CategoryCreative Life


I took a minute
  to gather my thoughts,
To feel the moment
   and recognize that
         which resides in me.

I took a minute
     to hear the fishtank bubble, 
    and the rain on the skylights.
I allowed the cloud dimmed light
 to cut through my fog lined mind.

I took a minute
      to breathe deeply 
 of the moist spring air wafting through the room.
I emptied my chest 
   to loosen the bonds that tighten my soul.

I took a minute
  to clear the thoughts
       that lie heavily upon my body.
    To open a window
 into my surroundings.

I took a minute,
     picked up my pen
 waiting for the words to spill out.
Then I wrote this poem
                  and began my day.


It comes in pieces and each one hurts,
Acquaintances, relatives, an aunt or a cousin.
News follows diagnosis but from a distance,
Positive news – the spin we choose
filters through life’s projects & errands, truths & lies
The damage is limited, the treatment severe,
Yet contained,
As the distance between shields us from the fear in their eyes.
The small shadow cast fades with successes relief
And we remark on progress made, odds improved.
Yet in a small way the shadow seeps in.
We internalize doubt
and falter momentarily in our confidence,
Our expectation,
Of following Aunt Mary’s eternal existence
Kicking and screaming at 96
But no. Never mind. I am fine.

Then comes another blow – closer this time,
A mother, a sister.
The fear grows closer and life holds its breath
With luck – that uncertain chance – the damage is contained
Cut out, treated.
Life resumes warily,
Holidays become more important
And communication dearer.
Fix those things you can control.
The treatment is clear yet
the low note of fear is audible and
the flash of nerves in the eyes visible.
Like a shot through the buffer
Like a breeze through a cloud
Realization sets in.
The shadow spreads.

Then there’s the news – a gene gone astray
The genetic component considered, explored, confirmed.
A sentence.
The shadow spreads, creating a familial silence, and unwanted bond
A background realized,
Grey against the horizon.
Yet the assumptions of life remain.
Testing confirms vulnerabilities.
Mom didn’t get it till midlife,
No need to worry yet. Be vigilant.

It’s what you don’t consider
Time’s twisted irony,
that comes back
And bites you.

The visit that shatters.
Not a parent, or an aunt, but my daughter.
My daughter, who holds my heart in her hand.
My daughter, my love.

Impeachment Soundtrack


There’s a soundtrack to life.
Its rhythm carries the burden of the bending day
Where the sun’s status may lead the way
Or perhaps a news cycle view of justified strife
Or the unconcealed contempt of a president rife
With impassioned control of disconnected smiles
Covering quicksilver thoughts with eyes hooded with guile
The drumbeat of hatred, the resonance of blight,
The monitor casting it’s flickering light
Beats deeply embedded in the artificial glow
Blocking the colors that through studio floor flow
With the crisp wind that blows through the cracked window so bright,
The staccato dissonance fades to a forgettable drone
Occasional interruptions of angry tones,
My own rhythms are dulled, eyes cloudy, head bows
Is this what life has reduced me to now.
The wind picks up and touches my face
I startle and begin to notice my place,
And glimpse a slight feeling that seemed to be dead
My beats should be quicker, the melody strong
No abrasive dissonance nor pauses too long
From a senator's choral defense and dark logic
that obfuscates thought leaving only the dense
sense of betrayal, dismissal, and discord immense.
Again, the breeze shifts and the light patterns swell,
I rise from my stupor and sojourn in hell.
I must move before I sink into numbness filled with disdain
My rhythm must strengthen and my melody gain
My soundtrack must nurture and lead me to fight
rather than suffer the never-ending night.
To fight for tomorrow, to live for today,
to nurture the spirit and allow me to stray
With a spirit still glowing thought beaten today
and the stirring of flights of creative play
I’ll watch history be made on this terrible day.
But I’ll include my own soundtrack and live in the light.
Look to tomorrow and put up a fight.
My beats will be strong,
My voice will be clear.
I will not surrender to sorrow and fear.

Too Much

Her pain fills my head and turns my stomach.
Her body is scarred
And her soul is being stepped on.
I recognize the symptoms
In this good person, this person so amazing,
the person beside you, exhibiting the oblivious practice of lunacy and cruelty
that accompanies addiction.
My own soul screams with fury
to know that she experiences NOW
the desperation still resident in myself after so many years passed.
Her pain is fresh and worse for it,
Compounded by a body weak and torn
by a sudden barbaric disease
treated with equally barbaric physical loss.
It is wrong. I am angry – so angry
desperate to alleviate the pain impossible to appease.
The physical will pass after a time,
A time too substantial.
Yet the anguish that tears your life from its moorings,
And requires an overwhelming strength and a responsibility of self to break free,
that pain lays minefields in your head and redirects life itself,
it is here and laying lifelong traces.
Now is a terrible time for recognition's appearance and pain's awakening.
Will the body allow her head to enact the motions necessary to save herself?
Will the crushing responsibility of SELF set her free?
Or will it bury her under the debris.
Why now?
And here I am,
Hundreds of miles away again.
Trying to work out what to say, or do, or not do.
What to think, how to help.
The world feels like such an evil and acrimonious place
offering only the feeblest of comfort or hope.
I love her so much.
I would give anything.
I only want her to be okay.
I want to help but am helpless.
I feel it throughout – I know for certain.
It’s too much.

The Silent Window

I’ve always thought
that even among the turmoil of the frantic news cycle,
the swirling currents of hatred and despair,
the politics of division
and the policies that contribute in the currency of fear,
hat joy still exists among the sound of birds singing.
Outside my window.
I’ve always thought
that in the hardest of times,
while personal reckonings fraught with disappointment
as frustration rises and falls inverse with sleep,
while traveling the most painful of paths
and screaming inside,
that my mind could be eased.
Watching helplessly while one you love most suffers
and steps up bravely to fight for a life so undeserving of pointless disease
I always looked to the clamor of birds
the burp of a frog
and the chatter of insects
Outside my window.
But these sounds are dimmed.
The silence of my studio extends to the grass and trees.
The little fountain in the garden babbles stark against the silence
and the ticking of the clock is audible.
It shouldn’t be.
I call out and the world doesn’t answer.
The melody of life breaks through the melancholy of silence less often.
Where do I find comfort as nature too suffers?
As that melody - that constant presence is withdrawn
my soul loses its moorings.
As life’s abundance shrinks under the hot sun.
I listen in vain for that communion so silently missing.
Outside my window.
I’ve always thought
that it was never too late.
Yet my instincts sound the alarm that time has become slippery
rendering quick change futile.
Even so it is time for caring and expression,
birdseed, flowers, water, art.
With uncertain success I will try to extend my care beyond the constricted borders
of home and studio.
To nurture what is fading and bring back in however a tiny form
what the world needs…
and I so long for.
The renewed saturation of life and birdsong
Outside my window.

Recent Posts

Had a stroke. Changed my life. Food. Art. Health. Activism.

Delete & Repeat is my artist reflection on living a healthy lifestyle, including creative expression and really good food. Its name is derived from a 2017 stroke that disrupted my life. ‘Delete & Repeat’ became a mantra of frustration for me as I struggled to organize my thoughts and communicate properly.

At the time I was a full time artist working in various new media, happily programming and creating electronic sculpture, interactive video & maintaining a full schedule travelling teaching, and showing.  The stroke effected my cognitive abilities and effectively shut down my career.

It took time and a complete change of lifestyle to recover. Primary to my effort was diet – I undertook a combination of keto with the addition watching inflammation to both lose weight and regain clarity. I added in regular exercise and yoga – and pursued a regular practice of research and learning.

In the food section I will post some of the recipes I live by. These recipes I follow my personal guidelines – they are not all super low carb (I currently stay in a low level of ketosis without the need to actually lose additional weight). In the health section I will include information and links to information that I come accross and see as potentially helpful, as well as things that I believe have helped me including exercise and yoga as well as cognetive practice in research and learning.

I am not a health professional of any sort so please do your own research. Where possible I will notate references.

After several years of effort things are paying off. I’m writing and working again. My art had been paused – it just recently picked back up. I have also renewed my commitment to activism – so important in the troubled world we live in. I intend on helping to right wrongs wherever I can. With my art – and whatever else I can find.

My Name Is Karen

This blog is meant to reflect me as a whole. I choose at this time to not publish my complete name – I’m just not there yet. I need the safety net of anonymity to protect my first real attempts at art again. Just call me Karen, but throw the name’s stereotype out the window. I am simply me.

January 22, 2020