Okay… it’s time for real real!

You see, it’s absolutely been a filters kind of week! A week when the current context is yanking some dusty stories out of my inner collection in an attempt to help sort the moment.

Let’s start with this… I spent most of Friday night dreaming of my trip to Hungary, in January of 1989, mere months before the Eastern Block fell. The official name of the trip was Alternative Context. It was an opportunity for educated, mostly white, American seminary students to actually encounter other world views.

There are two moments that stand out, still…

Riding in a van full of American and Hungarian church folks, huddled together for warmth, teaching each other our songs, while Russian tanks held shooting drills in the snowy farmers’ fields on either side of the road when Christian Education was illegal.

Visiting the only eastern European Rabbinic seminary to survive World War II, where the adding of new books to the library had been forbidden since the war… and seeing the students remove their shoes before entering that holy ground.

And, yes… Hungary has now been dragged back to the place where autocracy is the current reality instead of history.

I hope I’ll never get used to the story from a young Reformed seminary student explaining, with tears in his eyes, that he had grown up checking the newspaper every morning to see where he lived and who was in charge that day.

I know you’re following me so I’ll just say it…

Much of what’s making news right now in America is an attempt to create that same kind of fear-based nationalism here.

Even as my fingers dance over the keys on my laptop and I externalize my memories and fears and perspectives, I am aware of generations of voices inside me whispering that nice girls don’t talk about upsetting things like this, but that strategy does not seem to be working.

Recently, though, I’ve learned more stories of the generations before me. Women who risked everything to walk the roads of voice and choice and love. To change the world. My blood. My heritage.

My grandteens’ blood and heritage.

I paint out of that same knowing.

The photo at the top is, literally, the view from my chair as I write these words. Some of the pieces are hanging in their regular places. Some of them are helping hold the space for my pondering, after their returns from Scan Camp.

And here’s the thing… I can’t look at them – relate to them – continue to create with them… and be silent in this moment. Which is, I suspect, as good a way as any to explain my notion of Map of Reality.

Grandmother Moon is all in, in her Metamodernist kind of way. So, for that matter, are the bears!

Here’s what they – well, WE – have in common.

One choice at a time. One day at a time. With determined love in our hearts and Good Trouble pins on our denim vests! The way much of the good stuff happens.

ps… this painting is known as Star Song. My faith. My history. My hope. She agreed to let me share her message… we hope you’ll keep reading!

I am Asherah.
El, whom you may know as God, is my beloved.
Your heart pumps stardust through your body.
Your hands create, in partnership with us.
Thank you for learning, still.
Thank you for making space for newness.
I know it can be frightening, dear granddaughter.
Newness often is.
I am here, welcoming you to the Way of Love.
We’ve been waiting for you!
Many, many, many of us since the dawn of time.
Now, more than ever, in the midst of the chaos.
Thank you for hearing me whispering, as you dreamed.
Listening for what wanted to be included by your brush.
You are a grandmother, too, and we need you.
Painting and writing and teaching with your feet on the Earth.
Now, more than ever, in the midst of the chaos.
Thank you for choosing to follow.
And to lead.
Create on, dear granddaughter.
Sing on.
That is why you were created.
That is the Way of Love.
That is the Way Hope.
You have two granddaughters growing up in this world.
I know just how you feel. And I love you.

– slb, 2023


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2 comments on “Okay… it’s time for real real!”

  1. WOW oh WOW! All of the paintings in one picture and then your poem of Asherah! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Thank you, dear Cherie, for witnessing! So much making – and learning – going on!!! Hugs, Sister!

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