About Squash Blossom


Squash Blossom is an assemblage of whimsy, yarns, poetry, witticisms, memoir, wisdom and opinion. As a personal blog, my focus is varied. It is sometimes spiritual, sometimes political, and often poetic. I am Yvonne Raphael. It’s nice to “meet” you!

I began blogging in 2005. I’ve written about spirituality, sex, relationships, short stories, critical and technical theses, poetry, and art, even fiction and nonfiction, during this decade-plus of blogging, both private and public, though Squash Blossom shows an archive going back only as far as 2008. I am slowly working on getting some of those old posts I’ve saved reblogged. My yearning to express creatively, ranges from writing to beadwork, to sewing. I’ve made hoop drums and other leather crafts, occasionally I even get out my camera too (the squash blossom is some of my work). A few years ago, having recently graduated with a writing degree, I thought I wanted to devote this blog to only my writing. Thus it fell into a fallow state when other creative processes came to the fore.

The past two years have taught me that being creative equals the process of my life. Life lived messy and fully, its ups and downs, its brilliant occasional insights, how it knocks me flat and how I get back up again. I create art because of, and through self understanding. That changes as life unfolds. Obviously. My most crucial stage of expression has to first be brash and unedited. I can’t let spelling or a knot in my thread, or spilled bead slow down the flow. I need to be seen in the midst of my mess too. I have no idea why. Perhaps it’s knowing we both can accept me, just as I am now, I can then grow into this new art, emerging. My hidden journal tells me what I think, but as with any group context, consciousness reflected and encountered, examined and explored openly is transformative. I am not writing here to hone my art. I do that while editing my work behind the scenes. I do that by reading too. No, I am here to be an artist encountering community. I write to encounter you. Thank you for stopping by!

13 thoughts on “About Squash Blossom

  1. I remember meeting you on Blogger, I believe that was your first blog. We’ve had some similar health crises and challenges…I’m also a cancer survivor, with a non-cancer related illness that was debilitating in its own right. It’s nice to reconnect after so many moons have passed.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. My constitution has been weak and fragile the past two years since surgery, but I think I am seeing a bounce back. I likely won’t experience the same strength and stamina, but like you I am learning to cope with the changes.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s a long road, but I feel you will continue to see more bounce back. In cancer support we had some interesting discussions on not being the same people we were before cancer…everyone had their own take on that. I’m holding space for you in my thoughts and prayers for healing.


  2. To expand on the thoughts in cancer support…some people felt not being the same person had positive and negative aspects…others felt that there were only negatives. As a co-facilitator of an online cancer support forum, I reminded everyone there were no right or wrong answers. You feel what you feel. It’s all valid. I thought I read you had thyroid cancer in one of your posts?


    1. Yes. I have two forms of thyroid cancer. They both tend to stay in the thyroid bed. It seems mine will do so, but it is still active. I think there are many mixed feelings for me about cancer. It has led to a process of emotional healing and examining intergenerational trauma, so my emotional expressions about cancer have often been uncomfortable. Having a secondary illness (mine is Celiac Disease) aggravates everything. In any case, spirituality has been the remedy. A great shift is happening because I was willing to process and write. Cancer was the catalyst. I am grateful for that.


      1. I’m sorry to hear it’s still active and your battle ongoing. I was involved with a non-specific cancer group, so we all met people dealing with all kinds of cancer, including thyroid cancer and the treatment…which is an area of unfamiliarity for a lot of people. Many people have no idea how that little gland does or its affect on every system in the body.

        I know what you mean about having a secondary illness, it’s a double whammy! Don’t even get me started about being a woman with a chronic disease dealing with the health care system and community. {{{Hugs}}} I’m here for you…for listening, talking, validating…whatever you need.


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