Rites of Passage

Tonight I heard many stories of past told by Māori from around the country, and as I listened I was taken back to my childhood memories of growing up in a village, a close knit community that was the first 12 years of my life.
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Even though most of the kaikōrero were of my parents generation, there was a familiarity about their stories; the abundance of kai, a sense of family extending far and wide, community and the importance of manaaki tangata – looking after people.

I also remembered my own youth, how lost I was at times, the disconnection… on the outside everything was fine but on the inside was another story of just wanting to be free, to be me. Then the many lessons that I had to learn on my own… and thinking also about the youth of today and how much things have changed in the last 20 years.
I was reminded once again of the importance of why I do what I do. Storytelling is so important.

Everybody has a story, and all stories are relevant – there is great power in a story to connect with the hearts of others, the very thing that is needed, I believe, to bring about change.
And I’m glad that tonight the importance of story was acknowledged as an important way of moving forward positively into the future.
Tonight I watched Hei Tikitiki – Māori Rites of Passage; a short documentary that is part of a Youth Development Research Project that involves Māori youth workers, youth and whānau exploring traditional youth development practices and sharing their learning with others.
Thanks to Manu Caddie and all those involved in bringing our rangatahi to light and for these stories that I’m sure will be important for the future of our rangatahi and our nation as a whole. You can see more about this project at http://rangatahi.wordpress.com/documents/research/ where you can also download the report of this research project and order the DVD!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Sunset

One of the most stunning things I remember about living in Taranaki are the amazing sunsets. In summer, the sky would glow a rich red-orange-pink that lit up the sky and the earth.
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I spent many summer evenings following a sunset and capturing the magic before the sun went down and I soon realised that the time between that beautiful glow and the sun disappearing beyond the horizon, was a very short window.
It was a short window of opportunity and if I was not with camera in hand, I would miss it! But if I was prepared for the opportunity, I would catch the perfect moment, every time…
It reminds me of those opportunities that present themselves everyday, those opportunities that are there in a moment and gone again, forever.
So next time you see a sunset, (by the way, you have to be in Taranaki to see the bestest sunset in the world!) remember that window of opportunity, cease the moment, take action and capture it!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Celebrate Difference

We went to Pecha Kucha tonight and I left there feeling so full and inspired!
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There were so many different stories – funny, sad, informative, inspiring kōrero and I just couldn’t help but think, how wonderful it is that we can share our stories in an open environment where there is no expectation about what we should talk about and people are open to receiving whatever.
We may not even agree with what has been shared but we acknowledge the person and what they have shared.
Everybody has a story and when we hear another perspective, another story that moves us, that says something to us, that makes us cry or laugh, our view of the world changes, and we are that much more closer to creating a world that embraces difference and change.

So thank-you to all the wonderful speakers and Leanne who was nervous before she started but performed beautifully her own poems in front of the big screen and Trish whose special healing journey made me cry big tears and I realised even more after her kōrero, the power of art to heal. And for all the laughs – thank-you for all the laughs!
And to end the night, a lovely dinner with friends Jo and Neil. Thank-you all!
It’s so important to celebrate difference, to embrace the colourful and ever changing society we live in.
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – Chamie and Vonny – I know you have been waiting patiently hehe – so here it is! : )

Be Kind

Be kind, because you never know what a person has experienced in their lives or what they are experiencing now.
Everyone wants to be loved and accepted.
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Be kind to one another because you never know, what you say to another may be your last words to them, and if they were your last words, is that what you would want to say?
Be kind, we are all dealing with “stuff” and those who aren’t have mastered the art of living totally in the present and accept, what is.

I’ve only met one such person in my life and it’s not the Dalai Lama because I have never met him, but if I did, he would be number two!
Be kind and with love in your heart…
Arohanui,
Jo x

From Nothingness

Ko te pū te more te weu te aka te rea te waonui te kune te whe te kore te pō ki ngā tāngata Māori nā Rangi rāua ki Pāpa ko tēnei te timatatanga o te ao, ko tēnei te timatanga o te ao…
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I was in the shower today and just started singing this waiata. You never know what song is gonna come out in the shower!
It is about the beginning of time, from nothingness – the realm of potential, to darkness, to te ao mārama – the world of light when Ranginui (sky) and Pāpatūānuku (earth) were separated and now, the world as we know it today.
Although I wonder about the world today and where we are headed and whether that world of light and understanding will continue to be that? And perhaps we need to look to our past, to revisit the potential that comes from nothingness in order to heal many of the things that are happening in our world today?
Arohanui,
Jo x

Hōngoingoi

Winter is well and truly here! Right now, I’m picturing my maunga back home in Taranaki with a beautiful korowai mā, not really wishing I was there right NOW though, its blinken cold enough here in Tūranga!
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Hōngongoi is our Māori word for July but like all words in our Māori language, each word tells a story and has a deeper meaning.

Hōngoingoi also means to crouch in front of a fire, which is fitting for this time of year as we huddle around the embers to keep ourselves warm. And this is the beauty of our tūpuna (ancestors) and how they thought, and this is the beauty of our language.
I was thinking about the importance of sitting around and having conversation, sharing with each other instead of watching TV or spending our time doing things that are not important. And I can imagine what it would have been like in my ancestor’s time. They would sit around and wānanga all the time, this is how our knowledge was handed down and it was such an important part of everyday living to socialise and share kōrero.
I think we don’t do it enough, just to talk with each other and have conversation is so important. I am always inspired and uplifted when I am in the company of great people sharing wonderful conversation and I need to do it more!
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – and true to form this kohatu is in total contrast with what I’m actually talking about, but like our language, it’s a lot deeper than what’s on the surface! And the sun came out today so it’s a sunny photo!

And I know I use Māōri words now and then and forget about my international non-Māori speaking friends sometimes so… korowai mā talks about the beautiful cloak of snow that I’m sure my maunga back home in Taranaki is wearing right now and wānanga means to meet, share conversation, to learn, to pass on knowledge… and many more meanings!

On Being Alone

I have memories of going into the bush to play alone as a child. I would build my home there and felt quite at home… I loved being alone.
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As a teenager, I never liked being alone and I always felt the need to be with others.
Later on, I relearned the joy and importance of being in solitude to reflect, to go within and be with oneself… such a hard thing to do at times. I spent four years living alone in the bush with minimal power, very cold at times, and lonely, but it was an important time in my life, very healing for me…

And now, I’ve realised the joy of both solitude and being with others although I do find solitude challenging at times still. And then sometimes I just want to be alone. So perhaps this wave of to-ing and fro-ing of solitude and social-ness will continue as it is. Everything in balance.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Inspired From Within

I never know what is going to come out on the rock until after I’ve painted it. And today’s rock is a different one – not my “usual” spiral painting, although the spiral is still there.
But that is the joy of creating something in the moment, painting intuitively and just allowing the brush to do it’s thing.
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I was thinking about my paintings on kohatu and even though I draw inspiration from my connection to the environment and being Māori, my art is not Māori art.
It has never been my intention to create Māori art, although at times my whakaaro may be inspired by things Māori. The designs I paint come from a place that knows no boundaries, a universal space that could be from anywhere…
I’ve been creating koru / spirals for as long as I can remember but this was long before I learned anything about Māori art. As a child, I drew spirals as borders, it seemed like a natural thing to do.
I believe my inspiration for this work is exactly that; inspiration – inspired from within and to label my work as this type of art or that type of art would limit its possibilities and potential.
I love Māori art but I feel most connected to the art that nature creates; the many patterns, shapes and colours…and our most ancient art form – rock art. Perhaps this is why I love painting rocks…
Now where is this all leading? I don’t know – I just wanted to say that. And it’s something I’ve been wanting to say for a while but perhaps didn’t have the courage. Culture is a funny thing…sometimes we may feel the need (or pressure) to fit into our cultural boundaries, but I don’t think life is supposed to be this way and maybe thats another story for another post!
Arohanui,
Jo x

The Language of Light

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I love the way of light; it’s ability to reflect the essence of nature in a single moment, lighting a pathway to a space or place, I see light in everything…
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Light expresses mood and feeling, light is a giver of life, it has the ability to bring out beauty and wonder, sadness and mystery.
Just as a painter who paints a portrait needs to know where the light falls, and so a photographer must “see” light to really capture the essence of what is in front of them.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Lifeline

If the ocean was to disappear, life as we know it would not exist.

Water. Such an important part of life.
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And as my understanding of life’s intricate systems are revealed to me, my desire to care for the ocean and our waterways has become even stronger. This life form depends on that life form in order to survive and if this life form ceases to exist then so does this one… everything is connected.
And when I see our ocean and our planet, I see myself in everything. Papatūānuku our earth mother is a living breathing being, just as we are living breathing beings. And I often wonder, is this not as obvious to others as it is to me?
It’s been raining for two days now. Some people would complain about the rain, but today I watched the rain and all I could think about was how can I capture all that rain and hold it in a tank for a later date, so when the sun shines again I have water…
And what can I do, to preserve life’s most precious resource and at the same time preserve my own life and the life of every living being on this planet?
Arohanui,
Jo x

Comfort is Risky

I was driving through a community today and it took me right back to when I was growing up. Everything seemed so familiar, the housing, the narrow road…
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I thought about the tight knit communities that to some degree shape us and have an affect on us in our later years, the experiences that are embedded in our cells like growths, at times out of control…
But at some stage we have to leave the comforts of familiarity and take control. To explore new horizons, to get a life and see what else is there…
Because this comfort can be risky – we never get to see what is on the other side of the world, outside the house, or the back yard or outside our own cities, so we stay just around the edges because that is what we know…we feel safe there…
But by playing safe, we risk all potential to be, we risk not seeing the beauty of what lies beneath the facade that has been created by familiarity of time, place, comfort…
And if only we knew what awaits us… if only we knew…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Talk To Her

It’s the name of a movie I just finished watching.
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Two woman are in a coma, one is a bullfighter and the other is a dancer. The dancer has been in a coma for four years and has been cared for by a man who loves her. He talks to her everyday, he washes her, he reads to her. He shares with her his experiences of the day. He does her hair, her makeup, everything that she would do for herself if she were alive – he does for her.
It’s a story filled with many things, but for me, it’s most important message was about the power of love. This man loved this woman so much and his simple acts of love breathe life into her and bring her out of her coma. The tragedy of it all is, he dies.
But it does have a happy ending. And there are some slightly off beat funny bits woven into the story, but the best thing to do is allow the story to be told… it’s a beautiful story, beautifully filmed and not what you would expect. And you might think I’ve told you the whole story – but I haven’t!
Check it out – it’s an art festival film and has now become one of my faves!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Mirrors of Ice

Wrapping myself up in a blanket of aroha and warmth, feeling the need to hybernate for a little bit, heal some more and regroup for the new journeys ahead.
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There was an amazing frost this morning – I have not seen one like this for a long time. I remember them often growing up in Rotorua and we would stand on the grass with bare feet and feel the ice beneath our feet and pretend to skate on the ice that had formed puddles of water underneath, like mirrors, you could look inside to see what was there but these ones you could crack open, there were no surprises, just cold…
And today as I stepped outside just for a little while, I heard a noise coming up the driveway, like someone was running and then I looked to see a leaf, all dried up, running up the driveway with the wind making a sound as it turned over and over…it had finally fallen…
Yes winter is here and I still have hope that there is some cold to balance the warmth that is heating our planet earth, there is still hope…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – Day 200 today! I feel new stories coming, stories of hope…

Hūpē

“Ko hūpē, ko roimata hei whakamauru noa i te mamae e kai kino nei, ā, mā te wā rawa te rāwakiwaki e whakangaro.”
“Mucus and tears will ease the intense pain and eventually in time the depression will recede.”
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Death is something that challenges me. My grandmother passed away on my ninth birthday and it was my first experience of death that I can remember and my first experience of a tangi, that I can remember.
From that moment on, there was always this fear, this selfish fear of losing a loved one.
Despite this, I love the way we mourn and honour our people when they pass on. Over three days, we share stories, we shed tears, we allow the hūpē (mucus) to flow, allowing the grieving to take place; it helps us to let go, it helps the deceased to let go and it prepares the pathway for the wairua (spirit) of that person to transition from this place to the next.
I love the whakatauki (saying) above as it talks about the flow of hūpē as an important part of the healing process. It also reminds me of when you have a cold and the flow of hūpē is like an internal cleansing, an emptying out, removing the blocks that mucus on the inside can cause.
M deepest sympathy and aroha to all those who have lost loved ones recently, there seems to have been many over this past week. I knew that one day I would talk about this and I had no words until now…
And I want to acknowledge the passing of Katarina Te Heikōkō Mataira… her passion and commitment to te reo Māōri has inspired in me an even stronger desire to speak my reo everyday, to ensure our Māori language, my Māori language is alive and well for future generations.
Kia kore ai e ngaro tāku reo rangatira – e te Kuia e… e Te Heikōkō, ko tō ataarangi ko tōku ataarangi ko tō reo ko tōku reo, haere atu rā e Kui, moe mai, moe mai ra…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Tomorrow People

We had a massive time at Matapuna training centre today. We were there to tautoko the Tomorrow People concert – an awesome kaupapa presented by Te Urunga Tū – a group of parents who want to create a future for their tamariki (children) WITHOUT fossil fuels.
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There was an amazing lineup of musicians which included Maisey Rika and Ria Hall – both awesome kai waiata with important messages, plus a whole lot of local acts including Te Kura o Waikirikiri, Radio Ngāti Porou who were broadcasting for six iwi radio stations and the PUKANA crew were also there! Plus some really informative speakers including Dayle Takitimu.
I came away feeling very inspired having been entertained by all these amazing Māori artists but also wanting to do even more for the future of our tamariki. As people played on stage, up front the tamariki sat and watched, taking it all in as kids do in their own special way and perhaps not even sure how this is going to affect them in the future but it was such a joy just to see them there; so alive and energetic.
And watching some of these kids get up and dance and sing – oh my gosh – there is no shortage of talent there and when one young kotiro got up to do her haka – man, she made the hair stand up on my skin!! Wow – she was no older than 10 but with such confidence that this generation has I believe, instilled through our Māori language, waiata and all those things that make us who we are as Māori. It was so beautiful to see…
And such wonderful support from the community who came to support as well.
I have brought many messages home with me but the most important is: don’t wait for those politicians down in Wellington to do something for us. We must start in our own homes with our own whānau, whether it is recycling, planting a garden or trees, changing the products that we use, biking or walking instead of taking the car, and being vocal in terms of not allowing any drilling for oil in ANY of our waterways.
A big mihi to the bro Rob Ruha and all those who made this event happen! Ka pai koutou!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Three Things

I learnt three things today…
1. Now I see that I must give what I most need…
2. The mystery of wood is not that it burns but that it floats…
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3. Those things that we need to work on most, are right there in front of us, the lessons, the challenges, the experiences are right there and will continue to present themselves until we learn.
It was hard for me to write yesterday. The more I tried, the harder it became. But if I had just looked at the rock I had painted and listened to it’s story, all would have been revealed to me.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Small Gesture

We had a lovely whanau come over tonight and bring us some kai (food) as a koha (gift) for something that Todd did for them today. We were pleasantly surprised because we were not expecting them to come over and say thank-you let along bring us some kai!
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It was really lovely to have this whanau in our home and to see how appreciative they were. We didn’t actually realise how much of an impact it would have on them and when they left we were uplifted and overwhelmed at what had happened.
Sometimes things that might seem small to us can mean all the world to someone else and this experience was a gentle reminder of the importance of small things, the small gestures that can make a difference.

Arohanui,
Jo x

I Appreciate You

I want to say THANK-YOU to everyone who has stopped by these pages to share your whakaaro, your thoughts…

To those who have followed the journey right from the very beginning and those who have recently joined the ride – thank-you!!
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I was thinking today how people come and go in flows, they’ll stay for a bit and then leave again almost like they came for a specific purpose, a certain time of year, a certain rock that perhaps had a message for them and then once they’ve received that message they’re gone again.
And then there’s those long term residents (haha – you know who you are!) who are always there and even when they’re not physically there, I can feel them in the periphery somewhere…
There are those who have never left a comment, those who are watching, observing, taking it all in, looking in from the outside…

And then there are those who show their face for just a little while and then they disappear as quickly as they appeared.
So thank-you all for making this offering so much more richer than I could ever make it on my own. I appreciate every word that is shared and I try to reply to everyone even if its just an acknowledgement with a push of the “like” button, just to let you know, I appreciate you. Thank-you.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Just Laugh

I was reading John’s book today and I laughed so hard, like deep down in my puku laugh, childhood laugh and SO loud I reckon the neighbours could hear and if anyone walked in on me, they would have thought I wasn’t all there – ha! But it was SO funny!
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And I haven’t laughed like that for such a long time which is kinda sad because our days should be filled with laughter and it makes you feel so good to laugh doesn’t it?
It was such a good feeling that I’m going to make a point of finding something to laugh about every day. I even laughed at myself laughing because it was actually really funny how I was laughing! You know when children laugh with all of themselves, deep down… I remember laughing like that as a child… but somehow we lose that desire, or ability or whatever it is that makes us laugh.
So I’m finding my laughing self all over again… thanks John!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Internal Layers

Sometimes when I paint a rock, it’s easy. I can paint it in ten minutes. Other times like today, it will take me forever!
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But I’ve learnt to just go with it, to work through whatever the block is, because each rock like this rock with many layers, is stripping away the internal layers of conditioning that have said to me in the past, you can’t do this (yes I can), this is not good enough (in whose eyes?), people will be critical of your work (of course – and?) and so on…
So the layers that I pile onto a rock have a purpose, a very good purpose. They help me move through those internal barriers that at the end of it all, transmute themselves into this beautiful work of art right before my eyes.
And here I am at Day 193! I’ve painted a rock a day for 193 days of the year and I betcha it won’t be long before I’ll be saying Day 300! And of course I will get there, not without a challenge, but I will get there!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Spilling Out

Gosh, it’s taken me a while to write this post! So I’m just gonna have a “spilling out” session and anything goes!
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I wonder if it’s all the political stuff that I’m exposing myself to lately. It does make me angry and it does put a bad feeling in my gut sometimes, like I wanna spew. Especially the ignorance of some people toward things Māori. I am Māori, I am of this land and it affects me.
So perhaps I’m just having a rant now, upset at sometimes feeling powerless within my own country which is perhaps the reason why people don’t bother with politics anyway.

Power and control. I wonder, if politicians were told today that they had to do what they do “for love”, how many of them would still be there? That’ll sort the real ones out from the fakes I bet.

People need to feel empowered, they need to feel like it’s ok to be who they are, that it’s ok to be who we are, that it’s ok to be who you are, and yes we are allowed to create our own destiny without having to worry about whether history will unfold to repeat itself again…history is already repeating…
Respect. People need to be respected. Power and control needs to be kicked to the curb (this seems to be my saying for the day!) and people should be allowed to protect what is there’s, to protect what is there’s to protect, and to be who they are…
Weight off shoulders. I must of needed that. It was like having a spew, but I feel much better now…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Mantra

This is my mantra for the day that I created this morning as I sat down to do my healing codes. It may not make sense to you all, but it makes perfect sense for me and has guided me throughout my day.
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I have nothing to fear
Making mistakes are important steps in my learning journey
they allow me to refine my journey
my art, my story
and bring forward my truth
for all to see
One step at a time is all it takes
And I AM good enough!
I AM needed in this world.
Arohanui,
Jo x
For those who do not know what the Healing Codes are, it is a form of healing that I started a year ago which I have just started to do again after 6 months not practicing. Other than Vipassana meditation which I practiced for six years, it is the only other form of healing that I’ve used that has healed the underlying cause of problems.

Leadership

Leadership has nothing to do with your ability to accumulate riches.
If you are well educated, you are not necessarily a leader.
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Leadership is humility, patience and compassion.
Leadership is passionate and courageous.

Leaders speak their truth and know when no words are necessary.
Leadership is not race or religion.
Leadership is not age or gender.
Leadership is not power and control.
Leadership is resilience.

Leadership is the ability to solve problems.
Leadership is solutions.
Leadership does not judge or put down.
Leadership is understanding, positive and committed.
We are all leaders in our own special way.
We just need to decide whether or not we want to lead.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Living Out of a Suitcase

I was up early this morning to catch the bus to the airport and as I waited, I saw a woman sleeping, tucked into the corner of the bus stop. It was raining a little and I thought, oh I hope she hasn’t missed her bus, maybe she needs to be woken up?
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She had a big suitcase, a pile of clothes placed neatly on top and a few bits and pieces hanging off the bag.
I looked across the road and I saw a man pulling a suitcase behind him and I knew he wasn’t going to the airport and then I realised, she was homeless and she wasn’t going to the airport either although given half the chance she would probably be up in a flash.
I felt sad and angry at the same time and just wanted to wrap these two up in a blanket of aroha and take them home with me… I also felt very grateful for my life, the roof over my head and the fact that I was going home…
Arohanui,
Jo x

The Singing Rock

I’m in Auckland for the night performing live with composer and sound artist Leah Barclay as part of the ACMC sonic art concert being held at the Auckland University music school – gosh that was a mouthful!!
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So we’ve had our rehearsal and I thought I would paint my rock and post before we head off to the concert!
And this rock is going to be singing for us tonight, Leah has composed a piece called ‘Dhakan’ and there is a part in the piece that was created as a result of a collaboration with Leah in Taranaki at the beginning of the year. So rocks and water and bowls and musical instruments and sounds of nature and voices and waiata of both Aotearoa and Australia will be playing together accompanied by a beautiful piece composed by Leah…a piece that has been composed using the sounds of nature…
So I’m grateful to have this opportunity to experience and learn about sound as an art form…
I’ll let you know later how the performance goes, but I’m sure everything will come together nicely and the rock is going to sing beautifully tonight!
Ma te wā,
Jo x
You can visit Leah’s website here: www.leahbarclay.com or you can find her on Face Book.

Pilgrimage

I watched a documentary today – a pilgrimage that our whanaunga from Pakakohi and Ngāti Ruanui in Taranaki took to Ōtākou. It was a pilgrimage to remember those ancestors who died while imprisoned for fighting against land confiscations by the crown.
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I was moved to tears and as I listened to the names of those tūpuna (ancestors) who never survived, I felt the mamae (pain) of those whanau who still carry the effects of this today, whose ancestors to this day have never returned home.
I’m not sure why I talk about this today. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading a book by John Danalis – “Riding the Black Cockatoo” that talks about repatriation and the returning of an ancestor to his country. An ancestor who passed years ago but has only just begun the journey home.
And as I hear both of these stories, there is little difference in our history and I can only hope that stories like these continue to be told.
And I paint this rock for my dear friend Ray who a few years back, gave selflessly to our people as we travelled our own personal pilgrimages. And people like John and Ray who at least try to understand and do the right thing, I wish there were more of them in the world.
And we all need to take responsibility for ourselves, to heal ourselves so that we can move forward, remembering the legacy that our ancestors left for us but also creating our own legacies for the future. That is our right and that is our responsibility.
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – the link to watch this documentary online is here http://bit.ly/n28q4u If you can’t stream it in your country, Waka Huia also has a channel on You Tube. You can see other stories here too!

Ko Wai Koe – Who Are You?

You know when you’re out somewhere, maybe at an exhibition opening or at a hui and you meet someone you have never met before, do you ask them, “Who are you?” or do you say, “What do you do?”
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Often I will ask, “Where you from?” as a way of making a connection with the person and perhaps I might know someone they know or they might even be related to me! It just seems like a natural thing to do to make that connection…
But I reckon more often than not, when we get into conversations it’s all about what we do for a job and yet for most people, this has nothing at all to do with who they are… And I believe this question, “who are you?” expands even further than where we are from. It conjurs up an acknowledgement of ones intrinsic being; their hopes, their passions, their purpose…
So I challenge everyone, next time you’re out and you meet someone new, ask them “Who are you?” and see what response you get.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Mate Atu He Tetekura

Mate atu he tētēkura, hara mai he tētēkura.
As one fern frond dies, another arises to take its place.
koru hand painted rock
I cried big tears today. It was great! Sometimes things happen that prompt us to face what it is that we need to face in order to release it and allow healing to take place. Sometimes we need to lose something, to release something in order to gain and learn what our next step will be. And such is life…
Much aroha to Ana who lost her mother today, who so bravely speaks about her, not in sadness but in honour of her life through her death, a self-less remembrance of someone dear to her heart. May this kohatu carry you into the future Ana and remind you every day of the life that you and your mother shared together…
Arohanui,
Jo x
Ko tēnei te wiki o te reo Māori nō reira, kia kaha tātou ki te kōrero ēngari, kia kaua mā tēnei wiki anake, whakanuia kahatia i ngā wā katoa! This week is Māori language week so let us celebrate by speaking our language, but don’t wait for this week, celebrate our reo by speaking it all the time! : )

Pride of Place

I’ve had three people in the last couple of days say to me that the rocks I have painted for them (one over 12 years ago!) have pride of place in their home…
koru hand painted rocks
I am so grateful that people appreciate these kohatu – as the word “kohatu” says, they are special gifts! And they are special gifts because they come from special places with special energy and special stories…
And I’ve always known them to be special, from the moment I first held a kohatu in my hand and then when I started to paint them… they’re so special to me that I moved to be close to them for seven years…
I’m happy that these kohatu are now scattered around the world sharing their healing energy wherever they are…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Intuitive Stretching

I love stretching…
I listen to my body and find places where stress is stored, then breathing in to exhale again, I let go…
allowing the energy to flow again…
koru hand painted rock
Its amazing how your body responds when you listen… giving your attention for just a few moments can bring great healing and release…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Sugar – The New Fire Water

We were talking the other day about how cheap it is for kids to buy fizzy drinks these days… and the amount of sugar that is in them!
koru hand painted rocks
I remember walking into the supermarket first thing in the morning on a number of occasions, and there were these young kids walking out of the supermarket with two bottles each (big ones) of fizzy drink!
I don’t think people get how “bad” sugar is especially in excessive amounts and I know from personal experience how “bad” sugar is and how addictive it can be because I was brought up on it! Every morning in our school lunch boxes, we would have at least (at least!) one chocolate bar! When I think back, I realise I became addicted at a very young age and have spent many years of my life trying to deal with balancing insulin and sugar levels.
Diabetes is a huge issue here in Aotearoa and in many places around the world and yet we continue to promote sugar every single day without thought for the consequences of consuming large amounts of it.

As adults, we need to take responsibility for ourselves and the food that we put into our bodies and bless those yummy chocolate bars that magically made their way into my lunchbox every morning, but now, its my responsibility to ensure that this is not passed on to the next generation… the least we can do is stop taking the easy option and feeding our children sugar!
I want to finish with a link to a beautiful flute and poetry reading by Rykelle Kemp and her Dad Randy Kemp who I met here in Aotearoa back in 2006. This is beautiful and talks about the assimilation of their people… and the words, “sugar – the new fire water” are Rykelle’s… http://bit.ly/kogjVP When you arrive to the website, you’ll see Rykelle in a recording studio, press play…
Arohanui,
Jo x