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Song of Absorption

No blanket quiets
the fire in her belly —
faith unknown is she.

CKS

Brave — Haiku This
Originally published in Haiku Hub

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

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Perseverance Meets Sustenance

Perseverance Meets Sustenance, digital drawing, CKS

When Perseverance
met Sustenance
embers ignited

into soul fire.

Winter
caressed her shadows;
and peace settled itself
within her heart-walls.

CKS

from series Reflections of Sentient

a growing family tree
drawings of warmth and growth
digital drawing

Winter is here, and for many holidays have arrived. I hope you remember how beautiful you all are.

Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday. A day devoted to supporting your favorite charities. There are also non-official places and people to support as well. Individual people doing awesome things. One such person to consider is:

A Cornered Gurl – Founded/Owned by Tre L. Loadholt, an absolute champion of young writers and a talented writer in her own right. Donations through her PayPal on A Cornered Gurl go to pay an honorarium to writers. Check it out, read, share, subscribe, and consider donating here

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

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Heal Me Open

Rise through darkness;
Sun glittering amid her trees.
Awake. Alive.
Revisiting the feeling of being.

CKS


been looking for a means to draw using my eye tracker; just couldn’t figure it out until yesterday. I realized I could set the “mouse” settings. I set one to “hold down” and lines became possible.

Now, I am practicing making lines. It is not as easy as one might think. Concentration and realizing how much your eyes move and you don’t realize it.

Keep exploring! and paint much love always,
Connie Karleta Sales
a.k.a. This Crooked Little Flower

lines of possibility


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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.

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

unsubstantial frailties
of my countenance,

hear our prayer.

CKS

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


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she loves her

art met soul.
swan-gazed they embraced,

each their stillness of
frenzy; blushed with their curiosity.
#shelovesher;
alive.
CKS

Twins, Art met Soul, #shelovesher, work in progress, digital drawing, part of Standing Human


my art met my soul when I was just a little girl. I didn’t know it. Its probably a good thing. She was a quiet constant in my life; art and soul. When I met the both them, I was in college and home where I had always been; submerged in the Creative.

it was 1994, within my installation of Bearing the Burdens of the Father; personal reflections with the Stations of the Cross, where I came to know her and accept that she was me, and this me loved the connections with we.

she did not really belong to me; I always knew that. I was her hands and her feet. She taught me and told me what she needed; entrusted me to care for her needs, to meet her voice with mine.

not just my art and my soul, but your art and your soul too

here we are today, standing human, together. she loves her which means she loves you. Have you met her? If so, how are you; how is she? If not, what stops you from holding her hand? May you know her, may you be satiated.

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.

CKS

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;

being.

Feeling her in
arms so warm;

exhale.

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

CKS


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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Breathing Through Fear

Fear of my Hunger
of helplessness soaking your deafness.
not your fault; not mine; so whose?

left there I am nowhere.

The leaves are rustling,
twinkling soft winks through my window;
it is a smile pausing
a Moment of none.

CKS

Breathing through Fear, digital drawing, 10 x 8in (22.86 x 17.78cm)


I rely on my feeding tube for nutrition and sustenance. My stomach does not empty fast enough for bolus feeds, and swallowing ability is limited. Nutritionally balanced formula and water are slowly dripped via a feeding pump 24/7.

My formula and supplies are delivered monthly. At the end of December the company delivered a weeks worth of formula and supplies, and stated the rest will be shipped. It was then they informed us they were bought out by another company. New company drop ships everything.

That was on a Friday. Come Wednesday, no formula and no supplies. I call to make sure everything will arrive by Friday. This is when my local company and I learned that, no, my account was not set up; my information as a patient was not transferred over in the buy out.

My local company and I get on the phone with this new company. I am told they are waiting on my chart, and there is noone to contact to expedite. I must wait.


So, my formula and supplies are not going to arrive by Friday.
“I understand it must be frustrating, ma’am.”


Um, I rely on this for my nutrition and sustenance. Running out is detrimental. Frustrating does not describe how I feel. Eventually resolution did happen. I spent until yesterday without. I dealt with not having enough.

It does not end there. They sent the wrong bags. I call. I am told they will correct this but will not be able to ship the right bags until next month. NO. This is not possible. I have a few extra but you must fix this and send them. I shut down the initial attempt to blame everyone but their company with the firm broken record technique. The correct bags are being sent. I will call today to ensure it is done.

I was Hungry, Angry, Lonely, and Tired as the adage goes. And I did what the adage says to do – HALT.

My personality is such, today, I speak up. I am a squeaky wheel. My family squeaks on my behalf. I can remember when this was not the case. I remember myself, when I was terrified and quiet to my own detriment.

Any small opposition, I shut down; sometimes hiding in my closet; doubting my own reality; finding new ways to call myself stupid.

Making it okay to be hungry; I don’t deserve to meet my needs. Selfish to ask and feeling guilty over feeling scared; when frustration does not describe the situation.

These feelings of panic and anxiety are familiar. I feel small and humiliated; making hurt normal and making a wrong; right. A mix of inexcusable behavior, livable.


My natural inclination is to write, to doodle, to draw until it leaves; until I feel safe again; until I am able to look up and say, okay, its gonna be okay Connie.

The only difference today is having a few more techniques in materials and facility. I have a greater sense of self. Response versus desperation.

This week, I chose to breath into the fear. With this, I smile into the hunger. I sit with anger. and we dance, and the dance is genuine, life lives full, and I stay in view. Occupying the space I do. My needs; met.

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


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and, please don’t forget share. My work is meant to be shared. Thank you so much! CKS


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Letting Go ~ Antidote to Worry

red spot tragedy
I am I was an ugly;
girl made raw; made beauty.
CKS

From Series ~ Brave House Secrets and To Speak Both Handed

Memoir
Mirror Observation
Energetic Word
Meditation Prayers


Season after season of our lives we peel back each layer of shame and insecurity.  Below I share a memory from several years ago; an important moment in time for me.  I felt it important to bring it here to Crooked Little Flower.

Why?

Shame is placed.

There are many types of trauma; physical, mental, sexual abuse; injury, illness, loss. Often a consequence of trauma is shame.  Shame is a worthless devaluing of ourselves.  A feeling of “wrong”.  Even when I did nothing, I believed I must have done something.  With this shame comes fear, anxiety, insecurity, and self-hatred.

Why I chose to believe the things I believed about myself?  How I thought making myself ugly was the answer to my problems?  Implosion of self seemed safe.  In the good and in the difficult, there are consequences.  Consequences are not always negative.  Are we ready?  To handle the consequences both positive and negative?  grief and joy?  shame and letting go?

There was a time not so long ago, I was predominately housebound.  Agoraphobic.  I was terrified to leave my house.  I looked around and saw danger.  I felt raw and naked.  I had no defense.  In public, I made little eye-contact with you.  It was painful.  With help, I worked hard and I overcame much.

I reflect now as I am once again predominately housebound.  This time, out of a different type of illness.  Neurologically my body is struggling.  Since September, slowly I progress. Slowly I adapt.  I am grateful for these things.  I am not able to drive.  I am hindered by heat and humidity.  I often am at rest; allowing my body to recharge enough to do things like dishes, or writing.

Two circumstances leading to similar ends.

One called, PTSD and the other called, Neurological Disease.  I ask myself, why is one considered an invisible wound?  Why does one of the above lead to feelings of shame and the other does not?

I ask these questions because I know my experience of shame, fear, and self-doubt led to unacceptable experiences in the medical community.  I blame no one.  A systemic problem, with a solution based in education on a deeply personal level.

Much like the below experience of cleansing myself of certain shame, today I cleanse myself of medical shame.


**autobiographical:  artwork deals with difficult subject matter**


red spot tragedy, 30" x 22", latex, pigment, graphite, charcoal, paper, ©CKS, 2005-07
red spot tragedy, 30″ x 22″, latex, pigment, graphite, charcoal, paper, ©CKS

I am an ugly girl
no, but i once was.

I chose it. I chose to be ugly.
Wrapping myself in a blanket of shame; gripping so very tightly; I failed to allow myself to breathe. Have you ever experienced a single breath? as if it were the first?

I took that breath yesterday.

I heard; for the first time.
I saw; for the first time.
I smelled; for the first time,
and I felt; for the first time.

The loneliness;
The sadness;
The compassion I felt for myself;
Was overwhelming.

The person with me said, “Welcome! Welcome to this world.”
The shame attempted to come back. I kept repeating the word “compassion” in my head so shame could not rain upon me with lead droplets bruising my skin; permanently damaging my very being with its poison.

I call in panic!
A person.
Screaming inside!

A little girl grasps onto my legs;
And she screamed, and she screamed,
And she screamed!

And this loneliness and this sadness I spoke of was there with no one to protect me. This person showed me a way to calmness. For the screaming child, and for the feelings; we brought a cleansing rain.

The kind of rain in mountain lands; when you watch it thunder in; and the rain falls, and you stand there because it is so refreshing. Who cares if you are wet, because you watch it go, and because it is so hot, everything is dry within minutes.

So, for this child,
And for these feelings;
We brought this rain.

And she stopped.
She screamed into
The tears; and
She cried.

She cried, and she cried, and she cried.

Then, the rain left, and she lay in the grass, in the still of the night; blanketed by thousands of stars. Why? Because you are lying on the road, in the dead of night; warm concrete; no city.

With this came the calm, and with the calm, we drifted off to sleep. And last night was one of the first nights in my entire life, I slept. I slept remembering nothing; no nightmares; no pictures in our head creating terror.

No pictures. No fears.
We did not reside in place;
Place of choice;
The place, where we made ourselves ugly.

These feelings I speak of came from a part of me I thought I knew well. Her strength I took for granted, never recognizing her worth.

I am sorry our shame kept us so very separate, for it was with her I gained compassion. Her compassion which is now our compassion.

I listened many times; but

never did I hear;
never did I see;
never did smell;
never did I feel.

Be not afraid, my sweet one, for you are precisely where you belong.
This, an experience of letting go; an experience without shame.

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


via Daily Prompt: Controversy


antidote to worry, 30" x 20", pigment, ink, graphite, paper, charcoal, ©CKS, 2013-14
antidote to worry, 30″ x 20″, pigment, ink, graphite, paper, charcoal, ©CKS


contact dk gallery for availability:  770.427.5377