Last night, I made a little flower pouch that I carefully stitched by hand out of colorful scraps of patterned fabric. The activity of making something with my hands fills my heart with peace and just for those moments, I feel fine about everything.
This morning, I woke up before the sun and after dropping my daughter off at school, I went to the gym. As I walked in place on the treadmill, thoughts of guilt and remorse started filling my mind and I couldn’t even look in the mirror that was in front of me.
I realized then, as I had realized before, how self centered I had been all my life.
I tried to think of ways I could be a better mother, wife and friend but the solution eluded me as it always had. Somehow, I had something dark and deep inside that held me back and it was always in the shadows, keeping me at arms length from true happiness.
I walked faster and faster on the treadmill and raised the incline so high it was like climbing Mount Everest. I thought that if I ran fast enough and worked hard enough, I could shake the uneasy feeling I was having in the pit of my stomach but as the sweat poured down the sides of my temples, I still couldn’t face my reflection.
Then, as sudden as it came, the queazy, uneasy feeling lifted. My heart was beating, my skin was moist and I felt a breeze of cool air around me. I stepped off the treadmill, wiped my face and neck with a towel and walked out of the gym to start the working day.
When I got home, I saw the little flower pouch I made the night before. Even though I may feel somewhat crippled in some arenas of my life, I was given a gift to create and share beautiful things, and that, I decided is enough of a reason for being okay with me.

About Karen Elaine

Artist, author and teacher.
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2 Responses to Omiyage

  1. Phyllis says:

    Hi Karen,
    I just saw you on the Carol Duvall show again today, and I want you to know that you are one of my very favorites! You are clever, funny, and so talented. After I watch you do your paper magic, I always go to my computer and print out the instructions for your artwork. You make me believe that if you can make it (whatever it is), I can make it, too. Whenever you are on the show, I know it is going to be a beautiful day!


  2. Frank says:



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