This entry is another one from my hike on Horseshoe Road in Durand Eastman Park last week. I wrote this poem on the photo at the beginning of the hike. I have been uncertain about the content and have pondered it for a week now and have shared it with only a couple of people. They agree that is stands as is and that it is good to have something that can be pondered in multiple ways. Fun fact, I shared it with a couple that was also hiking and they said that their daughter would have adopted me if she had heard it at that moment! The poem is a little difficult to read on the photo, so I will re-type it below.


In the marsh I see

a fortress

not escaping me

I hold my fear

as if a bird

cold haunting

drifts away into

the fluid wind

of time

Durand Eastman Park, Horseshoe Road-ish

Friday, April 30th, turned out to be a very windy cold day… It was originally supposed to be very pleasant, so I took a vacation day and planned to go to Letchworth State Park… Well, on the day of… my hiking buddy chickened out… Oh, well, so I stayed local and went to Durand Eastman Park instead. I chose the entrance of Horseshoe Road because I had never entered that way before… and off on an adventure I went… I’d have to get a really good hikers map to tell you what pond the below pictures are from… I love the contrast of the one time I had brilliant sun and all my camera could capture was the shaded portion under the log… very cool… I even got a mini-video of the rippling wind on the pond, but it wouldn’t upload correctly… oh, well…

I think that all three photos bring out totally different modes/moods/creativeness to ponder with… to escape into… to take a mental journey into, around and splash in… enjoy!

life and death simultaneously sharing…

On Friday, May 30th I took a vacation day and hiked Horseshoe Road in Durand Eastman Park. It was a very windy chilly day. But it still was worth getting outside and pondering life beyond my work desk. I met a few couples hiking with their dogs. There were a couple of great interactions. I appreciated the people taking a moment to be in the moment with me. Lovely…

I’m not sure which pond this photo is of… I did a lot of meandering and would need a really good nature trail map to figure it out… The camera angle is to the north, facing Lake Ontario. I wrote the concept poem onto the picture while standing there on the trail…

Hanging on for The Joy – mask

The Creative Wellness Opportunities donated raw masks to use to create for an upcoming virtual art show “Unmasking Gratitude and Resiliency”.

“This workshop celebrates the spirit of community and the roles and power that gratitude and resiliency have in our lives through mask making.  In this workshop, we will create masks reflecting our lived experiences with gratitude and resilience. Masks should be an expression of a feeling, thought and mood of the themes explored but not of a culture. Your mask should reflect your inner understanding of gratitude and resiliency.”

The questions that we had to answer and submit with the mask for the show: “What roles resiliency and gratitude have played in your lived experience? How is it reflected in your mask?

What roles resiliency and gratitude have played in your lived experience?  … … My answer: Without resilience and gratitude I would not have been able to survive a year like 2020. With health issues, job issues, isolation, and watching Blossom slowly die of cancer. Deciding to make mini adventures with Blossom and for Blossom gave me the energy to also create mini adventures for myself. Admitting the need to be grateful in hand gave me the resilience that I needed. And I still honor that.

How is it reflected in your mask? … … My answer: On a very dark gloomy morning, after a windy wet storm the night before, I went outside to discover any damage to my property. I instead found inspiration in a small branch barely hooked onto a slightly larger branch which was also barely hooked onto an even bigger branch in my maple tree. They were all dangling over the street. I felt the urge to write a spiritual poem about the moment. I took this picture to document how dark and gloomy the sky could be perceived and how precariously the branches were dangling. My tangible resilient gratitude produced this poem “Hanging on for The Joy”.

“Hanging on for The Joy”

Hanging on for the joy and interaction of life

To swing in the fresh air love of neighborhood

To be in the moment of entanglement

To see the joy in just being

To smile in the precision of escape

Oh, my sweet partner, let us be love in this moment

Let us share…

Karin R. Staples © 2021

Yes, the title is capitalized differently than the poem, on purpose.

Many thanks to my MSU friend Eddie… he helped me gain perspective while I was creating the mask. I originally was going to have the poem typed up and glued on. He suggested having it written directly on the mask and to have it overlap both sides. Genius!

FYI: The mask was created by cutting my photo out and gluing it on, using a marker to pen the poem, and water color paints to fill out the emotions and mood of the poem and picture.

When the art show is ready, I will add the link to this blog entry.

I just found out that the poem and picture has been published in “The Geneseean”, which is the newsletter of the Genesee Valley Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club. May 2021 issue, page 21. https://adk-gvc.org/our-chapter/newsletter/

I also was able to read it/show it during my church zoom service on Sunday, May 2nd.

Mask Mayhem

For my birthday weekend I did some experimental pieces of art. Two were made using used face masks, two were made using medical grade gloves swirling acrylic paints and gesso. One of each were exclusively made with just a used face mask or just gloves. The center piece below is 16″ x 20″, the other two are 11″ x 14″. I have seen art with face masks worn on the characters in the painting, but I have not seen any art made exclusively with a used face mask. Thus my creative juices produced the pieces below. Enjoy!

Freeing Form or Freeing From ?

Freeing Form or Freeing From? That is both the singular title and a question to ponder when you are looking into the painting. I normally paint pretty structured paintings. I normally map out what I am doing where and how before I even start. These two face mask paintings were definitely free form, freeing motion, freeing thoughts spilled out into the canvas, while holding a lot of paint. That’s why I used gesso instead of white paint… There was a huge bucket of it at the Rochester MakerSpace, and well, it called out to come play with it, so I had to oblige.

Regaining a Grip or Losing a Grip ?

Regaining a Grip or Losing a Grip? That is both the singular title and a question to ponder when you are looking into the painting. With everything that happened in 2020 and now into 2021 it is hard to tell, even today, if we are regaining or continuing to lose our grip.

This painting was the first of the three that I painted on my Birthday Weekend. It was exclusively painted with a couple of used face masks, one of which I stuck right onto the canvas. I then carefully pulled off the glove that I was wearing and placed it onto the canvas also. For my signature, I used a metal tool to try and scrape in my signature. I did that to all three, to varying success.

My buddy Kathleen Judd came over to see my pieces drying in the sun after I had sprayed a coat of clear gloss acrylic on them. She interpreted the piece above in amazing ways. … … … Beyond the chaos is a nice orderly, tranquil garden. Humans can superimpose themselves on a landscape and see only their crap, their chaos. But the original natural landscape is always there. … … … She noticed a waterfall and its pool, a creek, flowers, a huge chrysanthemum. On the top piece she saw lava and coral.

Youthful Vision

Youthful Vision was painted using medical grade non-latex gloves. Because they were loosely fit, painting with them was challenging. The gloves would get caught in the paint even though my fingers were moving elsewhere. Therefore it was a lot harder, although equally fun, as real finger painting. I asked the gentlemen at the Rochester MakerSpace, where I was painting all three of these pieces, for their thoughts when they looked at this piece. Jay said it reminded him of growing up in the Finger Lakes. He’d look out through the trees and forest into the lake area and see the water splashing up on the edges. He loved watching the sunrises and sunsets when visiting his grandparents home. … Thus the title Youthful Vision. Thank you Jay for taking a creative moment with me!

“Hanging on for The Joy”

“Hanging on for The Joy”

Hanging on for the joy and interaction of life

To swing in the fresh air love of neighborhood

To be in the moment of entanglement

To see the joy in just being

To smile in the precision of escape

Oh, my sweet partner, let us be love in this moment

Let us share…

Karin R. Staples © 2021

(I just had a wonderful God Moment this morning… Standing in the street, taking this picture… A car stopped, conversation ensued, I mentioned I was going to write a spiritual poem about those hanging tree branches… 

He said he could see the light of Christ in me, to pursue sharing that… At the end of the conversation I found out his name is Minister Chris, from a church on Seneca.)

03-27-2021 10amish Sat


I witnessed its leap into new life, 

into a new journey

Memo from God

I’ve been trying to discern if I should get another little furry. Blossom “went home” November 14th… While debating this I decided to do a deep clean and reorganization, just in case I do adopt again. I tackled a spot that has not been cleaned out for a decade. One jacket I thought that I put there to donate had a long missing pin and the below pictured “Alleluia” ribbon… Hmmm… Within a half hour of that: I was quickly going through the pile, without my glasses on… tossing out almost everything without hesitation… two thigh high trash cans full of items… when I was urged to hesitate… this one crumpled, folded up, stained paper “needed” to be unfolded and looked at, carefully. That’s the “memo” item in the above picture… Wow!

Question, answered… Answer, not questioned

Ash Wednesday

The “thought poem” added to this photo is a paraphrase summation from Ash Wednesday’s service’s sermon by Rev. James C. Simmons from BAMEC. This was during a combined service with 4 different churches.

The four participating churches: Baber African Methodist Episcopal Church, Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, New Bethel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, were hosted by the Asbury First United Methodist Church. There were some parts of the service that were live streamed. There were portions that were recordings from last year’s combined service, pre-COVID.

The picture is from my visit to Webster Pier Park on MLK Jr. day.


Linear Park in Penfield, NY on Saturday, February 13, 2021

When I originally wrote this poem I chose the blue font of the photo below, but later I felt that on my phone the sky blue just did not have enough contrast, so I re-did it in pink while sitting in the car. What do you think? By the way, while writing this blog, I realized that I should have spelled broken without the c… But that helps illustrate that yes, I did indeed write this originally on the photo, in the cold, outside, without spellcheck etc.

When I went for the photo poetry stroll on Saturday, I saw this sight and I heard “Berrroken”.

Berrr as in cold, obviously at 18*F. Broken Irondequoit Creek ice chunks obviously too. But not obviously was the inner pain that was as bitter cold inside as it was outside. The pain that needs more than the summer sun to thaw it…

hobby artist spreading her wings…