What I am doing now

In 2021, I have three major endeavors. Because these projects are taking my full time, I am not presently working for hire with people to produce their individual stories. 

Original Face True Nature Original Self

Nurses on the Frontline

A collective storytelling project gathering the experiences of nurses on the frontline of care during the Covid19 pandemic. 

The purpose of this project is to bear witness to nurses’ experiences providing care during the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic. Part documentary, part art, I will create a video that weaves together individual stories I gather through one-on-one conversations into a collective narrative that will reflect nurses’ experiences in their own voices and words.

If you are a nurse who has served on the frontlines of Covid care and would be willing to share your story with me, please contact me at You can also click this link for more details on my planned process and timeline for this project.

I am grateful to all who choose to participate and will share the final project on my website and social media channels in hopes of shining light on the vital role nurses play in general in the healthcare system, as well as the added weight that has fallen on their shoulders during the pandemic.

This project is my service offering as part of a year-long program on socially engaged Buddhism through Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Glass and Stone c2018 Lucy Mathews Heegaard

Women & Cancer

Glass and Stone. The blue sea glass pendant is the last gift I received from one of my dearest friends; the pink rose quartz behind it is my last gift to her. 

My relationship to cancer came through one of my closest friends. She was diagnosed with two very different forms of breast cancer during her life. Accompanying her over the course of her treatments, her healing, her living, and her dying, I learned from the seat of witness and became committed to doing what I can to support women going through this disease.

This year, I am honored to be serving as Artist-in-Residence for Audre: Spiritual Care for Women with Cancer. This new program was born out of a pilot study on Women, Spirituality, and Cancer that I worked on as a research assistant while pursuing a Master of Arts degree in theology and the arts. Sponsored by Caring Bridge, the study was headed by Dr. Pamela Ayo Yetunde who subsequently created Audre, named for poet Audre Lorde, to offer a new model of spiritual care for women with cancer.

I will be available to participants in Audre to work with them and their stories to help support their healing and wholeness.

Pilgrimage To Original Face

“Show me your original face, the face you had before your parents were born.”⏤Zen Koan

From the summer of 2018 through the summer of 2019, I took three trips to Alabama where I grew up, revisiting places of most meaning to me in my childhood, and reconnecting with my growing up years on the University of Alabama campus from 1969 to 1980 while my father was president there. I was four years old when we moved into the University President’s Mansion and fifteen when away permanently. We moved in just six years after the first African American students were successfully admitted to the University. Student protests for racial justice and peace are part of my earliest memories.

Now enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program at the California Institute of Integral Studies, I am experimenting with ways to present this project in both written and multimedia forms. As I delve into my childhood memories and my visits to reconnect with them, I am also exploring the Buddhist concept of Original Face, inquiring into the idea of who we are before the events of life shape us. Prior to enrollment in the CIIS MFA program, I spent a year and a half in a seminary exploring both Buddhist and Christian ideas of original self, investigating teachings from philosophy and psychology, as well. I hope to bring all these elements together in the story of my own personal search.

PHOTOGRAPHs ON THIS PAGE | Serenbe Woods © 2018 Lucy Mathews Heegaard; Pieces of the Puzzle © 2018 Lucy Mathews Heegaard; Glass and Stone © 2018 Lucy Mathews Heegaard; Lucy and Molly the Beagle © 1969 Jim Taylor, Huntsville News.