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, 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.....


  1. If I read anymore of these cosy rope making veranda posts... I will be packing my bags and moving back home and into the arms of a green rainbow faery community.

    1. And you meant that too didn't you!! Love and blessings beautiful one <3


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