On Thursday, I got my new glasses. Same frames. Updated lenses. There was the usual adjustment adventure as I tried to figure out where the floor was. Since then, though, the news has been good.
I can actually see my phone, my laptop, and Iron Chef America on TV… all at the same time, with my glasses on. And my neck, as I had devoutly hoped, hurts less, already.
I’ve been having adventures like this since I was 10 years old. Those adventures have been a decades long reminder that there can, indeed, be a difference between what surrounds us and what we see.
And that reminds me, in a free associating sort of way, of one of my favorite quotes.
History is not what happened. It’s what got written down.
– Kathleen McGowan
And who, of course, did the writing.
Our world feels filled with examples of exactly that. I’ll leave the particulars to you, wise friend.
I will say that my journey, as one born at the tail end of the Baby Boom, from Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy to the wonders of Postmodern narrative biblical studies in the late 1980’s was quite the trip!
One of my favorite questions from my time at Columbia Theological Seminary was – and still is –
Whose voice is missing?
And then there are my recent encounters with things that might have been really helpful but seemed, at least to some, dangerous because they were outside the way we’ve always done it.
The gospels known as Gnostic come to mind. The profound perceptions of Indigenous peoples. Archeological finds. CBD oil.
I’ve been wandering in this mind-space a lot lately. And there’s a phrase that comes to my mind over and over again.
It’s an enormous bite to swallow so, for this moment, let’s talk about writing and the fact that lots and lots of things got left out of what we learned.
For a while, I was pretty pissed about that. All the while, admitting that similar things could be said of my writings, as well.
Then it dawned on me!
What if it worked for the future, too?
What if we could listen for the missing voices and work to include them?
What if our vested interest could be about healing and justice and peace instead of power over and the status quo?
What if we worked to be both open in our perceptions and intentional in our writing and painting, our relating and sharing?
What might WE create?
I am blessed, at this point in my journey, to be part of conversations like this one.
I am also blessed with granddaughters growing up in this world. They are both huge delight and an urgent reason to get up and try harder in the morning!
There’s more. Much more.
For now, a few words about the painting with which we began.
The image now known as Willow and the Bear is actually deep, intentional under-layers of what started out to be a whole other thing.
Then, after a long night of painting, I literally woke in the morning and, with new eyes, saw truth I hadn’t known was there. It’s kind of a long story but there was only one thing to do.
I stopped right where I was and allowed the image that appeared to remain.
I’m really glad I did!
I’m also really glad that – just in case you’re wandering with similar questions and would like a companion on the road – I have space for two individual coaching clients just now. If you’re curious, I’d love to chat with you about what you’re hoping to accomplish! firstname.lastname@example.org
ps… even though I’m a bit behind on shopkeeping, there are some really cool gift items at FierceArtWithHeart. Including some “I matter” mugs and some amazing work by a special guest artist!