Southern Puget Sound

Southern Puget Sound

It’s lunchtime and I need to eat something…

I have been eating a lot lately, which is good. I often forget to eat if I am working outside of what I consider my normal routine. I had a routine for about a week, but then life got quite full on and the routine simmered to nothing.

Yesterday I collected berries. Over the past few days I have enjoyed walking down the road and stopping every now and then to gorge on blackberries and huckleberries. I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a huckleberry until the other day. I thought huckleberry was just a name for a strange kid from The South.

Berries are my new favorite thing. When I went for a walk yesterday I took a plastic bag with me. Now I am looking forward to eating berries I collected with brunch.

I went to a conference the other week. I am not sure if I had a good time. There were a lot of politics going on, and somehow, I managed to get stuck in the middle. I think because of my personality, people tend to tell me when they are unhappy about things. I am a good listener, and generally speaking, I can always see the logic in someone’s argument. The problem is that I can often see the logic in opposing arguments too. I tend to hear people out, nod and agree with their points made, and help them to get clarity around their thinking. These are good skills to have. There were a few times at the conference when people did things that were not only culturally inappropriate, but also abusive.

It sucks though, when there are a lot of people who are annoyed and they need someone to tell, and I happen to be there. I am a problem-solving magnet, to the extent that I can become overwhelmed and left feeling battered.
I suppose, by the end of that conference, I felt very battered.

It has nice to be in a quiet space to reflect.

I am definitely on a haerenga, or journey at the moment. Being in the middle of lots of differing agendas is part of that haerenga. Listening to people as they try to resolve things that upset them is part of that haerenga too. I need to focus on strategies that will enable me to stay sane, or at least feel safe.

Personal safety has always been an issue for me. I tend to sacrifice my personal safety in order to help other people feel safe, but this is unsustainable practice. I will get all of my energy sucked out of me if I do not find ways to stay safe whilst on this haerenga. Lately, in order to feel safe I have resorted to hiding out somewhere, like a library, or I go for a walk. But these strategies do not really work long-term. I think I need to find security within, and feel safe enough to tell people when they are making me feel unsafe and insecure.

That is a strategy I need to super-glue to my brain.

Last night there was a full moon in Aquarius. It is the second full moon in Aquarius this month, so is referred to as a blue moon. At the last full moon, I was just leaving Aotearoa to embark on this haerenga. This full moon I reflected on how I got on this journey, and where I tend to go from here. It was good to have these reflections, and now, I am beginning to develop a sense of how to proceed. It is quite strange, this PhD thing. I feel like I spent perhaps two years trying to find a program, supervisors and at the same time clarify my intent. Then, after being enrolled it took six months to clarify my project even further. The entire time there has been an incredible amount of bureaucracy to battle against.

Yesterday, I encountered more bureaucracy where my project that was approved by a committee, now has to be re-approved by the same committee, before it can be approved by another committee. Until then, my project is on hold. I feel like my project will be on hold until I submit my thesis in three and a half years.

I decided to ignore the bureaucracy for a while…maybe for the next three and a half years.

Last week I got confirmation that my ethics application was approved, so I intend to just start researching. Eventually the system that I am immersed in will catch up, but if I do not activate my process, or at least find a pathway to doing what I have committed to, then I give my power to a machine.
My project is about how to take back power from machines. I am sometimes surprised that the machines have let me get this far.

Not long after the moon rose last night, I went out to kayak on the water with a friend. Before we got in the kayaks, we had ceremony; we burnt sage and offered tobacco. I said good prayers. Once we were out on the water I had an incredible feeling of oneness. For a very long time, my body has been out of alignment. I suspect that this is due to an internal gender conflict, where my body wants to be one way, but I have been trained to be the opposite. I have become quite good over the past few years at identifying where my body is out of alignment, and gaining enough focus to relax the primary tension enough to reshape my body. Last night I got very close to my goal of completely straightening out. As I floated in a kayak on the water, with the full moon beaming over my existence, I felt myself slipping into te whare tangata.

Whare tangata from a Maori perspective, is the womb. It is also the liminal space artists enter into when they create with thought but also no thought at all. Whare tangata is also a meeting space between people. When we create ancestral meeting houses, they are symbolic of whare tangata.

For this project, my intent is to communicate reality from within whare tangata.

I have arrived.