Sunday, March 26, 2017

New art! Birthing the Feminine

I began this painting as a part of my theological course work last summer.  For the last several months it has been in my bedroom-everyday-unfinished. I could see the breasts and the vulva of the woman emerging from the red streaked paint. But I knew that it was not finished. There was something more that needed to come forth.... I appropriately titled it "Birthing the Feminine" and gave it time.

As I allowed myself to walk into the unknown of the artistic process this morning, I thought I was painting an angel. Instead I suddenly stepped back and noticed that an embryo appeared in the art. What a beautiful thing to see today.

The feminine is birthing. There is new life in a womb of nutrient-rich colorful glory. Thanks be to God!

"Birthing the Feminine"
Original art by Heather Thompson Blue Phoenix Art
48 x 60

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

NEW ART! Brilliant Darkness

Original Art and Poem by Heather Thompson, Blue Phoenix Art

What if a black hole
Was really an imperceptible rainbow?
Just as fractured light
Emerges as Red, Blue, Yellow Green, Indigo, Violet…
What if the transformation of
Light into Darkness
Reveals colors burning beyond comprehension.

Intense darkness…
Through a prism misunderstood.
Human judgements abound…
Collapse into nothingness.

What if the human mind
Cannot perceive such brilliance?
Like a prenatal baby
Attempting to grasp
Life beyond birth.

What if human duality
Cannot SEE the colorful display
Of light diving into darkness
Only to be reborn
On the other side
Of a vast womb
Birthing new LIFE
In colorful glory.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Meet Lorenzo...Living Outside

From my Facebook Page Facing Homelessness Issaquah 

Though this page is usually focused on my community of Issaquah, the idea behind "just say hello" is not limited to the boundaries of particular locations.

Meet Lorenzo.

After a lunch with a very close friend in Seattle, and while I myself was healing from a pretty difficult exacerbation of my own chronic illness, Lorenzo approached my truck in the parking lot as I was leaving. He had a very sweet energy about him. 

As soon as he opened his mouth,  I could tell he had told his same story to many people that day. He was repeating it without emotion, almost like a script.  He told me that needed $20 in order to get into the local hostel that was up the street.  I listened to everything that he had to say. And then I smiled from ear-to-ear and introduced myself. As soon as I did that he smiled from ear-to-ear and reached out to shake my hand.

That's when he told me how many people had said horrible things to him that day in response to his plea for help. He said he heard everything from "get a job" to "f*** off." Tears filed his eyes.

I asked him where he was from and engaged a conversation... turns out he's new in town after being kicked out of his mother's house in Mississippi. When he arrived in Seattle three days ago, he was supposed to stay with his grandmother. Unfortunately she also chose to kick him out. Now he lives on the streets.

I noticed he had the most beautiful long fingernails that at one point had been covered in acrylics and manicured with fresh nail polish. I gave him a genuine compliment about his beautiful hands, and that's when he told me that he absolutely loves to get his nails done!

I knew I couldn't give him the money for the hostell that day. But I also knew that I could connect him with my dear friends at the Facing Homelessness office in Seattle. I gave him bus fare to the University District, and told Rex and Sarah at Facing Homelessness Seattle that Lorenzo might be coming to visit them. He may or may not follow through.

But that's not the point.

The point is that it's simple to take the time to say hello to our fellow human beings. This is how we begin to use the power of LOVE to break down the feeling of isolation, loneliness, and invisibility that often accompanies homelessness.

I asked if I could take his picture, and he burst into the most beautiful smile! I hope to see Lorenzo again.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Contemplating Angels....Independent Study Reflection

Angelology....Below, I have included my written and artistic reflection of my  independent study this quarter as a part of my Masters of Divinity. Enjoy.

In the realm of the Spirit, nothing is concrete. Perhaps it can best be described as grasping at fog, or approaching an asymptotic frontier that cannot be reached through the lens of human understanding; yet, I have come to believe that the Spirit realm exists, contained within the Mystery that some of us refer to as God.

While Angelology is not often discussed in contemporary theological circles, it was a topic of exploration among many of the greatest theological minds in history.  As I explored St. Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, along with all of the scriptural references to the Angelic, I couldn't help but wonder why we don't pay more attention to  this aspect of systematic theology? 

With my innate curiosity in hand, I walked into the study of Angels. As I emerge on the other side, I believe this realm was created along with the entirety of space, time, and all that is. St. Augustine attributed this to the creation of the "light" in Genesis. 

Though it cannot be comprehended, I sense that the Spirit world it is strongly connected to human experience.  Angels are often referred to as messengers.  They mark significant moments in time. They can be reminders of the Grace of God. It is important to observe, however, that even the purest angels can also be terrifying in the eyes of humanity, as we see this again and again throughout the bible. This paradox seems theologically appropriate given the way that the light of God is both illuminating and burning in its intensity.

Scriptural references and theological musings give a glimpse of that which we might see, feel, or sense when making contact with the Angelic or the Demonic in every day life.  I believe we experience the darkness and the light - the angelic and demonic - LOVE and sin - all side by side. While I am fairly certain that nonduality and paradox apply here, it seems important to acknowledge that shadows lurk among humanity. Scripture and theological discourse includes a discussion of fallen angels, expressing that there are those who turned away from God and therefore became unteathered from the ground of Being.

Light overcomes darkness. Shadows lack substance. All of it can be reconciled back to God simply through the connection of LOVE.

Thus we walk with Angels - some known and many unseen. It is the light that I choose to gaze upon, as it warms my being and continuously nurtures the greening power of God. It is the LOVE I choose to focus my attention upon, as it is my connection to Mystery.

I will add one final note here - This walk with Angels provided me with an unintentional opportunity to grasp the notion of double predestination.  I have struggled with my own Presbyterian denomination, as Calvin was among those that emphasized God's fore-knowledge of those that are saved and those that are damned. This theological idea goes back to Augustine, who was among my favorites...yet I could not understand how he arrived at the double predestination conclusion. Enter my reading of City of God.  As I contemplated St. Augustine's discussion of the Angelic and the Demonic, I realized that light and darkness do indeed exist in a differentiated state. Furthermore, I slowly began to grasp the awareness that those fallen angels must have been known to God before they chose to turn away from the light. In this sense, God - being beyond all time and space and anything objectively created - would know of the damned through God's omnipotence and omniscience. Rather than see God as an anthropomorphic judge,however, I saw what I can only describe as a weeping parent aware of what's to come and unable to change it because the love that is to be given from created to Creator must be free...and I imagined this weeping Parent ever present, ever loving, ever willing to forgive all of it with just the slighted flicker of freely given LOVE.

Of course, all of this raises significant questions. There are no easy answers in theological study.  I find myself wondering what this means for those that turn away from God - is that even possible?  Does God's LOVE and Grace stop pouring forth just because creation turns away, or does it continue especially in times of struggle, pain and suffering? What does this mean for the betrayal of blasphemy among Angels, Demons and Humans? All of these questions are appropriate, as theology must be understood within the tension of paradoxical opposites. 

Thus, my journey toward becoming a theologian continues, if anything because I have been given an insatiable curiosity that I can only attribute to the blessing seed within.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Meet outside.

From my Facebook Page ... Facing Homelessness - Issaquah

Today I had the pleasure of meeting Scott who was flying a sign outside of the Target store in downtown Issaquah. It quite simply said that he was cold and wet and struggling to stay warm. As is our Facing Homelessness motto, my daughter and I stepped out of our truck, grabbed the extra box of Girl Scout cookies that we had in the front seat and went over to say HELLO.

Scott immediately smiled from ear-to-ear! He told me that the Samoa Girl Scout cookies are his wife's favorite!

I asked him how he's doing and where he's living. He explained that he's been in a tent with his wife in a specific area of Issaquah where I've heard a few other folks are living right now. He really wants to get inside, but fears he'll be asked to separate from his wife. If anyone in this community is aware of shelter options for a married couple that would be wonderful! I have his contact information and plan to follow up with him.

After my daughter and i left we went into Panera and bought him a nice warm bowl of broccoli cheddar soup, a baguette, and a fresh bottle of water. He gave me a huge hug and said a gigantic thank you as he sat down immediately to eat.

When I asked him if I could take his photograph, he smiled and said, "Of course." I told him that I would let all of you know that it's totally fine to say hello to this nice young man.

A little more about Scott...i can tell he's a genuine guy. He will be the first to tell you that he's had a rough go of life, which includes a stint in jail after a DUI.....and trouble finding work. He explained the challenge of getting a driver's license when you don't have an address.  This is homelessness. It rubs a person raw and systematically makes opportunities so much more difficult. No one deserves to go cold and hungry. And I could tell he was both.

So if you see Scott, ask him what he needs...or just say hello. Today he had a moment of joy with a simple bowl of soup. And...I'll add that he said he just needs someone to give him a chance.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Blue Flame Rising

Sitting...rather laying...wrapped in a bear hug being infused with fluidity....I feel life restored to my center.  I am not sure when the flame diminished to a flicker, but it's been so long I don't even remember what it feels like to be on fire from within. 

Authentic Yang rising born out of a courageous walk into Yin...I now birth entire forests out of the deep water of fear and destiny which will soon fuel a fire that is uniquely my own... Not a cold red fire opened by the gaze of a man,  not the fleeting flame lit by the approval of others,  but the blue heat of metamorphosis that only God can bestow upon me as i walk through the downward path of Mystery.

"Blurry Window"
Original art by Heather Thompson Blue Phoenix Art

Saturday, March 11, 2017

The Thyroid Miracle

The journey toward homeostatis and healing continues. Yesterday I learned that my body is missing thyroid hormone. I have been technically hypothermic with a temp of 95 for a little bit now. My neuroendocrinologist has been following me for a few years, but it finally became clear this last week that we needed to treat my thyroid.

It's too complicated to go into all the details but I'll say pituitary was likely injured with the TBI six years ago.  Most doctors have missed the things going on with fact,  many have.  I've had docs say all kinds of things.  It's only through tireless advocacy that I've continued to heal. 

Since it's Brain Injury Awareness Month, I want to say never give up.  Badassery isn't defined by the times its's choosing to keep walking, or just standing....or just breathing when it's difficult.  It's maintaining authenticity. It's daring to be REAL.

I feel better this morning.  My endocrine system is being brought back online and it feels like life flowing in my veins. I'm grateful.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Perspective and Gratitude

I'm often asked how I maintain such a positive attitude in light of the health challenges that I experience. My answer is quite simple, I'm very aware of the fact that the rabbit hole goes deeper....

This morning I talked to my friend Tim who lives outside. It's snowing. His legs collapsed from underneath him while he was walking to the bus. I suggested he go to the emergency room, but then we both laughed because we know what it feels like to go to the ER...too much of that lately for both Tim and I. I empathize deeply with him because I know what it feels like to be treated poorly in the emergency room as a person that lives inside with access to resources including insurance. I cannot imagine the way that Tim is treated when he shows up in the ER.

I made him promise that he would not be stoic about it, and then if he had any issues he would call me.  I offered to go pick him up where he was sitting. I also offered to send a cab. But Tim politely declined. And I've discovered that for many, including Tim, independence and empowerment is so important to preserve. And I also know that I can trust him to contact me if help is needed. And when I hung up the phone I cried thinking about what it must be like to be sick and outside.

A pastor friend of mine is working on getting Tim into a shelter. I hope and pray that we are able to get him inside as I look at the snowflakes falling outside of my window.

Blessing and gratitude is all a matter of perspective.   We are all connected.  I really do believe that is why we are to love our neighbors as ourselves. And as I head off for the miracle of IV fluids, with a puffy steroid face, I feel deeply humble....and grateful....because my issues seem so small.

Monday, March 6, 2017


This morning I've counted no less than 15 ads showing women with stomachs so ripped that they look like male abdominal muscles, all in the context of reaching health ideals. The images show strong,  beautiful criticism there.  But it's the dangerously low female body fat mixed with an image of health that has me concerned.

First things first- a woman can have a shredded stomach if she chooses. Olympic athletes train hard to have functional bodies at peak performance!   But it's not meant to stay this way. Such athletes often stop having periods and there are consequences to that over the long term. And I'm not even talking about surgical options.

I didn't understand any of this when I was younger.  I worked with a top trainer at the Washington Athletic totally shredded....and many would say I was the picture of health! But no....I developed an eating disorder with dangerously low body fat.  I stopped menstruation. My hormones were out of balance.  I began to suffer repeated injuries.  My fast metabolism slowed to accommodate the near starvation I kept myself in...and I never got enough hydration.

You all watch my health journey today.  Some of my challenges are as a result of the damage I caused to my body in my 20s in an attempt to be in perfect health. It's a powerful lesson.

So allow me to offer a counter cultural message.  Health is more than an image, BMI, weight, or body fat percentage.  It's a balance - homeostasis - in which the body thrives.  So it's not about belly size,  shredded or's about a thriving and happy body.  If we could learn to see our bodies as the miracles they are, rather than forcing them into what we think they should be, my goodness.......imagine.

Original art by Heather Thompson Blue Phoenix Art

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Where to Begin? ALL OF IT.

Oh my...when the words flow. Thank GOD for words. I have waited so long. I wrote this today - felt compelled to share, especially since the lovely Julie M Daley has been inspiring me with her exploration of writing RAW.


It’s hard to know where to begin a story such as mine. There is so much. So much to tell that my body feels almost pregnant with words unspoken. So much that I have scraped across canvases and draped in poetic language only to hide it all away behind a lens of color and artistry. So much that I have buried deep within the vast primitive nervous system in my belly, watching my stomach expand to such a degree that I feel the exact same burning pressure that comes just before labor. So much that I have held in the deep ocean of my subconscious mind, almost believing for a brief moment that the left hemisphere of my brain could be blissfully ignorant of the “so much” that I have carried for so long.

But the “so much” does not define me. Many people can say such things, as it is easy to intellectually grasp the notion that we are not defined by our life experiences. Yet, there is a deep awakening that occurs when the very core of a human comes to recognize that there is a difference between thoughts/actions/achievements/pain and who I AM.

This flicker of awareness is the beginning of a courageous walk that allows observation of ALL OF IT - the horror, elation, tragedy, mediocrity, eroticism, violation - it all becomes a complex pattern of colorful beauty splattered across the multidimensional canvas of life. This cannot be understood dualistically. There is not a simple means of telling a genuine story. While it would seem easier to articulate my path in a linear progression of events and adventures that ultimately led me to this defining moment in existence – because every moment is a defining one – such a one dimensional recollection would fail to capture the inherent complexity of the journey and would therefore miss the point entirely.

I will not collapse the vastness of human experience - in this case my experience - into line graphs and bar charts that can be easily digested. No, I shall be bold enough to honestly articulate the messy and miraculous complexity the comes with living.

Stepping back to observe, I notice that my path is a holographic orb swirling and pulling at each polarity - good/bad, yes/no, tragedy/triumph, chaos/order. As tension builds within this maelstrom of living substance, an explosion releases something new within the vessel that is Me. Mirroring the orgasmic Big Bang that brought forth all of known Creation, I become a fractal of the greater whole.

So I return to the original question. Where do I begin? My answer is simple – I begin with ALL OF IT. Everything that I have experienced thus far in my life, along with everything I will experience in the future - and the entirety of Creation - is collapsed into this single moment. As I write every word on this page, I am both who I was and who I will be, but neither history nor potentiality defines who I am. I simply am.