The Miracles of Ground Zero

We buried my mom on Friday. I played a piece called Shiva in her honor at her graveside. I am amazed I could even read my music because the sun was shining so brightly. It was a blindingly bright, nothin’ but blue sky, perfect day to honor my mom. We now think officially my mom passed away a week ago Sunday-the day that I purchased Joy at the Old Town Art Fair.

Mom's mass was held at this beautiful church.

Since her passing I have been gifted with a string of  JOY-FILLED miracles. There is no other explanation for WHY my life has ALL OF A SUDDEN lite up like a giant birthday cake with stunning sparklers and firecrackers going off. Maybe mom’s birthday card after all has arrived and her soul has been saved.  Let me explain.

For starters a university who I will not for awhile be able to name, has stepped forward and is ready to explore how they can become The IAE’s  academic accreditation partner. Breathtaking all by itself and THE VERY NEXT THING we MOST need right now.

A general manager from a mid level theater but 7 blocks down the street from where the IAE will open, emailed me the other day and offered to donate rehearsal space to the school.  While  Flourish Studio’s is an IDEAL classroom setting, it is NOT an artistic noise producing one. We have been pondering how we would solve this problem close to our location and then this magically appears.

Next came a wonderful opportunity for me personally to present a workshop at the 2nd annual P.A.V.E. conference at ASU. I have always wanted to meet Ben Cameron from the Doris Duke foundation and now I will finally be able to! I am so honored to participate.

Last Thursday I had lunch with the chief editor of an established AND up-and-coming Chicago based magazine. She asked if she could help me edit my revised book proposal to repackage the book I wrote 3 years ago that did not sell; Build a Blue Bike. She wants to help because she believes my book needs to be published by a big publisher and wants to do what she can to help me finally get it sold.

Incredibly, as we were returning to her parking lot, and I was about to pull into the first open parking stall to drop her off, there was a Blue SCHWINN Bike chained to the fence.   I have a 1960’s Blue SCHWINN Bike I bought for my book still in boxes in my garage, and a whole presentation I created around the material in the book that involves taking it apart and putting it back together. There is also a blue bike that roles in on my flash intro to LisaCanning.com. It too is a Blue SCHWINN. I intentionally wanted a Schwinn because the bike I rode as a child was a blue Schwinn. I even had an exchange with the marketing people at Schwinn to gain access to their image files so that I could use their brand of bike to promote my book, when it was published.

According to my new publisher friend, there has never been a bike before chained to the fence in the lot; nor have they EVER seen this bike before. ( For those of you who don’t know-Build a Blue Bike was picked up almost three years ago by NY literary agent Susan Schulman and never sold; Susan has represented Richard Florida and Julia Cameron.)

In hind site I now realize what Build a Blue Bike was missing- a hook. And dear reader, my mother, through her death, has given me the hook my book NEEDS –the stories I am now FREE to share about our dirty little family secrets.  My mothers creativity in life and through her death is simply otherworldly; breathtaking. As spectacular as all my mom could be.

This week has TRULY offered me DEEP and PROFOUND blessings. The passing of my mother, and my tormented relationship with her clearly, finally, undeniably has ended through her physical death. I TRULY feel a profound peace and gratitude for this to have happened to me. I feel 20 pounds lighter and free. I can FINALLY TELL MY STORIES ABOUT HER TO HELP TRANSFORM so many artists creativity into something valu-ABLE; NOT rudderless!

And yes, while it made me sad that so few people loved my mother enough to say their goodbyes at her funeral other than my husband, my ex-husband, my brother, the mother of my best friend when I was 10, four of my friends and two of my mothers;  I have to tell you that all of this last week has offered me NOTHING short of divinely sent miracles.

You see, when you PLAN to clear your life of the debris that is IN YOUR WAY to lead the LIFE YOU WERE MEANT  to live– it’s not total destruction and annihilation you find at YOUR ground zero- but instead the source of true miracles that will define you for the rest of time. And trust me you will know when you have arrived at your Ground Zero and when your transformation has begun.

Although I do have to tell you that I felt as though the heavens above were playing a little joke with me on Thursday afternoon when I went to pick up my mothers remains at the funeral directors office.

When I arrived at the building, I walked down the hall the wrong way.  Quickly I realized that not only was the building being dug up all around it- just like ground zero- but that indeed the funeral directors office was inside DePaul University’s Rosemont Campus and was next to be torn down. I successfully helped build a program at DePaul but it was never the arts entrepreneurship program I had hoped it would be.  Symbolically, the school I had taught at for 10 years was being dug up and replaced by a casino.  My school FOR NEW LEARNING IN THE ARTS will NEVER BE REPLACED BY A CASINO! 

So here I am picking up my mothers remains at my true ground zero. All that preceded this moment was meant to help me grow but not meant to be permanent. All that is unfolding before me NOW IS my true and undeniable destiny. THIS IS one of the hardest lessons to learn, really; how to truly change our destiny through the choices we make and the emotional shifts we must learn.

Are you ready to learn?  Are you ready to find your rudder? Won’t you please apply to the IAE, or help us promote the IAE to others you know, or add our button badge link to your website?

Isn’t it time for ALL ARTISTS to learn how to make THEIR VERY OWN MIRACLES happen at a SPECTACULAR ground zero of their  VERY OWN?

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  • Thank you for your insight. It was very enlightening and inspiring. This is why I fully support The IAE. Cheers! Reid Hyams

  • And I’m off to Ravensbruck Germany where my other spent time during the war. A concentration camp that held mostly women and did a great number of experiments. I have heard stories from my mother since I was 10 and since she passed Dec 1 and we were invited to go to my nieces wedding in Finland, I thought why not include more important places. So after Ravensbruck, we’re off to Czestochowa Poland near my mother’s farm in Mokra for my 20 year old son to see where she grew up. Another mother, another journey. I expect to come back different. Connecting to our roots and dealing with them is life changing, I think.

  • Jenn

    You aren’t RIDING your blue bike?

  • Metaphorically I am- turning something personally filled with pain into a way to move forward emotionally and financially. This is what I called Building a Blue Bike. Literally? No. Its a 60’s kid bike like the one I use to have- banana seat and all!

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