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  • Stonefeather


I woke up this morning (4am-ish) celebrating 50 years and 1 day around the sun. It feels great. At the sudden fear of sounding pretentious, the Greek descriptor 'Eudaimonia' was bouncing around my brain as soon as I woke up. I was introduced to the term by one of our music industry graduates during her 'Exposure' presentation last year around the happiness and well being of musicians; acknowledging the up-keep and importance of health and happiness as artists along this dynamic path of creative output. I often observe the precocious fine line travelled of musicianship, especially the live performance aspects; vulnerabilities being exposed for judgement...but that's where the good stuff 'lives'. I believe the term infiltrated my alpha-state as I had had 2 meetings yesterday with some participants involved with part of my MFA exploration - 'He Pahu Manawa'. I have funding approved to established a 10 week traditional drum making programme at Kuranui College in Greytown for 'At Risk Youth'. The funding application (which has been successful..thank you...thank you TPK!) has the taumaha (heavy) title of 'Youth Suicide Prevention' programme...but myself and my collaborators would prefer to think of it as a 'Rangatahi Empowerment Wānanga'. I think the former enforces the gravitas of this disheartening, widespread, complex national issue. In my attempt at un-filtered typing,I am also thinking of 'Te Ihi' and 'Te Wehi'... Te ihi being the energy/awe/air that someone exudes when they walk in the room; whether it be from whakapapa, education, mahi or tick tock - The relationship between Te Ihi and Te Wehi; the latter being the response from te what comes back to you from the energy/work/awe that you exuded in the first place. So basically if I put out good work, then good things might come back in the form of Te Wehi...however if I put out shit work ..or do a shit thing...then Te Wehi will be that shit will come back to me. I love this mantra. It goes on further, involving Te Wana and Te Mana, but that's a phD.

I had a great first hui of 2020 with my supervisors - Dr Huhana Smith and Hemi McGregor. I know I am going to have a fantastic year with them. They are extremely supportive of this MFA huarahi (path) that I've subscribed to and always challenging me in exciting and supportive ways. It was pointed out that I am a 'YES' person - as in I say YES to too many things and end up waking up at 4am most mornings...and not spending time with whanau. So I need to cut down on my YES's and focus on some quality work as opposed to quantity. I feel very lucky to be asked to be involved with so many amazing projects but yeah - gotta cut down. Hemi generously gave a beautiful image

of the process - "just narrow down the options... but go deeper.." profound and totally my jam. I think in the past I have been so eager to experience or be involved with so many different, amazing opportunities. But now (as Huhana has suggested) I just need to ground myself and focus. So with 50 years and 1 day under my belt, I am inspired to get my good 'Ihi' on...hope that some good 'Wehi' comes back...and keep acknowledging this privileged seat I have in this pounamu waka we're all paddling called life.xx

Raupo - Wairarapa Moana, March 2020.

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