Professor J's Place

27 June, 2012


617 N. St. Mary's Ave

Yesterday, the wonderful Joy Harjo posted this on Facebook:

Yesterday I hosted my fears. I allowed them to eat everything in the house, fart and burp and take over the tv control. When I finally saw them for who they were, I told them to get out. They blew into nothing, disappeared.

Joy Harjo

Today, my wonderful friend Bluebird posted this on her blog:

Before you start climbing down that first hill, I want you to halt, sit down and listen.
I know you have jobs/responsibilities/children/health issues/money problems and I know that you aren’t sure what to do next/are feeling as though you’re shirking your “real” responsibilities/are hitting that point where self-doubt has got you by the neck and is asking you, with stinky cheese breath— “How DARE you?”
And you’re tired.
And you don’t know where this leads.
And it was more work than you thought it would be.
And you don’t know if your stuff is any good.

I have been writing on and off since I was sixteen. 

More off than on. 

More fear than work. 

The other day I ran into an old friend. She is both a friend I have known for many years, and an old woman—I don’t think she’d mind me saying. 

This woman is a firebrand. A radical. An inspiration. But the other day? 

Her skin had the translucent glow of the old. Her frame looked especially delicate.

I asked, “How are you?” And like the friend she is, S— did not say “fine.” And “Hot enough for you?” 

She said, “I’m okay. I mean, things happen.”

 I thought, oh no, S— is ill, or her husband is ill. Somebody has died.

“It’s just, I’m worried about this world. I’m trying not to let it ruin my life, but it is hard. I’m glad to see you, though,” she said, “I’ll save you a seat inside.”

She walked away, still old and frail.

These are hard times. 


My friends the poets acknowledge my fear. And they ask, “How dare you give in? Who are you to not write? To not take photos? To refuse to shine a light on what you know and feel and see?”
Okay, sisters. Okay. 

 (photo from


Come here, Fear, 
I am alive!
And you are so afraid
of Dying.

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Blogger The Other Laura said...


I love it.

June 27, 2012 at 12:24 PM  
Blogger Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Oh, Karen, so . . . perfect.

June 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Karen Jensen said...

Oh, thank you Laura and Cheri! I love you both so much--lovely women, brave writers both.

June 27, 2012 at 3:43 PM  
Blogger Karen Jensen said...

And Kelly. Did you remove your comment? You're one of my favorite people, too. For much the same reason.

June 28, 2012 at 12:04 PM  

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