Total Pageviews

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Stepek Family Christmas Memory

Christmas locked away behind the big white door. Hidden from hungry impatiently devouring eyes.

So many bright, shining narrow little eyes glowing in the early morning gloom like a pack of cartoon rats, ready to rip apart brightly coloured, oh so carefully wrapped, packages. Digging down with busy teeth and scurrying claws, to the sweet bits beneath the outer layers.

Messy little creatures, scratching against the big white door. probing for weak spots.

She comes at last, the Provider, Keeper of all good things. She complains laughingly about our squeaking, squealing, squabbling noise.

He comes, The Authority, he who must be obeyed. The scrabbling, scratching, squeaking ends in abrupt trembling silence.

He swipes Jimmy Rat on the head for the sin of shoulder charging the venerable Georgian door, our entrance to Heaven.

Then he too laughs and the magic key appears in his hand. Oh so slowly, so quicksand,  time sucking slow, they key turns in the lock. Click, click, click. Oh the rapid beating of those little rodent hearts, the standing still of breath, the paralysis of time.

The door opens as though a great vacuum has sucked us in. We are in Nirvana.

Running to presents piled around the sparkling beacon of the massive Christmas tree,  we are indeed in our own Elysium.

A moment in which we measure our parents' love by the height of our present stack. All is equally measured by the loving wisdom of our Mother.

Collective expiration of deep contented sighs as the ten little rats, beady eyes shining with festive joy, commence their anarchic mayhem, 

Happy Christmas one and all.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A prayer for my words

Long after I leave this world, it is my words as well as my actions that will in some way be remembered. Words have far greater power than we give credit to. If there is magic in this world, it lies in our communication with others. Words have an impact that will remain and continue to impact as long as humans walk this earth. Once said, once written they are indelible. Whoever hears or reads our words is in some way forever changed and they in turn create changes in those around them. So it goes on until we humans pass forever from this earth. Words are powerful, make yours a force for love, words that add and do not subtract from the well being of our people and the treatment of our other life forms. You cannot truly honour one without the other.

I ask that my words flow out to heal the world.

words filled with love, the balm that soothes the rough raw places of the troubled soul.

The gentle rain that cools the anxious fevered mind.

The softest breeze that blows away the troubled thought.

The hug that embraces the weary, lonely heart.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Full circle

In the stillness of this Sacred Circle, I see with the eyes of the other,

I hear with your ears and feel with your hearts.

In the silence of this Circle, there is an ending to I and You.

There is a becoming of We and Us.

Here is the sweet and powerful blending of spirit

Parts made whole.

We are complete in one another and the circle is joined.

We are one.

The dancers in the moonlight.

The singers of the eternal song.

We call life into being,

We are creation.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Days of Grace

For our beloved son, Jan Michael

You are my days of grace,
Redemption of my love,
In you I find eternity,
My pearl beyond all price.

Long loved and longed for
Out of deep soul yearning
Conscious conception
From dreams made real.

You are my days of grace,
My life fulfilled in you,
Now in love, I set you free,
A light beyond my life.

My love made flesh,
Upon this earth,
My sweet eternity,
My son, my gift, my light.

Friday, July 04, 2014

I am indelible

I was contemplating what it is to live forever, to leave an indelible trace behind when my body finally surrenders and I let go. I retain an open mind about whether there is anything beyond this life but I am certain that what we do while we walk this world, the interactions with others, leaves an eternal trace of who we are. I seek to make mine a loving touch, an echo of what we can be if we chose the light and not the dark. Let that be my immortality.

I will not disappear
And leave no trace.
I am not deleted
From your files,
Nor exiled forever
To a distant land.

I am indelible,
A tattoo under your skin
No laser can remove.
Every contact,
Brush of mind or skin
Leaves resonance.
Rippling waves
Forever spreading
Encompass worlds.

I am forever,
No footprint on the sand
I cannot be washed away.

Monday, April 28, 2014


This was written following the deaths of both my parents within four weeks of one another about 18 months ago. I have what is designated as terminal cancer and at the time of their deaths it looked as though I would soon follow them and prior to their deaths, that in all likelihood I would precede them. I am grateful that they did not have to endure watching their child slip away into the shadows. It was hard enough for them to watch me suffering and fear my death.

Yet here I remain, stronger than I have ever been in the last six years of this roller coaster ride of cancer. Go figure. I still walk in the shadows but there is now more light than for a very long time.

Alone upon the empty shore,
The tide has taken you
But never from my soul,
But never from my heart.

I walk the shadowlands,
Between the light and dark,
Where you have lead
I may now follow.
Help me to be strong.

My beloved mother would have been 86 on the 26th April. I visited her and my father's grave on Saturday to mark it and to celebrate the gift her life was and continues to be to me.  I am so sad. I sang her happy birthday and remembered her love, her beauty of soul. The grief has softened but lingers like a shadow. I love you, my precious one. xxx

I stood by your grave today
And said goodbye again
Yet still I felt you in my heart
In every trace of memory.

And I am glad that you are gone
Suffering and pain at and end.
We could not lift it from you 
It was never in our gift. 

In your life you gave us all 
A mother to the very end
The dearest heart, the kindest soul
Love like that can never die.

I stood by your grave today,
And could not find the tears
You are lost to me in body
But your spirit haunts me still.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Another Spring

Lord, let there be more springs,
Sun warmed air and sharp, clean scents.
Birds aerial dancing, mating rituals,
Building nests to hold new life.

Bees make me smile,
Fuzzy honey stumbling flight,
Furry bodies unknowing,
The technical impossibility of flight.

I breathe in peace, I breathe in life,
Each precious breath a quiet content,
Affirming life goes on.

The weaving of light

Words tumble from the air,
My hands reach out to hold,
To weave a weft of light,
And love and laughter,
Patterns bright with joy.

Monday, February 17, 2014

To go beyond

To go beyond
Interior landscape
Unfamiliar formation
Jagged, barren emotion
Shared with only those
Who journeyed before.
A shadowland straddling
Life and death,
Bereft, stripped bare,
Naked and yet clothed
In the sack cloth and ashes
Of suffering.

I do not want to leave,
My story half-told,
Many unknown twists and turns,
So much beauty to be lived.

Monday, February 10, 2014

I miss you, Mum.

I miss you, Mum,
And yet,
Would not have you back,
The pain shadowed wraith,
Moving into death.

I miss you Mum,
Your soft and gentle voice,
The way you held me close,
Safe in your embrace,
Daring death to take you, not me.

I miss you, Mum,
Who never missed a concert,
Play or recitation,
As though I was the only one,
Not lost amongst the ten.

I miss your quiet beauty,
The radiance of your face,
Never knowing your allure,
The heads you turned.

I miss the music of your voice,
The rich emotions pouring out,
Wrapping all who heard
Cocooned in loving comfort.

I miss your hand in mine,
As I waited to hear,
If I would live or die,
On that hideous day.

I miss you and I love you,
I carry you inside my heart,
You who taught me how to love,
Beloved mother, forever mine.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Broken Wings

Broken winged
The eagle lies
Trapped within a form
Intended for free flight.

Broken winged
The soul rises
On eternal wings
Soaring to infinity.

My broken wings
Are of the body
And like the eagle,
My soul flies free.

In loving memory of my friend Stephen.

Stephen was the grand dramatic passion of my life, the blood on fire, heart slashed open, operatic aria of a relationship. It was brief, passionate, young, tender and its ending was devastating to an inexperienced and open hearted twenty year old. We went our separate ways and in time I found my deep and gentle love, the man I knew almost instantly would be my forever love. Twenty five years on and we are still together.

I often thought of Stephen, occasionally hearing from mutual friends what his latest life and love adventures were. Eventually I heard he had married and moved to Australia. We both had a son and there our paths diverged. My marriage stayed steady in the storms of life but his ended with his wife's chronic alcoholism and neglect of their child. He was given full custody and raised the boy on his own.

It is a strange synchronicity but some thirty years later literally days after I took part in a Huna based ritual of cutting residual connections to people from my past, which included Stephen, I received an email from him. He had been thinking about me and suddenly had the impulse to look for me on the web. This was the start of a deep and loving friendship, a joyful meeting of minds which was my great privilege to experience. Stephen was not a conventional man. In many ways he was a hedonist but he was also a warm, loving, highly intelligent man. I treasure our correspondence and the memory of his birthday flowers and his calls to sing me Happy Birthday. We could talk about anything and I will always be grateful to whatever fate brought us together.

When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2009, he was steadfast in his support and encouragement.  We talked of the deep and meaningful things in life. We avoided nothing. We had planned a visit because he wanted to meet my family. Then out of the blue the message from him was that he had cancer too and was about to undertake a gruelling and risky chemotherapy assault as the cancer was advanced. He would not be back in touch but his new wife would let me know if he did not make it. She did not have to tell me. I simply knew. Our paths had crossed for the last time and he was gone leaving me a richness of memories of a dear and loving friend.

I wrote the following just after I confirmed that what I sensed had been reality.

Suddenly there is a huge full stop in my life. Stephen is dead and I cannot cry. It is as though all connection with him was terminated by his passing. Perhaps I am simply too numb. I can no longer reach in and feel sorrow or pain.

Perhaps, it is simply that in the face of so much death and dying, I have moved from resistance to acceptance.

"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds" ( Shakespeare)

He is dead. I cannot hear him, see him, touch him. There will be no more calls from Australia. There will be no more serenades. I will not record the next chapter of Wind in the Willows for him.

Stephen is gone and part of my heart has gone with him.

Monday, February 03, 2014


Written on the 2nd January, as I contemplated the internal process of the cancer which lurks in my body, held in check by potent drugs and sometimes I sense by sheer stubborn, will power. It is a challenge to contemplate how the beauty of the body at a cellular level can turn rogue and sow the seeds of ultimate destruction. I find it both fascinating and horrifying that something so intrinsically perfect as the division and replication of our cells can wreak such havoc. I talk to my cancer cells from time to time and imagine explaining to them that there is no escape for them. In the destruction of their host lies death for them, so why not do the logical thing and self destruct in the interest of the integrity of the whole body. I even have this silly little ditty which I recite which consists of the repetition of the word, apoptosis which means cell death. Funny the things you find yourself doing when cancer enters your life. Cruel but amusing when you tilt your mind to one side and chose to see it from a different angle.

A cell mutates,
Slips by the sentinels,
No rhyme nor reason,
Determines if this rogue
Lives or dies.

Stealth destroyer,
Camoflage protects,
Error replicates.
Hunger growing
To consume.

Predator cell,
Prime directive
To survive,
Whatever the cost,
Blindly suicidal,
Killing your host.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Another year passes

I wrote this on the first of January. It is quite simply some rambling thoughts on the nature of reality and being alive past my sell by date.

Another year passes,
Arbitrary marking of time.
No full stops.
No endings.
Time and Life,
Artificial constructs,
Nebulous reality,
A complex confection.
How much is choice?

Another year passes,
Health and Love,
Punctuation marks,
Delineating life,
Refusing definition,
The herding of cats.
Each day passes,
Am I still alive?
I think, therefore I am?

Monday, January 27, 2014

Honi soit qui mal y pense-reflections on the Holocaust.

I have always been taken by this ancient motto which translates as evil be to him who evil thinks. Deliberate evil inflicted on the scale of the Holocaust  is what we tend to think of but there is a deeper and more dangerous evil in our society. It is the small daily evil of malicious thought and malicious words which go unchallenged by those of us who see it for what it truly is. How often do we read or hear comments which have underlying and unquestioned prejudice. It is these almost casual intolerances and slights which lead to the large scale horrors of the Holocaust and other atrocities of persecution. When evil goes unchallenged, it seeds and grows in poisoned soil. The whispers become invective. The lies become accepted as true. The tale grows in the unquestioned telling. 

First we have to question our own thoughts and think through whether our gut reaction of anger and resentment is based on fact or reality. We need to understand that the behaviour of one or some of a group, religion, nation is not the behaviour or characteristics of all. Then we must challenge and keep on challenging others to examine their own thought processes. We were designed to think analytically, to reflect on the patterns of our own thinking. Yet we are also creatures who process the world around us through the emotional brain with all the unconscious programming of others' words and actions from early childhood. We absorb like sponges what is around us and form much of our behaviour through the emotional filters of such experiences which we internalise as our own views. We must make conscious that which is unconscious, unthinking and irrational if we are to, change it.

Honi soit qui mal y pense -the evil that we think rebounds back upon all of us.

We allow the ugliness of the Holocaust when we fail to challenge our own thoughts and feelings.

We enable the Holocaust when we fail to challenge such thoughts and feelings in others.

Please do not walk by on the other side. Stop, think, speak out.

Do not accept the unacceptable.

I have seen evil so close by,
Toxic words slithering forth,
Fangs glistening poison,
Ready to strike,
Hearts and minds.

I have heard vindictive thoughts
Spew from a void of bottomless hate,
Under the guise of reason or love,
Venom flowing in every word.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Nurturing the body

So many of us struggle with our body image as did I for some fifty years. It was not until I made peace with my body that I was able to abandon diets, start to love myself as I was, that I began successful and sustained weight loss. Ten years ago I had the great privilege of joining a group of international writers under the auspices of the magnificent Julie Jordan Scott. We would meet on teleconference once a week and write to prompts, very intelligently and creatively by Julie. When she asked us to write to a quote which referred to praising the geography of our bodies. The following came pouring out. I believe it was a pivotal point in my journey towards peace with myself.

I praise my own geography, at last.

Each rolling contour, hill and valley,
Each scar upon the white stretched landscape,
Each familiar line marked deep with memory,
Laughter, sadness, joy.
Each softly pliant mound of flesh,
Silent repository of pleasures past,
Promise of pleasures yet to come.

I praise my own geography at last,
a terrain once hostile,
Familiar, beloved, home.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Some ghosts from the past.

I found the following musings from around 12 years ago in a life before cancer and which reflect my struggle with my weight. This had been a life long battle from very early childhood. It sucked so much spontaneity and joy from my life but it gave me a deep insight into mental suffering, the challenge of low self-esteem and the power of resilience to overcome.

It seems as though my body has something to say...

Once upon a time my belly rumbled,
Complaining in volcanic anger,
Feed me. Feed me now.

Spitting acid fountain flames of rage,
Against this self held other, alien,
Stranger, separate.
Feed me love. Feed me love.

And if you cannot feed me love,
Then feed me food.
Feed me so my cells may swell and burst,
Stuffed with fatty residues
Of what might and should and could have been.

Feed me so I may no longer feel.
Feed me until the numbness comes,
And I am deaf and dumb and blind
To the starvation of my heart.

Once upon a time, my belly rumbled
Burning in unquenchable fire
A hunger that could not be fed.

Like all good fairy tales,
My belly longs to say,
"It ended happy ever after
For now we are one,
In love with who and what we are,
Body mind and soul
Replete, complete and loved."

This is not a fairy tale.