I want to tell a story today, it is one of many stories that pop up now and then from Miss 6 and 3/4 year old Teia…
We were having dinner tonight (roast chicken!) and she says quite confidently, “I think the wish bone can come from either the leg or the wing.”
“Oh” I said having an internal chuckle!
Now my initial thought was to correct her, but I thought, no, I will allow her that moment of confidence and belief that the wishbone actually “can come from either the leg or the wing” and one day she may eventually find out that it actually comes from somewhere else!
She has always been big on the wishbone when it comes to chicken in our house. She’s always trying to hunt it down and if you dare get it before her, she’ll let you know about it and when she does get it before you, she’ll let you know about it too!
But never have we talked about where the wish bone actually comes from, even though she has found it before on many occasions from the actual place where it comes from!
Now I’m not sure really what my point is here, other than the fact that I wanted to tell the story because it was SO funny at the time but also, sometimes I think things are better left as they are, especially for a little girl whose confidence comes not from having to get everything right all the time but from having the believe and confidence that anything is possible…
This rock is very definite today; the lines and colours are solid and permanent.
Trust is a big word. I’ve started to write about this in many posts before, but for whatever reason the kōrero didn’t feel right, so I left it… and now it has come back! And sometimes the things that are hardest to post are the most important.
Issues of trust have presented themselves to me often over the past month and when I look back on this year, I realize that my life has been one big trust! The things that I have created, the journeys I have embarked on, the decisions that I’ve made have all been decisions of trust.
And I feel like I’ve come to a point, you know that point where all you need to take is one more step and then you’re there? But that one step is a step that you keep trying to take your whole life… some take that step and some don’t.
But its there, within your grasp, and for whatever reason, you find it the hardest thing to do, even though it requires just that one step…
So I’m at this special place, it’s like all the issues of the past have come to the present, ready to be released so that I can just take that one step… This feels like the biggest trust of all, but it will only take one step…
I was walking today, being present in my surroundings and I was amazed at how much I took in. I walked to town which is only half an hour but in that time I saw so many things… scenes presented to me, full of messages, I would have missed them if I was not fully present.
So I experienced many things today but the highlight was during the walk home, seeing the old lady who lives in the white stucco house on the corner. She’s over 90 years old, but she was out in the sunshine tending to her garden as I walked by. And if you were to see her garden you would agree that it is immaculate!
I stopped briefly to talk and I told her how wonderful her gardens look and she replied, “oh they need some work and I’m going to mow the lawns this afternoon!” My gosh!
And that old lady, she’s always been like that, as long as I’ve known her to be the old lady on the corner. And to top it all off, she even dressed the part. She had her sneakers on like she was gonna run a marathon!
Sometimes we can be inspired by the most unlikely of things, but this old lady she inspires me every time I see her out there tending to her garden. I always find myself looking to her house even as I drive by, just to see her gardens so alive and to be reminded that – hullo – I’m not even 40 years old yet so I should just stop complaining about all the aches and pains and get on with it – for goodness sake lol
I’ve just looked back over the past few days and realised that the rocks I’ve painted have been either white, grey or yellow! Maybe a bit boring, but for me the colours suit my moods and what has been going on in my life at the time. And I’ve definitely been in a contemplative space lately, thinking lots about the future and the coming six months.
And perhaps these colours also reflect this time of year…
So a blue rock today, and when I look back to all the blue rocks I’ve painted this year, they have been times of transition, moving from one place to another and coming back into balance.
My thoughts go back to one of my first blue rocks I painted in Feb which was all about water… a theme that has been strong in my life over the past six months and will continue into 2012, Water is also about who I am so coming back into my own and speaking my truth…
So I’m creating this space within and my physical creative space at home has changed too, reflecting more and more each day – who I am and nurturing my spirit.
I received a couple of CDs in the mail today and was so inspired and warmed to hear Acoustic Activists play and sing their beautiful waiata. I am moved and hopeful that here in Aotearoa, we have the ability to share our messages with the world in a way that can make a difference. Ngā mihi aroha ki a koutou! : )
Why do I paint koru? A friend prompted me to write about this, when she asked me what the circles that I paint mean to me…
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been drawn to circles and spirals. As a child in school I used to create borders for my assignments that were continuous koru. I would watch nature’s many patterns and shapes and am still in awe of them today. So nature inspires me to create spirals…
I also feel relaxed when painting spirals on to rocks. I go into a meditative space where I’m fully present with the rock and as I paint I’m totally in the spiral going round and round with it. Sometimes the spiral can go on for a long time and other times it will stop soon after it started. But each time I draw or paint the spiral, it relaxes me and is very calming.
And the more I paint circles and spirals, the more I find out about them as a universal symbol. They are embedded in many cultures and symbolic of many things; life, new beginnings, growth, change, simplicity, balance… and everyday I find new meaning for the koru which inspires me to tell more stories through them.
And right now spirals and circles feel very much a part of me and who I am. They have messages that I want to share, often messages that aren’t revealed to me until further down the track and their simplicity and perfection draws people in, and this encourages me to continue to create them.
I heard this kōrero today from Trevor Moeke – the regional manager for Te Wānanga o Aotearoa here in the East. It was at the wānanga graduation that he spoke about kina… and he went on and on and on about kina…
But the gist of his kōrero was about how kina is such a delicacy and when we eat kina or even before we eat the kina, we salivate and work up to eating it and then when we do eventually eat it, we savour the taste in our mouths, waiting for the next bit to go in, all the time looking after this kai from Tangaroa…
And so he likened the kina to our dreams our aspirations, something special to be nurtured and cared for. When we look after our kina we are taking responsibility for our own destiny…
And his last words were, that reaching our destiny is not without its challenges and those spikes of the kina represent those heke, those times where we have to really dig deep to achieve our dreams but if we can endure and work through those challenging times, then therein lies the hua, the delicacy, the dream, there for the taking, for eating, to enjoy and take in… hei oranga mo te tinana, te hinengaro me te wairua… as health and wellbeing, it nurtures, our body, mind and spirit.
You had to be there to fully appreciate the kōrero but it was a wonderful way to end the LONG graduation ceremony.
And why kina? Because apparently they don’t get oysters in Waipiro Bay where he’s from so kina is it!
Marie my osteopath was talking to me about the physical body today and how we have to keep our bodies moving, in “motion” otherwise we get tense and tight and things shut down. Which makes perfect sense ne?
It was like a revelation for me, not because it was something new but for the first time I saw an example of the connection between the physical body and our emotions (the solution also contained in the word emotion) and how we store our emotions in the body through lack of expression or release or activity or movement which can manifest as dis-ease in the body.
So how cool I thought, that the word “emotion” contains the word motion – the very solution that allows the flow of energy through the body which releases a whole lot of things including built up stress which then allows the body to function again, the way it should.
I’ve always known that there is a connection between my emotions and my physical body through observation, and there is a lot of research out there that proves this also, but to see it in this way was quite revealing and healing for me. Which in essence is the whole point of what I’m trying to say really. That to express your emotions freely is to allow the flow of energy again…
The motion of emotion, sets the physical body into action which releases stress from the body that allows energy to flow through the body which helps the body to heal…
Of course it’s not that straight forward, easier said than done but then when I think again, it is that simple isn’t it?
I was a bit reluctant to post this tonight. But I was also reluctant to post my first rock on Jan 1st 2011 too! That fear thing again, it comes and it goes but nothing like facing that fear and doing it anyway!
As we head into the second half of the year, I find myself delving deeper and deeper into my life, why am I here, what is my purpose? The restlessness and the tiredness I mentioned a few days back, it all make perfect sense with where I’m at…
And where I’m at is listening; listening to my soul speak, to find those things that move me to action, those things that will take me to the next step in my journey. Because that is all there is for now. We can plan ahead a year, two years, five years but what is right in front of us is what’s most important…for now…
We watched Operation 8 tonight at the Dome Cinema here in Gisborne. I don’t know where to start with this documentary other than, I cried, I got angry, I laughed in bits too but deep down in my heart I realised that nothing has changed from when our ancestors lived to today…
I thought about those who had gone before, I thought about my own family, my life. I thought about those mokopuna at Ruātoki who will never forget the day of the police raids, never… those whānau whose lives were invaded, mistreated, disrespected…
It really hurt to see this… and looking back through our history, nothing has changed…
There is so much I want to say and perhaps I will leave it to others to share their kōrero but I will finish with this whakaaro…
At the end of the documentary there was a young kōtiro – Majic, singing a beautiful waiata and it reminded me of a wānanga I was at not long after the police raids on Ruātoki in Oct 2007. At this wānanga there were a group of us artists, sharing and creating art in many forms and sharing whakaaro about many things including the importance of art in our society today.
It reminded me to keep telling our stories, to share our messages of hope through our art, to share with others who we are. So it encourages me, that we as artists have a mission, we are needed in this world to make a difference, to bring about change and when I hear this kōtiro singing her waiata for the people, it fills me with hope for our future…
Kia kaha koe Majic, you and all our rangatahi are the voice for the people to carry us into the future.
The trailer for the documentary can be seen on You Tube here: Operation 8 Trailer Gisborne has another screening on Sunday at the Dome Cinema at 4pm. They also have an official movie FB page where you can check out screening times and find out more about the movie. FB page is: Operation 8: Deep in the forest.
And I hear along the FB kumara vine that Majic has an album coming out soon – watch this space, this girl has got a beautiful voice with an important message!!
I listen to my heart because this is where my truth lives, and my truth gives me permission to be me and allows my spirit to soar…
It’s one of those times when I’ve got so much to do and I want to do everything at once! And restless – so so restless, but tired at the same time.
I’m tired from all the travel and have only just got my feet on the ground again… and it won’t be long before the next journey begins and each journey has been a stepping stone to the next journey..
So this restless time is one of those “intermission” times I’ve posted about before, the in between project time, the ideas time, the brainstorming time… but I must remember to rest, my body is telling me to rest! And this restless in between time is probably the most important time of all because its where great ideas are conceived before the action begins!
So embracing this time and enjoying the sleeeeeeep!
It’s a bit of a contradiction being restless on one hand and then having lots of sleep on the other, but I feel like its a good thing right now! I’m getting my sleep so I can be more productive in my restless moments – ha!
I’ve been prompted today to think about what really matters…
Life is not about waiting for the right moment or having regrets but taking action and living, really living with love in your heart and appreciating every moment…
I believe everyone wants to love and be loved, to be cared for, to be joyful and full of life and vitality and to achieve their heart’s desires…
I am grateful for my mother who today reminds me of life’s precious moments, that at some point in our lives, we need looking after, we need to be nurtured and cared for…
And at other times in our lives we need to be selfless enough to nurture others, to care for others in their times of need.
We’re here at Pungarehu marae beside the Wanganui river and I’ve just come to the waters edge… This river is beautiful – I hear sounds travel up the river and echo all around me…
When I bend over to wash my hands in the awa (river), I think to myself, how far up the awa have those sounds come? The native trees in front of me on the other side of the river are like all the ancestors lined up in a row, greeting me…
And what really amazes me are the kohatu (rocks) of this river, so many colours and the red stands out like the blood that runs through our veins and the blood that is our rivers that are the veins and the lifeline of Papatūānuku that connect us with one another and give us life.
So I can have all my acrylic colours in the world, but none of them come close to being as beautiful as the colours of this land. It encourages me to search for more colours of the earth, to create more with the earth, just like the natural ochre I used while in Australia. Papatūānuku is rich in love and rich in colour. I am in awe…
In Wanganui at the moment with Todd for his final te reo o Wanganui wananga…
I love wānanga for many reasons:
They bring people together to share kōrero and stories about many different things.
People leave with a full kete – with new ideas and perspectives, often challenged.
Overwhelming at times, they can take you to depths and places that you would never have been to before
Having been at many wānanga and reo wananga there is so much sharing of knowledge and so much to take in. I sleep for a while after but I’m also re-energised. It is often hard to comprehend on just a physical level as you are engaged on all levels – mentally, emotional and spiritually…
And a reo wānanga is special because our language is beautiful and conceptual and there is a whole different world seen through our Māori language.
I imagine the wananga of old were amazing experiences, enlightening…
Our current ways of learning in schools are restricting, whereas these old schools of learning, these wānanga allow for possibilities and potential. I reckon all learning should be done wānanga styles!
I flew from Gisborne to Auckland, Auckland to Wanganui today. The trip to Wanganui was at night and it was the first time that I’ve flown with a full moon. I’ve heard that the second full moon is the Māori moon, and this is the moon that was shining tonight.
I looked out the window as we took off and saw the bright light and even though I was not on the side that the moon was on, it was bright enough to see…
And when we flew past Taranaki heading toward Wanganui – I knew that the maunga was there even though I couldn’t see it! The lights were lit up in New Plymouth and then there was this big void in the landscape and I knew that Taranaki maunga was there.
A wonderful experience that sent me on my way and reminded me of all the kaitiaki (guardians) that are around us that come in many forms.
Ngā mihi aroha ki a koe e tōku tiiki i tēnei tō rā nui. A te wā ka kite atu i a koe… Arohanui, nāku xx
Puanga kai rau – an abundance of food at Puanga…
Ngā mihi o te tau hou Māori ki a tātou! Happy Māori New Year to us all!
They say that the Māori new year begins on the new moon in June which was on the 1st of June and today the 15th of June is a full moon… I was in North Queensland when the new moon appeared so I’m having my own Māori New Year celebration right now on the full moon!
Many iwi around Aotearoa celebrate Matariki or the rising of Pleiades as an indication of the Māori new year, but in Taranaki in the west we celebrate the rising of Rigel or Puanga which appears in the west before Matariki.
So the Māori new year is a time when food storage pits are full and kai is plentiful as the whakatauki or proverb says… for many it is also an opportunity to start new projects, to set new goals and to celebrate being Māori. And many celebrations happen all around the country at this time of the year!
No reira, me whakanuia kahatia e tātou tēnei wā o te tau! Let us all celebrate this time of year wherever we are in the world.
So I’m home and grounded but I feel like I’m on cloud nine! And there’s more to come!
It’s amazing what intention can do. Speaking your truth and being who you are can create magic everyday and bring to fruition those dreams you first thought impossible.
My vision is: “Inspire, Uplift and Heal through Nature and Creativity” and everyday I live with this intent I myself am inspired, uplifted and healed in many wonderful ways.
PS – Just for you Jacq! Rā whānau ki a koe e hoa – a special gift you have to heal, always giving with your insight and words, I look forward to seeing you shine, when you spread your wings and fly…
And today I also honour and remember Mahinekura who believed in me and encouraged me to speak my truth. Arohanui.
The kahu (hawk) followed me all the way home today. Every corner I turned, the kahu was there…
I’m used to seeing kahu while driving but today was extra special – so many! I must have saw at least 20 of them flying and it all started in the morning when I woke up at Trudy’s house. There was a kahu circling down below…
At one point a kahu stopped just as I drove by and I looked to the side of the road, into this birds eyes and wow! And I’ve never seen it before but this bird had a bright green head, with a brownish blackish body – has anyone seen a hawk like this before?
And then to top it all off, when I get home to Gisborne, Todd says to me, guess what I found on the road? It was a kahu that had been hit by a car, he brought it home so we could honour it and bring its feathers back to life through our creative work. I have a piece I’ve been working on for a while that came to a halt and now I have the materials to finish it!
Its a special piece for many reasons, will post it when its finished.
This rock was taken while driving through Ohope as the sun was setting…
I was pleasantly surprised when I boarded the plane home today and the guy at the counter said to me “kiaora” and then as I left he said, “Tēnā koe” I thought, wow that is SO awesome that someone has taken the time to learn our reo and is using it to greet people as they leave Australia.
It really made me feel looked after on my journey home to Aotearoa today… It was a very special experience for me…
And I heard that flights were cancelled at 1pm due to ash coming from somewhere… my flight left at 12.50pm – now how is that for divine timing?
Tēnā koe to the man who greeted me in my language – I have no idea if I will see him again but from that moment I felt like I was looked after for my journey home!
Much love to cousin Kiri – so lovely to spend a little time with ya even for a short while xx
Di gave me The Alchemist by Coelho to read and so it is coming home with me, kind of like a companion…
I first heard about it 13 years ago when I was taking photographs on the Kaituna River. One of the rafting guides mentioned it to me and I thought, wow that sounds like an interesting book… but never got to read it until now. So it was gently put into my lap…the timing may not have been right then but it is now. I am ready.
And thus far, the book is about following your heart, trusting that what your heart speaks, is your truth and that you we should all follow our truth. And I realise that my whole life has been a journey to speak my truth, to be who I am and to share this with others.
So thanks Di – our meeting was meant to be! But we already knew this didn’t we…
And the circles are fitting also. Spending time with cousins Tina and Kiri, its like we have done a full circle – its been over 10 years since we lived in Auckland and hung out, so old circles and new circles have come together… and currently creating new circles for the future.
Cousin Tina picked me up today so it was nice to catch up with her and reminisce about the times we’ve spent together and how far we’ve come since then… And then catching up with cousin Kiri was, as always a joyful and interesting experience! But so wonderful to spend time with her again too!
Whānau is grounding, is memory, is cruising, is aroha, is whakapapa, is reminiscing, is connection is comfort…
Nice to be grounded and spend time with whānau before heading home on Sunday.
PS – this is a beautiful rock that is an irregular shape and it sparkles when you see it from a certain angle…
Memories of times gone by, beautiful healing with Di, present moment, going with the flow and just doing what ever you feel in any point and time…
Challenging, growing, changing, new beginnings, every day a new life…
Happy birthday to my darling niece Ani who turned 16 today. How appropriate that a lot of my memories for healing are when I was 16 years old and that I can gift this rock to the next generation… Arohanui ki a koe Ani xx
I woke this morning in the bush, a stunning day and something happened that took me back in time to when I was a teenager going through a lot of stuff and I realised that this was a part of my healing. It was so profound I knew it was for me…
So I left the beauty and connection of bush today, off to another journey to heal. I put my feet in the sea again, to wash away those unwanted wounds, to walk barefoot on the sand was an amazing thing…
Walking barefoot is so healing, I walked barefoot during the time I was in the bush and today as I made my transition…
And then Tea Tree Bay where these amazing trees stood around, it was like walking into a corridor of ancestors, like they were making way for me and then down to the sea where the rocks were, the stories that lay before my eyes embedded in the crevices where water flows, shaping, forming, changing.
And there on the horizon, the beautiful mountains all lined up in a row…another special place that I feel connected to…
Another day another journey tomorrow. And so grateful for Di who has come into my life and who is sharing this journey with me.
In nature – seeing is feeling… the leaves talk to me…
I was out in the bush today, creating in nature. I found a beautiful spot with a rock in the middle and I painted it. As I painted I tuned in to the land, the birds, the trees and thought about the snake and my fear and excitement all in the same breath…
As I felt the snakes presence in the landscape I also thought about my colonized view of the serpent, representing evil, but whose skin is so in nature and in tune with nature. He slides along the earth close to Papatuanuku, could there not be any being more connected than he?
And as I felt this presence I understood too that nature does not have to be seen to be felt. I could be miles away and still feel a place… But the snake did come out for me today and she was beautiful… so graceful in movement and very
healing…she presented herself just as I was walking by and in that moment, she and I became one…
I was also reminded of my own shedding of skin, this new life I am about to begin…
PS – I say she because he or she is contained in the word – it’s like the Māori word for she or he which is the same – ia. This rock is not the rock that I painted in the clearing but a rock that I painted right outside my door in this beautiful paradise I was staying…
This place is so alive. Floating Land is over and I’ve said goodbye to my sacred
space beside Lake Cootharaba and am now at Ross and Tamzyn’s sacred space just out of Cooroy. The first thing I noticed is how alive this bush is.
Spiders SO big and my fear of being in that very space that is so much a part of me. This aliveness, this health and wellbeing, this connection to nature, it has made me realise that there is still an even stronger urge to connect to nature, to find myself even deeper into the parts of me that still need healing in order for me tohelp others in their own journeys.
Nature is so beautiful and perfect and yet I fear this at times – a challenging space to be in right now but amazing and exciting at the same time. Another internal journey and reflections of nature revealing to me, the essence of who I am. I’m meant to be here.
It was lovely to meet Gaylin today and we both realised that we were brought together to do some healing work together with kohatu. I’m looking forward to this!
Sunday 5th June – today is the last day of Floating Land and the conversations about water are coming to an end although I feel they have just begun. One of the things I remember in amongst all the korero was not an answer but a question…What If?
And so it has prompted me to ask my own questions… What if I had a voice? What if my story was heard? What if we all valued our natural environment and people? What if we all loved one another and cared for one another? What If?
So if these are my questions then perhaps the journey I am on will reveal the answers to me…
I painted two rocks today – as people shared conversations, I painted… I didn’t get to paint all the conversations but that’s ok… there will be more to come…
And one final question… What If we were all living our lives on purpose and knew who we were, what could be achieved?
Floating Land is nearly over and I’m feeling a little sad to be leaving this beautiful place but realize my attachment to the land and water here is something that I need to let go of in order for me to continue on my journey.
I’ve been conscious of this attachment to time and place, that feeling like you’re having to be somewhere at a certain time but being here has enabled me to see that if we trust we are always at the right place at the right time then I believe we are living in tune with the rhythms of life and this is where the real magic happens.
I woke up this morning to birds singing and when I came down to the space there were birds there as well just as they were when I first arrived. I feel like this journey is coming to a close… the lake has been such a place of healing and reflection for me… a space of giving, sharing and aroha…
I jumped on a rock today to paint it and also shot some video of me painting. It was quite revealing and I saw that I am so in myself and focused when I am painting. And to be standing on this big rock in the water has brought everything together of who I am, the importance of my story and sharing this at Floating Land with the community and of what is to come in the future.
These two ducks went swimming by today. Well, paddling or swimming, whatever they do to move in the water! I’m not really into ducks but these ducks were something else. I couldn’t help but notice them gliding peacefully through the water, leaving a trail of patterns behind them. And such a beautiful colour… anyway, no ordinary ducks these were, but I wonder if it is this place that is opening me up to the beauty within me and within the landscape? I am seeing the beauty in everything right now, with new eyes, I feel like I’ve been born all over again…
I had some special moments today with special people. A lady who had attended one of my workshops chased me up the street and wanted to give me a film she made of a special place here in North Queensland. My healing waters workshop moved her so much she wanted me to experience this special place as she felt it would have an effect on me.
I spent some time today with Steve, an artist here at Floating Land and as we chatted I painted one of the rocks at the back of his installation. It’s so good for the soul to connect through storytelling and experiences in life. Thank-you Steve.
And so many other people I had conversations with, awesome conversations, and I just want to say that it was such a joy to finally meet Dianne and Pete today who I will be spending time with next week. I am so grateful for this!
And then to top it all off – dinner with wonderful friends from all around the world.
What beauty will tomorrow bring?
PS – the duck photo is coming soon…
There’s this amazing tree in the space beside the lake where I am working at the moment. It’s like this totem pole in amongst all these other trees which are also like totem poles. I took photos of it today and it is very feminine as Ilka said and to me it looks like a woman wearing a korowai contemplating life, strong, centred and focused. She is being nurtured by this korowai, it’s like a cloak of her ancestors, supporting her as she looks to the distance across the lake and out to the sea…
I loved painting this rock today as I’ve loved painting all the rocks I’ve painted in this space. I feel like I don’t have to be perfect, to have straight lines… When I paint in this way, with the ochre onto big rocks that are embedded in the landscape I feel my message is so much more important than what the art looks like. I”m enjoying these moments of painting – earth on earth…
I’ve taken two photos of the rock today as I wanted to show you Ilka’s installation piece that is next door to me…Ilka has an important message too and her Deep Ecology work can be found here http://thelastree.net
I’m posting this rock from yesterday. I’m staying at an end of the hotel where the internet is very slow but it is probably the most beautiful part right next to the lake with trees outside my door…so I’m happy to compromise with a frustrating connection!