Witnessing…

Welcome back to work-in-progress Wednesday.

In this case, a bit more work than usual!

You see, this is one of those times when the Muse is in charge and I’m just holding the brush!

If you’ve been reading along, you may recognize the first layers of #Matrica which has been on my easel since just before the first of the year.

I had a plan.

She had another.

Which is probably just as well, since my world seems to have other plans, too.

Here’s the Readers’ Digest version…

I’m sorting a lot of things just now, needing to make a decision. It’s a decision I’ve needed to make before and it doesn’t get easier.

What is different is that I am.

I’ve learned new things. And walked new paths.

I’ve added some new (or, perhaps, old!) beliefs to my Medicine Basket.

And – surprise! – the context keeps changing, too!

So, I wasn’t all that surprised when a bear insisted on appearing on my canvas.

My dear friend/shima, Maria Yraceburu, told me, a year or so ago, that I am bear clan.

Like so many things in my current world, this is not something we covered in nursing school or seminary!

There’s a lot of info online about animal guides and such. Here’s some of what feels important to me just now:

On a spiritual level, the bear represents the courage to evolve and the ability to be open-minded. In addition, the bear reminds us to trust our instincts and to be protective of our faith…. they also carry the message of the need to retreat so we can recharge, and reminders to be gentle.

Painting the bear has been a whole other adventure!

The photo at the top is where we were shortly before I headed for bed last night. And, yes, she looked a bit like a cross between an otter and a small show dog!

This next pic is from this morning’s first step in editing, also known as the hard part!

The actual decision that some of what has appeared must disappear to make space for new-ness…

Then, a whole lot of experimenting. And squinting. And some phone calls. And some tears.

Here’s where we are, now…

The phase that feels like hope, despite the hours of changes and layers of paint and a chorus or two of, what was I thinking?

Those same hours held some tears and some hard conversations – mostly the internal kind.

And, frankly, nothing has gotten easier!

Except a reminder of the belief that’s under all the other beliefs that hang out in my medicine basket, amidst the brushes and glazes and dreams and a six petaled rose.

There’s more work to do, though she looks a whole lot more like a bear now, and there is wise kindness in her eyes.

I’m hoping we’ll sleep.

ps… need a bit of sorting and stocking help with your medicine basket? Even if you’re not the painting type… I can help! Just let the calendar elves hook you up with 45 minutes, as my gift to you, and we’ll see what next step appears!

pps… she’s going to need a name! Ideas???

When Sunday comes on Friday!

This has never happened before, dear hearts, but it’s time!

Wearing my able to choose tank top, along with some more winter-ish layers, I am officially doing Sunday’s blog post today and – gasp! – taking Sunday off!

It has a lot to do with irony.

For many of us, this day – known as Epiphany – marks the day the weary Magi arrived at the stable where Mary and Joseph were sheltering with the new-born baby Jesus because, as the old story goes, there was no room for them at the inn. (Which, if you’ll recall, had a lot to do with politics…)

Thus, as I learned it, there were also angels and shepherds, a donkey, and some sheep and cattle, milling about, along with – at least at our house – a sheep herding dog called a Puli who came from Hungary. (Little black fuzzy guy in the photo!)

Much of that story has to do with being led by light.

Today is also the Orthodox Christmas Eve in Ukraine, where I can only imagine some more light would be welcome.

And, in what feels like really bad management by somebody’s calendar elves, it is the second anniversary of the January 6 insurrection in America.

The irony doesn’t end there, though, for the US House of Representatives is still in the midst of the seemingly endless attempt to elect a Speaker of the House.

Add to that, a flare on the personal orthopedic pain front, and I’ve needed some dots. Well, lots of dots.

And yes, my #Matrica painting volunteered again.

As the blatant jockeying for power and votes went on, I began again with dots for hope.

Then, justice.

And, then, another shift, on CNN and inside me.

You see, we took a break from the so-called election to “attend” a White House ceremony in which 14 people were awarded Presidential Citizens Awards on the 1/6 anniversary.

Several of those awards were given posthumously and accepted by tearful family members. Others were given to current and former officers involved in defending the US Capitol. Still others went to folks like election workers in several states, involved in upholding actual voting results. (Yay, Georgia!)

Here’s the thing I noticed most. Amidst all the pomp and ceremony, there were tears and hugs and even jokes. And, in the middle of all the very human feelings, was a guy known as POTUS… Joe Biden.

And, somewhere along the line, in the midst of the blatantly ironic contrast between all the then and now news, my prayer dots shifted again.

Love…………………………….

As you know I have a thing for questions, so you won’t be real surprised that, about that time, I realized that all of the traditions and news and dots and prayers were about questions.

On the surface, those things are What? and How? questions.

What happens, though, if we shift the question, and ask, Why?

For me, the answer – loud and clear – is Love.

And, yes, that raises a whole flock of other questions… the hardest of them, I suspect, being Whom?

Now, I’m a whole long way from being good at this – yet – but I’m going to stay on the road of living as though the answer to Whom? is All of us!

It’s not easy, but I’ve got an epically good teacher! And a couple of really good reasons!

That’s why I’m declaring this weekend to be time for nurturing my Spirit!

You could join me…

ps… curious about the triangles and dots? A favorite liberated version of an old quilt pattern called flying geese. Mine are Wild Flying Geese with intentional Celtic overtones of the Holy Spirit!

pps… questions about your path? I can help! Just click and the calendar elves will hook you up with 45 minutes as my gift. (It’s going to take a lot of us!)

A whole new level of #w-i-p!

In the land of Intentional Creativity® it’s work-in-progress Wednesday.

Traditionally, all Wednesdays are #wip days. We share photos and stories of what we’re working on, ask questions, support each other, and get inspired.

Today, our tradition took on a whole new layer of meaning for me.

Given weather fronts and varying joint and muscle issues, I was looking for some work I could do sitting down.

My #Matrica painting volunteered, which was great because the canvas is just the right size for working on my wheel-y table, sitting in my very best chair.

A brain-child of Maestra Shiloh Sophia McCloud, #Matrica has to do with claiming an end to a global age of male domination of the Divine Feminine.

And, yes… I’ve gone to meddlin’! Hang with me, though – you are, indeed, able to choose!

Officially, the adventure began on December 30, with a whole lot about stars and mycelium. (Read that mushrooms!)

I’ve worked in bits and pieces, waiting for the her I knew would appear to begin whispering in my ear.

Then there’s the whole notion of context, which you’ve no doubt noticed is a big thing around here.

Frankly, the current context is a bigger deal for my journey than even I imagined. I’m doing my dead level best here to be neutral when I say that painting #Matrica while watching CNN, at this moment in American history, has been a challenge.

Now, clearly, I could push the button and make CNN disappear, externally. The challenge lies in the inner issues bubbling up for me with my two girls growing up in this world.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of room on my canvas for prayer dots!

The question became what, exactly, to pray.

Obviously, I started with HOPE!

Say the word. Move my hand. See the dot. Hope… hope… hope.

Whole person praying. It really works for me. (Even for the once upon a time scrub nurse who still lurks inside me!)

I needed more help, though, with the specific prayer part!

Index cards were in order. Used ones. Three of them, to be exact. Stashed – intentionally – in a special box, filled with tiny bottles of #RosaMystica essential oils I’ve been journeying with this past year.

It was a new sort of adventure for me, but I was curious, and finding my way until until we got to the part of the path focused on the oil of Compassion.

At that point, I – The Fiercely Compassionate Grandmother – felt lost. I fretted and fumed and, honestly, questioned pretty much everything.

Then, early one morning, Grandmother Moon got chatty.

My way forward, she insisted, was to learn to pray for a particular person who shall remain nameless. One I really didn’t much want to pray for.

And, I did learn. (And wrote what I learned on the index cards I reached for today.)

I won’t bore you – or take away your chance to learn – with the details!

Let’s just say that what I needed, nearly a year ago, to learn to pray for that particular person was exactly what I needed to pray in the context of this day, too.

It’s a little more neurologically complicated than Hope. Dot. Hope. Dot…

My painting and I have made huge progress, though… even though there’s not much to see, yet.

Somewhere, Matrica is smiling.

And I’m pretty sure I’ll survive what’s next on CNN. (Though I wouldn’t turn down some progress there, too!)

Oh! One more thing… that prayer?

I’m pretty sure it’s one all of us could use from time to time.

Which might just be a whole new #w-i-p kind of thing! I’m just sayin’!

ps… yes! There’s still time to get in on the #Matrica video journey! Just click here for instant access! No experience necessary!!!

pps… curious about the oils? That journey starts again, soon. Take a deep breath… and Find out more!

Dreams of feet (!) for the New Year…

Really!!!

The Legendary Husband and I hung in there for the whole ball-dropping & fireworks bit – read that Luther’s last trip out – last night and then headed to bed.

I laughed when I noticed that my feet were splattered in paint (Ultramarine Blue, for the curious!) after an awesome impromptu painting adventure in Zoom-land. (Thank you, Natalie & Gina!!!) All in all, a great wrap-up for 2022!

Then, with a touch of Vision oil on my third eye, I tucked myself in and put Grandmother Moon in charge.

Wow, was she ready for an adventure!

And, yes, I really did dream about feet! (Go ahead and giggle, CTS buddies… there’s more!)

In fact, the first thing I remember, in my dream, is parking a borrowed car on the curved drive in front of Columbia Theological Seminary in November of 1986. It was cold and raining and I had no idea where to go once I had arrived for the prospective student weekend. I cracked the door open, reaching for an umbrella, and put my left foot on the parking lot.

I can still feel the zingy energy that buzzed through my body in that moment, all those years ago.

And then, suddenly, Scotland. 2007. More chilly and damp. And, at the bottom of the steps from the plane, that same foot on the tarmac at the Glasgow airport.

And the same zingy energy.

Then, Grandmother Moon being a rather eccentric Weaver Dreamer, was on to boots. Red leather ones.

And, yes, I’ve been shopping in my imagination.

Eventually I woke, in 2023, and went feeling around on the table for my glasses which, predictably, were perched on the book I’d been reading.

The dreams came flooding back. And it all made sense.

The dreams which were, on one level, past and future.

And the deep voice of a beloved teacher/colleague/friend, complete with a southern accent, echoing in my head…

Three words: Stick with you!

Hang in there… we’ll get back to this!

First, time out for a cuppa, and my all-time favorite dream question.

Why is this dreamer dreaming this dream at this time?

The answer came, complete with the predictable, Duh!

The parking lot/zingy foot adventures were past, assuredly.

The red boots have to do with a big dream for this summer.

And the reminder to stick with me…

Well, it feels a whole lot like a new awareness that it’s all going on now. All part of the path that is the story I am writing – if I choose to be aware of the pen in my hand – with my life.

And, frankly, telling you about this dream feels like a whole lot of showing up!

For now, it reminds me of the stack of seed catalogs in Saturday’s mail.

Reminders of things I know more about now than I did when they were first happening.

Dreams for the future.

The beginnings of a path, not to done, but to growing.

I do have 2 granddaughters growing up in this world…

And, with apologies to the garden guy, no Lantana!

Which is garden code for sticking with me, because no matter how easy it is to grow here, I’m still allergic and I get to choose!

For this moment, thank you for being on the road with me!

My gift for you, as the new year begins, will – hopefully – feel elegant in the way which also means simple.

One question…

What might sticking with you look like???

Huge blessings for 2023!!!

ps… the painting is from my #Matrica work-in-progress, which turns out to be an outstanding fit for this story!

pss… feet might not be such an odd metaphor, afterall!

So many calendars…

Once upon a time, a long time ago, this time of year seemed easier.

A new velvet dress for Christmas pictures. Made by Mom. I had to argue for the one I remember best. Given the choice of red or green, I chose purple… and I loved it!

Left-over Christmas cookies. A new Barbie doll. And a book!

A week or so before school started again.

In my family, Christmas was the big deal. Nobody paid much attention to New Years Eve except for the football fans.

Nobody I knew noticed – or mentioned – the Solstice. Or Epiphany. Or Hanukkah. Or Kwanzaa.

There was no Google Calendar to fill and color code with all the things wrestling for space in the New Year.

This year feels different.

Not simply because of all the What?

It feels different because of the Why?

(Which is no particular surprise if you’ve been reading along for a while!)

It’s clearer, though, just now.

Not simply because there’s so much more getting in, though there is.

It’s clearer because one of my filters has gotten a whole lot clearer.

Or, more specifically, a belief which acts as a filter.

You probably know that I have a thing for hope.

The surprise – for me – is how much that thing for hope has been growing in the last few weeks.

In fact, I woke up this morning with a bit of pre-dawn note taking on the inside of my left hand.

Not invisible ink, this time, but red. (Like red thread.)

Hope… of hope!

Which feels a whole lot like where I am called to live.

Hope, admittedly, for power and internet. (Which is blessedly back on!) And hope for so much more.

Justice. The planet. Peace. Sanity. Love.

I haven’t just hatched all this up myself. In fact, it’s connected to my current bed-time reading!

I’m not going to tell the whole story here. I so hope you’ll read the book, yourself! And, I suspect it will mean different things in your spirit if you do.

In fact, I suspect it was meant to!

The big ah-hah! for me came in three little words, which feel both familiar from my distant past and huge for my future…

Purpose and perseverance.

My purpose is, clearly, hope. For all of us.

My calendar is filling, already, with perseverance.

And behind all this noticing and wondering is the realization that we are able to choose.

We just need to claim that truth.

It won’t solve all the challenges. It will show us the next steps. The next right things, if you will.

And, as it happens, my medicine basket is full of new ways to make those next steps!

Intrigued??? Looking for a bit of help in the purpose & perseverance department? Let’s talk! My multi-holy-day gift to you. Just CLICK HERE and the calendar elves will hook you up!

For now, it’s time for feeding the big beasties. And fluffing the studio a bit. Matrica is Friday, and there’s still time for you to join, too!!!

Then, tonight, I’m attending a dear cousin’s (virtual) wedding… in Hawaii!

ps… need a book? Here are two! One I wrote: Grandmothers Are In Charge Of Hope and one that has me writing on my hand in the wee, small hours: The Boleyn Heresy, by Kathleen McGowan.

What will we do with the stories?

It’s about one o’clock on Christmas afternoon… at least in Georgia. And, yes, it’s cold!

We’re juggling internet outages and the magic of making the laptop work with a cell phone beside it.

Don’t ask me! I don’t understand any of this… except for the part about our chilly house being way better than having no shelter!

We had planned on a rather minimalist holiday in terms of decorations and fa-la-la-la-la. (Luther doesn’t really understand the Christmas tree, anyway, and he’s having navigational difficulties.)

One of the rather odd traditions around here is watching the movie 1776. And, yes, I know all the words to all the songs… which I first learned in 8th grade English class! The Legendary Husband actually knows most of them, too. (Which, between the two of us, kind of makes the dogs wish they lived somewhere else!)

We did, indeed, watch – and sing – last night.

And, while it’s not exactly Oh Holy Night, it did get me thinking about the stories we all learned along the way, and how those stories turn into beliefs.

[Note: there are portions of 1776 which have taken on whole new associations for me in this season of reports from the January 6 committee.]

There are more stories in my head, as well, for I am reading the actual hardcover edition of Kathleen McGowan’s new book, The Boleyn Heresy, which is more than a bit of a miracle of its own!

Just this morning, I read this:

But as surely as we must remember the reality of death, we are also not to dwell on it. We must also remember to celebrate life (p.73)

So all this is wandering through my consciousness while my beloved friends from Hungary remind me of the story many, many of us claim on this day.

Context really is a huge thing!

And, for me, context leads – as it so often does – to new questions. Here’s mine for this moment:

What will we do with the stories we claim?

If you sit with it for a bit, you’ll probably begin to see the challenges.

The first one is the radical notion that we get to choose! (Which may not be the way you were raised…)

The next one is that much depends on which we we mean!

My deep inner response isn’t easy because I have to admit that this line of pondering works best when taken up by people of good will. Good intention, if you will. And, in this moment, there are those among us who are not people of good will. At least not yet.

And, in those last four words, I’m claiming hope.

The kind of hope that just might let us keep on telling the stories we claim. The stories of good news. Each in our own way. Because that’s how change happens.

The kind of hope that just might let us live what we find holy!

Grace… Light… Hope…

May it be so for you and yours, from me and mine. And may we, you and I, shine in the darkness.

ps… just in case you’re looking for new ways to live some of your stories, I have a suggestion! Shiloh Sophia McCloud’s new livestream Intentional Creativity® class, Matrica happens on Friday, Dec. 30. (There will be a recording, too!) No experience required. We’ve got this! Check it out – soon! – because you may want a few supplies. Guests for the holidays? Make it a party! You only need one ticket per household!!!

Yep! I am still learning…

Frankly, despite the small mountain of diplomas in the basement, there are more things to learn!

Calendar issues are big on my list these days.

Not the bank calendar sorts of things. Monday holidays and what-not.

Not even the liturgical year sorts of things. (Which, once upon a time, felt new and strange to me, too!)

For this moment, I’m thinking Solstice. Specifically, in this hemisphere, the winter one which is happening today.

It feels like kind of a perspective thing.

Shortest day???

Longest night???

Hard to say. Intuitively, I kind of want to go with Most Mystery! (But I’m no expert, yet.)

Here’s what I do believe…

  • Humans mark time. And have for a whole lot longer than we’ve carried calendar apps in our pockets.
  • Some things I didn’t learn in nursing school or seminary could be helpful, still!
  • Inward time is a necessary balance to outward time.
  • I might not be the only one who needs some re-charging.

The reason I think we need re-charging is that there is still more living to do!

And the world needs more of us who make space for noticing and wondering.

For awe, even!

And this feels like a good night for that! (Even if it happens to be cold and wet where you are!)

In case you’re wondering, yes… the paintings are whispering, again!

The one at the top is officially known as Winged Horses! (aka…The Legendary Husband’s Painting, which is to say that it’s Bill’s favorite. And, yes, it has a legend!)

Once upon a time, two writers were talking together about the books they were working on.

One of them asked the other about his reference to winged horses.

The rather surprising answer went something like this: Jesus didn’t come to make people look nice and behave themselves.

Jesus came to make whole new creatures where once there were broken people.

This, many people believe, was a reference to the image in the biblical book, Revelation, of winged horses, like the mythical Pegasus.

Not well-trained regular horses, but whole new creatures!

Perhaps you are wondering how I know such a story…

Well, deep in the midst of my Color of Woman Talisman journey, I had a dream about winged horses and, when I looked up the symbolism, this story is what I learned.

An old story which is “both true and might actually have happened.”

And the legendary writers?

C.S. Lewis speaking with J.R.R. Tolkien. Really!

Now, I’m not suggesting that Tolkien and Lewis were chatting about the Solstice, all those years ago.

Or that the Solstice is about Jesus.

I am suggesting that it might well take whole new people, changed by Love, to get the world to a better place!

So, I’ll be spending some time, in these next few weeks reflecting, intentionally, on the question of what the world needs now, and how I can help!

In fact, I have a helper!

And, yes, her name is What the World Needs Now!

ps… just in case you’re on board with What the World Needs Now! I have a Solstice offer… The original canvas is available for adoption at the very special price of $555!!! I’ll gladly add the dedication of your choice to the back of the canvas. Act fast… this offer is only good through Christmas Day! (And there’s only one!)

pps… it’s not just your imagination! Some experts say that the 555 angel number suggests that significant change is imminent. She’ll help!

ppps… tonight I listened to Ukrainian President Zelensky address a joint session of the US Congress. It is, on this long night, going to take a whole lot of people changed by Love to bring light and peace. May we actually be them!

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

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