Posted March 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

Three Syllables

Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.
All things break.
And all things can be mended.
Not with time… as they say.
But with intention.
So… Go.
Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.
The broken world waits in darkness
for the light that is you.

~ L. R. Knost
(from the Brahma Kumaris Thought for the day March 4, 2017)

Tenacity is such an amazing concept. To love intentionally, extravagantly, and unconditionally requires tenacious resolve. I recall stretching out on the floor of the skyroom at the Holistic Alliance after lunching during an NLP intensive, and fondly listening to Richard Bandler’s Personal Enhancement 6 CD set. I especially loved the one titled “Tenacious Resolve.” Synonyms for the word tenacious include: persistence, determination, perseverance, strength of purpose, resolve, steadfastness, and patience, just to list a few.

It certainly took tenacity for Zan Lombardo, artist extraordinaire, to complete her 30-foot watercolor painting. The painting (shown here at The Art Gallery at Franklin Commons in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania) is truly amazing, as is Zan.

From Zan’s website:

This is my 30-foot watercolor. It took me two years to draw and two years to paint, in little increments; 30 minutes while the laundry tumbled, 10 minutes while the pasta boiled.

(This poem is written along the bottom of the 30’ watercolor. Calligraphy in uncial font by Sheila Waters.)


Arcs of arms are reaching out from distant
Suns whose gestures stir the life of seeds.
To be here, now, requires our hearts to listen,
Watch, and know that Light fulfills our needs.

When gripped by stagnant vines of fear, relief
Springs from the pulsing centers of our chests.
False boundaries dissolve in prayer; peace weaves
The seeming chaos into something blessed.

Stay rooted. Stand witness. Be upholding.
Guidance from great Mother Oak whose limbs
Will move ours to join the sacred dance, singing
Aloud that work is love made visible.

Roused by poetic muse of rainbow voice,
What stirs us also presses us against
The thick embranglement of choice
In which our spirits rise and fall, unfenced.

One truth: that drawn by gravity and awe,
The world is in relationship with all.
-Zan Lombardo, 2011

Isn’t that how life is? We must capture, contemplate, and create the extraordinary right in the midst of the mundane.

That has certainly been the story of Debra, Joel, and SCS.

This winter, I have been sashaying with my shadow around stagnant vines of fear, as Zan would say. I finally managed to make a phone call to a man I felt had treated me unfairly. In my mind, I had pictured him conniving—going to all lengths—to stand in my way. I was at least honest enough with both of us to tell him I was calling to ask if he had done what I had already considered him guilty of. His answer was, “No.”

Zan’s painting is truly incredible, but the sharing of why and how these mystical and magical colors and shapes and images came to be is what moved me to tears. She was teaching when her work load was doubled and her prep time was cut in half. She ordered the 30-foot roll of artist paper because she wanted a safe place to go so she would not spend the last ten years of her teaching career bitter. In four-foot sections of paper and mere moments of time, as she created that safe place for herself, universal images and themes emerged.

What does it mean for you to know the truth that we can choose to not be bitter even when circumstances warrant bitterness? Relationships can trip us up. I read this quotation by an Armenian-Russian writer of fantasy and science fiction, Vera Nazarian, “Was it you or I who stumbled first? It does not matter. The one of us who finds the strength to get up first, must help the other.”

Zan shared the poem (the painting’s thirty-foot title) was complete, save for ten syllables in the very center. Underneath the skyward branches of the majestic tree which anchors the center of the painting, Zan’s friend said, “I was given a message for you. ‘Stand witness, be upholding’.”

Zan counted the syllables. One, two, three… seven syllables.

“I need three more syllables,” she confessed.

“Native Americans say if you have a question, you can put your forehead against a tree and you will get an answer,” her friend continued to breathe wisdom into the air that hung poetically between them.

Zan leaned her forehead against the tree. “Stay rooted.”

Three syllables.

Stay rooted. Stand witness. Be upholding.

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