Monday, November 30, 2009

SAY "YES, and...."

Say YES! Hallelujah....Then add, AND....

What else can be added? Say YES, anddddddddddddd....come up with something MORE. You will always surprise yourself!

After a year of taking improvisation classes, I know the rule of "YES, AND..." quite well. In improv classes, where you build scenes by creating your own lines, you are responsible for making your partner look good. Whatever he or she says, you receive that statement as a wonderful gift. You agree and build on what you have been offered. Let me give an example.

If your partner says, "I think we need to paint this room the color of eggplant." You say, "Great idea! And...we can paint the trim in pumpkin orange." The goal of saying YES is to keep the CHANNELS open, to move from one place to another.

Hallelujah is in the process of learning how to do IMPROV ART. She is saying "YES, AND..." going to the Bahamas spiritually to support her earnest self, the visionary painter RUTHTRUTH in her "efforting" to illustrate "The Misadventures of Maria the Hutia."

In this image, "Yes, the Bahamas," I have returned to one of my stock images--that of the mermaid. She is cheering me on to say, "YES." I have put her in my mandala circle in order to create balance in my psyche and to hold the energy. At her right is the snake (symbol of creation), fish (symbol of fertility), Wandjina (my male energy and force), and then in ghostlike form--Maria the Hutia! Yes! And?

The second image you see here is the next of the illustrations for the children's book, "The Misadventures of Maria the Hutia."
She is eating seagrape leaves nearby a swirling, stormy sea, which will sweep her away from the shore and into her journey.

Hallelujah says "YES" and discovers that we are all PILGRIMS. What will you say YES to today? AND....

That's coffee with Hallelujah! Share your "yeses" with me! and...

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Dear Fellow Pilgrims,

It is Thanksgiving and I am thankful for sharing this occasion with you. I find it an occasion to be thankful for being authentic and going to the matters of the heart.

We all experience emotions of turmoil and frustration at one time or another, especially around holidays. Do you proclaim these feelings to yourself? Do you give them a NAME? Do you act them out in a conscious way?

I am fortunate because on my pilgrimage, I have met a GREAT TEACHER. She is an actress, director, and creativity coach. I call her affectionately, "LAM,"-- Lesly, Alien Mom! Together, we two aliens (yes I am "RAB"--Ruth Alien Baby) have crafted our own language and understanding of the universe! In this universe, I speak turmoil, frustration, and so many things more. In the process of speaking, I am transformed, and my dross emotions are fired, burnished and emboldened! My language of pain and confusion becomes GOLDEN I WANTS, JEWELED LAUGHTER, FUNNY DANCING, CARAMEL POPCORN, and PAINTINGS! Ha Ha Ho Ho Ho--Hallelujah!

I have learned to NAME my ugly feelings of failure, confusion, and limitation. So, "I FAILED!" So, "I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO TO SOLVE THIS PROBLEM!" SO "MY EFFORTS EXCEED MY ABILITIES." For me, it has become a matter of "NAME IT, OR SHAME IT." I have chosen to NAME my desires. To proclaim proudly, "I want to be special!" "I want help!" "I want attention!" "I want my curiosity answered!" "I want others to be curious!" "I want to leave my negative thoughts behind!"

Hallelujah! RuthTruth has named her DESIRES. I am an ancient linguist, speaking the form of flower, hearing in orange and purple, composing tongue dances along with the wind. I listen to the animals feeding upon one another in the forest proclaiming, "WE ALL EXIST TOGETHER."

Hallelujah encourages us all to free ourselves from shaming our feelings of our inner workings this Thanksgiving.


In this first image, I introduce you to my "Imaginary" MOM. She has manifested from my need to "MOTHER" myself. I love her freedom--She always wears pink night dresses, and her hair is lit with light from the Milky Way. RuthTruth (aka Hallelujah) tends to be in the dark. Here the white tropic bird from the Bahamas has arrived as my spirit guide.

In the second image, "For Each Alien, There is Another Alien!," Hallelujah is a child discovering that the IMAGINATION creates reality! Hallelujah has retreated to her childhood closet for quietude and solace (What child does not do this at one time or another?). Her imaginary mom has known where to find her, and together they have donned alien masks and are PLAYING and SPEAKING their own special language! Instead of crying in the dark, WE ALIENS are eating popcorn, laughing, and trying on new possibilities. By BECOMING someone else in the theatre of the closet, we NAME the HURTS, WE then search for language of FUN. We eat more popcorn and giggle. Hallelujah for being present to our emotions--for being AUTHENTIC!

That's coffee with Hallelujah! Tell me your DESIRES, HURTS, and what you plan to do for transformation. ARE YOU AN ALIEN TO YOUR EMOTIONS? Name all your soul for you and me! What a bounty we have, when we are in touch with our souls. Thank you for giving your time and your hearts! HAPPY THANKSGIVING!


I'm not afraid to go to places in myself that frighten me. I am a traveller; it is my make up to MOVE. 

MOVING spiritually is the best journey there can be. Will I fail? What if my enormous efforts come to absolutely nothing?

My international students who are learning English often use the word "effort" as a verb. "I efforted," they tell me. "I do too, "I tell them.

I EFFORT. I fail. I EFFORT again. EFFORTING allows me to fly and crash, run and fall...I am not afraid to go there. However, I must admit, I get tired of the FAILURES. I DO!

BUT THEN--Coffee With Hallelujah saves me. This creative time that I spend with MYSELF has no boundaries. Time is fluid and I find joy in most everything...ART SAVES ME, ELEVATES ME, and MOVES ME. Artmaking makes me gloriously happy.

The painting published here called, "This Way to the Bahamas," resulted from my readiness to JUMP into the unknown. I have committed to illustrating a children's story about an endangered animal in the Bahamas. Two years ago, I said, "YES" to the project. Little did I know that there would be no funding for this worthy conservation project, and that RuthTruth, Georgia Visionary Artist, would not be able to rely on her finger painting and whimsical color choices. Instead, I challenged myself to learn to draw! 

I started painting in 1988. As I was turning 30, this wonderful painting window opened. I saw in blocks of color and found no use for line. As I was turning 50, in 2008, after seeing one year pass without making progress on the illustrations of "The Misadventures of Maria the Hutia," I found myself with one completed painting that had been used on a t-shirt for a children's science camp and five pencil drawings. These drawings showed promise but were without pizzazz. They were not "free and spontaneous" like my paintings.

So, I was not afraid to go there to that place of ferocious line, perspective, delineation, and commitment to form. I decided to draw three random images a day in archival ink. The rules of the game were: 1) do not erase 2) work with the mistakes 3) do not throw anything away 4) keep going and making 3 images every day.

One year later, I have found my groove. I have EFFORTED and I EFFORT still. Yet, I am a HAPPY PILGRIM. I joyfully and soulfully travel to the Bahamas, to the realm of my artistic desire, to learn, to create,  and to inspire others to do the same. In this painting here, Hallelujah is following her white tropical bird and holding hands with Wandjina for comfort and strength. Perhaps, we are afraid to go there, but WE ARE GOING, just the same. It is our journey, our path, our way of growing.

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey! I am curious about you, your fears, failures, and journeying on. Please write and tell me about yourself. I would love for you to have Coffee with Hallelujah! 

Friday, November 20, 2009

Introducing Maria the Hutia!

Hallelujah Welcomes Pilgrim Maria the Hutia! She is a small furry rodent who is traveling in the Atlantic searching for her home.

Ronald Shaklee tells her story in "The Misadventures of Maria the Hutia." Professor Shaklee also wrote an engaging song about Pilgrim Maria, which was recorded with children from the island of San Salvador in the Bahamas and plays on its national radio stations. Listen to this catchy tune at: Living Jewels.

Hallelujah identifies with Maria's journey. Who are we once we leave our natal homes? Who will befriend us? Maria must find out, and Hallelujah has been searching for the answer to this question for half a century.

Hallelujah loves all you fellow pilgrims and is curious about you! Write and tell me who you are, what you consider home and why. 


Hallelujah EARTH! Hallelujah loves the natural world around her and knows YOU do too. Hallelujah dances, sings, and playfully celebrates the beauty of the land, sky, and oceans.

 One precious part of this earth resides southeast of the United States in the Atlantic, along the Bahamian platform. This island named San Salvador is the farthest island out there in the Atlantic, surrounded by coral reefs and at the “wall”, where the shallow aqua blue waters drop off into the deep, deep mysterious sea.

 San Salvador needs our love and attention! Its coral reefs are suffering from pollution, its waters are being over-fished, and the stately ancient sea turtles are disappearing.

 Hallelujah soulfully and joyfully believes all of us can make a difference in the actions we take each day. My life’s pilgrimage has taken me past the shores of this island, to its living, beating heart—its children.

 I have gone swimming with the children to look at the mermaid’s glass, to give names to sponges, corals, and fish. We have drawn the dolphins, spotted eagle rays, and the birds. We have added colors to these creatures and told stories about how each of us can protect them.

 As a way to continue to engage the children of San Salvador with the nature surrounding their homes, I am creating illustrations for the story, “The Misadventures of Maria the Hutia,” written by Ronald Shaklee, a geographer who has been visiting the island for decades. Ron’s main character is a hutia named Maria, an animal that scientists had thought was extinct. Happily it was not.  Scientists found that her kind was still thriving on some smaller pristine islands in the Bahamas. Hutias live! Hallelujah!

 In this image you see here, “To the Bahamas,” Hallelujah has invited Amber, a white tropic bird and one of the characters in Maria’s story to transport her and Wandjina to the Bahamas. We are journeying soulfully and joyfully. Observe that Wandjina is in the night, the rich darkness of the subconscious, and I am in the light. Another miracle that has happened is that I have sprouted Wandjina’s crown. My crown is more like pistils of a flower that I cherish for their beauty and potentiality.

 I am traveling into the unknown, and I am not alone. Hallelujah asks you to join her on this journey. We, Wandjina and I, are curious about you. We want to know about you and your journey. Inform us of your bearings. Likewise, we ask you to be curious about us, ask us questions, seek answers.

 That’s coffee with Hallelujah! Love you!