Hellena Post - Creatrix

I've tried on so many uniforms and badges that now I'm just me - mother of 8 children and all that entails, flowmad, and human animal parent. Writer of this living book of a blog, philosopher, and creatrix of hand dyed and spun crocheted wearable art. I gave up polite conversation years ago, and now I dive into the big one's.....birth, sex, great wellness, life, passion, death and rebirth.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

The Fear Of Death

You don't have to look very far back in history to find cultures that celebrated and walked eagerly towards death.  Mostly due to a full bodied belief in an afterlife and continued evolution after death which is also a birth.  And if they weren't walking eagerly towards it, they at least were at peace with it, many cultures around the world practicing a laying out period after death so community and family members could say goodbye, with death being a lot more present and visible in every day life.

Just off the top of my head, I remember reading about Thai monks who laid their dead peers in huts to decay slowly, while they meditated on the process of decomposition.  There are so many elaborate and ritualistic burials, from Tibetan sky burials to Indian funeral pyres to Egyptian pyramids to Celtic cairns and mounds to massive Chinese monuments to Viking burials in longboats to the Mexican Day Of The Dead to the Indonesian tribe that enbalm their dead and bring them out for festivals to sea burials practiced by sea folk all over the world to Roman mausoleums and catacombs to Tribal cannibalism...............we've collectively dealt with death in a myriad of ways.

In terms of actively seeking death most especially through battle, we've got the Kamikaze, the Bezerkers, the Celts, the Aztecs, and the Mongols, just to name a few.  All diving into the afterlife with strong ideas about the bountiful lands, rewards and loved ones to reconnect with on the other side.

And in our modern day, we have widespread Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and New Ageism, all with their differing theories on death and the afterlife making up a large part of their focus, which gives their faithful peace around death and where they are going.  

At least you would hope so!

But is this the case in our pandemic fear filled days?  I can't speak for the non western religions, but as for Christianity and New Ageism in our western world, I'm not seeing a lot of peace around death and the afterlife.  I'm seeing a panic and terror leading people to take strong and rigid stances on one side of the fence or the other, and allowing a yawning chasm of a divide to stand between friends, family and communities.  

In recent years, we've been led down an angry and divisive path, led by a mainstream media that's tightening their ownership, stranglehold and censorship on the world wide web, and every other form of media they can lay their hands on.  We were taken in baby steps, through Climate Change, then the Yes vote, then the Me Too movement, then the Transgender movement, then Black Lives Matter........taking a brief interlude for wildfires to ravage the world, both physically with brutal fires in the Amazon, Australia, America, and many other places you would never think it could happen, and spiritually, with protests happening in just about every country, gaining in strength and momentum, which led to Time magazine proclaiming 2019 the Year Of The Protest........till we arrived at the Pandemic.

All of these movements - Climate Change, Yes vote, Me too, Transgender, Black Lives Matter and Pandemic - are explosively divisive and full of anger, fear and projection.  All of them can sometimes feel like the only conversations being had, no matter where you are in the western world, and often result in statements like "If you don't agree with me, you're a total waste of space and breath and unfriend me right now."  All create extreme polarity between view points, being either the mainstream belief or 'the other'.  Alternative beliefs or Mainstream beliefs that have quickly became lumped in with everything else associated with them,  to form an amorphous blob of either Conspiracist or Sheeple.  

And whichever of the two you choose to identify with, you are choosing your stance based on loving your family and wanting the best for them, and making the very best decision you can based on your life experience and knowledge.   Both sides believe equally they are thinking of the good of other people and trying to save the world.  And both sides being completely terrified about the mega scale death they are convinced will ensue, if the other side doesn't listen to 'The Truth'.  Which everyone seems to know these days. 

Personally, as an adept of Newtons Third Law, of every action having an equal and opposite reaction, as well as of Heraclitus, who proclaimed that every pair of opposites is a unity, as it's the dynamic interplay between the two that sparks evolution and growth........I'm firmly entrenched in the middle ground.  From my life experience, most recently bumping into  Leukaemia as an organic off grid dweller, I've found that paradox really is the nature of the universe, and truth lays in neither but both extremes being true.  The extreme polar ends are both right and wrong, and in acknowledging that, I can take what makes sense to me from both of them to fashion a path forward.  I know from experience, that as shit as it gets is also as great as it gets, and that is always going on. 

Which of course doesn't mean that I don't get filled with fear and worry and overwhelm at the state of the planet, but coming back to the point I was trying to make at the start, at least I'm not terrified of death.  And I'm getting quite good at finding the equal and opposite to it.

I've decided for myself that the best thing I can do in a world that can seem at times overrun with destruction, is to create.  So in the spirit of that, here is my visual and word manifesto on Birth, Sex and Death.

And here are the words spoken......

From the moment we're born, we want to go back.  
Back to the womb.  Back to our source. 
Back to that complete and total feeling of oneness.
Back to the experience of being inside someone else's skin, 
with them everywhere they go, hearing the noises they hear, 
imbibing their foods and drinks, thoughts and conversations, 
fears and intense life events.
On the inside, cocooned in warm, salty liquid that cushions us from extremes.
The sense of connection with every event, 
sitting sleepy inside, gently bouncing round.

But we are born.
Squeezed by the biggest organ of a woman's body, 
her womb, 
into the world.
In all different ways, all over the planet, 
we die to the womb as we are born to the world.
How our birth unfolds, the conditions around us, 
and the welcome or lack of it that we feel in our first moments,
are the foundation stones on which we build our lives and self esteem.

Funny how we like to quickly clean up after the great events of life.
Cut that cord and get rid of the placenta,
wash up the blood, wash the woman, wash the baby,
wash the sheets and wraps and blankets and pillows and cushions
that were birthed on.
Clean away all the smells and colours and textural remembers of birth.
We clean up after sex, the milky substances left behind on sheets,
and on our thighs, and the sweat and sex smell that permeates our skin,
and then get nicely deodorised and sanitised before hitting the public again.
And we clean up after death, 
with the blood and bodily functions that have spilled and left the body
just like the spirit, the breath, and the vitality of life have left.  

We try to clean up our emotions, our needs, our feelings, our wants, 
and our complete and total inner desire to feel that oneness again.
The oneness of birth.  The oneness of sex.  the oneness of death.
Our cultural taboos, and yet the very events that shape us.
Connect us.
Remind us of the great oneness that existed before we were born,
that exists when we connect with each other inside our skins through sex,
and that we go back to when we die.

A reminder of the big cycles that echo constantly around us.
A process we see through the universe,
with our seasons, our life cycles, our relationships, our families,
our ideas, our cultures, our religions.
A process of pregnancy or seed planting,
then inner growth and building,
to the great pause and extremity of transition,
before the birth of a person or thought.
Then the vital life of interconnection,
and the intense moment of sexual communication,
and spiritual realisations,
and the equally intense moments of great illness or mindsets,
through the cycle to the death of the person or idea or group or period,
into the uterine depths of seed planting and pregnancy or rebirth again.

A theme mirrored in the water that courses our bodies,
and the fire of sex or spirituality that connects us,
and the planetary bodies that dance their spiral dances,
and the breath of conversations that take us on word journeys......

A fascination with this sacred trinity persists,
even in the face of cultural taboos,
in our great and enlightened culture that seems to thrive on separation.
But in an atmosphere of repression of our great connecting life mysteries,
birth becomes a fraught event, be it in hospital or home,
and fears come clinging to it like young children afraid of the initiation.
Sex becomes a possibly deadly affair,
and manifests too often as young women with shaved bodies, 
bouncing merrily on assorted phalli,
making a cacophony of unnatural noises
and imprinting unrealistic and shallow messages on wistful hearts.
Or a tool used in hate and revenge.
Or to capture a person and keep them caged.
And death is a trauma, a wailing, a shudder of darkness at our shoulders,
threatening to drag us into its eternally dark maw.

All events that we clean up after,
and sanitise, and deodorise, and create polite conversations around.
Talk in metaphors and simplicities,
about the complexities that we don't know how to express.
Hoping that if we follow the right rules, prescribe to the 'true' belief systems,
and engage in the correct spiritual practices,
that they will either go away and bother someone else,
or wont impinge on our important life,
of work and cars and mortgages and hobbies and homes
and clothes and holidays and acquisitions.

How did we get so far removed from our instinctual, animal,
spiritual, eternally cyclic, ancient and deeply symbolic selves?
How have we journeyed so far,
that we can stand to see birth as a routine event,
and death as an equally regular occurrence on our screens,
while being horribly scared and avoidant of them in our real lives?
How can we bear to watch zombie after woman after man after animal
being killed on our screens in horrific ways,
and in our books and our stories,
while we stumble all unknowing into the actual presence of death,
stuttering and unsure.
How are we happy to vaguely allude to sex, or only talk about it in extremes, 
and voyeuristically watch or read about other people doing it
in spectacular fashions,
while we sneak home to bed with our familiar partner, hiding our real feelings,
and wishing there was a movie star next to us instead?
How can we be truly alive without the full stop and renewal of 
death as the accent and boundary that makes it all the sweeter?
And how can we fully embrace birth as the gentle sundering of the oneness,
and journey into multiplicity,
when it's been packaged and parcelled
as a scientific and potentially dangerous event
that needs to be dealt with by professionals only?

In our avoidance of the alchemical mysteries 
and oxytocic adventures of birth, sex and death,
we've strung it about ourselves 
in unrealistic and gaudy displays like christmas lights,
hoping we can wear it as a symbol
rather than actually tread the subterranean worlds beyond the world 
that we all practically, sensibly, and scientifically agree is real.
Sex has become a circus pony that we drag out to social gatherings
to slap on the arse and force to perform.
And take home in the dark to subject to our repressed desires.
Birth has become a feared nemesis to women,
stalking their carefree moments
with the threat of immanent pain and a cacophony of need.
Promising a life of duty and unappreciated work to its penitents.
And death has become the diseased corruption
of a twisted society spending all its time and money in an effort to defeat it.
We hope to make sense of it by inundating ourselves with it,
and have instead resulted in numbing to it,
being afraid of it,
and detaching from it even more instead.

But in a very real way, our sense of connection,
our oneness, and our source, is where it's always been.
At our fingertips.  Entangled through bonding.
Elements of it sprinkled through every interaction we have.
The pregnancy and gestation of a relationship,
that goes through the intense transition of hardship or fear,
before birthing into a full bloomed rose 
of tangled and intermingled tendrils of love and hope.
And can also die, and then be reborn with another person in another time and place.
The birth of our babies, through the intense transition and expulsion into life.
Which also holds a death.
The death of the family as it existed before the new babe,
the death of the maiden to become the mother,
the death of the ego as it learns to surrender to the demands of life.
And then there is the death of our loved ones,
that leaves us with an unconscionable urge to be ALIVE!
To drum up the spirits and the sorryness and the fears and the memories,
and let them float on the rhythm of the heartbeat of life,
and remind ourselves of the things that only life can see,
and hear, and feel, and touch.

It's time for us to stop and really look at each other and ourselves.
To tell each other our experiences as they really are,
rather than sanitised versions that keep all our real juice and gristle hidden.
To treat each other as if we really were parts of each other,
until our combined experiences show us that truth.
To pull apart our life knowings and plumb the depths of our authentic experiences
till we can really dance and gaze at the realities of
birth, life, sex and death.

We are the ones that we've been waiting for,
and the time for us to awaken to our connection is now.
We can get back into the womb of oneness through
empathy, compassion, love and respect.
Through seeing the mirrors of oneness in all of creation.
Through the peace we create when we accept all the parts of ourselves.
Through the harmony of love, respect, peace and freedom,
that we can learn from our families and bonding love.
Through the melting and surrender that we visit in
birthing, great sex, intense life experiences, and death.

The time is now.
And you are the microcosm of the macrocosm.
Explore yourself with abandon, 
and set sail on the sea of connection......

Friday, January 31, 2020

A Nimbin Minute

In December 2013 we had a bit of a special Nimbin day, and I told the story on Facebook, and later got access to the photos of part of the story, and wanted to share the story and them.  

And I was practicing writing short blog posts.  They can't all be epics can they?

This was just a normal Nimbin day.  Stuff like I described went on in that town every time we visited it.  It really is a hotbed of diverse and authentic humanity.  And the young woman that we met at the end of the story has gone on to become part of our lives in a very rich way, but that's a whole other story.

So here's the status update I wrote on Friday the 20th of December 2013, and then I'll share the photos, cause I think they're cute, and one of them is one of the few photos we have of us all together!!

Here goes….

"I just love Nimbin.  For keeps.

Today we went into town for the Christmas Party organised by the Nimbin Neighbourhood and Information Centre.  It's the first time I've actually made it, cause the first year here Zarra had just been born, (yes it was his birthday yesterday), and the second year he was only a year old and sleeping, and it was too hot to wake him up and schlep him out.  So for the first time, after all the stories, I made it. 

What a blast!  Tables and tables of Nimbins finest and most colourful sat arrayed like sparkly rainbows, eating lovingly prepared food, and three elders on ukelele's serenaded us.  New and loved faces all around.

Then Santa rocked up in true Nimbin fashion, on a firetruck with a gorgeous elf, throwing lollies to the crowd.  And then he trailed to his seat, where he gave all the kids presents, (groovy ones too) and the wild rumpus was on! 

The rest of the day was of course spent at the pool, and there were wide ranging chats, and new friendships deepening, and all sorts of Nimbin locals stopping by for a yarn, while the kids splashed and played.

And then on the way home, we stopped in at the Emporium for last minute supplies, and got stopped on the way by Anna and a friend, with a unique proposition.  This gorgeous young womans lover was away on a trip in New York, and rather than the same old love letters sent between them, she wanted to stretch the parameters.  So she had a poem that he'd created and written it on paper, and was asking people who exemplified love to hold the sheets with his poem, so she could take photos of them, and send him a love letter photo collage of his heart felt poem.  She got us all arrayed on the bull bar of Flo the Coaster, holding the sheets of poem in front of us, and then took one of just me and Currawong on the step of our bus.  And a bit of a crowd rocked up to oooh and ahhh bout the crazy family posed for a photo.  She'd spent the day taking photos with people who Anna introduced her to, Anna being the perfect person for the job, cause she's so well connected on a heart level with so many folk in town.

Love it.  Wasn't that just the coolest thing to be involved in to top off a perfect Nimbin day??"

I like her description of this one.  She said - 
Meet Currawong and Hellena….
Gypsy love birds….
Adventuring artists….
Nurturing guides to their seven bright eyed little ones….


That's a Merlin top left, Spiral-Moon top right, and Balthazar at the bottom

Lotus babies Balthazar and Spiral-Moon


Look how much they've grown.  That's me holding Zarra, my gorgeous Currawong next to me, Lilly in the middle, and Max, Mr B, and Spiral at the bottom


And check this out!!  All in one photo!!!  From top left, Lilly, Max, Merlin, Spiral, and me holding Zarra.  Then there's Griffyn, Currawong and Balthazar down the bottom.


I really do miss Nimbin.   And how bright and alive and helpful and useful we felt,  just to be a part of it.  I don't think we'll make it back there, as housing is impossible, and all our potential places to stay didn't work out.  

But oh was it was fun at the time.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

TUFT (Temporary Utopian Fibre Temple) presents Metamorphostick

People have been calling me an artist for years, but it was only last year that I actually felt like one.  I'm definitely a craftsperson, and have certainly passed through my initiation and apprenticeship in my self taught guild, and moved through practitioner to Mistress of my chosen craft.  

But deep down I always kinda thought of myself as a talented crafts person, who created techniques and creations that were certainly artistic, but easily replicatable, thereby more fitting with the crafts person persona.  

Even so, I rarely made the same thing twice, and found orders and commissions odious, so I could see the two - craftsperson and artist - coexisting in a harmonious way.

But the year after Merlin got sick,  I got caught up in an art rash, that could only be itched by creating the ideas coming through me, and following the simple path before me, of a crystaline concept that was the outcome, with convoluted stepping stones along the way. Inspiration just grabbed me and made me follow without asking questions.  The visiting muse or genie was strong felt around me, working through my fingers and dancing as visions.  I used all the skills I'd learnt to craft me a palette, from crochet hooks to wooden weaving needles, 


to the hand dyed fleeces created by my man, 


to the spinning and translating of what the yarn wanted to become. 

Paradoxically, this was also a year of great and deep sadness and constant worry, as my Merlin was in the process of losing his hair and undergoing treatment for Leukaemia.   

I was coming to terms with my upturned beliefs about western medicine, and searching out an integrated path with alternative medicine, and it was a stark and bright lit new world that felt like I'd never get used to it.  

There were so many rivers of tears and fears washing over me regularly.  What were the rules in this new world?  What would be left of my old one?  

The floor had dropped out from beneath me, and I'd had to stare death in the face.  Death as powerful and significant as Birth.  One of our collectives greatest fears and taboos.  

It very much felt like the art rash upon me, was very definitely the equal and opposite of the great sadness that almost swallowed me. 

And the making and following the genie process, was definitely the meditation and self therapy I needed at the time to calm and center myself, and keep being strong and enabling the biggest cure for my Merlin, alongside his integrated medicines, which was simply being as happy as we could all help him to be, and to laugh lots.  

So the first 'artwork' to emerge, where I stayed up late at night, and crept down first thing in the morning, in an almost urgent desire to see the idea that had visited my mind, was the Metamorphostick.  A large and magnificent stick that had fallen in our suburban back yard beckoned to me from over by the fence, until I finally brought it out the front of my studio on the grass, and whittled back the bark and the knots to see the skeleton underneath.  

Then the sanding and oiling, and it was brought inside and hung from the rafters where I started off applying wire prosthetic branches and twigs.  

It got a curled possum tail and wool pods and flowers, and has raw alpaca peeking from the wrapping at either side, suggesting a fibre metamorphosis of the wood, the fibre changing the branch with its touch.  

I made a big ceremonial wrap out of a few different dye pots of green processed tops, that were gifted from the beautiful Faith, who with her daughter Amber brought us earth magic in the first weeks of our hospital stay.  It seemed the perfect energy to hang from my transforming stick.


It was the first time I truly felt like I was using my handspun yarns as a palette, shading the twigs and branches, and like I was applying the skills I'd taught myself in a Mistress like manner.  Mistressing my craft.  

And I liked it so much I kept going, and my fibre muse very kindly kept visiting, and the next creation to birth was the Labyrinth.  An idea that had been tempting me for a while, but which finally actuated in a glorious way.