Last Tuesday I had the pure pleasure of being interviewed by a new artist friend named Angela Treat Lyon about my book, Grandmothers Are In Charge Of Hope!
(There’s a link to our conversation on down a bit…)
Let’s start with the rather remarkable news that I made it through the interview without being anxious and listened to it afterward without my usual fixation about “hating” my recorded voice.
I did!!! And I think that’s because I so believe in what I was sharing.
Just between us, though, the world has changed since then. Well, technically it’s not so much the world that has changed as it is the experience so many of us are having of it.
And, yes, I’m talking about the Corona virus.
First, let me say that I made 122 prayer dots today for you and yours, and me and mine, and all the ours in the world. If you squint really hard, you’ll see a bunch of those dots in the picture, above, complete with a guaranteed germ free Red Thread, from my #Legend #WIP. I made them gold so they’d blend in and be, literally, part of the fabric of the work and the world.
And yes, I’ll make more tomorrow. And the next day. And as many days as it takes.
In the meantime, I’m listening and learning.
Listening to wise medical and scientific types with real world advice. Please find some you trust and listen, too.
And listening to some world leaders I trust as well. The kind who are more interested helping real people than they are in looking powerful. If you’d like some suggestions, I’m happy to help.
And, then, me listening to me, as well. Not only what do I need, but what can I do?
All of which brought to mind some words I wrote a while back, which wandered into the book. They’re part of a poem called Grandmothers Lament:
…All over the world, children are crying.
Let us take our fingers out of our ears.
Let us open our eyes in the light of day.
Let us shout until we cannot be ignored.
All over the world, children are crying.
Let us dare to hear.
Let us dare to hope.
Let us dare to act.
Amen. Amen. Selah.
Boardman, 2016, p. 13
Those words feel even more true in this moment. So, let us indeed dare to hear and to hope and to act. Starting with a few tips for being with the littles we love in light of the changes in their worlds.
- Tell the truth, though not necessarily all of it in any moment. And focus on the hopeful parts.
- Let them know that whatever they’re feeling is okay. Feelings are just that… feelings. Not right or wrong. Just feelings. And all of them are trying, in some way, to help. (This applies to grown-ups, too!)
- Give them tools to express those feelings. Age appropriate art supplies are great. Get in there with them. Greens and purples are timely Feng shui colors. Big, loopy circles are neurologically balancing… just be sure to go both directions!
- Musical instruments. Even pots to bang on, though ONLY until the timer rings! (Sanity counts, too…)
- Remember their ages. Their sense of time and ability to think abstractly are all developmental. Make a paper (!) calendar to mark off days until school starts again, or they can play in the park, or whatever.
- Teach them (again, if need be) to wash their hands. Two choruses of the Happy Birthday song is 20 seconds! (You sing, too!)
- Have a manicure party and massage hands with olive or coconut oil. (They’re antimicrobial!!!)
You get the drift. Yes, these and more are in the book. And find somebody for you to share feelings with, too!
For now, the promised interview link. Which, ironically, fits pretty well in this moment.
And, please, get into the conversation. Add a comment. email me. Ask me about MetaCognitive Drawing! (And why I chose the photo of Shiloh and me on a bridge!!!) We’re all in this together. And, to copy the hashtag craze of the moment… #wecandothis !
ps… “My” Decatur gallery and online source for local and regional art, known as Wild Oats & Billy Goats has special shopping opportunities for this time of “distancing”, including special pricing and hours. I’ve got my eye on a goat!