Thursday, April 24, 2008
I think to myself of this as 'blog etiquette' - say only NICE things, find the good and reflect it back. Softly and carefully give feedback if necessary but always positive, uplifting and even knee-slapping humour is encouraged. At least that's how I operate. I have had blog friends receive negative comments and I don't understand it. It can be very debilitating. I figure anyone who connects with me will not be crappy and likewise, I don't have any crappy blogs that I frequent either. I have not had one bad comment since I started my blog back in January. Sometimes it is really challenging to be so transparent, to be honest and bare all. I know I often cringe at what I reveal, yet I bite the bullet trusting that someone somewhere will relate, maybe be inspired themselves or have a inspiring thought to share too. It makes me vulnerable and I guess if I had a bad experience I might think twice about it all.
Slowly the shock is easing regarding my situation, oh so slowly. I see on the horizon a glimmer of resignation - of what solution yet I do not know. Lots of offers for the life inside me but I sit here waiting for my husband and I to form one mind over this. That is my sole focus for now. Unity with my husband. It is a good focus. It forces me to be gentle and quieten the indignant, frustrated woman who's kicking and screaming inside. She hasn't gone away, she's just shutting up so that there is room for my close ones, my husband and sons to express their thoughts too.
I do have faith and I know so many of you are praying. I do believe that God holds the whole situation in His capable hands. My job is to listen. Isn't that so much easier than scrambling around trying to fix things? I find it is anyway.
"Be still and Know" is one of my favourite verses in the bible.
This is terrible in some ways. So many people in the world with genuine issues and here I am bleating on about something that is more inconvenient than anything.
I have a friend who has scarring from severe burning over a majority of her body. It was caused when her brothers accidentally set her alight as a child. There is an advert on tv at the moment where a woman is promoting a blemish cream, she talks about her life-changing mark which is a mere speck above her eyebrow. It is so tiny you can't actually see anything. My friend and I want to puke when we see it. It's all relative isn't it?
I have walked the beach with my boys and spend a lot of time resting and reading at the moment. Today was my first real day out of bed due to morning sickness (who called it 'morning'?) If I get a moment when I can get up, I spend it completely with my boys who are on term break. They are troopers. They cooked their own eggs and spaghetti on toast yesterday for lunch. Food is a no-go zone for me at the moment.
Can you tell art is not my focus for now? I have been grateful just being able to hold my food down and being able to sleep a lot. That is about it. That and my family.
Tonight we prepare for the arrival of my mother-in-law, my husband's brother, wife and three kids. It will be a squeeze but it will be wonderful to have the others around to bring some more happy noise into this house. Chase out the other funny atmosphere that is lurking around this home. Bring on the island food and laughs and chatter. The ukelele and guitars, Nanny doing the hula in the lounge with her moko's, the talks that go into the night and the buzz of a family come to tour Wellington, our city of which we are most proud.
Again, I want to thank you all for your flood of emails and rsponses, all sensitive and some with stories to share. I appreciate that the people who come here share the same understanding about blogs and it has opened up things for me I had never considered before. I have friends now from all over the world. And yes, you are friends. Friends I have yet to meet.
Monday, April 21, 2008
I am viewing ... Nina Bagley http://ornamental.typepad.com/
I am soaking in ... Mary Oliver http://www.poemhunter.com/mary-oliver/
My house is unusually quiet. The weather has turned cold. My husband flies north tomorrow to Auckland city. My boys and I may just don coats and walk along the beach seeking out treasures like heartstones and so forth. My mother sent me a parcel that arrived Saturday (thanks mum) which contained lots of goodies for Aunty Martha and a few bits and pieces for me. Today I spent the day with my friend Chrissie. She is a single mum with four children, two under three. Her home is so orderly and calm, the children happy and vibrant, and she still managed to feed our family and offer me a place of tranquility and peace. She loves the baby-stage but understands that I feel so very differently.
My husband and eldest son are very very quiet for now. They are hurt that I don't feel the way they do. I spent today trying to comfort them and allow them their feelings. Tears are flowing in this home too easily. They are not attacking me but trying to come to terms with what may happen. There is no easy answer, there is no win-win solution yet that has presented itself. I understand this. I am trying so very hard to make the best of this for everyone. We are all trying very hard.
I know I have made my bed and that I shouldn't be in this position at all. I could have taken precautions. However that was then and this is now. I do not believe any person born is a mistake and that nothing happens in this world without a purpose. Somewhere I believe a woman is crying out to God for a child and I am a woman with a pregnancy who feels she has already raised her two children and does not want to revisit this chapter in my life.
Tonight I read my favourite poet, visited one of my favourite peeps Nina, and listened to the sweet sounds of our dear talented Hinemoana. Time out from the responsibility and intense thinking. Time to ease back into the flavour of my life. I need this. It helps ground me. So did praying with my children tonight. They are so precious, I cannot pour enough of me into them and yet still, I feel so guilty and lacking as a mum. It is the angst of motherhood, no matter how much I do for them, still I feel I could do more.
Do not fret, I am grounded right now. I fret for my family, for their pain and for a solution that will come that will leave me with a peace in my heart, in all our hearts.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I am 37. My youngest has just started school, my eldest is starting college in two years. I am not ready for diapers, prams, sleepless nights, carrying someone around for a year or so until they walk, the demanding crying nature of a baby. I just cannot go back there. It is very difficult. A termination is out of the question. However adoption is very much an option for me to a couple who are Christian, have one adopted baby already and are looking for their second perhaps. My eldest son and my husband however very much want this child, have already formed an attachment. I am in a predicament of sorts.
This is very much a time of prayer and meditation for me to do the right thing. To keep the child will require a change of perspective and heart. I am not holding my breath. I like my life now. I love the two children I have. I want us to continue as before. Already I feel intruded upon, invaded as I wade through morning sickness, constantly yawning and falling asleep, and ongoing nausea.
This was like my first pregnancy. I was physically so ill it drained me, plus I was in shock. My second child was planned and I was really excited and prepared when he turned up. But this person has snuck in, blowing open my world for now and challenging me to dig deep, to come to the best possible conclusion for all.
Please share your experiences with me, if you know what I am talking about. I am surrounded by women who love babies, is there anyone like me, for whom the world doesn't move when they are pregnant? It certainly isn't the most popular stance especially as a woman. All my friends congratulate me but really they are just grateful it isn't them.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
This is one of my altered shirts which has been appliqued with various pieces of silk. The pocket has images of my screen printing on it. The top right hand corner has shibori dyed fabric.
The collar involves zillions of tiny running stitches and a shiny piece of silk velvet (well, a silk/polyester blend).
Here is a blanket dyed in eucalyptus and then I am playing around with running stitch on it's surface. The circles are both a nod to my 'influence' theme (Bronfenbrenner's ecological model of human development) and my photos of the stones on the beaches I walk.
Details of running stitch. This is a very calm process and I love that I can sew while spending time with the kids. I can do it at lectures, waiting, anywhere. Even in bed (although I lose the odd pin only for my family to find them with their feet - ow). Some of my work, like this stuff I do in isolation away from the eyes of art school. I no longer over think things, if I think an idea, I just give it a go. I have no idea where these things will end up, although there are definitely themes emerging like texture, tone-on-tone, natural materials, resourcefulness, and concepts like the systems, influence and culture.
Below, this is a box of my materials including samples and pieces of silk and wool felt, dyed and awaiting a new home on one of my garments or artworks. This is probably where I spend the most money. Silk is difficult to source in great quantities secondhand, even firsthand it retails $15-$30pm for plain silk. I am able to get it at a reduced price through school, however it still remains costly. So if you have silk that I can use, or know of a good source (which would be great) then please leave a comment. I know Asia is excellent for silk.
These are my clay heads. I love them so much. I could make 'people' anytime out of anything.
I also have my seaweed baskets drying in the garage, they are a bit stinky but already they are starting to keep their own form.
As I drove up my street yesterday, I managed to catch the following view in my rear side view mirror.
This is my interior rear view mirror. How cool is that. Like a wee artwork framed in my car.
Below, this is my Aunt's lounge. It has one small path in and 2/3rds of the lounge is packed with clothes waiting to be packed and sent back to relatives in the Islands, and the rest is adorned with photos, shell necklaces, and hundreds of Aunty Martha and Cecelia's floral creations.
These are blooms from in the hallway.
Hibiscus and orchards, and Tiari tipani or the frangipani. Aunty Martha has been experimenting with different colours. Of course frangipani is not brown or green, but those one's sell too. They just make sure there is something for everyone.
Cook Island people are also called Maori. These are their hats for church, and their 'ei's' which are floral headbands traditionally worn by woman at important events like weddings. Not just the bride, the whole congregation is decked out in white and flowers! And of course the shell necklaces which are exchanged and given as gifts.
Aunty Martha trying to give me so much stuff. I took home three wee blooms but I will be back for one of these ei's. There are some more below.
I loved this 'ei. It is made of white frangipani blossoms, and purple orchards.
There are flowers everywhere, in the hall, lounge, kitchen, adorning the floor, the fridge, the tables, the photos, the stereo, and the ones in the garden. Those are real.
Here are my three flowers. I love green and brown. These are made in the form of frangipani which traditionally come in white or pink. Throughout the Tahiti and the Cook Islands, the black pearl is the jewel of the Pacific.
This orchard is so beautiful. The photo doesn't do it justice.
Aunty Martha is guarding her skills for her mokopuna. Although people have asked her teach and talk, she has refused. She wishes to pass these skills down to the next generation. It is her legacy to us, the family. I left with a bunch of blooms, both real and created, as well as a tray of eggs and a real sense that I am a part of my husband's family. I am incredibly inspired to evolve my work to involve more Pacific themes after discussion with my husband and our Niuean / Cook Island family.
Thank you Aunty Martha for your love and tautoko. You are a beautiful flower in our family.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
I am looking forward to a break in two weeks time, and spending some time with my boys. The dynamics at school have changed somewhat and I have been approached to be involved in a cultural initiative on campus.
I am also meeting with my dear friend Dagmar this week to start work on a collaborative project involving, of all things, a fashion show. But with a cultural twist. More later.
Things are developing along. As my mum so aptly put, dramas can be so temporal. You know, here today, gone tomorrow. Better to focus on what's important. And that is preserving one's sanity, being peaceful or at least avoiding more conflicting situations, and focusing on my destination. She is a wise old girl. I feel like I gained my mana back in that conversation. So onwards, and upwards.
My flow is so on at the moment with my work. I love it when it is like this, when it flows and flows deeply. I am consumed and enjoying that sense.
I went to visit Aunty Martha and we talked about art, the history of Aitutaki where she's from in the Cook Island. Her house is full of flowers, handcrafted from wire and dyed nylon stockings. Flowers in the islands are very important. They represent beauty, and "make your heart feel good" she said. I am looking forward to incorporating Pacific Island themes more into my work. I am also studying the intricate designs found on Niuean barkcloth, Hiapo. Screenprint, dyeing, embroidery and altered clothing. It's all there.
On Friday I will visit with the local Vaini Tini who meet together to create Tivaevae, a very unique form of sewing similar to applique but with a very Pacific flavour - floral and colourful. This art form comes from the Cook Islands where my mother-in-law Pari hails from. Niue is where my father-in-law is from. So it is my tamariki's heritage too. All this flavour is wonderful.
Thanks for the emails everyone, I haven't dropped off the planet, just head down tails up with mahi (work).
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Both my bros are happily married in Australia and within months of each other, heralded in their firstborns, both sons. I sometimes wish I could tie a rope to Australia, and pull it a little closer so we wouldn't have to leave our homes and could live in our countries of preference while still being able to pop over for a cuppa and some fried bread.
Artwise I am making clayheads, a body form for fitting my clothes onto and completing my workbooks. Tomorrow I will make my own mannequin from chicken wire which will be fun. The craft hub was abuzz tonights, ladies working on altered clothing, books, jewellery and claywork. My friend Cheryl came along, it's so nice we will see each other often and make things too.
Counting down to a significant date for me later in April. It just might be I will get to meet someone I rave about here all the time, but I will wait until it happens before I spill. Until then, just know the anticipation is palpable and mounting. She is wonderful and American and quite possibly coming to visit me here. I already am thinking of Trash Palace and local op shops, Hongoeka marae, beach combing our windswept beaches for heart stones, a trip to Owen's house (a jeweller, carver and collector extrodanaire), lots of tea and coffees, maybe a few wines and some wonderful bonding. I want to make a gift, but I am not sure what to create as this person is so creative in her own right. Do you have any ideas? Do you think a felted eco-printed wool/silk scarf would be ok? I know I would love to receive one ... If you have any other ideas, let me know. Hahaha, no pressure, yeah right!
By the way, the RSI seems to have disappeared, I just have to remember to stay off the computer for lengthy periods.
Ok, go well friends and family, rest, play, smile, do what you love, and definitely kiss more.