All posts by Joan

A weaver of words

I am a weaver of words and threads
This is my legacy
Weaving myself into Being
And through this weaving
Learning to embrace with joy
The eternal goodness kindness
And giving-ness
That I AM


The writing of: And May It Be Well With Your Soul


“There is a Power for Good in the Universe, greater than you are and you can use It”    

What do you do as a mother when your everyday harmonious and settled family life is cruelly shattered by the sudden and devastating news that something dreadful has happened to your child?

Joan’s daughter Keso left England as a healthy and happy young woman, ready to embark on a new and exciting life in Hong Kong.

Within weeks she was struck down with a serious mystery illness that threatened to take her life.  With thousands of miles between them, there was only one option for Joan -go to China!

We accompany the author as she weaves us an emotional tapestry of light and dark colours, recalling one of the most challenging journeys of her life. She shows us how she used a harrowing situation full of fear and foreboding to develop a deep faith and trust in a Power greater than herself.

Christine King, Principal & Founder MSEC

And May It Be Well With Your Soul – available in paperback on Amazon (illustrated)
and in Kindle



Contribution to: The Gifts of Parting
Prose & Poetry on the Seam of Death & Dying
Compiled by Penny Barham

When Penny invited me to contribute to this book I had already met death while caring for my father in his last days, and had unexpectedly been renewed by the painful encounter.

…caring for him finally there were no dark hidden places
As bit by bit the Light illumined everything
And being fully who he was I embraced him and loved him fully…

In The Gifts of Parting I share the last entry in the diary I wrote everyday from my father’s diagnosis to his death; my experience of his departure from this world.

No Flotsam & Jetsam

Today I am plagued by nothing
No flotsam and jetsam to be disposed of
No old stories no entanglementsIMG_0795

This feeling is too new to write about
So unfamiliar that I must search for new words
With which to describe it

There is a calm peaceful emptiness
That I have no desire to disturb
The conditioning has not pulled me back
Into filling the space with mindless activity

This feels good this present moment awareness
And so I have spent the day
Flowing gently and effortlessly to the next thing
As both the doer and the witness…

(written Saturday January 10th 2015)

A weaver of words & threads

I am a weaver of words and threads100_2178
This is my legacy
Weaving myself into Being

And through this weaving
Learning to embrace with joy
The eternal goodness kindness
And giving-ness
That I AM

(Written Saturday January 3rd 2015)


Our youngest has flown the nest
Taken herself off to far flung exotic places

My heart both aches and is filled with joyIMG_1899
To see her take flight and soar

And as she climbs her dazzling heights
I am reminded that I do not have to lose sight of her

I too am free to soar
Her soul may ‘live in a place of tomorrow
That I cannot visit not even in my dreams’

But I have my own journeys to make
And my own dreams to fulfil…

(written Saturday January 3rd 2015)

The University of Family

I applied to join the ‘university of family’
I filled out my application form
Some tricky questions
But I answered them all
Sent it off and waited…

Some nine months later I heard from them
My application had been accepted
They were pleased to offer me a place
Would I kindly show up on February 17th to enrol

I was pleased about the place
Couldn’t wait to get started
The journey was an easy onephoto
And there I was Feb 17th
Waiting in the family to begin my course

In the early years I learnt survival skills
The physical and emotional stuff
It was a proud day when this little ego
Was able to stand on its own two feet

I learnt the art of mask making
And the trickier business
Of selecting which one to wear when

Family history was an on-going core module
Which everyone had to take

I must have been successful
Because before I knew it
There I was a proud part of the graduation ceremony
And it was on to the next stage

I had proved that I could look after myself
Now it was time to learn to care for others   photo
And to make a contribution

I’m not sure why I chose this option
It wasn’t compulsory
Perhaps it fitted well with my family history

It proved however to be more complex
Than I thought it would be
But I’m made of sturdy stuff
And I’m not a quitter
So I knuckled down and kept at it

Husbands children parents siblings
I got to develop my skills knowledge
And experience with them all

I didn’t turn up for the graduation ceremony this time
I’d worked hard and done enough to pass
But the conditioning was wearing off
I wasn’t proud of myself
Felt I could have done better
Didn’t want the diploma

I took a sabbatical to clear my mind
And consider what I wanted from this final stagejoan eytle Kendall
I chose my options more wisely

‘How to wake up’
‘Expanding your consciousness’
And something that caught my eye
That felt familiar

‘I AM that I AM’…

(written Saturday December 27th 2014)

Ancestral Tales

I have recently come to understand
That I am not living my own life
That there is somewhere
In this gene pool that I inhabit
An old dusty tome entitled
‘Ancestral Tales’
Whose pages hold the stories of things gone beforephoto

And every now and then
A breath of air rustles these ancient sheets
And a tale of ‘daring do’ or ‘loss and lack’
Or ‘happily ever after’ is released and settles on me
Like a garment chosen from my wardrobe
To match the mask I will wear this day

I never knew the power of such stories
Thought I held them firmly in their place
-The past –
Not capable of influencing my present

But I have woken up
Become aware of how I have been bewitched
By these potent family brews
Still being created from ancient recipes

I have resolved at least
To hold these tales lightly
And as I cannot stop them being resurrected by others
To create my own pages

On which I write tales such as this
So that others may be set free
To live their own lives…

(written Friday December 26th)

When the student is ready the teachers appear

My children have grown me
By both their coming and their going
And I am a better person as a consequence

This has of course
Not always been a comfortable experience
Labour is a painful and messy event
But heralding a most wonderful outcome

Physically emotionally mentally and spirituallyIMG_1329
My daughters have put me through it
Time and time again

And each time I have endured
And sought to understand
And become a better person for it

I used to believe that I was the teacher
And they the students
A consequence of conditioning in early parenthood
But that idea is thankfully long gone
And I am set free to learn

And with their help
I am growing into myself
Learning not to stop or settle
For anything less than full consciousness

These days they are more often than not
Kind and compassionate in their teaching
But I know that if I don’t wake up and pay attention
Labour could become a painful and messy affair again…

(written Tuesday December 23rd 2014)


I am not a killjoy or a party pooperphoto
I like a good time as much as the next person
Dining dancing discourse
Bring me a great deal of pleasure

But pleasure comes and goes
Is not sustainable
Appeals to the senses

Joy however is an altogether different experience
If you have walked through the valley of the shadow of death
And sustained no lasting injury
Then your travelling companion was joy

A presence a knowledge that you are never alone
And that however bad things might appear to be
That ‘this too will pass’

I am not immune from sadness
Anxiety and uncertainty are still familiar bedfellows
But take up less and less space in my life
Since I came to realise
That joy is a constant and loyal companion

Always there for me to turn to
And so much more life affirming than my conditioned craving
For pain negativity and unhappiness

When I find myself able to forgive                                                       photo
This is fuelled by joy
If I choose to press through a difficult situation
Rather than ignore it or pretend that it doesn’t exist
This is because joy holds out a helping hand to me

When I can look in the mirror
And open my heart to what I see there
Joy is responsible

Joy is the steady even pulse to which I always return
And from which I am lived…

(written Thursday December 18th 2014)

Ancestral Tales I

There is a sadness and ambivalence
That settles on me at this time of year
An ‘in utero’ gift from my mother100_2290

The umbilical a conveyor
Of both nourishment and neurosis
Ancestral stories of abandonment rejection mistrust
Finding their way into the bloodstream

This ‘knowledge’ an expectorant
Causing my system to expel these unwanted intruders

Reinvention is always an optioned so I am cutting the cord
Allowing these ancestral tales to bleed out
Laying down news stories
Of joy acceptance and love
To nourish body and soul…                                                         IMG_3240

Today has not been my finest hour
Bogged down in these old stories
I fell back into bad ways
– Sensory distractions –
A quick fix that never really worked

For a moment I lost my way
And sought to push the accompanying feelings away
To smother them in empty substances

And then Truth came to the rescueIMG_3495
Whispering gently reminding me
‘Breathe deeply
Hold things lightly
Its only a story
This too will pass’

And I am set free
To change my thinking and my life…

(written Saturday November 30th 2014)