One Stroke at a Time

We have returned. Earl and I have been on a journey for the past year, a healing journey that has been taken one step at a time. Earl had a stroke and later, I had a detached retina. We are so grateful to all of the people who have helped us along the way. We were medivaced to Oahu, a neighbor island. Earl remained in the hospital and I in a hotel room for almost two weeks. 

Earl's Shirt

(Close up of Earl's Shirt)

I carried my "To Go" Zentangle kit with me to the hospital with the intention of tangling away my stress and passing the long hours of waiting for what was to happen next. It surprised me that I found myself too tired to tangle in the midst of our crisis. 

At one point during rehab Earl agreed to pick up a marker. The activity director encouraged him to go into the activity room to socialize and get out of the confines of his hospital bed. On a table he found paper and colored markers. 

Earl's right side was affected so he had to learn how to draw with his non-dominant hand. It was not easy but with scotch tape to hold the paper to the table, he persisted and this is the drawing that emerged.


Once we learned how to transfer Earl from a wheelchair we were allowed to fly home to the Big Island. Earl spent the next few months at The Life Care Center, a rehab facility in Hilo. It was there that Earl took up his CZT (Certified Zentangle Teacher) role and taught his roommate how to tangle. 

Christmas Day in Life Care


We were in touch with Rick and Maria at and they sent us bigger format tiles and sensei pens with a larger size point. This was just what he needed. The Apprentice Kit had not yet come out. Today I would recommend the tiles and pens found in this kit for seniors and persons with disabilities not just school aged children. The 4.5"x4.5" tiles  and  Stylos Pigma Pens are perfect tools and they have the same feeling of quality that we so appreciate.


As time passed, I felt more and more comfortable to leave Earl' s bedside and do something for myself. A good thing because in April my retina detached and I was not able to see comfortably to draw. 

I took a metal tooling class from Liz Miller see her gallery of metal relief pieces.  

Metal relief and Zentangle go together perfectly. These are my very first metal ZIA (Zentangle Inspired Art) pieces that I created during this class. Thank you Liz for your inspirational guidance.

Metal Sample2

Metal Sample close copy



Earl found that this medium was easier to work with than paper and pen. It offered textured resistance and more control. The following pieces Earl made to give to his Physical and Occupational Therapists.

heart1 copy

heart2 copy

heart3 copy

Our Journey is not over. Thank Goodness! I am still trying to catch up on all of the Diva Challenges that I missed. We are continuing to Whisper Aloha on Twitter and Facebook and we enjoy sharing Huna and the Zentangle process from our home studio in Volcano. We have been blessed by a circle of friends and a philosophy that states "Anything is possible... one stroke at a time™"

Malama Pono,
Lois and Earl Stokes, CZT#3

© 2011-20 Lois & Earl Stokes