Many Maori can stand in front of people and recite their geneology back to the waka (canoe) their Tipuna (ancestors) came to this country on.
I can barely get to my great grandparents. I was blessed to know my paternal great grandmother and to learn about the people and their characters from the stories my grandparents told. But that reciting of names....
It never seemed like something i was missing until i read the Maeve chronicles - Maeve, as a training druid needs to do the same chronicle of ancestory - with pride of course having been fathered, ostensibly by a God and mothered by 7 witches (and of course Esus, when he fronts up, can recite many, many, many generations)...
Ancestors are important.
We carry their cellular memory. We were all cells present (as ovum inside our foetal mother) in our Grandmother's bodies. We have swum in the soup of our ancestors.
We express their quirks unknowingly. We are living our lives. But we are partly living theirs too.
And knowing the interior of these people, understanding those quirks, recognising the cellular memory aids me in the knowing of my-self.
As i struggle to develop as an artist i begin to think about this ancestory in relation to art.
Artists who have walked the path of connecting with creative spirit, unleashing their heart onto the canvas and into the world. Negotiating their own doubts and fears. Walking the lifelong path of learning.
I think about how they have cleared a path through the scrubby undergrowth of these very human responses to a path less travelled ... and this is a path i aim to walk...
the path where i am taking my tentative steps.
So understanding these art ancestors helps me to walk the path through the bush knowingly - helps me avoid the potholes, helps me see the signposts....
i saw the painters above, who gathered in a little cottage and FEARLESSLY painted in a style that was not popular with the community, that connected them with change and vibrancy and vigor. A style that started in the hearts of visionary people and that broke the mold of so many artistic styles.
Looking at their little works (that were so rooted in Silverstream where they were painting) i felt a connection to the spirit of change.
And the paint box of one of the artists was there - it seemed to call to me "THIS IS YOUR LEGACY TOO IF YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT"
Well hullo lovelies... i know i haven't been around since my panic about the reunion - and i am here to assure you that that brush with the epilator hasn't scarred me for life ...
i have been away and trying to paint FEARLESSLY... i am part of the fearless tribe with Connie Hozvicka ... our assignment was to produce a video of painting outside....
It was a challenge for me - painting where i could be seen meant i had to claim myself as a painter... it was like i was saying i am good enough to show the world... but i figured out it could mean something else... and although i wished that people had said "i love it i want to buy it" i think it added some pleasure to their day to see someone painting...
and i videoed like peter jackson baby (no stinky striking actors to deal with - kiwi injoke there)
and then my video and my computer decided to stop speaking to each other so i cobbled this together from my stills...
it is my first time so be gentle with me xxx
ps sorry mollie i will post photos on the forum ok??
see the wrinkles - especially those ugly and mean looking ones between the eyes - blame all those sun kissed summers on the beach if you want but there they are....
and i look in the mirror (i only look some days because i don't like what i see but i have to check and see if that bloody chin hair is back) and i am shocked at the ugly sallow old thing i have become
that is my truth
i also think i have interesting hair and clothes and not a bad body but that face... i just don't likey
and next weekend i have a high school reunion
well at school i was pretty
and now i am not
i was also full of promise - i wrote well, i was friendly, i was destined for something or other (think exotic, think interesting)
and here i am: wrinkly, 45, living in my hometown, still fighting with my mother, a stay at home mother...
on paper i am pretty boring in the flesh i am pretty wrinkly.
and all this is being provoked by the thought of rocking up to school, to the reunion to remeet people i used to be all shiny around and having to own up to this life i have made....
i left my travel dreams for a man. i became a job that was pretty boring because i believed the careers advisor woman (and i bloody shouldn't have)
Oh yes, i know, my lovely friends, before you jump to my defend my honour... i am making up for lost time- my creative life is rich and fulfilling and developing in exciting and yummy ways.
i have successfully made a family and marriage which isn't perfect but who the hell is.
i am being kinder and more compassionate to myself than anyone in my family has ever been.
All of which are major victories.
But they aren't much to brag about at the school reunion are they?
i would love to invent something earth changing in the next 3 days but i don't hold out much hope for that...
maybe i will just say that i invented post-its.... (and yes that is a Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion joke)
feed the cat before sunrise (he was begging me, pleading...) Tutukaka the inside of my friend's heart the back end of a lamb (cleaning up for calf club day) the changing rooms in several shops the thought that i had an aging body to the counter with a new bikini that looks like a pair of jeans (in my mind)looking glamorous at a dinner event i am accompanying my husband to this summer guilt and back the freezer at the 4 square to buy a chocolate dipped icecream the school to see my daughter's steady hand game plush offices to drop off a poster painful poses in pilates to join my tribe around the world and back again to the gate to get my lovely off the bus
i have talked about breast buds, anger, farting goats, models who shouldn't, skin cancer, lambs bums, goaty whiff, pelvic floor muscles,miners and courage, painful mothering, my fears of being judged, architects pretensions, and many more things
i have seen tears, smiles,good dreads, frustration, shame, disappointment, determination and pride and deep deep kindness (see the messages at the end of the last post to know what i mean)
this life is so full so rich in beauty and deep deep in the marvellous mystery of the magnificence of being...
the things that fill me with joy are... my children their laughter the sunshine the amazing place i live the ocean laughing til my stomach hurts feeling naughty watching something grow watching something creative emerge from my hands seeing a universal truth expressed in a creative work good clothing texture animals purring cats shells good food COLOUR taking a photograph that holds the essence of what made me reach for the power to capture it words written in a state of grace juice fruit friends generosity courage honesty shadow my husband when he is proud of me dolphins using something i have made having my hair brushed whales sark forum making a connection with someone's truth and their heart warmth a comfy bed people who genuinely love me
and everyday i count the blessings of the green around me and the coast and the feeling of being amoung the luckiest inhabitants of this planet - not only because of my health and my family and my abundance but because of where we live...
Te Tai Tokerau in Aotearoa New Zealand is a remarkable collection of beauty, soul and spirit.
The trees talk.
The rivers sing.
The ocean chants again and again.
And they are the sounds that resonate with my heartbeat.
Here is where i went yesterday... Matapouri Beach and Whale bay .. a walk through the coastal bush, over cliffs... past the scene of my first kiss, in sight of the place where my mother disowned me, in the presence of the place where i first felt seen.
The colour of the sky *the ocean * Elizabeth and Maeve * people who reach beyond the ordinary * genuine generosity *good food * watching things grow * the miracle of birth *a woman's power *tenderness in all its forms * the cycle of life * courage * people with a sense of fun * compassion * beautiful jewellery * art that is made from the heart - without a view to the purchaser or the market but made because it has to come *Clarissa Pincola Estes * grace
LIKE SANDS THROUGH THE HOURGLASS THESE ARE MORETHINGSTHATITHINK
i welcome you with warmth and love to the thoughts that grab me .... and the way they come out of my fingers when i make the time in my day as a mother and artist and poodle walker to write them down.....