The importance of staying busy

Published 23, Mar, 2017
Author // Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent

Our L.A. correspondent Kengi deals with bereavement and stress by keeping busy - and does some great work in the process.

The importance of staying busy

I’m sitting down to write this post, because on those rare occasions when escaping with my camera for a photography excursion doesn’t seem to work, I then try to relax, calm and center myself by writing. As a backup, I have my candle burning, I really love a nicely scented candle. Damn, if I had some sage this would be perfect.

I’m sipping my hot tea and my little Daisy has pulled her blanket off the sofa, placing it right next to my work space. She’s the dog that loves to be close to when I’m sitting or when guests are over. She has this calm energy about her, but get her outside and she is pulling and exploring as much as she can. Sometimes I have to kneel next to her to get her to calm down and relax. Right now, however, she’s providing me with some “don’t worry” energy.

I lost my Great Aunt a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been pretty hard for me. Especially, since I have not heard a peep from my cousins about her service. I’ve asked a few times, but it just feels like I’m being a bother, so I’ve stopped asking. I’ve been in a weird spot ever since her death. I know it will soon pass, but it’s the “right now” that I am dealing with as best I can.

On top of this, Daisy had an anal sac tumor that burst the other night. I came home to a bathroom with blood all over the floor. I was so beside myself I could hardly think, but was able to call her vet. I could not afford the nearly $150 exam visit to an animal hospital and the person from her vets office helped ease my mind and told me to bring her in first thing the next morning. Thanks to my friend Jeanie, we were there at 8:00am.

She’s on antibiotics for the next 10 days and has been resting here at home. Her energy is lower than usual and she’s sleeping a great deal, but she’s doing ok. I was so worried about not being able to afford the cost to take her to the vet, but in the end it all worked out fine because they allowed me to make payments. I don’t know what I would have done if they'd said I had to pay the full balance.

I’ve been blown away by the outpouring of love for my baby from folks online and especially those in the Dudes with Dogs group on Facebook. It’s been awesome reading the messages and very encouraging.

I’m trying my best to keep myself busy and not let all of this get to me, but I must say that it isn’t easy going through all of this pretty much alone. Don’t get me wrong, I do have friends who care, but 95% of the time it’s just me and my dogs and that is hard, even for someone as strong as I am.

On a happy note, I just photographed my fifth magazine cover for
Positively Aware Magazine. It’s the May June issue, so be sure to look for it at your clinic or AIDS Service Organization if you’re here in the United States. It’s the Transgender issue and will be packed with great content. Including a piece from my new writing partner and lifelong friend Michelle Simek.

I returned to my duties as photographer for FORD Motor Company for the fourth year in a row as they presented the Image Awards and was the principle photographer for the eighth annual AAFCA Awards which was one of my goals for this year. Last weekend I was on the red carpet for the third annual Truth Awards presented by Better Brothers Los Angeles and honors Black excellence in the LGBTQ community. I even got to work the Oscars again this year which was lots of fun.

My health is great and although I’ve been off track with my healthy eating, I’m still walking more and riding my bike. I do think I gained a few pounds back, but I refuse to beat myself up about it.

So life here in LA is what it is and I will keep doing what I do…..THRIVE in the face of any adversity in my life.

OMG, I failed to mention I have a new dog. Her name is Dixie. I’ll be sure to make her the subject next time I write. She’s a real character and has settled in with Daisy and Dodger very well.

About the Author


Louis "Kengi" Carr - L.A. Correspondent

Louis "Kengi" Carr is a California native, born and raised in Santa Monica. He is a published photographer, writer and guest speaker. Formerly a private chef and events caterer, this formerly homeless, HIV positive, proud Angelino is now a activist and advocate for people with HIV and homeless individuals. He is the creator/founder of Project Kengikat, Do Something Saturday, Unplugging HIV and the author of 29 Months.

A lover of photography, blogging and vlogging and USC Football, Kengi has been rediscovering his love for Los Angeles, ceramics, painting and cooking while elevating the conversations of HIV and homelessness. He enjoys being outdoors, spending quality time with his friends and his amazing rescue dog Dodger.