Tukutuku Kōrero

I’ve been in a state of excitement and tiredness today. Tired probably because I am full of chocolate haha but excited because I am inspired and uplifted and hopeful for the future.
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Some days are just like nah – so many things happen where you just want to go and have a moe and not do anything, things seem like they’re not going your way and other days are like full of life and energy and always so positive.
No wonder so many people lose the plot sometimes – to be quite frank about it! It’s actually a challenge living life and keeping it all together at times, balanced and focused on life and living life, being happy with all the pressures of everything around you that challenge everyday? Isn’t it?
My gosh – we have got to one of the most complicated beings on this planet and sometimes I think (see I think) if we didn’t have brains or the ability to think too much, life would be so much easier.
But such is the challenge of life ne? We either choose to live it as it is with it’s troughs and valleys or we stumble around aimlessly, lifeless, blaming everything outside ourselves for why life has dealt us such a bad deal.
Get up and get going because life is waiting – for YOU! And while you’re at it can you also take good care of yourself and the environment too. Please.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Waimarie

Tō mātou waimarie kua tae mai ngā reo waiata ataahua kei waenga i a mātou.
Kāore he kupu. There are no words for the beautiful waiata that are gracing our space at the moment. I don’t know how many times I have said this year I am in awe, but this time I really am in awe!
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Kei te paopao te whatumanawa i te ataahua ō ngā waiata. Kei te rongo hoki i te wairua o ngā mātua tūpuna i roto i te ngākau o te tangata. He rawe.
Thank-you Majic, Robbie and Ropata. We are truly blessed today and will be forever blessed. Thank-you for sharing with us your beautiful waiata, waiata that we can feel are who you are. So thank-you for sharing who you are with us. The world is waiting for you all.

Ae, we are truly blessed. Me hoki mai anō.
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – Majic painted the rock on the left and I painted the rock on the right. And those are Todd’s glass pieces in the foreground. The painting is one I painted over a year ago and have only just pulled out today. I love how all the colours work together nicely, they remind me of the beautiful waiata we have been hearing today – waiata that have moved me to the depths of my being.

Common Ground

You know, some people may be disappointed about a National led govt, I certainly was in the first instance but all that aside, we have some pretty talented, charismatic, intelligent Māori in the house!
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And I think we need to celebrate that.

It’s unfortunate that we’re spread across different parties but this is how we as Māori have existed for years. We are tribal, we have our own kawa, our own tikanga and ways of doing things. And that’s ok. Not to mention our own personalities and personal values.

But from what I can see, there are also areas of common ground. So perhaps this is where we meet? If we all worked together toward these common areas of interest we could actually move forward!

Respect for one another, understanding another’s point of view without compromise for our own views, we can actually bring about change! And if we let go of this desire for power and ego! The next three years are going to be very interesting – for both our existence as humans on this planet and for the planet itself.

Arohanui,
Jo x

Humanity

At the end of the day – we are all human. We feel, we laugh we cry. We all have hearts. So why do some think that their lives are more important than others? Why are we so self-indulged? It’s all about us. It’s all about me me me.
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There is nothing that distinguishes you from me. We might look different, we may speak different languages but underneath these many layers, we all have the ability to feel.

What makes us different is how we choose to perceive each other as human beings. Do we choose in each moment to respond with love, compassion and understanding or do we choose to react in ways that widen the gap between us?
Arohanui,
Jo x

Political Landscape

Well I’ve just returned home from a 60th birthday and I’ve been having a nohi at the election results.
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My goodness, why am I not surprised? National are back in the house but I’m happy for one thing and that is my party vote for GREEN counted tonight.

No longer can we rely on our govt for our health and wellbeing. No longer can we rely on our govt to deliver the things they say they will deliver. No longer can we rely on the govt. Fullstop.
Let us take responsibility for our own health and wellbeing. Let’s create our own work, our own opportunities, we do not have to wait for the govt to say go – we can take control of our own lives.
The outcomes of this election have put the importance of my work and my life into perspective. Who I am in this life is now more important than ever – I have work to do!
It’s three more years to the next election in 2014 – let’s hope that our planet survives that far into the future because at the rate we are going, we are going to destroy it before we even get there and if that happens, it will not matter who will be in parliament.
And tonight at the party, those same words reflected on again and again – we must live life fully and enjoy each moment.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Right Now

What matters today, right here, right now?

So many things swishing around in this brain of mine – a realisation that this year is nearly over and in 36 more days it will be 2012!
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My goodness – time is so precious, every day we must embrace, each day has meaning, every minute important and sometimes hard in amongst the storms that blow through now and then.
Today’s rock is from the Mohaka river – a beautiful white-ish stone, slightly textured, small and delicate, a lovely energy. I gathered a few stones from the Mohaka river and some of them carrying shells inside creating patterns within now smooth stones that resemble stories of old.
These two koru, like two pillars that stand side by side – the space in between that allows air to flow through…
Two pillars that give strength to each other and hold up the roof above, a solid foundation…
Much aroha to Di and Pete who celebrate their aroha for one another today.
Arohanui,
Jo x

A Feeling

I remember the feeling of selling my first piece of art work, there was nothing quite like that feeling! I can’t remember the exact amount I sold the artwork for, it didn’t matter, but that feeling of satisfaction – wow, unbelievable, awesome, yay me!
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How does success feel? I remember playing a national touch final – the hooter goes to signal the end of the game and you’ve won and you know you’ve won a gold medal – but it’s not the medal that matters, its those months of training and hard work that got you there, the journey, the people you spent time with to get there, that feeling of success is unbelievable. I can still feel it now.
What is that feeling when you lose someone you love – painful, sadness, why me? Why now? Devastation. Confusion. Loss feels SO huge. That feeling we all know at some stage in our lives.
I love it when you help someone – that feeling of – yes – this has made a huge difference to someone else’s life, even for a moment.
The ability to feel, to allow oneself to feel…to really feel in each moment, challenging at times, but feel we must…
Arohanui,
Jo x

He Taonga Tuku Iho

I love it when I talk to our old people – they are just a big kete of knowledge.

We visited a lovely koroua today to capture some wonderful kōrero about a traditional Māori way of fishing. It was so beautiful to watch.
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These gifts handed down from our ancestors – these are real taonga – special treasures that need to be shared so that they can live on into the future.
But I can understand the concern of our old people, that these taonga can get lost, not because we don’t share them although this can happen too, but because there is fear that people will want to exploit our culture to make money – fear that they will lose again – what it is to be Māori.
So we were so lucky to be sharing with this koroua something that has been handed down to him and which he is now sharing with his mokopuna. And what wonderful mokopuna he has – all great fishermen, farmers and musicians! An interesting mix!
So honoring our elders today as I have done throughout the year – our wise historians, scientists, teachers, philosophers, parents, grandparents – many whose fame and successes in life have been living life, living with the environment and understanding her movements and ways.
One brush stroke is all that was needed for this kōrero today. Actually it was all I could manage. I was so drained from being at the beach all day but well worth the time – kua kī i te kōrero ataahua – very tired now – currently in Taradale and am posting this rock from Wed – yesterday.
Arohanui,
Jo x

The Way of Spirit

When you let go of expectation, it’s amazing at how things turn out. I always feel so enlightened after I’ve painted a rock and have totally let go to the process. There is something about letting go that is so fulfilling and so hard at the same time!
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Most times I think I know what I’m going to paint, why I’m painting it and the story that will go with it but when brush is down and I’m writing my words for the day – most times – it is not what I expected.
And always everything has made perfect sense even though at the time, in my mind it was something else!
Letting go and surrendering to life’s wonder-full ways is often hard to do but when we allow things to unfold as they should, it is pure magic.
Arohanui,
Jo x

40 days

You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free – I was reminded of these words yesterday, words I had learnt many years ago. I am not religious, but these words of Jesus really touch me deeply.
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And as a child I actually had a good relationship with Jesus, I thought he was kinda cool – but not in a religious way.

I am not against religion, people can believe in whatever they want to and I have much respect for Jesus who was for me a man of honour. He was an expression of unconditional love and kindness. He lived and breathed those qualities, they were very much a part of him. And I think that’s wonderful.
So those opening words have obviously been with me for a long time – familiar and something I aspire to everyday, to find the truth within me, my truth…
And you’re probably wondering about the 40 days – another reminder of another story!
The story of the great flood. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. And there are 40 days left in the year and so 40 more rocks to paint. So 40 more opportunities (for this year anyway) to share my stories with the world!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Crescent Moon

Memories of a Crescent Moon…
Sitting high in the sky on a crescent moon is like lying in a hammock, swinging your legs over the side watching the day float by…
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A crescent moon reminds me of a cup runneth over, full to the brim of goodness…
A crescent moon balancing on another crescent moon on another crescent moon…
Like seeds in a pod waiting to hatch to come out into the world, waiting for the full moon…
Ahhhh… there is something wonderful about a crescent moon…
Arohanui,
Jo x

May 6th 2012. This is a link to an interview that my partner and I did with National Radio. In the interview the words above are recited… it was nice to hear these words in this way and gave me a different perspective for my writing…

Sacred Green

Green green green! It’s been on my mind all day today!
I love green – it is one of my favourite colours. I haven’t actually used green for a long time on my rocks because I haven’t had green paint so I just had to mix some green paint today to curb my desire for green!
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Green is a healing colour for me. It’s fresh and calming and there is something about it that makes me come alive.
I remembered playing netball at five years old for our Waipa village netball team. Our uniforms were green – bottle green! So this thought came to mind today as I mixed the green and painted this stone.
This rock is very healing for me – another memory of my childhood embedded in stone, accepting and embracing all parts of me.
Green…sacred green…
Arohanui,
Jo x

In Spite Of

We were just talking tonight about learning in mainstream school and ahakoa te aha – even though there were so many things not good about mainstream school for us as Māori – I learnt to read, write and spell in english – in spite of everything.
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I read today that Te Reo o Taranaki won an award at the Te Reo Māori awards which are happening now – YAY!!… in spite of everything that our whānau have suffered we have managed to revive our reo and keep our reo alive.
In spite of everything, our history, the negativity – STILL – toward Māori, we have survived.
I listened last weekend to kōrero from home at Parihaka and I am so honoured to one of ngā mōrehu o Parihaka – the future generation of an important legacy that has been left to us by our tūpuna.
Yes we must move on and forgive the past and heal ourselves, but we must also honour those who have gone before us, who have paved the pathway forward for us, so that we may tread more easily upon this earth, strong, in dignity and pride.
In spite of everything, we have survived. And life does go on, tomorrow is another day, another opportunity to honour life, to honour who we are and live.
Arohanui,
Jo x
Many people around the world do not know about Parihaka and our history at Parihaka. http://www.parihaka.com/About.aspx Many know about Ghandhi and his stance of passive resistance but before Ghandhi there were our tūpuna – Te Whiti and Tohu – there was Parihaka and the people of Parihaka who still live today to tell their story.

The Weed Garden

You know, I really love weeds and just today we pulled all of our weeds out of the garden but not until the weeds had established themselves overtime and grown into big wild bushes!
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Weeds grow like forests do I reckon – that’s my observation anyway. First these plants grow and then those plants grow until you’ve got a forest of weeds!
Have you taken note when weeds do grow how many special and varied weeds there are? There are heaps and many have pretty little flowers – I especially like buttercups and namunamu which have a tiny purple flower. This plant and many of the others can be used for healing.
The roots of weeds also create space in the soil – they actually help break it down and so when we do eventually pull them out, the soil is nice and loose.
I think I’ve told this story before but I used to grow my lawns until they were long enough to roll around in and until all the dandelions grew – until the landlord told me I had to mow them – well I had my roll around and got my photos of oversized dandelions and daisies anyway!!
Next time you’re out in the garden and you have weeds, leave them a little longer and see what appears – you’ll be surprised at what beauty there is in amongst the weeds.
Arohanui,
Jo x

In Front of My Eyes

I painted this rock today directly in front of my eyes – I held it up in front of my eyes and I painted it there. I wouldn’t normally do this of course but I had just been to the Osteopath and I was consciously holding my spine in place lol!
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Let me just explain that again so it’s clearer. Normally I would place the rock in my hand, on the floor or on the table and I would look down at the rock to paint, but this time I brought the rock up to my eyes and held my posture upright!
It felt kind of strange but at the same time I felt like I was painting from another place… it certainly felt different, everything flowed out onto the rock nicely and when I looked at what I had painted – I thought wow – that is cool!
It made me think about the body and how when we are aligned physically, energy can flow easier, there is less stress and so creativity comes from a more balanced place. I was also thinking, that I will probably paint directly in front of my eyes again because as odd as it was, it felt good at the same time! Other than having to hold my arms in place for a reasonable amount of time!
And I just want to say thank-you to all those who contributed kōrero to yesterday’s kohatu – such beautiful words were shared by everyone – thank-you! I’m actually going to do that again before the week is up so stay tuned for the next opportunity! And of course you can always share a kōrero about the rocks anyway 🙂
Arohanui,
Jo x

Collective Words

Well – one of my lovely friends Jack Gray suggested yesterday that maybe one day, you all should write the kōrero for the rock of the day. And I thought that was a brilliant idea and so did a few others, so I said why not tomorrow which is now today – so here it is!!
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I look forward to hearing all your wonderful kōrero for today’s kohatu – and thank-you to you all who have shared so much already. Yay – can’t wait – so excited to hear all your wonderful words!
Arohanui,
Jo x

On Demand – Not Always

Well today I thought I could just come to my blog and start writing my kōrero for the day but oh no – hullo – 8.30pm, no kōrero, 9.30pm, no kōrero and then 10pm is looming and here I am.

So I thought bugger it, I will tell you about my lack of inspiration right now and my taking it all for granted that I could just come here to my computer and all the words would just come spilling out! Not!
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Day 318 and I’ve hit another writer’s block. There was one day early on in the piece when I had no words – and that is pretty much what I said – I have no words.
So anyway, as you can tell I’m just letting it all come out and talking like I’m having a conversation with you and I just wanted to say if you ever get writer’s block or creative blocks like I’m having right now, just keep writing whatever comes to mind, or just create anything. Have no expectations of outcomes and just do.
This is what I do with my rocks and my kōrero and I must have been trying to push the kōrero out tonight because it just wasn’t coming!
I must say, I do love this kohatu and perhaps no words are necessary, but some days are like this and you just have to go with whatever is in front of you. Right, I feel like I’ve had a big blah out onto this page and am now ready to write again – yes!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Circling Orange

Looking back over the past 316 days I’ve come full circle and gone back to painting koru and circles again. It feels kinda nice actually, back to balance, restoring the passion and motivation that kick started me in the first place.
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When I stop for reflection times like this – each rock a reflection of me, the day’s offerings, emotions, my kōrero and other’s kōrero too…triggers that remind us of something, reminisce, be inspired…
It really does feel like I’ve run a marathon and coming to the end of that marathon, it feels like when you’re at the end of something and you just want it to be over but in the same breath you wanna make it a good sprint to the finish line and give it all you’ve got – and – have time to be thinking about what’s gonna happen next year too!
Wherever I’m going with this kōrero – circles are where it’s at, there is nothing straight forward or linear in life! Things happen in all sorts of ways, unexpectedly, and expected at times but whatever way they happen, there is always the circle to bring us back to where we started, back to balance, arrived at the end which is also the beginning of another page, another time in life’s wonderful web.
Arohanui,
Jo x

In Transit

It’s been one of those days full of stuff! I don’t know what to call it – a mixed lolly bag, four seasons in one day, ups and downs, a roller coaster ride – haaaaa – āpōpō will be different I’m sure – ceremony, quiet, taking stock, redefining, planning, change, change, change…
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It’s one of those troughs where you come to realisations about many things, that life does not wait and you have to take the bull by the horns and just do it – after you get through all the fluff, all the gunk that stands in your way, out the other side, there is the treasure…
So embracing these moments of transit…going to the next level, pushing oneself again but remaining balanced at the same. Not easy but necessary.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Ko Tōku Raukura

I ngā rangi tata nei, kua rere atu tōku wairua ki tōku kainga i Parihaka.
Me pēhea te timata i te kōrero nei?
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I’ve just been tuning in back home to Parihaka – Toroānui marae where whānau have gathered for the beginning of Taranaki Tū Mai. I’ve been listening via Te Korimako o Taranaki and have been blown away by the kōrero of our whanaunga Ruakere.
It’s interesting because this kōrero, these waiata are not new to me but there was something about listening to the kōrero this time that really perked my ears up and helped me understand on a deeper level who my tūpuna of Parihaka were and what they stood for.
I am humbled and warmed by the kōrero that flows through the beautiful waiata E Rere Rā and Piukara – kōrero that cannot be explained in depth in english so I won’t even try, but I just want to say that what our tūpuna (ancestors) stood for was real – they were passive resistance personified and they lived this stance for many years and to this day we as a people honour our tūpuna and the legacy they have left for us.
One of the most important things I heard tonight from Ruakere was about bringing out those stories, those stories that our ancestors did not want our children to learn because they did not want to burden them. I agree – it is time to heal from our past, to really understand the legacy that our tūpuna left for us and live it. Really live it.
Perhaps this deeper understanding – “te reka mai o te kōrero”, the essence of what our tūpuna stood for and that they spoke about and left for us in our waiata – perhaps this is our starting point to heal.
Kei te haere tonu ngā mihi ki ngā mate o te wā, otira ki tātou e noho mai ana i ō tātou kainga maha. Pō mārie tātou.
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – and how special this day is – the 11th of Nov 2011.

Human Nature

Whenever he sung, he sung from his heart.
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Michael Jackson for me is THE most amazing artist and musician that has ever lived. No-one in my life time has ever come close to him. And I want to honour him today because as I watch the story of his life unfold, I realise he was an amazing human being who inspired many, right from a child to the day he died.
He was one of the most sensitive, cleverest and loving people and he was a real humanitarian, someone who cared about life, about others and about the environment. He was tuned in and unfortunately some people wanted to make a drama of his life because he seemed too good to be true.
Much to his demise also, he was a perfectionist and so he strived to be the best until the day he died. He wanted to be good in the eyes of others and his outward success was to eventually become his fate at such a young age. The pressure and stress became too much.
Why am I writing about this? I’ve just watched Michael Jackson – The Life Of An Icon – a new release on video here in Aotearoa and it puts the record straight, spoken by many of his friends and family who tell his story as it was.
His heart was in his music – he loved to perform, he was caring, he was passionate, he strived to be the best.
And his success did not come from the money that he had, he was always trying to give that away, but it was the music that he made, the songs he sung and the legacy that he will leave for many generations to come.
I remember watching another documentary – This Is It which came out not long after he had passed away. He was practicing for his last worldwide tour. I remember watching this master construct a stage show to perfection – a show which would never be performed live. But I saw in that video the “art” of Michael Jackson, and he was a genius. The words I remember from that documentary, “we have four years…” and I believe he was talking about the state our world is in at the moment.
Beneath our mirror here at home in the bathroom, we have the words, “if you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and then make a change…”
I see those words everyday and everyday I strive to heal a small part of me. Michael Jackson did not start me on this journey of healing by the way, I have been on this journey for over 20 years but he does inspire me very much and will inspire me for many years to come.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Stories

It’s important to tell our stories. Looking back over the past 300+ days I can see the importance of story as a way of connecting with one another, to be inspired or moved in some way and to add to the conversation and share our own stories.
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It’s the sharing of our stories that helps us make sense of the world. The stories we tell and share that have been fashioned from our own lives, that are then told, passed on and recreated into other stories, new and inspiring.
It’s our stories that give us life.
Stories are a way of understanding where we have come from, who we are, who our ancestors were and where we might go into the future. They are also those experiences from moment to moment that may become stories into the future and that reflect our stories of past.
Stories have a life of their own – they are forever.
There are very little stories or photos of my grandparents, even my mother’s and father’s generation that I can refer to, very little. So it has become more important for me to tell my stories every day as a documentation for future generations.
Stories, told in many ways – through our creations, music, written on paper or just in conversation. But whatever way we capture them we must capture them and share them.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Make Time

I haven’t painted a small rock like this for a while but out of all the rocks that I have painted this year, these tiny ones although small, are the most special to me.
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One of our friends called in tonight, just to have a kōrero and say hi. It’s those thoughts and small gestures of caring and aroha that can make all the difference in our lives. Making time to stop in and spend time with friends or whānau instead of leaving it until next time. Reminding each other that we love each other.
I have all my small rocks lined up in a row on two window sills and it’s wonderful to remember that each one has a story and each one is meaningful for a time, a person a place, but also meaningful for this time too – right now.
So I just want to say, if you have ever been a part of my life up until now, at any time or place – thank-you and if you are ever passing by, do call in because you never know – we may not see each other again.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Mihi Aroha

So many things floating around in my mind… actually, whizzing around in my mind right now! Emotions – sad, angry, helpless, confusion, tears, tiredness, grateful, moved, overwhelmed…
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Appreciation for life, for those I have in my life. Remind me to never put off spending time, to show someone you love them… never leave a visit or kōrero to a loved one, until next time… because next time may never come.
It has been a tough few days for many and my thoughts have been at home in Taranaki – at Parihaka and to all those whānau and friends who have gathered to farewell a loved one. My thoughts are also with my ancestors who 130 years ago stood in solidarity and passive resistance as their kainga, their home was invaded.
And most importantly for me right now, I want to end with a big mihi to my niece whose birthday it is today. A young woman who has endured so much in her life already. I am so proud of you darling, for living your life, being there for your whānau the best you can and for having grown into a beautiful young woman. I love you.
Arohanui,
Jo x

The Power of Now

Flying on a plane in the realms of Ranginui today, the bumps and noise and then moments of smooth – I’ve learnt to ride with it although not pleasant at times, but it does not last forever.
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The Power of Now – this moment is all there is. If I try and will the bumps and turbulence away, it makes it even worse and it feels like forever before it stops and then the smooth times, enjoying those moments wishing all plane rides would be like this and yet I have only ever had a handful of plane rides where there was little turbulence at all!

So even though I know turbulence is a part of plane rides why do I try and will it away or wish I wasn’t in the plane at that moment?
So a plane ride is very much like life – it has it’s ups and downs, turbulence and calm – if we just learn to ride with it, to go with it, to fly and appreciate each moment because NOW is all there is.
And if we appreciate life as it is in each moment, we learn to see in ways we have never seen before, we accept what is which allows us to flow with life and life is like an unfolding – growing, changing, learning…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Made Of Stars

I’ve always loved the stars. As a kid we lived in a village away from bright lights and tall buildings (not that the buildings in Rotorua were tall lol) so the stars we could see from our house were amazing. A blanket of magic…
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I had a wonderful day today (ahakoa te wā pouri) with a group of people from such diverse backgrounds – geologists, biologists, physicists, artists, philosophers, ecologists… who all shared their perspective on the evolution of the earth, time, energy – from the beginning of time as we know it to the present day.
I was totally fascinated and curious of course, asking all sorts of questions and feeling like I was in heaven with a couple of geologists in the crowd (rock knowledge rock knowledge haha!) and picking their brains to buggery!
But it was so exciting to see the connections of science to mātauranga Māori and that somewhere in amongst all this terminology that I can’t pronounce, there is a wealth of knowledge, history and stories that have become so meaningful in many wonderful ways.
I really was a kid in a lolly shop lol – wanting to get as much as I could as well as share a perspective that perhaps at times gets discounted and put to the side…
And I was so happy to hear that all things on this earth including us as human beings contain matter of the stars so we are in essence of another planet, star, space, place in time.
We really are made of stars! I love that! I’m already a star haha!
Sending a big happy birthday to Phoebe who turns the big ONE today. May your life be filled with love and wonder – yes it is all about you – you are the future and I am so happy to be celebrating your life today.
Arohanui,
Jo x

Mangopare

The first word that came to mind when I was painting this kohatu was mangopare – the hammerhead shark. A symbol of strength and tenacity.

Just as I had finished putting the final touches to this kohatu, I received a phone call from Todd with some sad news.
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I have no words at this time other than I am grateful, I am grateful to have life, to have my loved ones in my life and if you have not told someone in a while you love them – please go and tell them now. Life is so precious and we can lose those we love in an instant.
Sending much aroha and strength to the Wano whānau at this time. Kaore he kupu. Kei te riri au, kei te pouri hoki. Kei te tangi kaha te ngākau i tēnei wā, ka nui te aroha…
Arohanui,
Jo x

Affirming the Earth

I hold the earth in the palm of my hand.
I am 100% responsible for my actions.
koru hand painted rocks
I take responsibility for myself, to treat myself with respect and love.

I take responsibility to care for the earth.
I have the ability to bring about change.
Change begins with me – right now.
Arohanui,
Jo x

A Good Laugh

Don’t you just love a bloody good laugh! You know that deep belly laugh that hurts your puku and you just can’t stop laughing for ages!
koru hand painted rocks
Now I’m not going to tell you what we were laughing about tonight (it’s a surprise and you’ll hear about it in a book later!) but oh my goodness – funny – the very thought of it had us in fits of laughter!
Laughing is SO SO GOOD – it exercises “funny” muscles in your face and puku and releases all these unwanted things that no longer serve us – like stress – and oh my gosh, I’m laughing still right now! You’re probably wondering what at, but not telling…
Just a reminder to keep smiling and keep laughing every day! Go and have a laugh right now, go on! And what should you laugh about? Oh I don’t know, whatever makes you laugh!
Arohanui,
Jo x

Ngā Manu Kaitiaki

We’ve had heaps of birds around lately including the tui who are out in full force – I was delighted the other day to see a tui land on our harakeke plant to eat the kōrari (flax flowers) and that was after it had a feed on the neighbours kōwhai tree – my goodness!
koru hand painted rocks
There are many birds that are kaitiaki for me – the kahu (hawk) is one, the tīrairaka (fantail) and the kererū (pigeon) or kūkupa. There are others, but these birds are always on my pathway.

When driving on a long journey, guaranteed I’ll see at least one kahu. With massive wingspans and freedom in flight, I always get excited when I see one, especially when they come close. And having photographed them often over the past five years, there is not one that is like another – they are all unique. Such amazing birds…

And the fantail – the tīrairaka – I see also while on a journey, in the bush or in another place away from home. They often catch me unaware and appear out of no-where. This is an amazing bird to photograph if you can catch it in a still moment but they are the most beautiful birds – just like friends – they are cheeky, intelligent, funny and clever.

And then the kererū – you can hear their wings before you see them, whoooooosh…they’re impressive flyers and beautiful birds with golden coats of glistening green, they are royalty to me and I’ve been privileged enough to have lived amongst them, in the realms of Tāne in their territory, in their forest.
I’ve been priveleged enough to have all of these birds in my life as kaitiaki – as guardians looking over me.
For me they are the link between the physical and the spiritual world, they move in both worlds and are our link to our ancestors and those who have gone before. They also remind us of our aspirations, our dreams and hopes for the future and our ability to fly again.
Arohanui,
Jo x