Christchurch aroha muster

Friday, 25 February 2011

Subdued. I’m not even sure what words to write next.

Chriiiiissstchhhuuuurccch earrrrtthhquaaaaake reeeliiiieff,” tolls the Lions Club man collecting money on the corner of Lambton and Willis in his eerie elongated monotone this morning. A town crier.

A silent screaming numbness overrides everything. But for some reason it feels really important to remain calm and open-hearted, rather than to go along with the depressive hysteria that’s all too easy to fall into and so bloody difficult to climb out from. It won’t help anyone. So apart from occasional quick glimpses at the general gist of things via the Internet, I’ve been avoiding all forms of media like the plaque. I can’t keep it together otherwise. Tears still break through the border when I'm caught off guard.

Everybody knows someone involved in one way or another. Everybody is affected. To my Christchurch friends, I’m so proud to know you guys. I see you all clubbing together and lovingly supporting one another with your usual super-amazing attitudes. I so want to wrap my arms around you all tightly and give you the mother of all squeezes xx

My Welly flatmate was flown down first thing Wednesday morning by Hercules to muck in. I haven’t been able to contact him since; it can’t be pleasant. There are many others I know doing their bit as part of their jobs or in their own personal way. Yes, you can also donate money or give shaken Cantabrians a place to get away to.

For everyone saying they feel helpless, another suggestion is pulling together all the aroha that is an intrinsic part of you from your insides and sending that strong, powerful, positive energy out with purpose. Not your sadness, your heartache or your fear - just the good stuff. Imagine it flying from within you through the air, culminating and growing stronger as it merges with the same energy from others on its journey.

And show the family and loved ones around you now how much you love them, unconditionally. That trivial day-to-day crap we normally get so caught up in really doesn't matter. Ever.


Dear Aunty Agnes

Sunday, 20 February 2011

To the girl who lives close by: The reason why you keep going back to that evil, nasty piece of work who constantly disrespects you and everyone else around, and who you actually feel ashamed to be with and you don't even really like, is because you fail to see what a gorgeous, super talented, wonderful woman you really are. So lacking in self belief. That might be a good place to start. Just trust me on this one okay.

To the silent boy around the corner: We complicate life with socially acceptable rules and half-truths, serving to feed an illusion of security and compromise who we really are. Those around you might be fooled, but I don't for a minute believe an ounce of your facade. I see you. You visit here all the time. I get your logic, but still think it's a shame. I'm still very much a (faaaaar from perfect) true friend even though you're not allowed to be the same. Happiness to you xx

To the girl in the mirror: When you act from a place of heart rather than insecurity, and don't buy into other people's crap, things always work out for you and usually better than you ever imagined. This has been proven time and time again. So worry not, always believe you can do it and keep aiming for the stars. Everything you ever dreamed of and more can and will be yours. P.S. Don't forget to dance.

Sssh... it's a secret

Thursday, 10 February 2011

In our divine wisdom, the three blonde bombshells decided it would do us all good to get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day and send out some good natured, light-hearted love this year. Which began a bit of eeny-meeny-miney-mo on various counts...
I decided to steer clear of gifting the once-prized (if never by me) musical romance that is Piano by Candlelight. Although the write up in North & South was almost convincing, I didn't want to risk complete petrification. Richard Clayderman-esque is not for everyone. Far too squidgy for my tastes, soft toys were definitely out. And what with the delivery complications, flowers do have that tendency for dying on the porch. Chocolate... sticky, melty... nah.

But if in your mailbox you should find a pink envelope backed with a question mark – and after opening it you’re not too put off by my own dubious style of cheeky wit – then, my chosen inamorato for the day, maybe I’m doing something right. Or quite possibly not. My affections can be something of an acquired taste.

L-O-V-E. That four letter word that the world has never quite been able to define. I have my own ideas and, quite likely, yours are worlds away from mine. Because mostly, I look around me and feel... well, quietly disillusioned... I don’t want for myself what it looks, from the outside, like many others have got.

The single most attractive quality in a person for me - lover, friend or passing acquaintance - is someone who knows what it is to be true to themselves. Unfortunately, as a very wise gay friend who laughs at me when I share with him this thought says: “Yeah, we’re both f****d. That’s pretty rare to find in anyone, and especially in a bloke!”

That’s okay. I shrug my shoulders with a grin. I’m also really happy right here, right now - and obtaining that seems more of a mysterious secret to most folk than who sent a silly unnamed card...

The big fill

Saturday, 5 February 2011

When you stop smoking, the mother of all appetites starts. You gain health and additional padding. It’s been 35 days and probably half a dress size thus far. But I’m still squeezing into my size 7 jeans… just. Which is ridiculous, no grown woman should be able to fit into size 7 jeans, unless she's an elf. Least of all me, I am more used to having hips and a posterior Noah could park his ark on.

Last year was a bit freakish. I smoked heinously huge quantities, ate practically nothing and lost something in the realms of 3 stone. Not on purpose, I just wasn’t hungry (and now I know why fashion models fag their heads off like there’s no tomorrow). As for cooking, well it just didn’t venture that high up my priority list. There was too much other stuff to do.

So now I’m ravenous again and into food. Correction, I’m into good fresh food. I’m reinventing myself in the kitchen, or at least I’m trying. If you know me at all, you’ll realise this is quite a shock, horror, gasp moment – my culinary skills definitely exist more at the consuming than the manufacturing end. I make no promises, it’s not my natural forte, but watch this space… if there’s any left behind the expanding silhouette…

Dead centre of town

Friday, 4 February 2011

I fell upon a dead place. It called to me on my vague no-particular-destination meanderings, appealling to a fervent curiosity, knowing I would respond. So I stayed a while, soaking up the overgrown ancientness of Hallowell Cemetery, “The Old Burying Ground”, lying somewhere down Nelson’s Shelbourne Street.

It shares whispers of neglect and long-forgotten secrets, the carpet of fallen leaves underfoot crackling loudly, traversing across splintering old bones. Hundreds of years on, the headstones marking graves of the dead and buried are all but gone, but no interpretation sign is really required to inform of their presence deep down underneath your shoes. You just feel it. Earth to earth, dust to dust, ashes to ashes.

Hallowell today is an odd slopey wedge of land, juxtaposed at weird angles between houses of various eras and different lives. Like a peculiar three dimensional shape that doesn’t quite fit into any of the purpose-made holes of a child’s toy, instead remaining precariously and awkwardly perched – not quite in and not quite out of the space in which it used to reside. Slowly eroded away to this little patch of memorabilia turf, and I wonder who even comes here now.

The raucous din of cicadas snap, crackle and pop like sap burning and bursting in the bottom of a fire grate at a million degrees or suped-up electric fence waves on overdrive. Yet it’s strangely peaceful, fine great trees standing steadfastly, not succumbing to the downward slope as they look out down Manuka Street and onto the ranges beyond. I briefly muse upon how the dearly departed handled the slope lying horizontally in their beds of earth.

A just-ripe windfall Black Doris plum suddenly appears on the ground in front of me. It looks delicious, so I place it next to the only remaining grave to be seen, as a blessing. Annie Eliza Letitia Crawford died January 2nd 1866, in an asylum, age 10. She was one of the last to be buried here.

Hallowell well hallowed, dead centre or very much alive?