In the last few months I have been connecting with Pasifika Friends, as we carry our cultures in the heart, in the art, and in the soul wherever we go, and connect to families who share that same passion to continue meaningful cultural practices even whilst embracing new homes.
I have been hearing stories of endurance to obtain cultural tattoos, and reconnect with friends who dart in and around the Pacific, Australia and call so many places home, because they have family there. How I treasure these connections and the inspiration, strength and creativity within them.
I’ve been reading and attending forums on the Voice to understand where it comes from and what it means to people and work out how I wish to vote. At a Multicultural hosted forum at the QPAC, one of the speakers said:
‘we are all migrants to Australia, other than the First Nations people who were here first, and that with some coming from countries where we have no freedom of voice. It is important to ensure that future generations of First Nations will have an enshrined voice. This is something that all migrants can consider as something they can give back to First Nations people through supporting the Voice.’
The Voice is only one beginning, one action, a vote where people decide whether to support a proposal but the true changes will come through ongoing conversations, grass roots actions to connection, collaboration and friendship where listening, should forever be a keystone.
Whether you think the Voice will work or not, few can deny the integral and ancient and important connection of First Nations people to this land and that listening, healing and actions go hand in hand.
However you choose to vote, please do your homework with reliable sources, and don’t put unrealistic expectations on all the First Nations people you might know to do your homework for you!
Until my health took a tumble, I was walking almost daily. I loved sensing the sounds, scent and visuals of parks, full of bird life, turtles, and interesting trees and creeks invigorate and inspire. However, little did I know how precious this would all become when I got serious sciatica and presently I still struggle to walk for very long or very far without pain.
My small pieces of film, photographs and memories of these special places is sustaining me whilst I make numerous trips to the doctors and begin the rounds of physios, orthopaedics, and more. I am still unable to return to longer beloved walks, however I can make it out to our garden.
To overcome my feelings of isolation I have been doing lots of editing, reading, writing and attending and organising meetings on zoom when I can’t make it out of my house. I’ve made strides forward on some historical biographical work, and hope to do some interviews over zoom whilst I can’t venture too far from home.
A friend bought me a physical copy of Emily Dickinson, my first actual paper copy of her work as I usually read her online. And thinking about Emily’s use of time alone to write I have begun filling a notebook about the experience and sensations of pain.
To sustain me through this time there have also been the memories of in person times with colleagues and friends, discussing stories, writing, community and the wonderful visits of friends who took the time to come and sit with me in my garden, and cheer me up with our shared memories and stories. There have also been a few phone calls to people who prefer that mode of communication, just to see how they are.
Some very touching comments were posted on my face book wall. Some of my favourite were:
May all the kindness and love you so generously show to others flow right back to you and lift you up and over the waves rolling in. Calm seas are ahead.
“You are a treasure for so many people. I hope all our energies spread back to you, with love.”
It was very sad to hear of some people passing away relatively young, who had been important at different times to our family in our children’s journeys at school, but inspiring to hear of the courage of forgiveness, of the daughters of one my close friends who lost their mother.
Both these instances of mortality and forgiveness give me an urgency to finish particular projects or ensure there is someone to continue them if something should happen to me.
My silence on this blog means I am healing, reading, living – and pausing to reflect I write to express gratitude for all that life teaches, whether it be walks, or ill health.
Many thanks to all the true friends, and so sorry to miss birthdays, invitations, walks, functions, meetings where we normally connect I will be back or you can visit me in my garden, and we can listen to the wind, enjoy the stillness and bask in the memories of nearness.
Looking forward to when we can laugh together in the same spaces.