Thursday, March 1, 2012

Inspiring Women: Liz Coleman: Adventure

I met Liz several years ago at her home in Nashville. (Rodger, her husband, is a long time friend.) I was struck right away by how she engaged me in conversation, her warmth, her presence (in the immediate sense of the word,) and her interests. At the time Liz was making a pop-up book version of Finnegan’s Wake. There’s a picture in my mind of a wine-drenched wake scene (or was it also blood?) and there seem to be charcoal grey mourning faces. It was a unexpected delight to discover her blog some time after that, benefiting not only from her appreciative and grateful eye towards her daily life but also learning of Brene Brown and Kind Over Matter and eventually We Love Gratitude. I would not have met many of you except through Liz, who has led me on my own kind of adventure, a regular theme of hers.

Etymologically the word is rooted in the Latin advenire "to come to, reach, arrive at."

I’m moved by Liz’s simple words and images on the theme of gratitude here (where she describes it as “the only appropriate response to so much of my life,” a reminder to me that on balance I’ve received more than I’m aware of,) and here, where she arrives at the upside or the good in the midst of error or difficulty on several occasions, a journey in attitude adjustment, especially acknowledging “just staying simply with how I'm feeling”.

I love Liz’s take on the Kindle Fire, where she admits, considering the electronic medium with respect to antique books, “I guess I'm really a better Buddhist than librarian. Let's just say I have a deep respect for impermanence.”

Liz communicates to me the adventure of awareness of one’s being in this moment, of one’s surroundings, simply breathing, that any moment can reveal such an adventure, but we have to go to it. At the same time, she notes the difficulty of practicing what one has been taught: “I'm so much like the person in Pema Chodron's description of someone who gets a prescription from the doctor and shows it to everyone and puts it up on the wall and never actually takes the medicine.” (I especially identify with this.) I appreciate that she shared this short video of Jon Bernie describing the mind needing some object or activity, but I haven’t watched it lately.

Liz has a keen photographic eye and is drawn toward beauty, exemplified here and here and here.

The sense of adventure I receive from reading Liz’s blog is the course from awareness to enjoyment to love, a continuum of appreciation and gratitude extending through phenomena and people to the whole creation. Her blog is full of delights and surprises that I may never completely mine. See for yourself.


  1. Holy moly, Garrett!! You can imagine the doubletake I did when I was scanning my Google Reader this evening. You have no idea what this post means to me. I'm so honored and such a fan of YOUR blog, Garrett! We've got to get you back down to Nashville sometime soon...

  2. Thank you, Liz, I would love to. Appreciate your generosity and taking the time to write. Hope the severe weather doesn't treat you badly and subsides soon.