Monday, August 2

new journal...

new(ish) journey.

I started working on this over a week ago, but with my hands hurting, it's been slow going.  I've got enough down to begin to share though, so here you go!
It's a new altered book.  The title "The Bridge of Merciful Clouds" felt like a fitting message as I stepped into the process of radiation.  It's a Chinese/English book about Buddhism.  I'm not sure how much, if any, of the text will show through along the way, but I like reading and seeing it there in the foundation.
journal pages
 Opening page, journal intro and intent
click on images for closer view
journal pages
Assume the position...


  1. doesn't look like much fun, I'm afraid - is it going alright otherwise?

  2. Wow! My heart missed a beat. This is going to be fantastic Karin! Plenty to contemplate on in the first photo. Follow your heartbreak .... food for thought. Your painting, though unsettling because of what it is about, is very peaceful. Quite a contradiction .... unsettling... peaceful. Beautiful!

  3. This is going to be a very powerful journal, I can see that already. I'm glad your hands are a little better. I will follow you on this journal Karin. Take care.

  4. This is amazing Karin. The unwinding cloud on the cover tells us so much. And the inside cover--whew! How to find tranquility amidst the storm of radiation! I only wish that all cancer patients going through this treatment could be introduced to your art. So much inspiration to be had. xox

  5. Just discovered you and your awesome work through Dirty Footprint's "30 Journals 30 Days"! Sooooo fell in love with your vids on the mandala journal! I am soooo gonna make one!
    Just finished the vids on the smaller one too. Very nice, relaxing, easy to understand videos!
    Thank you!
    You're amazing in many wonderful ways! Love the beginning of your new adventure... ; )

  6. The bridge of merciful clouds is your way through ... I see each of those "clouds" as a loving thought that you direct at yourself through all the acts of sustenance that I know you choose to do ... Seems to me that you were already very adept at merciful self-nourishment before you learned of the cancer ... You already have so much goodness and wisdom to draw on ... and always, too, you have colour ... the new-leaf green that you've chosen for your lower garment in the picture is so right to my eye ... It feels like a colour of perennial restoration and regeneration ... and a fundamental, *living* safety; some kind of containment of faith ... (hard to find words!)

    ... You, yourself, are a bridge of mercy, Karin ... You've invited us all deep into your art and your soul ... and no matter what, you intend Beauty into the world.

    I so wish that you weren't going through this illness ... and I feel so grateful for your open expression of your experience through what you create. My own artistic gifts are expressed best through words and music; I've long felt frustrated at my inability to be "A Great Artist" (I'm great with colour, but beyond that, it's stick figures for me!!) ... so it is a gift beyond measure to have become friends with you, a person whose creations somehow "look like" what I'd be doing -- all the colour; the collages; the exquisite ink work and calligraphy ... It's so lovely to meet a person through their art and to feel such a resonance ... That's the universality of Beauty, and that's what you give to the world, Karin ...

    I felt this way when I first read the poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke ... especially his Eighth Duino Elegy (as translated by Stephen Mitchell. I will try to find the Elegy online ... or I'll email you a copy).

    Much love and thank you so much for your presence ... xoxoxoxoxxo

  7. Fatigue was the culprit for me. Invisable, silent, it invaded my life, my world, my body. Pain, sleep, achy twitchy arms and legs, incomplete thoughts hung midair, breathless steps to open the door/take a shower/fetch a glass - all that was controlled by fatigue. I accepted. Then I damned and cursed the cancer when I became unable to grip a pen or hold a brush. Demonic laughter when I fooled cancer and rediscovered finger painting and hand prints. I smeared poster paint over my body. I wanted to show the oncologist how I felt - streaks of yellow orange limegreen hot-red and so on..... I didn't. I decided to keep that mirror image a memory, a remembrance that fatigue did not rob me of color, and texture, and that magic.....

    keep on, keeping on Karin.

    the world is your witness....


  8. Karin---looks like the book is the winner in this instance. You have so much talent. I hope you realize this. Always look forward.

  9. What a beautiful backdrop for your explorations, Beautiful One.
    Do you realize how beautiful the page of the radiation position is ? Those colors and the softness there...surrounding the process which is so "steely" with that light and color is brilliant, just like your ability to continue that healing power yourself. I hope the hands find freedom from pain to help your journal fill...
    Big Love to you !

  10. Hey K
    Love seein' my lotus friend popping out of the blossom to welcome you on your next piece of the big adventure...

    and the Andrew Harvey quote is a hoot.

    mega hugs
    P.S. my captcha for this comment is 'nests' :-) ...I love that build them well for us all

  11. You are CREATIVITY - even cancer and all that goes with can't knock it out of you- You are the best part of being here on this planet-You are what we all hope to be one day , when we evolve...Take it on the chin and jump back in!Thank you so much for your inspiring self and your remarkable blog- Your work is AMAZING
    LOVE as always!
    (I wanna hold your hand)

  12. This book will be amazing... the painting, the words and the colors of the woman (you) lying is very powerful and serene at the same time. Beauty and pain. Fearless. These treatments will be over soon. roxanne

  13. What a perfect meditative foundation for your healing process and the altered book. You are making progress just by communicating with those who love you...this is not a are the winner already my dear. I have never had radiation neurologist spoke to me a few months ago about this possible avenue for my brain but I need more time to really think about this. It may be more complications than it is worth it for me now...the growth is remaining minimal and I can deal with the headaches. Imagine me hugging you gently and know you are so loved. Mary Helen Fernandez Stewart

  14. ha !!!
    "i'm powerful" you say in the opening page. Yes you are !!!!

    Looooved you image. The colors are beautiful and they match with the "I AM POWERFUL" ;)

  15. With such a beautiufl, powerful start, we can only wait with baited breath for what's to follow...

  16. Two roads converged - My Purple Door Studios and Dirty Footprints Studio's 30 Journals in 30 Days - and brought me to you. This is a creative, peaceful place. This book is not only going to be healing, its going to be as powerful as you are.

    I am so sorry you have to endure this illness. You are so vibrant, strong and incredible. I will constantly send good thoughts your way as you go through this. Thank you for sharing your words, art, heart and magical, color-filled soul.

  17. It is great to see some art here today, I love your lime green outfit in your image! Hoping you are having a good day...

  18. OH! OH! OH!

    i don't have time to properly leave a comment (later, aligator!)
    but OH! the title!! OH the collage! OH the painting!

    keep going, karin. i think this is going to surprise you bigtime!

    love your pal,

  19. "this heavy sleepiness--it isn't unwelcome at times."

    healing deep in the rest, i think.

    its beautiful, and "assume the position" is such a loaded phrase. i think your words written on a sort of guaze as if They are being healed too, is powerful.

    roar like a lion (power and peace in its heart)!

  20. amazing, as always... you always find a way, no matter where you are or what hurts!
    are you working on this in your hotel room??
    take care of yourself sweets!

  21. This will be fine.

    sometimes the soul has to carry the body and sometimes the body the soul

    your strength will be sufficient


  22. Karin,
    I love this new beginning!
    Healing thoughts are with you ...

  23. It's been written to you before, really are an inspiration to me. I've done more art since I have been following your blog regularly than I had in months. I love, love your use of color and your spirit in all you do. Cancer is a major bummer and I fear it a lot. Pain in my hands, don't even want to think about it. Having someone take a photo of me doing the happy dance, the world is not ready for that. You do it all with grace, humor, and determination (and maybe a hissy fit down & then?).
    You rock! xoxox, Joanie

  24. I adore the bright yellow colour and the title. And your self-portrait is amazing. So very vulnerable and yet powerful, too. xx

  25. dang, I just finished writing responses to everyone and the hotel wireless service disconnected me and I lost everything :( wah!! Okay, a little shake and clear, erase my brain and start again!!

    Yes ak artisan, all is going pretty well otherwise. I feel fortunate in that I can take care of myself by staying close to the hospital, and focus mainly on my own healing.

    Oh than you Robyn. Yeah, the follow your heartbreak line really got me, too. But I know much of my art work takes that path - to acknowledge, learn from, and heal the heartbreak (aka suffering). On the table I try to submerge myself into a full letting go, opening to the full potential of healing, even though the means of healing is one of harm. it's such a bizarre contradiction, cancer treatment...

    Thank you Gloria, I'm glad to have you with me on this journey :)

    That means a lot to me Hannah. thank you xo K

    Welcome Lotus, glad you found me and have found my videos helpful! Let me know when you make your mandala journal, i'd love to see it!!

    Dear dear Jaliya, you are a 'great artist' in your medium of words - as well as with the blending of images and words together. That is an art form in itself, and you always find the ideal pairing to bring your message more fully forward.
    Your words here have moved me deeply, and encourage me on. I love Rilke and would love to read the poem you refer to - thank you. Again, than you so much for your message, love, and Self. love, Karin

    Peshe, this is such a powerful image you describe!! I feel your power and fierceness, your healing power and attack against the cancer that you have beaten and sense will never be foolish enough to enter your domain again!! thank you for being witness and for the sharing of your experiences so well described.

    Dear Toni, thank you!! ❤

  26. Hi there Ms Kim, thank you! I'm imagining the smiles that your messages of rock love brought to the many women going through radiation, as I left them in our dressing rooms each day... Your healing presence has been carried forward. love to you, too!

    thanks D, I know - I cracked up at AH's message. If there's one word that can rile me from it's over use, and dangling carrot seeking, it's 'bliss'. I welcome it without seeking, as I see it in the deer that were munching grass road side as I left the hotel, in the tenderness and kindness shown between people here - both at the hotel and at the hospital - it's all around us. As is the heartbreak, felt while listening to the story about another baby deer being struck and killed on the way to radiation, by another shaken patient; in the story of another who's tumors don't have clean margins after all... No seeking necessary, bliss and heartbreak walk side by side in every moment of every day. xoxoxo

    Dear Linda Sue, I don't know what to say! I feel a little uncomfortable with your praise - I am doing what helps heal me, keeps me balanced and sane, so it feels more selfish than anything else, sharing what I do and getting back SO much from you and others. So thank you, and you are welcome! much love, and I feel your hand, very near by xoxo

    Thank you Roxanne, yes, they will - I'm a little over a third of the way through!!! woo hooooo!

    Hi Mary Helen, well compared to many of the meds and things you've been through, radiation would be a breeze. The daily grind is wearing, but there are opportunities and gifts within of connecting with others that makes it have a richness, adding to that life tapestry. Wishing the best tools for your healing are sent your way. xoxo

    :D thank you Maria, here's to our powerfulness - one and ALL!!!

    thank you so much Jay.

    Glad for the convergence Natasha! welcome :) and thank you for your wonderful message.

    thanks deb, it IS a good day!

    hee hee! thanks for coming by kj, xoxox

    yes mansuetude, this tiredness is like carrying around a weighted blanket - somehow comforting, there all the time, ready for curling into and sleeping - taking me away. Not helpful when trying to drive or run an errand, but there's a peacefulness in it, too... my energy purrs more than it roars, but i feel the ruble :) thank you xo

    hi Patti, yes, I've made a travel box of art materials to bring with me here for the hotel room :) I'm enjoying this compact living very much... xox

    thank you Paige, yes, I feel that peace of all is well, and all will be well. xo

    thank you Rosa!

    Joanie, that might be the most wonderful compliment I could possibly receive. I just love that you are making more art!!! I wonder if I can work on you for the happy dance :) hmmm, that might be a fun challenge - happy dance tag!! You're IT :) xoxox

    thank you Svasti xox

  27. can I stand the pressure?
    happy dance, hmmm... ;)

  28. hi Karin, as you can see I'm running a post behind! I had read this one before, but didn't have time to comment, but like the poltergeist, I'm baaa-aack!

    Just wanted to say that I'm soooo glad to see you journaling and making art again. i bet you are too! xoxo

  29. Karin,As usual incredible stenth and courage sweet girl.Been paricope down for 5 days.More blood, more tests, ultasound on 12th.
    We have walked this pain road together for so long, and you always amase and delight, educate , and, inspire. You take it on the chin and move forward, and yes we learn far more from our pain and sarrow times more than any other. Those are the scars we ware with pride, remembering, really experiencing the Mystery of it all. Love you my sweet pea, Sea


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