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.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Confessions of a Drug Addict

Over this last weekend, events happened that have led me to realise that I have to finally acknowledge a long time drug habit, that I'm totally addicted to.  I am a complete junkie, to this drug created naturally in our systems, and dispensed to us as a reward for behaving evolutionarily, or in a way that our evolution has adapted us to expect to act to survive.  I hunt for experiences in my life so I can feel my high, and get a hit of my most favourite drug.  A large part of our surrender to birth and babies and the amount of children we have, was so that we could get our fix of it.  In generous doses while engaging in the intimate and connected sex we created that created our babies, and during the pregnancy when all our hormones and bodily parts and odours were changing as a reflection of the life growing.  In birth with the massive doses of our favourite ever drug that we share together, co-dependent in the hugest degree.  The bonding that washes over us all afterwards.  The connections we feel because of it.  The closeness and empathy we have for each other because of our closeness.  The dawning and enlightening conversations we all have as well.  And then that extension from our family into our close community and heart family, and then further into Nimbin and the market that we're playing with there. This drug that we love is most likely a palpable bubble around us most of the time, after we've loved or bonded, or understood and transformed, or had intense and deep interactions with complete strangers, or gone into a potentially non-friendly situation and left with warm hugs and a whole circuit of new friends.  From all the births that we've shared, and the travels and connections and relationships we've had, no matter how brief.  We are all total slaves to our addiction to our entire families drug of choice.


Since reading this article by Michel Odent, I've really been sitting with oxytocin.  I've always associated oxytocin with birth, and knew that my natural ones were much better, and a necessary part of birth, often needing quiet and dark undisturbed places to unfold, and that they were pumping through my body when birthing, and most strongly just after.  I've joked about how midwives are drug addicts, addicted to that energy of birth.  I've known that there are oxytocins associated with sex, and with breast feeding, and with holding your newborn close, but I always kinda considered them almost half arse, piss weak drugs, when it comes to comparing them to other drugs and the drug taking methods of  ganga for example, or eating halluciongenic mushrooms, or reports of ayahusca, and shamanic drug rituals we have in our collective consciousness.  They somehow seem more real and formal 'drugs', because they're the result of an external item that you ingest in some way, and have an easily defined reaction.  A drug that is made inside you and released naturally in moments of sex, birth, bonding, great connection, spiritual connection, conscious death, hugging, unconditional love, realisation, empathy, compassion, a strong sense of identity, and feelings of spontaneous love and community..........can't be that potent and mindblowing really can it?

Well maybe it can.  And maybe the point isn't a mindblowing experience, but a carrot given as a reward to expressions of love, bonding, family, and empathy, cause if you were getting that little carrot, you were well on the way to forming tribe, helping each other, caring for each other, and surviving.  Maybe the point was that in all those little carrots, if you kept following the trail, you would blend on the path with other hunters of the carrot, who would keep eating those carrots with you when you helped each other on the path, becoming a stream of a family around you, and then a river of community around you, that washed you in the waves of oxytocin regularly, co-creating survival as a bonded and harmonious feeling of drug induced love and community, so that it did indeed create mindblowing internal and interconnected drug induced situations on a grand scale, to dwarf the potential of any external drug induced ecstasy.  Because it comes from us and the love and community that we create together.  And instead of draining us or leaving us weak it feeds us.  Gives us the experience of that effortless ease that you can have in a conversation, that connects the dots between you, and traces a shared moment of enlightenment.  That sense of timelessness and complete interaction and love with your whole present experience.  That dropping away of the world 'out there' that impinges on so many freedoms and tentacles of connection.  That incredible lightness of blossoming completely into who you really are with witnesses around you, who totally adore the spark of the authentic you, they can see as a reflection of themselves.  

So yesterday, driving home from a our first official day as a family of co-conspirators of community and markets, after having such a long break between drinks, of that particular oxytocic drug rush in particular, it just hit me like a train.  We spent the day in complete chaotic harmony of time, surrender and love.  Max and Merlin were with Shen, and had a totally adorable day and didn't miss us once, which meant we could actually have conversations without having to dash off every couple of seconds after a twin.  We stepped into an incredible communal oxytocic rush of interactions, people stating passions, obscure stories, deep moments, everything happening in the right time and place with no control needed, serendipitous meetings and realisations of connection, shared stories, tears, hugs, enlightenments, networks, musicians turning up and playing little miracles, kids flowing round in a river of kid world safely boundaried by adults, problems raised and solved, and immovable objects flowed around, while sparkles and bubbles and great gooey globules of oxytocin were puffing thier way gently all around us.  

And it was more the afterglow than the glow itself that I first noticed most.  The talking and hooking up of stories and people and amazing events that we were all tumbling over each other to relate.  Trying to soak around in it and lush it up while the glow was slowly receding.  Trying to witness our stories to ourselves and each other to pin it up in the winds of time as a noticeable event of connection.  That slightly exhausted feeling being over-ridden by joy and smiling and afterglow.  Of all the moments when we felt so incredibly real, and seen, and heard, and loved.  And now there's more kids in this new market experience, and more stories to relate, I noticed very clearly this oxytocic afterglow, and recognised the amounts of times I've felt that afterglow before.  I've been lucky enough to have experienced a lot more sex, birth, intimacy with strangers, deep spiritual belief and connection with others, and family bonding than a lot of other people I know.  And I see the echoes that come from all of them, as the echoes of the great drug I adore......oxytocin.

Another thing that's emerged really strongly from the article I mentioned in the beginning about Michel Odent, was a huge sadness that the conversation can even exist about 'getting men out' of birth altogether.  For the very same reason, and to the very same purpose as this whole thing I'm talking about here - oxytocin.  For the bonding that he spoke so strongly of, that I loved to read in anothers words so much, I personally believe that everyone in the family needs to be involved.  For that oxytocic rush, and for the love and care afterwards, it's essential that fathers (when the situation forms naturally that way) and mothers and all the other siblings are there for that magical oxytocic soaked moment of birth.  To connect, imprint, and bond their binds to each other, that will carry them through life, and through care, empathy, and relationship with each other, to survive and thrive in a world of family and community.  I wrote a statement in passionate avowal and honouring to the importance of my man in our births and lives and family, that my Currawong has wanted and needed to hear for a long time.  And I'd really like to share it here.

 I just feel so sad, in all this talk about men getting out of birth, that there aren't more experiences represented in our consciousness of men like Currawong.  We've birthed 7 babies together, and from the very start, I NEEDED Currawong there, especially for transition and what came after.  There was no preference or thought about it, it was a PRIMAL AND URGENT NEED!  He and I both knew when the act of love that we'd started months ago was being born, and he was always there in whatever way I needed him, without question or thought.  Behind me in the bath, or above me and holding me with his arms as I pulled down on him, staring into his eyes, or crying into mine when I was telling him I loved him, as Spiral was being born, or his countless hours of carting water and making sure it stayed clean and warm, or of keeping people out of my space with Spirals birth and telling them very clearly to let me go into my primal space and not talk to me or touch me or bring me out of my feelings, or crying in-between contractions when he knew that we were going to have to go to hospital to have Balthazar by caesarean, but drying his tears before I saw him cry, and holding all his fear at bay to get me to the hospital, and staying strong and loving by my side while it happened, and then staying awake in the hospital, almost as exhausted as me, so he could watch Balthazar and keep him from the nursery while I slept, and then coming home and cleaning my wound, and wiping my arse, and dealing with my shit, and holding all the kids and keeping them clean and fed even while I went through Post Natal insanity, and nursing our babies when even I was afraid during whooping cough, and staying strong in the love of me and our children, and keeping up the slack, and HE was the warrior who turned our twin birth around, talking me strongly into how this was TWO births, and everyone was fine, and he knew I could do it, and then he cleaned out the bath while we all slept and it was HE the birth warrior who shifted that energy and bouyed our spirits and kept us all going, and it was he who bottle fed the twins when I was so nipple sore and kept people away from me and rode my waves of overwhelm, and HE who gave me love and faith and strength.  And he who showed me how sexual and primal and ribald and goddamn sexy birth could be through the birth of Zarrathustra.  He who gives me power and the wings to self acceptance on the complete love and adoration he gives me and us and him for our connected journeys that have opened into bonding and a sexual journey that I keep trying to get the flavour of to convey to a world that hasn't experienced anything like it.......I stake my claim and fly our flags on the timelines of evolution, as one of the first Post Modern, Fully Bonded, Sovereign Families I know of.  And to me, and our loin fruit, and my man, all of us are as integral to the whole as each other.

In a world where birth is so incredibly focused on individual elements, in one way or another, I just think there is a place to stake a claim on birth for the family.  For the whole.  Father, Mother, Child trinity.  And for what they can all become when they bond with each other, strive to protect, respect, and accept each other, and bring all their valued threads to the whole rope of a family bond, that can grow to embrace the whole world, and go beyond the importance of any single thread to what can be created in the singularity.  That can indeed feed the thread more fully than any internal individual process.  And can help the singularity of the rope of oxytocic connection from our families throughout our communities, and to even greater global connection with each other.  

Our family is a strong singularity of a whole, with threads that pull out and go to all different places with other people, but pull back into the singularity of our family more regularly than not.  Every single one of us has equal importance to our singularity, but extra special qualities that are just us.  And in that singularity, our kids always have either their tribe or their parents nearby.  Most of the time.  When something disconcerting happens, or they're hurt, or afraid, they know that we're only a stones throw away, and are always gonna have their backs.  We'll listen to them, take them seriously, take action if it needs to be taken, and defend them if they need it.  There's really no gender distinctions in jobs around the house, or general survival work that needs to be done, so to all our little younglings, we're known as MumanDad.  Cause it doesn't really matter which one of us responds, either one of us will do, and are usually always available.  We feel connection and sanction often.  See ourselves reflected in each other.  Have the opportunity to work through issues together because of our love.  

That bonded connection relies on introspection, self honesty and evaluation, and appreciation.  And when practiced regularly, it becomes easier and easier to practice self and other acceptance all the time. And when practiced often at home, it becomes easier to practice with broader community, and market community, and regions, and environments and histories.  Our kids roam the world with freedom, and connect with who they will, and are supported in their connections by us, as we also connect with those who do with our kids.  They're used to bouncing round in a relative and respectful world, full of loving mentors, oxytocic soaked events, and interested new folk.  

To live this experience makes it impossible to not notice all the anti-bonding moments encouraged between us, especially between adults and children.  All the potentially oxytocic moments that are crushed by judgement, control, separation, rules or cultural fads.  Not to mention that the foods we eat, our anti-bonding practices, and the possibility that synthetic oxytocin (made from pig sperm) actually suppresses natural oxytocin, and could result in lower production levels of it.  What's the opposite of oxytocin?   Adrenaline?  Hate?  Fear?  Suspicion? Could it be that our oxytocic supressions have resulted in our alienated families and communities? With all the disruptions placed between us and potential bonding with our children, and our parents, and our extended families, and work mates, and communities?  How much importance is placed on cohesion and community love?  Acceptance?  Respect?  Connection??

And what could you do to increase your share of oxytocin in your own life?  

What gives you an oxytocic rush?

Have you ever thought of oxytocin this way?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

To bra or not to bra.......

I just read an awesome blog post about the usage of bras, that I highly recommend you read.  About how it's really not a funky practice for our boobs.  And the comment I wanted to leave was so huge, that I thought I'd better blog about it myself, not least because the more this kind of information is out there the better, but also because it comes down to sovereignty again.

Hot on the tail of my last post just fresh off the press about self organisation, this is so timely because the self organisation that can exist within our communities and groups, can also exist in our bodies.  Us Westerners are so into control.  Controlling our groups with heirarchies, controlling our creativity with standardised learning, controlling our animals and our children, who often have the same rights as each other, controlling our fibres that we make things with, controlling the ways that everybody does everything, and most of all, personally, and in our direct experience, we try to control our bodies.  What they look like, smell like, feel like, perform like, when they rest, when they eat, what they eat, and all the different ways that we 'manage' them into submission.  Do our best to knock all the animal edges off, so that we can prance around in our dog trotting ways emulating aliens that don't shit, stink, have hair in unsightly places, writhe with sensuality, or force us to admit our card carrying status as animals like all the others.  

And I would like to suggest, that instead we could surrender to our humanimal bodily experience, and maybe even find that our bodies, like our grass roots communities and wild environments show us, have within them an inherent consciousness, that when respected and uncontrolled, can find a harmonious balance from seeming chaos.  

I've written before about our signature smells that can be liberated through using only natural soap and water and no deodorants or cleaning products, but never really got into my proud bra free status.  I don't wear a bra.  I'm over 6 foot tall, and I've weighed between 100 and 125 kilograms for years now, especially during babies, and have big bosoms.  I've been up to a size 26H which is pretty huge, and I've breastfed 8 babies now, all for the first year of their lives, when they've naturally weaned themselves.  

Incidentally......apparently there was a test done in the 50's as to what size bra one should buy.  If your breast could hold a pencil underneath it, pinned between breast and chest, then you were a certain size. If your breast couldn't hold a pencil it was another.  Three pencils was considered a larger sized cup.  But since a very young lass, my bountiful breasts have been able to hold a whole pencil case.  A soft one of course.  I wonder what size that would have been?  Bloody Big Bra perhaps.......

When I was a young thing I was a bit of an obsessive bra wearer.  I'd wear them to sleep.  And felt awfully nude and nipple shy and vulnerable to go without one.  And then I had my first baby and discovered all sorts of things as a result, one of which was the joys of making love with women.  And a lot of women who love women are really into women.....surprisingly......in their raw, natural, authentic and real states.  So I came to really love my breasts, and their fulsome milk giving nurturance, and how they wobbled and bounced as I walked was almost a badge of honour, that I was a WILD woman, who'd howled at the moon and found her soul, and loved my body as it was.   At first it was uncomfortable and I sweated a lot, but after a time my body found it's own balance, and I got used to hanging loose.  

For a very brief time I explored complete femininity, and lacy push up bras, and fell as in love with my cleavage as all the very short men who I hugged often did.  

Then I met Currawong, but as a punk anarchist, he was every bit as into reclaiming the beauty of the untamed or uncliched body, and loved my bouncing breasts.  I convinced myself that I needed to wear maternity bras from birthing to at least 6 months down the track for only the first three of my babies, and had mastitis, and sore breasts often, and a huge mess around with bra straps and nursing pads.  But with my fourth baby I just let the whole thing go, wore latex tops that held material nursing pads in place, or just gushed into cloth nappies that stayed in place under my tank tops.  I had no problems, and my breasts were so less sore in general, and they've always been easy and comfortable since.  

I'm 42 now, and 8 babies later they droop, and my nipples point to the ground.  They're so soft and the skin is so gently stretchy that they're comfortable and warm pillows for any of my babies.  They get a bit tender coming up to bleeding, but in general I forget about them, cause they just bounce along for the ride.   Before I got to evolving into complete self love and acceptance,  I sometimes felt stared at, and uncomfortable, and exposed, and wished I could just have a body that didn't attract attention.   But what always helped me deal with that, was to remember that I was part of a sight seed of a different way of being for everyone who looked at me, for an individual who was going about their life as a natural and authentic human animal.  And for my daughters, so that when they grow they can choose which cultural fads they want to take part in, and not feel pressured into fitting into anyone else's norm.  And for my sons, to be able to appreciate women in all their glorious forms.  And for my Currawong, who has been such a huge part of my self love and appreciation, through the glowing reflection of his adoration for my body, and maybe in particular my beautiful bosoms.  

And with my complete and easy surrender to my body, and what it actually is, I find that I have such a profound gratitude for the amazing beast that it is, to have taken me this far in life, borne this many babies, enjoyed this much sex, love and bonding, had such stamina and energy for all of life's distractions, and has these amazing pillows of soft flesh and skin that can express so many sides of me.  When left to their own devices, and accepted for what they are, they come into a graceful prime.  In the cold they can shrink up almost pert like and my nipples harden in weather and in lust.  And when hot they kinda spread and hang out and try to keep as cool as they can.  They nestle and fold my loved one into me in all sorts of ways, and I wear halter tops and sheer stretchy tees and let them shake the tango along with all the other generous curves of my womans body.  

And I've got so used to it, and have so many women round me now who also walk the world braless, that sometimes I catch myself looking at women with obvious bras on, and think to myself 'Now that's just wierd.....'

Breasts are wonderful.  And a journey.  Enjoy them.  

Chaotic Self Organisation

I've written a lot about chaotic harmony, or the conscious balance inherent in everything for a while now, and apart from about a million different stories from our market experience and from living near Nimbin, there's a really good explanation of how it works in 'Seven Life Lessons of Chaos - Timeless Wisdom from the Science of Change', by John Briggs and F. David Peat.  And I've been telling it to people for ages now, so I thought it was time to share it with you.  I'm just gonna quote verbatim from the 3rd Chapter, which is called 'Going with the Flow - Lesson about collective creativity and renewal'........

Wilfred Pelletier, a Native American from an Ojibway community north of Lake huron, says his people aren't into organisation, there's no need for it "because that community is organic."  Pelletier gives an illustration of how his unorganised people nevertheless get things done.  
"Let's say the council hall in an Indian community needs a new roof.....It's been leaking here and there for quite a while and it's getting worse.  And people have been talking about it.  Nobody organises a committee or appoints a project leader." Nothing happens, in fact, until "one morning here's a guy up on the roof, tearing off the old shingles, and down on the ground there's several bundles of new, hand-split shakes - probably not enough to do the whole job, but enough to make a good start.  Then, after a while, another guy comes along and sees the first guy on the roof.  So he comes over an he doesn't say, 'What are you doing up there?' because that's obvious, but he may say, 'How's she look?  Pretty rotten, I guess.' Something like that.  Then he takes off, and pretty soon he's back with a hammer or a shingle hatchet and maybe some shingle nails or a couple of rolls of tarpaper.  By afternoon, there's a whole crew working on that roof, a pile of materials building up down there on the ground, kids taking the old shingles away - taking them home for kindling - dogs barking, women bringing cold lemonade and sandwiches.  The whole community is involved and there's a lot of fun and laughter.  Maybe the next day another guy arrives with more bundles of shakes.  In two or three days that whole job is finished, and they all end up having a big party in the 'new' council hall."
Who was responsible for deciding to put a new roof on the hall?  Was it that first guy on the roof, a single isolated individual, or was it the whole community?  "How can you tell?  No meeting was called, no committees formed, no funds raised.  There were no arguments about whether the roof should be covered with aluminium or duroid or tin or shakes and which was the cheapest and which would last the longest and all that.  There was no foreman and no one was hired and nobody questioned that guy's right to rip off the old roof.  But there must have been some kind of 'organisation' going on in all that because the job got done.  It got done a lot quicker than if you hired professionals.  And it wasn't work, it was fun."
Chaos theory would answer that the "organisation" in Pellerier's roofing project was self-organisation.  It began with chaos - all that disorganised talk beforehand about the leak.  The first guy on the roof was a bifurcation point that became amplified.  The feedback between the first fellow and the next one who came along started a cascade that coupled the community together around the project, and then the system got the job done.  
Clearly, Pelletier's Ojibway community is an open, creative, chaotic, nonlinear system.  As he put it, the people in this group "aren't into competition.  But they aren't into cooperation either - never heard of either of those words.  What they do just happens, just flows along."  Within the community's creative open system, micro self-organised systems spring up from time to time, such as the community's action to repair the roof.  Such short-term self-organisation renews the community and keeps it alive, as testified to by the big party held in the new council hall.  
Social self-organisation and collective creativity doesn't only happen in Native American communities, it happens in rural communities around the world and in informal organisations of all kinds.  In many different circumstances, people start coming together, helping out, lending a hand, throwing in their two cents.  Nobody's leading particularly, but things get done.
A high-tech example of social self-organisation is the Internet.  The Net was started back in the 1960's by the U.S. military looking for a distributed command system in the event of nuclear war so that no single centre could be knocked out.  The idea was similar to the one that conceived of the U.S. highway system as a distributed airport of landing and takeoff strips.  It occurred to the planners that computers all over the country could be linked together to create a giant system that shared its information.  But once the Net was set up, academic scientists began to use it and it was eventually made available to the public all over the world.  Relatively quickly, more and more individuals and groups joined, until by the mid-1990's an estimated 25 million people were on-line and the number was doubling every eigthteen months. 
Nobody's controlling the Net (at least not yet).  It's maintained by an open flow of users passing information around.  Within the global self-organisation of the Net and its subset, the World Wide Web, are countless mini self-organisations springing up all the time.  People come together to do creative work - everything from photographers displaying their pictures of lightning strikes to underground musicians converging on Web sites to create an audience for their work to interest groups discussing the Vietnam War or Brazilian cuisine.  For those who have access, the Net is a daily example of collective creative exuberance.  Most of the activity is carried out by people who are making things, looking for information, and exchanging ideas that simply interest them as part of who they are.  The giant, hierarchically structured, power-driven commercial organisations have so far been largely frustrated in their efforts to harness the Net to their mechanical engines of profit.  Anyone who has surfed the Net knows he has entered a chaotic, dynamic open system where "what they do just happens, just flows along."  Clearly there's order here, but it's chaotic. 
Taken together, the traditional Ojibway community and the new cyber community suggest a radically different approach to social organisation that the one currently taken by postindustrial society.

So what do you reckon?  Pretty groovy eh.  And a concept and phenomena that I can report as being incredibly easy to be part of, flow along with, and surrender to, whenever we enter the company of other sovereign humanimals, led by our natural interests and passions, in a way that acknowledges and accepts each other as equals and valid, and do anything together in a non-heirarchical kinda way.  And stuff really does have the darndest way of showing up when it's needed, and when we surrender to the greater focus and don't sweat the details.  

Really wanted to share that with you, and hope you enjoyed it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Phat Rope

Gone all toad in the road 'parp parp' from Wind in the Willows about rope.

Got the most gorgeous community family that come around all the time, and help feed babies and clean floors and make tea and sit and talk and house clean and dish shine and bring ideas and give assistance and shop for us and suggest myriad ways to do everything.....

Just about any day of the week, you can find us on the verandah with a gorgeous community family member talking about or doing something interesting.  The most generous, easy to be with, old fashioned family helpful bunch of people, that have ever been gathered on a community I'm positive.  And they're all beautiful to look at too, wearing bright colours and shades of the rainforest and resplendent feathers and unique wrappings.  If my eyes were a movie camera, the world could feast along with me.  

We all appreciate each other, help each other out, give where we can, and solve some of our problems together.  Vulnerable enough to show each other our soft underbellies, we've all been a bit hurt by families not being what they were meant too, and finding family of the heart with each other.    And cause we're all getting on and giving to each other and appreciating each other.....really amazing things happen, like incredible healers coming over to give my Currawong a massage and Reiki on the verandah, and I got one the other day from  ANOTHER beautiful healer we know.  Of course Spiral and Mr B had to be involved.  Like their new haircuts?  I'll talk about that another time....

They seem to be oozing out of the rainforest around here.  Healers and lovers and enthusiasts of life.  Practicing the gentle art of hanging out and being nice to each other.  Currawong and I have been talking about being Human Animal Liberationists for a long time now, and living it, and talking it, and one of the most precious fantasies we've had is about setting up a Human Animal Wildlife Sanctuary.  And we've realised that we're actually living in one, and we are it.  Paul, who has been dreaming here for a long time, has always had a vision of community camped and homed up all over the place, with a sanctuary available for anyone who needs it.  And we have too, and almost without realising it, it's been happening before our eyes and cosied in our hearts.  We took in a couple from the street and helped them get on their feet and get a home.  And learnt a lot in the process.  We had a dear friend come over and sleep on our lounge in the middle of the night, while we were all asleep, dream a sweet dream that had us all in it, then woke early and went home resolved with love, before we even woke.  Wouldn't have even known if she hadn't told us.  We've had visitors and community members and people crying, and de-burdening, and whoever needs a cup of tea or an ear or a shoulder has one at the Big Bamboo.  

Wombles always were friendly folk.  

And what comes back is all the wealth glimpsed in those 'It takes a village to raise a child you know' conversations, that always end in a sad recognition that we do it all on our own these days.  But for the first time in our lives together, we feel like we've got a glimpse into what that indeed might have been like.  To live in a community of like minded people that really cared for your whole family and vice versa.  For the first time in our lives, we all drag our feet to go out, and will spring at any chance to stay home.  "Baby asleep?  Oh damn.  I'd better stay home then" was something I've NEVER said over the last long years of living too close to other people and in other people's spaces.  We were always on the gallivant, to avoid feeling observed, or criticised, or like an exhibit in a zoo.  And now we all want to stay at home, cause the WORLD comes to visit us here.  And now we're going to play with Nimbin Market, there's a whole other planet that we'll get to satellite and grow friendships and networks with.

In grattitude for the helping with a rogue goat, our beautiful neighbour Elbereth brought us homemade savoury scones and marmalade and avocados and pickled beans and pesto.  Our Fairy Goddess Mothers bakes us up regular storms and we help her, and our soul sister Ms Pitstop comes over and just naturally helps to sweep as we make a pot of tea and get ready to sit and talk for a bit.  She's like the aunts who don't want to be aunts in our families of blood and bone....except a whole heap more gorgeous and real and deep to be with.  And has helped us more completely and effortlessly than I knew could ever be done.  Yollana and Karen are two other beautiful souls who just seem to be family, along with the rest of their families.  And there's more!!  And it all just seems to flow around nicely......when we surrender.  The give and take and treats and spoils we're swirling round between us is infectious, and all sorts of plans and ideas and dreams are being hatched.  I never would have known that family could come in so many different souls, with such beautiful dressings and skills. 

It can almost be a bit of a religious experience sometimes, as all sorts of connections and stories and networks are told and formed.

Love em all every one.

And just a few days ago, our devine Ms Pitstop showed us how to make rope.  Or rather she showed Spiral, and my eye took notice, and then after she left, while Spiral kept going and we saw the rope pouring from her fingers, me and Lilly and Mr B joined in, and she showed us too.  We all sat round on the verandah playing with banana tree fibres, that are woven together inside the stalk, and fall apart into silky tresses.

And then a day later she infected us again, (as if I didn't have enough inspiration going on) and Paul and us all sat around, and thought about the deep concept of rope, and different ways to play with it.

And it's quite profound.  Never knew how they kept that twist in rope and now I do.  It's spinning, but without a wheel, and without spinning the same yarn twice to get it plied.  It's plying as you go.  Twisting it one way, and then the other, at the same time.  Making little cells of both the S and Z twist together.  Duality entwined and made one.

Rope is whole.  Made whole as you go.  Spinning is pulling the process apart into two seperate parts.  Rope is made with your hands and whatever you can twist into rope.  Spinning needs a spinning wheel, or a drop spindle, or some kind of tool.  The indigenous women here have been spinning since before our records show culture.  On their thighs.  I think I know how now.

As you can imagine, this figurative and literal metaphor under my fingers is transfixing.  I can spin a perfectly balanced phat rope with my hands.  (That was a highlight of the other day, listening to Elbereth the 60 year old talking about how much she loves phat beats - she spelt it out too)  I've always always wanted to work out how to make phat rope.  Or make a rope that would hold the weight of an adult.  And the flexible fibres to make them with too.  And now I have it.  Can spin the phattest thread I want, and for as long as I want, and just like with knitting, how it's all got to stay on the needle or it runs, and with crochet each stitch is kinda locked off......with rope making, the rope is balanced and twisted off so it doesn't unravel, and you can hook it on your toe or a bamboo verandah rail, and put anything in you like, and make the rope as you go.

Which is where we came into this post, with me sitting metaphorically on the road like Toad in the Wind in the Willows, after he's seen a car for the first time going 'parp parp'.....and I'm totally knocked for six by the simplicity and complexity of rope.  In the middle of conversations I'm totally derailing them by remembering something else I thought of about how cool rope is.  All that time we schlepped a spinning wheel and assorted tools around the country.....and I could have been spinning rope! 

There's something so personal about it.  Such an intimate connection with every fibre.  Hand twisted with complete control of how hard or soft that twist is.  Able to add anything that can be twisted into it. And to become a story like a two plied yarn could never be.  Adding in hair from haircuts at the time they happened, and all the other things could become a literal tale.  And it's just me and my hands and fibres.  No interventionary tool is needed.  I can walk out in our garden, and pick pea vine and banana stalk and banana leaves, and grasses and hair and just about anything twistable,  and turn it into a strong rope, strong enough to hang nets from trees and swinging crocheted and rope made bell jars from trees to meditate in.

I've been looking for this without even knowing it, and it's as old as twisted fibres.  I was always looking for a spinning tool to make rope, and now I know it's just my hands.

So just like Toad I've gone a little potty.  Making yarn from banana tree silk and ripped sheet, and unravelled ripped sheet car seat covers, and raw fleece, and the most sumptuous mohair rope.....

I started out making rope from banana tree strands, along with the kids after the inspiring Ms Pitstop left, as soon as I got that it was both spins in one, I was totally mesmerised.

After that conversation on the verandah with Paul and all, I started off with raw fleece, and then added in ripped sheets, and a strand of commercial yarn I got given a little while ago.  It's so PHAT!!!  I love it.  Totally strong and gorgeous and capable of all the bigger and heavier weighted things that I've been dreaming about for years.  I'm thinking I'll turn this into a small version of a bell jar swing for Zarra to swing from the roofbeams by.

And Ms Pitstop and Spiral started a ripped cotton sheet rope, and I finished it off, and it struck me how incredibly quick and easy and beautifully you could make uber strong rope for just about everything.  Rugs would look pretty gorgeous made from this.  Or clothes, with this as a skeleton inside.

But my most favourite is the phat mohair.  It's so lush.  I wish I could create a sensory strip on the screen for you so you could feel it.  Soft and creamy and light and ropey in a silky smooth way.  I'm thinking of making a big blanket that can be worn also as a poncho.  Or maybe even a little crocheted vest.  Cause by the time you wore a garment with mohair spun like this for a while, you'd end up with the furriest funkiest vest you could imagine.

Makes such a beautiful metaphor for the moment.  That of perfect balance, and of two processes that are easily pulled apart and separated, working together to make a balanced whole. 

Bit like all the other things that are coming together in one for us at the moment.  As in all the elements that we've loved and sought out more of, are circling round us here in ways that spin our heads.  Making rope and mantles and crocheting and spinning and getting involved with a market and having all these gorgeous mentors and heart family here for all our kids, and building bamboo kitchens and furnishings and moving along soon to gardening and getting chooks......  We've realised that all the dreams we sent out there long ago seem to all be settling around us now.  

Like many of our ancestors have known, just about the grooviest thing you can do with a life is let it revolve around home and family and hearth and community and love and sharing and building homes and gardens and making friends with animals.

And making phat rope.....

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Expression of love and magic

There is a woman I know....who I first met when she was younger.  I heard about her from her mum while she was overseas exploring, and her mum bought a skirt off me for her.  It was called 'Moon Blood', and it was blue with a red pocket on the front in the shape of a drop.  I saw her a few times after, once when she danced mesmerised at the market we loved, and at odd moments over the years.  I'd go to visit her mum in the lush artisan shop and cafe where she worked, and ask her how her wildling daughter was going.  Snippets and pictures of a woman living a full life.  Finding pockets of reality not often sought.  

And as friends with that young woman now grown on the collective virtual web, I've read more tantalising tendrils of an interesting mind growing out into the world.  She sent me my beautiful purple moo moo once, that I loung around in on the verandah, with my turquoise toe nail polish.  And cute little prince tabards, for our little prince tribe.  At serendipitous moments she conjures words for me, and sends them out on the winds.  

And just today she sent me this.  And she said I could share it so I'd like to.  Cause it's beautiful, and I'd love others to read it too.  

That beautiful woman is Ruthie Joy, and this is what she wrote......

Words are just sound to convey a thought, a feeling, a sense of place.  And so while I use words now, I hope that more than anything the sounds, as they bounce in your own voice around your head, manage to convey what I'm saying.  I'm having what I think is a wake up.  My eyes are open and I'm dreaming.

Living in joyous isolation so far from concrete, on sacred land.  I'm so close to the Western Australia border I can climb a hill and see it, only to see that such lines are pointless.  Made as a divide, and that the only lines that matter are attached to the soul, and are used to find warm hearth and open arms.  They are strings of bone and dirt and when I follow them all I find is the colour of the dirt changes, the air stops smelling of red sand and starts smelling of water, the sounds change from that of dingoes howl and foreign tongue, to howling winds and words of our own creation.  I sit in a house built by the government, but on the floor cross legged.  I drink tea that has travelled thousands of kilometres to be in my cup.  I go to work, and sit with a beautiful aboriginal woman from willuna, she tells me of mamu, in hushed tones of the angry spirits that walk behind the houses.  I am not afraid, I say that I will ask them nicely to leave, that is all you can do she says.

I leave for tall buildings and stale air in 4 weeks, but each of those days are simply the sun and the moon sharing a space.  I wonder why each of us do not share space so gracefully.  I have changed, I want for different things, to learn to play my banjo, to drive and drive and drive, picking up strangers with their stories as I go.  Then return to my nest, a little place on the lake, with my dad and my brother next door.  And for us to drink tea of the floor, around a fire we lit for warmth and companionship.

I walk differently now.  More like the child I was did.

I love my new brain.  I think I am using parts of it I haven't used in a long time.

And so, my lovely hellena, with your words, wild bird, and herds of untamed childerbeasts, these are some of my sounds about where I am, Pipalyatjara, middle of a great big land, and even bigger sky.

I hope you're well, thank you for all your sounds, they have allowed me to listen to my own.  To not be afraid of the big ones and not to ignore the small ones.

If the mood takes you please feel free to share these words like a good song or hearty meal.

All my love.