Thursday, February 10, 2011

On the Death of a New Friend

We started this blog page at about the same time we were creating our website.  Blogging was a way to communicate to the world ones thoughts and aspirations.  It was also a vehicle to advertise and promote the sale of Patricia and Lou's dream house.  They were trying to sell this when the recession hit and seemed stuck with a lovely house that didn't sell. 

We met Patricia and Lou at the Maori Business Facilitation Service network do last year.  We were talking about a joint venture with Lou just before Patricia was taken ill and now a month on she has died.  Cancer is a funny disease - it can linger or it can spread so rapidly that one day she was here and next she is gone.

Rest in peace Patricia - we know that you would want us to remember you as the colourful person you were and get up and get on - not sit and grieve.

Where are We At - AND Where to From Here?

It has been a strange journey moving from Wellington to Whangarei.  Nothing in our lives seems to go in a straight line.  Maybe we had foolish expectations that we would fall into new things and our lives would carry on more or less un-interrupted.  Maybe foolishly I believed that some of the connections I had would help open doors into things I had been working on - like whanau ora and the like.  They had certainly encouraged me to adopt a critical stance on these matters and to promote such a view politically.  BUT once some of this had been recognised as policy in whanau ora the mood changed. 

Heresy is not profitable.

I suppose also I was changing or being forced to change - social work was taking more out of my soul than what was be put back.  Maybe I have seen and heard too much - meeting an old client who I was social worker for when a state ward - who is an ex of one of Jeanette's family just makes it all too much.  I think my 30th anniversary in 2009 was the turning point and maybe I should have got out then.  I just could no longer feel safe work for a profession who very existance is dependant upon the circumstances they claim to abhor.  That they all so subtly keep maintaining.  So wrong and so unproductive.

But this is a heresy that no one wants to hear - especially when youve got $160 million to play with.

So being forced to change direction at 59 years of age with two children in a new town is a challenging proposition.  Especially with a creative mind and a critical eye.

The death of my father has played a big part in this.  I love him dearly and I can see so much of him in me.  I think the fact that I have crossed over the cultural line is in part due to him.  He understood in his heart the notion of whanau.  As a romantic notion but it was never something he could practice or engage in the practice of.  Maybe because my mother was ignorant or racist he never took any further in practice.  Like when thay came to Jeanette's mums tangi - they came to back door - my mother with her batch of muffins - and my father never having the gumption to come through the front door to pay hs respects.   And I can see her reaction when she wasn't fawned over. 

His funeral was the last straw and for the first time in my life I stood up to my mother.  Now for my sins they have disowned me.  I still talk to my sister Kate in Australia so that is good but she is also a black sheep for selling heirlooms.  Kate has seen life and knows pain and knows people.  I am sorry but my mother and my sister are nasty and culturally ignorant BUT they are still my family.

So my father death was something of a release - in some ways it has set me free.  I can face my weaknesses which I inherited from my father. 

So to my father rest in peace Guthrie - know that you are now free and to be who you want to be.

To Patricia - thank you for the such short time we knew you - but you joy of life is an inspiration I will never forget.

To all those who might read this blog - I now know how to post so expect more.

Why horticulture, why plums and why pigs.