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, January 6, 2014

Deep Thought

Late last night driving home after a sumptuous feast with new friends, Currawong and I had a dark night moment driving through the narrow headlight beams, and talking up an idea like we sometimes do.  The last couple of days have been an intense revisiting of patterns that we've been spending some sustained time with over the last 4 months in particular, another layer to the onion, a different perspective on the issues, and a chance to reaffirm the directions we take.  But the result of the latest spin cycle was some serious time out in my head on my own.  Looking after sick babies, stuck in uncommunication in order to clear blocks and communicate with new understanding.  So there was a bit of a build up in my internal thoughts waiting to be shared, and it all came out in a lump.  All sorts of highlights stayed lit like fireflies in the front of our Flomobile on the dark way home.  

And bouncing my thought babies off Currawong, both fresh from a shedding of an old skin, he brought the bits to it that I've come to rely on him for.  The Currawong bits that come only from his unique perspective.  The nature that he was born with interacting with the nurturing or lack of it he grew into, and the unique rub caused by that friction.  And he brought in the remembering and comparison to this video we watched on TED, with a kid genius getting passionate about how he thought people should stop learning and start thinking.  That video had been diving around in my subconscious soup ever since we saw it, and when I used those glasses and took a look at my life, it showed a really interesting perspective.  

…………..

My childhood was one miserable routine and learning job after another.  Endlessly boring and repetitive and all about parcelling learning off into different categories, just like my life was cut up into parcels of time, all seemingly separate to one another.  I was surrounded by the dull intellect and suppression of middle class fundamentalist religion and standardised education.  And every minute of my day was scheduled.  From the moment I woke up, from the moment I was born, I was told to follow a routine.  To suppress my desires and needs and wants and fit into categories and time frames and systems.  I had a few more schedules and programs than many other middle class state school kids.  I had a large family I was the youngest of and expected to do the most cleaning for because I was one of the two girls.  The boys did men stuff, walking dogs and mowing lawns and washing cars, and I did girl stuff, which was cleaning bathrooms and doing dishes and cooking and cleaning.  We not only went to church, but we followed its rigorous and busy lifestyle complete with family home evenings, firesides, meetings, socials, camps, inter church visits, seminary, and up to 8 hours of church activities every sunday cause my mum liked to visit the needy and stay around to talk and offer our services to help and do other saintly things on the day.  And she insisted on daily practice and reading as well.  As did my big brothers.  Church was never a short stint on a sunday only in our home.  Then I had piano lessons, with one of my first teachers being a grumpy old woman who liked to rap my fingers with a ruler when I got it wrong…...  I tried whichever extracurricular activity I could that seemed fun - anything for a break from the grind.  Horse riding, volunteering for an animal shelter, babysitting, hockey, orienteering, bushwalking.  Some were short lived, but all were an adventure and thrilling case of  newness.

I also had animals that I doted on and used as an escape from learning and routines, as well as one best friend, who changed face a few times, but was the same spirit of solidarity and security in our close twosome.  And I silently rebelled.  In obscure ways that I'm actually quite proud of now.  I went through my entire schooling career without learning my multiplication tables.  Still don't know them.   And I reckon I must be one of the few born fundies that got through my whole childhood and seminary and everything, without ever reading the bible or any of the other books from cover to cover.  Or even close.  Only ever the bits that I had to cause they were watching me.  And I only ever remembered the bits I was forced to.  I only wrote in running writing for a very short time, decided it was a horrid way of writing, and then stubbornly printed only for the rest of my schooling career and till now.  Somehow I managed to just outstubborn anyone who tried to make me running write till high school, when lots of other people were doing it too.  I was clever enough to scam my way through most of my schooling, getting high marks and staying in the top clases.  Just giving them what they wanted.  And sounding intelligent enough to be believable.  And boring and unnoticeable enough to avoid the limelight.  I got through without reading Wuthering Heights or The 39 Steps, without doing most of the homework, and having friends who would lend me notes, and getting to catch up at home in my own time cause I took  time off school whenever I could.  And I'd lay in bed pretending to be sick or have a headache, and read and read and read books.  Another highly treasured escape from the humdrum.    I was also massively unattractive to boys.  Got called 'ugly dog' more times than I care to remember.  Couldn't even make it with the geeky boys, and the one that did try to be nice freaked me out.  Most of the teachers were as bored as me, and I thought learning was something that was parcelled out in metered amounts, and you learnt grades that went up until you knew everything.  And I felt pretty crap in comparison to what I thought was the pinnacle of learning.  Pretty dumb.  Vastly unsuccessful. And guilty.  Felt like my whole life was a sham from beginning to end, and I was the biggest loser there was.  I took everything very literally, and found it hard to suspend logic, and most comedy went completely over my head cause I took everything so seriously.  

Then wham bam thank you ma'am, I left it all overnight, and moved into a cosmopolitan share college house, in a vast and rural genteel country town where hippies, activists, uni students and farmers rubbed shoulders mostly quite friendly like.  All of a sudden I was surround by young nubile minds, in the throes of exploration, trying on all sorts of gender roles, stereotypes, clothing, styles, thoughts, schools, theories, sexualities, ideas, performances, poetry styles, musical expressions, action groups, and ways to party.  While thinking deep thoughts and having scintillating conversations.  And looking stunning and being brilliantly witty. I felt like a bull in a china shop.  A lollopy dumb puppy dog licking their toes and begging for a pat.  A star struck fan suppressing the urge to ask for autographs.  And fell madly in love with many of them, suspecting that I was totally obvious to the observer, and feeling deeply ashamed at my thickness and inability to present a polished finish or a brilliant mask.  I was totally smitten with how they could create these brilliant thoughts and conversations, pulling in all sorts of parallels and comparisons, and making metaphors up at the drop of a hat.  I didn't know how they did it, and thought I never would.  

It was around here that I realised on a deep level not articulated till now, that I'd been taught to learn, and not to THINK!  Learning was a routine, a 'thing' that I performed by becoming a parrot.  Having endless unimportant facts shoved into my brain and being expected to regurgitate them.  And it was a compartment unconnected to my life and it's experiences.  I decided to try and learn how to think.  And it was a hard slog.  Funnily enough.  Easy enough to fill my head with a multitude of any sort of information I could lay my neurons on, but difficult to try and hold a few of them together at the same time, and draw comparisons between them.  Difficult to stop trying to put each new idea into a separate box.  I wanted to try and work out how to let them blend in all together.  And I practiced.  A lot.  Over and over.  Holding similar ideas together at the same time to see what they had in common.  How they were different and why.  Finding out what happened if you could hold a huge amount of ideas together, swirling them into a big rainbow, and trying to take a big perspective on them all together.  

It started to become apparent that my favourite knowledges, were the ones that bounced off my own life experience.  That compared to my parallel journey.  The ones that were the easiest to recall, were the ones that I could fit into a personal story that related to me and the ones I was explaining it to.  And I had a lot of time on my hands.  I worked my way slowly out of routine using various tactics, went overseas backpacking for a year, nannied for family, got short lived jobs, and then fell pregnant and birthed my first child.  The Sole Parent Pension was a haven for experimenting with thinking, and trying to work out who I actually was, once I peeled off some of the bandaids that had been put on my natural skin by me or others.  I had a routine of baby, but it didn't feel imposed, because of the great bonding and love.  I'd chosen this routine, and could enact it in my own way, and it felt empowering.  And the moments that were left over, when she was off with other people, I indulged in myself and thinking.  I practiced and practiced and practiced thinking.  Swirling round and round problems or thoughts, till I could find a way in or out or through.  When I launched into areas of research where I was strongly drawn, like archaeology, and womens history, and goddess culture, I found my retention of stories and information grew beyond what I'd previously thought possible.  My love and personal ownership of what I was feeding my brain seemed to grow me a hugely larger space and potential to think with.  

And I started to really delight in it.  It stopped feeling like hard work, and started to become fun.  I'd disappear into my mind and play with a favourite thought or possibility.  And used my favourite thoughts to push through out of the boring round of circuitous thoughts spurred on by mundane reality and insecurities, which have their place too, and after going round and round and plaguing me for a while, they often lead to a personal realisation, which is nice.  But that circuit of blame or shame or trying to work out why someone didn't like me often got onerous.  The surface thought cycle.  And to use that energy for good, I'd push off into the sea of deep thought.  I'd become attractive to men and women by then, but only ever had flings, so there was no long term partner to consume my thoughts.  My thoughts were my favourite playground.  

And because I was searching high and low for comparisons, and other peoples thoughts to bounce mine around with, and groups of people who thought like me or differently to me, I bumped into lots of other theories or practices or rule books or groups, and gathered more and more experience to hang on my thoughts.  More and more things to compare with.  I tried guided meditations and channeling and communing with my subconscious through tarot and read books and did personal research on all sorts of topics.  I was always told I should meditate, and I stubbornly never have.  I had to find my own way of meditating.  And when I hit 30 I got a spinning wheel from my mother, and in teaching myself to spin, I also noticed that the action needed to keep a spinning wheel spinning fleece, kept that surface thought so occupied, that I could escape straight into deep thought without needing to pay attention to the mundane first.  It also directly and physically connected me to my feelings.  So thought, sensation, memory, unknotting problem knots, and deep pondering became a daily practice.  And exploded onto another level and ability to hold a huge amount in my head all at once yet again.  

And once I had a practicing model of thinking, and thinking my own way, this model was applicable to just about every field I directed its attention to.  Babies, birth, bonding, sexuality, spinning, crochet, learning - EVERYTHING has worlds of undiscovered thought potentials waiting to be explored.

Till I'm at the point right now, that I reckon if I could go back in time to those early college days,  when I was overwhelmed by the brilliance of the stars I saw around me, and go and visit me as a young woman, I could totally thrill her with my glittery conversation, and let her know that we were gonna do just fine.  I've become one of those brilliant creatures expressing unique individuality and presence of mind, that I never would have dreamed possible in those thought lonely days.  And an artist, which was another pastime I never would have thought myself good enough for.  And in love with a soul mate and father of my children who thinks my thoughts are as sexy as I do.  And all of these places I've found through messing around in Thought Land.  

Over the years I've come to enjoy a profound sense of love and respect for my mind.  For what it can do.  For giving me the rush of pushing through invisible walls into thinking a different way.  For being able to riffle through my divergent thinking tools to find umpteen possible directions when stuck.  For how much a part of all of me it is.  For it's reflection in the great mysteries and deeps of life.  For how many worlds and things I can discover in my mind as reflected by the universe.  

And on my journey, I've noticed the mind gets a really bad rap in lots of religious thought and spirituality.  We're meant to transcend it, disown it, get out of it, disbelieve it, and realise that it's not us. And I can't help but wonder if people are mistaking standardised learning and the superficial chatter for what our minds really are, extensions of our nature and nurture combined, and biological computers that connect with deeper realities, subconscious motivations, and the search towards evolution.  Powered by ourselves, as well as our DNA, collective conscious, and bodily experience.  

I'm not alone you know.  That kid that did the TED talk inspired the hell outta me, and really helped me look at my life through this filter of the difference between learning and thinking.  The Professor Sir Ken Robinson takes it a bit of a different route calling it divergent thinking, and how we're all genius until we get taught how to learn.  And Sugata Mitra, famous for putting computers in holes in the wall in Indian slums, and displaying to the world the incredible and miraculous ability of people to self organise their learning and thinking when motivated by personal interest.  Many other people have taken on this raw concept, and opened up worlds within themselves or in children through encouraging consciousness, or self organisation in application to thinking and learning, like this teacher in Mexico who uncovered a genius through respectful authenticity that encouraged her to think her own way.  The Zapatistas have open air universities where they encourage and support personal interest, and as we speak, the world is being saved by activists, scientists, young inventors, environmentalists, religious and spiritual folk, indigenous peoples and every other label you can imagine…..and they're all coming together in a conscious and self organised way to make a stand for life, and they all got there through thinking deeply and in their own way, and coming to the same conclusions as each other.  

We are the universe, and our minds, and our thoughts, and our experiences, and our sensations, and our shadows, and all the other bits in between.  

Our minds are miraculous vehicles of exploration.  

And thinking for myself, in my own hard won way, is one of the greatest achievements of my life.  

4 comments:

  1. Beautiful Hellena.....love Sandra

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  2. This resounds with an echo in own memories, bouncing around in my head. A very toychingly warm post, very introspective...I like it very much
    Michael (The Bear) Kildare

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    1. Thank you so much Michael (The Bear) Kildare! I'm stoked that it echoed, and even more that you liked it very much :)

      You know I'm curious about why you're called The Bear now, don't you…...

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