Glitter in the Grief

This poem is a collective of my own and other’s tales of creativity I’ve packed into one story.
Dedicated to those women who are out there blazing the creative spiritual trail.

You were told not to get dirty.
Keep your fingernails clean.
Nice girls smile polite.
And, for goodness’ sake,
“Do not cuss!”
But, you couldn’t help
bending your childlike knees
in your striped yellow dress,
leaning low toward the earth to
make a prayer with the God-given soil
that lay beneath your feet.
You scooped handfuls of water and dust,
feeling wet sludge mush between
your fingers; this slippery grit
made you happy.
Slop. plop. slop.
Piles of plop added in rusty pie tins.
you, an artisan of mud pies.

You marched into the woods on a hunt for lions,
only to find their essence lurked behind willow trees. You
returned wiser, becoming a scholar of
‘that which you search for, you just may find.’
This sent you on an expedition of liquids
that live in hidden cabinets. no, not alcohol.
rather, pungent nectar for homemade magic potion.
Not much needed to make it happen.
Some ordinary water, mom’s perfume,
a sprinkle of cleaning powder, then
a few dandelion buds added.
A deliberate stir with a peeled stick from your lion march.
The magic was there all along and you had eyes to see it.
All this made you feel as if the power was within you.
And, it was.

You traded your quaint dress for jeans and t-shirts.
Like it or not, you took up cussing, because
you had this emotion of volcano, this grit, inside you
ready to erupt and no-one told you to
add it to the end of your paintbrush.
Move it through your charcoal onto the paper.
Take a pencil and scribble it.
Make a carving on a piece of wood, not your arm.
maybe they weren’t ready to see the truth of you.
or you to see the truth of you.
not that you blame anyone, I mean —
how would they know to tell you
creativity is a transformer
when it’s been treated like a
dampened down activity to
make a sweet pretty craft?

The emotion. The moods.
It came from a propensity to perceive the heartache
within and around you –
a grieving you thought you needed to wear. You wore
all of it on your shoulders as a shawl of mourning.
“No-one understands. No one gets it,” you believed.
Maybe if you carried the grit, they would see too.

But, Jesus came along, in this fierce way
of gentle love and acceptance and said, “This way”
and you felt the magic, and you loved love, so you went.
This way was a different path
than the one you’d traveled before. It was healthier.
More hopeful. And, there was lots to learn.
But, you got swept up in the knowledge,
trying to figure out the “right” way,
losing the little girl crafting mud pies and
once again, you took up the nice girl
who smiled polite and hid her grit.
After a while, the magic faded. It didn’t matter how many verses
people memorized, they could still be warm and guarded;
it didn’t matter how many verses and stories you memorized,
you could still be cold and distant.

you knew there must be something different.
more authentic. tastier. real.
your thirst was for the Living. the LIVING!
Jesus embodied this effervescence.
He wasn’t boring. He had all these
secrets below the lines, treasures for those
who dwell a while at his feet.
you did the only thing you knew to do:

You began asking questions.
question after question.
about submission. and other religions. and practices.
you questioned authority. questioned love.
questioned erected walls.
real ones and the invisible ones we all have.
you questioned where the Mother is
and why She still is in the background
after all these years.

It’s not that you got the “right” answers
to any of these inquiries. but,
these questions led right back
to the mud pies.
to dirty fingernails.
to what you knew when you were five:

all the colors and flavors of the rainbow are accepted.
play is good for the soul.
treat each other kind.
Jesus loves me (and so does his mother)
this — you know.

there you were again in a studio
making a clay dragon pinch pot,
a stripe of wet earth on your brow
around others who understand
the fragility of any creation —
how at any point, it can lose form,
be dropped, cracked, broken,
and these are the ones
who understand the importance
to show up anyway.
they are the wisdom teachers
not concerned with
a “good or great” final product—
because, truthfully,
everything is impermanent.
It’s about the being present
that actually matters.
whether anything tangible
is made or not, the magic
is the making

As you kneaded the grief,
painted the prayer,
massaged the hurt, you
found the glitter.
Rippling waves of sunshine
right there in the shadowy places.
When you found the shimmery flecks of gold,
You heard those old voices call out,
“Now, don’t make a mess.
Don’t get too excited!
And, for goodness’ sake,
Do not use glitter!”

But, you knew better.
You took the glitter from
the grit and you shook it wild —
It flew high into all the crevices of the room
covering your hair with shining abundance,
flecks of raining gold on your neighbor
a crunch of silver in your mouth.
A flutter of sparkles that helped
you loosen your grip.
Your grit.

Here. in this creative sanctuary
you learned the grit carries the lesson.
and so does the glitter.

you choose to honor the grit with love,
but wear the glitter.

Good choice.

Cause, girl —

Glitter sure does look good on you.

New Workshops Announced!

Explore: A Mappy Quest

Wednesday, September 25th
9:30am – 12:30pm
Thursday, September 26th

6:30pm – 9:30 pm

Each day of our life is part of a bigger adventure. The path we walk is a sacred road loaded with wisdom just for us. This is an invitation to pause for a few hours to explore the terrain you’ve traveled, dwell upon where you are and envision where you’re headed. During this 3-hour Red Thread Session, we’ll travel our twists and turns, our mountains and valleys and find the river of vitality for one chapter of our life. Together, we’ll honor our inner fortitude for the path we’ve walked, take note of where we are and dream a vision of where we’d like to go using symbol, pattern and line.

$35 covers all materials and preparation of love

For more info and to sign up, click here!

Art of “BE”: A Celebration of Rest
October 12th • 10am – 5pm

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?” – Matthew 11:28 MSG

Is your spiritual verve drained a bit? Are you struggling to experience the Holy in your midst in a weekly institutional setting? Do you have an innate sense there is “more” to the Sacred than partaking in activities but are too busy to honor your knowing? Come experience a different way to dance with the Divine. Together, we’ll have a day to rest and BE. Here, we’ll honor all voices who are present. Here, we’ll include creativity as a way to listen for the In-dwelling Spirit. Here, we’ll give permission for soulful rest as a needed element of life. Here, we’ll discover the vast nature of worship beyond walls.

The Art of “Be”: A Celebration of Rest, a 13-step Intentional Creativity® workshop, is designed to give women time to rest and dwell upon the importance of BEing for their life. Each participant will experience a time to share in community as well as quiet space to paint, write and explore their inner stirrings. Guided visualization will be used to connect each person with their Muse of “BE”ing as well as symbols that represent their unique story. No painting experience required, just a willing heart!

October 12th • 10am – 5pm
Lunch included

$105 covers all materials, lunch and preparation of love

For more info and to sign up, click here!

Revelation: An Encounter with Mystery

Wednesday, October 23rd
9:30am – 12:30pm
Thursday, October 24th

6:00pm – 9:00 pm

Do you believe in mystery? The power of surprise? Are there hidden messages in your hands that long to be released? Can you cross your fear and lean into the wonder of revelation? What does your creative soul long to tell you? Come join me for an exciting three hour surprise discovery of mystery revealed. I will share one of my favorite practices with you that helps to uncover the inner stirrings we carry. During our time together, we’ll practice our skills of “seeing”, we’ll discover the powerful expression of line and use color as a declaration of our heart. Paint, inquiry and a Red Thread Circle will be companions to guide us on this 3-hour mysterious encounter. No painting experience necessary, only a willing heart!

$35 covers all materials and preparation of love

For more info and to sign up, click here!