What goes around…

The magic streaming radio in my head woke up playing Chicago’s Old Days this morning!

It wasn’t really much of a surprise for this is a (mostly) good times I remember season for me. You see, 32 years ago this week, I started Greek School at Columbia Theological Seminary, just down the road in Decatur, Georgia.

I began equipped with a good knowledge of English, enough rusty high school Spanish to introduce myself, find the bathroom, and say good night, an especially useful phrase when I worked in surgery, and a bit of American Sign Language, mostly of the pre-school and 4-letter word varieties.

Also, a 7 year-old son.

New place. New community. New neighbors. New traditions. Not to mention a new ancient language.

Just between us, the first couple of weeks were a real stretch. Not only was I NOT getting the hang of the Greek verbs, but I had babysitter challenges and a kid with strep throat and new doctor challenges. Oh, and a trip to the ER with a neighbor kid who was riding her bike without a helmet.

Then, on the morning after our first quiz, which had done nothing to ease my growing anxiety, the lights came on for me.

The word was blepo which is Greek for “I see.” And suddenly, I did! Here was a word I knew. A word I connected with. You see, blepo is used in the names of several eye surgery procedures. Suddenly, I had a friend.

A couple of days later, I looked around my kitchen in The Village and realized that I was handing out cookies to kids in 5 different languages, 4 of which I didn’t speak, and it was all working!

No Greek School this summer. Just a painting journey that reminds me a lot of those particular old days. (Don’t even ask me about Hebrew!)

Along with a big canvas and my favorite squirt bottle, this journey came equipped with a 2 page long vocabulary list.

Things like Apothecary, quantum super position, imaginal framework, curious observer, and creative composting. Also, my favorite, biophotons!

(Spelling doesn’t count!)

The painting, above, is a whole bunch of the first “day’s” work, which probably took me about 3. One of my friends responded, understandably, with, “Cool! What is it?”

Well, in the Intentional Creativity ® universe, it’s a path along the road to turning tragedies into remedies. To releasing the things that hold us back from the future we wish to move toward.

Once again, I see! And I can’t wait to see what comes next!

Who knew watching paint drip, and not trying to control it, could be so empowering???

I suspect those cookie munching kids in my kitchen all those years ago would have been pretty good at the paint drip thing, too. I’m just glad I’m coming around now!

Of Golden Acrylics & Empowering Filters…

It is 2:46 pm, EDT in Atlanta. Just in this moment, a day that began chilly, breezy, and gray turned instantly warmer and brighter, helped along by a gizmo in my ceiling called a Sola-Tube.

It’s a sort of sky light, really, but much easier to install than the more traditional versions in a pre-Seasonal Affective Disorder urban ranch house.

There’s a thing in the ceiling that resembles one of those toys kids love called a dragon fly’s eye with all the prisms in a circle. This, according to the manufacturer, is called the filter.

The filter is connected through your attic space by a thing that looks a lot like a very shiny dryer vent hose.

The shiny vent hose then connects to a light collector placed on the roof and aimed to gather southern light.

These things are magical. We have five of them in our house, spread out over a couple of major remodeling projects. I’d take at least four more in a minute.

Most of the time they just quietly hang out, not making a fuss, and adding very welcome, gentle light to a house that would be way too dark even if I wasn’t a quilter and painter who grew up in Florida.

On days like today, though, they remind me of the power of the filters through which we all experience the world.

Brighter and more hopeful, in what seems like an instant.

Or flashing with lightning on a dark and stormy night. (Ok, I’m a writer, too!)

I’ve been thinking about filters a lot lately.

It has a lot to do with a painting I’m working on. Or, perhaps, a painting that’s working on me.

The class is called Apothecary. As in the old-fashioned word for a place we might go to find medicines or other aids to healing.

We’ve been rooting around in our old stories. The ones that have defined us. The ones through which we filter our day-to-day experience. Many of them, hard ones.

Discovering symbols for those stories which changes, in the moment, the ways we relate to those stories.

And, each in our own way, claiming all of those stories in bringing us to this day.

Yep, all of them.

An old friend of mine has been singing along in the background while the drips of paint and scrubby brushes and vestiges of shame fall to the floor.

His name is Ken Medema and, if you don’t know it, his story is fascinating. I hope you’ll check it out.

For this minute, though, his music…in the midst of whatever day you’re having in whatever place you are.



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