Sacred Waters

Something shifted in me today. I’ve felt something shift everyday since I arrived here. I knew I would come to this place and that it would be healing for me but I did not realise the beauty and sacredness of this place and that it would affect me so deeply.
koru hand painted rock
It’s absolutely beautiful. The spirit of this land is alive – I watched the lake today, the natural ripples and the man-made ripples…the water reflecting my emotions and reflecting those stories of long ago. Every time I looked to the same place, I saw something different.
The children came today. They were a breath of fresh air, a reminder of the playing spirit within me. And such beautiful water stories the children told about, from the heart…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Ochre

I feel so privileged to be working with these natural pigments of the earth. It feels right and the more I paint with these ochres the more I want to work with them. The colours are so rich and deep, vibrant and alive. And when I am painting it naturally gets all over my hands…
koru hand painted rock
I painted this rock today – its about two metres long, bigger than what I normally paint! It has many koru for all the stories that were shared in the workshop today. I had 14 women and one man – a perfect balance lol (I’m serious about this – it only took one man to balance all that female energy!) but all meant to be really, a place that honours the feminine, sacred…
And painting in this way reminds me of our most ancient art form – markings that our ancestors left for us, telling their stories that they may be seen and heard and felt by future generations.
This land is indeed special…healing and renewing…
Hei āpōpō – until tomorrow,
Arohanui,
Jo x

Water Within

I had my first workshop today – it was a stunning day! I woke up this morning after last night’s rain knowing that the land had had its cleansing and now it was time for the sun to shine again…
And people came to share their stories about water…
koru hand painted rock
One woman paddled over on her canoe and I thought wow, that’s cool! And then I met another woman from Taranaki – so nice to make that connection – actually, every day since I’ve been here I’ve met someone who is from Taranaki, how does that happen?
I realised many things today. I came all the way to Australia (which isn’t really that far!) to offer my creativity and passion for a kaupapa that is dear to my heart and I felt really appreciated, more than what I feel in my own country. People are hungry for connection, wanting to share a part of who they are, wanting to share their stories and to embrace their life journeys…
So I received healing today – a healing within from the many stories that were shared, the beautiful rock paintings that were created during the workshop as symbols of these stories and through the sharing of the breathe of life…
So my rock I painted today is now a permanent fixture in the Boreen Point landscape on the waters edge of Lake Cootharaba. And the painting may not last forever as the water rushes in to wash away the natural ochre, but the stories shared will remain with the land and the water for many years to come…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – I forget about the time difference so am posting this just after midnight in Australia and it is after 2am back home!

A Water Story

10am Sat 28th May 2011
I’ve arrived at Boreen Point to feel the space I will be doing workshops in and I am taken back to my childhood where we had lakes all around us, the water lapping in and out, unlike the sea that is rugged and wild. This water, welcoming me, embracing me for the next few days.
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This is a different land – but I feel connection and I knew I would, not like the connection that I feel to my own land but a connection that is new, opening me up to new ways of thinking, new horizons, new stories…
The sound of the water has a rhythm, a rhythm that changes, just like we as humans change in order to grow…
Tāwhirimātea comes to greet me, a strong welcome and blow that you would expect from a rugged West Coast coastline back home in Taranaki…and I know that my ancestors are with me also.
So I honor this place, this whenua, this land, these waters that flow from somewhere and will flow to somewhere, just like the water within me that flows from me and will flow somewhere into the future.
I honor the people who have walked this land in the past, whose stories are embedded in the stones, in the trees and in the land…and I honor those who walk this land now, those kaitiaki who look after and honour this sacred journey, to allow healing for all.
And as I write this, I listen to the water, I hear the water sing, a different song… I look to the horizon and I see water there too – a reminder of my connection to Ranginui and Papatuanuku our sky and our earth mother and the stories that they share through the elements. The water that rises from the earth to meet the sky and the rain that falls to meet the earth again – a symbol of aroha, the sharing of breath, of life and love…
Pō mārie,
Jo x

Overwhelmed

8.30am At midnight last night (Thurs 26th) after I had packed my bags, I had this overwhelming feeling…I realized that everything I had done in my life was bringing me to this next journey. It was a pretty big revelation for me.
koru hand painted rock
And as I sit here at the airport writing this, I look out the window and see these formations and I realise they are old pa sites. They have a bulldozer on top of them digging them up and I understand in this moment, that my tupuna are with me on this journey, guiding me every step of the way and reminding me of my purpose and why I am here. To nurture both land and people, to bring both back to life again and to connect one with the other…
10.06pm Noosa time
Well I’m completely brain dead and know that I’m going to sleep well tonight! And I know why I’m tired – because its after midnight back home in NZ…it’s also been a busy last few days, getting ready to come over here and then actually arriving here for the opening ceremony at this amazing whenua and water at Boreen Point I already know its going to be a special next 10 days…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – I really am brain dead – pō mārie! Oh and just want to mention the photo of the rock was taken on my balcony where I’m staying, I have a lake right there and the bush! Everything is perfect, the timing is perfect, the space, the energy, everything…

Māori time

I know you fallas know what I’m talking about!
Trudy and I were talking about this concept of time today – geological time versus human time – and then there is Māori time!
Most times you go to a hui and most times things run OVER time! I say most times because there are some hui where things do run on time and as planned! So generally speaking I am!
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Anyway, I think it has its place. We are an oral people and we love to talk and share kōrero (and some of us talk TOO much lol) This is how we connect and share. So this restricting idea of doing things within a timeframe is actually another boundary and our Māori concept of time is totally different to the time as we know it today. We looked to the moon and the stars and nature for when things needed to be done to guide us in our lives and things happened when they happened!
But in saying this, I’ve adapted to today’s concept of time and most times I have a plan although someone reminded me the other day about how my life has cruised along and one thing has led to another, all in its own good time! I think there is an element of trust in there too…
So what you do think about time and those who have experienced “Māori time” what do you think about this?
Arohanui,
Jo x

Detour

I got lost today. It took me three hours to travel from Hamilton to Miranda – I actually ended up driving in a BIG circle!
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But it was interesting…I travelled to parts of the landscape I had never been to before. So as frustrated as I was driving round and round in circles it reminded me of those undiscovered inner landscapes we all have, those ones we don’t allow ourselves to visit. We go against the flow of things so much, causing much stress and don’t allow ourselves to grow into these new experiences…
I actually got quite annoyed with it all! Trying to get to a place that I felt I should have arrived at three hours ago but realised if I had gone with the flow and enjoyed the journey I would have got there, all in good time and would have experienced a whole lot along the way.
Was awesome seeing the sisters Ngahuia and Terri today. We get so busy with our lives so it was nice to be able to sit and korero and spend time even for a short while…and now I’m in Miranda – yes I did make it eventually and enjoying the company of Trudy and Jim on this beautiful whenua…hei āpōpō…
Arohanui,
Jo x

First Light

Painting this rock was the first thing I did today. I had a million and one other things to do, packing, packing and more packing oh and of course I had to go and see Ron and see what fantabulous kākahu he had magic-ed up for me! And lunch with Todd before heading off into the sunset….on another journey.
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But it was SO great painting this rock first thing, not sure why its taken me 144 days to figure out its actually the best time to paint my rocks – hullo! Just like doing yoga, first thing in the morning, always sets the tone for the day. And this rock has certainly done that.
It’s like my guiding tohu (symbol) for my journey over the next few weeks, balance, male and female, connection…and commitment to bringing about change within and change in the world…and I’m going to Floating Land…where the theme is water…so helping water to flow again…
And driving through the Waioeka gorge today was so beautiful – the river was flowing, the trees were lush and green and the sunset was amazing. So I’m here for a night in Rotorua with my whānau, getting grounded and then on the road again tomorrow. The journey has begun! Officially!
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – This rock is very special to me. Todd brought it back for me from the Wanganui river last year and it has a really beautiful energy…Ngā mihi aroha ki a koe e taku tiiki! xx

Rough Around the Edges

I want to talk about this photo today. It reminds me of being “rough around the edges.” You know when you’re not exactly perfect and you are perceived to be less, but you have heaps of other amazing qualities and what you don’t have in intellect or education you make up for in life experience and a whole lot of lessons learnt.
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Never judge a book by it’s cover – yes it’s very cliche and I don’t like sounding cliche but there is good in everyone and what may not look very welcoming or exciting or promising on the outside, can have potential to change the world.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Water is Life

I’m on the road again soon, on a journey to another land, to experience the spirit of that land and to connect with the hearts and stories of those who will be there.
koru hand painted rocks
I feel like I’ve been preparing for this journey for a long time. It’s going to be special, very healing for me, healing for everyone and how fitting that water will be the feature every step of the way…
Water is healing, water is health and wellbeing, water is life. Reconnection to self and who we really are.

Arohanui,
Jo x

Sounds of Hope

I was reminded today that it is really important to pay attention to our tamariki…
Many of our tamariki are being let down by those who are supposed to be caring for them. And caring is not just about providing those basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. Caring is about nurturing, paying attention, taking an interest in what our tamariki do, giving praise, spending time every day, listening and learning and most of all showing our love…
koru hand painted rock
Children respond to love and affection; constant love and affection. It’s what breeds beautiful, healthy, independent, confident children who have good self esteem, who know what they want in life and know how to get it!
I’m watching “Sounds of Hope” on Māori television – a programme dedicating music to the children of Aotearoa and I’m totally moved by the kaupapa, the beautiful waiata and the words that are being shared. I’ve seen this programme before, but seeing it again reminds me of how special and beautiful our tamariki are and the importance of aroha for them…
…and I’m blown away by our musicians, such talent, music that speaks to the soul and is grounded in our land here in Aotearoa, straight from the heart…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – if you want to watch this awesome doco online, it should be up soon under Pakipūmeka Aotearoa on the Māori Television website. http://maoritelevision.com

Peas in a Pod

I’ve always been fascinated by how peas grow all in a row in a pod! Nature is so intelligent and perfect. How do peas in a pod grow like that?
koru hand painted rocks
They remind me of sacred things, protected, to be nurtured and cared for, held in a blanket of love…

I think we all yearn to be cared for, to be held sacred… and in our lifetimes, if we are loved, we grow confidently with purpose and we see the sacred in everything…
Arohanui,
Jo x

My Māori Eyes

Our Māori language is so beautiful. It is conceptual and meaningful and every word tells a story. One word can mean many things and within all of those meanings, there is connection to the environment, to the land, to everything…
koru hand painted rocks
When I started learning Māori full immersion, my life changed. I saw the world in a whole new way. My Māori eyes were seeing things that I did not think existed. I was no longer locked behind my pakeha eyes that could only see what was right in front of me.

But my Māori eyes, they could see far off into the distance, to the tallest maunga, down the flowing rivers over the landscape and out to sea and then up to the sky and the whole of the universe and back again…my Māori eyes could see deep into the past, they are forever alert in the present and they see many lifetimes into the future…
I try to imagine my life without my Māori eyes and think about what people are missing out on. Is my Māori language the only language that sees in this way? Because if it is, and I didn’t know my language, I would be doing everything in my power to learn it.
I cannot imagine life without it now, my life is richer, clearer and more meaningful and when expressing myself there is no need to waffle on, to justify and explain everything in detail, all I need sometimes are a few words and at other times, only one…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Vulnerability

I’m planning my last session with art students tomorrow and I’m thinking to myself, what is the most important thing that I would want to be sharing with them right now? What will have the most impact on their lives and creative careers from this moment forward? I came up with a few words…
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Being vulnerable. Taking risks. Putting yourself out there. Risking all, even if you do not match up to people’s expectations. And know this is ok. The courage to be imperfect and that there is creativity and beauty in imperfection. Failure = Success. Believe, even when believing is not possible. Believe, even when there is no proof. Create everyday. Commit to your passions everyday.
And the most important thing, be kind to yourself and know that you are enough.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Floating Land

It’s been a while since I’ve painted a simple koru, so decided to paint one today…
When I look back over the rocks I see a pattern; I have a rock that is quite lighthearted or maybe two and then I have another rock that is quite heavy in what I write about and that has perhaps taken me longer to paint. I feel like I’ve just come out of one of these heavy moments and now in that calm, still place again…for now until the next time…
koru hand painted rocks
I’m heading to Floating Land next week, a community arts event in Noosa, Australia that explores environmental and cultural issues through the arts. This years kaupapa is water…
I’m excited about this! Here I will be sharing a Māori perspective of water and how an understanding of our connections to the environment can help bring about healing for our planet and people. I’ll also be collaborating with local and international artists on projects that will evolve while there and will participate in a variety of forums about sustainability, art, culture and water…
I also feel its going to be another healing time for me, another whenua, another land to experience, more stories to hear and to share.. And a journey of connection, as they always are…I feel this already…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – the Floating Land website is here if you want to know more http://floatingland.org.au

We Are Who We Are

There’s a heap of political stuff happening at the moment. And I’ve seen some quite disturbing things lately…

One of them is a page that has been created here on FB in opposition to a Māori MP and I’ve seen shocking comments in other forums to do with things relating to Māori. It has been a reality check for me that racism is still alive in this country. It annoys me. It annoys me because most of the comments that are put out there are uninformed, with no tact or thought and just plain outright racist.
koru hand painted rock
I used to participate in these forums, just to give my view but realised that they weren’t worth participating in. People didn’t want to listen, they already had it firm in their minds what they believe about Māori and I don’t think anything is going to change that. There really are people in this country that are downright rude and disrespectful.
I wish that people would actually find out about Māori and who we are. Find out about our history, where we have come from, not because we want pity but because you will see that we were an independent people before we were colonised into a way of life that was unfamiliar to us, we were a strong people who lived in harmony with the land, we were healthy and educated within our own systems and we were creative, intelligent and resourceful.
Today we continue to be all of these things, still, but within a system that continues to keep us within boundaries and dictates to us how we as Māori should live our lives. 2011 – not much has changed.
Yes, we are not perfect but I believe the raru we as Māori are experiencing today, is a result of colonisation. But that is no reason to keep us in that colonised state. And most Māori are wanting to get on with their lives and contribute positively to society and ultimately the rest of the world. Most Māori are not wanting a hand out or a leg up, we are wanting to be independent. We don’t want to be dependent on nobody.
So I say to people, get to know us, come and live with us and find out who we really are. Let go of the fear, fear of not being in control…you might actually realise that we are willing to live with others side by side as a community. We have always been willing…
We are not about ownership, or money or power, we are about kaitiakitanga – being the guardians of this beautiful planet that we have been blessed with, whanaungatanga – family, sharing resources and living together as a community and manaakitanga looking after each other…this is who we are.
Arohanui,
Jo x

One Thing at a Time

The last two days, I’ve really tried to be present with everything I’ve been doing. When I’m cooking, I’m cooking, when I’m reading, I’m reading!
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I’m so used to multi-tasking, doing lots of things at once but I’ve realised that when I have more things to do than what multi-tasking allows me to do, it’s impossible to do! I used to be a strong advocate of multi-tasking but now I”m not so sure…
And you know what, doing one thing at a time is less stressful, and because I”m totally present with what I’m doing, I’m understanding it, I’m understanding myself and I can actually achieve a lot more by doing one thing at a time! I feel like I’ve made the discovery of the century lol but I think I already knew this and just didn’t allow myself to slow down enough to realise.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Daddy Longlegs

I watched a daddy long legs spider do something very interesting today. When I first saw it, I thought it was in a frenzy because it had been caught in a web of another spider but when I took a closer look, I realised it was spinning around in its web almost to the point where I couldn’t see it! Has anyone seen this before? Spinning round and round and round, my gosh, I wondered if he (or she!) was actually getting dizzy doing that!
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So I did a little bit of research and found out that daddy longlegs do this as a defense mechanism, so I’m assuming my presence sent it into a spin! I initially thought it was spinning its web, but nope, he had gone into defence mode!
So, my lesson for the day! And I’ve always loved the pungawerewere, the elaborate whare that are spun by spiders. I’ve taken many photos of them and I reckon they’re one of the most beautiful art forms ever!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Celestial Dance

I really thought I wasn’t going to be posting this rock today! I finished painting it around 6.30pm and then hullo – realised I had no natural light left for photos! So it was back to other options – tungsten light, light under the algae or light from the light box! So the light box it was. Whew.
koru hand painted rock
So there is a planetary alignment happening right now, visible in the early morning sky. Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Earth all in a row…how lovely 🙂 I’ve always been fascinated by the night’s sky and was grateful when I had the opportunity 10 years ago to hear an old kuia from Tokomaru Bay talk about the stars and how we as Māori relate to them. A lot of her kōrero was about the Māori new year – Matariki or as we say in the west, the rising of Puanga (Rigel) which is coming up sooooooon next month! A wonderful time of year with lots of celebrations…
So I would like to say that I will be getting up early in the morning to see this planetary alignment but we’ll see what happens lol…but like all things here on earth and out there everywhere, we are connected and guided by those beautiful lights in the sky…

Arohanui,
Jo x

Follow the Leader

We are a society of followers following the leader. There is so much potential out there, but most people will settle for just cruising along following others! I understand this because I’ve been there, but wouldn’t it be the coolest if everyone lived to their full potential and brought to fruition all those wonderful ideas that they have brewing? And trusted themselves and believed in themselves and all that stuff? Easily said than done, but wouldn’t that be cool?
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I tell ya one thing, people would be a whole lot more happier because we’d all be living to our full potential and doing what we love…isn’t that the reason why we’re here?
A colourful rock today and a bit of passion in the post!
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – rā whānau ki tāku irāmutu, kua huri ki te whitu tau – ngā mihi aroha ki a koe Rongomai! xx

Shaping Our Future

I’ve always been of the mind that we shouldn’t shape artists, but rather, give them the tools to explore and find the artist within themselves.
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Miss 6 year old Teia, she draws these amazing pictures of people that have limbs that stretch all the way across the page or curl around to reach up to the head to move some hair off the face. One leg is often bent to take a pose, like a ballerina and hair is always accentuated so there is no doubt who that person is.

The clothes are full of detail; right down to the colours, pockets and patterns. She draws real people, but not in the ‘real’ sense.

Now if you were in a learning institution learning how to draw people, you wouldn’t learn to draw like this, you would learn to draw “proper” figures with each person in proportion and everything in place. But Teia’s drawings even though oversized, underweight and over accentuated, are actually full of emotion and expression! The bodies have this movement about them and when you see a person with horns, and slanted eyebrows, you know that this person is angry!

I don’t believe that she would be drawing this way if we were constantly over her shoulder telling her how she should draw. She’s basically been left to her own devices since she started to create art which was round about two years old! So when she comes home from school with pictures where the lines have already been created for her, I shake my head and think back to my kindergarten days when I was drawing in colouring in books. Nothing has changed…

The good thing is, when she is home, she is creating constantly…and we’ve also realised her art is a vent for her emotions and how she is feeling…

So I believe, to allow an artist to blossom, allow them this right from birth, don’t try to shape them, but give them the support and the tools to find their own way.

Arohanui,
Jo x

Totara Tree

Yesterday I heard a version of the waiata ‘Totara Tree’ (composed by Wiremu Nia Nia) sung by the beautiful Maisey Rika. Here is a link to that version. http://bit.ly/mIC9zO I’m not normally in the habit of posting words by other people, but I wanted to share this waiata as it is everything I want to say today…
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Once I stood like a Totara tree
Gently swaying in the breeze
I hear the whispers in the air
And I cry…
I feel my Tipuna everywhere
Even next to me
Strong and tall
Proud and free
But still I cry…

We knew one day that noble tree would fall
But now a new one stands
Strong and tall
Proud and free
But still I cry…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – thanks Emma for sharing on FB!

Ka tika ra

To make it right. One of our pahake told me, this is what ‘ka tika ra’ means…
I understand fully how our tūpuna felt when their land, their foundation was taken from beneath them. Every time I return home to Taranaki, I feel that mamae still, I see it in the land and I see it in the people…
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It makes me appreciate people who fight for their right to be heard, to be able to walk freely on their land and to be who they are without being challenged by a system that is about conforming and monetary gain rather than the wellbeing of the land and the people.
I appreciate the passion that drives people to speak out for what they believe in, for remembering the legacy that our tūpuna left for us, and for bringing it to the table again and again and again, that we have every right to be here as kaitiaki of our whenua…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Science or Observation

I was having a conversation with a friend via email and she asked me about science in relation to the observational learnings of my ancestors and how I might see modern science and the ‘science’ of my ancestors working together.
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I was always a curious child who questioned everything, and according to my sister, very persistent with it! In other words, hōhā at times! But its a curiosity that has stayed with me and has reared itself again to bring about a curiosity with science as we know it today and how this could perhaps sit side by side with our Māori worldview.
Our ancestors learnt through observation. They were very clever and knew of stars that existed even before they were discovered by ‘modern’ science. Their learnings were at an experiential level – a part of everyday life. So as they went about their daily business such as fishing for food, they were not only becoming experts at catching the fish but they were also learning about the tides, wave patterns, the best time to go fishing, in what area and why. They even navigated by the stars and looked to the moon for the right days to plant food.
We are an oral people so our science was not recorded in books, but in the arts, songs and stories that have been handed down to us. In every carving there is a story, not only the story that is carved into the wood but the story that is contained in the wood itself, from the tree, and the grain that says how old the tree is.
I think the intrinsic connection that we as Māori have to the environment, this is our ‘science’, this is our knowledge already contained in our DNA. I believe in essence we are saying the same thing but in a different way but there is also a spiritual element that matauranga Māori brings that is missing in the science of today.
It’s very interesting for me and I look forward to the journey ahead!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Rua Kumara

I was watching this koroua on Māori TV tonight and he was sharing his knowledge about how our people used to live. He talked about a special way of preserving kumara and in the end I figured out it was the same process (but done in a different way) of dehydrating food that we know today. So food was dehydrated and preserved in a special way where the food literally lasts forever.

So whenever our people went hunting for food they could carry these dry kumara in their pockets as snacks. Dried shark was another food.
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He mentioned the fact that we have gone away from our traditional kai – eating from the land and sea and our daily exercise regimes don’t exist anymore because we are no longer hunting and gathering our kai but going to the supermarket. Or we’ve “thrown it in for KFC!”

So it was great to hear this elder speak as a reminder of what was once health and wellbeing for our people and what we should get back to in order to sustain ourselves into the future.
The photo shows a clear picture of winter on its way. I love it when the leaves fall, most people would sweep these off the driveway but I go out and take photos of them instead. We’ve had lots of rain over the past two days so everything is looking wet and fresh!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Too Much Mind

I’ve been asked recently, “where do you find your inspiration to write and create everyday?”
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Well, I don’t think about it and just do! When painting these rocks, I don’t think about what I’m going to paint at all and just allow the brush to paint. I also randomly gather up a few colours from my paint box and use whatever I have chosen. At times I’ve used colours that you wouldn’t think work together, but after painting the rock, they’ve worked together nicely!!
And writing is the same. If I’m thinking too much about what I’m going to write, then the words don’t flow so easily and I end up stopping and starting, writing and deleting and I know then that this is not going to be a good post. So I stop, and I wait for a time where the words do flow out and I totally trust the process…
And of course I am inspired by nature…the earth, the sun, the moon and the stars, the mountain and sea and everything in between…
And the rocks – the rocks have a story of their own…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Beneath the Surface

I’m amazed at all the wonderful comments that I get with the rocks each day and how profound they are! I was reminded of this today…sometimes I think my words and my paintings are quite subtle and not obvious as to what their meaning is and then next minute someone crops up with this meaningful kōrero that just stops me in my tracks – literally!
koru hand painted rock
Many of the comments resonate so much with me and I am even more amazed at how people who do not know each other and in some cases are on opposite sides of the planet, can see different things in the rocks and yet it all means something and works together nicely. There is something in that…
And not to forget all the lovely korero that comes via private messages that is equally important and meaningful.
So thank-you to everyone for adding your own flavour and insight, I have a lot of fun going back and reading it all and appreciate every word.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Squish

When I went outside today to hang the washing out, the ground was still wet from recent rain and my first thought was to put my jandals on so my feet wouldn’t get wet. But then I thought nah, I’m gonna go in there and squish my feet around in the water and feel the earth in between my toes…and so I did!
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It was the best feeling ever! It was like my feet were having a drink and being cleansed…and SO grounding!

So the rain has appeared again. Thunder and lightening came out of no-where tonight (and gave me a fright – it was SO loud!)…but I’m getting used to all this changing extreme weather, its become a part of my daily life, just like the painting of rocks! And it was a warm 23 degrees today so it was a four season in one day day! All part of the ever changing creative landscape, just as I’m creating – so is the universe!
Or am I creating the universe?
Arohanui,
Jo 🙂

The Pink Bubble

I remember when I was living on the mountain in Taranaki, I had a pink bubble around my whare to give some healing, loving energy to the land and for protection. There were battles fought on the land, conflict, and people died on that very land where I was living and yet I felt such calm and peace in amongst all that…it was the living that I had to beware of…
koru hand painted rock
I’ve read so many posts today about Osama Bin Laden’s death. Some people are celebrating and others are not celebrating at all. Many many people have quoted Martin Luther King’s korero…”darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”
So this pink bubble was a symbol of light and love, a way of protecting myself, my values and my beliefs, my way of life. And in a way it was also protecting the spirits of our tupuna who had died fighting for the land and what they believed in, their rights…
I don’t condone the acts of bin laden or any other person who intentionally kills or who intentionally does things to bring people down, but I also think that human nature has a way of revenge, of wanting to get back…
An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth – a continous flow of negative energy back and forth – who will stop this cycle? When I think about what is happening here in Aotearoa, in politics for example, I see tit for tat, tit for tat…ego getting in the way instead of coming from a place of aroha (love) and rangimarie (peace).
I learnt many years ago as a teenager (hard lesson to learn and still learning!) that I am 100% responsible for my own happiness, no-one else but me and if this is true, then we can never blame anyone else or anything outside ourselves for our chosen unhappiness. In any moment we are free to decide…
My gosh, I’ve just read this and it seems like its all over the place, but there is actually some substance in there! Make what you will of it!

Arohanui,
Jo 🙂

Change

Life is so fluid sometimes isn’t it? – well my life is anyway! Probably because I allow it to be and I think this is important because we get stuck doing the same old same old without growing, exploring and learning!
koru hand painted rock
So today’s kōrero is about change. The different journeys we embark on, the people we meet and the growth that we experience along the way. Change is an important part of life and if we are not changing then we are not growing.
I embrace change as hard as it is sometimes because it brings me opportunities that I would never have experienced otherwise. And change is happening all around us and within us everyday, so might as well go with it! It’s amazing how much we try and go against the flow of things…the tide comes in, the tide goes out, life has it’s ups, life has it’s downs…such is life!
Change – embrace it!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Intermission

It’s the day after returning home from being on the road. Driving can take a lot out of you and I always need at least one day to recover from a big journey – most times two days are needed!
koru hand painted rocks
So it’s been an “intermission” day – you know just like at the movies when you have a break at half-time to go and buy some chocolate haha! So a cruisy day of reading, eating a little bit of chocolate (just a little!), writing, researching, painting and just lazing around.

I like days like these when you turn off things to just relax…and I always feel so much better after!
Arohanui,
Jo 🙂