Beyond Boundaries · Essays and Tidbits From Nancy Bo Flood

“Onward, onward!”

December 3, 2019

I became absorbed with Vincent van Gogh’s paintings at “his” museum in Amsterdam. I had never seen his work close-up in person. Such rich color, such captured energy. And faces of old people or exhausted farmers that looked back at you as if they could see your soul while you were gazing into theirs. The…

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Many Ways We Tell Our Stories: The Trees

November 26, 2019

“Sometimes a tree can tell you more than can be read in a book.”  —Carl Jung Do trees make sound? Do they talk amongst themselves? Do they talk to us? What do they tell us? The season of the year? Their life story? The tale of the surrounding community? Here are a few photos from…

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Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret.

Banned Books,  Banned Topics:
Prayer, still forbidden in children’s literature

September 26, 2019

Times have greatly changed the rules for writing in children’s literature. Sex is okay but periods … maybe. Swearing, exploring gender identity, exploring sexuality – go right ahead. But spirituality? Tip-toe with caution.

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Mayday

Many Ways We Tell Our Stories:
Giant Puppets, Giants Stories, Dangerous Ideas

September 17, 2019

We stump across the stage or parade down your street.
Hear us ROAR our terrible words.
Listen. Laugh. Perhaps shiver.

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Many Ways We Tell Our Stories: Street Art

September 10, 2019

Some stories are too big to put on paper or canvas. This week, we take a look at street art, art that involves the community.

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Many Ways We Tell Our Stories: American Sign Language

August 29, 2019

I am deaf. I cannot hear anything, not even my own voice. But every day I share my stories—what I am thinking, what I have learned, what worries me. I listen to others with my eyes; I speak with my hands, my whole face, my body language, too. American Sign Language is like speaking a silent song. Watch.

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Many Ways We Tell Our Stories: Tattoos

August 20, 2019

We tell our stories – we tell on ourselves – by the symbols we wear on our skin. Who are you?  Tattoo is how I tell you.  Look at my face.  Tattoo symbols tell you of my family, my heritage, my status.  Oldest daughter?  Youngest son of whom, a chief?  A warrior? What brave deeds…

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Many Ways We Tell Our Stories: Mime

June 25, 2019

Mime, speak without words! You will never hear my voice. You will never forget the stories I tell. Watch! The mime moves soundlessly across the stage, his back to us. He turns around. His face is white. His eyebrows are outlined black. His smiling lips are bright red. We watch as he climbs stairs where There are no stairs Opens a window Peeks in Surprise!

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Many Ways We Tell Our Stories: Dance

June 18, 2019

Dance speaks to everyone. Dance is spoken in many ways, in many places. Its language is universal. We tell our stories on ballerina tiptoes … with the stomping of leather boots or the leaping and collapsing of modern movements and shapes.  We tell our stories. Dance shouts when voices are silenced. Dance unites generations. Dance celebrates the sacred moments of life without words or speeches. Sometimes in solemn procession, sometimes in wild jubilation.

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Many Ways We Tell Our Stories: Carving

June 11, 2019

People everywhere love to eat. And there is something else we love and seek, another kind of nourishment. We love a good story. Everywhere and throughout the ages, people have created ways to tell their stories. This is the first in a series of posts that will describe the many ways of sharing story—through dance, song, poetry, tattoos. To begin—for thousands of years and to this very day, one way we tell stories is by carving them in wood, etching them in stone, or painting them on walls.

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Meeting the Piestewa Family

May 21, 2019

I was nervous about meeting the Piestewa family. I had sent the family a copy of my Soldier Sister, Fly Home. Lori’s Mom and Dad had been enthusiastic and supportive in every way. Now I wanted to ask them if I could dedicate the book in honor of their daughter. Lori Piestewa had been the first Native American woman to die in combat on foreign soil.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

May 7, 2019

For your Mother’s Day celebrations this coming weekend, consider a gift of First Laugh, Welcome Baby!. Think of the discussions you might have with your friends and family about baby-welcoming traditions the world over (presented in the back matter of our book), but especially the Navajo tradition that focuses on laughter, kindness, and sharing. Karl Barth said, “Laughter is the closest thing to the grace of God.” For the Navajo, laughter is prayer and healing. When a baby first laughs, the child is then fully human.

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