Karen Halvorsen Schreck
My Life in 8 Words
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. Open eyes. Open hands. Open heart. Open mind.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
A. Black beans made the Guatemalan way, served with corn tortillas, guacamole, and brown rice, please.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I would love to be more at fully at peace with my physical self. So I guess I would love to have been a talented dancer—as long as the art form was modern dance. Perhaps I can still find my way toward this through yoga, though. Hoping so.
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. Amazing Grace and all those many, other great hymns and spirituals. Any of Tom Waits’ ballads. “The Flower Duet” from Léo Delibes’ Lakmé. Just about all of Paolo Conte’s repertoire, and all of J.S. Bach's. A fair amount of Kate Bush.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Is there perfect happiness on this earth? I don't think so—though we're granted glimpses of eternity. For me, a deep experience of happiness comes when I'm with people I love and we are content, maybe walking by water (preferably a large and salty body of it) or sitting in comfortable chair by a fireplace (crackling with a fire made of cherry and birch wood). Also something delicious to eat and drink—that's often a part of the experience, too. Good conversation and companionable silence. A great book. Poems read aloud. Music playing, and the quiet that comes after.