Honesty about creativity, art, mental illness, grief, feminism, human rights and chronic pain with a healthy dose of sarcasm


August 2016

Perfectionsts’ Nightmere” 

I me a perfectionist. It is driving me bonkers to see some many errrrrors and not collect them, exspecially be cause I’m going to pubic this without editing first.

Pic of me thincing”Holy Feck, cannot beleave im publitinng such carp!”

Thats Wright today’s post will look like it was written buy the same drunk monkey who edited the 3nd bok in tha 50 Shades of Tripe. Trillahgee…

I am doing this excision at the re=commendation of my therapist. He says I should slack off a bit and let a few Miss Takes slide buy. Hew ants me to see thatv I do have toobe perfect all the time. 

On a scale from one to ten this excursions case is about an ate as far as anxiety introduction goes. I obsess over corrections and edit again and again until I feeeeeel it’s just rite. Even then I know I’ve likely missed an erection or two”.

But eye can do this. The world will not end if theres a ding-a-ling participle somewhere

Or a misspelled word, an incorrectly structured paraglider, or laughable compunction

I can go back to editing next:  post four4 now I gust I’ll revel in the “freedom” that “is is” not giving a frying fuck!



Today’s Special: Anxiety 

At risk of sounding whiney I’d like to express my experiences from earlier today. Sometimes it seems anxiety is a beast and I am its, long-suffering, bitch. 

It crept in this morning like a slow-moving fog, suffocating me before I realize how thick it is. I try to breath deeply and focus on listening to my headphones but the anxiety continues to bloom and blossom throughout my body.

This is the sketch I worked my anxiety out on. I think, for a practice piece, she turned out quite well. So glad I have access to such satisfying creative outlets.

I roll from my bed long before I need to be up, long before I’ve had enough sleep, and I stretch out my aching and tense muscles. The more anxious I become the more my pain increases…or is it the other way around?

I wrack my brain for a cause, pain management, upcoming appointments, over-booking myself, setting my expectations for myself too high, or some other myriad of possibilities. 

Could my anxiety be from baring my soul in a tell-all blog? I’m not used to offering up my life as story fodder in such a manner. Usually if I appear in one of my stories I am much more abstract or part of a composite and no more than a sidebar. 

Am I actually having an impact or is this some self-serving, narcissistic project only intent on garnering pity and pardon from everyday life? Is it worth giving it all away like this or should I continue to hide my mental health issues as is common practice?

I take a scalding hot shower and let the steam and water leech some of my aches and pains away. Next I head downstairs to a place of sanctuary. I click on an innocuous TV show and pull out my drawing tools. 

The smell of pencil shavings, erasers, and soft wax pencils all begin to sooths my jangled nerves. I immediately begin working on portrait practice. I find this skill difficult but difficult is what I need in order to best distract myself.

Soon I sink into a peaceful trance while I choose colours, begin shading, and try to rough in shadows and light. I add in my own touches and subtle changes. I let my imagination run wild.

Soon I am calmer and revel in it. I then head out the door to see a Dr. Just another day in paradise. I embrace the calm and get on with my day. 


Ashes to Ashes…

It took more than two years but we finally spread my Mother’s ashes as she requested.

I recall the day she told us where she wanted to leave the trappings of her physical life. It was about two weeks before she died and I decided to ask her what she wanted specifically. 

She spoke of a beautiful outlook west of the small town she and my Dad had called home for the past 15 years. She mentioned a gorgeous Vista of mountains and trees and a great gorge alive with a rushing river. My Dad knew where she meant so that part was set.

I asked next if she wanted her funeral to include anything special. She laughed and shook her head, saying, “you guys do whatever you think is right… I won’t be here to participate.”

I like to think the funeral was something she would have approved of. I am not so sure she’d be pleased with how long it took to spread her cremains. My Mom was a woman of action and waiting two years to complete our only real directive would likely have rankled. 

I feel better for having completed the task not so much for myself but for her. She had no choice about dying from cancer far too early, the least we could do is shake her forth into the wind and soil and sunshine where she wanted to rest.

Closure is not a feeling I can imagine myself finding but I do feel we accomplished something and there’s little my Mom loved more than crossing something off a to do list! 


Summer Girls – Mini Art Series

Summer Girls is a series of women’s faces in dreamy, garden-like scenes. I didn’t set out to create a series. Every time I finish one in the series I can’t wait to draw the next one, it’s already blooming in my mind. I’ve chosen a few of my favourites to show here. 

I have been really enjoying doing sketches like these in pencil crayon and marker. I think the medium as well as the subject matter compel me to keep creating more.

Mentally, especially when I’m in a lot of pain, sketching distracts me enough to keep me sane. Having control over where I can take a piece also gives me a sense of power where, in my life, so much about my situation is beyond my control. 

Please keep in mind I am an absolute amature artist. I’ve been at it since 2012 and taking lessons for the past three years. I try to practice every day and this definitely helps. I look forward to continuing to study and practice visual art.


All art featured in the Summer Girls k.perkins 

Cleaning out a Loved Ones Closet Without Losing Your Shit Entirely

One of the more difficult tasks when a loved one dies is cleaning out their closet. Here is a list of ideas that helped me make it through this task on more than one occasion. 

– Use old suitcases if you have any that you can be rid off and/or labeled boxes. Make four piles to start; Give Away, Donate, Keep, Discard. Start with a section of items hanging up or where you feel better about starting. 

– Specialty goods like golf wear is pricy and a friend who plays might be happy to have the extra options. Mark clothing to be given away with the recipients name and bag separately. 

– Donations can go directly into the suitcase and then straight to the thrift store. Ensure garments have been laundered and are folded neatly.

This is a picture of a closet.

– Keep Items to Keep to a minimum but be gentle. I kept quite a few items of my Mom’s and realized they weren’t for me later on when I was ready to part with them.

– Discard items that have stains or bad rips as well as used intimate garments. 

– Once you finish a section of the closet or a drawer take a break. You’ve earned time to process and relax.

– Other sections to be dealt with are sweaters, summer gear, winter coats and boots, shoes, socks, underwater, sleepwear, t-shirts, scarves, purses and accessories, and decorative jewelry. You can also tackle cosmetics and other toiletries if you’re on a roll.

– When it comes to more delicate and sensitive pieces like graduation or wedding dresses take your time. Hang on to them as long as need be. One day you’ll be struck by what to do with them or perhaps you’ll find the perfect person to pass them down to.

– Let yourself get a little crazy as you sort. A friend of mine said it helped her to point out the items she didn’t like and give them a good scrunch and chuck and carefully fold the items she was attached to. I found having some music to sing along to quietly helped. I also found having help and company helped (not too much help though. One – three total at most. The object is to keep it simple and avoid the gong show potential). I don’t think my Dad or I could have done it alone.

– Most important to remember is to do what you can as you can. This is no easy task for anyone so give yourself a break. Just make sure you keep trucking away at it, don’t allow a break to bring all production to a screeching halt.


Another Momless Birthday

I thought of my Mom a lot on my birthday last weekend. I miss her carrot cake with cream cheese icing. I miss the chance, no matter how childish, to lick the beaters. I miss chatting with her over a glass of wine or summer fresh mojjito. I miss her in the lounge chair on her back deck, her skin the golden brown of a woman who gardens and walks and faces into the sun.

The Weight of Her Absence – Acrylic heavy body and ink on canvas – I painted this a year or so ago to represent how hard it is to have her gone from our small family and how heavily it weighs at times.

I miss all of her, even the bits that drove me crazy. She tucked her cotton tops into her elastic waisted pants and had a penchant for head to toe lime green. She used silly expressions like, “wrong-o sleigh bell lover” or “close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades  (this usually pertained to curling)”.

I miss the warmth of her hugs and how freely she dispensed them. I miss our creative mash-ups. I miss watching the Gilmore Girls with her and so wish we could watch the new reunion season together.

I miss playing cards together at any campsite picnic table by the blazing lamplight. I miss trash talking and teasing and laughing until we cried. 

I miss her scent. Nothing heady or easily pinpointed. Cacao butter, mango, dryer sheets, pert shampoo, and, occasionally, a hint of apple blossom perfume. I tried to seal her scent into zip lock bags when I cleaned out her closet. Carefully folding a few t-shirts into a couple different bags and storing them safely in my top dresser drawer. Trouble is the scent dissipated…just like her. I can’t bring myself to let those bags go yet just in case, hiding somewhere deep inside, there’s just one more glorious whiff.

I know I can’t have her back but I still wished for her just the same when I blew out the candles.


Rant- A Womb of Her Own

This will be my first rant since starting my blog but certainly not my last. Oh, how I love to rant. This is a little more general and less personal than some of my blogs but it still makes my feelings perfectly clear.

I fear I may irk some readers with this so please remember it’s just an opinion piece and try to remain unirked😊

Let me start with the Matron Saint of having ones Womb Watched, the lovely Ms Jennifer Anniston. Ever since she shot to fame during her time as one of the stars of, 90’s TV hit Friends, tabloids have spent the ensuing decades speculating as to when she would finally grace the world with their well-earned baby Anniston.  

The tabloids have announced her pregnancy so many times it seemes they think they would know before her…like she’d invite the paparazzi along for her first ultrasound. 

The recently married, 47 year old, was subjected to another round of tabloid speculation when she was photographed on private property sporting a belly full of lunch in a bikini. Her press agent even issued a press release eschewing the “bump-patrol” and their  vicious prying.


Jennifer Anniston 

Is no woman safe from this sort of this constant speculation? I don’t have children and I don’t owe anyone an explanation but you wouldn’t believe how often I’ve been asked about it.

 I have friends who have been trying for years to conceive with no success. I have friends who barely have one child before they’re being asked about the next. Mothers are judged for having only children while those who choose to have multiple babies are also judged. In general, as women, we’ve all been haranged, often by strangers or acquaintances, about where we stand in relation to the birthing process.

If one should decide children are not wanted. Ever. One will likely fight off people telling one to, “just give it time, settle down and soon enough you’ll be normal and want babies”. 

Some families start young  and as long as both are consenting adults with reliable income who am I to judge? Quite frankly, who are we to judge the teen who gets pregnant and her world turns upside-down? Who are we to ogle at the young pregnant woman and eschew the woman who dares to have a child after 40. Who makes these asinine rules ? Like if you haven’t had children you must have fertility issues and if you do have fertility issues they might pat your hand lightly and say softly, “just give it time dear. If it’s meant to be it will be.”

“Just give it time dear,” can often sound like a bloody broken record. 

Comments about who’s pregnant and who’s not and why they should or shouldn’t be often cause hurt and shame to the woman and her partner. Speculation about what’s taking place in another woman’s Womb isn’t the business of anyone but Mom and possibly her partner or surrogates.

I know I’ve been sucked in before and speculated here and there but I need to stop. Society needs to stop. This preoccupation with reproduction only causes hurt, shame, guilt, and sadness. Bringing children into the world is important and joyous but there are other destinies too and they’re equally important. Let’s celebrate them all!

So please, unless expressly asked, leave it alone. You’ll know when you’re meant to know. It’s not your Womb to raid.


Nothing to Fear but Phobias

 Looking back, I realize when my anxiety flared to it’s worst I began to develop more and more phobias. Sure, in the past I’d  had a mild aversion to worms and slimy looking things but that mild aversion didn’t cripple me to the point of inaction. 

Disturbingly the phobias that began to plague me seemed to develop out of nowhere. I decided to seek therapy after a particularly frightening incident. 

Roughly 9 years ago I had closed down the restaurant where I worked. I checked and rechecked to see I’d locked the gate properly and finally managed to accept it was locked and got into my car. I then fought the urge to start all over by checking and rechecking I’d not forgotten anything inside the restaurant.

I managed to drive roughly half a block before turning around to go back and check the restaurant hadn’t caught fire. I turned back one more time before finally convincing myself to go home.

Later,in bed, my eyes snapped open at 3am and I was compelled to go back and check on the restaurant. I breathed a sigh of relief after driving half way across the city to find the building safe and sound.

I turned back twice more before finally heading home where I cried myself to sleep. I couldn’t understand why my conscientious streak had turned into paralyzing paranoia.

In the coming years I battled with a gripping fear of driving. I was terrified of handling any bend in the road above a speed of approximately 50kmh. This made navigating any stretch of highway frightening for myself but also damn dangerous for anyone sharing the road with me.

My friends and family could not understand my new aversion to driving. I felt horrible for not being able to explain and not understanding it myself. I hated the highway, handling curves and corners, passing, being passed, and, the ever-dreaded (by me only it seems),vanishing horizon. 

Seeing the crest of a hill and not being able to see beyond set my pulse pounding and my breathing shallow and ragged. I felt there would be no road to catch me should I cross that invisible horizon line. And, like a puppy chasing sun rays, as soon as I safely crested one horizon I’d begin to fear safe passage o’er the next.

I also developed a fear of flying even though I’d happily travelled on planes quite frequently since infancy. I feared forgetting to shut off the stove top, the oven, the coffee maker, or the curling iron thus burning my house to the ground. 

I feared losing my keys, locking myself out, running out of medication, losing my job, being robbed, the death of a loved one, and my own death. I feared all these things and more to varying degrees and for varying lengths of time until one day the fears became just a little quieter. Currently my fears are tamped down to little more than a whisper. 

I’m not sure what it is that finally exercised the demon of fear. Perhaps the medication did it, or therapy, or reading the right book, or doing enough fucking cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) work sheets,  just the passing of time, or a combination thereof.

I still have spells where fear creeps in and possesses my body and mind but, for now at least, I am able to quell the beast with relative ease.


Sanity Squad

Sylvia Plath and I had a laugh

Over cherry pie fresh from the oven

We discussed pills, bell jars, wills and the attractivness of covens

Then Virginia came in with tequila and gin

And gave a sweet, sideways grin

“Depression sucks,” we toasted, “good luck!”

And got ourselves drunk as fuck 


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