Sunday, September 8, 2013

UNCONDITIONAL LOVE AND BOUNDLESS JOY: A pledge made at the start of a collaboration with Jen

Hallelujah for new beginnings! Hallelujah for the evolution of an idea, one that is loved and nurtured! 

Dear Pilgrims, let me tell you about how Jenifer Hilburn, a Georgia coast ornithologist, and I have agreed to manage our collaboration of writing and illustrating a book about American oystercatchers as a way to engage both children and adults in their roles as environmental stewards.

We promised to co-parent, to raise our book-child up with unconditional love and boundless joy. And, yes, we agreed to repeat my mantra--Not good. Not Bad. Just is.--as many times as we need to during the early stages of our collaboration.

This pledge for our collaboration took place through Skype with Jen speaking from St. Catherine's Island, Georgia, and me from my dining room table in Decatur, Georgia. We are the SCIENTIST and the ARTIST. For us, the big question was how to finally begin our book-child, after years of enthusiastically bouncing the idea back and forth.

What a marvelous question! Asking "how to begin" when diving into a new creative project is not uncommon. And, for Jen and me, we decided what we needed most was to trust one another and to have fun separately and collaboratively. Hence our pledge to support each others efforts with unconditional love and boundless joy

The image you see above is my first step into my collaboration with Jen although it might not be obvious to you. It is the third day that I have drawn BABY NEW SOUL, the second day I have included HALLELUJAH TRUTH and an alligator in the image, and it is the first day that I have invited book related animals into the image--a raccoon and American oystercatchers.

The resulting image is my SOUL OFFERING to myself, to Jen, and to the greater universe. Not Good. Not Bad. Just is. And I had fun drawing it. This unconditional love for myself and my drawing is my way into co-creating a story with Jen. There is magic and power in this kind of love and joy!

That's Coffee with Hallelujah! SOUL BLOG with me. Tell me about how you start your own creative projects. Have you collaborated with someone before? How did you make that collaboration successful?


  1. totally love your collaborative agreement and drawing !

  2. Callahan! Your love means a lot to me!

  3. An auspicious beginning to a joyful collaboration. I look forward to its unfolding.

    1. Thank you so much Cecelia! You supported my endeavors through Maria the Hutia! Now the next book! Hurray!