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.


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baggage.....

So picture this.  We’re all standing and sitting in a massive, gi-normous airport, watching the baggage carousel slowly spinning round, watching other people picking up their baggage.  Picking up their stuff.  Their learning’s that have filtered through their family, religion, schooling, childhood, environment, culture, country of birth.  That have often come packaged with rules.   As well as all the bits of baggage that they’ve collected along the way, not to mention the invisible memory of the baggage they’ve lost. 

And we’re all watching each other, watching each other claim our baggage.  Some of it is all fancy and designer made and covered with emblems of great wealth and opulence.  Some of it is very similar and easily attainable and looks like a lot of the other baggage carriers.  Some of it is handmade and colourful and totally unique looking.  Some of it is in wild shapes and sizes that contain instruments and tools and costumes and artifacts.  Some of it is tattered and worn and sad looking.  Heavy, and offering discomfort and unhappy carrying.  Some of it is indefinably magic and mysterious and delightful looking.  Some of it looks ordinary, but for some obscure reason you get the feeling that picking it up would be a dream.  Some of it is rotten and stinking and falling apart and messy.  Some of it looks like it could come alive and savage a human easily.  Some of it has badges and symbols emblazoned on it that look surreal, or otherworldly, or evil.  Some of it bears the badges and tickets of an incredibly far and wide travelled life.  Some of it has spilled open and is leaking it’s secrets to the world.  Some of it advertises on the outside what’s within in a lurid fashion. 

And we’re watching.  We’re watching who picks up what.  Getting some surprises when forlorn looking people pick up opulent baggage.  When tiny people pick up huge instruments.  When trashy looking people pick up the baggage of a genius.  When earth mothers pick up the rigid files of a lawmaker.  When humans of great beauty and talent pick up the baggage of depression and self hate.  When the ‘perfect’ people pick up rotten stinking bags that are bursting their seams with filth. 

There’s all sorts of surprises when watching the great carousel of life, and the people who are claiming their baggage. 

A lot of the watchers are looking with judgement, and you can almost witness the invisible tallies and categories and stereotypes and lists of woes that are being added up and subtracted and multiplied within their heads and hearts.  A lot of them are not looking at each other and hoping that others will respect this and not look at them either.  There’s also a lot of them who are looking at each other with compassion, watching each other claim baggage with love in their eyes, giving each other little signs and signals of acknowledgement, acceptance, respect.  And those that make assumptions based on the appearance of the person, as to what their baggage will be.  Often they are proved right, and spend their time only with the other people that have the same baggage as them.  A lot of them making a huge song and dance about their wonderful baggage, what lovely baggage it is, and look at my baggage!!  Don’t you wish it was yours??  And a lot of them have code words and songs and statements that define them from the others, and their baggage all wears the signs of their uniforms, and they sing at each other as they claim their baggage, and then each other.   A lot of them are obviously kinda ashamed of their baggage, but they claim it nonetheless, trying their best to muster a sense of self worth and pride even before the judgemental glares of others.  And there’s a lot of people who are obviously victimised by their baggage, no matter how sweet, or innovative, or beautifully mended, or lovingly patched they may be, they are victimised nonetheless.  But most of them pick up their baggage with the unselfconsciousness of familiarity.  After all, they’ve been carrying round that baggage all their lives, they’re connected to it and consider it their second skin. 

If you look really closely, you can notice there is a lot of comparisons going on, and some people looking relieved when others pick up the more socially unacceptable baggage and cop the derision, rude noises, judgement, and approbation of the crowd.  They’re relieved cause some one else is copping it and not them this time.  Or somebody else has it worse than them. 

A huge amount of us, more than you could ever know, silently slink away from our nastier baggage, the baggage that we’re ashamed of, and covertly steal back later to claim it when nobody else is there, or only when the other people we know would understand are there……

Of course there’s also the people who send somebody else to claim their baggage.  Or get it delivered to them.  And quietly sit behind their walls, sometimes even making the most noise and opposition to a certain sort of baggage, from the afar of the internet, or other public forums, that nobody but them knows, is secretly hidden in their own closet.

Some people have learnt the clever trick of having a seemingly innocuous baggage holder on the out, hiding completely different baggage on the inside.  And some have baggage that everyone else can recognise, hiding just one or two little trinkets inside that would get them thrown out of the baggage group if anyone found out.

Some people have a completely new set of baggage carriers every time you see them, but what’s inside stays always the same.

And see, I’ve had lots of different sorts of baggage throughout my life.  I’ve traded one for the other along my voyage, depending on where I am, who else is in the airport, and what my experience has taught me.  Some very incongruous and unexpected baggage has passed through my hands in the various  byways and plane paths and highways of my life. 

I’ve learnt it’s our baggage that defines us.  Or maybe more to the point what we do with our baggage.  What we’ve learnt from the places it has taken us.   How we’ve mended the holes, and the scars, and the rips.  And when we’re really on good terms with our baggage, when we can own it, and claim it, and be completely sure about it’s worth, and teachings and tools……then all the watching and judging baggage holders and avoiders, can just keep going about their business, cause you’ve got your baggage sorted. 

And it’s also our baggage that divides us.  And unites us if we let it. 

If we all decided to just camp out in the airport for a while, and unpack our baggage, and show each other our dirty undies and secret compartments and hidden treasures……..I can almost guarantee you that you’d be surprised about who really had what baggage, deep inside their outsides.  And you’d realise that we share far more baggage than we let ourselves know. 

So now picture this.  I’m walking into the airport with all my favourite clothes on.  My harem style pants with the velvet waist band that I made from some real Indian silk, fresh from a stock creating trip, that was given to me on the first day I brought Lilith to our market after she was born, and has been through many incarnations.  The diamond cut hippy skirt with the applied crochet circle, that I traded for a crocheted creation with that cool chick with dreadlocks, who pretended I didn’t exist anymore, after she heard some stories about my baggage that she judged as worthy of blocking me out.  That purple top I made out of a tube of stretchy purple that I zigzagged through the middle, leaving me a shipwrecked look for a top and a pair of pants.  Made me look like a great purple pirate when I wore them together.   My hairs up in the style for which I crafted it, with long healthy slightly curled hair streaming out, beneath the dreadlocked horns that I’ve sculpted with a strip of wool wrapped wire plaited through my dreads.  I’m wearing jewellery for once, the big lapis lazuli and coral laced chunky necklace I traded a beautiful mantle for, with that awesome woman in Eumundi, who was inspired to never use soap again, after I left a residue of my scent on the top of her shoulder after hugging.   My favourite rings, the diamante studded spider and the copper scarab.  And I’ve got on my handmade felted boots that I stomped courage, strength, compassion, empathy, love, peace, respect and freedom into, through different coloured felt stamped onto my sole by a muddy earth.  

And I’m walking into the airport, and before all the different eyes, standing in my power and proud of who I am, and willing to recognise myself in all the optic nerves connected to memories eyeballing me.  Wrapt with what I’ve learnt from my life and my travels and the baggage I’ve carried, but most of all totally in love with the baggage I carry now, all the nice bags and darker bags and secret bags and life long bags and messy bags and nasty bags……….all of them are embroidered with gold and yarns, and encrusted with gems, and have features that may or may not fit, but make some sort of sense in the end, and in the interim, and in all the bits that went before. 

And there’s some parts of my baggage that I’d like to share with you.  Not all of it though, cause that would take a really long time, but there are some precious bits of my baggage that I’d like to unpack with you.  Cause I’m not ashamed of any of it.  I’ve got some baggage that has parcels in it that are severely judged, and some that are in the public discourse at the moment, as people stridently take sides, offer statements of ‘How could they do that!’ and the like, trying to convince themselves and others that there’s only one right way.   I suspect that there’s some folk who have made assumptions and judgements about me, based on my mother earth kinda appearance, and that’s just not healthy for anyone.    And I’m  noticing more and more that there’s a growing movement of people just wanting themselves and everyone else to be who they are, and get over the judgement. 

But maybe more to the point, after travelling through a childhood and picking up various baggage and parcels that often contained lies, hypocrisy, betrayal, duplicity, and hurt, I’ve spent my adult life creating a collection of comfortable, claimable baggage, that carries things with honesty, trust, authenticity, and my personal truths.   

So I’m walking up to that great carousel in one of the many airports of life, and the first bag I’m claiming is my baggage of rules.  It’s full of zippers and compartments, and made out of sandpaper with soft edgings and handles.   And has an enormous amount of pockets that are full of information sheets, and lengthy lists that have boxes in which to write ticks and crosses.  There’s some clandestine pockets hiding other people’s score sheets and test results, and secret judgements I’ve made, that I pull out occasionally to make myself feel better or worse with.  And there’s also a tool bag made out of leather, where I keep the tools of the lessons I’ve learned from rules and unlearning rules.  

So let’s sit down in a comfortable seat for a while, cause I’d like to show you a few of the tools I’ve sculpted along the way, but first I want to give you a glimpse of my external/internal rule sheet. 

Which has a whole heap of rules that I inherited by being born, right at the beginning of my sprawling parchment made from my skin. That have been slowly crossed out, or have arrows pointing to later realisations.  And there’s a big line about a tenth of the way down that has THE ONLY ULTIMATE TRUTH IS THAT THERE IS NO ULTIMATE TRUTH written, with lots of underlines, and everything going before it squared off.  This is the epiphany I wrought through eating cheese and playing solitaire for two weeks, after leaving my home, family, friends, school, religion, horse, cat, cello, piano, and area, under police escort, to go and live with my sister at the age of 16.    Everything was gone.  My carpet had well and truly been ripped.  And this was the best sense I could make of the void, that the disappearance of so many rules and regulations had left.  The rest of my rule sheet is full of diverse rules, beliefs, stereotypes and judgements that I’ve felt variously oppressed and esteemed by through different stages of my life journey.  The other main rules that really stand out in their scattered places around my sheet is the one that says WE’RE ALL CONNECTED,  written in blood, and the calligraphy of THOUGHT CREATES REALITY that I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve quipped.  There’s a woolly kind of fibre that’s a cross between carefully crafted yarn and freeform wildness tucked in an envelope that sits in a pocket on a far flung reach of the parchment.  And with the fibre, nestle small pages full of all the wool rules I took on, and the rules I crossed out, and rules that I deliberately broke.  With little addendums of all the rules I didn’t even know existed, that I broke anyway.  And somewhere over here is the one I saw time and time again on my travels, YOU BECOME WHAT YOU HATE (OR FOCUS ON), and over there on the right is another rule that I’ve had to learn time and time again, that EVERYTHING IS PERFECT…….no matter how imperfect it may have been at the time.  And these are the main rules that I really took on, to steer me through my journey, and that I learnt from my own experience, so I know they’re true for me.      

And scattered through the whole bag, are scrunched up bits of paper that have rules that I’ve totally abandoned, and in some pockets, the scrunched up papers have been neatly flattened out with realisations written on them.    

But look at some of these tools! This flamboyantly coloured pair of glasses that when you put on, makes you see only two old men, is the one I made when I was a baby dyke going to my first ever Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.  There was all this talk and discussion and energy about Fred Nile, a fanatic and dogmatic religious dude, who had organised a pray for rain meeting, so he could rain on our parade.  In the weeks following it, there was an article in a gay and lesbian magazine that described a journalist going undercover to the pray for rain meeting.  Equipped with a wig, mobile phone, conservative clothes and a beeper, she strode into the meeting………..to find two old men.  All that fuss about two old men.  It started me wondering about those two old men.  Maybe they were the same two old men who I called ‘them’, and who I expected to judge me, as I walked around in my shaved head, black leather splendour.  And maybe only being two of ‘them’ explained why I’d never actually encountered any homophobia.  Maybe my world wasn’t so surrounded with judgement as I thought.  Mind you, I had friends that suffered endless homophobia, and here are the talismans I have of them, and I know and understand that my experience isn’t everyone’s, but this is my bag afterall.  And I’ve used these glasses often, anytime I’m tempted to feel oppressed by rules or a moral majority or a bunch of ‘them’, whoever they may be.

And this tool that looks remarkably like a headdress, with big scooping ears to listen, and a great hat that assisted in standing in the shadows, and dark glasses that hide microscopes, and a big soft drapey scarfey thing that hangs in a loving hug to feel my heart……..is the disguise I wore for many many years, whilst trying to unlearn dogma, conditioning, fears, superiorities and insecurities…….and rules.  All I knew was that along with there being no ultimate truth, I knew absolutely nothing about most of the things I was interested in.  So I lurked, and I listened, and I observed with every faculty I knew how to use……and I learnt. 

And all these beautifully coloured glass bottles held safely in satin pockets, contain the essences of those lessons.   Here, have a whiff of that charge I got when I found a twin soul in an unexpected incarnation.  And have a feel of this satiny liquid that pours through my body in those moments I have of complete and total oneness with everyone and thing in the universe.  If I open this cork,  you can hear the yip of joy I let out when I get something totally and completely right…..for me.  And have a sniff of the odourous stench I get in my nostrils when I’ve done something that I really wished I hadn’t.  And search my head for ways that I can both acknowledge and transform that part of me.  Have a taste of the bittersweet tang I get on my  tongue, when I have to admit that I’ve been totally wrong, and it’s time to backtrack and find a more authentic path. 

And this tool, this gem encrusted mirror, is the one that I learnt about how you get what you expect, or focus on.  I made this one when I was comparing photo’s with that awesome German woman in Tubingen, in her student loft, of our times in Belfast at nearly exactly the same time, 6 months before.   We’d even stayed in the same youth hostel.  Her photos were full of tanks, armed men, steel clad police stations, huge and aggressive murals on bombed walls.  And mine were of pleasantly pissed and thoroughly pleasant Belfastians in pubs, taking me out to dinner, driving me to the Giant’s Causeway, and generally sightseeing.  She was a student political activist, and I was a frequently pissed tourist.  And we both got what we were looking for.

And this little photo-memory book contains all the reminders I’ve got in my yarns about how worthwhile turning around to face fears is.  All the pretty moments when I was so overwhelmed with fear, but decided to jump anyway, and realised that hulking great dragon chasing me was really a Pekinese yapping at my heels.  

But that’s enough of my baggage of rules now, let’s zip it back up and place it on my trolley.  I’m walking back to the carousel again, for another part of my collection.  But this is enough of my baggage sharing.  I gotta get back to the family now, and get on with my journey, but we’ll catch each other at another airport carousel soon………






And no Baltazar and Nimue this time, instead I'm going to leave you with a song that I was obsessed with for a while.  I used to play it over and over as I sat in my little house and gazed out the window or at my little stained glass candle holder, and wished and wished for Currawong to leave where he was and come and be with me. I think it worked! And on borrowing Northern Exposure from the library I was reunited with it, so I had to share.....

And check out the words!! Quite a song for our times.....

I am the crow of desperation
I need no fact or validation
I span relentless variation
I scramble in the dust of a failing nation
I was concealed
Now I am stirring
And I have waited for this time.

I am the termite of temptation
I multiply and find my population
I am the wheel
I am the turning
And I will lay my love around you.

I am the sea of permutation
I live beyond interpretation
I scramble all the names and the Combinations
I penetrate the walls of explanation
I am the will
I am the burning
And I will lay my love around you.

I am the will
I am the yearning
And I will lay my love around you.









  



  

2 comments:

  1. Without getting past the first paragraph, I know If I read on, the half assed post I am working on, will be in the bin by the end. Your standard is so high, how did you get so damn wise- well I guess you have been mentioning that along the way... I will try not to tell you anymore how much in love I am with your fiest and antennae . don't want to turn into a sucky groupie... but woman, you break my heart... I dreamt you a winning somewhere sometime- take your pen to the world...spank it, in the gentle way that you do...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh my but I love your way with words most bodacious woman!! And I love how you love who I am in the world. You totally inspire me and leave me breathless. Thank you for your inspiration and heart balms!! And may the bliss of a million delectable wishes rain on your head!

      Delete

I love your comments, and your feedback......it makes this whole blogging thing worthwhile. Peace and blessings to you!