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Deva

priestess

 

The silence can be sliced with a cold sharp knife and in the morning air I have to draw back the thick heavy curtains to let in the light from outside. Those curtains were going to be the fabric for some kind of priestess performative dress I was going to make. Now they contain the night and the light of candles and the sacred altar we have made.

Great Bast, my little panther Babooshka, Great Sekhmet, my loyal warrior Medbh have passed beyond this realm. Almost 20 years. My cats.

The grief hits me like a lead weight in the cold morning. I can hear the chanting of buddhist mantras– they’ve been going since they’ve both passed. Ritual feels really good. Especially ritual that I’ve created with my lover. This is not just about grief, about being a crazy cat mother, but about learning from beings that showed me just by their primal animal presence how holy they were.  They both showed me, every moment of their lives, how to live in grace, in total commitment to an actualised self. They grew into their souls. They even showed me secrets, initiated myself and my lover into rituals, into magic.  They communicated with me without words, through dreams, through their bodies.  We’d peer into each other’s eyes and we’d see the great SHE, the great OM the great wild huntress who had all the time in the world, and who had no time for regrets. They gave me the taste of motherhood, they allowed me to be their devotee. They held me, every day, without fail. They loved my body, its fat, its muscle, its scars, its smells, they thought I was a goddess too.

It’s been a journey up from the underworld. How do I speak about it all? If language fails me at best, then I must cut it up, write in segments, non-linear traces, thread the liminal feelings inside me into a garment to wear.

I’ve not posted about the journey of Motherhood. It’s been so painful. There were days when the darkness was comforting, when I would look at my own body and feel sex-less, drifting, bobbing with just a head on a potato. For some reason I do associate motherhood with sexiness and powerful sexuality. I don’t equate it with any thing that relates to an essential cis-gendered ‘woman’ identity…but there is a sexy sensuality in motherhood.  All that milk, and blood, and flesh, and spirit, and life and ecstasy.  All that she-wolf.

I was pregnant once, and I was a warrior. I was on a battlefield and there was an army coming across the valley and mountains. But I had to fight, otherwise my entire city would be destroyed. My lover shielded me from most of the arrows that came flying. Neither of us survived in that life. Wars are horrible and no-one really wins.  I get flickers of other lives, of memories of motherhood.

I have a beautiful greyhound now. Willow Artemis and she is all languorous lines and soft gentle presence. She is distinctly dog, a great wild presence, who raises an ear when she knows I’m thinking about her, looks me in the eye and pauses with a look of expectant commands.  She sometimes feels like a deer.

During my myomectomy to remove quite a substantial amount of fibroids that had encircled my womb, my lover was anxiously waiting. The five hours of surgery felt like a moment. Once I woke up to a degree of pain I didn’t know my body could handle, I asked ‘ is my womb still inside me?’ It wasn’t ‘where, what, how’. Yes, it was inside me. Yes the surgery was successful.  A glimmer of hope, like a dust mote in the sun that becomes much brighter burned in front of my eyelids. My mother was there throughout the whole recovery, using her nursing skills, her pragmatism and her experience to be the incredible woman she is. That was a year ago and I was in another world it seems to me now.  I birthed my cats into the other-world, I cared for them in their last few years, with loyalty and commitment. Both my partner and I attended to their needs every night, getting up at 1am, 3am, to bring them to bed, to offer them water, to give them opiates for pain. We crooned to them, sang to them, journeyed to the outer-realms of consciousness. We bargained, sleepless and bereft, full of laughter at memories of their cat hijinks. Finally we stopped bargaining and asked them what they wanted…

They told me in waking dreams. I won’t say more than that. Because it is one of the secret teachings of my initiation and I’m not ready to speak more about it. I don’t need anyone to initiate me. For years I thought I did, some other more powerful more beautiful woman would tell me I”m worthy, I’m magical enough. For years I waited and hoped for validation from other witchy women.  I doubted my own powers. I doubted my own magic. I hid from the world. I wasn’t good enough. I felt monstrous but without any power. I felt great loneliness without the comfort of solitude. Of late…something very real and very potent has shifted inside my being, I’ve begun to feel powerful, to feel beautiful, to feel full of magic. Not from going outside myself, but from stillness, solitude, and practise.

The light streams in more than I first remember the light in this house. Effulgent, transient, mellifluous. It seems to come through like a waterfall in the morning, and when I coax it in gently it floods the house. When I first moved in here I thought this house didn’t have much light. Light glints in every room.  Behind my eyes, behind my masks, I feel them peering out, gently guiding me, I feel them in my blood.

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Touch

It’s been two years since I’ve spilled my celestial milk upon this electric page. Much has happened. Inertia and stagnation have not been around to stain the days. I have been operated on and split open like a pomegranate and I now have more scars to add to the tattoos of life’s fabric.

 

More grey hairs have found their way like succulent weeds through my genetic clock and sprouted their silver trails. My hands and feet are as brown as ever, and as I move around the sun, with new corporeal stamps of time, I think I’m more beautiful than I was in my twenties. I see it in my face, in the experiences I embraced, in the loneliness endured, in the ecstasy I’ve enacted.

I see the grey on the sides of my hairline and I see how it adds a witchy aspect. My nose long and already witch like is lovingly shadowed by the silver hairs. img_1509
I’ve entered the most ecstatic times I’ve ever experienced with a lover.
My body healed finally from years of neglect and self-hate has become a temporary love temple for myself and shared with another. I’ve entered the most succulently, spiritually magnetic time of experimental sex, deep-hearted play and transcendence…so far.
I think of the memories of pleasure we carry in our body..and the memories of pain-sadness-injury-fear. But the way I’ve been feeling lately…this pervading scent of pleasure intoxicates me, unexpectedly jumps through my memory, through my fingertips, through my cells and reminds me of why I’m here. To come. To experience the passion of living and speaking the no-name of it. Just to call out in sweat, in ecstasy at 3pm in a bedroom the no-name of pleasure is a heavenly act of rebellion. I think of Lilith who refused to lie under the power of God’s created man. I think of Lilith, the woman who yearned for knowledge and was punished for the transgression of DESIRE.
I think of knowledge as pleasure. Arcane knowledge, banned books, banned art. The body as a text, like Monique Wittig’s Lesbian body. Tracing over the flesh, under the nails, breathing into your lover’s mouth, leaving soft pressure on silken skin. Winterson’s heroine’s wild and riding seas of uncertainty..but fearless and full at times of self-worth. I think it is a great dis-service to not speak up about the pleasures of sex with oneself as much as with others.

 

What a shame so many, and I say women in particular based on my own encounters with female colleagues and friends, say ‘Sex..what’s that…I don’t have a partner’. How ridiculous. The greatest romance, is the one with oneself, right Oscar? How many have had their sensual imaginations hijacked by media forces, by lazy second-hand notions. To not touch one’s body lovingly…as though one is waiting for permission from the presence of someone else? Or something else.

 

To never succumb to self-love is a sad state of affairs. I encourage at every opportunity the notion that all beings should reach out to themselves with bated breath, with anxious hands, with feathers, with the wind upon their goose-pimpled flesh, with sun on heels, on thighs, on neck, with book on belly, with poetry on the tongue, with memories of scent and light and sound…and touch themselves for the palace of their own divinity, their own return, is only a breath away.3453423512_7bcd9a3d00_o

3am is a time but also a goddess leaking milk

It’s that time of night/day which feels timeless, out-of-sorts, the sound of ghost trains in the distance, that delicious doppler effect of a lone motorbike–sounds like a giant insect, animals sleeping nearby, and human voices talking, the language closely resembling the Sims.

I am sleepless while so many are now sleeping. On average following a sleeping pattern of 8 hours a night, that’s 229,961 of sleep time in a human life, a person sleeps 1/3 of their lives. And sleep is of course essential for repairing, recalibrating, downloading, re-vamping the body, I get it. But still that’s a lot of time. Now my greyhound Willow sleeps 18 hours a day on average, so half her life is spent in the realm of doggie dreams. And my cats, my old cats sleep more often now…there are a lot of dreamers in this house. But I am not one tonight.

Though…I do wonder what they dream of, the forms the shapes the colours the sounds, what moonbeams do they wander down?

Time is so perplexing to me. I think I spend too much time thinking about time…and it seems impossible to remove myself to observe it objectively…because time is subjective?wormhole Certain drugs lend consciousness a very different understanding of time, and from personal experience I have had my close encounters with the Keepers of Time. I remember being part of a rapid evolution happening right in front of my eyes and happening to my very self. I embodied ancient mythological creatures, even pre-written, like protoplasm, and then the Goddesses, then the stone monkeys, the sky itself..yes..I was some fragment of the universe giving birth to stars from my Hathor tits…for I was the horned Goddess surveying space, leaking at will the celestial milk from my tits and watching galaxies form. For me the experience went on outside of time, and yet come 7 am in the morning, upstairs humans were moving about, people were shuffling around on the footpaths near the house, and the trip was hitting that silvery metallic edge, that fluorescent flavour when only oranges and incense and Alan Stivell’s music offer solace after the long journey into deep space. So that was one experience with time, I danced barefoot and naked, not on any floors, but in the flow of creation, all in a tiny bedroom with purple walls, some books and a mattress on the ground.

And then I realise my period has arrived, I observe the blood on the tissue paper in the bathroom, another sense of time, all while still the shadows of Alice D remain, and the phone rings, and it signals the reasonable hours of telecommunications. But something so incredible has happened here. I am witness to my own timelessness, to every sentient beings timelessness. I barely have time to scribble my recollections, to meditate on them. Another kind of time trips me up, catches my arms, attempts to draw lines around my encounter…

It’s 3.50, I just saw the digital numbers change as I looked up at the right hand corner of my mac, and I hear the sound of buildings moving, my lover sleeping so peacefully beside me, my animals snoring, my fingers tapping against the backdrop of the void.

 

the dandelions have flowers

It has many seasons since I’ve put finger pressure to keys and posted. But the dandelions are flowering and the miccy birds swoop as I walk my dog Willow in the park. Such little fierce loyal birds protecting their nests that even as I duck and avoid being attacked I admire their tenacity and their community. I’ve felt like a gypsy all my life. The urge to move is always pressing and no doubt through my father’s line the gypsy blood is strong. It is possible it lies there dormant and silent, this gypsy blood in my grandma’s veins too–for their is Irish and French great aunts and grandmas haunting the edges of family history.

I dreamt of a gypsy van all my life, of tinkering, of using all my innate creative skills–storyteller, tarot reader, singer, dancer, writer, cook, seer and crossing my palm with silver, and meeting up with other beautiful wanderers, connecting, even if briefly with other people. I understand much of the Romani/Gypsy communities around the world have been and continue to be persecuted, run out of town, vilified, because their culture is closed within itself, because they do not give up their secrets, and because they will never be owned by anyone, including a landlord or a boss. I have borrowed a book ‘Bury me standing’ and have been dipping in and out of it at varying time intervals and this book has shone an incredibly wide light on the plight, the stories and the history of the Romani people.  It’s a magnificent, and at times harrowing read, but worth every sharp in-drawn breath.

Currently we are moving in practical ways towards buying a bus and moving into it. We haven’t bought the bus yet but my partner has just passed part 1 of the Medium Rigid Licence test and tomorrow they have their practical exam. Fingers crossed!

The bus must be off-grid as we will be moving around Australia and experiencing different places and want the freedom to not have to park in those caravan places, which do not seem very quiet at all.  I will keep updating this blog with the progress or I might even start a new blog specifically related to the gypsy bus project. But now I am going to make a hot cacao on almond milk because my fingers are a little cold.

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Battlements

I woke thankfully, from a dream in which I was inconsolable. I could not stop crying. I was witness to a strange collage of human activity, war, massacre, heroes, sheroes, leaders, criminals, vagabonds, drifters, crusaders and the nameless mass of humanity. I was alive during the time of Malcom X and walked through the streets of Harlem, witness to the fresh graffiti on walls proclaiming his mark, his dangerous ideas. I walked through the streets of Washington and nearer to the figure of Martin Luther King and sang in a crowd swayed by hope. In an instance I watched him gunned down. I swam near dilapidated houses where hungry dogs could not feed their pups, where young pregnant girls smoked in reckless abandonment dreaming of getaway cars. I witnessed a million hands plunged into a red sea, bringing up indiscriminate bodies–their shapes morphing like digital chimera. I screamed inside a silent glass ball as a I watched the atomic bombs fall on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I kept walking with a thin scraggly breath as I looked into the eyes of a Romany Gypsy whose gaunt face fell behind the wire of a concentration camp.

And then…I was propelled backwards by a force, and my lungs ached from the speed. I was crawling on the ground near a battlement. And I knew of the war hound and I knew of the world’s pain. And I thought ‘yes, how could I stop crying…I shall cry forever, I cannot stop’.  I saw to the horizon countless figures–zebras, bees, turtles, androgynous creatures, all waiting, waiting, suspended in a silence in a miasma, in a suspended moment, just waiting. I looked through a stone grate, still on my knees, my eyes dry, my heart heavy, but my curiosity awake. ‘what were they waiting for?’

48 Dimensions

She showed by example. By actually demonstrating the layers of reality. She moved her hand through it like a spatula through thick paint, layers of paint. She revealed 20 dimensions. From what she could see, ( here again the paradox, since sight is a loaded term for many reasons I will return to) different objects in the world presented degrees of frequency. She was trying to explain it to her lover. Different objects in this world also existed in other dimensions— and in some cases they looked altered, or stronger, or took on different appearances. Someone in the room told her that there were 48 dimensions. She was relatively new to this.

Take the Mona Lisa for example. She peered into the murky layers her hand now revealed in front of her. She could see the Mona Lisa, the painting floating in the space in front of her, and as she angled her sight downwards she could see the Mona Lisa ‘change’. It looked denser, thicker, blacker, not like a photocopier, but like someone’s desire in blood on canvas. The woman was beautiful yes, but dangerous. The painting no longer seemed like a painting–it wasn’t that it now seemed like a moving picture, but that the painting in this murky dimension now stood in place of something else, it was hiding something else.

Verisimilitude

rowland

Sometimes the living of life appears as real or as close to some truth as possible. It is usually when I have left the sense of myself doing or performing something and have become the something, or engaged in the something. I guess it’s a feeling of transcendence…or autoluminescense. I just watched the documentary on Rowland S. Howard ‘Autoluminescent’  I cried in waves.  I watched it in bed and the day was bright outside.

From ‘Hyperspace’

Candle constellations
Talking electricity
An avalanche of stars
Falls on me.

Our kiss goes supernova
A black holes embrace
A honey-ink-well-
drowning-pool
Split the atoms of our trace.

 

 

Mad Old cats and gypsy snails- dedicated to Jac and all gypsies

I live with a wild man and two mad old cats, their whiskers longer than their patience, their limbs covered in a duck down, their eyelashes winking in bright light. They pass by the snail on the metal rail outside my shoebox. The snail gracefully slipping over the peeled paint, its body a caravan. The snail, almost like the one from Neverending Story–you know, the snail-man! But this snail has a little black moustache and pendulous little tits, and two coloured lanterns hanging from its sides. Inside the little house, a bookshelf filled with miniature books, and a little kitchen with red spotted curtains, a mexican teapot, a little table with a jamjar of flowering weeds, and a large lounge filled with velvetine mossy cushions. I wonder when the snail decides to make camp, how long it travels for, before it slips inside its own body–a home of light, of electricity, of velvet cushions, of music and warmth, of tiny books filled with adventures, other people’s memories, dreams, twisted visions?

The snail leaves a milk stained road where my finger travels, my fingers slowly tracing the intent, the purpose and the patience. The art of slowliness is conveyed to me through the muted light, but I had to stop. I had to stop long enough to watch its graceful movement, its confident gypsy stride singing to me some rum punch tune about places where waterfalls have not been named by anyone. I lie down on the cold cement, my face pressed against the grit, the afternoon machinery drilling under the earth, like a speed-addicted badger. I feel the sound of the snail, so inconsequential if you don’t stop for a moment to watch it gather its trumpets, its bells and its undulation. It undulates like a slow tapioca wave, the snail’s body rolling against an invisible coastline. But I see the coastline. I’ve got to lie down on my side, I’ve got to be in the mud to see the gypsy snail. I think of my gypsy friend travelling through Chekhov’s villages, I think of her staining her fingers with purloined gooseberries, crossing through prickles and fields of bluebells, drinking in the sun.

slivy toves

Maybe I am a slivy tove? or a momerath? I feel I might be when I am stealthily executing detective work in the streets or on the tram or even from the comfort of my bed. I’ve become expect at stealthy work from my bed…which gets me to thinking about beds and what beds mean for so many people…beds for dreaming, beds for being born in…oh and deathbeds too. I believe the Victorians would sleep sitting upright in beds as opposed to heads on pillows because they felt sleeping in a bed was too much like sleeping in a coffin. That’s why their beds ‘look’ shorter.  I wish I could be one of those people that could sleep anywhere when they were tired…on a plane, on someone’s shoulder, on someone’s dusty floor…but I can’t do that. I have spent days in bed recently..I managed to chop onions for pasta in bed, write an essay, write a short story, send out emails, brush a cat, brush my hair, stitch a hem, and get several foot massages. Yes, other than the fear of bed sores or calling out ‘GILBERT’ (some savvy Johnny Depp movie buffs will get that one) I find bed to be such a pleasurable place to muse and create on the world.  And when I’m on those excrutiating 10 hour shifts at work I think of bed, of the curling up, of the book.  You know when you meet a lover and you get it on fiercely and for the first six weeks ( or is it still going???) cups and saucers and packets of things, and books and magazines all pile up like a sea around you both? And sleeping together is strange and at first you wake up in the middle of the night and begin talking again. You pick up the conversation and continue until the dawn. You’ve jibber jabbered til dawn and  then you gingerly step off the boat and go make a toastie and a cup of tea and bring it back like treasures from far away lands to eat like birds over your shared meal. You twist and turn and find hidden spaces…like endless promenades of sheets and pillows, in an empire of sleep, sex, rest, and intoxicating love.

Of Mice and books

I am here early, only with the librarians and the security guards. The lights are not even on in the room I am sitting in. This is the most glorious time to be at the library. My sneeze echoes through the chamber, a mouse scurries. An elegant mouse, dressed in a red brocade waist-coat, a black velvet cap and a pile of papers under one arm. She looks up at me and her eyes widen as though this kind of thing never happens. Tendrils of electricity pass between us, and both sense the pace of each other’s heart. Her heart flutters like a sparrow caught in a spider web, mine flutters as if I’ve awoken in a dream. She stands so very still and I wonder if she thinks I am a big black cat, which is a very reasonable and observant estimation. I try to calm my pulse and I know I should look down to show I am not hostile, but I don’t want to her to disappear.

The lights have just turned on and slowly they warm up in the library. I see no ghosts. I feel no ghosts here. The only ghosts in this place are the ones people bring in, though I suspect level 4 and 5 to be the most haunted if there were to be such things. There are books there written from the 15th century, even older–Copernicus,  Tibetan scripts and a Koran from the 16th Century. The Koran is within a beautiful leather satchel, and I can see the desert winds wearing away at the animal hide and dye, the faded tassels, a breath-taking illuminated manuscript from Florence,  and Galileo’s ‘A dialogue concerning the World’s Two chief systems’ ( refer to http://www.theaustralian.com.au/arts/review/after-galileo/story-fn9n8gph-1226482533504# ) When I go up to Level 4 I feel I am in the presence of some of the most wonderful dangerous ideas and some courageous adventurers questing after knowledge, truth, and discoveries.  Galileo was convicted of Heresy and this book was placed by the church on the ‘Index of Forbidden Books’. The book takes the form of a discussion by people on the motion of the earth and building on the theory of Copernicus Galileo’s book is a dialectical exploration of rebuttals, observations and arguments for the motion of the earth around the sun based on rigorous scientific exploration, curiousity, and detailed observations.  Galileo defied the Church’s insistence that the Earth was the centre of the heavenly spheres, and by curiousity, observations of tides,  the motion of the Earth in relation to the sun etc, this hounded and exiled scientist, later banned from writing any more books, subverted the Earth-centred universe paradigm of the Christian Empire. This monotheistic paradigm ruled and regulated what people could write, and how they could conceptualise their place in the world, thus reinforcing the power and dominance of the church. Galileo was a true revolutionary. Okay, so he had a patron who supported him financially, but still, I think we live in a world where we think power comes from having authority over others, lauding title, position, money, status. But what about an idea that rocks the foundation of those dominant institutions?

Maybe I don’t feel so ‘powerful’ observing a system of governance that gracelessly attempts to give us a selection of ‘choices’, or a semblance of ‘democracy’. Maybe I don’t feel so powerful walking down the street in the rich house of dire areas of Melbourne with 5 bucks in my purse, but here is it is…. I may join in from time to time the bemoaning of undertaking a degree in literature and philosophy and continuing with it…but I love ideas, dangerous ideas, and I never once thought about getting a proper job. What the hell is that?  I considered myself an adventuress always on the search for knowledge, for the sharing of knowledge and the creation of new knowledge.  My mum has not been comfortable with this and I have beaten myself up trying to reconcile my idealistic notions of knowledge, creativity and sharing with the reality that maybe the climate is not a climate readily embracing new ideas, intellectuals, and creatives…other than side entertainment on the weekend, or somehow incorporated into a professional development program of a corporate job. #sigh#

But I’ve got this fire in me, a mad universe of collapsing stars and wild visions that I’ve tried to shake, to get rid of, to ignore…but it never works!!!!!  I never thought Galileo’s work would give me such butterflies, would make me feel so deeply for the pursuit of knowledge, creativity and curiousity… to want to share and explore it with others.

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