~ The Art Of Change ~

Art and Creativity as Mediums for Empowerment , Connection and Change…

Why doesn’t she just leave? Why did you stay?

Posted by carolom on September 14, 2014


We hear it said often, especially when there is a high profile domestic violence case in the media.

The air waves fill with outrage, calls to action, compassion and inevitably someone somewhere will say: “Why didn’t she leave?” and “Why did she go back?“.

Those of us who work in  women’s domestic  /family violence shelters hear her stories and witness her tears and sometimes are asked to be her voice at a time when just taking the next breath takes a huge amount of energy.

This poem is for those sisters who are living in domestic violence or have come through it and have had those words tossed their way :

Why didn’t you just leave?

I’m sorry I can’t hear you…

what did you say?

My ears are blocked and heavy

From  vicious words that have been  hurled my way

There used to be sweet words and promises

and whispered romance in my ears

I Now I find myself thinking

“Can ears become blocked with all those tears?”

Couldn’t you see what he was doing to you?

I once had a clear and beautiful Vision of the life

we  would live together

He held my hand when our babies were born

He was my lighthouse in stormy weather

I know that sounds corny but its true.

Each time he erupted into rage

it always finished with the deepest regret

I understood he didnt mean it because

He said “you haven’t seen the best of me yet”

And I believed him

But surely after those first few times you should have known he wouldn’t change?

By the time what I know now as The Cycle

had taken a hold and become our way of life

I couldn’t see the front door or tomorrow

I was so immersed in trying to be the right wife

My kids loved their daddy deeply

they still do even though he is  jailed

And what struck me when my sisters said “leave him”

Were three words- 

You have failed 

You have failed 

You have failed

Do you realise he could have killed you?

He once told me if I left him

there would be no more reason for him to live

He said he would kill us all and then himself

if I had no more love that I could give

It would be my fault. So I made sure to try harder.

He told me tales called “Theres Nowhere to Hide”

and no other man will ever have me

He put a pretty convincing case forward

he yelled it

as he turned around

and grabbed me.

I made sure to keep still and just nod. 

That sometimes worked.

But theres shelters and places where you could have got  help…

I had two friends come to my house one day

he wasn’t home

and I was glad

They came because they were scared for me

but I couldn’t hear them

and my vision that day was particularly bad

It was like they were in another place

even though they were sitting

right there in my kitchen

We all jumped and shuffled nervously

when he came home

You girls sitting around bitchen?

He said with his dangerous smile.  

And they left.

And he took my mobile phone off me.

I know it must have been hard but weren’t you worried for your kids?

My little boy was wetting the bed and

the school had called me in with

concerns for my girls…yet again…

but I just knew if I was patient

my husband would overcome his anger

and his pain

You see I knew that he had a lot of pain from his childhood.

Well good on you for finally leaving him. Were you happy with the sentence he got?

There is no place for the word happy in

any of what has gone down

My kids ask after him all the time

and I remember how he made me laugh

when he’d play the clown

Anyway, I’m finding it hard to hear you again

my heart is starting to race

Theres a thing I call The Fog in My Head

it clouds over my personal space

and it will quickly cover you

and the floor

and the door

Sorry, don’t think I’m being rude

Its just I can’t really talk about it any more right now….




Posted in Domestic Violence, SiStars, Stories, Transformation, Trauma, Why did you stay, Women | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Creativity! It is Oxygen for the Soul.

Posted by carolom on July 24, 2014

Without a Creative outlet our thoughts can go round and round, our stories grow old and dusty and the landscape  we live in becomes much smaller…Creativity is Oxygen

Posted in Creativity, Fun, MedARTation, Spirituality | Leave a Comment »

Sometimes it is the simplest things..

Posted by carolom on July 20, 2014

That make the biggest diffeence!

I was walking along “Dog Beach”, the beach where the most sociable, happy Dogs get to run free. I saw these 4 dogs run towards one another from different directions, wagging their tails like they were meeting old friends. Perhaps they were! Maybe they were locals wbho meet each other every day at 11 am.

Or perhaps they were strangers so filed with joi de vivre that they simply had to gallop along together for awhile..

Dog Beach

Posted in Beloved Pets, Dogs, Friendships, Fun, Joy | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Hissing Cat Dislodges Furr-Ball. Loses Customary Cool….

Posted by carolom on October 22, 2012

My girl cat Purrly, little Black panther with cat’titude has never accepted Junipurr the fluffy guy and has taught him to chase her by running whenever he comes within 20 feet of her.

This started when Junipurr was 6 weeks old – obviously a major threat given his size and fierce rrrroar…



















The other day Junipurr turned up in the kitchen unexpectedly and Purrly was so outraged she hissssssed fiercely at him. So fiercely she dislodged a furr ball!

Have you ever seen a cat hissing and growling whilst also barrfing up a furr ball?

Junipurr was fascinated and kept looking from me to Purrly with a kind of ” what thu” expression on his furry face.




















The moral of this story? Take a lesson from your “enemy” and chill out Purrly~Gurrly….

Posted in Cat Story, Cats, Humour, Junipurr, Purrly the Cat | Leave a Comment »

An Ode to Creativity…

Posted by carolom on May 11, 2012

*Dedicated to Dr Jean Houston in Celebration of her 75th Birthday. Teacher my Teacher we danced in your Mystery School Class Room and New Possibilities were born.
Thankyou from the bottom of my ‘art.

An Ode to Creativity:

I have been tantalised by Creativity

Titillated, tickled, tricked and traumatised

by Creativity

Creative impulses have exalted, uplifted, transported, supported, delighted

and  then simply disappeared!

I have been courted and caught

and taught by that Invisible Force

In fact Creativity often visited me in the night whilst I was sleeping

It breathed magic into the mundane and tragic into some old pain

as I tossed and turned in my bed

of nails

And then it left, just before I awoke

like a one night stand who crept away before I could discover his last name,

leaving my room sparkling with the cryptic presence of that which was both

delightful and desperate at the same time


On Full Moon time, Creativity was a brilliant orb, sending tides of possibility

crashing upon each and every neuron

or not

After all Creativity is a close cousin of

exasperation exaggeration and expectation

and not a predictable relative at that.

Alas pre-Moonstrual tension has been known to send the ungrounded Soul

into a spin of restlessness culminating by a kind of lunacy

ah what might that old Luna see?


On a warm summers day Creativity is a fuzzy peach on a purple beach

and nothing makes sense to senses on fire that are crackling with words like

incense and desire

timeless love that will expire

Room for rent in a Mind for hire


There was a time, during the on again off again stage of our relationship

when neither of us were truly committed

and  Creativity and I parted ways

I had a fling with Apathy, that promiscuous partner who seems to demand far more

than what is given

It was a dark day of the summer of discontent and Apathy kept me very  busy crying and sighing

oh how I yearned for Creativity’s tenuous embrace

But then I awoke one day – Yes THE Awakening

and I found that Creativity had glued itself to my lungs and & every breath was like a brand new  Thought.

I breathed a sigh of relief…

From those tumultuous days of high tides and low rides in an ocean of Creative  uncertainty

We have found a new place

We set up home together

We are – dare I say and tempt fate – Happily Married


Tempted by no other  although Apathy has tried to come knocking once or twice.

Snug and perhaps some what smug in one another arms we have long passed the

I love you- I hate you- I can’t live with you- Can’t live without you phase that had us fazed

The illusions have passed and we have birthed


ruminations and


brought to life so effortlessly

no longer relying on cheap red wine, that elixir of creative angst and discontent

a familiar friend when drama and chaos seemed like the necessities of a Creative mind and altered state

As a committed couple who have worked out our differences, we truly understand one another now.

Resilient companions we know each has our own season and cycle, brilliant fruits, breath taking foliage, prickled thorns and tenacious weeds.

A garden we are co-creating together no longer baring pitch forks ready to spar!


Contrary to The Secret that whispered & shouted to millions “I AM the Creator” in my life

I have been joyously, painfully, recklessly, relentlessly shown -at long last-

that life here on Earth is  a co-creative journey!

Sigh. I don’t have to do it all alone and make it all happen anymore.

I never did of course but thats what The Secret said.

And no longer do I  lobby invisible Angels

or thank them for not answering my prayers during desperate heart and troubled mind times

because I know that Creativity is the life force and it is in every cell of existence

as we inhale and exhale one another through the eons of Time

Indeed we are Creations born of Creator

here to Create

so I no longer wrestle with trying to create that which is not yet ready to be born

or trying to Create with all what I think I know

I simply immerse myself, bask, swim & luxuriate in the

Creative Flow.


Yes I awoke one day and Creativity had glued itself to my lungs

slid down through the tendons of my arms,

moved into the muscles of my imagination and

proposed to me.

Of course I said “I Do”….

Posted in Creativity, Jean Houston, Ode to Creativity | Leave a Comment »

Moving beyond Building Bridges…

Posted by carolom on May 8, 2012

During  almost three decades of working in human services, I have seen the term  building bridges gain  popularity.

Its a great metaphor. Bridges exist in all countries and transcend cultural barriers. The image of a bridge doesn’t require explanation.  The image speaks the intent. We are crossing over, transcending the distance between us, l am leaving my side of the banks and arriving at yours.

It isn’t  surprising that both the visual image and the language of bridge building has  become an effective analogy, a visual metaphor   for getting along with our neighbor, resolving issues and  walking into new territory together.

A few years ago I came across a symbol that captivated my attention and spoke to my ‘inner bridge-builder’ with a clear message that bridge building, no matter how well intended, has its origins in the dual paradigms  of separation and differences.

The symbol that stetched my perception is called a Mandorla. The word is Italian for Almond and that is the shape that is created when two circles over lap.

When we are developing a process that involves building a bridge, we are starting from a point of separation, figuring  out how to transcend the distance between myself and the “other” by seeking to unite two distinctly separated sides.

With the Mandorla we can see that  two whole and complete circles retain their unique identity and between them create a new, unified  space where those two circles meet. The place  where we are already connected.

This is the place where  we all share commonalities and experience our pre-existing connection.

We breathe the same air, we have the same needs for food, shelter and warmth. As human beings we share a mutal need for love, belonging, purpose and a need for meaningful stories and sense of place in the world.

These are core human needs that form the foundation of families and communities across the planet, regardless of the different cultural, economic or political circumstances of where we live in the  place we call home.

If I am running a workshop with young offenders in juvenile detention or visiting a rural Aboriginal Community for a womens camp, the Mandorla affirms our connection. I never enter into their community or communal space  wondering how I can build a bridge between us instead I show them my Mandorla poster (see below) and ask if we can spend a bit of time looking at where we are connected.

Once we get past the obvious we are all humans, a whole range of possible  shared experiences and commonalities come forth. You are left handed like I am  or  I like camping.. do you?’,  I share your same views on social justice…how can we make a difference together?

As we explore our commonalities we also look at how the space outside of the Mandorla, that large expanse of the two separate components of the intersected circles. This is the place where we learn from one another, a place where our differences are recognised within the experience and recognition  of our connection and not as somewhere we need to get to by crossing the bridge of our differences.

I created a poster for the ART of Change program  to  show my interpretation of the Mandorla.  I always show the poster with the wildly enthusiastic expectation  that when  people learn about the possibilities of Mandorla for the first time they too will have an ah-ha! moment and realise that the time we spend thinking about, talking about & building bridges  is time taken away from sitting  in the Mandorla of our connection & sharing in the joy of learning & growing together through one another’s Stories.

I came up with another way of expressing the Mandorla and it goes like this:

We are all the same within, regardless of which of the skins we are in!

Posted in Building Bridges, Change, Community, Creativity, Human Rights, Jean Houston, Journeys, Mandorla, Peace, Social Artistry, Stories, Transformation, Unity, Wisdom | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

He had a Vision & he knew he alone would have to make his leap into the Unknown…

Posted by carolom on May 6, 2012

This is a Story about a little cat with a Big Dream.

He knew there was more to life than the single beam he was walking on. So he walked forth with determination!

Alas at the end of his walk he came to a great canyon and he knew he had to make a decision…

If he did not cross over, he would forever remain on the shed most travelled…

So, like all catalysts of change who had travelled before him he leapt forth, keeping his eyes on the destination, ignoring the cold cruel concrete canyon below him.

Focus. Vision. Courage. These were the things that propelled him forth.

He landed safely, a little shaken but nevertheless happy that he had crossed the seemingly impossible divide.

Alas, once he reached his destination all was not what it seemed.

It was in fact a dead end. A flat expanse surrounded not by trees and balls of wool and fields of possibilities…

There was instead a thick concrete wall that prevented him galloping over the next shed shaped hill!

He was disappointed.       He miaow miaow miaowed in sorrow.

And his miaows attracted the attention of a young woman who was doing some traveling of her own.

Of course she offered to help him.

And at first he reached out to accept the help that she offered him.

But then, like Simba who has remembered something the Lion King  had whispered to him….

…he stepped back from her outstretched hands, determined to make this unexpected leap on his own, just like the first one.

It had given him assurance to know a stranger has offered to help him but he knew he had to refuse her good hearted offer.

“Please., let me help you ” she implored, her own hands now stretched open wide like a human trampoline, ready to break his fall.

“Please leave” he said “Go now…I must do this alone”.

So she left, a bit relieved truth be known as it had started raining and she had answered his miaw miaow miaow without her slippers on.

When she left he took a big breath and leapt forth…

He landed safely.

This had been a big adventure.

A day of taking risks, of contemplation and following Dreams.

A day rich in the kindness of strangers, the audacity to leap beyond the known.

And perhaps most importantly it had been a day when he realised that one cat /persons rubbish bin is anothers Victory.

Such is the nature of the ambiguity of Success….

That night he fell into a deep deep sleep, exhausted after the roller coaster of exhilarating possibilities and devastating disappointments.

And in his Dreams, he was back up on that beam, King of His Destiny. A little furry guy with the world at his paws.

His name is Junipurr. He asked me to share his story so that others may also  have the courage to follow  their dreams, to accept the kindness of strangers

….and to know when you must do what needs to be done without a safety net to catch you…

Posted in Believe in Your Dreams, Cat Story, Junipurr | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

A letter to the Goddess…

Posted by carolom on March 20, 2012

Dear Goddess within all things…
Just a quick note to apologise for the exclusion you continue to experience here on earth by the absence of She and Her in a world where God is He and Him and she and her have little letters and the Goddess is barely mentioned.

I understand the  historical references to the Divine as Male, Man , Father and Son and that they originated in a different time to the exclusion Woman, Mother and Daughter and that it continues across Religions today.

However please be assured there are many of us who are aware of the importance of recognising the Feminine Divine and are actively naming the of gender unbalanced worship in order to reintroduce the presence of the Goddess.

We recognise Women play predominantly invisible or subservient and secondary roles in the Stories  used as the curriculum for Spiritual Development class across many religious groups and we look forward to all that is in store as the Mother-Daughter, Mother Nature consciousness is reclaimed, restored and reignited.


Your SiStars and Daughters, Mothers and Grandmothers and Aunties everywhere

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

She is no longer in my Bed ~ She lives on in my Heart and Head…

Posted by carolom on February 26, 2011

** Poetry inspired by Imagery**

For a few minutes each day, in the summer time, the sunlight reflects from the bonnet of the car and casts a huge imprint of the lace curtains on to the bedroom wall.

The frangipani tree is sometimes silhouetted as well and the other day I walked past the window and my own shadow loomed before me.

It was a stark contrast to the multi coloured pillow case and purple lamp underneath it.

Seeing the image made me ponder about rooms and   invisible memories  and how blessed I am to be in a peaceful relationship with a peaceful man.

From my younger years I remembered how we  can be so impacted after a relationship ends, that it seems that even though he /she has gone, their presence is tangible and the memories of the lost~beloved casts shadows over our tomorrow.

The  imprint of the Love we have lost is represented  by a shadow that is only visible to the broken heart. In the photos  the rhythmic folds of the lace curtains have been transformed into bar-like lines~ symbolic of how imprisoned we can become  to the Love whose time has come and gone and the bitter sweet impact of having loved so passionately for it to then become a story of our past, never in the present again….

So I decided to write a poem. It is a fictional poem but a fact of life for so many who fall asleep nursing a broken heart and wake up to the lonliness of Love lost.

My poem honours the men who weep in silence because they were taught long ago not to show their feelings so they fall asleep at night with it all bottled up inside…

She is no longer in my Bed

For four passion filled years she lived by my side

holding  me tight

through many a night

Together we laughed and played and fought

She used to call me her Improbable Mr Right

Then one day with out warning

(I never saw the storm clouds forming)

She said I’ve met someone who is more Mr Right

than you

Within 24 hours she was gone from our

now broken home

which was  just a hollow  empty shell


and of course I was broken & homeless  too….


For long dark hours

in the grave where love sours

I yearned for her presence to

come back to me

Even when I began to date once again

despite my heartache & pain

Her presence hovered in and around

within every living cell of  me.


I fall asleep with

the emptiness of her

in my arms

Fire  & passion now gone from my life

along with her charms


I  miss her  outrageous opinions and views

She was my best friend and my Muse

but now another man calls her

My Beloved Wife



Posted in Love, Poetry | 1 Comment »

Sun Dried Tomatoes ~ It’s as Simple as That!

Posted by carolom on February 6, 2011

Our Summer garden has erupted with tomatoes, beans, potatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, lettuce and lots of herbs and our first crop of grapes and figs.
Late rains, lots of sun and Sal’s Gardeners know-how has resulted in a rich blessing of organically grown vegetables.

I didn’t know that it is very easy to make sun dried tomatoes. We had our first small plate of them this weekend and have made some more.
I will update the photos as the tomatoes begin to dry.

All that is needed is:

Tomatoes, a knife, a tray and some salt


Wash the tomatoes…


Cut them in half longways, leaving them joined at the bottom


Sprinkle the tomatoes  evenly with salt.

Do they make your mouth water? It’s hard not to eat them when you are salting them…


Find a sunny spot in the garden and the sun will evaporate their moisture over  the next few days.


On the third day the two trays have shrunk to one and we can see the tomatoes begin to look like the Sun Dried Tomatoes they are becoming…


Posted in Gardening, Organic gardening, Organic tomatoes, Sun dried tomatoes | 6 Comments »


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