Response To Touch

koru hand painted rocks

I was putting healing cream on my niece’s excema this morning and she just sat there, fluttered her butterfly eyelashes and was enjoying the touch and attention to her skin.
koru hand painted rocks
Today I picked up my Mum from the resthome and she loved to have kisses on her face, me touching her soft skin with my two hands, she responded with a smile and glow in her eyes. Just beautiful.

All it takes is time, attention and love to give a child, touch can be the most special gift one can give to a child.

All it takes is time, attention and love to give… when we grow up and have given all the love, we then require love and care in return to replenish that love. It can be the most warming and life giving thing for an adult, to feel loved and to be touched with love.

It’s been a beautiful day today with whānau! We are all together – have prepared kai for the hangi tomorrow (well actually today as it is 1am in the morning!) but it has been such a special day. Pō mārie.

Arohanui,
Jo x

Honour

I spoke to my Mum and Dad today. Mum in Rotorua and Dad in Te Puke. I’ve realised now that I am older, how important my mātua are to me. As a rangatahi, a young person, selfish and tied up in my own world, I took my parents for granted. Actually I took life for granted. Life was all about me. My sisters will say that as the youngest I was spoilt but of course, I don’t agree! But I will say, Mum and Dad were at times soft!
koru hand painted rock
We had a colourful upbringing and although at times it may not have been ideal, I am grateful for my experiences as a child that have instilled in me a resilience to bounce back from anything and an ability to be resourceful and solve problems.
Today I honour my mātua. I am grateful that they are still alive today and everyday I am thankful for that.
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – I’ve used black paint again on this rock. I don’t use black much, in fact this is only the second time I’ve used it on a rock!

Heal

There are a lot of videos on the internet showing the devastation of the disaster in Japan, footage that you would not see on mainstream television. I can’t bring myself to watch it right now. The comments are painting a picture for me and it scares me to even take a look! A lot of healing to take place in the world, a lot of internal healing also.
koru hand painted rocks
I did see in the news that there was a 60 year old man rescued 15km out to sea. That is hope for me. That all is not doom and gloom and there still is life to preserve and hold on to. And every bit of hope there is, we need to hold on to. I celebrate with this man his life, and I also am sad that he will probably never see his wife again who was swept out to sea. And this is one of many many stories, I am sure will emerge. And the reality of many people not seeing their loved ones alive, ever again.
It’s a hot day today in Gisborne, it’s like summer has returned. Such a luxury. I thought about taking my new surfboard out in the sea and then my thoughts were of the people in Japan, the water and ocean that connects us, the loss of life out there…I just couldn’t bring myself to go there…wanting to respect the huge loss of life – it has really affected me.
A time to heal land, a time to heal people.

Self responsibility to heal.
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – another soothing rock to paint, it is a pastel yellow colour called moonbean. The spiral is healing…

Samadhi

I was reading a post yesterday from Ray – a Vipassana meditation friend who had just come off a course serving for 11 days. And he was asking what had gone on in the world while he was on the course. It’s a bit like that when you have no contact with the outside world! I remember coming out of one course in 2001 to front page news that a plane had flown into the World Trade centre! Not great news to come out to but grateful for a balanced and equanimous mind at the time!
But seeing Ray’s post immediately took me back to my first Vipassana meditation course in 1999 and how that experience changed my life forever.
koru hand painted rocks
Not being able to talk for 10 days didn’t bother me. I could handle that, actually I welcomed the silence, peace and tranquility of the meditation centre. The challenge was more about the journey within that I was about to embark on. And how would I cope sitting from 4.30am until 9pm at night – just meditating – and doing this for 10 days! How would I cope??
But I survived, and my life is so much more richer because of it!! And I am a sucker for punishment so I went back for a few more courses over the next six years, just to make sure that the pain (physical and emotional!) was real and perhaps there was a possibility that it would no longer be there? No such luck! But it had become less!
Samadhi is a word that I remember well from my first course and if I could have right focus and right concentration of mind then this would help me get through each moment. And I find that I am still reaping the benefits in my life today. I am not perfect of course and at times I lose focus and get distracted, but less than I used to. And I have so much more awareness now, especially of self.
Arohanui,
Jo x

The Space In Between

I love this rock I’ve painted today. It’s one of my favorite rocks so far. It was very soothing to paint.
The weather is changing. It’s been raining for most of the day and I’ve been in a different space. An in between space where I’m neither her nor there, just in between. It’s kind of an odd feeling…a transitional space perhaps, reflective, just being…and there is probably some tired in there too! I woke this morning with a million and one ideas floating around in my mind which is great but now I’m tired!
koru hand painted rock
I feel the need to declutter again and let go of a few external and internal things and perhaps then I will see a clearer pathway and will venture out into another space. But for now, am embracing this space in between…
Arohanui,
Jo x
PS – I took this photo on my laptop. I quite liked the idea of having the rock and the paint and the metallic surface coming together. The dark grey colour in the middle is the natural colour of the rock, the other greyish colour is called delta grey and the creamy colour is called manuka honey.

Te Ao Mārama

An understanding…
te ao mārama – the world of light, life, earth, physical world
ao – the world, light, specific period, cloud, a day, dawning of the day
mārama – illuminating light, to understand, be clear, light
marama – moon, month
koru hand painted rock
And those are just the short answers!
I love our Māori language because it is so conceptual and every word is a story. I love going onto the marae and listening to our pahake speak in such poetical ways…it is one of the most beautiful languages I know…

Our tupuna (ancestors) were so connected to the environment and our language reflects this. They knew of planets in our solar system even before scientists had discovered them. They knew that the moon has an effect on the earth and that it also affects us as people living on the earth…They navigated by the stars in their journeys across the sea and they knew when the time was right for planting and what the weather would be – just by looking to the sky.
The Maori word for moon is marama. It is also the word that we use for month and just as the moon goes through its cycles every month, so a woman experiences her own cycles which are influenced by the moon…
Arohanui,
Jo 🙂
PS – Day 60 today – its been two months painting a rock a day – yay!!