Monday, December 21, 2009

OLD friends

(the corner of our old house, right where Willow was born)

this last week i reconnected with my past

it was a deliberate act - had to organise schedules and get a bit bossy with my family,during this busy time of the year

but it had become clear that i needed to do something my conscience had been prickling me about ...

(to be read in your best Jimminy Cricket voice)

"It's been a long time. They get lonely. It's not far out of your way. They're good people"

so we went to the Kamo rest home.

We went to see Beth.

Beth was our neighbour when the girls were little - and one of the first people who came to welcome Willow (Willow was born at home and Beth could tell something was up. She was amazed she hadn't been woken by screaming! Beth must've seen too many bad movies.)

She is in her late 90's and used to exhaust me just watching her - she was part of a regular tramping group (hiking to any North American friends reading!) She did her own extensive garden, preserving, walked to the shops, drove all over...She also welcomed my girls into her life with open arms.

Eila used to toddle over to her house, just able to reach the doorbell and cuddle up on Beth's knee, looking at photo albums, eating "peppermint tablets" ("oddfellows" - a big round mint), walking around her garden discussing plants and flowers, picking posies .

Beth got sick with shingles and had to move into a rest home at around the same time as we left our house.

We have been up to visit her but our visits petered out a bit. I have lots of excuses but the last time we went she said, admonishingly "I thought you had forgotten me!"

Then last week, I met one of her carers in the street who said she had deteriorated and that galvanised me.

The look of joy on her face made it worthwhile. Sure she can't find lots of the words she wants, and that is frustrating for her, but she still has her wicked sense of humour and she still loves my girls and the feirce hug she gave us all was so full of love....

She couldn't see us out but we walked through the dining room where other residents were settling in for dinner... and the oohs and ahs and people actually reaching out for my girls and wanting to chat with us chipped a little peice off my heart... their joy at seeing someone young and vital and oblivious to their gift of youth, was palpable and a little overwhelming...

then we went down the hill to my Aunt and Uncle's little unit.

I am ashamed to say i haven't been there in the 4 or so years they've lived there. My uncle is my Dad's oldest brother and we were much younger than their children but they were always kind to me. OK, Aunty Lillian's gap in the front of her teeth distracted me so much as child, that i often found myself forgetting what she was saying. And she had this little girl giggle that sounded so odd on a woman. And their house was so tidy and full of geegaws and knicknacks that i was scared of knocking something over.

But Neville was kind to my Grandma. They loved my Grandma and took care of her so tenderly that they will always have a special place in my heart.

Neville can't walk well anymore. And he can only say a few words. Lillian always said more than him anyway. But the love in their eyes when they saw us was overwhelming.

And they told me a story about how surprised my Dad was when they told him they were getting married. Turns out my Dad had been spying on them. And he had seen their friends kissing under a hat. But the most my Dad had seen Nev and Lillian do was Neville tickling Lillian on the face with a peice of long grass. "That was our courting."Lillian giggled as she told me.

And my heart swelled with their love, days gone by, innocence, the richness of that story, their tenderness for each other.

the stories living in these three, and everyone at the table waiting for their dinner, are as alive as the day they were lived. Pulsing with their need for retelling. Waiting for their chance to return to the world, to show us what they saw....

those stories are waiting for my return.....

and i feel the weight of that in my heart.

but it is a good weight

Friday, December 18, 2009

# best of 09 BEST TEA

Oh yes

i am well qualified to comment on this

the best tea (i know i can only speak of my opinion but i feel there is a deep universal truth here too)


with two sugars

in the morning


Thursday, December 17, 2009

#best of 09 packaging

the best packaging isn't new this year actually it comes from the 1800s but is my favourite, perennially...

it is classy

it describes what is in there

it is clear

it doesn't try to wow you

it is just good

#best of 09 best rush of the year

the best rush i had in 2009 was seeing an orangutan

i was in a long boat

not much freeboard

on the Kinabatangan river in Borneo

sitting between my two girls

it was hot

we had been pouring water on our hats

and our necks were sore from looking up all the time...

and then Gofanm, the guide turned the boat,

and i scanned the treetops - another eagle? more proboscis monkeys?

and then i saw the burnt orange moving in the trees

and i grabbed the girls hands

and tears filled my eyes

an orangutan

one of the few left in the wild

eaking out an existence on the sparce trees alongside this once mighty river and rainforest... palm oil trees sometimes only one tree back from the river....

and if he lurked onto the plantation he will likely be shot

but today he is there

in front of us

calmly picking figs off the tree

and looking for all the world like someone i would love to get to know

and all the begging and hassle and saving for this trip are instantly worth it...

that was my rush for 2009!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

#bestof09 best change to the place i live

( the orchard paddock, this is a spiral in the dew i made for a joy rebel exercise )

the best change i made to the place i live (which i would have to say is usually when the carpet, takes on that mottled look that living rurally with two children, 4 guinea pigs, a poodle, a burmese cat and paddocks right outside the door, gets an occaisional vaccum) is to have planted comfrey...

this means in a year or two the magical comfrey would be thick enough to create a weedbarrier to the rampant kikuyu in our lawn (great stuff kikuyu - hardy green drought resistant vigorous stuff which is a killer to all the other plants one has to mollycoddle along)

this means that i can start planning the orchard for about 2 years time..... with a herbal ley and heirloom trees

it will be right outside my door here...

it will give you enough time to save $ to come and visit me in peach season!!!!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

#bestof09 a mashup!

(my favourite place Pataua beach - 20 mins drive from my house)
(apologies for the catch up nature of this list but it is fun to do and i am busy so here goes!


Now this is going to make me seem like and old hippy but what the hell if the cap fits

Carole King - Tapestry - i know it is old as the hills (but that's not necessarily a negative!) but my girls and i sing out loud - like REAL loud to it... - watching an eight year old belt out Natural woman is just a joy to behold AND we bought very costly tickets so we can see her live next year and that is going to be a family memory i can't wait to make - thanks Carole for teaching my girls about joy and lyrics and stories and fun!


i know if you follow this blog you will have seen this before - but Pataua beach always delivers a big dose of something good to me - no matter what the weather, what mood i am in, what i have going on... this place heals me ... God i love Te Tai Tokerau

Best food

Roti chanai from Restoran Zacharia III in Sandakan Borneo

the end!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

# best of 09 challenge

(challenges are fences to climb, right?)

the best challenge i had in 09 was about coming into myself

it is nebulous and vast but when thinking about challenges i want acknowledge my movement in this challenge... putting myself in the picture...

i am making choices that honour me (instead of everyone around me)

i am disengaging from people who fill me with dread (not getting mad or even or engaging so much in those long and victorious conversations in my head with them where i say articulate, cutting things and they are cowed into forever changing their lives)

i am painting

i am doing (a little) silversmithing

in short i am saying NO to what i don't want and YES to what makes my heart sing...

that is a challenge i am proud to be engaged in

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

#best09 moment of peace

my best moment of peace in 2009 was when i was deep in anger

i had had a toxic irritating difficult well worn conversation with my mother - chest bared for all buttons to be pushed...

i took the poodle and hopped in the car

i drove too fast on a very windy road...

shouting all the while in my head with all the things i should have said, how much she hurt me, how much she needs to change, how much she needs to be different, how mean, how hurtful....
and on and on and on
and then we got to Pataua beach (above)
i ran down the steps to the sea and after acting normal walking past a couple wandering around the shells, i stomped down the beach
and then, when i was far enough away,
running under the sound cover of the waves, under the shade of the bright clear sky
i shouted
a gutteral, gut-deep, sound that was full of it all
all the hurt
all the anger
all the dredged up shit
and then there was peace
clean, shiny, smooth
the poodle was so concerned about me she came running over
and i could smile at her - a clean smile, a happy smile...

the lady at the supermarket

(where the tears live)

i was whizzing with my trolley, full of goodies, mind hours ahead, planning, ticking off lists...

and then i looked over and saw her.

She was moving slowly with her trolley.

Not much in there. Small packets. One portion meals.

Her legs, under her calf length skirt, were bruised in that spreading crimson way that only elderly papery skin can be.

Sensible soft shoes.

Pale blue grey easycare fabric top, to match the skirt.

Her hair curled at the front, a perm past it's best. The back still flat. Probably no one sees, it to tell her.

Her shoulders were rounded.

Eyes difficult to see under her glasses.

And i got those tears that always come when i see someone who looks lonely at the supermarket... when i feel the flood of all the years past... the sense of all the things gone.

She was walking past the beer fridge.

There were two big strapping Polynesian men in front of the beer. Bare strong arms, tattoos, dark glasses...chatting, laughing, just resonating life and vigour.

And she walked up to them.

And she changed before my eyes.

She asked for help to lift a 6 pack from the top shelf.

And she chatted and giggled with the boys who were falling over themselves to help her, smiling and engaging with this friendly alive woman.

And i found my eyes filling up again, in celebration of community, of reaching out, of love in all its forms.

tough decisions

Pataua estuary 2009

i find it tough to make decisions about whose needs i should meet...

and usually i make the decision to delay/postpone/ignore my needs

i have great training and credentials in that department, i could probably cross credit to get a masters somewhere...

but i am in a space now, of reflecting on where that has got me...

where all this self denial, craven pandering to other people for approval, wanting to be a good girl, being nice, punishing myself has got me...

and the answer is here... where i find it hard to even identify my needs

and so i am going to make a point of really questioning those decisions from now on...

last night i offered to mind my friend's 4 children while she went to the hospital to try and get some answers from the medical fraternity about her ailing health (she probably has fibromyalgia but doctors don't like that illness much so it doesn't get much airtime - mostly coz they don't have any action they can take... those dis-eases are most unpopular amoungst doctortypes)

i have been concious of her pain.

i have been concious of her exhaustion.

i have been concious of her daily struggle.

But i have actively avoided offering to be a babysitter - oh i am an ear (although she has been doggedly trying to be positive so she just can't entertain the idea of saying just how hideous it all is...)

But i need this time and space to create...

for ME to feel alive

I have done my running around meeting the needs of small children time (and i still haven't recovered fully from the time with my own...)

and Fuck it feels traitorous - to one of my good friends...

but i have to be a good friend to myself... to be the one i choose

i will continue to be here for her when she needs a cup of tea but i will also be here for myself...

this is a tough decision but my gut says YES...

Do you have tough decisions like this???

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


(my girl with a Ruru (native owl) on her shoulder

My daughter has crappy teeth - she has had surgery and numerous fillings but works bloody hard to keep them healthy nonetheless

Yesterday she went to the dentist.

She was so scared during the examination that she cried.

Those big silent tears that you rub away angrily.

But she held it together and let the dentist work away.

And it was all ok.

She was thrilled.

She came home with a trick dental floss gadget, which she happily used for the first time...

and pulled out a filling.

She was almost hysterical.

The fear of going back, the fear of injections, the fear of pain, the fear of having to let someone do something you really don't want them to just flattened her.

But while i was trying to soothe her, and not negate that fact that she was scared, but not let it overwhelm her as well, I remembered.

I remembered that the last time she had work done, on the way home she said "Worrying about it was worse than the actual thing".

And i reminded her about that and she felt calmer.

How often in my life do i wish that i had had that wisdom. That all the fear and worry and difficulty i invented, before something had actually happened was so much worse than the actual event.

Or that staying stuck in a difficult situation was worse than anything i could have imagined happened if i had stepped out of my fear and into a new possibility.

She is so wise.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

being alive to the artist in me

often i feel not good enough with the one thing that makes my heart sing....

i feel not good enough, not loose enough, not tight enough, not original enough, not compliant enough, not the right shape not the right colour not not not...

but i had a glimpse this morning that seeing that,

being present to my fears about not getting this right,

about being scared about my next move,

about feeling inferior to the task that my heart sets me about contributing to the world with my creativity,

about not fitting in

about not making time for this contribution in the way that i dream about...

that this makes me an artist...

my being flawed and still doing it, being open to learning, being connected to the urges i have...

this makes me an artist

and the more i open my heart, the more that flows to me...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

the way it seems

today it seems like it is safer to hang out here

today it seems like getting outside is too adventurous

today it seems like the work i do is not enough

today it seems like all the synchronicities and generosity of yesterday have shimmered far into the distance

today it seems like the gift of an author/artist/poet any creative into the world ...

is enough to ameliorate all that other stuff,

which means that if i continue to listen to the whispers about my work, i continue to follow through and if i push through the doubt and the fear i can maybe

just maybe
ameliorate all that other stuff for someone else

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

jen gray

jen gray

well, she says thinks that make my hair stand on end...

like she has been listening to the little whimpers and murmurs my heart makes when i am not listening to myself

and then she calls me on them...

with gentle, tender reflection she holds the mirror up for me to look into

- she wrote about the gifts and burdens of being an empath and man alive, did it make part of me feel like i was coming home

and in this post she emplores us to make a list of things that keep us whole and fill us up....

so here goes

my list of things that fill me up, for future reference...

Maeve and Elizabeth
my girls' shiney hearts
and their not so shiny bits which cause me to reflect
walking on the beach
being around big trees
doing some spiritual practise
sharing deep and silly with my friends
being openhearted
saying no when the choice makes me feel dead inside otherwise

thankyou Jen - not wanting to be a stalker... but you really make a difference

Friday, November 13, 2009

st terese of Avila

the important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love

i have recently been thrown into a world of saints and sinners, love and redemption, history and herstory...

and one of the threads that have been given to me, that i am beginning to weave with is that of this Spanish nun.

Turns out she was outspoken, stroppy, difficult, visionary, and confounding... and she said things, like the quote above which just make my heart sing....

apparently she used to levitate (but disliked the showiness of it so got other nuns to sit on her)

she challenged the male dominated church

saw past the divisions that gender created in her day

and believed in the power of love

and the gift of love that she has given me with this statement is profound

i know when i paint and make jewellery i am filled with fire

i know that when i come back into my daily life, from this time i am calmer, more balanced, more able to give...but justifying that to my strong training as a martyr is difficult...

i hear echos of selfish and thoughtless and.....

but when i listen to St Terese i hear her nodding at my heart and telling me the fire is right...

just listen to love - and then act....

Thursday, November 12, 2009

3 little birds

3 little birds is that great Bob Marley song that always makes me feel held and rocked..

"Don't worry about a thing

Coz every little thing is gonna be aright"

when i hear it i see his beaming face and those dreads flying and i think about his shininess and how when someone allows themself to believe they will be alright....

no matter what comes

Now that song has another significance for me - my daughters and i went to Playcentre - a parent lead organisation for early childhood learning in NZ which honours parents as first teachers and children as creative geniuses!

There i met, and admired a woman called Leigh. She was smart and funny and as a Department of Conservation worker, passionate about the environment. She taught the kids so many things, organised trips to island sanctuaries, joined in whole heartedly and with imagination into the games and fantasies of the children. Did i mention i admired her???

Well Leigh's youngest son, Rory has a brain tumor.

He is recovering, just had his last round of chemo and is still in hospital.

He is learning to walk again (the surgery damaged some of the parts that make his movement).

He is weak and tired.

And Leigh writes a blog about their journey

(it is heart rending and inspiring and filled with love)

and in one of her early posts Leigh talked about her and the boys (she has two sons) singing Bob's 3 little birds in the car.... i had such a strong picture of them singing strong and being held by the words....

Last week i was asked to make some minature peices for an exhibition (i usually make big) so i bought a song book of Maori songs from a second hand shop, tore out the lines about a warrior coming home from a war and drew Leigh 3 little birds...

When someone goes through something as unimaginable as watching your child endure cancer and the equally hideous treatment for cancer it is impossible to know how to help when you aren't intimately involved...

so i have to beleive that creating and holding them up with energy and love is enough...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

inspired by Leslee - for Amy

(us being a family having dinner on the lawn still checking over our shoulder for the hospital staff...)

I wrote this in response to Leslee ( and her loss of her precious friend Amy - Leslee asked us to reflect on the day that our lives changed and this is what came to mind... for you Amy...

the day things changed ...Part one.

My husband and i were at the hospital. We had had a baby a few hours before and we sat there and looked at the carseat and the new little red faced soul in our arms.

it was time for us to go home. To start our life as a family. But we didn't know what to do.

We needed help to get our baby into the contraption and then get the contraption in the car.

and then they let us drive home.

they let us drive her away!

i am sure they should have stopped us. Told us off for taking away a child. We had no experience. We hadn't passed a test, got a manual even... and here we were taking her away to begin life .... No one did - i checked behind me but no one ever came after us....

the other day my life changed Part 2.

the birth of my second daughter...

that was entirely different... she was born at home and her entrance into the world was peaceful and powerful. The most empowering experience i have had. It was hard work and scary at times but i was connected to the energy of all the women before me who had been through this passage. This place that is the closest to death most of us come... I walked that path with them and came out with a beautiful baby, in my lounge, looking into the eyes of my husband, with only friends around me...

that day changed my life because i knew if i did that - i could do anything

Monday, November 2, 2009


i want to talk about inspiration

i love how the word comes from the taking in of breath.. it seems so right to me that the word indicates that divine guidance (because that is what inspiration means to me, feels like to me - like a a whisper from God/Goddess/all that is)is around us like the air


life supporting

free to use

and re use

i found this quote today from Trelise Cooper - a New Zealand fashion designer who has battled depression and made it... she has just designed the most sumptious costumes for the New Zealand Opera Company... and she said

"And inspiration is a mysterious thing- how does it happen and how does it come about? But I do know that if you expose yourself to that sort of thing it all goes into a big melting pot. And eventually comes out again."

I loved that - i loved the idea of if you took something out of the inspiration chalice and used that inspiration, that it became part of the chalice again...

and maybe it actually adds to the chalice

this inspires me to my creative work... this tells me that it is my mission to put out my creative thoughts and expressions, no matter if they are not seen, or recieved with acclaim (of course i want to be lauded as wonderful!)

it also tells me that my thoughts about suppressing my creativity because it is not good enough are wrong... more of that sacriledge i was talking about the other day...

i have often read those quotes about people who say they have to paint/make music/write.... because it is a matter of life and death to them... and i listen to the echos of that sentiment inside myself and i see that i have chosen death - not that dramatic heart clutching stagger to the floor people weeping at my feet death, but the slow incremental dessication....

well fuckit

no longer - i will write down those inspirations

i will make time to act on inspiration

creativity will be a concious act every day

every day

and i will make a list of that which inspires me and keep it close....

and i will do my bit to fill that chalice...

taking a big breath in.....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

not giving too much away

sometimes i feel like i am leaning on the glass

making a little fog on the surface with my breath

watching while others who know how to do all this stuff that people do

just do it

and i feel like i should be taking notes

or that i somehow missed the manual

and i have to rub the glass,

making that squeeky sound,

to look in again and figure it all out.

And then i meet someone from my tribe - usually when my nose is not pressed to that glass, and they are funny and engaging and interesting and they don't need a babel fish to figure out what i am saying

they just get me

and i realise all the times i went inside the glass and felt like i couldn't breathe and gave away more and more of my sacred truths to people who screwed them up and walked on... well those times were sacreligious

and now i will only give my jewels away to people who gasp with recognition.....

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


i have been having a bit of a healing crisis of late... a long slow bubbling of something in me that is making me sit still and rest

and cry with the exhaustion

but i am not a constant blur of action or thoughts or busy

i am sitting

and i am finding that my children and coming and laying on me

i am finding that i am looking at the green out the window

i am finding i am absorbing and not always reflecting the beauty around me

as i was driving to the doctors' rooms yesterday i was in a turmoil

i was aware that i feel like part of me is dissolving and that is slightly scary - unnerving more i think... (*and i am aware of the lurk of cancer in the people around me and want to ward that spectre off and my body is so out of kilter that i keep thinking of big things...*)
but what if the big thing is so amazing - a change so big that my body needs time to prepare and this is preparation
and as i was thinking about this - trying this thought on for size, i drove over Station Road hill, where my beloved grandparents lived and loved me all the days of my childhood
and there was a rainbow
right down flat over the road
and i got to drive through it...
hows that for a magic sign post?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

turning the light on

there has been darkness here

sitting on me



there has been darkness here

weighing on me



there has been darkness here

full of sorrow



there has been darkness here

and sheilding my eyes

i reach out


turn the light on

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

blessings of details

my blessings are many

my trials are few

some dark days i find it hard to hold onto these perspectives

but as i swim

the water is cold, the darkness beneath me is full of an ominous hard to resist downward pull

but i resist

and some days that resistance is all i can do

and i see those small things - like the thrush on the grass, or the patch of daisies, both of them being so beautiful, so complete, so whole, so achingly perfect

that the balance shifts and i feel more able to resist...

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mr C.G.Jung

(rock in the river taken last year)

Well - my beloved friend Ena said i should read Jung.

That was about 12 years ago.

I bought a pile of them about 4 years ago.

and then 3 nights ago i started to read one.

"modern man in search of a soul"

And i want to have Mr Jung over for scones... or to play in the sand with him... or to lie on the couch and have him walk with me through the pathways of my soul.

There is something about his humanity which bowls me over....

"I have met with a fair number of failures which were far more impressive to me than my successes"

and the courage with which he has made his way... in a feild thoroughly unknown, forging a path which seperated him from a mentor...

acknowledging the dark side with such love..

"How can i be substantial if I fail to cast a shadow?"

I have spent much time and even more energy in persuit of "nice" - denying the dark, frantically spackling over any entrances to the deep darkness i sense inside me that i am exhausted.

exhausted and dissatisfied.

i look outside myself to others for validation

constantly measuring there

when my words or actions or apperance are not as sardonic or cool or loving or creative or brilliant or thought provoking or contentious, or erudite or.....(add whatever bloody adjective you like) i measure myself as less

when in fact, if i step into the shadow, i will feel my own weight

i will have the balast to stop all this rocking on the waves of the opinions of others

and i will sail the path i was born to... instead of doing the same trip to the hole in the rock (obscure northland tourist trail reference

i will go out to sea...(and i have just realised the significance of one of my bucket list things- being out at sea and not being able to see land).....

for now though i feel like i am making it past this big rock in the way...

and am excited about taking Mr Jung with me .... and you if you want to come!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

a week of blech

(where i should be - that is the poodle rolling in the sand in the foreground btw)

i have been making this poor lap top do overtime

i have been here and there on the internet... caught in the worldwideweb like a fly

and i am buzzing in circles on my back

slower and slower

the gaps in between lengthening.....

i have been sick - just a flu thing... lethargy factor is at 90% - and i find this a highly distracting place to be...

disengaging me from my bleak attitude, the sense that i am out of my rightful place in the universe... that i am getting older by the day and the shining future i saw ahead of me as a young woman has drifted by in this haze of mediocrity...

i don't want to meditate, or write gratitude lists, or eat well.

i sit here, cantankerous and touchy, tearful and feeble

and check my emails one more time...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

ha bloody ha universe!

(what i should have been busy lying in all by myself)

so i have been feeling a bit in need of solitude lately

a respite from the din of demands and whines and just the sheer weight of hearing people all the time...

but i haven't taken one...

school holidays...

sick kids...

busy husband....

haven't been painting - or creating much in any realm...

i have just been busy mummingwifeingptaingfriending

and so the universe said "you want silence but you won't take your chance?"

"take this!!!"

so now i have a blocked and rather sore ear!
the silence i craved.....not!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Facebook | Home

a quote from Louise Hay

"'It is safe to look within. As I move through the layers of other people's opinions and beliefs, I see within myself a magnificent being, wise and beautiful. I love what I see in me.'"

bless Louise Hay!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

welcome home gifts

(my treasures from my walk on Church Bay)

today i was having a sad day

where the tears sit just in my throat

and i find a sense of restlessness all around me

making me pick things up to read

and put them down again

aimlessly search and look for new postings new sites new new new

when what i think i need is to just be




so today i took my restlessness and the poodle for a walk on the beach and these are the gifts i found...well i was given really

i feel rewarded by finding beauty in these small and perfect things

i always take away rubbish so i feel like i trade the beach as well...

but i also feel that these treasures are offered up to me by the sea.... the place that calls to me...

they are welcome home gifts

i can't tell you what pleasure it gives me to see these gifts, to hold them, to feel their weight, or weightlessness in my hand

and know that i am part of this amazing universe...

and to know some part of me feels like i deserve it is better still

What makes you feel at home?

what makes you realise you are loved?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

my vagina's unpleasant experience

Photo of my youngest dressed as princess Leia for a starwars party - i want to be a vagina warrior as feirce as this!)

i have recently had to go for 2 colcoscopies...where they look at your cervix to suss out whether the cell changes are sinister or not...

initially i was sent to the local hospital but knowing there were only male gynaecologists

i chose to go privately...i mean i have never had stranger men around my cervix in any other part of my life so why would i want to start now ?

then as luck would have it (and i live in a smallish place so only one private gynaecologist) i needed a second opinion...

off i go, reluctantly, to be quizzed about why i didn't go there in the first place ... a little discomforting but i told the truth having to work all the while not to apologise because i am highly attuned to Doctor worship and saying i have a different opinion to a Doctor is pushing buttons for me...

...then i was in the stirrups (and hating every second of being disconnected from my vagina and his examination by a sheet - like it was none of my business)


I mean the kind of cough you would definitely turn your head away if you were face to face with someone

so why would you cough on the vagina of someone unless you were disrespecting it?


and he didn't apologise - either he does this all the time, or he didn't think it warranted an apology - there is just no way around it - he doesn't think vaginas are worth it... now i need to go back

but i won't

and now i need to ring the hospital and cancel the appointment (having already raised the hackles of the staff there by insisting that they tell me biopsy results over the phone so i don't have to wait 2 months - CLEAR BY THE WAY HOORAY!)

I just need a little bit of courage to make the call - to claim back my right to have the airspace around my vagina respected...


Monday, September 21, 2009

funerals and scaffolding

On Thursday I went to my Uncle Ken’s funeral.

So I pause, at the beginning here, to honour him. The funny, slightly pompous, very teacherey man I knew, who grew up farmed out to relatives, his mother passing away very early in his life. A child of the depression who always wanted something better for himself and the very loyal family he built around him with his wife, whom he loved fiercely.

The thing with funerals is that sometimes they are many conflicting things.

There is sadness, for the loss and, in Ken’s case for the senseless suffering he and his family endured in the last 6 months of his life.

There is readjusting. The shuffling up in the queue as the older generation passes and the next one moves up…

There is fear. There is a dead body there in that box and for many of us the only dead body we see is the one which rises in the zombie movie to come and suck the life out of you while you sleep.

There is the form… the service, the songs, the cup of tea and scones afterwards… people shuffling about in suits (some hired, none ordinary) dreading what will come out of their mouths when they greet the close family…

There is the seeing old faces… seeing first cousins you haven’t seen for 10 years, people that look just like you, or your Dad, but you have no idea who they are…

And there is the trying to make sense of it all… make sense of death, of the meaning attatched to the years that have passed. The lists of achievements, the counting of the attendees…the tallying up of what this life has meant…

And as clichéd as it is, it is always love. Love of a partner. Love of children. Love of friends…

It is always love.

As I watched my cousin struggle through his eulogy (damn fine job, Stuart although don’t get me started on the Anglo Saxon stiff upper lip bullshit….) I could see how much love there was… not right there at the pulpit, but in the hours of going around to the nursing home, to helping his Mother, to immersing his children’s lives in that of his parents, I saw love.

What a legacy to leave.

I drove the 2 ½ hours to the funeral with my two brothers. I think it is the first time in 20 years that I have been alone with them. I think it is the first time I have had a chance to talk about family with them. And to laugh. Yes we were mocking my mother and I know that is not very nice. But God it felt good to laugh with them again.

We drove behind 3 lots of scaffolding trucks on the way down…(ok a little left field but stay with me…)

This fact seemed significant to me but I didn’t know why until I realised…

The funeral process helps to remind those of us still earthside, about our priorities…

What are we scaffolding our lives with …. What are we using to build the years and the contributions we make to others….
Is it love?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Expectations, bottom lines and other geometry

(The most straight lines i could find in my photos of some harakeke or flax (phormium tenax) that of course aren't straight at all)
over on the magical wonderful loving and challenging SARKforum i am having revelations about expectations


when i expect life to deliver me a certain thing i am planning to be resentful when they don't happen
ahhh resentment my old foe.....

this expectation malarchy speaks to me about bottom lines -

expectations are a line drawn on the map of your life...

i expect i will attain .....

i expect that this will not be for me.....

and then you live up to - or down to them...

childhood is full of expectations and adult hood i guess is about deciding which lines on the map you will rub out, which ones you will draw for yourself....

but everything in nature is slightly curved

straight lines are imposed

so any kind of line on the map of my life is an imposed demarkation from the possibility of it all...

it creates barriers

it limits us....

but my ? is about how do we fit our bottom lines into this (eep another line)

how do we say yes we will do/accept/aceed to this or not?

Are we (as the wonderful wise and truely beautiful Andrea says) able to understand what we will and won't accept from others without expecting anything from them...

this is revolutionary...

people we invite into our lives will be who they are - do what they do- behave how they behave- and what we do with that and how we choose to accept that or not, is up to us....

the bottom lines are imposed on ourselves not others...

that is the geometry of the path of the arrow going straight to the heart... the heart of the matter the heart of me...

Monday, September 7, 2009

the sea of stupid

(this is the Pacific ocean at Pataua North Beach, East coast New Zealand where i was yesterday - it is not the sea of stupid i am sure that would be much uglier than this!)

i have a mother who drives me mad

she has a daughter who drives her mad too...(and i am her only female offspring)

my best defense against the corrosion i feel around her is avoidance - and since i have moved back to my hometown from across the other side of the world i can't really avoid her....

so yesterday she came to my house - it was a big family gathering - about 15 people but still my nerves knew where she was every second....

the red alert button was flashing

and then i watched her do something that really annoyed me - i mean pissed me off and triggered me and made me feel small and blow up like an angerpuffer fish all at once...

and then i took a breath

and i saw her from a different perspective

i saw this woman on a sea of stupid

a sea of her own making... full of bitterness and envy and self pity and resentment

and i knew as sure as hell that i didn't want to swim there...

i didn't want to prove myself right, or correct her enough to go swim in that toxic sea

so i left her to swim by herself

i didn't even stick my toe in

- this is huge -

normally i would be like the big burly lifeguard - blowing my whistle and racing out with my silly hat and floatation device and making lots of splashing...

but i just turned and walked away -

if at 70 something she can't swim then i sure as hell can't teach her...

as i write this i feel slightly guilty about it but when i connect to the feeling of being so whole by not diving in i know i did the thing that is right for me...

and that is right

and when my 6 year old was crying last night about feeling as if she had been mean - i was able to use the swimming in the sea of their own stupid analogy and just let her be ok about sticking up for herself, about letting someone else try and put her down and just leaving them to it because they would look stupid not her... and it helped...

so long sea of stupid -

i think people only drown there if they stay so long, trying to prove how bad it is there all they need to do to survive is start swimming to the shore....

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

a lovely metaphor

(this is a photo of us camping under the stars last summer)

i was listening to the radio this morning about New Zealand and Australia's joint bid to be part of this wicked project called the square kilometre array.

they are going to set up a spiral of around 4000 radio telescopes to help them collect more information about space

one of the reasons Australia and New Zealand are front runners is because of the quality of our night sky, the relative lack of light pollution...

the darkness will help them see the stars

The darkness will actually help them see.

and i thought this was a beautiful metaphor.

the dark times in your life are the times when you are open to seeing inside yourself, seeing outside yourself....

the darkness helps you to see your own stars...

if you want to learn more follow this link to radionz webpage and go down to feature guest Bryan Boyle - a brilliant and enthusiastic man who describes himself as a cosmic archaeologist!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


(photo of a poppy from my garden )

A time of new beginnings...

things that have been buried deep in the dark,

now peep out

raise their beautiful heads

and drink in the light

Happy first day of southern hemisphere spring!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

squeezing through the pigeon hole

(the photo is of a transformation arrow i made releasing old patterns i no longer wanted in my life - from my GoddessLeonie course -

I want to start with a little story.

It is about a girl who wanted to save the world. Who felt immense responsibility about always doing the right thing. Who felt other's pain. Who wanted to make a difference. Whose family thought it was funny the way she cried at the animals in the pound who were due for euthansia or the marlin that was caught for "sport".

This girl decided, at 16, to become a vegetarian.
She beleived that animals were sentinent and had spirits and didn't want anyone else to take on the responsibility for their death.
If she had to eat meat (flesh of any kind - including sea food and fish...) then she'd dispatch it herself offering gratitude and taking on the debt of it's life....

It kind of became a centre point to how she saw herself, moral, responsible, kind, crusading.

She felt a little self righteous about it all.

and now that girl is 44.

that was 28 years ago. (TWENTYBLOODYEIGHT!)

And now the womanthatwasthatgirl is listening to whispers about how her body may need to eat meat. Which was reinforced (in a very loving and non judgemental way) by her accupunturist - she went with exhaustion and forgetfulness....

Bob suggested it was time to let go of that picture of myself,(ok it is me i am talking about !) time to release that lovingly, that rigidity to fall away...

and Bob the accupuncturist gifted me this poem by St Terese of Aquila

" To enter into the world within

Love must be awakened.

For Awaken Love in us

Let go Let be

Be still in Gentle Peace

Be aware of opposites

Learn mindfulness and forgetfulness"

To me this means to truely love you need to release, be all about being and not doing, and be present in love.

Is holding onto the doctrine i set for myself all those years ago

serving me? Is it loving? Is it an action full of love or an action full of sound?

Am i finding the middle ground?

Am i open to change

and if i am what possibilities await me?

This is the second time this month i have been called to relenquish one of my big stands (the other being how important it was for me to prove how terrible my relationship with my mother was) and the release of that as an archetype, a way of constantly being, is just incredibly loving and liberating...

Could this be something else to jettison gladly?

How would the world look through non vegetarian eyes???

Monday, August 17, 2009

the value of a good scarf

1. they induce jaunty. Jaunty is wildly underated as a pick me up.

2. colour. Colour is also wildly underated as a pick me up.

3. softness. That soft permanent caress when you wear a scarf is so sensual i think it is illegal in some countries. (Why anyone would choose a scritchy scarf is beyond my realms of understanding but then i can't do high heels coz they hurt)

4. hiding wrinkles or other acts of time and hormones (this includes hickeys). When any blemish to your beauty appears in the neck region a scarf can save errant thoughts of plastic surgery... and it also leads to 1,2 and 3 ...

5. Shifts boring into interesting... jeans and tshirt?... meh... jeans tshirt and scarf? "OOO LA LA".

6. Shows off your creative abilities (see mycrochetherapy blogspot) and helps to maintain your brain - all that left brain rightbrain brain gym stuff.

7. Scarves last - jeans get holes in the knees, tshirts get olive oil stains (well most of mine do) but scarves last and last and last.

8. Vis a vis point 7 - you can often buy good second hand ones as they are lasting wardrobe items... so you can save the planet as well as get your jaunty on!

9. You can always help out if someone needs a tourniquet.

10. You can secure bad guys if you make a citizens' arrest (or have any other need for handcuff type items)

11. Blue scarves heal sore throats and help your expression and speaking up for yourself.

12. Blind man's bluff, pin the tail on the donkey, bang the pot etc are only possible with a good scarf.

Warning...although not in the least exhaustive this list may have you running out to buy scarves galore... remember the sobering end Ms Isadora Duncan came to - the combination of ridiculously long scarf and convertible car is not a good one - this said

scarf yourself happy

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

just being

After talking about lumpy bits yesterday....

and then about seeing myself i have decided to ammend that to seeing myself with love

because when i look around me i see creatures like my cat

he is sitting here beside me -

curled up on the softest cushion he can find -

in full sun -

a stretch here,

a lick there -

alert to changes but able to soothe himself and then settle back into bliss

and i realise he puts no pressure or judgement on himself, no shoulds or deadlines or burdens...

he just is

and when he comes with love - it is unclouded and full and warming

he can be real because he fully sees himself - he meets what needs he can and asks for help with the rest....

so i will follow Pippin's example and find a place in the sun today....
i hope you do too

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

the lumpy bits

i was talking to my friends the other day about the marks of motherhood and age on our bodies.

the sags

the lumps

the scars

the shifts

and one of the souls (who is more evolved than me) could truely celebrate the fact that these were signposts in her life- a signal of the journey she was on - the adventures and joys that have lead to her being the woman and mother she is.

and when i grow up i want to be like that

but right now the lumpy bits seem ugly

and i know i have bought into the youth culture and the myth that beauty is on the outside (and this is why i so seldom look in the mirror)

but i am just having one of those days where the lumpy bits are what i see...

and seeing this pattern of focusing on the lumpy bits and not the journey, or even the bits that are still smooth floors me

i see i focus on the parts that bring pain

the parts that make me say mean things to myself - as if i need to continually confirm that i am unworthy because to say otherwise would crumble so many understandings i would have to stand somewhere new...

so i am making a committment to just see myself...

that means a committment to be open to seeing the lumpy bits and the not so lumpy bits and the bits that are lumpless....

just to see myself

i can leave the loving the lumps for later when i have what it takes to make the leap to the new place to stand

but right now i will just see myself

all of myself

and notice

Monday, August 3, 2009


i don't usually use capitals

but the title is in capitals today because more and more i am being prodded to see how essential stories are in our lives.

when i say essential i mean life saving.

not some pretty little add on that you can only make time for if you are a child, or you have a child, or you are a librarian...

but stories are ESSENTIAL, CRUCIAL, VITAL.

We are truely genetically programmed to learn through stories - that is how we learnt as cavemen... we sat around the fire, cramming mastadon into our gobs and hearing about how it was only by creeping up slowly that Ug managed to get close enough to get a good shot...

and so we learned and it was easier next time...

We passed myths from generation to generation because within them lies the meat of our souls...

the clues to the building blocks of who we are as humans

the blueprints for how we get out of sticky messes

of how we are not alone

and that is the crux of it for me...

So many of us in the Western world feel alone.

There are many ways to reach out (which is exactly what i do when i type away here on my couch in New Zealand... hoping to be heard)

and technology can aid that

but the power of story is being lost...

but i was blessed with a storyteller Grandad

and to meet Tanya Batt, a New Zealand Storyteller.. and learn from her about how story is like a stool with 3 legs - one the story, one the story teller and one the audience... how these need to balance and accomodate each other... how it is dynamic and alive -

and TV - as engaging as some stories on there can be (damn it, i even cry at some advertising) it is not alive in that same way...

and now we don't sit around the fire and just tell the story of our day, or the story our grandparents told us...we lose that path to learning - that connection to each other through our humanity....

i had a miscarriage 3 years ago.

It was inutterably sad.

But it was only when i was open about my grief, and our loss that others opened up. I heard how i wasn't alone mourning a child i would never hold in my arms. And within the space of sharing that story both myself and the others i shared with could truely comfort each other. And some of those wounds were decades old, and had never been heard, let out in the light before....

And i hear about people who have a crisis of confidence in their own lives and make radical and often painful changes. And i think if only they spoke to me - i could tell them it is not just them who question so deeply, digging into their souls, that the ordinary parts of their lives seem, for a time at least, meaningless...and then with all that digging new things grow...

And i spent some time with my beloved friends yesterday - people i have formed a bond with, people i don't see every day, but who hear my soul when it talks, or cries or jumps for joy...

And we told our stories.

We were authentic.

Some of it was painful, some hilarious.... but we became joined by our truths and that although we live radically different lives, the same threads of humanity run through our stories, our longings, our secrets, our dreams, our lives both seen and unseen.

this is part of the gift of authenticity, of clarity

but it also the key to being human

Please tell your story.

and thankyou for hearing mine.

Friday, July 31, 2009


when i grow up i want to be authentic

i really aim for authenticity in my life

it is something i have had to learn from scratch because we were well trained in it's opposite in my family....

put on a brave face,

smile when you want to scream,

sure, talk behind someone's back but don't say what you really think...

don't-stand-in-your-truth- because-that-will-stand-on-someone's-toes-and-then-they-won't-like-you-and-there-is- nothing-worse-than-that...

and now when i aim to speak my truth (and i do aim for that while taking respect and courtesy into account)

i often get it wrong

i often find that i am in situations where my truth hurts someone

is that because i am inherantly bad? (that is the ugliest voice i hear in my head and i will acknowledge it and let it float on by because i don't want to own it...)

is it that i am out of step with the people around me...and that my truth sounds clattery in their ears?

is it that i hold the belief that i always will hurt someone when i tell my truth?

i think i might just be manifesting that belief...

i get worried about how i will come across, defensive and a bit angry and then i speak my truth with all that in the mix...

i want to change that thought... i am now manifesting this...

i speak my truth and it is honoured and well recieved.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

in immense gratitude

i sit, seemingly weightless today...

the big, heavily loaded truck that was barrelling down the road towards me yesterday, rain spraying off the wheels, airhorn blasting...

well it veered off...

and now the road is clear again

i had been prepared for the fact that i may have required radiotherapy...

i may have had sodding cancer

and the test results are back

and they are clear...

the Doc doesn't quite beleive it and is wanting a second opinion, is retesting the sample, is having a second round of tests done...

but i know it is clear...

i had to stay in that place of fear

of seeing my life,

my families' lives completely changed

of revising almost everything

of imagining my funeral (and then rapidly pulling myself back into the now, into pouring healing light into myself, into trusting that life is FOR me and delivers only what i need - and i am pretty bloody sure i don't need cancer!)

i had to stay there in order to come out again...

i had help and love from my family

i had help and love from my SARK forum friends

i had so much reassurance from the love and generosity that i tap into when i feel like i am in touch with the source...

for example

i was walking with the poodle - trying to go about normal life, trying to ground myself, trying to release some of the tension....

but i slipped into how would the girls cope... and how could i prepare them.... feeling heavy and tight and out of my body all at once...

when i saw movement out of the corner of my eye

and i saw a monarch butterfly on the ground (most unusual to see them low down and at this time of year unheard of)

and it gently lifted into the air and moved away...

and it reminded me of lightness

it reminded me of the power of transformation

it reminded me of letting go

and something shifted in me

and here i am

light and released

and oh so bloody grateful!

Monday, July 27, 2009


you know my brain knows a bit about the whole theory of attracting what you focus on....

my heart knows that when it rests in positivity it feels alive and well and vibrant ... and that is what is reflected all around

but when you are scared

like really scared

then it is so hard not to slide into that slipstream of gloom and anxiety ...
the one that comes when a huge truck, loaded with hideous outcomes and terrible possibilities zooms down the road
straight towards you
you can hear the airhorn blasting
and the ground starts to shake
how do you hold onto the positivity and the vision of the perfect outcome then....
i'm feeling the leaves in the trees around me start to shake....
i chose the photo because i have taken great comfort from the part in the bible that talks about how even the smallest bird is taken care of ... these are sparrows that we feed on our fence outside our kitchen window... hoping for some good karma sometime soon

Friday, July 24, 2009

good ole Universe is at it again

You know when the universe gives you lots of opportunities to see the patterns which are holding you up?

You know when there are the patterns which make you feel small and diminished and less than maginificent.

And the universe sees you struggling with them and thinks (in an entirely benificent and loving way)

(to be read in an appropriately regal and holy and Universey kinda voice)

"Righto, i had better give this lovely soul the chance to see this clearly and sweep it out of her cells before it does any more damage... Now what can i do to highlight the crap pattern to make it so obvious that it is damaging and wrong ... oh yes i could arrange some conflicts of interest, throw up some mirror figures... Oh and what about someone using the same words even that poke her cage...NIIIIIIIICE!"

and then the shit hits the fan

and then you have to live through a week or so of tough stuff before you remember and start practising some of the good work your brain knows (coz you have read all the books right???) and your heart and cells start to agree that you could take some of this new stuff on coz it is better than the old crappy stuff you somehow keep using....

and then the sun starts shining???

and then the world is a better place again????

well that's kinda been the last few days!

hoping you have the wisdom to make the change without the universe having to get involved!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Shutter Sisters - share the sisterhood

Shutter Sisters - share the sisterhood: "OWP badge</"

my imaginary argument

I don't know if you have these.

I don't know if it is wise to admit in such a public place that i do this kind of stuff, given that it becomes a public record and if i ever get famous (or infamous) this could be used against me -


Coz that is what i do

fight in my head

the other day, whilst at the kitchen sink, i was fighting with a woman i will refer to as P. (back story- P is someone i try to avoid where possible but it is occaisionally impossible to avoid her - i was building up to meeting her and thinking of what it would be like i began to find myself ... well fighting with her in my head)
I was counteracting all the crap behaviour she exhibits which does my blood pressure and the big line between my eyebrows no good whatsoever.....
I was eloquent
I was powerful
I was winning.
And then i stopped
i realised how i was creating such a stew of a drama , and kind of enjoying the taste of it - where there was NONE - i haven't seen her for 6 months and although she is unlikely to have changed all i was doing was creating the petri dish for the same old bacterial behaviour to grow...
bitterness, anger, uptightness
and my sphincters all relaxed
and i breathed a bit better
and i swear i heard the "plink" of a tiny bit of crustiness fall off our relationship
so no more fighting at the sink.... and apologies to P...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

ode to all the Mrs Nisbets in the world

i was making pinwheel scones with my 6 year old this morning....

(they are in the oven now - sniff deeply and you may smell the cinnamon and brown sugar caramelising....)

and i was making the recipie i got from my form 1 cooking teacher, Mrs Nisbet.

Form one is when you are about 11 - you have just left the cucoon of primary school, discovering that you have friends with different ideas from your family, and that boys may not just be germ recepticles after all...

School becomes more than an endless round of handwriting and four square and playlunch.

We entered the world of Woodwork, Metal work, cooking and sewing.

Now Sewing created an allergy from which i still suffer - it has to do with straight lines which i am genetically programmed to be unable to create. Hone Poutai and i used to have good races on the sewing machines though which meant our creations never looked that good and we were frequently in trouble but it was fun...

Woodwork seemed tedious but i think the teacher just constantly wished he could be left alone with all his lovely tools instead of dealing with noisy 11 and 12 year olds (i can so relate now Mr Mogford, sorry for teasing you about your lovely jumper with all the M's on it).

Metal work was brilliant - we made a shoe horn, (wonky) a swiss roll tin (biffed out from my mother's house, sadly) and some great enamel work which may well have sparked my silver smithing fire... Mr Nisbet was a hoot - we even snipped some of his beard off with tin snips one day coz he kept teasing us about brasso - drawing out the emphasis on the BRA part of the word which was all very well for the D.A.'s of the world who had boobs by then but mine were two years away from making an apperance so this was very blushworthy for me!!! Sounds incredibly un pc but it was a hoot!

But the best was Mrs Nisbet (yes wife of brasso man).

She was sweet, pretty, with tidy clothes, a well groomed bob and patience to burn (actually patience with burning was also one of her good qualities - i attained 2 foot high flames out of the oven when i got too busy chatting to look after my cinnamon toast)

She made delicious, (well apart from fish pie uurrrgh) instructive recipies, we learnt to bake, cook, preserve fruit and more.

She was kind and inobtrusive and it is a testimony to how good it was that for the 30 odd years since i left her school i have carried her recipie books with me.

My girls know her name. They look through her recipie books and cook her recipies with anicipation of yumminess...

for this unassuming woman i would like to offer my deep gratitude for the work she put into the unruly mob we were - she made it possible for me to cook and bake with ease (Mum did it all at home and i saw no joy in her when she cooked so it was unnattractive to me).

people like Mrs Nisbet create a life long legacy - it is impossible for us to tell at the time just how important it will be to have had them in our lives

but i know that i would never have been able to bake with joy and pass that onto my girls without her

CHEERS MRS N- i'm off to have a scone!!!

ps - if anyone wants her scone recipie - let me know

and i would love to hear from you about the Mrs Nisbet in your life!!!