Sunday, June 30, 2013
When I studied ecology I was told that estuaries are some of the most fertile places on earth: the 'nurseries of the sea' in fact. This inner harbour feels estuarine, with its quiet rhythms and tides that come and go while yachts bob contentedly on the surface.
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Friday, June 21, 2013
Here in the southern hemisphere, we are in the chill and dark of winter.
I also picked up some DVDs and have some good books on order, all ready for a snug weekend while the cold winds rage. These are satisfying winter solstice activities.
For you in the north, what will you be doing for summer solstice and what will you be eating?
We are at the polar opposites of the year. I greet you across the hemispheres, across the extremes of dark and light, cold and warm. Happy solstice to all!
Thursday, June 20, 2013
The rain was driving into the balcony, over the planter boxes and into places that are usually quite dry.
Sometimes storms pass on the outside, and sometimes on the inside. Whichever way it is, there's often a sense of peace afterwards: the calm after the storm. Often there's some mopping up to do, but then I become aware of greater clarity, and gratitude. Storms are nature's way of clearing. Another is lashing the country right now.
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
The little one looked up and saw what I was doing: 'It's a singing group,' she said.
'It's going from red to green so it's turning back to when its not dying,' she said.
Her words took my breath away.
My play was idle, unconscious. I wasn't thinking at that moment of my friend who is sick in hospital, or another who has a serious diagnosis, or another . . . I could go on.
So that's what I was doing, playing with restoring the green, the resilience; turning back the clock, wanting to reverse the harsh onward march of life.
Being in the company of an almost five-year-old is sometimes like keeping company with a sage.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
To Maori, the ancestors reside in these stars, and to be without the wisdom of the ancestors is to be bereft. And so Matariki was greeted with chants and action songs, and even tears, for Matariki is the home of those who have died.
Ka kitea a Matariki, na kua maoka te hinu: When the Pleiades are seen, then the preserved flesh is cooked.'
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
This photo was taken when I went to Taranaki to launch my memoir, Touching Snow.
It's a favourite book, because it tells of my childhood and the years spent with this special teacher. As a result of writing the memoir, I tracked him down. He wept when he read about himself, and the influence he had on me as a child.
His death notice in the paper ends with these words:
Po atarau, E moea iho nei
They mean 'Now is the hour, when we must say goodbye', and are the first lines of a well known song that is sung in both Maori and English, to farewell travellers.
It's a fitting farewell song for my dear teacher. Here it is sung by St Joseph's Girl's choir.
and here by the Willow singers. I haven't shared a video link before and can't get it to embed, but if you click the link you should be able to hear it.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
Writing poetry means being willing to sit and be still,
Poetry along the pathways.
I seek simplicity
and fullness in one.
A stain of cornflower
blue seeps across
Dipping my pen,
a poem inscribes itself
across the blue.
This is enough.
I am complete.