One of my favorites

Portrait of JRR Tolkien
“And some things
that should not have been
forgotten were lost.
History became legend.
Legend became myth.”
― JRR Tolkien
in The Lord of the Rings

He, too, was a soldier during the First World War. Some scenes in his books are a reflection on his experiences.


Flowers from clay and metal

My great-grandmother had a younger brother who volunteered for the Iowa National Guard just after the Pancho Villa expedition into Mexico. After America became embroiled in World War I, he was sent to Europe to fight in the trenches. He was injured in July of 1918 and died from his injuries in France, where he is buried.

Since learning about him, I have been researching his life and experiences. He wrote many letters home which have been saved for posterity.

Recently I watched a film, They Shall Not Grow Old, by Peter Jackson of Lord of the Rings fame. It is an incredible movie. It is about the First World War, using film recorded more than a hundred years ago during the war. The soldiers come to life. It is amazing the technology and techniques used to make the documentary.

It inspires me to create similar projects of my own. I want to tell the story of great-great-uncle who died in France. I want the world to know.

In Flanders Fields


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
        In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
        In Flanders fields.


Tomayto, Tomahto


Pop art TOMATO print by artist and nun Corita Kent

Luann, creative mentor and former board member, shared this in the last open studio:

“Creativity belongs to the artist in each of us.
To create means to relate.
The root meaning of the word art is ‘to fit together’
and we all do this every day.
Not all of us are painters but we are all artists.
Each time we fit things together we are creating
– whether it is to make a loaf of bread, a child, a day.”
Corita Kent




Sound Sufferer, Sanity Sucker, Serenity Slapper, Soundless Sobbing.

Small sounds – Huge problems
Breathing, chewing, chomping, slurping, bowl banging
pen clicking, keyboard tapping, whistling, walking…

Eyes engorged with sound,
synapses tied in a jumble of knots
implode with another breath.

Trapped in a crater of insanity
noise echoes, brain howls.
emotions erupt
fragments bombard.

I cringe,
gut ravaged.

Revel in silence

Misophonia, a neurological condition, is real.
Many in the medical community don’t understand and dismiss it,
often believe it’s a mental health issue.
People suffer in silence,
withdraw from family, friends, society, feel alone in a sea of triggers.

I shut down at dinner tables, cringe when people type on key boards, breathing puts me over the edge, gum snapping sends me outside my limits.
I can’t get away from sound.
When I was a kid my dad smacked his lips, I tried to mimic him hoping he’d notice and stop eating like a pig, but he didn’t.
I was afraid of him, so I suffered in silence.
My brother had asthma and snorted, a cousin had inner ear problems and snored.
I was afraid of the rage I felt with each inhale and exhaling breath.
So I clenched and suffered in silence.
My motto became shut down and half smile, I didn’t know what else to do.
Tension crunched in my brain,
I’ve lived on the edge of sanity, my nerves shattered,
face scrunched, my body clenched with the assault of each sound.

Now, I understand, my brain is just a little different.
When I get triggered by people eating or breathing, I bristle and move away.
I still shut down and half smile, people sense my energy shift and think I’m a bitch.
Sensory overload is the way I live, misophonia, a brain thing, it’s real.
Researchers are studying it, are learning, but don’t have a fix.
So still, I suffer in silence.

In class when people eat or drink or breathe a little loud, I can think of nothing else; my focus is trapped in each crunch, each crinkle of wrapping, each sip, each breath.
One day a fellow classmate was writing vigorously, I could hear nothing else,
each scrawl was an assault to my senses, a punch to my brain.
People click, tap their pens in thought,
that’s all I can hear and can’t write another word.
How do I go through life like that?
I suffer in silence

The other day at a PwA meeting two people mentioned they have misophonia.
OMG, I thought; thank you for sharing. I exclaimed “I love you.”
I thought I was alone, so alone.
Now I have allies, now I can see the ‘me’ in the ‘them’ and know they suffer too.
If there were three of us in a meeting of ten, how many more of us are there?
How many more people suffer in silence?
We are not alone,
As I write this, tears are flowing down my cheeks, I am not alone.
Thank you Path with Art,

Pam Winter