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…
Jo x


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,
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…
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.
koru hand painted rocks
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


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…
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!
koru hand painted rocks
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?
Jo x