Incident Report: February 22, 1954

Intake photos of Patient S.K., (left), J.O. (right)

February 22, 1954

DETAILED ATTENDANT’S REPORT ON UNUSUAL OCCURRENCES (Accidents, Assaults, Escapes, Etc.)

Report on the Accident of Reg. No. 26, [—]

Date of Occurrence 22/2/54

Time 12:40 PM

Place West Lawn Dining Room

Details Patients J.O. [right] and S.K [left] fighting on entering dining room. S.K. received his dinner then threw plate and contents at J.O.

Result Patient J.O. received cut on forehead.

Action taken Sent J.O. to West Lawn surgery with Nurse Anderson. Wound cleaned and dressed by Mr. Strong and patient returned to ward and seen by Dr. Karabanow.

Signed W. Emerton

Witness R. Anderson

Creative non-fiction

Medium: pencil crayon, ink, coffee, watercolour on drawing paper

Bird spotting with a yellow legal pad and a walk in the park.

I walked around Lost Lagoon this afternoon.

In order to see birds it is necessary to become a part of the silence.
Robert Lynd

I found a heron nest on the ground after a windstorm broke a large tree branch.

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I saw signs of early Spring.

And hope springs eternal.  What else did I see?  Well…

There is an unreasonable joy to be had from the observation of small birds going about their bright, oblivious business.
Grant Hutchison, The Complete Lachlan

Every bird at the marsh filled us with a little light. I wondered if I was just so simple that this was all it took. But then I thought, I’m lucky that this is all it takes.”
Lynn Thomson, Birding with Yeats: A Mother’s Memoir

A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not on the branch but on it’s own wings. – Unknown

She decided to free herself, dance into the wind, create a new language. And birds fluttered around her, writing “yes” in the sky.
Monique Duval

Bird School: The first rule

I am obsessed with birds.  I have this strange belief that I will not uncover truths that I seek in my art without first understanding birds fully.  So I am taking myself through my own Bird School– developing my own rudimentary curriculum and drawing out the answers and stitching together the truths.

Recall:

Parts of a Songbird

Head Feather Groups

Today’s lesson: The First Rule

Sketching and taking notes in the field are exercises that will force you to look more closely, reinforce your memory, and greatly increase the rate at which you learn.  The joy of small discoveries is part of the great appeal of birding, and patient study is always rewarded. 

– David Sibley

The first rule is simple: LOOK AT THE BIRD… Watch what the bird does, watch it fly away, and only then try to find it in your book. 

 

Resource:

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Bird School- Head feather groups

I am obsessed with birds.  I have this strange belief that I will not uncover truths that I seek in my art without first understanding birds fully.  So I am taking myself through my own Bird School– developing my own rudimentary curriculum and drawing out the answers and stitching together the truths.

Recall:

Part- Parts of a Songbird

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Today’s lesson: Head Feather Groups

The head feathers can be divided into five main groups:

Other subdivisions of head feathers:

Resource:

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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 don’t need to write that.

Start again.

I have been thinking a lot lately about death.  

Oh my God.  That is nothing new.  Ugh, start again.

I am sitting in the kitchen at my favorite spot, by my windowsill garden.  There are fragrant buds on the jasmine plant.  The rosemary and mint are sprouting new branches where I snipped off leaves for cooking and for my water.  I do not take this seat, this spot, for granted.  My role has changed.  And I celebrate that I have been given the gift of …

Ugh. I am just regurgitating the same old musings.  That’s OK.  That’s what this journal process is all about.  But I have been away from it for awhile.  And if I haven’t been writing in this online journal, what have I been doing creatively, that is?

I have been stitching.

Thought after thought after thought.

Stitch, stitch, stitch

Obsessed with stitching.  And what have I been stitching about, quite obsessively in fact, is that I want to be OK with dying tonight.  Not specifically tonight- but “tonight.”

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What do I mean by that?

What I mean is that I know I will never complete all that I want to do… and that is OK.  If I die tonight, not having completed all I want to do– that has to be OK.

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Stitch, stitch, stitch…

What I do know is that I want to relax into life (and death)- relax into its unfolding.

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Stitch, stitch, stitch…

Depression has had me by the throat many times.  I have desperately tried to find a way to ease my pain.  And the fear of the effect of my pain on my family.  There have been times I admit, I have forced myself to look forward and walk with an even pace.  Simply to get off that proverbial bridge.   Death, or thinking about it, has been a way to cope.  The option has been a way to get through the day.

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Stitch, stitch, stitch…

I have been lucky not to have tried to hide from it- to numb it.  My mom needed to numb it.  And that is a sadness I will always carry.  

Last summer, I made a pact with myself to live life as a second chance.  To die into life.  To be a ghost.  To walk in peace amongst the noise, haste, stress, pain, joy.  To understand all the ups, downs.  I was so tired of resorting to perseverating thoughts. I made a pact.  Life as a second chance.

I realize that dark journeys help me understand the characters I research, and feed my quest of understanding of human nature.  The understanding of ghosts I walk among.  How else could I walk the path of those I write about?

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Stitch, stitch, stitch…

So much happening.  With so much to come.  What makes me feel this peace?  What makes it different now?

I am older.  I am old.  I am approaching the other side of the staircase.

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A Swedish Dala painting with kurbits ornamentation, by Winter Carl Hansson from 1799

I am truly blessed to enter this new chapter of my life- I call the chapter putting on the crown.  

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I am so blessed to have been given the gift of art to use in every aspect of my life.  It heals me, it unmasks me, it opens me wide open, it hides me.  It allows me to live. And to die into life.

And if I die tonight, I am ok with all the unfinished projects, knowing my life is mine, and my children’s lives are theirs.  They are grown.  And how incredible is that?

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Stitch, stitch, stitch…

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The New Year’s Drawing Marathon

On January 15, 2017, I launched the first chapter of the third draft of my experimental graphic novel: Molly- a true crime analysis

Birds have been a recurring theme throughout the work.  It is difficult to explain their symbolism fully, but to me they carry messages across space and time.  

I spent Dec 31, 2017-Jan 1, 2018 drawing birds for a particular image I wanted for Part 22 and in order to end and start the new year working on the book.  The drawing process was a joy but I was surprised at how loud my inner critic was, how sad I became, how I questioned the validity of the book, the point.  

I danced with the critic though, didn’t fight the darkness that welled up, and continued to put china marker to paper and wheatpaste to canvas until I felt done.

MOLLY- A TRUE CRIME ANALYSIS

This true crime/cold case/murder mystery art project has been part of my life since 2003, though I know I was born to write and illustrate it.

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CHECK OUT:

“The image of a dead bird in the snow is similar to the popular “Babe in the Woods” motif of children who are in their mortal sleep in the forest, and may have likewise been a call to empathy for the less fortunate.”

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My Stanley Park observations find their way into “Molly” at unexpected times

Our usual spring awakening is late this year.

I recall a walk around Beaver Lake a year ago…  I was infused by the profound beauty of nature.  Warm sun.  Blossoms.  Skunk cabbage.  Herons were dancing in the wind above the lake, ducks were courting and playing, chipmunks and squirrels scurrying.  Chestnut-backed chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches landed on my hands.  I described the feeling as angel whispers.

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Drawing: March 28, 2016. China Marker on Newsprint 16″ x 24″ 

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Stanley Park is truly one of my favorite places.  Living only a half block away from the park, working on Molly– whose central theme is set in the park- is such a satisfying creative process.  My treks, notes, sketches and bird observations find their way into the project at unexpected times.

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Excerpt from Part 2A- Why Me?

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Excerpt from Part 2B- A Child is Born

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Excerpt from Part 3A- The DNAPart 3A- The DNA

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As I cocoon in my apartment this morning, working through the to-do’s and prepare for upcoming workshops as well as the next episode of Molly (Part 8A- A Child’s Shoe), I am longing for the warmth of Spring sunshine, the gentle breeze and sounds and colors…

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Digging deeper, the secrets become aviatic.

 

Working on Molly, and I remain fascinated that I find it easier to dig deeper into the story by using the image of birds.  

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Somehow, the layers that obscure the truth are scraped away a little easier.  

Are the birds metaphors?  My guides?

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The Jackdaw as metaphor for Molly and her Irish family

I robbed your grave.  I revealed you.  I showed you in shameful moments.  I learned things about you.  Everything I learned made me love you more dearly.  I’ll learn more.  I’ll follow your tracks and invade your hidden time.  I’ll uncover your lies.  I’ll rewrite history and revise my judgment as your old secrets explode.  I will justify it all in the name of the obsessive life you gave me.

– James Ellroy, My Dark Places

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Digging down deeper, the secrets become aviatic.

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In many myths and legends, birds link the human world to the divine or supernatural realms that lie beyond ordinary experience... They are often associated with the journey of the human soul after death. [source]

 

Stanley Park. Birds. Angel whispers. And Pledge Drive.

I walked around Beaver Lake today.  I was infused by the profound beauty of nature.  Warm sun.  Blossoms.  Skunk cabbage.  Herons were dancing in the wind above the lake, ducks were courting and playing, chipmunks and squirrels scurrying.  Chestnut-backed chickadees and red-breasted nuthatches landed on my hands.  I describe the feeling as angel whispers.

I took a few photos.

 

And drew my collected observations:

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Drawing 1: March 28, 2016. China Marker on Newsprint 16″ x 24″

Stanley Park Scenes 72-hour PLEDGE DRIVE!

Until March 31, 2016 9 PM PT.

I am raising funds to renew and upgrade this blog and to purchase art supplies!

For every $20 pledged, I will draw a new scene from my daily observations of animal and bird activity in Stanley Park.

Pledgers of $20 can choose to receive the upcoming e-book version of Drawn Together- Maintaining Connections and Navigating Life’s Challenges with Art by Roar and Kat Thorsen!

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You can choose to purchase a drawing for a $75 or more donation.  

The rest of the drawings will be donated to EVERGREEN HOUSE residential care facility, Lions Gate Hospital, North Vancouver to celebrate my father, Roar Thorsen (who lived at Evergreen House 2007-2012 and who loved drawing and being outside in nature) and to thank the staff who made our lives so happy.  

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Roar and Kat at Evergreen House April 2012

Pledgers can choose to have their names included on the donor list!

To pledge:

Donate via email transfer to britakatarina@gmail.com

or donate via PayPal

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If you are pledging to pre-order the e-book include a note/email address with your donation!

If you wish to purchase an original drawing (they will be shared here) for $75.00, include title of drawing and your mailing address with your donation! 

If you enjoy my art blog, please consider a small donation!  THANK YOU!

Custom Hand-Drawn Pet Portraits.

If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.

James Herriot

To honour pets and to celebrate the joy we receive from them, I am offering 18″ x24″ pet portraits for only $57.00 CAD ($40 USD)

Chinamarker and acrylic highlights on newsprint

To purchase:

Save on shipping by using email transfer: $57.00 CAD to britakatarina@gmail.com

Or you can order on my ETSY shop:

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Once you have placed your order, email me a photo of your choice (or a few so I can get different perspectives) to britakatarina@gmail.com along with your mailing address.

Expect 2-3 weeks for delivery

 

Soul work… my 2016 Toolkit

You may recall, I set my intention for 2016- to simply meet it all with love.  Yet I knew it was important to take the time to do soul work.  But it’s been hard, so very hard to get “started” on it.

Yet- that’s not really correct…  Actually, I have started.

I have been collecting soul work to do’s.   I’ve been preparing.

So yesterday, I thought allotting myself a two-hour window to create a mind-map of my vision and goals would suffice.  I was expecting to be able to share it quickly with my daughter, Anna, and with Patti, over a simple Skype chat.  I predicted an 18″ x 24″ piece of paper.  No, no, no.

This 2016 toolkit is taking a lot longer than I expected.

But I finally committed to it last night.  I created a toolkit last night in an old, recycled journal (a leftover from my work with youth on the Downtown Eastside).  I collected, cut, pasted, organized.  It’s ready to go.  And I’ll do a few at a time.

My personal toolkit contents includes a variety of empowering tools I’ve developed or gathered from my network.  All too good to forget so I just kept adding to the list. A toolkit to visit in bits and pieces, as needed, throughout the year.

My list:

  1. Vision board: take out my vision board from 2013- review it, re-evaluate.  Collage a new one.
  2. Read Anna’s goals and visions.
  3. Write a scenario of my story at age 64.
  4. Where do I see myself in 1 year, 5 years, 10 years: personal, career, health.
  5. Answer the 10 questions that matter list.
  6. Go through current to-do’s and review.  Start a new calendar.
  7. Redo my 12 journal exercises project.
  8. Do core values worksheet.
  9. Mindmap– review old ones, create a new one.
  10. Do the Inquiry process– archetypes and shadow-work.
  11. What kind of bird am I? Study its symbolism.
  12. The Power Path– review in detail and mind-map the monthly forecast.
  13. Answer the Soul Prompts questions.
  14. Explore post-traumatic growth creativity.
  15. Write out the checklist: 25 things you need to let go before the new year.
  16. Write out a bibliography of my favorite creativity books.
  17. Acknowledge my history.
  18. Street art.
  19. Community– build it.  Honor it.  “Remember to rely heavily on your spiritual practice, your allies and your community.”  The Power Path
  20. Redo Peter Breeze’s exercise.  Write a letter to my future self.  Write a letter as my future self to myself today.
  21. Embrace your expertise and take imperfect action.
  22. Re-visit my favorite websites: Rebelle Society, Paid to Exist, Heroic Trading Co, Right Brain Business Plan, Start with Why.
  23. Review my 2013 manifesto and business plan.
  24. Pull angel cards and create daily ritual.
  25. Rethink EVERYTHING.  Scratch that.  Simplify.  Focus on the one goal and let everything else feed that.
  26. And remember- let go when overwhelmed and just meet it all with love!

This morning I awoke pretty frozen by anxiety (a variety of typical right-now reasons).

Larger scale inner RESETS are often accompanied by intense experiences of some kind that threaten the ego and false personality and may even cause one to feel like you are going a little crazy or completely falling apart. The Power Path January 2016 Forecast

Instead of drowning in it though, I dragged myself through the morning then finally  yanked out the toolkit I prepped last night and dragged it to a coffee shop, grabbed a coffee and sat outside and forced myself to write through tears, through fear:

Journal entry Jan 13 2016
Journal entry January 13, 2016

After I got that out of my system, I addressed item 19:  “Remember to rely heavily on your spiritual practice, your allies and your community.

I texted my daughter and my friend/agent Peter for some much-needed good vibes.  Got some fabulous get your head out of your ass (Anna) advice.

Everything is as it should be.  U just need to allow (Peter).

Draw an angel card (Anna).

The sun came out as their multiple texts rolled in.

I decided to continue on the self-care focus for the rest of the day.  Do the toolkit.  Do the toolkit.  So I am taking my time, allowing, trusting and doing it.

For example:

Item 11: what kind of bird am I?

My sister-in-law asked me that question the other day as we reflected on my street art project.

After much thought, I really feel it is the Sparrow.  I always stop and observe birds.  But there is something in particular that I connect with in the Sparrow.

The Sparrow reflects self-worth.   If a Sparrow totem has entered your life, ask yourself if you know your own self-worth.  The Sparrow will show you that even a common little bird can triumph.

The Song Sparrow reflects the chakra energy awakening from the heart and throat.  It reminds us to sing out our own song of dignity and self-worth. [source]

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Item 12 The Power Path January 2016 Forecast mind-map:

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Item 1: Review vision board from 2013:

My nephew, Henrik, fully immersed himself in the process with me
My nephew, Henrik, fully immersed himself in the process with me, Feb 2013

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I look at pertinent quotes on the 2013 vision board and make a found poem:

How to survive going nowhere?

What she said:

We change into our capes in a telephone booth-

and take on the world’s evolving challenges.

Referring to myself: 

Ways to stay up in the air?

New York

Item 24: Pull angel cards and create daily ritual.

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Beauty is the quality of being pleasing, especially to look at, or someone or something that gives great pleasure, especially when looking at it

The conception for beauty is used or studied in art, sociology, social psychology, and culture. An “ideal beauty” is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection.

The experience of “beauty” often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. [source]

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The journey continues.  I will indeed meet it with love and trust I’ll have some pressing issues sorted.

Everything is as it should be.

Much love, Kat

 

I felt a Funeral, in my Brain… Birds, metaphors, graphic novel, experiments

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Central to my graphic novel is the intensity of anxiety and severe depression while drowning in circumstance, highlighted through the metaphor of birds.

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Here are some experiments from the past weekend:

Drawing on a vintage Life Magazine page (Nov 3, 1947)

Drawing on a vintage Life Magazine page (Nov 3, 1947)

    

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I felt a Funeral, in my Brain, 

And Mourners to and fro…

– Emily Dickinson

Owl wisdom

Taking a somewhat silent retreat today to regroup and prepare for transitions.  Picked up an old sweater (80% merino wool, 20% cashmere) and created these little one inch plus tall baby owls. Perfect for holding in the palm while figuring stuff out.

I have always found that sewing and drawing owls is a powerful experience.
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Stay tuned for a special tutorial series on drawing and crafting birds and reflecting on their symbolism.

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Pay attention to the birds: Part 6- Starling

Ah, the birds— and their delightful ways— this time of year in particular.  I just LOVE watching them!

And I love when I feel something extra special in a particular moment that makes me stop and pay attention.

The other day, I observed a flock of starlings.  I know many people call them rats, greasy rat-birds.  But if you really stop, and take a close look, they are absolutely stunning.

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I identify with these little commoners.  I find it so therapeutic to study them, and embroider their detailing.  It reminds me to take time to STOP.  To OBSERVE the beauty around us.  Indeed, I feel most at peace when embroidering my drawings in solitude.  Why?  Is it a question that needs to be answered?  What makes you feel at peace?

So what was it about this particular moment?  What lesson did I need to learn?

Let’s look up some symbolism.  Here are some fave findings:

Starlings… are messengers from the spirit realms. They actually are a wakeup call and reminder that changes in situations are coming. Usually for the better. They signal the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one…

The first changes will be spiritual, (these have already begun) which will start the “domino” effect of your physical and logical life as well. Though it may seem that things are getting more complicated in these areas first, this is actually a shaking off of the dust and the opening for the new. [source]

Starling teaches how to behave within a group setting – how to be effective and assertive without becoming a bully. Communication is important to Starling people; however, you must be careful what you say, for people may take it incorrectly or blow it out of proportion. Watch your own sensitivity to other’s words. You might be reading more into it that is truly there. By learning Starling’s behaviors, you can live peacefully within your community of friends and family. [source]

See other bird posts:

PART 1: Kingfisher

PART 2: American Robin

PART 3: Pigeon

Part 4: Hummingbird

Part 5: Sparrow

POST: They let their wings down…

POST: Dead messengers

Pay attention to the birds: Part 3- Pigeon

Delighted that my dog has entered some kind of remission.  One week after believing it was time for that “family meeting,” he is well enough to eat and walk again.

He runs like a, somewhat lame, puppy after his bath- so it’s all good for now.

I savour every minute with Tobey, knowing he has lived

and is living

a full

and lovely

and loved life.

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And so I walk with him when he can.  Like yesterday morning at 6:30 AM.  Under blossomed trees at Comox and Chilco.

Tobey and I were enveloped in the whooop whooop whooop sound of pigeons flying and landing on balconies.

What could I learn by listening?

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China marker on newsprint

The pigeon is a determined creature. It will stay in an area as long as there is food, despite attempts by humans or other birds to chase it away. The pigeon sighting can encourage you to be stubborn and hang in there, regardless of what challenges are thrown in your path.

The pigeon also has strong connections to house and home. If a pigeon appears to you, take a look at your relationship with your home. What does it represent to you? What would you like it to be for you? If these things don’t match up, you know you have work to do. The pigeon is safest in a flock. Don’t discount the strength and support found in a community. Furthermore, remember the importance of communication within that community; don’t assume people know things just because you do. Make sure everyone is in the loop regarding important information. [source]

I like paying attention to those magical moments, standing rooted in my new neighborhood– full of gratitude for the struggles and gifts that brought me to this place.

Birds hold so much meaning to me.  And they always feel like messengers, telling me to pay strict attention.

See also:

PART 1: Kingfisher

PART 2: American Robin

POST: They let their wings down…

POST: Dead messengers

Pay attention to the birds: Part 2- American Robin

I never keep walking when I see a robin.  I stop and observe.  I love their attentiveness.  The way they listen to the earth.  The way their torsos look like eggs.

The robin brings a fresh new perspective to situations that are otherwise foggy and unclear. Try calling on robin energy for clarity when your judgement is clouded or when you need light shed on an issue.

The red robin reminds us it’s time to shake the sleepiness out of our head (both figuratively and literally), get alert, get moving, and start enjoying life! Spring has sprung, tides have turned, and no matter how crummy or grey our world has been it is time for new beginnings! Enjoy the bright road ahead because it’s only going to get brighter! [source]

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China marker on newsprint

When Spring returns, the earth becomes a child who recites poetry. – Rainier Maria Rilke

Recall PART 1: Kingfisher

Birds hold so much meaning to me.  And they always feel like messengers, telling me to pay strict attention.