Lemurian City of Ladies

A Lemurian City Built in Memory of Christine de Pizan

Archive for the ‘Dame Washalot’s Bath House’ Category

Different Scrubs for Different Tubs

with 5 comments


     as she looked down and watched

     as people came to the big tub

            for the scrub



     of dirt from the here and now

     of all identity in life

            from strife



     of preconceived notions

     of the dying process way

            identity new each day



     occur every day we live

     some visible rocks, some dust

            shape-shifters each of us


Wow, quite a difference from the Roman baths in Bath, England.  Those were for soldiers and aristocrats mostly.  Dame Washalot’s Bath House seems to cater to a full range of people and washes off more than just physical dirt and sweat.  From the sounds of it, the Dame scrubs deep to wash off self-doubt, inhibitions and preconceived notions.  What a delightful difference!



She flew out the window and returned for her satchel before changing back into herself.  Remembering her spa massage six years ago, about 8 months after her hysterectomy where the woman seemed to be trying to scrub out her scar and her surgery, she was ready for another massage, this one from the Dame.  With head held high, she walked to Dame Washalot’s Bath House and entered.

Written by thalia

June 20, 2008 at 10:37 am


with 9 comments

Rub-a-Dub, Me in the Tub Two


I’m in the tub

waiting for

Dame Washalot’s scrub.


Written by woodnymph

June 19, 2008 at 3:42 pm

The Dame’s Bathhouse

with 8 comments

I remembered my previous encounter with Dame Washalot. I remembered it all too well. My skin was nearly scrubbed off by the good Dame, underneath the Faraway Tree…why, that must be a year or more ago. I supposed I could do with another scrubbing by now, and this one was in a bathhouse, not in the open air of the great outdoors. I thought a little more and told myself that there might be a hot tub to soak in, and maybe even a massage….

I stopped staring at the entry way with the large sign, “Dame Washalot’s Bath House – We Get You REALLY Clean” and opened the door in the archway. A cloud of scented steam billowed out and I stepped inside.

“She Wolf!” a hearty voice boomed at me. My glasses had fogged up instantly and I couldn’t see who was calling me. I took them off to polish them, but still couldn’t see through the steam. A hand slapped me on the shoulder and I nearly fell over. As I caught myself, the same voice boomed in my ear, “I’m glad to see you here. I didn’t know if I scared you off last time – that first scrub is always a bit rough. Come on back and have a bit of a soak before we get started with your bath!”

Ah, so it was the Dame herself who was greeting me! I allowed myself to be tugged along into a back room where a huge hot tub with scented steam rising from it was waiting. A few minutes later, I was soaking in water up to my neck and all the kinks were melting out of my body.

Dame Washalot scurried out and let me soak until the water started to feel cool. Soft music played in the background and I could swear that I heard the voices of some of my friends in other rooms nearby. Finally, the Dame came back in and said, “All right then, let’s get this bath going. You should be nice and loosened up by now…”

I found myself in another, smaller, tub nearby and the Dame was wielding her scrubbing-brush on me. It wasn’t quite as bad as I remembered, but oh my, it did still hurt. “Now, there’s some more of those silly notions you hold about yourself – we’ll get those off in a jiffy …” She scrubbed at me very, very vigorously. I was sure that she was taking my skin and muscles right off my bones. Suds flew and bubbles drifted towards the ceiling. I could swear that some of the bubbles had words or tiny scenes in them, but it was really hard to see with soap in my eyes.

Finally, the torture, er, bath, ended, and Dame Washalot said, “You weren’t nearly as bad this time! Now then, you just dry off a bit and someone will be in to give you a massage – just the ticket after a good scrubbing!” She dumped a bucket of fresh water over me. It was cold. Very cold. I yelped and she just shook her head at me. “Get moving, now!” she said as she strode out of the room.

I did as she told me – frankly, I couldn’t imagine anyone NOT doing what she told them to – and was waiting on the table for the massage when the door crashed open and I heard lumbering footsteps coming my way. Had the Dame been raiding one of my fairy tales for employees? The footsteps sounded like they belonged to an ogre at the very least!

I admit it. I was afraid to look. I huddled down, with my face pressed into the massage table, and tried to prepare myself for the worst. I was certainly quite surprised when the massage started out nice and gentle and slow. I relaxed, breathed deeply, and began to enjoy it.

Of course it didn’t last. Like the nice hot soak before the dreadful scrubbing and cold water, the gentle massage at the beginning was apparently designed to lure me in and lead me along before real massage started.

I was pounded, pummeled, and my muscles jellied. Every tight spot in my body was identified, and any muscle foolish enough to try and fight back was quickly and completely subdued. By the time a drizzle of warm scented oil was being rubbed into my skin (or rubbed into the muscles under my skin, from the force being used), I was utterly limp. When the thudding footsteps retreated and the door slammed shut, all I could do was lie there. Finally, I eased into a sitting position and gazed around the room with a glassy-eyed stare. I was climbing into my limp, damp clothing when Dame Washalot came back into the room.

“Oh good, you’re moving. Sometimes we have to scrape people up after massages and pour them back into their things. Good for you. You’re showing some backbone!”

I wasn’t entirely sure I had a backbone left at this point, or skin or muscles either, but I smiled and nodded.

“Come along, we’ve got snacks, nice healthy ones, and a cup of tea before you go. Step lively now!” I made a fruitless effort to keep up with her and ended up in a hallway with lots of doors like the one I just came out of lining it. I took a guess and went down to the archway at the far end of the hall and got lucky. There was a table with tea and assorted raw vegetables on it. I collapsed in a chair and cuddled a nice warm tea cup in my limp hands, my eyes closing with exhaustion. When I opened them again, the cup was on the table and the light in the room had changed – I could see that it was nearly dusk. I must have fallen asleep and slept for hours!

A young woman came into the room and said, “Ah, good, you’re awake. I’ll just get you some fresh tea and something a little bit heartier to eat before you go!”

“How long was I asleep?” I asked her.

“Just a few hours. That’s not bad – lots of folks sleep all night! But most of them do manage to eat before they fall asleep!” She chuckled and bustled out again, returning shortly thereafter with a bowl of soup and a plate of fruit and sandwiches. “Eat up now – the Dame’s scrubbings and massages take a lot out of a person!”

I did, and soon was stepping out the front door into the street again. The City of Ladies was proving to be an interesting place, and I wondered where I was going to go next. Then a raven flew up to me and dropped a scroll into my hands before he flew off again.

I unrolled it. Printed on it in big, black letters were the words, “PREPARE FOR THE CATACOMBS”. All righty then. I knew where I was going next.

She Wolf (c)2008

Written by Jane

June 17, 2008 at 4:18 pm

A Pummelling

with 9 comments


After a session with the Dame it is questionable whether E and her party will be up to visiting the Catacombs. The Dame has given them quite a pummelling.

Heather Blakey June 17 2008

Written by Heather Blakey

June 17, 2008 at 11:27 am

Time Spent with the Dame

with 9 comments

Seasons come and seasons go,

Nature’s song,

wheeling cosmically,


time spent with the Dame

washes a lot,

(with her humming song),

of the past away.

To greet Imogen and Orlando,


free of travel disarray and dirt,

to occupy new places,

is surprising –

to say the least.

(copyright Imogen Crest 2008.)

Following the pebble

with 8 comments

look at this rock

Following the Pebble

Without land, memory and place I am like the young trapped Helen Keller. Yet as I dive into the depths of soul’s identity, freed from senses that distract me from the next journeys I might take, I become that wiser older Helen Keller who feels through the darkness the soul’s journey.

I meditate on a pebble I hold and then I toss it into a deep well where it never seems to land. I feel it fall. It speaks to my heart.

What would it be to have no garments of memory, land and place to tell me who I am.

No sense of tall Kauri pines to stare at out my back window. No kingfishers sitting on the cricket pitch next door. No endless rainy wet seasons where I wish I had a drier.

What would it be like to not think about what colours like black, red and yellow meant on an Aboriginal flag. To not know what the Southern Cross is, and to be free of a collective memory of colonisation and slavery and boats with people chained crossing the ocean to look after somebody else’s cotton or sugar cane. To not be moved by words of sorry that come late but are not too late?

What would it be like to stand at my front door and the front doors of every home I’ve lived in and not remember the nearby streets, and market places of stone of Salamanca and St Kilda and an early childhood friend who told me ghost stories.

What would it be like to have not been a mother, not been a wife, a sister or a daughter. To have all ties of kinship stripped away and have been left orphan, with no knowledge of a family tree crossing Europe and the Pacific. To have not seen funerals, births, and weddings.

What would it be like to have no knowledge of holy lands, and places of pilgrimage, of the grave of those who sacrificed for their beliefs and tore away the veils of meanings bound by memory, land and place- to reveal that there is more than memory, land and place to make us who we are.

I walk without all my memories, we all do. How many remember their journeys in the womb, and then their first steps and the first hugs from their grandmother’s? I travelled far when young and lost the sound of their voices, the touch of their hands, their wisdoms and their customs. I’ve lost their fears, their prejudices and many of their stories. Patchwork stories come through from parents who once knew them well and yet left them behind on other shores. They share their understanding of the stories, and pass on what they value.

I stand outside all that might form my identity and find that I free fall after the pebble, plunging into the place where there is no identity, but there is, the total immersion that first made the pebble.

© all rights reserved Gumbootspearlz

Poem- Cargo

Written by June

June 17, 2008 at 5:54 am

Moment of Clarity

with 11 comments

“Moment of Clarity”

L. Gloyd (c) 2008

Written by Pelican1

June 17, 2008 at 3:33 am

Bathing Beauty

with 5 comments

“Ow ow ow! You’re going to scrub a hole in my skin, Dame Washalot! You don’t have to be so rough!”

“That’s what you think, lass. You’re not a joey and you have all sorts of pre-conceived notions about what is and isn’t art. Enchanteur warned me about your type!”

I submitted to the Dame’s rubbing, grumbling to myself, “I can’t help if I’ve got a few decades on me, and more than a few hours of classroom time. I’ve watched my share of educational programming, I admit. I will try to be open, release inhibitions, go with the blasted flow, but what do they expect? I can’t be something I’m not.

“Now just lay you back and I’ll lather up your hair.” I lay back and Dame Washalot began massaging a wonderful shampoo into my hair, scented with pine and rose and a touch of almond. I began to relax as she kneaded the sweet soap into my scalp. She carefully rinsed my head with warm water, and then gave me 2 turquoise colored Turkish towels, one for drying my hair, and another for the rest of me.

“Here’s some jojoba oil, smooth it all over your skin,” Dame Washalot instructed. I did. I felt warm, and clean, and ready to get dressed and take to the streets of the City of Ladies.

Written by kvwordsmith

June 16, 2008 at 6:36 pm

Bath House Moment

with 6 comments


E caught at Dame Washalot’s Bath-house
Enjoying a quiet contemplative moment.

Heather Blakey June 16th 2008

Written by Heather Blakey

June 16, 2008 at 12:40 pm