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.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

And on the seventh day they rested......

I’ve been contemplating belief lately.  A lot.  On this mad meander of ours across the country, I’ve been contemplating my beliefs that have led us to this point, and the beliefs of the people we’ve had in our intimate circle for the last 3 years, and the impact that’s had on me and my family, as well as the beliefs of the ‘mainstream’ for the want of a better word.  The large group of people that wear the same clothes, drive the same cars, work in the same jobs, talk about the same politicians who are saying the same words, watch the same television programs, eat the same foods, watch the same ads, shop in the same shops, choose from the same religions, have the same hairstyles, share the same polite niceties, live in the same houses, and have the same groupings in which they like to relegate people……..as all the other people in that large group.  With variations of course within the sameness, but a comfortable sameness nonetheless, which lets them decide who’s ‘one of them’ and who’s not. 

And as we’ve journeyed through country South Australia, Victoria, and now New South Wales, I’m reminded really strongly about how me and my family are definitely not ‘one of them’.  I always used to say that folk that liked to stick out, and complained about being stared at, were like women wearing low cut tops and then getting the shits when people talked to their boobs.  And because I’ve been in that really large group for a lot of my life, and can relate to just about anyone I come across, and also because I can’t help but FEEL completely normal, no matter how I may look, I keep forgetting that we stick out like rainbow canaries in more mainstream places, and that we really are very different.  I’ve come to this place from a large and rambling life that’s taken me through many subcultures and mainstream cultures, on a overwhelming quest to find my own truth and become my own self.  And I like how I look and the reasons that I look this way, and I like how we try to shop, and the big ole van with a cross culture of symbols and words on it, and my philosophy on life, and our media free status, and my ability to step to the side of ‘mainstream’ culture…..and observe, and try to read the winds of change, and try to translate what I think the collective consciousness is feeling and moving towards.  I also like how we try to live in ways other than buying or renting a house that is ours ours ours, and there’s the bloody fence, so you know where I stop and you begin.   Even though, as we drive through the country, we keep realising how massively traumatised we are on some levels, by our experience with community dwelling, and living with my mother……..we’re still in search of a community somewhere, to live with other people and ideas and kids and work skills and input and responsibility and sharing of resources and land care and animal care.  And as we drive, and get stared at, and get freezing looks from people sure that we’re gonna jump up and do something ‘bad’ any minute…….I’m thinking more and more about how nice it might be to hang out in a place where there are lots of folk like us, and we can blend in for a change.  Not to mention where there’s lots more free range kids and naturally learning kids and people doing all the sorts of things that we like to do.  Which in this country anyway, is definitely Northern New South Wales.  The mecca of the alternative, homegrown, organic, hippy, community lifestyle.  

At this point I’ve gotta mention that travelling with 6 children could definitely be described as an intricate and lesser degree of hell. The two youngest are just a year old, teething, crawling, and at a brilliant height for mud, grass seeds and burrs – of which there are many in the country we’re travelling through - they don’t often sleep for longer than 20 minutes during the day, are into everything, and can wake up in the middle of the night and yell for no particular reason…...no amount of cuddles or enticements of drinks can assuage their cries.  (People who believe attachment parented babies never cry BE DAMNED!)  Another 2 – the lotus babies - the nearly 3 and the nearly 5 year old, have tantrums the size of Cyclone Toddler, and love to have them regularly – about all sorts of groundshaking matters like who owns that helicopter, and someone said I couldn’t do that, and someone’s threatening to wipe my face etc, etc.  And the two oldest, whilst being incredibly mature and self aware in many ways,  are stubbornly egalitarian, and believe that with all the babying and nurturing going on, they should have their fill too.  So while sometimes they can make all the difference and almost shoulder an adult sized load, at other times they dissolve into two year olds at the worst moments, and with 6 kids around all the time, you’re pretty much guaranteed that one of them will be having a tantrum or will have one soon, or is arguing with someone else like the ugly stepsisters of cinderella.  And then there’s my tired but majestic old 40 year old and 6 months pregnant body, that’s schlepping swags and clothes bags and bedding around every night and morning, and understandably a bit grumpy with the situation, which can end up in an intense mother being thunderous particularly around the packing times.  My body’s regularly having conversations with me about…..”What the f**k are you doing travelling around the bloody countryside, when you’re meant to be doing restful things and thinking beautiful thoughts and NESTING DAMN YOU!!!!” and the like.  To be truthful, if I wasn’t pregnant I reckon I’d be having a ball, but I’ve got this time limit tick tick ticking away, and my body’s getting tired and sore, and every little thing seems huge.  And Currawong is doing his very best to try and become the incredible dividing man – creating as many copies of himself as possible to perform all the multitudinous tasks demanded by us all, and going through the same mood swings the rest of us are.   All in all, depending in which mood you found us, we could either be viewed as the camping neighbours from hell, or the trippiest and happiest big family in a freaky van and tent you ever did see. 

The first night we were inundated by mosquitos in Sherlock, as we left it all too late to set up for the night, and I realised that I’d worked out everyone’s comfortable bed but mine.  Didn’t get any sleep, and went and slept on a rug on the ground for a while – till I thought it was getting a bit too overcast, and got back inside the van just before it started raining.  The next two nights we set up in a beautiful, freezing, grass seed ridden camp spot by a dry lake in Walpeup, and slept comfortably out of the van. 

The fourth night was in Nyah, by the river behind the showgrounds, where we put up the little two person tent for Currawong and the lotus babies, while I slept with the twins in the back of the bus to see if it would be any more comfortable.  It wasn’t.  We got there a bit late, and were still trying to set up in the freezing night.  The next night was a roadstop called Birdcage, with the cleanest composting toilets I’ve never smelt, and we tried sleeping the other way (the way we always used to sleep before I turned us round thinking we’d fit in the twins better) and SUCCESS!!  All squeezed in the bus in our cosy beds, we were all comfortable at last, and slept about the best we’d done since starting our adventure. 

 I didn’t realise I was feeling like a failure about how we couldn’t sleep all together in the van, until we managed to pull it off.  And from Walpeup, we were dancing ahead of burgeoning storm clouds, being chased by a chill and persistent wind, and it followed us all the way to our next stop, which was the Bendick Murrell rest area between Cowra and Young. 

We slept well there too, and got clear about how the two eldest really just needed to hang with the babies for an hour in the morning and night, so we could set up and dismantle the campsite the easiest.  The wind finally abated, and we set off on the best day we’ve had since leaving home.  I was getting all happy about nearing my birth land, and travelling was easy, and the land was beautiful, and we felt like we were really starting to get into the swing of things.  I reminisced with everyone about Bathurst, where I spent some awesome years as a teen after leaving home.  And we headed for the place that I’ve been talking about since I got pregnant with the twins – Sofala.  Only a few kilometres from where I was born, a beautiful and dilapidated gold mining town on the Turon river, and the place where I came as a 17 year old to Flats CafĂ©, where we ordered a spinach quiche, and watched them walk down to the garden by the river to pick the spinach before they made it……  I spent a lot of time in and around this river both as a child, and as a teen when I moved back to the area for a while.  And on our seventh night, and for our seventh day, we set up our gorgeous soul pad in the dark, and tempers frayed, and we woke up in the morning……….in totally freezing, but visual heaven. 

And here’s where the belief comes into it.  I’ve been freaking out, and scared, and worried that we’re damaging our kids by taking them away from everything they know, and terrified of this big leap we’re doing into the wild blue yonder, and grumpy, and fretting, and snappy, and seeing all the ways that we could be viewed as complete failures as parents, and worrying worrying worrying about this baby inside, and who’s going to midwife it, and how and where we’re going to find a place to live to birth it, and focusing on all the ‘bad omens’ that have happened this pregnancy – negative predictions from a midwife friend, Balthazar bashing the crap out of my birthing necklace and breaking the cow bone Kali bead that I’ve had since I was pregnant with Griffyn, the vague feelings of ominous portent that has lurked at my shoulder through every pregnancy, and the final straw was leaving my dressing gown behind.  The dressing gown that I grew and nurtured the twins with, and that I’ve used as a bit of a security blanket for a while now…….was left behind.  And all these days of travelling, I was focusing on all the bad bits of the kids behaviours, and spending a lot of time in tears, and feeling real sorry for myself……….till I had a chat with the two women I love best in the world, and felt like my world started to tilt a little into perspective, and a few choice statements that Currawong made sank in……..and I really got that it’s all about belief.

I really believe that we create our beliefs with our strength of BELIEF.  We’re creating everything with our beliefs, and thoughts, a bit like the creation of Tinkerbell.  The more we believe, the more real it becomes, and the more our belief is validated by what we’ve created.  I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have REALLY believed a lot of different and seemingly opposing realities.  I was born into a fundamentalist religion full of mystical and everyday miracles, and I felt the spirit within me and KNEW that I was a member of the only true church in the world.  And I was also a member of a channelling group, where I channelled a being that was part of a group of aliens, that were focusing on sending healing energy to the planet, and the other 3 members of the group were MEANT to be together with me, as we did our important work. (I haven’t often told people THAT one, cause it makes me seem like a flaky freak nutter, but I DON’T CARE!)  And I was a solitary hereditary witch, and I FELT the lineage of strong women I’d come from in the Goddess times, and the legacy they’d left me.  And I was a leather wearing dyke that felt sorry for all the women who would never know the completeness I felt in the arms of women, and KNEW that I was going to be a woman loving woman for the rest of my life.  For a while there after all my varied and intense beliefs had kind of melted away after Saturn Return, I felt like a bit of a flibberty gibbet, a vague and valueless vagrant in belief land, and a whore to different ideals…….until I realised that all of those experiences had been real, and I’d really believed them, and gathered a huge amount of learning from them, and thrown myself completely into them, body, mind and soul, and that there was nothing wrong with that at all.  At least I didn’t get cynical and think that there was no other belief for me when I grew out of the first one.  Or get hung up about how there could be only ONE truth, and once I’d used it up, that was all there was.  And it helped me to realise that everyone’s truth is really that – everyone’s truth – because it’s what they BELIEVE in that’s real for them, and that they’re creating as a reality in their lives.  And having surfed so many different beliefs, I know a lot of different languages that I can speak with all sorts of people.  And I can believe in everything.  And nothing.  And a combination of them both.  All at the same time.  And that would be my valid and proper belief.  And sometimes people really need to believe in their own beliefs to the exclusion of all others, to such a degree that they feel justified to judge, or put negative beliefs on other people, to support their own belief.  And their belief is such, that to acknowledge another person’s reality would cause their own to unravel, and that’s just the way it is.  And I can respect that. 

All that being said, we’ve been hanging round with people in our close living situations for the last three years, who no matter how much they may like us in lots of ways, have very strong beliefs of their own, that made it imperative to see us as lazy, selfish, neglectful, unreliable, despotic examples of bad parenting, bound for hell, messy, and a whole heap more really negative words.  And it’s had an impact on us.  But only while we believe that they might be right, or are worried that they see something we don’t.  And only while we give up the power of creating our own lives around our own beliefs to them.   And there’s a whole stack of folk in that mainstream culture, who have been informed by their media that folk like us are potentially dangerous, could be terrorists or drug smugglers, and likely to be dead beat parents.  And you know what?  That’s all okay.  Everyone is doing what they need to do to survive in their beliefs, and support their own way of thinking, and if I buy too much into what other people believe about me, I’m negating my own strong beliefs about who I am, and what value I am to the world, and also, funnily enough, buying into the belief of a lot of alternative people that the mainstream is ‘the other’ and can never understand them…….  So love to me and love to you and love to everyone who has their niche in the world that they’re happy with, because it all comes around in the end, and we’re all learning what we need to learn, and we’re all richer for our diversity, and love is all there really is in the end.

And I gotta say right here and now that I BELIEVE that all those ‘negative’ omens about this baby to come are not negative at all, but a really strong indication that this baby is going to be born it’s own way, and it’s a good idea to let go of all my safety rafts and worries, and just let it be a completely new experience and birth, without the baggage of expectations from the past.  And I BELIEVE that we’re bloody amazing to be travelling with 6 young children, (at all!!) and in a van, and sleeping in it, as well as in a big beautiful tent, and yes it has it’s trying times, but there’s the times of pure gold as well, and at least we’re giving it our best shot!  And we’re resilient buggers to have gone through all we have, and come out the other side of it travelling to Sofala, which we’ve been talking about for years now.  With twins on board.  And all the rest of it.  And debriefing on the way.  And letting go of fears.  With style.  And there’s a huge amount of love between us all that may be a bit messy in translation at the moment, but given a home and a safe place to birth, and some folk around us with similar beliefs to ours who support the very best parts of us, and we’ll all sail gently on the balmy waters of love again, and express ourselves in ways that aren’t tantrumsJ

Northern New South…..here we come....