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, October 23, 2011

Coming home.....

So I got this little theory bubbling round.  About doing the geographical, and the nature of the human animal spirit, and a deep wondering about whether being semi-nomadic is actually an essential aspect needed for general peace and equilibrium in my life.....  I’ve been fortunate enough to have lived in many amazing places, and different parts of land on this incredibly alive country, that have rich indigenous heritages of community, or trade, or magic.  And in my experience anyway, they can suck you in as strongly as they can spew you out.  Call it destiny, fate, or dancing the song lines of the earth, but during my life, it’s seemed quite apparent that I’ve needed to be some places at certain times, to meet certain people and get certain lessons.   And then when that time is over, all the attraction and wonder and serendipitous occurrences stop happening, and if the message isn’t received, then bad shit starts happening, until I get the point, and move on to the next place where the land and the people welcome me and my clan with open arms and it seems like everything I do is touched with gold.  And on this recent geographical, I can recognise the elements and the signs, and how often this has happened to me before, and I’m starting to think that the land and the people are indivisible (obviously), and if it’s not the land giving me the message, or if I don’t hear it from the land, then people will start giving it to me, till it gets bad enough that I just have to get out of there.  And I’ve tried to take it personally in the past, but this time, with all the familiar events going on, I reckon I can let go of that perception, and just realise that every place has it’s time, and if I can learn to read the signs a bit better, maybe I can avoid the nasty expulsion altogether. 

But apart from all that, let’s get back to the story.

After hanging out with the illustrious David Birch, and  blissing out in the rainforest at Protestors Falls, we stopped in at the Weave and Mend Festival in Nimbin that I heard about 6 years ago when it very first started, and I was asked to come along, but I couldn’t, and I always wondered what would have happened, and what it would have been like.  (And we wouldn’t have been able to make it if we hadn’t got chicken pox and missed out on the Rainbow Coroborree…) So we rocked up there after our very first night in the Northern Rivers Region at Protestor’s Falls, (which is where I left the story).  After blissing out at the fragrant air, and the amazing semi-tropical rainforest all around, and then telling the kids ‘I told you so’, about how colourful the shops in Nimbin are, and muralled, and totally unlike any of the monocultural shops that we’ve passed through in town after town after town on our thousands of kilometres journey, we totally loved getting to a place that’s obviously run and created by people and community rather than corporations.  And the people walking around are about as eclectic as I reckon you could ever get, from tourists, to backpackers, to skinheads, to hippies, to druggies, to alternative healers, to punks, to tattoed folk, to piercing addicts, to indigenous folk, to just about every other nationality you care to name, to the elders of the area who are still fairly straight and into farming, to artists, to Goths, to wood fairies, to activists, to just about any other minority group you care to mention.  And we wove through the street on our way to the festival, the street full of bright colours and rainbows, and we got to the school behind the street where there was a quiet little sanctuary of tents and tipi’s and rugs and basket weaving materials, and colourful dreadlocked folk sitting in groups learning about basketry and rope making and weaving and mending……….  At first we felt a bit like gate crashers, cause the festival had been going for three days already, and it was very intimate when we got there, but before long, I recognised a woman who’d shown me how to be beautiful to indigenous folk in Alice Springs, and she was making an amazing rug, and we chatted for a bit.  And there were two amazing, empowered, sexy, tattooed, striking elder women, one with dreadlocks and one with leonine hair, who kind of observed us all for a while, and then slowly but surely, started chatting a bit more about stuff, and connecting more, and slowly slowly we became part of the intimate gathering, and eventually got to the point where we were raving about the world and it’s vagaries, and giving each other hugs, and Granny Breath Weaver (what a fantastic name is that!!) who was one of the founders of the group, and an inspirational basket maker, ended up letting us know we were welcome at any time, and that she’d been calling for folk like us to come to Nimbin, and she got into this amazing game with Max.  Ya know that game you play with kids when they’re being held by their parent, and you duck around behind them and play peek-a-boo?  Well Max grabbed her with his eyes, and she started playing that game with him, except he kinda played it back at her, and surprised her around the other side, and played the game back in a way I’ve never seen any other kid do.  And she was totally entranced.  They connected in a human to human way, and it was a delight to behold.  And in our time at the festival, we managed to start some gorgeous new friendships, and meet some powerful people in Nimbin, and have all our kids off and playing and totally embraced, and even had some offers from folk with places for us to camp for as long as we liked. 

And then we headed off for Mullumbimby, where none of us had been before, and as it was a Sunday afternoon, and we didn’t realise that there was a Woolworths tucked away and hidden behind the main shopping centre…….everything was quiet and closed and there was no-one on the streets.  We didn’t realise till later how cool that actually was.  We’re so used to shops shops shops being open 24-7 from Monday to Sunday regardless of holidays and human animal friendliness, that it was quite weird to be in a big town that was closed.  And then we headed up the Main Arm Road and started preparing ourselves to meet Ariad and clan, of Rainbow Love Farm.  Which was quite nerve wracking really.  It’s a wild situation – to have read about someone’s life for over 3 years, and seen photo’s of them and their family, and have had an internet friendship that grew – and then be preparing to meet them in person……I think we were both wondering what the other would really be like, and whether we’d be the same or different to how we’d represented ourselves on our blogs.  So we got there…….and she wasn’t home.  Hadn’t thought of that eventuality!  So we decided to drive down to Uki, and check that place out, and on the way a really kooky thing happened.  We drove over the ridge of Mt Jerusalem National Park, to survey the vista on the other side, and there was Mt Warning, big, and bold, and striking, and obviously a powerful mountain.  We stopped the van to check it out, and Currawong pulled out the camera to take a photo, and we both saw it tracking tracking tracking with Mt Warning in the middle of the screen, and he took the photo………and it was completely white. 

We both went ‘ooooohhh’ and thought that was a bit wild, and then within minutes, Mt Warning was totally shrouded in mist and cloud, and there was no peak left to be seen, and I decided then and there that Mt Warning was an elusive and mysterious mountain, an opinion that has since been played out on our trips around it in the last few weeks.   A very powerful mountain indeed….and in good company with a lot of other amazing rock and mountain formations around here. 

So we kept driving down to Uki, and turned towards Murwillumbah, wondering where we were going to spend the night, and then decided to head back to Uki, doing a big u-turn.  And Currawong saw a van of waving people heading back into town, so he pulled over after they’d done a u-turn to be behind us, and it was Ariad and family who had seen us drive by and chased us!  Ariad came straight up to me and we had a huge hug, and then we stood around for a bit, introducing ourselves, getting eyefuls of how we all looked in person after seeing photo’s of each other for years, and chatting by the side of the road.  We all agreed it was a pretty wild situation, knowing so much about each other without actually knowing each other, and then Ariad invited us back to her place to stay for as long as it was groovy for us all.  Which turned out to be a week and a bit.  And we’re all in her beautiful house right now, house sitting while they’re all in Thailand.  But before they all went, we spent a lot of time hanging out with her and her beautiful clan, talking about our lives, swapping stories and philosophies, and generally all getting to know each other and finding out how much we had in common.  Which is a lot.  There’s something so soul satisfying about coming across other humans who have lived a different life to the mainstream, and come to similar conclusions, and have similar ideals for their children, and where we can all talk and feel heard and acknowledged with a total absence of judgement. We were all so used to apologising, hiding, or glossing over our natural learning or unschooling philosophies, that it was an incredible liberation to be with folk where we could celebrate the bits that were different about our approaches!!  It was also truly inspirational to see her children and their skills and talents so uniquely expressed – a veritable showcase for the Unschooled!!  And so wonderful to have an internet friendship that proved true and grew in person.  And I’m so incredibly greatful that she’s given us this time and grace to be in her space while she’s away, and the time to check the area out without the necessity of finding camps and packing and unpacking……not to mention that this is the first time in 4 years that we’ve been alone as a family and unobserved…… Ariad, you’re beautiful, your family are gorgeous, you’re an amazing woman, I love you, and I’m so glad that we’ve met in person, and will be living in the same areaJ

Have you ever experienced times in your life when you’re in a new place, and everything is fresh and unique, and the people seem all glamorous and interesting, and the world seems full of magical options, and you maybe even think that this time it will be different, and the patterns that you’ve been working on through life will mysteriously fade away, and a whole new life full of loving friends and passionate and fulfilling life will rollercoaster you away to a whole new reality???  And you’re in that open, ‘who know’s WHAT might happen’ kinda space, where every new person you meet might be your next best friend, and any kind of magic might be possible…..

 And all these ‘coincidences’ happen, and stuff like, we have lunch at a park and a woman we’ve never met before walks past three times just to check us out, then stops to chat the fourth time, and asks the whole family to her place for tea and nibbles, to have a peek at a house she conceived, created, and lives in.  And it turns out she’s a Jungian Analyst, and her curvy, rammed earth, stone and wood home, is an enchanted metaphor of a human mind that Jung would be proud to introduce.   Beautifully gracefull doors and windows sat snug in a hill covered with tropical plants, food, and sculpted wrought iron lamps and railings.  Circular staircases with handcarved wooden doorways following the curves flowed round the house filled with treasures and memories.  She and her partner were shiny and happy as they showed us around and received our praise and honest awe with shy smiles.  Huge timber beams and an old and gracefull wood oven, a loft with a tricky ladder and artistry imbued into all the handmade and loved features.  And we all sat and drank tea and ate nibbles, and you would have hardly known there were 6 kids squeezed in the kitchen, cause they were all so engrossed in spotting groovy things and asking questions that got thoughtful answers.  It was a true inspiration to be inside another person’s home.  Real home.  That private sanctuary where you can drop all guises and just be safe and warm and home…….

And there’s this thing that’s been happening, especially in Nimbin, where we’ll stop to talk to someone on the street, or in a shop, and end up having the most amazing deep and meaningfull conversations about life, the universe and everything, as if we’ve been friends for years……I was used to only getting those conversations rarely back where we were, and now they’re a daily occurrence!  There’s no polite chit chat, it’s just down to the essentials of existence, and real life stories, and I just love it.  We’re meeting people every time we go out, mostly new friends, some old acquaintances, and there’s this big thread of déjà vu running alongside the whole time.  And I swear there’s a big convergence happening unconsciously around here, the amount of people that we’re meeting who have only been here for 6 months to a year, and felt pulled here for the same reasons as us (escaping the great monotheistic monoculture that’s swallowing anything different) is astonishing.  There seems to be a subconscious gathering occurring, and I’m real curious as to what’s gonna happen next.


About the only stone in my shoe so far has been the lack of anything regarding homebirth……  I realise now I was in a blissfull homebirthing bubble in SA, with the amount of midwives I was fortunate to count as my friends, and The Birth Place being there as information and referral centre, and a huge group of homebirthing mamma’s and baby’s around that were easy to find……it’s all going underground here!!  One of the best midwives in the area has been de-registered, and apart from 2 other birth workers I’ve heard tell of, (one of which being the lovely Majikfaerie who also has a blog and who I’ll meet someday!!) women are calling themselves doula’s and birth workers, and the scene is very very quiet.  Kinda devestating, since this area was one of the forerunners of homebirth in the 70’s, and there was that amazing book “Birth at Home” by David Miller that so inspired me, that was written about this area.  I was expecting some of our homecoming in this area to involve big mobs of homebirthers and midwives being powerful together, and am a bit heartbroke that it’s not the case.    There’s a very public doula in the area who’s never had a baby and runs a group for first time mothers, and thinking it was for everyone, I went along with only ONE of my babies, and felt very unwelcome and out of place.  I kinda skulked up the back while the woman who’d never had a baby was talking about labour land from what she’d read, and decided that I didn’t need to pop anyone’s bubble, and that gig really wasn’t for me, and ran away!  I was pretty sad that night, and really missing my favourite midwives and their awesomeness, and woke up crying, so the next day Currawong (bless his heart) went up to the first pregnant woman with dreadlocks he saw, and told her we were new to the area and his wife was pregnant too, and needed to connect with other homebirthers.  So we were all going to the same market, and ended up sitting together and talking for hours, and it turns out she knows of a wise crone midwife who’s a grandmother, and we’re gonna meet her soon, and this pregnant woman is also a spinner and crocheter, and her partner is Fries (!!) and there may even be a space to rent in the multiple occupancy that she lives on, so we’re finding a path in the homebirthing direction afterall.  Thanks CurrawongJ

We also went to The Channon market one weekend, and bumped into the beautiful Megg of the Artnomadix Wearable Art blog, who we met in Alice Springs 7 years ago, and who showed us how to live in our van.  And met up with old friends and new and had a blast.  And then the next day happened to be driving through the incredibly beautiful Tyalgum, and happened to bump into Megg again, and her mother, who lo and behold has exactly the same very rare army edition of Toyota Commuter van as us! (There’s three of our ex-army vans in the area that have been turned into hippy vans…what are the chances of that?!) We checked out Meggs gallery, and had a cuppa in their beautiful home on a hill, and had a lovely afternoon in the caldera of the massive volcano that birthed this area. 



And I’m aware that I’m writing a lot now, and there’s a bit of a lack of photo’s cause we’ve all been too busy doing it, to remember to take photo’s of it, but I’ve just gotta finish this thought……   That thing I’ve been talking about in previous post’s about ‘blending’………all I’ve got to say is Nimbin.  I love Nimbin.  In fact we’re all head over heels in love with Nimbin.  It’s bright.  It’s brash.  It’s raw.  It’s real.  It’s colourful.  It’s sweet and friendly.  It’s community living at it’s zenith.  It’s local and honest.  Even the pimply bits are honoured and acknowledged.  There’s a big open gusty wind of  acceptance of diversity that seems to thread it’s way through everything.  I didn’t realise how often we were given the message that we were untrustworthy back where we were, based on our ‘difference’ and how we looked, until I find myself surprised at how unjudged, accepted, and trusted we feel by complete strangers, that we feel we’ve known for years.  It’s awesome.  And always effervescently engaging.  We took Spiral-Moon into the Tattoo and Piercing Studio for her fifth birthday to get her ears pierced, and were totally entranced by the experience.  The gorgeous woman who was going to pierce her ears, sat with her and for ages on the couch, browsing through her box of jewellery to find something ‘bling’ enough for Spiral.  While the rest of us were standing by and chatting with the other friendly tattooists and customer, answering questions about our clan and how they came to be, getting fed fortune cookies and glasses of mango juice, while the other workers were increasingly surprised at how calm and unfussed Spiral was by the process.  They reckoned that adults have been known to cry when they got pierced, and Spiral didn’t even bat an eyelid.  They kept telling us our kids were fairy’s, and we had a mutual friend with one of the women that left us all feeling happy, and another woman gave us a book on alternative parenting that had been written in Nimbin.  It was such a friendly, honourable, and rosy experience, that when we were walking back down the street and I saw the ear piercing sign at the chemist, I just laughed, and was real glad I hadn’t seen it on the way to the studio, cause the experience we had was a special birthday present for our Spiral.  Then we stopped in at the gardening group that was happening at the community gardens, where my favourite crones hang out, and took the groovy kids we’d met there down to the free municipal swimming pool for her birthday lunch!  Coolest pool I’ve ever seen, it’s a big circle, that’s all shallow around the edges, and deep right in the middle, and the locals have got together and put in barbeques, and shade, and seats, and hang out there a lot.  Not to mention the skate park that’s just across the grass, and right next to the kids play park, and also not to mention the Lawn Bowls club that’s right next to the pool, where a whole heap of young folk (compared to the serious white suited prim and propers you see in every other lawn bowl club around the country) play lawn bowls while smoking and drinking beers with their bush beards, listening to the Skyhooks and other groovy music…….did I ever mention that Currawong and I have harboured serious fantasies our whole lives about playing lawn bowls?  And always been put off by the grumpy white clad old folk?  How cool is that.  Remember that post when I was talking about how you never see kids out playing or on the streets anymore, cause they’re all at home on their computers??  Well that’s definitely not the case in Nimbin.  The pool, skate park, kids park and lawn bowl club are always populated and thriving and happily occupied….such a relief!  And folks here don’t even look twice at me in my hand made pregnancy clothes, and Currawong strutting his stuff in his platform sneakers and yellow velvet pants with the leopard spot racing stripes down the side……they’re a bit spun out about how many kids we have, but I think I’ve got to own up to liking being different in some way, and being a bit glad that there’s still something about us that is strikingly unique…….  And just to finish that day of Spiral’s birthday, after getting her ears pierced and hanging with the locals at the pool, the twins fell asleep and we got to choose between the two jam sessions that happen in Nimbin every Friday night – the quiet acoustic and interesting instrumented jam at The Oasis, or the big, loud, amplified jam on the main street of rock and roll and blues and thumping drums……we picked the quiet oneJ  Just a taste of the magic of Nimbin……


There’s more stories to tell, but I’ve run on a lot now, so they’ll have to wait for later…….  And I'll do my best to take some more photos!

3 comments:

  1. Dear Hellena,

    I am a mama of four from Germany (homebirthing, attachment parenting) and i recently found your blog and read a lot of your posts.
    You are an incredible wonderful family and I wished to be where your are at the moment, at a place where you can be who you are and feel welcome with your life style.

    If I understood right, so you make your living as artists. It is astonishing that you make it to support your huge family so.
    In Germany most of the artists must have a job beyond their art to make a living because we have a lot of duty insurances and fees to pay and even if you live very simple you have hardly a chance to survive that way with a family.

    I hope you will find a place to live in this beautiful area, so that you can enjoy your pregancy and coming birth.

    all the best to you and your clan

    Susanne

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  2. Oh Nimbin! How I wish we could have spent more time there. I thought of you the short time we were there, though. And now you are there! I'm so very happy for you. And Majikfaerie is just around the corner! If we're lucky enough to have another babe & to birth in Oz, we'll be looking her up for sure :-) Wishing you all love and light.

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  3. To be honest Susanne, we're on our way to earning a living from what we love to do, but at the moment are generously supplemented by our government, who sees the value in supporting families to stay together and helping them with money for the basics in life. I'm very greatful for this, and use the generous gift they give us to look after us all, and try and give back to whoever we come across, in a pay it forward kind of manner. I'm sure we'll repay our government and other tax payers with what we create in our lives. And Rainblissed......here is just magic:) And I wish you could have spent more time here too! I wish it for everyone, to get a taste of unique folk and culture and community.... And hopefully one day I'll actually meet the beautiful Majikfaerie in person:) Sending that love and light reflected back to you!

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