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Peculiar Treasures: What Has Been, What Still Is, What Continues On

By Kellie Purcill

Maps and Music – if you’re after a new female artist to listen to, how about Kassia, a hymnographer, poet and composer from the Byzantine period? Spotify has a playlist of female composers stretching 1200 years, including wondrous names like Hidegard, Higdon, Mochizuki and Auerbach and their music to amaze.  If you want to go back in time visually, the New York Public Library has just released 20 THOUSAND maps online, free to download and use. Maybe you can see your house from 1883!

Living and Loving – a mother’s thank you letter to her son for continuing to be living, is wrenching, loving and beautiful.  The roaring love that Mormon Mama Dragon have for their LGBTQ+ children is the subject of a photographic and essay project, and also this interview of hope.

Epidemic, Exodus and Eulogy – during World War Two, two doctors in Poland created a fake typhus epidemic, saving an estimated 8000 people from death or labour camps in 3 years of their “private war” against the German occupiers.  From historic Poland, next we go to Honolulu, Mexico City, San Diego and Vancouver Canada – all of which were the places a Mum/Mom and her three children were all called to serve missions in 2013, and all recently returning home again. The much beloved and private Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird, also returned home this week – her work and loss has affected many around the world, with some incredible tributes given and created.

Quit Liking, Keep Needing – what does hitting “like” on Facebook mean to you?  When this author quit liking things on Facebook, life changed in expected – and surprising – ways.  Speaking of liking – how old is your longest friendship? There is much to be said of weathering life (and death and arguments) and friendships through the decades, and why needing your girlfriends is a good thing.

First Draft Poetry this week is by Melonie.

Mama Dragon


A flash of silver,
iridescent scales,
plated thick as armor
under her mother skin.

She fiercely rolls her eyes
against her enemies –
anointed flint
as old as Eden.
She is not a myth.
She does not sleep.
She is impenetrable.

From her depths,
words burn as holy fire,
“a cry, a scream, a roar?”
searing a sacred circle
around her treasure,
reducing to ashes
any arguments.

smoke rises to
form transparent wings,
a gift from an ancient God.
She climbs to Him
as a resplendent arrow
the weight of opinion,
of voices,
of prejudice,
in a chaotic torrent
behind her

*italicized is a line from
The Making of Dragons
by Jane Yolen

Do you have any favourite female musical composers or artists from the last 1200 years? How old is your longest friendship?  Has the death of an author impacted your life? Got any First Draft Poetry to share inspired by this week’s treasures?

About Kellie Purcill

lives way on the other side of the planet in her native Australia and gives thanks for the internet regularly. She loves books, her boys, panna cotta, collecting words, being a redhead and not putting things in order of importance when listing items. She credits writing as a major contributing factor to surviving her life with sanity mostly intact, though her (in)sanity level is subject to change without warning.

2 thoughts on “Peculiar Treasures: What Has Been, What Still Is, What Continues On”

  1. Loved the girlfriend article!!! Sent a link to my L O N G time BFF….Kimberlee in California.

    This Georgia peach met my first Californian when we were randomly assigned as 2 of 6 roomies in Heritage Halls – Shipp Hall, the one closest to Carsons Food Market – back in 1972!

    She was a brilliant Honors' student with a passion for cooking, embroidery, art, and serving others. She shared so much knowledge and opened my little world right up.

    I've saved every letter she's ever written and our letters and now emails span the decades…with a friendship that is eternal. She could write my obituary in one fell swoop and I'd let her! She's saved my husband many dollars of therapy bills. 🙂

    Every woman needs someone (lots of someones) who knew her when!


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