Thursday, January 7

doodles of the pen and mind...

I haven't worked in my journal since my last blog entry, but this evening I felt like doing some doodling and this emerged.
I've entered the new year feeling pulled in a few different directions.

On new years eve my oncologist called to let me know the results of a few tests, none of which were what we had hoped for. The bottom line, I will have to go on chemo after all. Tomorrow I will have a PET scan to see if there is still cancer lurking somewhere in my body, since my tumor markers, though low, have gone up. Monday I'll find out the results and the details of my treatment plan. Funny, not in the ha ha way, how things can seem one way and turn around bit by bit...

So I've been busy
with doctor appointments
but also with some upcoming art stuff.
I've been invited to participate in a couple upcoming shows, which is nice - good for giving my mind more pleasant things to focus on, for which I'm grateful.
Gratitude is something I've been thinking about itself.
It was a topic of discussion with a friend the other day, which got me thinking about how I believe in gratitude for gratitude's own sake. I've often had people tell me, when hearing a piece of news, something like "your situation could be worse - at least you have good health insurance, not like some people."; or "you can be grateful because you have a comfortable home to recover in..." etc. I realized I've even done this to myself, comparing my situation to someone else's, as a gauge for gratitude! But isn't to think I have more than another the same as judging them as having less than? I do not want to see "lack" or "less than" in others - I want to recognize them as whole and well in every moment, the same way I want to see myself. Comparing my circumstances with other's is another way of judging, and makes assumptions that either all is not as it should be for them, or that how I live is in someway better. I believe I am qualified to do either.

This is not to say everything is so perfect in this moment that change is never needed! For instance, I want to banish cancer from my body - and I will do what I need to do to achieve that, as best I can - however, in this moment I feel at peace with all that is.


  1. Oh Karin, I don't know...I always have something to moan about even though I have so much to be glad about, but when I am moaning I certainly don't want somebody telling me to be grateful for this or that...I want to feel validated and not whisked off to some more comfortable spot for them because they can not handle moaning....or illness, or grief or anything that does not fit into the lense of their rose coloured comfort zone.I think that my word for the year could be "honesty", personal honesty is sometimes the harshest thing one can do for oneself. Your art is honest, your blog is honest - nevermind gratefulness- it seems contrived sometimes in an OPRAH way, know what I mean? I am moaning, aren't I...

  2. Your doodle is beautiful. I love the pared back feel of it, but with so much detail!

    I'm sorry the health news isn't quite what you wanted to hear. Not yet, anyway! I have all faith that you will fight and win this battle, with your usual grace and creativity.

    Speaking of gratitude, I'm grateful to have the chance to get to know you via your blog. I still love my little green book, and think of it all the time. :)


  3. I do not like came news from doctors.
    Gratitude is present in my life but when someone close, a friend dying of cancer along with her waking up anger, helplessness, sense of loss. I still thank for everything every time it was given to us to do. And yet everywhere are rushing now and forget about the love .....

    My thoughts will be with you, I send good spirits to Cie support ....
    gave strength to fight with a stupid thinking ....

    Please return to your notebook for today, I like patzrec your hands-so selfishly ...

  4. I believe in keeping it real not keeping it strong.

    Yes I guess everything can be relative.

    For example I am not too bad I guess because after all I could have a pitchfork stuck through my left eye while I sit here and can't sleep and am throwing up and feel like a total bag of shit, so I guess I'm okay. No, not likely.

    Good luck tomorrow darling you know you are in my prayers.

    Love Renee xoxoxo

  5. I love your emerging art! Thinking of you, Karin, and sending you bright and positive healing thoughts. Much love. xx

  6. The question of what to do with the "bad" is a plague for me, much of the time. I fight the plague by keeping the focus on the light, on being grateful for the beauty of each day and for the love we are all capable of for one another. It does make life feel juicy and sweet, but it still makes the "bad" stuff like cancer, and pain, and loss suck the big one !
    All I know is that my Soul just wants to go to the light side when I feel the "bad" stuff plaguing for too long, and that is what feels like the right thing to do.

    Having said that, I send you prayers of bright healing light, love that fills the heart with sweet connection, and waves of the gratitude I feel that you are in the world on this day, in this moment, with me, my beautiful Soul friend Karin.

  7. Hi Linda Sue, well, my nature is always to go right for the 'silver lining'. For instance, when I heard no radiation for 6 months, and chemo is only every 3 1/2 weeks, I thought well at least my shoulder will get time to heal before I have to do the daily drive for radiation treatments. I know I wasn't being talked out of the seriousness of my situation - but I think we both started to see the difference in being grateful for what IS vs what is compared to. There are ways of truly having a grateful heart, and there is that contrived, over verbalized use of the word that applies to many buzz words in spiritual practice. True gratitude that is carried in the heart naturally is what I feel I'm talking about, and experiencing.

    Thank you, I believe so too Svasti - it's just going to take a different path than initially thought! I'm grateful for our connection here, too! xo

    Well said Rybiooka - it's all part of life, so all worth gratitude! thank you!!

    Hi Renee, too funny - leave it to you to find a way to make it hilarious with an eye poke!! Keepin it ever real. love you!

    Many thanks Carol Anne,

    Thank you Kim, I'll take a dose of your light any day. I know what you mean, I guess it's finding that there is light in the so called bad - seeing that is finding grace. xox

    love to you all, and thanks for your thoughts

  8. I just wish we could sit together with a hot tea and doodle...
    I agree, it is just one more form of judgement.
    I think I prefer thanksgiving in place of gratitude.
    thanks means I am full of appreciation
    gratitude to me means that I am always comparing rather than feeling...full or blessed..
    I love your doodle... xoxoxo

  9. Certainly some very different...and fascinating... directions.

    Sorry the news isn't better.

    I'm a bit under the weather myself at the moment, which makes me a bit less articulate than usual (though I feel somewhat ridiculous complaining about my low-grade, if persistent flu to you).

    Wishing you the best...



  10. prayers and good thoughts on your healing; may chemo be kind to you

  11. I'm glad your back and I pray that the scan went well. Please God.

    I got a package in the mail this morning and you are so right, sparkles and angels never go out of fashion.

    I love them.

    Did I tell you that my Mom is dying. Not today of course, but they think within the next few months.

    I am heartsick.

    Love Renee xoxo

  12. When I studied counselling, we ere taught that no two experiences are the same. You are right, we can't compare ourselves t others, to do so is to deny ourselves or others.

    I love your pages x

  13. I know I would enjoy that very much Cat!! Interesting use of the different words. I decided to look up the definition of grateful in my computer dictionary:
    grateful |ˈgrātfəl|
    feeling or showing an appreciation of kindness; thankful : I'm very grateful to you for all your help.
    I have thought of it as a feeling of thankfulness, or as you say, thanksgiving.Unfortunately, upon introspection I know that I have also used it as a tool for comparison, which is a covert form of judgement, I feel. I would like to use gratitude in it's purest form. (at least my perception of it's purest form!)

    Sorry you're sick Dr J, okay, so maybe you should be grateful you just have the flu?!? heh heh :~) complain away, the flu stinks, period!

    Thank you Paige.

    I am so sorry Renee, I know this is would be a huge loss, on top of so many that hurt your heart. I hope that you can be with her as much as possible, feeling and offering comfort in just that, during this time of transition. May you experience full presence while you both are here together. xoxox

    Hi Jasmine, thank you! yeah - somehow I've known that in terms of simply discussing experiences, or in getting through challenges, but hadn't concretely seen how it applies to some expressions of gratitude!! duh :) xo

  14. You must be longing for the even keel, Karin. When you know exactly what's what and how it will be treated you can at least set your course. Your doodle is extraordinary. The sort of drawing you can get lost in. Thinking of you.

  15. The doodle, the words, and the way you've laid them out here have a magical, healing effect from my perspective. I see you focusing energy from within, and finding that balance you need. And yes to gratitude in its purest form - what a lovely way to put it.
    : ) lulu

  16. Have to go to my Mom's house in about 10 minutes and it is so cold. Fuck........

    Okay, I'm shaking the misery off of my self.

    Love you.

    Renee xoxo

  17. Hi Karin,
    Gratitude for gratitude's sake...this is well, duh, such a healthy way to be with gratitude....not comparing not judging...just feeling grateful for all the beauty, the sweetness, the love....well that's me and MY gratitude experience...for you it may certainly be different.

    I love the wings on your doodled figure, they are my favorite part for sure. Make me think of a majestic eagle.

    Here's a totally random thing I'm grateful for right this dog Ellie is at the end of my bed napping and...sleep wolfing...I love that snuffly, whistley sound she pleases me so-she just sounds happy, like we just walked in the door and she's thrilled to bursting with doggie joy...It reminds me how grateful I am to have this snuggly, loving intuitive dog in my life, on days when I feel well and days when I feel crappy.

    may you be blessed with refuah shelema...whole healing as this next leg of your adventure with cancer begins...sending more reiki!

  18. The droodle is beautiful! The angel looks a bit oncerned but there are flowers and energy. She'll be alright.
    I send you my wamrest, positive thoughts and wish you lots of strength and good luck.....

  19. "to see ppoeple as whole and well in every moment"- this has inspired me.. because I hate to judge

  20. I love your drawings Karin. I'm so sorry to hear that you have to go for chemo. I truly hope things will be better after you've finished treatment. As for being grateful for what you have, it is all relative. I'm not going through what you are but I am in pain most of the time. I try to tell myself that it could be worse, but that doesn't work when you are suffering in agonising pain. I try to keep positive about it but sometimes I ust can't. Plus, I have the right to feel down about it because it is happening to me, and I am in pain. To ignore that is to ignore yourself, and we do need to listen to ourselves. We have the right to be selfish sometimes. You're a star and a total trooper. You have a moan if you want! H xxx

  21. How are you today Karin? I posted a little thankyou gift a few days ago. i'm not sure how long it will take to get to you. We had postal strikes before Christmas and now have had much snow. England does ot know how to cope with snow, everything stops! lets hope it arrives soon x

  22. I want you to know that my mind is on you.


  23. So much I would like to say to you, Karin, yet words escape me...Okay, well except for the fact that after reading your post, I got out the Websters Dictionary and looked up gratitude afterwhich I read the comments and your replies only to see that you got out your dictionary...'Nough said.

    Hope your treatments go well and that healing is at hand. xox

  24. Dear Karin, my warmest, most healing thoughts go to you and I do hope your scan had a good result. If you need chemo you must do whatever is needed to restore your health and peace of mind. Two years ago I had cancer and didn't have chemo because 4 of my 5 my doctors thought I could get by without it, and because I didn't want to put my then 91 year old mother through seeing me have it. My mother passed away recently and while I'm still glad I didn't do it I have always had a niggling doubt about the wisdom of my choice. I'm well and have constant blood tests but I know I took a small risk and uncertainty takes its toll. I am thankful for all I have and I think I prefer the term to gratitude. May this new year bring yo good health, peace, joy, love and great creativity. Your drawings are wonderful and give joy to others. Thank you. Carol

  25. Talk about a surprise. Let me know when you can what chemo, maybe I have some tricks from different ones I can help you with.

    It is good they started though darling.


  26. Yeah, even keel would be a nice feeling Robyn! Treatment is underway - showed up for the plan today, and found out I was having my first chemo treatment! so I'm moving forward. thank you for your thoughts.

    Thank you Lulu, yes, gathering from within, and grateful for all I'm receiving too :)

    breathing deeply Renee, and sending hopes of strength to carry you through this next piece. Warm embracing thoughts. xoxoxoxox

    namaste, Laura

    I agree Momo Luna! usually I sketch with pencil and go over with pen - this time I went with pen, slipped and kept going over! pensive results :) many thanks!

    yeah OC, me too. it's a good thing to strive towards :)

    Thanks Heather - it'll be okay. I am sorry to know of your chronic pain. It is the hardest thing to bare, I think. I'm sure you know my biggest complaint is the daily pain I work with, so I empathize - deeply. True, it is not something to ignore. For me recognizing things I'm grateful for is completely separate from the pain, or illness I'm dealing with. However, there are times that I have found myself finding aspects of my struggles that have brought experiences to me that I am grateful for - and without the pain I'd never have had those experiences. Am I therefor grateful for the pain? kind of! But would I give the pain up in exchange? In a flash... Wishing you relief and peace in your body and in your spirit. xox

    Thank you Jasmine - I will let you know as soon as it arrives!! I'm very excited :) xxoo

    I do Renee, and boy has mine been on you! love, K

    Thank you Sonia - on all counts! I know you understand what I'm tryin' to say!! xxoo love, K

    Thank you for writing Carol, and telling me some of your story. I truly hope your body remains cancer free, and your mind finds peace in your decision as time without recurrence builds. I can see how that could definitely be niggly to the mind, on the other hand, having the choice weighing in your favor surely sounds good, and given the choice with your circumstances - it sure sounds like a wise and caring one. Blessing to you, and continued health in the new year.

    I will send you that info soon Renee - thank you. I'm sure your experience and wisdom will be invaluable. xxoo

  27. I too am kind of grateful for my pain! Weird huh? I would not be at college, and I would not be studying art, if it wasn't for the pain. In fact, I wouldn't be able to draw at all, as I would never have learned to if I didn't have my pain. Because of it, I have completely changed my life. I'm much poorer in wealth, but am also much happier. I'd still have them take the pain away in a flash! Lol. xxx

  28. Karin, one of my girlfriends in her late 30s recently experienced bowel cancer. Then, after going through chemo, she endured an emergency gall bladder removal operation. Amidst all these internal changes, she remains positive and talks about this whole process as a stepping stone to reconnecting to her true self, passion and why she exists. This woman did not view herself as a spiritual person before her cancer but now views mortality and spirituality with new perspective. She read my Self-Disclosure book and also loves how your vibrant artwork on the cover inspires her to heal through the power of color and exploring the power of her own creative imagination differently. She is grateful for you, and you connect with what matters.


Thanks for visiting and leaving your thoughts!