“Poke the spot hard till the sore bleeds on your finger”… journaling out the crap.

I’m in the dark here!

Those words (from Scent of a Woman) are playing in my mind over and over.  I’m in a slump, a funk, a bottom-ing out.  And I can’t “see.”

I have lost “the point” of my art.  My writing, my research.  I have lost “the it.”  The edge of it.

I have been in this spot before.  Many times.  And it SUCKS.  It happens when flattened by a flu, stressors, external/internal forces.  But in this past year, consumed by Monday to Friday work (fully in gratitude, mind you, for the work)- the passion, I admit, slowly bleeding out– I am feeling unusually exhausted and deflated.

Intellectually, I know the answers- let go, take care of yourself, trust the process, allow, trust spirit… yeah yeah.  But the “fun” and drive is gone.  I create every day- be it a stitch, a line, a collage, a word.  That hasn’t stopped.  But what is missing is the inner glow about it.  It’s just a chaotic mishmash.

I feel annoyed, resentful and irritated.  At myself.

I draw, hang it up, and have to stop myself from dumping it all in the bin.  Is my art just for me, or is it meant to take me to a new place of sustained, creative existence?  Am I thinking big enough, am I not cocky enough, am I thinking too big, am I too hopeful?

If I want to say something in my art, why don’t I just say it?  Pick up pen and make the marks I long to make.  I feel silly.  Very silly.  What makes me think I have something profound to say?  Instead, a massive wave of exhaustion sweeps over me.  But, hey, as always, I do another stitch.

I do not so much write a book as sit up with it, as with a dying friend.  During visiting hours, I enter its room with dread and sympathy for its many disorders.  I hold its hand and hope it will get better.  This tender relationship can change in a twinkling.  If you skip a visit or two, a work in progress will turn on you.  A work in progress will turn feral.

– Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Steeping in amniotic fluid.  I look back over my strange life, knowing I have done the best I could in the moment, caring, nurturing, learning, doing, just living.  Always trying.  Trying to figure it out.  But has it been done well?  I don’t know.

Maybe I need to just shut the fuck up and let whatever happens, happen with my art.  But- I don’t know.  I am kind of sick of that.  I feel pissed off at myself– for not having the energy to rise above the drain of work to be able to pursue… what?

Is it just input and rest that I need?  To read more.  I sit in the tub and wonder.  Fall asleep when reading.

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Then I look up from the tub and I see this face, and all comes back to what is important.  The now.  Just my beating heart.  And hers.  To the profoundness of nature.  Joy.  The point.

Yesterday, I walked in the park, birdwatching.  Feeling waves of peace and happiness flow over me.

Yesterday, I napped with my cats.

Today, I recuperate energy.  Rejuvenated, I vomit these words out.  To purge.  To get back on track.

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The line of words peels them back, dissects them out.  Will the bared tissue burn?  Do you want to expose these scenes to light?  You may locate them and leave them, or poke the spot hard till the sore bleeds on your finger, and write with that blood.  If the sore spot is not fatal, if it does not grow and block something, you can use its power for many years, until the heart resorbs it.

Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

Sometimes an actual voice breaks through.

Shhh… shhh… can you hear it?  That beautiful alone time?  Shhh… shhh.   Can you hear them?  The quiet comrades?   Shhh… shhh.

Would you just stop for a bit and just listen?

I can hear them sometimes.  It is different from the inner conversations I have in my head.  Or thoughts that churn in the mind.

Sometimes an actual voice breaks through.  A simple hello usually.  And I mean an actual voice- a sound like someone is actually saying hello right in my ear.  I feel the breath.  It has happened a few times.  Especially in this apartment.

The other day, sitting at the kitchen table, I heard a garbled lilla gumman from behind me.  It was a Lynchian distorted voice but a voice nonetheless- not an imagined one or again those inner thoughts.  This was a sound.  [And lilla gumman was a term of endearment my father called me.  (Kind of translates to little lady).]  It doesn’t scare me.  It enthralls me.

Then there is the welcoming peacefulness of the souls that reside with me here in this old apartment.  There is a peacefulness and camaraderie as my cats hold space and at times seem to channel the energy souls of my previous pets, the energy souls of my parents, the soul of this building.  Is that why it feels so right with animal companions and so utterly empty without them?

I take a deep breath every time I wake to this place, every time I turn the corner walking home and I see her- this building.  I feel enormous gratitude as I turn the key and walk up her stairs, aware of all the souls that walked up and down those same stairs since 1929.  And I feel the energy of the ground beneath us, holding history, intense gratitude for its history and a connection to this massive Earth.

Why this intensity of joy I feel when watching tiny birds in the morning as the sun rises while I walk to the bus?  65¢ in my pocket is the start of a million.  The smell of coffee, the sun shining through my window at sunset, the scratches in the hardwood, the musty smell of my books, the miracle of this 11 year old laptop… surely this must all come from the fact I am in some kind of wide-eyed wonder state that only comes with being aware-fully dead.

I live among these ghosts and the energy that still swirls from events past and I find comfort in that magical thinking.

Maybe I am a ghost.  How do I know if I am not?

Then- wow- the incredible synchronicity of writing this and turning on A Ghost Story on Netflix. So I pull out the newsprint and china markers.

Writing is usually a process of elimination until… I don’t know- nothing is really there.

When walking my dog, I usually carry a book. Sometimes I read the book voraciously as Tobey walks at will. Sometimes I just carry the book- reassured that should Armageddon occur, I will find myself seated amidst the chaos- casually reading- because now I have time. Sometimes I just read a sentence or two- inspired by words that I feel are exactly the ones I need for whatever writing I’m doing at the time. Those words will then be mulled over as I complete the walk. And I’ll end up writing them on large pieces of paper and see where it goes. It’s usually a process of elimination until… I don’t know- nothing is really there.

Today I came across the phrase: persistent anxiety.

It resonated with me in regards to explaining the main character of my graphic novel. I entered some notes on my phone and then jotted down a variety of combinations on newsprint.

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I ended up with:

The ground rushes towards her and through her, the once dream-full life now extinguished by necessity. The darkness illuminates this child of circumstance. Drowning from within, she chokes on thick secrets. Her star, once glimpsed by stolen sideway glances, died long ago.

But seriously, as I look at it, I should really just write:

 Her Catholic childhood was fucked up. She had TB. She committed suicide.

SIGH 

Weekly artist series: Week 8 Part 3 of 3 PORTRAIT POETRY #OttoDix #arttherapy

Week 8 Part 3 Otto Dix

 

 I adore this portrait by Otto Dix.

Let’s simply revel in reproducing it and adding poetry to it.

Firstly, write in your journal for 10 minutes without interruption.  Just about anything that comes to mind in the moment.

Secondly, circle every third word.  Isolate those words and create a poem from them.

I got:

Writing minutes

In the morning

Despite changes in

Me and I really want

Just days of already

Hanging disappointment

Draw Sylvia loosely, freely, spontaneously and add your poem to her book.

Next artist next week:

Sue Coe.

I’m off to San Francisco to visit my daughter and I plan to visit SFMOMA and see what Sue Coe-isms I can find!

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 Parts 1-4 deKOONING

Weekly artist series Week 8 Part 1: OTTO DIX

Weekly artist series Week 8 Part 2: OTTO DIX DECONSTRUCT CONSTRUCT

Weekly artist series: Week 8 Part 2 DECONSTRUCT CONSTRUCT #OttoDix

Week 8 Part 2 Otto Dix

As with George Grosz, I’m using the book LUSTMORD as my main resource this week.

Look at Otto Dix’s paintings.  See the cartoonish exaggerated style.

DECONSTRUCT

Pull off the cover of an old hard cover book:

Horizon publications are wonderful for this.  And the contents are perfect for collaging.

Find a photo that you want to recreate and stylize:

On the back of the hard cover, deconstruct the image into its simplest shapes:

CONSTRUCT

Construct the figures with Otto Dix’s style in mind:

Otto Dix is one of modern painting’s most savage satirists. After many artists had abandoned portraiture for abstraction in the 1910s, Dix returned to the genre and injected sharp caricatures into his depictions of some of the leading lights of German society.

FROM: THE ART STORY REVIEW: OTTO DIX, COMMENTARY ON HUMANITY

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 Parts 1-4 deKOONING

Weekly artist series Week 8 Part 1: OTTO DIX

Weekly artist series: Week 8 Part 1 #OttoDix

Week 8 Part 1 Otto Dix

OTTO DIX:

Wilhelm Heinrich Otto Dix 2 December 1891 – 25 July 1969) was a German painter and printmaker, noted for his ruthless and harshly realistic depictions of Weimar society and the brutality of war. Along with George Grosz, he is widely considered one of the most important artists of the Neue Sachlichkeit. [source]

 

I adore the figures of Otto Dix.

I’ve posted about the following interactive art piece, Apologies to Otto Dix (Frida Kahlo/Otto Dix study), before.  Its journey continues.

I started the piece awhile back and first allowed people to add to during my March 10th event, the April 3 outdoor art market, then my June 23 event, then with Tracey Bell and lately at ART HEALS!  It’s still in progress.

Dustin Jones at March 10th art event

     

As of Jan 21:

Look up Otto Dix images.

Simply copy/interpret your favorite one.

Inspiration:

Barbie by Jocelyne Grivaud

Photograph by Larry Fink, Homage to Otto Dix, September 2001, from the Forbidden Pictures Portfolio published 2004:

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 Parts 1-4 deKOONING

Weekly artist series: Week 7 Part 4 of 4 Allusions and Changing Standpoints #deKooning

Week 7 Part 4 Willem de Kooning

Excavation, 1950. From Abstract Expressionism, Barbara Hess, 2009, Taschen GmbH

Find a de Kooning in nature:

Draw something or someone in your environment:

de Koonify it:

Allusions and changing standpoints born out of cubism

Next artist:

OTTO DIX

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 part 1 deKOONING: A Woman’s Mouth

Weekly artist series Week 7 part 2 deKOONING: erasing

Weekly artist series Week 7 part 3 deKOONING: Elaine

Weekly artist series: Week 7 Part 3 ELAINE #deKooning. #husbandsandwives

Week 7 Part 3 Willem de Kooning

Artists do not work in a vacuum.  I am fascinated by artists in relationships.

Frida/ Diego

Camille/ Auguste

Lee/ Jackson

Sophie/ Hans

Elaine/ Willem

How did they feed each other’s art?  How did they harm each other?  Influence each other?  Who was more powerful?  Are they inseparable?

Self-portrait by Elaine de Kooning, 1946

ELAINE de KOONING [SOURCE]

In the autumn of 1938, Elaine’s art teacher introduced her to the 34-year-old Dutch emigre Willem (Bill) de Kooning, but there is little evidence to suggest any romantic connection at their initial meeting. Elaine was with Resnick at the time, who had supposedly commented once to her, “Bill is going to be the greatest painter in the country.” 

Shortly after their introduction, a friend of de Kooning’s took her to Willem’s studio. Later in life, Elaine recalled, “It was the cleanest place I ever saw in my life. It had painted gray floors, white walls, one table..one easel, one fantastically good phonograph that cost $800 when he was only making $22 a week, and one painting of a man on the easel.” 

Elaine and Willem de Kooning endured a long and, at times, very tumultuous marriage. As much as each artist benefited from one another’s paintings and teachings, they mutually suffered due to constant infidelities and struggles with alcoholism.

Photo of Elaine and Willem de Kooning in studio, Parrish Art Museum.

The paintings of both Elaine and Willem were exhibited at the Sidney Janis Gallery for the 1949 show Artists: Man and Wife, along with the works of couples like Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, and Hans Arp and Sophie Tauber-Arp. 

An Opening Egan Gallery (Portrait of Betsy Egan) by Elaine de Kooning

“There’s now way of looking at a work of art by itself.  It’s not self-evident- it needs a history, it needs a lot of talking aout; it’s part of a whole man’s life.” from de Kooning- an American Master, M. Stevens, A. Swan

Draw “the relationship”.  Where do you go with it?  Simple or complex?

Charcoal, oil pastel, olive oil, water
My interpretation of both my marriage and Frida and Diego's.

See also:

35 PART daily journal exercise

Weekly artist exploration/journaling series INTRO

Weekly artist series Week 1 parts 1-6 FRIDA KAHLO

Weekly artist series Week 2 parts 1-6 PICASSO

Weekly artist series Week 3 parts 1-5 LISA LARSON

Weekly artist series Week 4 parts 1-3 GEORGE GROSZ 

Weekly artist series Week 5 parts 1-4 FAITH RINGGOLD

Weekly artist series Week 6 Parts 1-3 BASQUIAT

Weekly artist series Week 7 part 1 deKOONING: A Woman’s Mouth

Weekly artist series Week 7 part 2 deKOONING: erasing

“Morfar’s Klass” up for raffle as part of ART HEALS @RubbleGallery, Vancouver BC. #arttherapy

My painting “Morfar’s Klass” (28″ x 40″) (acrylic on canvas) will be raffled ($20 ticket, 3 for $40, 10 for $100) on January 21, 2012 at ART HEALS at the Rubble Gallery.
This painting is an interpretation of a photograph of my grandfather’s elementary school class in Sweden.

Tickets and donations to go towards self-publishing costs of Molly and The Old Apple Tree.

Each ticket  or the $40 bundle is a coupon for a 5-minute portrait by me.  The $100 bundle gets you two portraits.

Raffle tickets are now available to pre-purchase  tickets will be sold during opening event.  Raffle draw at  8:45 PM January 21. Click on choice:

ONE TICKET

TWO TICKETS

Featuring dual art show/fundraiser of therapeutic works by father and daughter: Roar and Katarina Thorsen

January 21- Feb 7, 2012 at the Rubble Gallery!

Opening event (with an interactive art corner) on January 21 7-9 PM! Cash bar, snacks, music, art.

The show will be a collection of our individual and mutual work:
1. Dual journals:
Created 2001-2003 (we would take turns week to week) as I experienced the breakdown of my marriage.  The journals will be on display  and you are welcome to read and interact with them.
Examples from my series on grief and divorce (china marker on masonite board). [will be on sale]
3. Portraits: 
Roar’s current series of therapeutic post-stroke drawings, created in his long term care facility (pencil and felt pen on small foam boards).  [will be on sale].
4. Molly: 
Preview of my illustrations for my graphic novel in progress (china marker on newsprint). [NFS]
preview of Roar’s post-stroke illustrations and quotes to his book of drawings and wisdoms (pencil crayon on paper).
[some originals for sale]
6. Raffle:
My painting “Morfar’s Klass” (28″ x 40″) (acrylic on canvas) will be raffled ($20 ticket, 3 for $40, 10 for $100).
Funds to go towards self-publishing costs of Molly and The Old Apple Tree.  Raffle draw at  8:45 PM January 21.  Each ticket  or the $40 bundle is a coupon for a 5-minute portrait by me.  The $100 bundle gets you two portraits.
7. Interactive Art Piece:
Large piece on foam board started by me and added to by participants and gallery visitors.  The piece can be added to by gallery visitors for the remainder of the exhibit and will be donated to the Rubble Gallery.
See examples of my interactive art at: http://bit.ly/ofOWDe

Rubble Gallery

Exhibit of Roar’s extraordinary post-stroke “outsider art” as part of ART HEALS @RubbleGallery #arttherapy #neurology

My father had a massive stroke 5 years ago and art has essentially saved his life by rekindling his spirit.  Check out his project The Old Apple Tree !  His post-stroke drawings fascinate me.  Dad’s perception was altered after his stroke.  Here he struggles to illustrate a figure looking out a window.  He wanted it to be inside the room looking out.  I love how there are no walls:

This photo of Dad from his late teens truly illustrates the joy he is getting from doing his art:

My dad, Norway, 1940's
Dad, December 17, 2011

ART HEALS

Featuring dual art show/fundraiser of therapeutic works by father and daughter: Roar and Katarina Thorsen

January 21- Feb 7, 2012 at the Rubble Gallery!

Opening event (with an interactive art corner) on January 21 7-9 PM! Cash bar, snacks, music, art.

The show will be a collection of our individual and mutual work:
1. Dual journals:
Created 2001-2003 (we would take turns week to week) as I experienced the breakdown of my marriage.  The journals will be on display  and you are welcome to read and interact with them.
Examples from my series on grief and divorce (china marker on masonite board). [will be on sale]
3. Portraits: 
Roar’s current series of therapeutic post-stroke drawings, created in his long term care facility (pencil and felt pen on small foam boards).  [will be on sale].
4. Molly: 
Preview of my illustrations for my graphic novel in progress (china marker on newsprint). [NFS]
preview of Roar’s post-stroke illustrations and quotes to his book of drawings and wisdoms (pencil crayon on paper).
[some originals for sale]
6. Raffle:
My painting “Morfar’s Klass” (28″ x 40″) (acrylic on canvas) will be raffled ($20 ticket, 3 for $40).
Funds to go towards self-publishing costs of Molly and The Old Apple Tree.  Each ticket is a coupon for a 5-minute portrait by me.  Raffle tickets will be available to pre-purchase on this site starting next week and tickets will be sold during opening event.  Raffle draw at  8:45 PM January 21.
7. Interactive Art Piece:
Large piece on foam board started by me and added to by participants and gallery visitors.  The piece can be added to by gallery visitors for the remainder of the exhibit and will be donated to the Rubble Gallery.
See examples of my interactive art at: http://bit.ly/ofOWDe

Rubble Gallery

Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 8 August (age 15): Maud, moving to Canada

This post dedicated to my mother, Karin, who suffered so much loss, but lived and loved so fiercely.

I miss my two favorite women, Helga and my beautiful mom.

My Diary, 1977  SÖDERTÄLJE– translated from Swedish, word for word, unabridged, sic, ad nauseum

Recall first post: My Diary 1977

For January 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 1, January

For February 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary, Part 2 February

For March 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 3, March

For April 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 4, April- The Audition

For May 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 5 May- Paris

For June 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 6 June- Graduation

For July 1977 go to: Snippets from my 1977 Diary Part 7 July- Summer

August 1

Maud called today and asked if I want to go with her family on a trip to Gränna, Småland.  I want to see Gränna and I want to be with Maud as much as possible before we leave so I said yes.  Mom thinks that would be fine, as the moving company comes on Friday.

I have started to take down pictures off the wall.  It is sad.  I am starting to be worried about school over there.  I mostly want to go to Balmoral because there I don’t need to worry, as I know people.  Anyway.  I am a little worried about Maud’s dad’s driving.  But they have managed all these years, so it should be OK.  Maud and I will sleep in the attic room at the hotel by ourselves.  That will be fun.

[I have no memory of this trip, so I suspect it never happened.]

I remember an incident.  Affe C. asked me in class if I was moving back to Canada and Steven answered for me.  Wow!  Does that mean anything?  I hope so!  I haven’t gotten a letter from him yet so I will call his brother the day before we leave to ask him.  I wonder if there is a mail strike in Canada… it would be catastrophic.

August 7

It’s Dad’s birthday tomorrow.  I bought him a clay picture with Slussbron on it.  40 kronor from both Fredrik and me.  Mom bought him a necklace with an “R” pendant and Anders bought him the “Warning: Children” record.  I think they are all very nice presents.

Tomorrow the rest of the furniture will be packed up.  The house is starting to feel rather empty.  No curtains and we have to lie on the floor to watch TV.  Tomorrow night I have to sleep on the floor.  Milton is nervous and angry because they are taking his house.  He doesn’t understand what is happening.  We bought his cage for the plane ride.  I have been worried about how it will be for him.  But the cage is large.  We put him in it at night so that he can get used to it.  In the beginning, he was all quiet.  Then he started to whine.  We let him out when he whines but we have to start making him sleep in it all night so he gets into the habit of it.  I am glad he won’t be in quarantine.  I think it is terrible there.

Today we were at Grönalund. Mamma, Pappa, Fredrik and me.  We had lots of fun.  But the money just pours out.  I bought a poster with Swan Lake on it and it has my name on the roster as Prima Ballerina.  It’s really nice.  9:75 kronor.  Fredrik bought a “Wanted- Dead or Alive” poster with his name on it.  Maud said I should have bought her a poster.  That was a little pushy.  She was grumpy today.  When I asked her if she would like to go to Cupido with me, she said, “Maybe we should meet there,” like she was trying to avoid me.

I hope we find a really nice house.

I have started to sketch ballerinas in a different way.  With ink.  And I sketch the whole face now.  It’s working out. I am Queen Silvia crazy.  I have bought a magazine about her.  I draw her.  It’s fun, I think.

I write in such a boring way.  I can’t write about love, as there is nothing to write about.  I have to get Thomas’ phone number, so that I can get Steven’s address.  It can’t be all that bad.  I keep going on and on about this.  Can’t stop.

August 14

I haven’t written in a while.  So much has happened.  Dad had his birthday.  I bought him a clay painting as you know.  Sivan has also had a birthday.  Nilla, Brolle, Mom and I were at Morfar’s funeral. I have met a bunch of relatives.  The funeral was overwhelming.  Morfar was in a little urn. We had to walk along a plank to lay flowers beside the urn.  When Nilla walked she almost fell.  I was hysterical and started to laugh uncontrollably, but quietly.  Nilla too.  I didn’t stumble, luckily.

I saw my great aunts.  Helma has grown so old.  Helga is so nice.  And she is my favorite.  She gave me a lovely rag rug in pink and light blue.

We might meet up with her next week.

[My great aunt Helga was a mother for my Mom.  My grandmother died suddenly when I was only 2.  I can only imagine the loss my Mom must have felt as she was very close to her mother.  Helga became our maternal grandmother.  She gave me great love, great advice and was an inspiration.  She never married.  She lived stubbornly, intelligently and independently. I light a candle for her and my grandmother, Stina, and my female ancestors every day.]

We have a week left in Sweden.

Anders has had his birthday.  I gave him a wallet that he can attach to his belt.  He also got 100 kronor bill, a gold necklace, a bone from Milton, a mirror and a gold pendant from Majlis.  They had a party for him last Saturday night at Göran’s.  Anders got a great nightgown on which they had embroidered Anders Fan Club.  Really nice.  When Anders and Majlis were here today, they locked themselves in his room.  I heard them fooling around in there when I was watching TV.  Majlis just called and her voice was all hoarse.  I wonder what’s up.  I hope nothing is wrong because she sounds like she had been crying.  He is talking to her right now.  I am wondering and wondering.

I have to brush my teeth and put on my PJ’s.  I hear Anders is laughing now.  Whew!  Anders is so nice.  I was downtown with him and Majlis and I sat on his knee on the bus, as it was too crowded.

I feel so little and bloated and not 15.  But in a way, it doesn’t matter.  I am going to be ambitious in Canada.  Write good reports.  Be interested.  Not so shy.  I can even get my driver’s license next year.  I will try.  I want to start playing tennis and I want to dance every day.  How fun it will be.  I am really in the mood to work with something.  And I want to perform and be discovered.  To have many friends.  I want to show Milton.  I hope it all works out like I want it to.  But now I have to sleep.  I will finish writing tomorrow.  Then I will have danced for Joelle Mazett.  She is strict.  Maud has gotten some reprimands.  But it feels good to dance.  I would like to do what Nils-Åke Häggbom does- dance 10 hours a day.  How fabulous that would be.

August 15

It isn’t nice to dance for Joelle because she doesn’t see me.  I can stand right under her nose without her noticing me.  She doesn’t correct me.  Doesn’t say “good girl.”  She has teacher’s pets.  I think that is irritating.  She is strict and often gets mad at Maud.  Ann Parson is the best teacher I have ever had.  She doesn’t just focus on the technical.  Lillemor had cut her hair.  It’s shocking.  And not exactly attractive.

Friday will be my last day at Balettakademien.  Weird.

When I saw Mikael that time, something inside me exploded.  I wonder what it is, and I think about it a lot.

I get so much money from Mom and Dad, it’s terrible.  I bought a new cost.  98 kronor on sale (regularly 298).  Tomorrow I am buying jeans.

I got a great letter from Kathy today.  Many things.  She is so nice.  We are going to be good friends and she agrees with me on a lot of things including Steven.

I write rather dully don’t I?  But I don’t know how I can make things sound more exciting.

I got a letter from Maud today.  She sent along a photo of her at age 1.

Maud writes: Since it is soon time to bid you farewell, we will have to savour each day that remains.  It is a nightmare to know I will not see you for at least a year!  How will I stand it?  If you have a prescription for this malady, please call 08/7– 2- 9-.  To my best friend from Maud

  

August 16

How can I forget something so important!  Ellen Rasch observed me in class yesterday!  Firstly, Aeron observed.  Then I saw a woman in the door with him.  I asked Maud who it was and she said that it was Ellen Rasch!  How wonderful!  In Canada I will try to get into the best dance school they have.  I am writing this on the train.  Soon I am going to dance for Joelle.  She is like Lillemor.  But Lillemor noticed me more.  Joelle has teacher’s pets.  The teachers I have had: Mrs. Vanneck, Lillemor, Ann Parson, and Joelle Mazett.  I have auditioned for the Opera Ballet.  I have met Gösta Svalberg and 19 other dancers and teachers.  I have met Anneli Alhanko and Per Arthur Segerström.

August 18

Maud writes:

Dear Katarina, Between us ballerinas, it feels quite depressing during these last few days before you leave.  Or what do you think?  I am going to create a little bon voyage dance for you!  To Romeo and Juliet.  We’ll have to hope that I have time to show it to you.  I think the last day will be one big lake.  As I am writing this, the most sentimental and sad music is playing in the background.  It’s hard not to cry.  I wonder what kind of dancers we will become?  I think you will be a ballerina in Toronto.  And me?  A stage janitor at the Opera Ballet.  Or what do you think?  No matter, that is a question for the future.  I want you to say hi to your family for me.  I don’t think I will write anymore right now, because it feels quite hopeless. 

From your best friend, forever.  Maud

[An envelope inside this letter is labeled “extra note- secret letter.  Show no one.”  A smaller envelope lies inside labeled “very secret extra note.  Show no one.”  But alas, that envelope is now empty and I cannot recall the contents.]

August 19

Maud writes:

Hey Katarina!  

On Sunday, I was thinking that you, Gisela, Helen and I could be together is the morning and then you and I take the afternoon to ourselves as it will be the last hours we spend together for at least a year.  I already can’t wait for next summer, but it is a long ways away.  And maybe by that time you may think I am dumb and I may think you are strange.  Blah!  It can’t turn out that way!  I guess I would have to bring a present, as you will have turned 16 by then.  We’ll have to send cassettes to each other, and presents etc.  That might be really fun.  But not as fun as seeing you in person at least 3 times a week as we have been doing.  What day is your birthday?  I actually forgot.  Mine is August 28, but you probably know that already.  You have a better memory than I do. 

Yesterday, my dad didn’t feel very well.  So I guess it isn’t just me that has been feeling bad.  Lucky you who will be spared “Black Ands” when you move!  I will probably be stalked by them my whole life!   Who cares?  I do!  Goodbye, Love, Maud. PS.  I will miss you too!

August 21

Oh, oh, oh.  It’s been a long time since I wrote.  It’s been very hectic, but I haven’t had that much to do, so I don’t have a good excuse. Joelle got a lot better as a teacher.  I got to stand in the front row and even became one of the teacher’s pets.  I had fun.  And on the last day she hugged me.  She is actually quite nice once you get to know her.

Milton was at the vet’s and luckily he did not have tooth decay.  He got sleeping medication for the plane ride.  It works well.  He sleeps well and seems so calm.  I don’t have to worry that he will be uncomfortable. Milton met his brother, Oskar, who is owned by Sivan’s brother.  Catastrophe!  @#%&@##* They didn’t like each other at all.  Oskar was nice but Milton was so angry!  I took a bunch of photos because it may be the last time they see each other.  Oskar had gotten a burn when their tent went up in flames at a camping trip, but he a recuperated well.

Yesterday, I said goodbye to Maud.  The tears ran.  It was very sad and overwhelming.

[Maud got me through the roughest times in Sweden as she allowed herself to be innocent as well, in a land that tended to skip over that stage of development.  Our private world was one of pink angels and magical powers.  And her friendship remains one of my deepest.]

August 24

We are actually sitting on CP AIR now.  We have reached the halfway point.  It seems like we have only been flying a half hour. Last night I opened the presents I got from Maud.  I already have an address book that looks like you, Diary.  Now I have the cutest poetry book as well.  I have always wanted to have a little poetry book.

Tom cried (trying not to show us) when we left yesterday.  Poor thing.

We got up at 5 AM this morning.  Milton was quite alert so I ran around with him for a while at the airport.  We gave him the sleeping medication and he fell asleep right away.  He slept all the way to Amsterdam.  Mom and Dad took him out for a walk there.  He didn’t want to go back into the cage, but he got more medication. I don’t know how he is dong now.  I hope he is sleeping.  Poor thing.  He doesn’t know what is happening.  But it will soon be over.  Now they are going to serve drinks and then dinner.  I don’t know if I want any but I will take it anyway.

There is the world’s grumpiest stewardess on board.  Poor Fredrik was ordering orange juice and just because he didn’t say please, this woman gave him the dirtiest look, and didn’t bring him a drink.  Idiot, stupid woman.  I’d like to wring her neck.

A few hours have passed. We were going to watch “The Eagle has Landed” on the plane, but typically, the movie projector isn’t working.

I called Catharina and said goodbye from Arlanda. Two to three hours left.  A man told us that they moved Milton to the front half of the plane where it was warmer.  I will write at the hotel.  I will call Kathy.

Vancouver, here we come.

Beautiful new drawings by Roar Thorsen #strokerecovery #neurology #arttherapy

My father (now 80) had a massive stroke 5 years ago and art has essentially saved his life by rekindling his spirit.  His mind is strong and reawakened to the power of art.  He even watched the the entire TED Talks 2011 Prize Winner JR Talk and teary-eyed discussed with me the global power of art.

Check out his project The Old Apple Tree which will be launched soon!  We are in the final stages of editing and matching text to illustration. 50 copies will be printed initially and presented at a special private event.  Stay tuned!

Here are two of his latest (I love the way he corrects by cutting and pasting little pieces of paper):

The Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts

The Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts provides opportunities for creative exploration, engagement, and expression in the heart of the city. Through participation in theatre, music, dance, painting, carving, and other forms of creative expression people create connections with themselves and with their community.

Residents of the community can gather together for arts activities inspired by artists and elders who are rich with encouragement, ideas, and curiosity. The Centre gives children, youth, adults, and older folks access to a welcoming environment with art supplies and tools to help them find the artist in themselves.

SITE: The Downtown Eastside Centre for the Arts

quiltwork

Rosa Parks Center- a new model for juvenile justice

The Rosa Parks Center, home to female juvenile offenders, is located on the William Woods University campus. Established by a reciprocal partnership between the Missouri Division of Youth Services and William Woods University, this partnership exemplifies genuine parity in partner relationships and stands as a model for community as teacher for private liberal arts colleges. The youth who undergo structured therapeutic treatment for offending behavior, abuse and neglect, and substance abuse issues are involved in many daily activities of campus life as well as share their stories in several academic contexts… SOURCE: WWU

A NEW MODEL FOR JUVENILE JUSTICE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExPSUl8-hVU

RELEASED FROM JUVENILE JUSTICE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41bTZ_pq_9A&NR=1

Youth art

There is nothing quite as thrilling as facilitating the artistic expression in a youth who was previously unaware of their gift.  Certain students stand out in my mind- like Derek and Steph from the Custody Centre.  (see: CUSTODY ART) My current student, Jordan, discovered his talent for painting only last week.  He is fearless and enthralled.  What an amazing outlet for him!!!  At present his expression is raw and untamed and INSPIRING!  Where will this take him?

Graffiti Art Therapy

Ezekiel- Eric Rothman Art Therapy Research MAP640B Janice Hoshino, Ph.D., ATR-BC December 11, 2002

ABSTRACT

This study investigates the therapeutic effectiveness of using art therapy in conjunction with graffiti art and culture in the treatment of socially-defiant adolescents who have been detained and/or put on probation for defacing public property with graffiti.  A group of seven boys will participate in a six week Graffiti Art Therapy group facilitated by an art therapy graduate student and a legitimate graffiti artist/youth worker.  T tests will be run on the Adolescent Treatment Outcomes Module (ATOM) pre to post to determine level of significance (p<.05).  In addition, journals kept by participants provide data for a qualitative analysis of Graffiti Art Therapy treatment effectiveness.

To read full article: go to http://www.graffitiverite.com/graffitiartTherapy.htm

Skateboard park, North Vancouver BC, 2008

Article: At-Risk Youth and the Creative Process

by Linda Kreger Silverman, Ph.D. Gifted Development Center

Talented children and youth who are disruptive, or violent, or delinquent, or just poor students are a paradox worthy of exploration in a search for new solutions or explanations.- Ken Seeley (2003)

What enables young people at risk for delinquency to choose a more constructive path? Most likely it is finding something they are good at, that they enjoy doing, and that is seen as valuable by others. Art is often the answer. Art begins with imagery, a function of the right hemisphere. When right-hemispheric gifts are honored and developed, they serve as a protective shield and channel energy in a positive direction. When they are ignored or neglected, children and youth seek other outlets that may be detrimental to themselves and society…

Read complete article: v04a

(Keith Lynn student in art therapy room, 2009)