How Sweet It Was

November 1, 2008

a Halloween Memory


anita marie


I have so many wonderful Halloween Memories…

this is one of them

and it concerns:

Lizzie Borden

Today I read about a Lizzie Borden Halloween Prop that costs THOUSANDS of dollars.

Robot Lizzie swings an Ax up and down.

Sure, whatever.

When I was a kid this family had a Haunted House set up in their basement and the Dad used to dress up like Lizzie and chase people around with an ax and he’d be screaming ” Forty Whacks! Forty Whacks for you all!”

And the entire time he- well, she is doing that, we’d be screaming for Jesus and our Moms and diving under furniture and swinging our plastic pumpkins like around medieval war weapons and trying to climb out the windows.

I wouldn’t trade that memory for anything-

not even for THOUSANDS of dollars.




Revenge of the Were Pen

October 21, 2008

   I went into the little kitchen and put on the tea kettle.  While I waited for the water to get hot enough, I thought about all the things I had been learning the past few months in Lemuria.  I smiled, thinking of Gail’s horses, and June’s trees, and Jill’s weavings, and Lori’s mandalas, and Thalia’s crayon rainbow, Imogen’s lilacs, Anita Marie’s friendly ghosts, Genece’s sleeping snow leopard, Heather’s “There’s a good lass!” encouragements, and so much more.  It had been a rich season.  I could sip from this Well of Mnemosyne many times and still find it refreshing. 

I recall the joy of joining Soul Food Cafe, becoming a raven, winning a Laurel Crown.  I dared to share a story, a piece of stained glass, wrote 3 identity poems, all different, all generously received and commented.  And then, the gift of the muse, my were pen character – birthed by the Enchanteur’s Journey – discovered in the catacombs – and another gift character, Gravel Gertie, the wise woman, who met me at Mudjimba Beach…

   But where was Gertie?  I looked at her chair, but it was empty.  There was her tea cup, still warm and fragrant with essence of tangerine, some wheat toast crumbs on a plate, but no Gertie.

   “Looking for someone?” asked a familiar voice.
   I turned, and there she was – my were pen.
   “Have you seen Gertie?” I asked.
   “Seen her? Kezza, I CREATED her. I brought her into this story, and I can take her out.”
   “What are you talking about?”
   “Everyone was liking her so much, they forgot about me.  Even you – don’t deny it! – Especially you!”
   “I thought you were on sabbatical, or resting…”
   “Nice try, but no cigar.  You wanted to get rid of me. Everybody likes the wise old crone archetype, a shortcut to the wisdom of the ages and all that. That Gertie was upstaging me – so – I wrote her out of the script.”
   “You heard me.  No more Gertie, no more wise woman.  You’ve got to figure things out for yourself now.  You are on your own, baby.”
   “But how will I find my way without her?”
   “You didn’t listen to her much.  Gertie was all about telling you to trust your instincts, be true to yourself, you have what you need right inside you.  Were you sleeping through class?”
   “No, I, I was listening, I’m just scared.”
   “So Gertie was wasting her time, you didn’t learn anything.”
   “I learned so much!”
   “You were supposed to learn how to trust your own creative voice.”
   “How do YOU know what Gertie was trying to teach me?  You weren’t here.”
   The were pen lowered its voice and said, laughing, “Pretty good is hard to beat…”
   It sounded just like Gertie!
   “Slowly the light dawns.  Yes, Kezza, I am Gertie, too.  I guess you forgot about my shapeshifting abilities?  I’m a were pen – I write fiction – I can be anything your imagination dreams up.  You just have to use me to put your thoughts down.”
   “You’re Gertie? And my were pen?”
   “Yes.  And we are both products of your creative imagination.  You created us – so, you are Gertie, and your were pen, and anything else you care to think up – all rolled into one big ball of ‘What happens next’.  Gift of the Muse and all that…”
   I jumped when the whistle blew on the tea kettle.  I poured water over a tea bag and sat down.  “This is going to take some time to settle in…”

(c) 2008 Kerry Vincent



Mnemosyne – Threads

October 21, 2008

Memories…. well I have been within the Soul Food community for under a year, yet length of time belies the steps taken since embarking on my first journey guided by Le Enchanteur.   At the beginning I was somewhat lost with a deep sense of personal disconnection.  How that situation has changed!  As I journeyed through the portal arriving at Rainbow Beach and on, via the Market, Docks and Pageant to Mudjimba little was I consciously aware of what was actually taking place.  I thought I was telling a story…of course I was, but the story is very much a part of me.  I have woken up, clichéd perhaps but nevertheless true.  I am much surer of the creative path I want to tread.   I have been reminded of that which I forgot and as this journey to Mudjimba started with a dream it is fitting that a new journey will take me, perhaps in the guise of another, into the dreamingtime.



Sister Basket and other gifts from Lemeurian journeys

October 21, 2008

Since I arrived at the Pythian Games, and then met a guide and went to Lemeuria many amazing things have happened. I picked up a sister basket thanks to Kerry. I found that the rain and soul food prompts combined and out came a rain mirror. I went into the Tholos and many things happened there as stories were grown from tiny seeds, even just a few magnetic words. I remembered a tram trip in Melbourne and so the tale of the Tuesday trees came into being.

Sometimes it was just fun to be playful and take Hilda a character who had been sitting on my flickr pages and when she heard of soulfood prompts and a rainbow beach well she came out to play for a teddy bear’s picnic with a difference.

The memory stream flows quickly as I dip my fingers in.

1. Sister Basket


In the journey of memory I look into my sister basket, because first I need to find my soul’s inspiration a carpet snake weaves back and forth.

Sister Basket piece

2. Rain

contemplation river

I check out the rain and it questions me as does a reflection that may or may not be my own…

Rain Mirror piece

3. Tuesday Trees

Entering the contemplation of the Tholos stories are born and develop over a few days or a few weeks.

tree study- bark

Then there is a tram travelling through the Tholos and there are the Tuesday trees.
A little girl called Jamilla has come into being. [I can’t share this story here yet, as it’s entered in a competition- but I will when I can.]

4. Hilda’s Adventures

hilda's tea by the sea

I am so happy to have Hilda, hop on a boat and head out to meet some pirates. She is brave teddy.
Hilda’s Adventures Beginnings

5. Tree or pebble

studies of water 2

I realize I have followed a pebble tossed from being in the Lemeuria and many other spaces in the soul food space, I wrote of identity — hmm I had a hard time making up my mind but that tree image kept coming back even as I thought of pebbles, birds of paradise and lots of other things beside. Oh my goodness so many trees- Kauri pines, tuesday Trees. how I love to sit by the trees. I am so thankful that Enchanteur and were pen and so many other friendly characters and people came out to help me in my journey.

Inside I am . . . (there are so many days to think what we really are?)


A Day of Remembrance: Making Descansos

October 18, 2008

Years ago, a hospice volunteer mentioned each patient and caregiver she spent time with was like a pearl in a necklace—over time, the necklace grew and grew.  I decided to use that idea as a theme for the Annual All Day Volunteer Retreat I facilitated for my hospice volunteers this year.  I had also come across Heather’s Soul Food Site “Descansos” which familiarized me with the term.  I then thought about how this theme could apply to hospice and to our Retreat.  Combining the two ideas, I planned a “Day of Remembering,” with the creation of a pearl necklace becoming the descansos made by each attendee.


Starting with a visualization to activate each participant’s memory about their loved ones, whether personal or hospice patients, we all thought of eight people we wanted to remember, and a few words about each that reminded them about what they received as a legacy from the person.  The legacy might manifest as an idea, a trait, or an actual item; such as, a recipe, a love of cooking, or a well-used rolling pin. 


I previously drew eight circles of varying sizes, on a piece of paper, with each circle touching the next, forming a completed chain.  This would become our necklace.  The largest circle in the necklace was generally reserved for a personal loved one, with the others filling in for hospice patients. 


The grief of hospice workers, and other nurses, doctors, and aides, etc., is considered disenfranchised grief—not acknowledged as real grief since the health care worker only knew the patient for a relatively short time compared to if the person was a beloved parent, spouse, child, grandparent.  However, one can become quite close to someone and still need to deal with their loss when it occurs.  When the losses are ongoing, as with health care workers, and one is then on to the next patient, those losses aren’t acknowledged and dealt with, and so accumulate, leading to eventual burnout.   So I try to allow the volunteers an avenue to know it is all right to grieve for patients, to provide an avenue in which to grieve and express that grief in a different way each year.  We’ve done “Legacy Writing,” “Ethical Wills,” “Rekindling,” “Inner Child” and many others in the six years of having Volunteer Retreats.


We each wrote the name of the remembered person in one of the circles.  Then we perused magazines to find pictures or words describing the person and their legacy to us, or used colored pencils or crayons to draw pictures or words.  There is something so therapeutic in using scissors and colored pencils, in smelling glue and crayons that takes us back to childhood.  The volunteers know by now every creation made at our Retreats is considered a work of art, and so have resolved any lingering critical voices in their heads from childhood.  Even the men get involved with creating and sharing.


Snip, snip, snip go all the scissors.  Sniff, inhale deeply beloved smells of childhood.  Oh! Look at this! Wow! intersperse the proceedings as people move about seeking the perfect picture or accessory like ribbons or beads, small flowers or feathers, yarn or thread, crayon or colored markers.  Anyone see a lilac bush in bloom?  How about a man fishing?  Here’s a woman baking.  Who was looking for that?  Looking for oneself as well as looking to help others.  Sharing as part of the process of creating, usually considered a solitary activity.  And sometimes it got quiet as each was busy getting it “just right.” 


Finally finished, or as finished as it can be in the allotted hours.  I asked each to bring in a fairly recent picture of themselves.  Now those pictures were glued into the middle of the picture, and we each truly had a pearl necklace going around our necks: a descansos of our legacy from losses of loved ones.



Then the verbal sharing started.  Each, in describing their necklace, gave a eulogy for the pearl-people (in their necklace), telling of the legacies they received from each, telling stories and activities, sharing the love they felt with others in a setting where they were really listened to.  And what stories!  Fortunately, I brought many boxes of kleenex, which were needed during the three hours of sharing.  Powerful legacies from patients one was with only a short time but where a real connection was built, showing we might never realize the influence we can have on others.  Three hours later, we all felt as if each of us had honored our loved ones in a eulogy sometimes more pertinent to the person than that done by the “professionals”—ministers and funeral directors.  Our hearts filled with inspiration and the goodness of so many people, including the volunteers telling their stories.  Truly “A Day of Remembering”, by making a pearl necklace, a descansos of our loved ones.


This was so therapeutic I went on and made a pearl necklace honoring my personal loved ones and using their pictures as part of each pearl, as well as individual collage cards honoring my memories of each person and their legacy.


Thalia   (http://healinghaven.wordpress.com)


Riding Bareback

October 18, 2008

For Heather and others in the soulfood writing networks.

Keep on riding bareback until you are free
through the wilderness
all around you and me.

Keep on riding bareback until you can write
and writing is no longer
a fight or your only light.

Keep on riding bareback until you reach the sea
and see the journey was your liberty.

Keep on riding bareback through your first draft
realise when it’s time to polish your craft.

Keep on riding bareback like those of the past
like those of the future,
like those of the present
you won’t be the last…

(c) June Perkins

painting a sunny day


Five Mnemosyne Streams

October 17, 2008

Baby Lilacs – Lemurian Abbey Archive, Wednesday July 20th, 2005.

Spring is approaching
in the southern
hemisphere –
baby lilacs
are stirring beneath
the green cover,
in the beautiful dark earth,
how and when
they will best bloom out,
they wait and
following the signs
and beat of nature.
The dream of
them, the wild
scent, is
our anticipation.

copyright Monika Roleff 2005

This memory poem is special because now I finally have lilacs and am watching them grow out in Spring again, and it seems to be full circle, like many things in Lemuria.  And Spring is a season, that no matter what, speaks of new hope and new life. 

My Italiano – Lemurian Abbey Archive, Tuesday July 26th, 2005


You stressed and strained
against them,
– male or female –
you stressed and strained.
Your beauty and your art,
was razed by gravity –
to flit about with paint and toy with words? –
get thee to the marketplace and into
the arenas of politics! Go!
But your art and beauty is
held in safe reserve, my Italiano, mine.
You saw, you admired, you breathed,
You know the secret heart.
You mourned, and that was so.
Appropriate, indeed.
But heed the current time of day,
and unlace the bridles of old.
The things of soul grow richer
still, my noble Italiano, with age,
and reveal the integrity of your
copyright Monika Roleff 2005.
(image courtesy Google Art Search.)

This was a breakthrough piece, as I claimed creativity both sides.  In some ways it reminds me of an old song.  I love the Renaissance period, and all things Italian.

Orpheus Again – Lemurian Mysteries Archive, Thursday July 28th, 2005.

Where is he?
Did the maenads
tear him apart again
with their glazed eyes?


that is a cycle play –
a drama,
that goes under
and up again.

he is everywhere
and grows
with or
without our

Yet better
with them.
{Open your eyes
and see.}

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

Fascinated by Orpheus, and have delved into the meaning of this amazing figure many times, and still do.

The Life of Imogen Crest – Lemurian Mysteries Archive, Sunday July 31st, 2005.

Incense mystified the enigmatic
halls where I once roamed,
a novice, dressed in
By book, my scroll,
my pen and dark ink,
my wayward hound and cat,
my pillow of spun silk in red,
the fragrant
rose of lavender.


I am a frieze on a
plastered wall,
still wandering
in my halls and alleys,
cloistered there,
to surmise, not judge.


I am neither you
nor I, cast of
many colours
and skeins.
You might see me in
a tapestry of days?

I saw the rose beginning to
I saw the stone on the
I saw my knight laid
Rusty hill.

Tonight I think
to spin straw
into gold,
and drop my silken
on some
poor merchant’s sill.

Yours, only for now,
in good faith,
– Imogen Crest.
copyright Monika Roleff 2005.

This was pretty important, as it was on this date I contacted my muse, Imogen Crest, Hermit, and created a world around her.  It doesn’t seem that long ago, but then she is timeless, too, which is interesting.

And lastly one that describes the Hermitage, where Imogen Crest finds out more about solitude and peace.  All these posts are self defining and carry wonderful memories.  The year 2005 was the year I joined Soul Food and it was a very good year for me, very rich in every way.

The Peace of Imogen Crest – Lemurian Hermitage Archive, Saturday August 6th, 2005.



A Persian rug,
a fireside,
rains sifts down outside,
making the green brighter,
the water is still,
a mirror for the soul.

The light is soft,
a candle flame,
pine cones gather on
the hearth stone,
a book is open
with ancient leaves.

A bowl of flowers,
the tick of hours –
never noticed here –
as they drift in
silent space.

The old stone walls,
the sheltering halls,
the absence of calls,
the noon of wars,
it’s perfect here,
with spirit near –

Yours, – most
– Imogen Crest.

copyright Monika Roleff 2005.