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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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Seeping of the Never

Flesh from my skin;
Bone, you daft;
Dark as night,
As death crawls, 
Seeping into the pores; 
My wells deeply contaminated
Spread like long shadows;
Moans hollow
The un-free.

CKS

Seeping of the Never, bedside sketchbook, digital drawing, 7 x 5 in (cm)


Sometimes, life grips to the tail of our yesterday and without a word leaves us mute; locked in our feeling of “I must do this on my own.” Locked in the voices that whip me with shame and embarrassment. I am better than this! I can do this. I am not stupid or dumb! I am not lazy or unmotivated! Hear my wet words; muffled and damp from my waters falling; tears within the secrecy of the I can’t.

I don’t know what “it” is; exactly. I have grown into realizing the “it” is probably a mixture of the effects of trauma past and learning disabilities. Where I once worked myself into illness and hospitalization trying to meet you where you need me to be, and I started to go there again without a blink; I choose not to go there. I choose, and truth is, I also do not have the energy to try.


My illness is what it is; I am still battling this cold/infection. I am depleted. I am not able to take care of all my responsibilities. I ask patience. Word/Image fill my soul.


I pursued working with an organization to help on the business end of business. Getting further than I ever had, I of course thought; I can do this. Truth is I cannot.

I can’t read the business plan outline let alone comprehend how to do this? Not an intellectual issue. I have had this issue my entire life; an embarrassing barrier in school and my attempts at regular employment. I spent a great deal of energy to hide it. I can do this; Connie, you can do this; figure it out.

I did create my own work arounds. Nobody seemed the wiser until college. The advisor didn’t know what to do with my test results. she said, it doesn’t make sense. You comprehend more than you actually read and that is not possible. I was in the bottom percentile in reading speed and the top in comprehension.

I stared and spoke with my stoic self, for I knew this answer. Apples and Oranges. You have one test in which we circle which word we are at when you say stop (reading speed). Another test in which at the top is a paragraph and multiple choice questions following (comprehension). Apples and Oranges.

You assume I actually read that paragraph. If you made me do that and then go through the questions I would never make it. I can no more tell you comprehensively what it is that paragraph. I can, however skip to the questions, and treat it as a word search puzzle. I don’t “read” anything.

She said, well, clearly you don’t need study skills class which is what this is designed to catch students who need help. I said okay.

Middle school I was simultaneously in honors English/literature and next hour I was in remedial reading. What can I say, I am a girl who has been obsessed with words since I was little, yet, words as words are actually very difficult for me to use as school and work need of me.

I am girl who is good at complex math and physics yet struggles to open a simple piece of mail or compose email or maintain her own blog/website.


In kindergarten I pitched a big fit when I wanted to be at the table with the kids who had recipe boxes of words. I threw a tantrum until I had my recipe boxes of words. I told them, I know those, those are words; I can write them, I love them, I want more of them please!!!! I begged.

No, Connie those are not for you. I pitched my fit until I proved, yes, they are for me. I already have basic writing abilities.

Yes, I struggled to put them in sentences, I failed diagramming sentences. Yet, my favorite two books are actually first, Mr. Thesaurus and Second, Mr. Dictionary.

I am the kid who could have told you where to find the answer (its half way down on the right side of the page) and yet somehow blind if you make me actually try and read and tell you the answer.


Fourth Grade, Mrs. Campbell, she gave me a gift. One day, she said, tell the story of the words. I did. I could read aloud in animation and inflection and body the words. After I could not necessarily tell you what I had just read, but other people could. In fact, as an adult, it translated into being a good narrator, reader in church or public. People enjoying listening to me speak.

Even if I had to spend hours afterwards on my own, doing my thing, in order to soak into my bones what I had read aloud so eloquently.

I doodle and fidget in class or on the phone to soak in the material. It is a lot of energy to spend figuring out what it takes to get by in this world when your brain just doesn’t fit in.


I loved hanging out in the Rainbow Room in Elementary school because I fit in better. I felt safe and as though the kids there got me. I didn’t have to work so hard to fit in. I didn’t feel awkward there.

In the Rainbow Room I didn’t feel awkward. Then I felt weird. How come there is “Rainbow Room” and “the rest of the students”. What is the difference?


Forth Grade, Mrs. Campbell introduced us to Shell Silverstein. Honestly I was an adult before I understood the word poetry. And until now, I didn’t understand or label myself a poet; still don’t call myself a writer.

I don’t know what I am. Does it matter? what/who I am?

All this spilling from my eyes over words, a business plan template and examples. and being asked to do it. I break down mentally/emotionally. My sweet husband at my side loving me as I am; and telling me its okay to say no. I don’t have to figure anything out.

I tell him I feel like I am spinning as I did in attempting regular employment. He nods. agrees. He doesn’t understand why I feel the need to figure “it” out, why I have the obvious need to prove; I can do this. When clearly, there is something about my brain that no matter which road I take ends the same way. Connie, hiding, getting soaked in her water, falling.


I find myself shaking and in tears. I simply can’t;

and I choose not to even try. I have enough. I have been happy and fairly free of attempting to fit in.

There is where I wish to remain. How easily I assume I am doing “it” wrong. I am less than, I am not as good as, and I must figure out how to do it right.

Because if I don’t I am going to be in trouble, I have no worth, and that is never a good thing. I choose rest. I choose to allow myself to grieve, to have anxiety, and to say, no, I don’t have to figure it out. I can just keep being Connie. It actually is safe to be who I am.

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