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afternoon in the Telling Place of her studio

To grok in Your being
I unleash in slenders
and leap in-subversive;
substance of my body.

you follow my
displacement and supplant the
nearness of my come after.

unsubstantial frailties
of my countenance,

hear our prayer.


paint much love always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a,k,a. This Crooked Little Flower

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Standing Human

weary joint-knot
fade pale your wounds
into the horizons of the sun;
setting our hearts to rest.


Standing Human, digital sketch, 10 x 14 inch (25.4 x 35.56 cm)

In the past week, I have been witness to people being treated less than. Also, being lifted up by still others.

I don’t understand why we can hurt each other as we do. I don’t know what drives us to knock down, stifle motivation and passion. There is nothing wrong with honest reality. That is different than purposely separating and demeaning.

Ego drives us to act better than we are, or to put someone down to make ourselves feel better.

I love watching that darkness trying to suffocate life, and see the love actions of others making sure light wins.

Much of my reflections lately come back to mental health, in particular how we treat people with mental illness. By random chance, an article about a possible development in Dallas came through my news feed google graces me with on my phone.

It caught my attention, because the possible development involved Timberlawn Psychiatric Hospital; to be turned into some sort of homes/gated community? Caught my attention. In the mid 1990’s I was there. Some pretty horrific experience.

This led to an article last year announcing its closing. The state was going to close them if they didn’t close themselves. A rabbit hole of articles and I realize it wasn’t just me. My experience was minimal compared to the horrors some experienced.

My rabbit hole keeps expanding. My questions grow. My desire to speak more urgent.

Profits and less than(ness).

Other than to say, my desire to finish and produce the play I have been working on is reinvigorated. I am placing the words of my molesters and abusers next to words of medical staff. Then placing the words of dear friends, mentors next to the words of yet more medical staff.

Whatever you call it, two words may describe; 1) unacceptable and 2) love. May the play example both for the sake of awareness, education, connection.

May you be empowered to speak up for yourself even when all seems hopeless. May you find a path, your path.

You are beautiful. You are enough.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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Breathe, Soul Voice of You

Connie Karleta Sales, Exhale

single breath,
divine sense of
a moment;


Feeling her in
arms so warm;


into her ecstasies we
remain God-shelled
and life arisen.


Bedside Sketchbook self portrait, digital gesture pencil drawing

Allowing the Creative to speak for herself. An extra treat this week I hope you enjoy. Feeling the need to place the breath, the exhale, the pause into the universe; accountability and sharing. It is safe to be who you are. It is safe to be who I am.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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I Pray on Dirty Knees

Is it not simply Love’s Vow,
to withstand all light, and
all dark without fear?

Oh, she survives.
By the skin of her teeth;
She survives;
loneliness, isolation, and shame.

Her Love’s Vow;
a single promise and
fulfillment of
complete absence and
complete convergence.

Who is she to judge where she stands?
Who are they who stand where she seeks?

Oh, she survives.
By the skin of her teeth;
She survives;
because her path is illuminated
by willingness.

She stands blind and just keeps on walking.

from The Rainmaker and the Flower

naked prayer
dirty knees
mixed media on paper

paint much love, always, 
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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F.r.o.g.s in Residence: Collecting things for dinner

War-rooms willing in repetition;
Absence not an option.  Is
Love a
Kindness? or basic
Internal element laying to ruin the
Nothingness  of
Gluttony.  Consuming less; humanity’s collection.
CKS with Tracy Hicks

Walking with Deb Dog in the empty field by his studio.
Tracy Hicks
Freedmen’s Field

It is not about collecting things.  It is about collecting time; with friends; known and those he never met.

How I Remember It

Tracy came to class.  He was our professor.  It was clear something was not right.  Deb passed away on one of their walks in the empty field.  He was both shaken with sadness and heavy with a smile.

I believe he we went home after situating the class.  One of Deb’s favorite things to do was to go walking.  She passed away at the side of her best friend, doing what she liked to do most.

I never knew Tracy without a dog.

I never knew Tracy not walking.  After Deb came Ilsa and after Ilsa came Dora.

These are the dogs I knew.  These are the dogs of our friendship; measuring in dog years for it felt longer than it really was.

I always felt a sense of thinly veiled separation in Tracy’s work.

Isolation that comes with self-consciousness and insecurity; the quiet darkness of anxiety.

I also felt his love for his fellow humans; creatures; and lands.  I felt his all-in nature; nothing left in the fridge or on his back.  He was humbly bearing it all to you and me.

Resident Artist, Connie Karleta Sales with Tracy Hicks, Fall 2013©Tracy Hicks
Resident Artist, Connie Karleta Sales with Tracy Hicks, and Olga. Fall 2013©Tracy Hicks


Generosity. Willingness. Observation. Opinion. Fear. Desire. Passion. Curiosity.  I believe the “it” changes with each person he stood next to.  mentored, befriended.

Do you bear love?

Yes.  Is this negative? No. unless we allow it to consume us that way.  Unless we stand by and allow others to consume others gluttonously this way.

Tracy did not stand by.  Tracy did not allow his own quietness or anxious inner insecurities to stop him from inviting you in to share a meal for the body, mind, and soul.

Tracy invited you to practice, play, and wonder along side him.  He did not hold himself up or down.  He saw your beauty and your gifts.  He wanted you to see the same.  He challenged your comforts, and encouraged your curiosity.

He held life so precious, and loved beyond comprehensions.  Indeed, he bore as much as he bare.  With such a feast of creative love, he invited you to eat, have time, and be satiated.

Freedmen’s Field (Link opens in new tab)

What a feast! a beautiful, delicate dinner table of past and present.  He shared this dinner with us.  He shared the dinner with the memories of those he never knew.

Whoever these people were, Tracy and  Deb had found remains of their lives.  Didn’t matter who they were or were not, Tracy invited them to the table.  Did not matter who we were or were not; who I was or was  not; Tracy invited us to the table.

Today, help me bear it all to you; walk with you openly in naked invitation to the table created by our walks, together.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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She dreamed of simple things in color-graphite lines of charcoal

she battled on
for she dreamed
of the simple things

the simple things
sweet-pie cookies
of dreams, she battled on

she battled on
and on she roared
dreams of simple

the clothes she whore

Violence comes in many forms both physical and emotional. It is inherently corrosive in nature. Far too many individuals walk through life in darkness; feeling isolated and shamed by the struggles and secrets of their experiences.

Installation View, Brave House Secrets (detail #1), Track 13, Nampa, Idaho 2014

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

*she dreamed of simple things, 65″ x 48″, pigment, ink, graphite, paper, ©CKS, 2013-14

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Immaculate Charcoal

unsullied, i am
in impurities.

unclean, i am
in perfections.

unfurled my chaste
i gather my temperance
on the paste-chalk lines
of charcoal.

sullied is
clean is

pure, breathe air
of imperfection’s delight
i temper my haste
in paper-sand-dust.

work in progress

love in a time of turbulence
repetitive contemplation
active listening

We must act according to our integrity.  How do we find such things?  Where do we find where we belong within the context of belief, integrity, and action?


“Repetition strengthens and confirms” a friend once said.  Indeed.  True words.


Never give up.  Repetition; teaches us into action.  Actions us into where our teaching needs attention.

Practice, teaching us to listen.

Paint much love,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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We shall find Peace as We Draw

Stop the violence.
Be the peace.

Stop the violence.
Be with peace.

In the breathing
Rest in me.
In the breathing 
Rest with me.

Stop the violence.
Be the peace.

Stop the violence.
Ask me please.

Draw me pretty.
Draw me raw.

Stop the violence.
Be the peace.

Dress the girl.
Pretty girl walking.
Bleeding dress
Girl torn rough.

Stop the violence
Be with peace.

Denying events in our lives,
only hurts; the US;
and you.

Abuse, illness, pain, hurt, fear, joy, and beauty.

I learned to hide.
To hide the all of it.

Does not mean I didn’t feel it.
Does not mean it didn’t happen.
Does not mean anything.

Except, what it is; hiding.

A shadow creature.
Whispering through words.
Shouting in the darkness through charcoal sands ruffling paper.

I wanted to campaign against violence.
I wanted to be the change I wished to see.
I wanted to be the peace.
I wanted
and I wanted.
I wanted so many things.

Stop the violence.
I wanted peace!
I hurt when others hurt.
I cried when others cried.
A piece of me dies,
each time someone dies.

No, I don’t understand.
You are correct, I don’t.
I am done with it
As I have said before.

I will be peace.
If I have to share every last story
hiding within my bones.
My marrow seeping.
My vessels spasm.

Has won.

love is raw, and pretty, and truthful. and Truth, will set you free

Own your story, for it is beautiful just the way it is. Because you are beautiful just the way you are. I say this because in my life, people, such as medical professionals, have attempted to shame me, and dismiss me simply because I had abuse in my past.  First came the physical, sexual, and psychological violence.  Then came medical violence.

Call it what it is, I do not want one person to endure the ANY of THIS.
I invite others to join me; telling every last story within me until change happens.

We shall find peace as we draw ourselves into existence.

paint each day with love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

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The Object

Hungry, very hungry;
she is locked in a mind
that does not always
belong to her.

(excerpt from The Object)

Brave House Secrets
Mirror Observation
Memory Meditation

She bears the burdens of her experiences while being annihilated with love.  She is the unacceptable object.  She is truth staring at the everyday.  She is an object on display.  She is me as I look into the mirror and sense the long ago shame creeping out the skin of my today.

paint much love, always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

*the object, 34″ x 24″, ink, pigment, charcoal, graphite, paper, ©CKS 2013 (sold)