Te Whanganui a Tara

I am continually awed by the beauty and the diversity of landscape in Wellington. This little city has a hold of my heart and it won't let go. This weekend my flatmates and I cycled about 20km around the peninsula on the eastern side of harbour and it was breath-taking. I am so blessed - with a beautiful home, with beautiful friends, with beautiful new beginnings to be had.



Sometimes I wonder how many of us are truly free to be ourselves. How many of us fear showing our true colours? How many fear themselves?

We live in a society of superficiality. Over Christmas, when I was back in Auckland with my family, I watched the television with my father, and I was amazed at the advertisements - every single one of them sold the viewer a product guaranteed to improve their life in some way, or to make them feel better about something that was, in the advertisers eyes, a substandard way of living. It was scary to remember that we are bombarded with the message that we are not good enough alone. Ever since post-WWII economic boom and the introduction of the two-Ford family to American culture, we have rapidly hurtled down a slippery slope of consumerism and with that, a complete shift in the way we value and define identity.

The last month has been a time in my life where I have explored what it means for me to be alone. At first, I was scared. What if I failed? What if I couldn't succeed (whatever that means) alone? What if - God forbid - who I am wasn't good enough? But I think that I have learnt at least one thing in this time. In being alone, I am made available to love and connect with the world around me. In my solitude, I am able to hear the voice of my heart. I am ok.

There is hope. There is redemption. Imagine a world where we didn't need to feel self-conscious. Imagine a world where instead of running the race to the top, we ambled hand in hand and looked around once in a while. Imagine noticing the carved trellises on the sidewalk you never saw before. A lingering gaze, a smile to a stranger. Imagine what it feels like to completely accept who you are, who I am, who we all are, and to be ok with that. Imagine the liberation and freedom that accompanied such acceptance. I love these thoughts...I love these realisations that, yes I am scared and yes I am alone. But I am alone in the shadow of a vast and beautiful world, and that is ok.

On Love

When love beckons to you, follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams
as the north wind lays waste the garden. 

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth. 

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God's sacred feast. 

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life's heart. 
But if in your fear you would seek only love's peace and love's pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love's threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love. 

When you love you should not say, "God is in my heart," but rather, "I am in the heart of God."
And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course. 

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.

Kahlil Gibran - The Prophet


{thankful for}

Waking up to this view and breathing in the Kaipara air...

...this little guy who lights up the world...

...kayaking adventures with cousins...

...this pup...

...and the fruits of summer.


New beginnings. New chapters. A clean slate.

A tightening in my gut and a quickening of my heart.

Change is something to be embraced and celebrated. Change signals new life, growth, progress. Change that looks to the future with bright eyes, and bows to the past with respect, often heralds beautiful things. Yet there is always an element of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure. Fear of being alone in this strange new world.

Kahlil Gibran said, “Time has been transformed, and we have changed; it has advanced and set us in motion; it has unveiled its face, inspiring us with bewilderment and exhilaration.” 

This is the feeling. We are on a precipice, our toes overlooking an endless cavern of possibilities. Arms outstretched, eyes wide open, lips moving in a silent prayer of thanksgiving and protection. Hoping - no, believing - for the best.

This is my 2013.