Day 17 was a strange day. In knowing I had to clean up my desk by the end of the day I barely did anything at all. It ended up as a bit of a non-day as far as the residency went and it took a lot of effort to be okay about that. We can’t be on form all the time, and taking that last day as a rest day was probably a good idea.
Sian and I made a joint dinner of a hot roast chicken, roasted veges, yorkshire pudding and gravy and watched ridiculous youtube videos from before the days of youtube (saladfingers, strongbad, ‘Kenya, forget Norway,’ ‘Wee! Gonads in strife’)
It was a low key end to the residency. By the time I went to bed, the whole three weeks was packed up into a suitcase. Was I ever here at all?
my vision is of a line, a line spun with threads
millions, trillions, certainly innumerable
a place that is itself without me, but is rewoven for me
there are many more lines here than my vision
lines of movements, of currents, of footsteps and vehicles,
a crosshatch of life, so too place is a threadwork of thoughts
I am there again now – I dwell here before I sleep
I saw a golden field and I wonder now if I made it
on a warm day, beneath heavy clouds, a slight breeze
that flits amidst the grasses like a percussionist
I burnt my hands – the backs of my hands
they emanate a great heat, as though I caught the sun
my hands shine golden in the dim gloom of my room
it rains today, i cannot imagine the golden field in rain
I’m working on another small artist book, just 8 leaves. Titled ‘wawaro.’ Below is a sample page:
Went into Masterton today and saw the exhibition “Cellular Memory” by Elizabeth Thomson, curated by Gregory O’Brien at Aratoi gallery and museum. A thoroughly stunning and enjoyable show. It’s a survey exhibition so the works cover her career beginning in the late 80s through to this year.
It’s Sian’s birthday today so Chistine and I made a birthday dinner. Two new residents have joined us in the last day or so, so there were five of us celebrating with baked salmon and stuffed apples.
Playing around with making lines
The Manawatu Gorge Track. A 10km trek, about 8 ks in we made a little friend:
A bit of a mix of a day. Spent some time in the morning playing around with ink.
Then at lunch Sian and I joined Christine and her family for a Christmas lunch on the lawn which was really lovely, with loads of kiwi classics (from the 70s?) salads with boiled eggs, potato salad with pureed peas, ham and pineapple, highlander dressing, followedby cheese case and pavlova. Christine’s grandfather and great grandfather built this house, so all her cousins who came on Saturday all had memories of the house as children. They told us which rooms used to be what (the Burton room was once the lounge) and which rooms they stayed in (Alva always stayed in the Saiko room, which is the room I’ve staying in – it didn’t have french doors then).
Then Sian and I went off to a fair in Queen’s Park in Masterton. There’s a little ride on train in the park on the island in the middle of the pond/lake. It only runs occassionally by a couple of volunteers. The older guy had a very familiar sense of humour and reminded me of our team leader Graham at the print shop.
On Tuesday morning Illya McLellan visited Sian and I here at the residency and chatted with us for almost 3 hours! We talked about our projects, but mostly we talked about language, specifically te reo Māori and its importance to all New Zealanders. Particularly important given all the chat about te reo Māori’s place in the mainstream media. Today he published a story about us:
There are some things people expect to find in rural Wairarapa, but a New Zealand Pākehā poet teaching an Irish playwright Te Reo Māori is not one of them.
You can find the full article here