“She drank alone…” Journal entry

She walks– arms crossed, cold hands tucked into armpits, chin tucked into chest. The familiar dark ink pool spreads around her feet. She bends down this time. Curious? Her reflection- just fragmented spirals. She slips! lurching upward and backward, around. The black ink fills her mouth. Hog-tied, she lets out a fluid-filled silent scream. A…

A quick creative project on last day of 2019: The Death and Burial of Cock Robin

Rainy stay-inside sick day today. I have stayed in PJs and creative process. I spent the last few hours interpreting The Death and Burial of Cock Robin with ink, watercolour and salt. [Source: Gutenberg Press. Original text by anonymous circa 14th-17th century] Chanticleer, what want you here, So early in the morning? “Cock-a-doodle-doo,” says he, pray don’t you…

Sometimes I feel detached… journal entry, Dec 3, 2019

I had a strange dream last night.

I am in a large hospital ward/art studio atelier with large windows and high ceilings. It is a sunny day outside. The room is filled with easels, tables and students.  Outside the room, there is a stairwell in the centre of this old building and you can see down to main lobby. We are on the third…

For my aunt Siv

These two women- my great aunt Helga, and my aunt Siv, had the most compassionate impact on my life. Helga- she taught me to follow my heart- MY HEART. Mine. Siv- she taught me to stay neutral and in joy and embrace children as fully formed human beings to be celebrated, not moulded. I remember…

Dear Camille, I regret…

Dear Camille, Today is your birthday. I open my journal to share something with you. We met in dance class at university in 1983. We found our way to each through dance, through arts and crafts, through books, through pie.  And through letters. We intertwined our bodies in the studio and on stage. I regret…

I don’t bleed anymore. Finding solace in journal pages.

“These are the days of tweeting, blogging, posting, instagraming, snapchatting, you name it. Everyone seems to be doing it. Some people seem very comfortable expressing every morsel of their living and breathing and eating into the world. Not that this isn’t totally fascinating to the one sharing, but most people (including me) don’t care about…

Pausing at the well.

This morning’s journal entry reflecting on the lesson of this sabbatical. Pausing at the well. Being present to see the world more deeply. With mind-FULL-ness. (Doodles inspired by the work of María Hesse)

“All you have to do now is allow…” Sabbatical reflections.

I am on sabbatical/working remotely/dog and kitten sitting in San Francisco… life changing, soul searching, peaceful… no words suffice.  The real lesson will show itself soon. It is finally here! What you’ve longed for is finally here! Know that all you have to do  now is allow and be receptive when the opportunity presents itself….

Turn the page- visualizing fading memory

My latest favourite daily practice is to quickly sketch and then saturate the drawing with watercolour crayon and coffee.  I love the feel of the wrinkled page. How the coffee ages the image.  The way a drenched drawing has a life of its own – beyond my control. I am most in love with the…

Quick sketch: Young gull at English Bay

Why is it,” Jonathan puzzled, “that the hardest thing in the world is to convince a bird that he is free, and that he can prove it for himself if he’d spend a little time practicing? Why should that be so hard? – Richard Bach

There are times of no ideas… – Lynda Barry (but there is always process)

Daily disciplined connection with my journal maintains my creative process and even though the entries are seemingly unrelated to my writing project… … they cleanse my brain and I am more driven to write as I stay in flow…

Connecting with the journal everyday. Even if just to copy…

Psaltriparus minimus playing in a tree…

I was charmed this morning by a flock of tiny birds playing and eating bugs in the tree above my bus stop. A whole bunch of bushtits.

So what is the relationship with the blog? It begs to show more of your life in it…

Journal entry July 20, 2019  Sometimes I feel overwhelming sadness that has a type of mystery and release.  Perhaps it’s [binging] Queer Eye S4 that hits me in my most vulnerable low self-esteem spots, maybe it’s seeing Squeak lose weight and anticipating losing her… … maybe it’s the awe of knowing I am… have overcome…

I am allowed to think freely. Stream of consciousness journaling

The importance of doodling…

Spontaneous drawings may relieve psychological distress, making it easier to attend to things. We like to make sense of our lives by making up coherent stories, but sometimes there are gaps that cannot be filled, no matter how hard we try. Doodles fill these gaps, possibly by activating the brain’s “time travel machine,” allowing it to find lost puzzle…

Hi-a-tus from Facebook and Instagram to rejuvenate my creative process

“Set your boundaries and protection but at the same time, look to your own inner friction and allow it to ignite something that will have a positive outcome. This can be an exceptionally creative month especially if you focus on what is ahead instead of what is behind you. Keep your eyes on the door…

Man klarar sig i många år på ett ögonblick…

Just a few moments from this past week. I was gifted 3 very special, very moving, very private days in Stockholm. It was about family, about grieving, about celebrating, about the city. Man klarar sig i många år på ett ögonblick… – Kalle Moraeus, Sommar Pratarna, SVT24 [You can survive many years on a moment]…

There is one moment in Pippi Longstocking that nailed it for me…

As a child, I desperately searched for characters in books that aligned with my anxious outward ways and my happy reclusive interior.  Charlie Brown came close, but he was always seeking connection.  I was seeking alone time.  Like Charlie, school terrified and exhausted me.  Home, my room, my books were my calming tools.  I found…

I am not depressed today.

  May 18, 2019 Saturdays I tend to have– a type of Saturday Migraine– what I call- spiritual migraines- as the time to myself hits after sleeping in an extra hour after a full week of so much output– I can either be in euphoric creative mode, or despair/exhaustion.  Of course, I enjoy the euphoria.  I…

I keep the broken bits. They illustrate the subtext.

I keep the broken bits. I honour the cracks. They illustrate the subtext. There in I seek the true story. Subtext or undertone is any content of a creative work which is not announced explicitly by the characters or author, but is implicit or becomes something understood by the observer of the work as the…

Ut Pictura Poesis- the narrative potential of the drawing

I draw pictures. I imagine storylines. I imagine a narrative, a comic, a screenplay… There is nothing quite as on target as the prose I write in my mind when on the bus- whilst staring out the window to deal with motion sickness, taking in the landscape. But alas, those musings instantly disappear as soon…

Visual notes: Patient No. 6, Psychiatric Diagnosis, 1959

As part of my research for a current project into mental health treatment in BC 1940’s to 60’s, I came across vintage psychiatric videos recently. One particular interviewee has completely captured my heart. Psychiatric interview series. Patient no. 6 : evaluation for treatment Publisher: Los Angeles : University of California at Los Angeles, 1959. Edition/Format:…

Sunday pause. Sunday paws.

Sunday pause. ☕️📰📚 Sunday paws. 🐾 Couldn’t sleep well last night- overthinking- work, responsibilities.  But this morning I pause, knowing I’ve worked dang hard to get here.  To get to this moment.  To get to a place where I can sit at a kitchen table alone on a Sunday morning with the New York Times and…

The sparrow is mightier than the machine

This morning, at the 23 bus stop in the West End, I heard the overwhelming LOUDNESS of humanity– cars, buses, construction, garbage container being dumped into a truck, a plane overhead, motorcycles. Cutting through all that noise was the song of one little sparrow. One little sparrow with a song so much mightier and awe-inspiring…

Give yourself the opportunity to discover your own imagery

Dreams of my art being attached to some kind of imaginary romantic self-sustaining monetary outcome no longer serve me.  If my creative process is to continue to be my sacred practice, continue to develop, if my creative process is where I let go of attachment, let go of comparing myself to others, let go of…

“Retreat mode”

Heading into “retreat mode” for awhile.  Creativity, family, bread and butter work, boundary reset.  See you on the other side. Not known, because not looked for But heard, half heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything)… -TS Eliot

I get this ways sometimes.

Ever get this way? Staring at your to do list, and not moving? Feels like a slow bleed, but the blood is flowing backwards causing a brain sting. I get this ways sometimes. Trying to figure out too many things and struggling with feeling useless and unproductive, even strangely irresponsible, yet knowing I deserve just…

Vision 2019: COURAGE

Recall My Big Vision and Mission for 2018: Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. – Carl Jung This vision board has stayed on my bathroom shelf all year as a daily check in.  And as I reflect on a year…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 9- Torpet

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris Potato Nose Diaries (1977)…

60 years ago my mother became a mother. (Karin Kristina Orwald 1936 – 2008)

Decades are significant. 60 years ago my mother became a mother. 50 years ago we moved to Canada from Sweden. 50 years ago, my mother started to write letters home to Sweden.     30 years ago, my mother’s second grandchild was born. 10 years ago, I had my ear to my mother’s chest and listened as…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 8- The Letter

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris Potato Nose Diaries (1977)…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 7- Grad and the Party

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris Potato Nose Diaries (1977)…

Admit it- you crave simplicity.

September 30, 2018 Dear Me, I am writing you this as I sense you need a reminder. I am writing to remind you that it is OK embrace what you are realizing right now: that the older you get, the more you will recoil from complexity. It appears that when you face complex chaos,  the…

On this one year anniversary since Asterix passed, something poignant happened.

In the early morning of September 24, 2018, it will be one year since I lost my beloved parrot, Asterix. Recall: Losing him was deeply painful.  I lost my companion.  I lost our family history keeper.  I lost my parents’ voices.  Taking care of his little body, saying our goodbyes, wrapping him in a little…

A Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: Steven

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: The Audition Instalment 6: The Trip to Paris Today’s short: © Katarina…

Come back to me.

Come back to me, Molly.  It’s been a strange time- hiding you from the world in order to explore new ways of telling your story.   I’m not sure I like this anymore. You chose me.  Remember?  At the library?  15 years ago.  As your spirit wandered restlessly on the  viaduct, you passed through me with…

A Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short- The Audition

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short: I am 15 now Today’s short:  This instalment is enhanced when accompanied by: © Katarina Thorsen 2018

A Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Short- I am 15 now.

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Instalment 5: They Don’t Know What It Is Today’s short: © Katarina Thorsen 2018

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 5- They don’t know what it is.

    Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Instalment 4: Sex Education Today’s instalment:     © Katarina Thorsen 2018

Mind mapping this month’s Power Path as personal therapy.

When I read something that really needs to sink in- I mind map it out.  My whole brain is engaged and I can then look at the mind map throughout the month and be instantly reminded of the lessons. This morning was all about the Power Path- taking some quiet personal time for a coffee,…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977): Instalment 4- Sex Education

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance Today’s instalment: © Katarina Thorsen 2018

Saudade waves.

Saudade describes a deep emotional state of nostalgic longing for an absent something or someone that one loves.  It often carries a repressed knowledge that the object of longing will never return.  It’s related to the feelings of longing, yearning.   I have written about Saudade before.  For example: November 3, 2012 SAUDADE: THE EMOTION OF MISSING. #GRIEF…

Potato Nose Diaries (1977)- Instalment 3: Do Tendu Jetés en Balance

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Instalment 2: The First Entries Today’s instalment: © Katarina Thorsen 2018 — Potato Nose Gallery:

Potato Nose Diaries (1977)- Instalment 2: The First Entries

Previously on PND: Instalment 1: Introduction Today’s instalment: — © Katarina Thorsen 2018

Potato Nose Diaries (1977) Instalment 1: Introduction

  Subject to change Instalment 2 August 12, 2018 © Katarina Thorsen 2018

“Potato Nose Diaries- 1977” illustrated weekly instalments start Sunday!

©2018 Katarina Thorsen

I can feel the planet churning…

And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul. – John Muir When I am in the forest in Stanley Park, and sit down on the forest floor, I am acutely aware that I am on a sphere.  In fact, I swear that I can feel the planet churning.  I place…

Journal exercise: find a message in your words

Journal exercise: 1. Identify something that is blocking you from living fully and loving yourself.   I chose my goddamn fucking ugly mug. 2. Write for several minutes on the subject or whatever comes to mind.  Just let it unfold. “What is really perseverating in my mind is my ugly face.  I keep saying it…

Spirit Guide.

I was going to write tonight. Instead I fell down a nap hole and dreamt of a fox. I was going to write tonight about how much I hate my face, but instead looked up foxes and symbolism.  And put on a pot of coffee. I was going to write tonight about how I (could)…

Die into life.

I haven’t posted for awhile.  That’s not to say I haven’t been writing, drawing, planning, thinking, working. A new job started January 15 and somehow 5 months have sped by.  Work has given me a place to land.  During that time there have been some exciting new developments… Ah, blah blah blah.  Fuck that.  I…

What if memories are allies?

Researching a seemingly unrelated subject tonight, I was thrown down into a pit of dark memory of betrayal and attack to my heart.  How strange to be reminded of that time, of that sickening anger. How strange to have to grab my own hand and pull myself out of the pit– real quick– for it…

Journal entry April 16, 2018 San Jose Airport

Journal entry April 16, 2018 San Jose Airport [unedited] It is so odd to take time out from the trajectory of every day in these journeys… to get off the tracks so to speak.  The experience both relaxes the brain, and creates unease.  You feel like you spend too much money and you are wondering about…

Staying in process…

Just when I think– Oh shit, I put myself out there, and now I am all vulnerable and shit and feeling old pangs of, oh shit, what am I doing, where is this going, how will I get there, will it go anywhere, what is this creative career bullshit, shit – a flood of creative process infuses…

When public goes private, do I lose you?

When public goes private, do I lose you? I am so used to sharing my creative process openly– and now I find myself in a new state of being, where in order to discuss and develop the project further, I have to stop sharing it. This is all exciting and unreal– so why do I…

Homework- writer’s group: close your eyes…

Journal entry: If I close my eyes, what age do I go back to? Usually I go back to age six. But today as I close my eyes, I am 22, alone, crying, New Year’s Eve, 1984.  Though— not quite alone.  I am pregnant with Anna.  I am scared, crying, in a fetal position on the…

The second letter. November 5, 1968.

Why when I close my eyes and think about myself at a young age do I find myself immediately at the age of 6?  What makes me go back to that little girl?  That time? These days I feel tears well up easily.  Not of sadness, but of fullness.  Today I walked home from the bus…

Writing exercise.

1. Put the timer on for 10 minutes. 2. Write stream of consciousness about whatever- whatever comes out of the pen onto paper.  Keep the pen moving. 3. Review your writing- read it out loud. 4. Circle the main words- the words that stand out for you- try for about ten.  Ten key words.  Trust…