Submission

I’m taking myself out to the movies tonight…to see Transformers.

I pretty much spent most of the day in  bed, after cleaning my room and burning some sage and then sweetgrass.

I needed some chill time to release the pent up PhD anxiety…which for the most part is over.

I submitted my thesis yesterday.

It is a beautiful thesis. I’m so proud for my achievement in getting it out. I was on TV the night before last and lots of people have been saying, “hey, I saw you on Māori TV the other night…amazing korero bro”.

My skin is hideous and I need to get my body back in shape after these years of not looking after myself properly to birth my research taonga.

Come back to the world.

Get up

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Wake up you

Get golden hued

Find the fitness

Meet the witness

Magic in the middle

You do the math

Cement the path

Time to solve the riddle

Today I’m doing things simply. This week has been dramatic but I’m firmly grounded regardless.

In 5 days I’m handing my PhD thesis in. Just a few little edits left and off to the printers on Monday. I gotta get some paid work done too, so that I can afford to pay for the printing lol.

The head of Native Studies in Arizona wants me to go there and help them set up a creative practice PhD program. That’s a job for this week, beginning that discussion and looking for funding. I’d like to go for a year.

I submitted a few abstracts this week. One was on barriers to healthcare access for transgender Māori, the other was on kaupapa Māori creative strategies to empower the HIV sector.

I have been cray emailing cuators and scholars all over the world during the past week as well. I think there needs to be a Takatāpui/Two Spririt gathering in 2019, with a focus on creative practice and relational strategies toward healing our land, communities and futures.

I don’t care that I’m a black, hairy, HIV positive fucking tranny who’ll never get the chop cos I love my dick.

I’m guna change the world.

Dreams

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I’ve been dreaming a lot lately. My meds give me vivid as fuck dreams that often would leave me tired all day because I’d been on such amazing nighttime adventures.

Smoking weed would make me dream not and so for years I was able to sleep in black silence, with no memory of twilight travel.

Once in Southern Puget sound my friend asked me what I thought dreams were and I told her I thought they were messages from tūpuna. She agreed, and we both talked about how our pot smoking might be blocking important messages from ancestors…three hummingbirds found us that day and flew circles around our heads before darting away into the distance. We ate huckleberries, blackberries and blueberries from bushes as we walked home contemplating.

I’ve stopped smoking weed for quite a while now and have been dreaming about the facial moko I want to get. Last night I dreamed of applying for a 50K public art commission. I’m making plans for both, and they’ll both be epic.

Time for my midas touch to morph between dream states and reality. Actuality rates right up there. Bear the weight of existence, the existential exodus between crisis and catharsis is carrying me to places beyond painful pasts.

Craft new futures and fly, flit like those hummingbird ancestors, like all those other birds that always drop their feathered messages from the sky. Collect the goodness and wear them in bundles around my neck.

What the heck, be that mermaiden whose scales turn to feathers…cascade between dimensions of fluid imaginings x.

Becoming me

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Pic by Roÿmata Holmes

Imaging pathways beyond, the fronds of overhanging forest leaves and branches no longer block momentum…no more hangovers.

I imbibe life, leaving me immune to the decaying past, which is all just memories.

Last night I had feverish dreams. I stood in the old house remembering the youth I had forgotten, my dead father smiling at me because he was proud. I see a good future ahead.

I no longer live and walk dead, I am the person who refused to be beaten and instead forced myself from the slumber of sedate sanity – normalcy and the nine to five fracas will never be my street party. I gave that vision up for the challenging existence from the margins.

I’m lying in bed today, and yesterday too. I have orders from the doctors that it’s ok to chill…I have been so busy. I sent my PhD thesis edits off to my creative supervisors. It’s fucking epic. I am excited to submit it and let it fly because it’s the most engaging artwork I have ever made – a self portrait of intense and honest change to a status quo of dying every day.

I have been working on a lit review to assess access to healthcare for Māori transgender people. It is part of a 3 year project to survey takatāpui wellbeing. The literature spells out an intensely complex web of barriers that will only change when someone is able to understand where the flaws in the system are entrenched and offer ways to strategically challenge them. That person is me.

I got news yesterday that another project I supported to survey and account for transgender people in Aotearoa New Zealand just got funded. I can’t believe that as soon as I am about to submit my PhD thesis on tradtional Māori weaving processes, and the ways they can heal historical sexuality and gender trauma, opportunities to practice my theory arise.

I applied for a job as a curator.

The universe is goodness and fair x.