Poetry and Prose: “Feeling Vulnerable” written by Karen Robinson

While you are here – please check out my home page!

 

No. 1 of 5 Creative Writing - Poem Titled 'Crying Roses' written and photographed by Karen Robinson 5th November 2015.JPG

“Ben was killed in a single vehicle car crash on the 5th November, 2009. He was driving at 140 kilometers per hour, had 0.08 Blood-Alcohol-Content, hit a kangaroo, lost control of his vehicle and crashed into two trees at approximately 1am in the night. He was discovered dead by his motor vehicle by a fellow workmate a couple of hours after his death. Ben was aged 25 and died three weeks before his 26th birthday. Ben was a beautiful, loving young man but had a history of driving offenses that meant as his mother I feared the worst might happen, and it did. In memory of our dear son Ben, we wish you were still here with us today, you are missed by us all – everyday. All our love son….mum xxx”. Written by Karen Robinson NB: All images and written content is copyright protected..JPG

 

 

INTRODUCTION

This week I was asked by ABC 774 if I would like to do an interview with them about road safety and road trauma. To talk about the work that I myself and so many other people at Road Trauma Support Services do every day – in the hope that these efforts will save lives and reduce serious injury caused by road trauma.  The interview was directly in response to a dreadful car crash that had occurred just this week where a 15-year-old boy had been killed, two young girls critically injured and two others injured in a single car crash.  This below is the interview sound cloud produced by TAC Victoria with Raf Epstein – DRIVE Program ABC 774 featuring myself as the interviewee.

 

 

 

USING CREATIVE WRITING AS THERAPY

It is never easy talking about road safety and road trauma, especially when it directly relates to my son, about his sudden and tragic death caused by road trauma on the 5th November 2009.  Just before speaking with Raf Epstein I found myself pensive, and during the interview itself, I found my voice quivering uncontrollably.  Afterwards, that night I couldn’t sleep.  Based on these reactions I was experiencing – I decided to attend my scheduled Creative Writing Session with Judy Bird our facilitator.  This group of people whom have become friends over the years is where I shared a Prose Poem I wrote that very morning about how I was feeling about my radio interview experience.  I was very comforted by the fact that all understood that at anytime I publicly talk about my son Ben and my family’s road trauma story – there is a price that is exacted. I feel my prose poem as shown here below does help to convey that fact.  I am also conscious of the fact that many other parents that have experienced the loss a child through road trauma would possibly have similar feelings, thoughts and emotions.

 



 — Feeling Vulnerable —

 Why am I feeling this way?
 I've done this many times before.
 I have spoken about my son,
 and his tragedy,
 so many times before.
 
 Was it the statement 
 the father made,
 saying it was not a tragedy?
 Did that cut right through my heart?
 
 Here I am again - vulnerable.
 My grief and despair
 exposed like an open wound
 that will never heal.
 
 My voice quivers
 as I talk. It's hardly noticeable to others,
 I think, but for me it is loud
 and demanding of my attention. 
 It is uncontrollable.
 
 I state the facts.
 I talk of the families
 that will now be hurting.
 I am hurting.
 How can I make it stop?
 It will never stop.
 
 My son is no longer here.
 His death - sudden,
 violent and unnecessary.
 
 Here I am again - vulnerable.
 But it will pass until the next time
 my heart is torn open.
 
 – ο –


 
 Prose Poem by Karen Robinson © October 2016
 
 *Please click here 
 to read other Poetry & Prose written by Karen Robinson 
 
 

Ben James Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

Ben James Robinson 16.11.83 to 5.11.2009  NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

 CONCLUSION

Sharing my prose poem with the members of the Creative Writing Group, a safe space created by the facilitator, Judy Bird, very much ensured I was feeling well supported. It ensured I was OK and I was!  Creative writing for therapy at its best I feel…

 

 

© Karen Robinson – October 2016

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  Post-traumatic Growth – My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson

Creative Writing Group Session – 2 of 5 September 2016 by Karen Robinson

While you are here – please check out my home page!


 

1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two - I'm ready to start with my creative writing session with Mind Australia and facilitated by Judy Bird. Photographed by Karen Robinson

1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two – I’m ready to start the creative writing session made available by Mind Australia, facilitated by Judy Bird. Photographed by Karen Robinson

 

INTRODUCTION

This was our second September Creative Writing Group Session – made available by Mind Australia, and facilitated by Judy Bird, for carers of loved ones experiencing mental health issues. It was evident from the group’s noisy, happy chatter that all participants were keen to be there!

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 1

During this week’s creative writing session we were asked if we would like to share our homework from the previous week. We had each been given a postcard which featured an oil pastel painting by Tyler Arnold of High Street, Northcote – March 2016, and an image of the postcard is featured below. The instruction from the facilitator was to write for 5 minutes about the postcard picture which is exactly what I did.  A number of participants read out their stories and it was amazing to hear the different takes on what they had gained from viewing the postcard itself.  Most of the participants had turned the postcard over prior to writing, which showed details of the painting’s location – I had not done this!  At the end of my story you will note I say that “maybe one day I will visit this destination” only to realise, in this session, I have already been there!

 

Title:  Postcard Story

When I look at my postcard, I cannot help but think of some exciting, historical travel destination to come – where the unknown is to be found and enjoyed. Where new sights and sounds can be gobbled up into one’s memory banks and accessed in times when life appears dreary and dull.  I also like the wonderful, chunky, oil painting technique shown, reminding me of Old Masters and their amazing abilities in time long gone, leaving me to wonder “what was it like, then”. I also like the period-style homes that are featured in the postcard, double storey, squished side by side and with doorways positioned right on the street pathway.  Cars are tightly parked along the gutter, barely allowing a breath of space between each of them.  There’s a pizza sign on one of these buildings giving the locals a place to get a quick and easy meal perhaps to be consumed after a busy day at work.  A sign indicates it’s a 40-kilometre speed zone within this street, slow enough for pedestrians to dash across the road and cars to slow down to avoid mishaps.  Each side of the image are lush trees showing off full green foliage, hinting that it must be full summer.  The windows of the buildings peer directly over the busy suburban street, allowing their residents to see all the action happening in the outside world as they tend to their homely activities.  As I stated before – perhaps one day I will visit a destination like the one on my postcard and stop to gobble up all the sights and sounds to recall on my dreary and dull days.

© Karen Robinson – September 2016

 

4 of 4 Post Card of 'High Street, Northcote in March 2016' Oil Pastels by Artist Tyler Arnold' used as a source of creative writing inspiration during Creative Writing Session One

4 of 4 Post Card of ‘High Street, Northcote in March 2016′ Oil Pastels by Artist Tyler Arnold’ used as a source of inspiration for our Creative Writing homework giving at session one – September 2016.

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 2

Another creative writing task we were given was to find something that we thought no one else had noticed.  One morning before this session I was sitting quietly, working at my computer, when I decided to write for the task, as I had found quiet and peace whilst no one was noticing, just before dawn.

 

Home

­
It is quiet and peaceful
at this very moment.
There are no ‘world worries’ in my space.


I hear birds awakening
 to the beginning
 of a new and promising day.


Inside here in my home
it is safe and warm,
and outside, surrounding my home,
is a garden paradise
grown and crafted
by the loving hands of a man
I cherish.


Here, I know, is a place
 for me
to run and hide -
to shelter from the outside world’s daily challenges;


a place where I can be myself –
unafraid, comforted.

The family dog sits beside me,
endearingly,
as always.


Together we wait for the morning-sun
to show its friendly face


and when my husband arises,
from his night’s sleep,
it is then we will take coffee
 and talk
in the security of each other’s company.


It is quiet and peaceful here –
this blessed place
I call home.


– Ο –

Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - September 2016

5 of 5 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two - Home Garden used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

5 of 5 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two – Home Garden used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 3

At the commencement of this creative writing session Judy placed a box in the centre of the table – please find below a photo of the box.  We were then instructed to write about “what would be in the box if it was for us”.  It was an interesting request; there was no peering inside it to see if there was anything to be revealed.   We just had to imagine what was inside, and this is what I wrote:

 

Box!




I’m thinking all good
 has to be inside this box 
meant for me!  

There are stars floating across its surface 
and colours of the rainbow are fully displayed 
against a deep black background.

In my box --

perhaps hope, 
happiness, 
and joy
 will disperse 
as the lid is lifted;  

perhaps wonderful memories
 of the past
 will float out into my presence
 to be shared and enjoyed;  

perhaps promises of good times ahead
 will ascend
 into my hands
 as promissory notes
 that can be taken up at times
 when I am feeling sad;  

perhaps the sweet scent of Spring
 will drift into my soul
 and I will find myself
 taking a deep breath of rejuvenation;  

perhaps loud trumpets
 will bugle a merry tune
 and put me in fine spirits;  

perhaps fairy floss
 will spring from its centre, 
pink, sweet, 
and sticky to the fingers;  

perhaps a flutter of chirping noisy miners
 will escape, 
heading towards the highest trees
 in the garden outside;  

or perhaps
 there is just a whole lot of nothing!


 So, for me,
 I will not be taking the lid off this box
 as I already know 
what it is full of, 
and that is
 my imagination.


– ο  Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - September 2016

 

2 of 4 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two - Mystery Box placed onto table and to be used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

2 of 4 Creative Writing September 2016 Session Two – Mystery Box placed onto table and to be used as a source of creative writing inspiration. Photographed by Karen Robinson

 

CONCLUSION

It is always a pleasure to be participating in these Creative Writing Group Sessions.  Catching up with participants that have become friends is wonderful, and meeting new like-minded people a real privilege!  A big thank you to our Creative Writing Facilitator, Judy Bird, for making these sessions such an enjoyable time. So good for one’s well-being…

 


© Karen Robinson – September 2016

POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH:  Using Art & Creative Writing as Therapy – My Journey by Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!

							

Creative Writing Group Session – 1 of 5 September 2016 by Karen Robinson

While you are here – please check out my home page!


 

1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One - Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

1 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One – I’m ready to start with my creative writing session with Mind Australia and facilitated by Judy Bird.  Photographed by Karen Robinson. NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

INTRODUCTION

Once again Creative Writing Group Sessions for carers of loved ones experiencing mental health issues has been made available by Mind Australia and facilitated by Judy Bird.  Participants consisted of some familiar faces of people whom I had got to know during previous sessions, and others who were new to the group.  During this creative writing session, our facilitator gave us a number of creative writing tasks to carry out.  They were mainly designed to get us all re-acquainted, and to assist us in getting our creative writing brains into action!  Below I have included here, two of my writing pieces I under took during this first session.

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 1

We were asked to find something in the garden that no one else had noticed, and then write a piece about it. I found a wonderfully coloured umbrella!  In the photo image below of the umbrella you will notice that the sun is shining on its surface, but at the time of originally finding it, the sky was overcast, hence no sun on its surface at the time of writing this piece below!

 

Title:  Rainbow Umbrella

It’s waiting in the garden bed, waiting for its friends, the wind, rain and sun, to arrive.  It’s patient and mindful of its importance but does not demand attention from all who pass by.  Today it’s open and full of all the colours of a rainbow!  It’s waiting, waiting for you to pick it up and use it for protection from its friends, the wind, the rain and the sun.  Its name is ‘umbrella’ but its friends call it rainbow and its users call it a necessity.  Today umbrella is feeling a little neglected as there is no wind, rain or sun, and so there is no need for it.  So umbrella will just stay in the garden, resting and looking gorgeous, hoping that its friends will arrive so that it will be taken up and enjoyed!

© Karen Robinson – September 2016

 

3 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One - Rainbow Umbrella Story Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

3 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One – Rainbow Umbrella Story Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

 

CREATIVE WRITING PIECE NO. 2

We were asked to choose a card from a selection of cards on the creative writing-table, and then write about ‘what it brought to mind’.  The card I chose (as shown below) featured icing flowers and satin ribbons on top of a wedding cake.  It immediately reminded me of my days as a Bridal Designer – Haute Couturier and therefore became my source of inspiration for my creative writing piece ‘The Wedding Event’ found here below.

 

Title:  The Wedding Event

Over many years in my earlier life, I have been directly and indirectly involved in other people’s wedding day plans.  My part was in the making of their very special bridal gowns and sometimes the bridesmaids’ and mother of the brides’ outfits as well.  It was my job to design and make a bridal gown that a bride imagined would turn her from an ordinary everyday person into a princess for at least one day.  From my experience this is a flawed thought.  When I would first meet with a bride-to-be they were just like you and me, but over the course of time, in the planning of their wedding, something would change!  Invariably it was more like the bride-to-be became a she-devil, possessed by rage and self-interest that came dressed in white, and not the princess of fairy tales at all.  What happened to that lovely girl I met months ago, I would find myself asking?  Many times I have mopped tears away from the faces of distressed brides-to-be on their wedding day where professionally applied makeup was in danger of being ruined.  Many times I have tried to stop bridesmaids from planning the murder (not literally) of the bride-be-to!  Many times I have had to take out bridesmaids’ dresses and take in brides’ gowns, even after bridesmaids and brides-to-be have sworn they will not be losing or putting on weight.  There have also been the saddest of times, when tears have been shed due to unforeseen deaths in families but the wedding had to go on; and other times when just after the wedding day itself, the bride and groom have decided that their short-lived marriage is not working.   It is then that there is the realisation that all of the effort put towards bringing together families, the prince and princess, has dissolved into a bad experience, needing to be forgotten.  So unfortunately I have become very cynical about weddings and cannot help but feel that they should be the simplest celebration possible where the emphasis is on the union of two people who love each other and want to share this with family and friends.  Forget the rest – this is all that matters – and hopefully they will then share a lifetime of memories made of all that’s good that life has to offer.

© Karen Robinson – September 2016

 

2 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One - The Wedding Event -Photograph by Karen Robinson NB All images are protected by copyright laws

2 of 3 Creative Writing September 2016 Session One – Card used as source of inspiration for the creative writing piece titled:  ‘The Wedding Event’.  Written and photographed by Karen Robinson. NB All images are protected by copyright laws

 

CONCLUSION

It was a pleasure to be back within this Creative Writing Group.  Catching up with participants that had become friends was wonderful, and meeting new like-minded people a real privilege!  And a big thank you to our Creative Writing Facilitator, Judy Bird, for making the session such an enjoyable time. So good for one’s well-being…

 


© Karen Robinson – September 2016

POST-TRAUMATIC GROWTH:  Using Art & Creative Writing as Therapy – My Journey by Karen Robinson.  Please click here for my latest blog news!

 

Creative Writing – “When A Good Laugh Is Important!” written by Karen Robinson

While you are here – please check out my home page!

 

Karen Robinson at Creative Writing Therapy with Mind Australia - Northcote Town Hall October 2015 NB: All images are protected by copyright laws.JPG

Karen Robinson at Creative Writing Therapy with Mind Australia – Northcote Town Hall October 2015 NB: All images are protected by copyright laws!. JPG

 

INTRODUCTION

Our creative writing sessions have now come to an end.  This week we said our farewells to each other with the hope that in the future sometime, we may catch-up informally to talk about what’s been happening in our lives.  It’s somewhat sad but a necessary important part of our creative writing therapy.  Now is the time we take what we have learned about ourselves through our creative writing efforts, and put this new knowledge to good use.  Whether it be the practice of continued creative writing efforts and/or embarking on another kind of creative therapy, we know we are now in a better place than when we first started, and now better skilled to deal with what’s ahead.

 

WHEN A GOOD LAUGH IS IMPORTANT!

It was important during our very last creative writing session that we attempt to engage in a sense of cheeriness.  Our creative writing facilitator had us write a piece that was to be about something that was our favourite thing about ourselves.  We had 10 minutes to write the piece and at the end of that 10 minutes we were then invited to share what we had written – if we wished.  What I love about these kind of creative writing exercises is this, you never know what is going to pop into your head and be translated into the written word.  I am also amazed and intrigued by what others write and share as well, how their stories vary and how imaginative they can be.  Sometimes, the group’s stories can be sad, sometimes our stories can be revealing and insightful, and at other times they can have us laughing unexpectedly – which is always welcomed!

I wrote a creative writing piece on this last day that did just that, had everyone laughing with delight and I must admit it gave me a great sense of pleasure knowing that I was able to achieve this, on this our very last day of creative writing with this extraordinary group of people.  Below is my creative writing piece that was based around the creative writing facilitator’s request “about something that was a favourite thing about ourselves” and I hope you find it humorous as well – remembering that a good laugh about one’s self can be important!  It is titled ‘Favourite Thing About Self’.

 

No. 1 – MY CREATIVE WRITING PIECE

 

No. 2 of 3 Art Therapy Session One - July 2015 'Self Portrait' by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson.JPG

No. 2 of 3 Art Therapy Session One – July 2015 ‘Self Portrait’ by Abstract Artist Karen Robinson.  It was created by outlining the silhouette on my face and then using pastel and charcoal to create this image on paper.  It was done during the art therapy session itself. JPG



Title:  "Favourite Thing About Self"
  

My grey hair colour is perhaps my most favourite ‘self’ thing!

It’s the only thing that’s gotten better

as I have gotten older.




The nice perky boobs have diminished

and given way

to the over-ripe melons

that sag and sag.




My once-lovely flat belly

is now a memory overwritten

by a lumpy, bumpy hill

that does not flatten out when I lay down.

It just sits there reminding me

of my middle-aged spread.




My once-muscular legs

that used to attract all sorts of admiration

from both males and females,

a noticeable gift from my mother’s DNA,

are now always hidden away, under long pants, in shame.




My skin that used to be aglow

with good health

and good looks

has slipped away

secretly, quietly

– never to be found again.




And so it goes,

as it must --

all that was favourite

has been taken by that thief,

old age,

and I am now left with one thing in exchange for my youth --

my grey hair,

a favourite ‘self’ thing!




Oops, I forgot.

I do like my brain.

It’s been working, not better

but differently,

and I can see that it is going to help me

in my ripe, old age.




Good bye, good looks

and thank you, brain.




Prose Poem © Karen Robinson, April 2016

 

 

WHAT ADVICE I WOULD GIVE SOMEONE IN A SITUATION LIKE MYSELF

Before we were to finished up this particular session, our creative writing facilitator asked us to write one more creative writing piece.  This piece was to be about “what advice we would give someone in a situation like ourselves”.  In contrast to my writing piece above, this was a serious and thoughtful piece.

 

No. 2 – MY CREATIVE WRITING PIECE

 


Advice I would give someone in a situation like mine…

Keep looking forward 
when looking back is too hard to bear 
and look back 
when you are stronger.
 
Whilst the pain will still be there, 
it will have hopefully morphed 
into a bearable medium to work with
as time marches on and on.

Take a moment in each day
to look for something
that will bring you
 some kind of joy,
 
whether it be joy 
for just a moment
or joy
for a greater period of time.
 
In time, you will begin 
to reward yourself 
by looking for more and more 
joy in the everyday.

And after some considerable time
some of your days will be full of joy, 
and the sadness
will only come
when you invite it in.

Prose Poem © Karen Robinson - April 2016

 

 

CONCLUSION

Thank you to Judy Bird our creative writing facilitator, Gillian Scaduto our Mind Australia co-facilitator and our wonderful group members – I will never forget our time shared…

 

Art Therapy Session No. 2-'Silhouette Portrait' by Karen Robinson Materials-acrylic paint on butcher paper August 7, 2014 photograph taken by Karen Robinson Images Copyright .JPG

Art Therapy Session No. 2-‘Silhouette Portrait’ by Karen Robinson Materials-acrylic paint on butcher paper August 7, 2014 photograph taken by Karen Robinson Images Copyright .JPG

.

Written by © Karen Robinson, April 2016

Whilst you are here – please check out my home page!  Post-traumatic Growth – My Art Therapy JourneyA window into the soul of an Abstract Artist through art therapy and storytellingby Karen Robinson