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Demeter and Persephone...

Beautiful Autumn with his clothes
Autumn with his almost lost beauty
The winter is coming to steal the journey

I keep my papers in the tree.
The tree will be naked when the wind comes.
Lovely autumn, never become winter weather.

Seyyid-Ali from Algeria

Loss is something that is inevitable and that is part of human life, part of existence. Every human being that is born is born to die and that is where grief comes in. Grief, having grief is something almost everyone has gone through; you must have lost a member of your family, must have lost someone that you feel very sad about. Grieving for someone, when someone dies, you grieve for a certain period of time, and then life goes on, and that is the season. When it is the winter, everyone feels the cold and it is difficult to go on. And when it is the summer, people feel the heat, the sun and everything, so that is how grief comes. Grief comes and goes. It comes and you go through it and then it goes. The important thing is when you grieve, you try to speak about it, try to share it, try to find a way to take it out of your mind, try to be distracted by things. When you are distracted, you will be able to manage the grief – doing something that is very hard to control. But it is like a season. It comes and it goes.

Ibrahim, from Sierra Leone

My name is Viktoriya, I am from Ukraine, and, as you know, there is the war in my country. Russian Federation occupied part of my Motherland, and almost every day it has continued to bomb our cities, towns and villages. Unfortunately, we, all Ukrainian people, know very well right now what it means grief. Today, for instance, in Kyiv, where my husband and son lives, at the morning four people were killed by Russian rockets and sixteen were damaged, one of them is a pregnant woman.

We always pray to stop it. But for the last two years we know very well what it means – community! When you sit in a shelter without light and water in cold with people who you haven’t known before. And now people, who you haven’t met before, just share their meal and house with you, try to support you and your children in many others ways.You begin to understand that community is only one necessary thing for human being, not only because some material staff but moral supporting. Now you realise that the worst punishment it is not loss of something but not to be with people.

Viktoriya, from Ukraine

(Spring Break. Evening. DEMETER And PERSEPHONE’s Kitchen, including a stove and a table. At the stove, DEMETER cooks with a pan. PERSEPHONE enters wearing a coat and carrying bags.)

PERSEPHONE

Mum. Hey.

DEMETER

Grab the napkins and set the plates. Dinner’s ready soon.

(PERSEPHONE drops her bags and removes her coat.)

PERSEPHONE

Alright. How was your day?

DEMETER

Fine. Church was great. Jane held a bake sale afterwards.

PERSEPHONE

Oh. That’s nice. Hades says hello. I was wondering if maybe while I’m home he / could visit.

DEMETER

Lots of questions about you.

PERSEPHONE

What’s for dinner?

DEMETER

I prayed for you today. Someone has to.

(PERSEPHONE puts a plate on the table with exasperation.)

PERSEPHONE

Can we not?

DEMETER

I don’t see what’s come over you lately. You used to love going when you were little. Remember that beautiful little white dress you used to wear. You know I think it’s still in the attic somewhere. Can’t believe I haven’t cleaned it out in, goodness, at least 2 years.

Maybe while you’re home – how long are you staying this time?

PERSEPHONE

I don’t know. I used to go. But I can’t be bribed by lollipops anymore, Mum.

DEMETER

I always go all by myself. I wish you’d come with me once.

PERSEPHONE

Mum. No.

DEMETER

No. I don’t know who you are anymore.

PEREPHONE

Mum. I’m still me. Just no little white dress.

Anna and Erica

The creek

From parent to child from dad to me from mom to me from dad to leo from mom to leo from laurie to charlie from michael to charlie from child to parent from me to dad from me to mom from leo to dad from leo to mom from charlie to laurie from charlie to michael

Growing apart

Rain dropping from the clouds

Mom too heavy for son to hold

My eyes too full for you to hold

Leaves

We share a stem

You share roots

Petals

Had to separate to bloom

She says I’m still a pretty flower

Growing together

Your shadows

2 men

Dirt and rain

Mud

Different trickles

Together 1 creek

Anna

I have been the mother of a daughter.

I have been the daughter of a mother.

One was a series of storms, water streaming, cut through with a bright sunlight that dazzled.

The other was standing on the shore, watching a wave retreat and return.

The joy of the ocean.

When she was seven, I took my daughter with me to the women’s changing room in our local pool. I remembered a feminist fable about the pleasure of witnessing women’s naked bodies in all their sizes and shapes. I thought I would make her feel welcomed to the community of women.

“Look at all the different bodies. It’s okay to be naked. You don’t have to be any one way, like a model.”

“You would never be a model, Mum, unless it was for women who look like they’re pregnant.”

“Mavra Phidia,” my mother used to say of our black tongues striking like snakes.

I was impressed with my daughter’s gift for cruelty. She made me laugh, so hard. I knew whatever she said to me – then and in the future – I could not love her less.

I honour the wounds between us – the blood marks she has made on her path to the open sea.

Catherine

Evan and Arthur

Errice-Paraschevi
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