Taking Time To Listen

An elderly woman calls her country’s emergency hotline. Her 95-year-old husband is suffering from “complications”, she informs the operator.

But when police show up on her doorstep, they discover the man was not in need of medical attention at all. The couple was just so lonely they fabricated the story out of desperation for someone to talk to. So the cops did what anybody with a heart and a pulse would do; they sat with the couple “for a brew and a chat“.

This true story out of the UK is a bittersweet tale that betrays a widespread but largely hidden social tragedy; we are failing our elderly.

A 2013 survey by Australian community care franchise Just Better Care found that loneliness and social isolation was the primary concern of elderly people living at home, eclipsing financial worries, lack of independence, and loss of mobility.

Read More and take action

Regenerating Hestia’s Hearth

Hestia (and her counterpart, the Roman Goddess Vesta) were viewed as the “complete” goddess, the goddess who was whole, “one complete within herself”. Fittingly, the circle was her symbol.

BrokenBowl

Hestia’s Hearth was first created in 2009 when the Soul Food Cafe was still operating as a virtual writing/art group. The archives contain all the posts that members of this site posted at the time.

Consecutive loss silenced me and Soul Food has lain fallow since late 2010! Soul Food and collaborative, virtual retreats such as The Temple of SolaceRiversleigh Manor, the Lemurian Abbey, the Gypsy Camp and the Hearth disappeared into the mists.

Hestia has been calling my name, gently suggesting that I have been with Hel for long enough, reminding me that these places provided sanctuary, that they are life affirming and that they still welcome me and offer sanctuary! It’s a choice to want to heal those hurts that broke me at one point in time. As I restore myself… I emerge  stronger, ready to take on life once again.

Welcome to Hestia’s Hearth, a site designed to promote the virtues of calm, security, stability,  mildness, gentleness, forgiveness,  serenity,  and, above all else the state of being centered.

Heather Blakey

December 26, 2015

On Bullet Holes and Uninhabited Spaces

Creative Foraging

Looking back, over a twenty five year time span, it can feel like there are more empty parts of me than there are that are occupied.

It has felt like my body was caught in a war zone and that what is left is holes and empty spaces that still remain unoccupied!

Some of the empty spaces seem apartment sized.

Multiple loss is the hole/apartment sized space generator!

Life can shrink as you spend your time looking at the holes!

You can find yourself hole obsessed and focusing on the negative space.

At 60 it felt daunting that so many things that had been an essential part of me, were emptied, leaving holes and big spaces.

It is tough to rebuild.

The good news is that rebuilding can be done.

However, the bullet holes remain a permanent feature, a reminder!

Facing another, admittedly smaller, bullet hole I ponder on my…

View original post 14 more words

Insights into Loss and Grief

After facing one death of a significant other after another, and another, words stuck well below my throat. I was silenced and spent many years lying fallow. Time, adjustment, resettling and reading articles like these have helped to finally break the silence.

Most of us live in parts of the country where there is a distinct change of seasons. Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall each have their own unique qualities. Grieving is also like the seasons – there are a variety of events that we experience as we grieve, much as we experience a series of events as the seasons change.

So, as we explore these seasons of grief, let us turn our reflections to the power of these seasons of grief – pre-grief, a time to grieve, a time to heal and renewal.
Read article

Sometimes when I can’t sleep I walk through my grandparents’ old house in my head. I sit in the breakfast nook and watch as my grandmother shakes from a jar the handful of raw almonds she would eat each morning. Or I watch myself – I’m six and wearing a dress Grandma crocheted for me – pester her for the liquorice allsorts she always kept at the back of a cupboard.
Read article

Summer’s here and Canada-wide, tomatoes are in the ground, mine included.

I live alone now, and at 61 years of age, I have little need for all the food I gr ow. But I do love my own produce, my pesto made with home-grown garlic and basil, which lasts me into the following summer.

I have been thinking of my connection to the land, of closely observing the daily, seasonal and yearly changes that occur. I like that every day something is happening: Another rhododendron opening its buds, the daffodils dying back, the asparagus poking out of the ground, the hummingbird flying past to the flowering red currant, beetles mating.
Read article

The Soul Rests Eternal

“… the landscape that emerges through my music is rather like the misty dawn of a new day; a day not yet ripened by the sun, but one that shows the promise of a warmer future – a way through the emotional morass.”

Take the time to read the delightful new interview in the Salon du Muse at the Soul Food Cafe. Heather Blakey, web mistress of  Soul Food, takes the time to interview British composer, Mike Sheppard. This interview explores spirit and soul and shines some light on the path for those suffering from bereavement.

My Old Dog Is Dead

“And now my old dog is dead, and another I had after him, and my parents are dead, and that first world, that old house, is sold and lost, and the books I gathered there lost, or sold- but more books bought, and in another place, board by board and stone by stone, like a house, a true life built, and all because I was steadfast about one or two things: loving foxes, and poems, the blank piece of paper, and my own energy- and mostly the shimmering shoulders of the world that shrug carelessly over the fate of any individual that they may, the better, keep the Niles and Amazons flowing.”
— Mary Oliver (Blue Pastures)

Jaari and Douglas

Old dogs lie buried in the garden here, a place where, in another lifetime, my husband, children, companion animals and I once lived, where my parents once came to share our lives and bear witness.

Dougie and I grieved for each one who departed; when we sold and left the only home he had known behind.

We moved to a sheltered place and comforted one another.

Now my old dog is dead too. I know! I held him close to my heart as he died.

Dougie is gone, joining those, so many whose hands/paws we held, watched as they went.

Soon I will be leaving this place that offered safe harbor, taking his ashes to mix with the ashes of others.

I am moving to make yet another fresh start, selling more, giving away more, but, taking memories of happy family days to weave and wrap around me.

I will go to another place where I will scatter mixed ashes and, little by little, piece by piece, rebuild.