Man, the past few months have been hella! Super busy and feeling bogged down with winter, drama from friends (actually, just the one but he’s a handful at times) and a shitload of mahi! By last week I was on autopilot, riding the waves to the shore.
But good learnings though… excellent learnings. Ima always down for a bit of learning lol.
I went to parliament last Monday to make a submission on why the government should invest in engaging young boys and men throughout the Moana, in sexual and reproductive health. It was pretty fascinating to hear the difficulties people on the smaller Islands have experienced, due to colonisation’s impact. I suppose vasectomies are a big thing on the Islands these days, with a lot of people lobbying for more funding for more vasectomies. To me, that fixes a short-term problem in the case of unwanted pregnancies, but yah, doesn’t really engage men to find their ways back into being part of families. It bothers me that our tane today, are on the loose, losing themselves in the madness of Western modes and relationships. We need our men in our families.
The rest of last week was spent at an Indigenous research conference. I love big Indigenous knowledge gatherings and hearing the ways Native nations have been strategising to empower their peeps. Apart from all the learning and sharing there, I got to see the hottest hula in the universe. After the conference dinner finished I enjoyed having a few beers and a singalong; Māori people and alcohol equals guitar party. It’s always good to see academics let their hair down :).
I presented a paper…well, more ideas actually as I try really hard to fill the empty space that is my PhD thesis. I feel like I have gotten pretty good over the past few years at presenting research in my own unique manner which is more like telling story. I am writing about conference presentations in the context of performance art, so it was awesome to have peeps give me good feedback. Even though I got flustered when just after beginning, I found I only had five minutes left, I did good work. I was pretty surprised to ponder the faces I saw in the audience, not only friends but the heavy hitters of Indigenous academia. At the party, one of my peers told me I was a “freak” because my research is so evocative and different from the norm. I feel good about that hahah.
Then, the weekend. I had a photoshoot for a book project. It was very cool to model for an artist whose work I really admire, Tanu Gago, and I felt good that I can still remember how to werk in front of a lens. Actually, it’s funny thinking about lenses, in front of a still camera I am ace…in front of a moving image camera eeeeek. I had an interview for Te Kaea, the Māori TV news earlier last week and felt like I was gunna wet myself trying to talk to the lens. Anyway, it was a good shoot and I had to remind myself that the hot 19 yr old modelling with me was only half my age. Inappropriate thoughts that day lol.
And so now, it’s chill time for me. The busy part of the year is over and I can ease my days away, writing writing writing and making art happen. It’s all a glamor, all for show, go directly to jail do not pass out on the way. The fray is failing me and fearful of futures without foundation, I fret amongst the madness.
Mirror mirror, on the wall, mirror me some mindfulness. Make me make you love me love you, it’s all just games, no names.
Never notice, just bliss.