Unnecessary Violence and Ramblings- archiving of my Shadow Work Journals 1986 to present. Sample 44: June 22, 2012

This daily archiving series is about organizing and dating my journal collection, as well as acknowledging the self-directed violence as important therapeutic shadow work.

Today’s journal spans poignant time. My father, Roar Thorsen, was unwinding and had just a few months left to live. We shared a deep friendship. We were working hard on our book knowing time was of essence.


You can read the book here:


PDF VERSION: Drawn Together

My son created this beautiful short documentary as part of the process:


See previous samples:

Unnecessary Violence Project Explanation and Sample 1 Oct 21, 1992

Sample 2 Date Dec 15 1994

Sample 3 May 16, 2000

Sample 4 August 14, 2002

Sample 5 June 13, 1990

Sample 6 August 23, 2019

Sample 7 December 17, 1995

Sample 8 October 23, 1995

Sample 9 September 1, 2004

Sample 10 September 6, 1999

Sample 11 November 6, 1989

Sample 12 October 23, 2001

Sample 13 October 22, 1993

Sample 14 April 20, 2013

Sample 15 January 31, 1997

Sample 16 January 5, 2012

Sample 17 January 1, 1992

Sample 18 June 14, 2000

Sample 19 November 29,2000

Sample 20 October 22, 1994

Sample 21 February 15, 2002

Samples 22-37

Sample 38 February 21, 1999

Sample 39 July 15, 1997

Sample 40 August 26, 1997

Sample 41 April 21, 2014

Sample 42 January 2, 2002

Sample 43 January 13, 2007


Today: Journal start date June 22, 2012



Sample Pages




Sample Writing









Sample Drawings





Sample Quote 



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 incredible hurdles and life markers and I am at the last 20-30 years of my life [if I am lucky] and I am struck by both the relief and the unknown AND the temptation to retreat further into my cave.

I try to share creative collaboration ideas and afterwards I feel embarrassed and want to cut myself off even further.  I feel ashamed by my enthusiasm and in my heart I know it is all just a process and probably won’t result in anything anyway- so why try.  Plus I want [an] autonomy that [seemingly] clashes with my manic oversharing.

I am still “detoxing” from IG and FB.  I was feeling like I had no authentic place [there] plus was [honestly] sick of [the me] in it.

So what is the relationship with the blog? I need to make it mine again.  Ask not for whom the blog tolls, for it tolls for me.

Then I remember that I can do WHATEVER I want in my ART.  WHATEVER WHATEVER WHATEVER I want.  I can FAIL, I can SUCCEED, I can DO, I can WRITE, DRAW, CREATE whatever I… I… I want.  I can SHARE whatever I want [about me].  I can feel dumb and ashamed and excited and inspired.  And just FLOW with it.



But please please please [Nina] hold your head HIGH.






Be yourself.  Be that little 2-year old finding her voice and raging and laughing with/at the world and finding your place.

You are allowed to rage, laugh, feel.


Keep stealing and interpreting



See also:


Heron Panel donated to “Hear Me Now” youth film fest

As part of the 100 Herons Art Project that has been supporting arts programming for refugee and immigrant youth, this panel will be donated to the HEAR ME NOW film festival for their silent auction!

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“Muslim Food Bank’s HOPE for Youth Program (Healing Opportunities through Prevention and Education) is hosting The Hear Me Now Film Festival on September 9, 2017 at the Shadbolt Theatre.

This will be our first Film Festival where we will be screening digital stories created by local Muslim Youth ages 12-18. Along with that for entertainment we will showcase a variety of talented local Muslim Youth. This program is a platform for Muslim Youth to share their voices, experiences and stories in the community at large. The event will also feature presentations and displays about the Muslim Food bank’s HOPE for Youth programs.”

Also check out:Screen Shot 2017-08-27 at 10.43.30 AM

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The Mulberry @ParcLiving Fox Panels

Without art we do not die.  But without art we do not live. 

Intersections Media Opportunities for Youth Society participant, 2012

I have the pleasure of working with an extraordinary group of individuals at Mulberry PARC doing art projects that range from drawing, interactive art, sock animals and group painting/quilt!

Our latest session involved drawing the fox and creating two panels for tomorrow’s art show!

Fox animal symbolism takes a turn of intelligence in the Celtic realm, as the Celts believed the fox to be a guide, and was honored for its wisdom. The Celts understood the fox knows the woods intimately, and they would rely upon the fox as their guide in the spirit world.

At tomorrow’s art show ART IN THE PARC we will be showing our Fox panels… 



… our owls/bunnies/hummingbird/ladybugs embellished panels…

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… and our sock owls!

See also:

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Ok, Molly, I’ll eat a shit sandwich for you.

I had a very anxious week last week.  It was a crawl to the finish line.  It was a mix of grief, self-doubt, money stuff, fearing I don’t have what it takes to succeed in this life, blah blah blah.  It’s familiar, having suffered from anxiety all my life.  But last week was particularly hard.

I was a blubbering mess at one point (or actually many points).  That’s OK.  I’m allowed.  I swallowed my pride and reached out for help, used my tools and I am ever so grateful for my community of support.

But what goes down, must go up- and, lo and behold, the week ended with some wonderful conversations and interesting developments regarding my project Molly!

[Me, who usually shares everything, can’t share the details with you.]

But let’s just say. I am now fully immersed in preparing for the next stage.



I came across this article by Mark Manson last week that asks 7 fabulous and profound questions re: finding your life purpose:

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I just LOVE his questions!  I really recommend you read the article and contemplate the questions.

As I read through them, all I did was nod, nod, nod- yep, yep, yep- without a doubt, I have found my life purpose.  Obvious.  Obvious.  My mission is pretty clear- to awaken creative expression– and that includes my own.

And Molly is my biggest expression yet.  And oh, I am ready.  To combine TRUST with pushing through, to SURRENDER along with doing what it takes.

For example, Mark asks:


Ah, yes. The all-important question. What flavor of shit sandwich would you like to eat? Because here’s the sticky little truth about life that they don’t tell you at high school pep rallies:

Everything sucks, some of the time.

Now, that probably sounds incredibly pessimistic of me. And you may be thinking, “Hey Mr. Manson, turn that frown upside down.” But I actually think this is a liberating idea.

Everything involves sacrifice. Everything includes some sort of cost. Nothing is pleasurable or uplifting all of the time. So the question becomes: what struggle or sacrifice are you willing to tolerate? Ultimately, what determines our ability to stick with something we care about is our ability to handle the rough patches and ride out the inevitable rotten days.

If you want to be a brilliant tech entrepreneur, but you can’t handle failure, then you’re not going to make it far. If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the 80-hour workweeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.

What unpleasant experiences are you able to handle? Are you able to stay up all night coding? Are you able to put off starting a family for 10 years? Are you able to have people laugh you off the stage over and over again until you get it right?

What shit sandwich do you want to eat? Because we all get served one eventually.

Might as well pick one with an olive.

So, dear Molly- you have taught me to embrace my life purpose.  To clearly state- I am an artist.  You have been gestating since 2003(!)  and I am willing to do what it takes to birth you.  Labour has begun.

At one point last week, I walked around the lagoon a few times, for it was the only thing that made any sense as my anxious demons directed sweet insults into my ear.  I sensed that I met Molly and the boys at the end of my lane that enters the park.  We walked together.  I was wobbly and tired.  But they walked with me.


Everything sucks, some of the time.  

But this project moves me forward quite unlike anything else in my life.

So I am willing, dear Molly, to eat many shit sandwiches for you.  

Embrace embarrassment. Feeling foolish is part of the path to achieving something important, something meaningful. The more a major life decision scares you, chances are the more you need to be doing it. – Mark Manson

Day 4 and 5 Inside Out Project Summer 2015: Digging Deeper

INSIDE OUT PROJECT: OWN YOUR JOURNEY- Breaking the cycle of violence through creativity

Inside Out Project – Own Your Journey SUMMER 2015 is a three week intensive arts-based program running out of Mountainside Secondary School (July 6-24, 2015) for youth ages 13-20 that uses the vehicles of therapeutic art, photography and stop motion animation to teach life and transferable skills while developing self-empowerment, peer to peer interaction, community connections and by providing tools to make healthy, non-violent choices. The goal for Inside Out is to help students address the root causes of violence (with a special focus on violence against women) through creative expression. The program allows students to creatively reflect on self, to work in a team and to experience critical engagement and transformative changes that shift their attitudes and behaviors in order to prevent violence. Three experienced facilitators (Ian Powell, Erin Ross, Kat Thorsen) provide instruction and support.


Day 1, July 6, 2015: Own Your Journey LINK

Day 2, July 7, 2015: VPD Mounted Unit LINK

Day 3, July 8, 2015: Animation and anatomical hearts LINK

Day 4 and 5: Digging in deeper.

We were busy last few days!  Hands-On Animation Tests, Public Service Announcement Discussions, Mind Mapping, Shane Koyczan TEDTalk, Project Planning, Therapeutic Arts and Crafts, Dialoguing, Creative Process etc…

What I love seeing unfold are the connections forming within the group.

Here are some highlights from Day 4 and 5:     —

I sit before flowers
hoping they will train me in the art
of opening up

I stand on mountain tops believing
that avalanches will teach me to let go

I know

but I am here to learn.
― Shane Koyczan


It has quickly become apparent that this is our hub/dialogue/creativity table. We move back and forth naturally between the computer lab and this room where we do old fashioned handmade stuff and group dialogue/mindmapping.

It hurts to stretch your wings. But doesn’t it hurt even more to let them atrophy?

You can survive without Creativity. But you won’t ever come fully alive & unapologetically yourself, unless you practice it, every damn day. – Andréa Balt, Creative Rehab


Next week we begin our group animation project!  Stay tuned!

The Inside Out Project- Own Your Journey Summer 2015 is offered to youth at no cost thanks to a grant from the Civil Forfeiture Office (CFO) in partnership with the Victim Services and Crime Prevention Division (VSCPD), BC Ministry of Justice.