Author: Tanya Southey

Week 37: Iktsuarpok

Week 37: Iktsuarpok

Iktsuarpok* There are gentle Spring days when the air hushes the chilled land back from the cold and the hollow blue, sky hums to a tune that was written a million years ago And still in that peace we are pulled to the door, habit […]

Week 36: Well

Week 36: Well

Well There was a time when wells were the only source of water and villagers would congregate and share while drawing life-giving liquid from deep caverns Now we are unaccustomed to coming to the well to slate our thirsts We mindlessly turn on taps unaware […]

Week 35: Belonging

Week 35: Belonging

Belonging

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Leap of faith”. Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets) — with Denise Smith.

I have survived so much
but mostly I have
survived myself
with a deep longing
for true belonging

I have survived my need
to fit in and do the things
that everyone else
believes I was born to do

I have outlived the fear
of being outcast from all
that I love and that
which quietly loves me back

I have found in mossy silence
the deepest root
that lies in the darkest
soil close to the core
of the earth where
sand becomes fire
where nothing lives except
sparks of future life
that hide the secret
all of us have forgotten

We belong to the earth
we are one with the stars
there are rivers that whisper
‘you are mine’
and rocks that recognise
the hardiness of your bones

Now is the time to claim
our belonging
to fight for our place
in the universe
to become
the keepers of the earth
the gazers at the stars
to become
keepers of our own belonging

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

 

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Week 34: Ripening

Week 34: Ripening

Ripening They always told you you were a rose delicate pink and blushing in the morning sun and yet you did not believe all that you were told you held a sliver of an idea that once reached you in a vague and distant dream […]

Week 33: Connection

Week 33: Connection

Connection Invisible threads hold us together stitching us through lifetimes ties that cannot be severed roots of energy tapped into emotion transmitting feelings regardless of where we are in the world regardless of time distance or space numbers dialled at exactly the same time identical […]

Week 32: Transformation

Week 32: Transformation

Transformation

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Way to Go”. Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets) — with Denise Smith.

We fear that transformation
will change us forever
yet intrinsically a butterfly
is still made of caterpillar cells
and has memories of days
before it could fly

Sometimes a shift is brutal and fast
other times change starts in the east
a golden orb of dawning awareness
a moment where darkness turns to light
a millisecond where night surrenders
and day slowly and quietly stretches
rises to draw back the curtains and
dilutes the shadows of the past

This gentle awakening where the truth
emerges that you will survive love
that you will outlive loss
that you will stand unchanged
yet changed forever
unfolded
the core of you the same
the experiences different and
the arc of your emotions fully lived
and you know that this is exactly
the way the pilgrimage across your
life was meant to be

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

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Week 31: Space

Week 31: Space

Space A Haiku: Between you and me wide skies and roaring oceans the heart knows no space © Tanya Southey #52words52weeks                       Please follow and like us:

Week 30: Vellichor

Week 30: Vellichor

Vellichor The pages are fragile now yellowed and thinned with time but still the stories remain alive and waiting to be read to enter someone else’s life and leave a mark a sigh or second glance even with the faded ink and feathery edges which […]

Week 29: Prayer

Week 29: Prayer

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Ghosts in the City”. Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets)

Prayer

Perhaps along the way
this word became
attached to things
you lost your belief in
perhaps along the way
you lost the connection
to the divinity
that rests within each breath
the part that breathes you
the higher you that can
seek to solve and soothe
when nothing else will suffice
the power to manifest all you want
to connect your head to your heart
to weave an intention
with whispering words
that waft way beyond
the present moment
and wait way down
the track and meet you in the future
fully formed and fully delivered
just as you had intended
you the creator
you the believer
in the power of your dreams.

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

 

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Week 28: Hope

Week 28: Hope

  Hope Hope is a bulb under frozen snow buried, dormant far from the sun it believes unequivocally that its shoots will push through the darkness It gets that the soil though cold and wet will create the urge to reach towards the unseen light […]

Week 27: Mystery

Week 27: Mystery

Mystery The great unknown is all around us yet we walk around all knowing totally right totally entrenched in our meaning making We are locked in our positions our knowingness our absolute black and white beliefs that shape our days and carve us into the […]

Week 26: Rest

Week 26: Rest

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Long day already”. Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets)

Rest

This place of letting go
and entering the space
of being
the great – I am
the slipping into slumber
the trust that you will
return even though
you have handed over
full control
to this unseen force
unseen
but restorative
you yourself
hidden from the world
deep undercovers
far from consciousness
tapped into the source
recharging
wandering around
somewhere in the
universe in a field
of bizarre dreams
that make no sense
but may portend
a breakthrough
a creative burst
a warning
of beautiful things
to come

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

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Week 25: Loss

Week 25: Loss

Loss Loss rages unexpected as a bushfire it burns the water dry cardboard drops stick inside my blistered throat The world once upright overturned I walk legless and catatonic Even months from now after I have strained singlehandedly to push these monolithic buildings back into […]

Week 24: Grace

Week 24: Grace

Grace Grace knows Grace knows how to stack your vertebrae one above the other Align the spine when the haters cry to have you stooped and bent when all expect you to spit back the venom that was aimed directly at your good intentions Grace […]

Difficult Conversations – How to discuss grief and loss with children

Difficult Conversations – How to discuss grief and loss with children

It was a rainy Sunday afternoon several years ago and I had nothing to do that appealed to me.  My daughter was cramming for Year 12 exams and my husband had a deadline for work. The dogs would have loved a walk, but the sheets of rain coming down drove me inwards.  I had recently completed an online writing course and sat down thinking I would just write for a bit.  What started that day was the tiniest seed of book that I will soon present to the world.

About the book:

‘Ollie and the Starchaser’ is an adventure story set in Broome, Australia.  It subtly explores grief and loss for children aged 8 to 12.

It’s hard for adults to talk about grief and loss, which makes it even harder for us to talk to children about how they may be feeling when losing a loved one or even a pet. Young children may not have the language to express their feelings, but they still feel them.  I thought that creating an adventure story with subtle undertones of the theme of grief or loss could provide a scaffolding for such a conversation. Not wanting to be preachy or moralistic, I also wanted the book to appeal to children who may not have encountered loss but who enjoy an adventure story that has dogs, space travel and family as its main themes.

I have deliberately steered clear of religious connotations and have created a book that can be used to discuss loss whether you believe you are energy that has to return somewhere, or you believe in an afterlife.

So what’s it really about – here’s the blurb:

Nanoo is Ollie’s beloved grandmother and an astronomer who discovered the planet Terenza, in a gentle galaxy east of the moon. When Nanoo disappears on a trip to the Outback, Ollie cannot accept that she is gone. He is worried, sad and refuses to believe that Nanoo would leave him. He feels helpless sitting around on his farm with only his faithful Labrador, Chloe, to listen to his feelings. However, his luck changes when the Starchaser and his Star-fordshire Terrier, Buddy, plot a way to get to Earth from Terenza. The boys and their dogs begin an epic adventure to find Nanoo. Their journey takes them across the Outback, up the Steps to the Moon and into space. But will Ollie find her, and will he bring her home?

What’s next:

The creation of the book has had many twists and turns.  There were things I did not know that day I sat down escaping the rain – that my daughter would complete Year 12, finish a degree in Psychology and then become the artist who has illustrated the book. Neither that a holiday in Broome would become central to the story development nor that I would learn a huge amount from getting a book into the world. And now I am planning workshops to help parents have difficult conversations with their children.  All that from a rainy Sunday.

If you are interested in building resilience in either yourself or your children look out for my posts in the coming months and of course, I’ll let you know when the book is ready. I am so excited to bring this project to the world.

#grief #loss #family #ollieandthestarchaser #life #resilience #strongchildren #maketheworldabetterplace

Illustration credit: Jess Southey

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Week 23: Petrichor

Week 23: Petrichor

Petrichor The wilderness was once visible a hooded darkness of caves and woods monsters concealed in logs or behind shadowy rocks A lonely place The wilderness is now invisible a place of tall buildings and people milling a proximity of connection but utter disconnection a […]

Week 22: Empathy

Week 22: Empathy

Empathy Don’t wrap me in your pity or stifle me with sympathy the lion’s roar may well seem silenced but it’s alive within my core Don’t smother me with platitudes or shroud me in condescension sympathy will only invoke my rage my wounds will scream […]

Week 21: Abundance

Week 21: Abundance

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Simple pleasures”. Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets)

Abundance

It’s easy not to trust
to doubt that
all that you need
will fall into place
It’s effortless
to fall into the fear
and miss the signs
of the quiet blossoming

We are led to
believe that support
and love come in
large packages
with bells and whistles
and cards signed
by the entire cast
of your life
and perhaps
a celebrity hero
thrown in for
final
confirmation

We fail to see
that abundance
comes in small seeds
easy to dismiss
as flecks of nothingness
these tiny specks
that hold the light
need to be planted
in dense, dark soil
their code hidden from
the naked eye
but watered, nurtured
and nourished
they flourish into
massive oaks
of joy

The beginning
may not foretell
the grandeur of the end
that wisp of an idea
that glimpse of shy
inner knowing
that defies logic
can only
burst forth
and grow
when held
in the candlelit room
of your aloneness

Be brave
go into yourself
embrace the silence
and in the gentle
rustling of your
own creation
you will find
the magic
of your intentions
manifesting the
abundance
your heart desires

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

 

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Week 20: Sanctuary

Week 20: Sanctuary

Sanctuary We are all fleeing from something even those who appear to be standing still Even those who are planted in the same spot as the moment of their birth these rare beasts who seem to be happily grazing on their less than green grass […]

Week 19: Homecoming

Week 19: Homecoming

Homecoming isn’t the same anymore the furniture has been rearranged and grief sits in your empty chair The spoon has leached its metal into my tea and the milk seems curdled even though it’s in the halcyon days before its use by date There is […]

Week 18: Reflection

Week 18: Reflection

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Sky lines”. Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets)

Reflection

I hand-picked a
constellation
of stars and
hid them
in my heart
they shine
reflected on
the lake inside
my mind

This is the place
where you
will always live
even as the wild
geese cry in flight
even as the moon
rises on lonely
landscapes
and planes
take off
leaving a vapour
trail of all
we wished
to say
but didn’t

And when
morning cracks
another sky
and all the stars
appear to fade
you’re still there
Venus rising
hanging near the moon

reflected

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

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Week 17: Soul

Week 17: Soul

Soul Invisible and some say non-existent I know you are out there somewhere in a place where time has no clocks hovering over me wispy, wise benevolent When the opinionated ego with its petulant wounds withdraws its magic and sulks inside its bruises you nudge […]

Week 16: Promise

Week 16: Promise

Promise The shadows were long in the setting sun and you had kept all your promises to the ones you loved You had even honoured the ones to whom you only admired or less And yet You had broken many made to yourself Not the […]

Week 15: Longing

Week 15: Longing

Photo credit: Denise Smith “Made for Love”. Follow Denise on Instagram @deniselifeart or on FB Denise Smith (Photo Album – My Streets)

Longing

You have wrapped
your desires
in an invisible shroud
of your longing
under layers
of regret
hidden tightly with
all your losses
shame and pain

Your hooded
vulnerability now
buffered from the wind
forges ahead
missing someone
you have never met

Winter is
your safest season
skate over
the lake of frozen tears
stay on the edges
of your longing
near the guarded trees
and the reliable rocks
keep your eyes ahead
ignore the signs
that scream you are
beloved

the thaw will come
the cycle will complete
nothing is lost
when you let it go

© Tanya Southey
#52words52weeks

 

 

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Week 14: Thrive

Week 14: Thrive

Thrive You are there though layers of adulthood may have concealed you But it does not take an archaeologist to unearth you chip below the psyche’s dust and there you are shy, sensitive child who could not watch a Western movie the fighting between the […]

Week 13: Miracle

Week 13: Miracle

Miracle When on grazed knees you sink begging for a miracle raise your eyes to the left and see the people in your life the random meetings in what were billions of statistical opportunities yet you stumbled on this one that holds your heart even […]