Notes on an Encounter with Chaos… or, a deep peek into the Medicine Basket!

First, chaos is a very good description of my dreams last night!

Dreams of the been here before sort. And the pace picked up considerably after I went back to sleep early this morning. (Grandmother Moon was on the job!)

The short version is that I was wandering in the place where history meets the present moment, no matter how much we might wish it didn’t!

And, yes… we’re talking 9/11. How could we not be???

On September 11, in 2001, I was propped up in bed, days out of the hospital, laptop at hand, working on final galley proofs for an upcoming issue of Monday Morning Magazine, of which I was the the editor. Then, the phone rang.

It was the Legendary Husband who said, simply, “Turn on the TV!” and hung up.

I did. And you know what I saw.

Chaos for which I had no box in my brain!

Phone calls were the next right thing. I knew people who worked in the Pentagon. Then, pain meds for the blown disc in my back. Then, panic.

I was supposed to get on a plane to California. My first semester at Pacifica Graduate Institute was about to begin and I was suddenly terrified. Of flying.

Our September class was cancelled. The reading was not. And, when I woke this morning, the first place I headed was a particular bookshelf in my section of our vast library.

Bound copies of Monday Morning from my time as editor. And, rather ironically, a collection of papers from my time at Pacifica. Not all of them… just the ones that mattered to me!

Then, a brief detour to another bookshelf… the one where the biggest, best things I know live. It didn’t take me long to put my hands on this:

Thus empowered with context and memories, I was ready for tea.

First, hear me say that if you haven’t read Van Eenwyk’s book, please do. It’s brilliant. In fact, the preacher/therapist in me appreciates it even more since I’ve become an artist!

For now, though… a bit of my paper entitled, like this post, Notes on an Encounter with Chaos. It begins this way:

I have a secret.

When I get really stressed — when the chaos in my world gets too big or too close, I iron.

Please don’t call me Martha Stewart! It’s not about impressing the neighbors. Nor do I believe it’s impossible for normal humans to feel loved if their pillowcases are not perfectly pressed, monogram and all.

I iron because it is a kinesthetic, olfactory, visual experience of making order out of chaos. Vintage linens are best. If there aren’t any around waiting to be ironed, which is a rare circumstance in my home, I’ll even wash some just so I can iron them!

What I’ve realized, though, as I pondered this assignment, is that my ironing is not simply about the comfort of warm linen under my fingertips, or that peculiar clean scent of steam, or even the gratifying sight of stacks of scraps redeemed from the laundry basket and made beautiful again but, rather, it’s about distracting my either/or conscious mind so that my more creative both/and unconscious mind can work.

Kind of surprisingly, in retrospect, the next line reads:

Painting works, too, by the way!

And, it does! In many, many more ways than I knew in 2001!!! (Starting with the hundreds of dots I made last night!)

In case you’re wondering… no, I don’t iron so much anymore. It’s the order out of chaos bit that matters! Perhaps more now, than ever.

You see, it feels as if there is more chaos to come. Not only in the USA, but in the world.

I have a plan. A three-part plan. It’s not all poetic yet, but it exists and, yes, this is where my Medicine Basket comes in!

  1. Re-read Archetypes & Strange Attractors.
  2. Keep creating! Paint, words, models for sharing… all the things my mind is quilting together in new ways! (Like Filters!)
  3. Put myself out there. (Gulp!) From the book hatching inside me – already known as Revelation! – to teaching and coaching – to an absolute dedication to voting. It’s time!

And one more thing… a vocabulary lesson!

It’s a word you’ve probably heard me mention before. A Hebrew word.


It means to remember. It also means to remind! And, now, dear heart, is the time for that!

ps… need help putting yourself out there? Or getting ready to? That’s what I do! To get started, just ask the calendar elves for 45 min. My gift. And, hurry! The fall calendar is filling up!!!

pps… the lovely lady, below, is from an Insight painting. She’s also the cover for turning point vol. 2, a number one bestselling anthology project with chapters by cool writers with great visions for activating the Divine Feminine Within. (And lots of great give-aways!) Just click to get yours!

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