hit home for me. Now. And I should probably warn you that this post is born of my speaking, despite the fear I feel. Despite the tears flowing down my cheeks. You know why… I have 2 granddaughters growing up in this world.

It’s been a hard week for this Grammy.

The irony of the news from Atlanta. The motorcade nearly stopping traffic during Thursday’s rush hour. Huge chucks of interstate roads not open to regular folks. The paradoxical arial shot of all those SUV’s rolling past the stadium at Dr. King’s alma mater, Morehouse College.

I can’t help but wonder at the timing. If you’re from around here – and even if you’re not – you probably know that this weekend marks the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington.

I was 5 years old, 60 years ago, back in the days before all our contemporary ways of accessing news, and I have no memory of these events. Possibly because – in addition to our limited tech options – this would have been one of those things WE didn’t talk about.

(In case you’re curious, money, sex, power, and politics were the other things on that list in my family!)

Monday is the actual 60th anniversary of Dr. King’s speech, I Have a Dream. Members of the King family are expected to join “tens of thousands” in the commemorative march on Monday. One of those members is likely to be Dr. King’s only granddaughter.

A 15 year old, Yolanda Renee King appeared on an MSNBC segment, Saturday, with her parents. I think it was her mother who said that, during her daughter’s lifetime, she has lost rights, rather than gaining them.

And she has. In America. On our watch.

This Saturday also marked Women’s Equality Day, and yes, I signed my name to some petitions. (You could, too!) It’s an election year in the USA and we must speak out for ratifying the ERA. Now! (Okay, I must…)

Then there was the shooting in Jacksonville, FL last night. Three black people killed by a white man with swastikas painted on the rifle he used. And a very young black man – Rep. Maxwell Frost (D, FL) – saying that, in this time, the most likely cause of death for children under the age of 18, in America, is a bullet.

The short version of what I’m feeling in this moment is:

This shit’s gotta stop!

The longer version is the hope that if we all summon our courage, even in the midst of our fear, to speak and act in love, we can make a difference. Maybe not huge, global differences in any given moment, but lots and lots of local differences which will add up to hope.

I’m starting by signing my whole name to this post…

The Rev Dr Susan L Boardman, Gnostic Judeo-Christian Mystic Medicine Woman, walking the Way of Love (aka: The Fiercely Compassionate Rebel Grandmother, For Rent!)

ps… one of the things I’ve learned lately is that the kinds of limiting beliefs which hold us back and keep us afraid often start with the emphatic WE… (Stay tuned!)

pps… the needs-to-be-finished-soon painting at the top is love and hope and courage, even in the midst of those who do not yet see the way. So be it, for each of us…

ppps… there’s still time to stock up on art-leggings with a special offer. Daphne, who’s in charge of wearable art, says: Just go fill your basket at https://fierceartwithheart.com/collections/wearable-art and enter the magic code, BUY 2 – SAVE $8 (Choose from 5 different size ranges!!!)

I’m (usually) all for learning experiences…

Yesterday may have been an exception!

Physical Therapy was the first big thing on the list.

The construction guys trying to pick up their itty-bitty bulldozer, laying on its side in the road, were definitely NOT on the list.

Brief pause for thanks that the air conditioner in the car was on the job!

(Still waiting on the folks to juice up the one in the house!)

Then, dry needles. I was ready for the ones near my hip. The ones at the other end of that muscle, near my knee… not so much! (My knees are of the opinion that they’ve had PLENTY of attention, already!)

The next right thing was a video shoot, at my house.

Clearly, nobody had explained that to the 3 drivers screaming at each other in the road where their crumpled cars were considerably more well acquainted than one might hope. Blessedly, everybody seemed well enough to jump up & down and yell.

Finally home, I grabbed a quick snack and reminded myself that breathing would probably be helpful.

The way-deep into my back muscles sort of breathing. (It really does help!)

Then, the tears started.

There was no way I was ready to start making videos in 20 minutes.

That’s where modeling comes in. Not the high heels and big hair kind!

The kind where we actually pay attention to what we need and make choices informed by that knowledge. Translation… I phoned a friend!

Not just any friend. A retired news producer Intentional Creativity® friend who was on tap for helping with the videos.

Fast forward to the new plan, in which waiting for a more supportive time is very likely to get me a whole lot closer to where I’m going with the video project.

And, yes… we’re talking Filters videos! And me doing that old thing called walking the talk.

It doesn’t fix everything. Not wild fires or mud slides or floods. Not crazy excuses for politicians. Not intolerance or book burning or threats to Social Security.

It does make us more able to be part of the solutions. And I’m all in!

For now, though… more dots!

Finger dots can be prayer dots, too. And that is walking the talk!

ps… the art is a sneak peek at how my Legend 2023 painting is coming along… In this case, dots are rocks! (Stay tuned!!!)

pps… even though the Filters videos aren’t quite done yet, I have the magic, ready to share. Step One is 45 min. My gift. Then comes Step Two. Just tell the calendar elves you’re ready to get ahead of the crowd! (There are even a few options before Labor Day!)

46 years ago, today…

Or, perspective really is everything!!!

You know all the fairy tales full of happily ever after? Well, that was not my early experience!

There I was, in the church where I grew up, dressed like a doll on a cake and staring down the aisle at a whole lot of folks I knew. And one I had promised to marry.

The music started, as the music does in those events.

And so did my first panic attack!

I shook from head to toe. My heart raced. I couldn’t breathe. It took every muscle in my body to do what I was expected to do and put one foot in front of the other.

In those days I had not discovered the wonders of neuro-linguistic programming. If I had, I might have realized that – primary kinesthetic processor that I am – every cell in my body was screaming, NO!!!

A whole lot of things would have been different, had I listened.

And yet, I’m glad I didn’t.

Because, if I had, I wouldn’t be who I am, now. I wouldn’t have the amazing, wonderful family I have.

I wouldn’t have learned a whole lot of things that are now helping me help others on their paths.

Just between us, I used to dread this day. This reminder.

And then, somewhere along the way, I noticed that I had quit noticing it, and that was a relief in many ways.

This year is different.

This year I’ve spent the day making room for the things I’m learning. Room in my heart and mind. Room in my calendar. And room in my house.

Our house. And the Legendary Husband has been there every step of the way!

We’ve forged ahead in the wrestling match with the Closet Monsters. The laundry machines are doing what they do. There will be really good ribs for dinner. And fresh Black Mission figs! And there is paint drying after a circle of Red Madonna sisters met for some deep sharing and support.

As I listened to their stories, I was reminded that life is not about what everybody thinks you should be and do. It’s not about getting it all right the first time. It’s not about never making choices which don’t turn out the way we imagined.

Instead, it’s about putting one foot in front of the other. It’s about asking to be witnessed when we need to be. It’s about not trying to fix everything all by ourselves.

And, it’s about celebrating the people and the beliefs and the practices that help us do those things.

One day at a time.

So be it… for me and for you and for all of us…

ps… the art at the top is from yesterday’s Flower Power Intentional Creativity® adventure! As intentions go, it works for me! If you have some intentions that matter to you, I’d like to help! Just let the calendar elves hook you up with 45 minutes. My gift. I’ve got great ideas for next steps!

pps… If you happen to have any figs handy, here’s a great thing to do with them! Rinse them very gently and wipe even more gently with a paper towel. Trim off the stem and slice them in half. Let them sit for a bit, drizzled with really, really good Balsamic vinegar. The sticky kind! Then, sprinkle them with cracked red or black pepper corns and freshly crumbled flaky sea salt. Enjoy!

Being sparks of light in the darkness…

You know… the whole indictment thing has been feeling far too familiar for comfort. And that got a whole lot more true when it went big in my neighborhood!

I confess to being glued to the news, gnawing – figuratively – at my nails. At least when the power is on!

Between the big trees down and the construction next door, many things feel if-y these days.

Or maybe it’s more like things feel if-y all the time and it’s just more in my face these days.

For this moment, I’m going to skip over most of the headlines on the assumption that you know what you have space for.

I do have a neighborhood story to share. Along with the usual bit of art-in-progress. And, eventually, some music!

First, a bit of context.

Georgia did a re-districting thing a year or so ago.

The Legendary Husband and I used to live and vote in the GA-04 Congressional district, represented by Hank Johnson. I relate to Hank. And to his wife, Mereda Davis Johnson, who is one of our county commissioners. Let’s just say that big hearts and Oakhurst roots run deep.

These days, though, we live in the GA-05 district with Nikema Williams as our representative. And yes, she now holds what used to be Congressman John Lewis’s seat in the US House.

I’d been hoping Ms. Williams would pop by MSNBC for a wee chat and she didn’t disappoint!

Please hear me say that what I’m about to share is what I heard and scribbled fast as she spoke. What made it through my filters, if you will…

She was speaking of the legacy of John Lewis and all she had learned from him. Then she said:

This is our civil rights moment. Our civil rights movement. If you’ve ever wondered what you would have done in the 1960’s, this is our turn!

And here’s the thing… I have wondered!

I am old enough to remember some of the big events and not old enough to have been a part of acting in those moments.

I vividly remember when Dr. King was killed. We lived in a Chicago suburb. Our school field trip to the Museum of Science & Industry was cancelled. There were National Guard troops camped on the museum grounds, trying to deal with the riots.

A month later, Bobby Kennedy was killed.

Despite my deep Republican roots, I knew, at the age of 10, that the world was somehow changing.

Then, as I grew up nurtured in the embrace of an amazing summer camp community, my role models were guitar playing, peace & justice ballad singing, slightly-less-young women.

If you’ve been around a while, you already know that it was my job to know all the words to all the songs from one summer to the next. And, yes, I know them all, still.

And tears rolled down my cheeks as I listened to Rep. Williams saying that NOW it’s our turn.

Which begs the question…

What will we do with OUR time, now???

I’m asking. Really!

And, I’m also offering to help.

I started with Joan Baez. (Surprise!)

Then, my Filters videos-in-progress started editing themselves in my head. (More news to follow!)

You see, Nikema Williams’ question is really close to the notion I love from Frederick Buechner. It goes something like this:

The place where we are called is where our deep gladness and the world’s deep hunger meet.

And, yes… that’s why I’m making Filters videos. So that I can help more of you claim that place in your world. And figure out how to get from here to there!

This is our moment! And Joan left this in my Medicine Basket!

ps… Curious??? Great! That’s the best state for learning new things… Ready??? 45 min. My gift. The calendar elves are ready!

pps… the layers of Legend 2023 go on… Spaces are now open for the Intentional Creativity® teacher training known as Color of Woman 2023! Click to learn more!!! (I’d hurry!)

The INNER kind of Furniture Yahtzee!

Yes, perceptive reader… the game goes on!

The big green bookcase into the studio, ready for art supplies!

The rolling metal bookcase into our room. (It’s not really attractive but it’s handy and easy to move!)

The Noah-table beside the bed. At least for now. (It’s a long story…)

Lots of the kind of dusting that doesn’t happen except when big things get moved.

It’s not that we’re bored… just the opposite!

Instead – for me, at least – it’s a reflection of the Soul Yahtzee adventure going on inside me!

And it is, indeed, all happening in context.

When I’m doing the thing known as Filters, context gets symbolized as right angle brackets in the top left and bottom right of the drawing. (Hand signals work, too… in Zoom meetings!)

Most of Thursday and Friday turned into about a dozen pages of sketches and arrows and exclamation points, all having to do with setting the filters loose in the world. (Stay tuned…)

Then, Saturday morning, I fixed a cup of tea and flipped on the news to find myself in the midst of a flashback.

Charlottesville, Virginia. Six years ago. The tragic, deadly Unite the Right rally.

My kids are UVA grads. Charlottesville is among the homes in my heart.

One thing led, as it often does, to a whole lot of others. White supremacy. Politics. Madam Secretary. The Department of Justice. Human rights. Arranged marriages. Global warming. Fair elections. And, kind of surprisingly, poets, with the notion of the American Experiment.


(Time out for massive mental weaving… and many more pages of scribbling!)

Which brings us to the art you see, above… the bottom left bit of my recent painting, Revelation!

And the assumption that Walter Brueggemann will be okay with my including artists among his notion of poets!

If you squint a bit you’ll see the book, Finally Comes the Poet, there among the ones that have changed – and are changing, still – my view of the universe.

Here’s the punch line…

I want the experiment to work!

I want to live like all people were created equal. (They were!)

I want power for rather than power over.

And, while we’re at it, I’d really, really like a healing planet, too!

And, yes… I have 2 granddaughters growing up in this world, so I’m all in!

Since I have one vote and limited funds, that seems to mean proclaiming. Teaching. Sharing. Caring out loud in the best way I can.

And that means helping people just like you to do the same. Your way!

Fortunately, I’ve been filling up my medicine basket with a lifetime of good stuff and I have a new way to share the options coming just as soon as my inner poet and artist sign off. (Like, by Wednesday!)

If you’ve read this far, you have a bit of the puzzle, too. We’ll start with the questions… for YOU!

What inspires and empowers ME?

How do I most long to MATTER?

What do I need to be READY?

Wait! Go get something that makes marks and write these out with your very own hand. And leave space for the answers to come!

Then, take a deep breath. Listen to the poetry and art whispering to you. And show up again Wednesday!

ps… can’t wait??? The calendar elves will hook you up. 45 min. My gift. You bring your answers and a bit of red thread if it’s handy!

pps… the Hebrew word I added to the palm of the hand in the painting means here I am. I’m just sayin’!

ppps… if you haven’t read it already, my Grandmothers Are In Charge Of Hope is a really good intro! (It’s in the painting, too, but you need better eyes than mine!)

“Never be afraid…

to be hit by an apple!” (Andrew Johnstone)

First, please hear me declare that I am not behind on my Legend painting journey. I am exactly where I need to be, even though others are considerably further along the way!

(Which could be a consciousness thing…)

Then, a bit of orientation for those of you who are not quite sure where this is heading!

Legend has been an annual Intentional Creativity® adventure for years. This is my fifth time on the wild ride that tends to call many things into question. (Possibly even gravity!)

Or, as our amazing leader, Shiloh Sophia McCloud, would say… It’s a place for hanging with catalysts and instigators! Like Shiloh, herself, and so many of our IC® ancestors, and this year’s bonus leader, artist and astronomer, Andrew Johnstone!

That hanging out place is why I keep showing up – investing time and money and energy – in a place where I’m actually choosing, metaphorically, to be hit on the head by an apple.

I have long loved questions more than answers!

Harry Potter, if you’ll recall, played riddle games. And – auditory/digital processor that I am – I can still hear with my teenaged ears, Gollum taunting Bilbo Baggins with questionssss… Then there were the stories about the Riddle of the Sphinx…

In this moment, though, it’s all about allowing ourselves to wonder and learn new things. Since we need a place to start, we’re wondering about creation and consciousness. Really!

Because embodied wondering is even more fun… we’re wondering with paint. And, in my case, Joan Baez!!!

So, going with heavy body paints for this adventure (Think toothpaste!) I squeezed some magic on my reused sushi container palette and pushed the buttons which reliably summon Ms. Baez into my space. Wow, was I in for a surprise!

Painting the beginning surrounded by the amazing percussion of Darling Corey was light years beyond my imagining. (Keep reading for now, if you would. The music video is, indeed, below!)

Here’s the thing…

I literally wound up dancing at my canvas.

Slinging paint and swinging hips. Tears on my cheeks and no pain in my knees. Or shoulders. Or awareness.


And then I heard another voice… startling at first. And, then… duh! The voice of C. S. Lewis’ Puddleglum, speaking to the Dark Queen…

“One word, Ma’am,” he said, coming back from the fire; limping, because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things — trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that’s small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you say.”

C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair, The Chronicles of Narnia

All of which leaves me with a few questions for you, if I may…

Think of something you’ve created… What does it feel like?

What do you long to create next?

What does the world need as it becomes more conscious?

Really! I want to know. (Leave a comment below, or email me! suesvoice@gmail.com )

Even if there’s a voice inside you, shouting that you are not creative… you are!

And I’d love to help!

So, hang for a few with Joan and the gang. And then, if you’re even hoping you’re ready, consider letting the calendar elves hook you up with 45 minutes. My gift. Lots of possibilities.

ps… yes! You might actually have squinted just right and noticed a 6-petal rose in the middle of my painting! More to come about that!

pps… if you’re on the blog list, watch for an email on Friday with big news from FierceArtWithHeart! Those elves have been busy, too! (If you’re not on the list yet, or you haven’t been getting emails lately, now would be great!)

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