Nikau Palms, Te Punakaiki
240mm x 280mm
It is now the frontispiece for my hardcopy portfolio. The latter is slowly being fashioned into a coffee-table style book - part travelogue and part 'the best of...' the galleries'.
What can one say about Te Punakaiki in a Blog. Lots. The detail above reflects the beauty in simplicity. If you walk towards the Pancake Rocks and Blowholes you will look out over these Nikau palms - the most southerly growing palm trees in the world - to the Tasman Sea. The coastline here is phenomenal.
Princess Nikau gets a feature role amongst the Royal Trees in 'The Battle of the Trees' (look under the leaf in that gallery), an imaginary war between the introduced Pinus species and the indigenous trees of the Nation (Aotearoa) on the plains of Waiouru in the central North Island. Oh, OK, you sense a bit of a Greenie theme creeping in; a potential tree hugger here! When I wrote for Lonely Planet Publications I managed to get the 'wheels' to include a small, but informative section on the Flora & Fauna of Aotearoa (New Zealand) at the front of the book. It has since gone from subsequent editions. I'd just like to say that I would have consulted it at this stage as I write this travel blog of sorts. Their current entry for Te Punakaiki has a bit of me in it "the region is blessed with... a Westland petrel colony, the world's only nesting site of this rare sea bird". As far as I can remember I was the only Lonely Planet writer (apart from Rob from Tucson, Az) who had any feathered ornithological interest.
My family now has a bach (weekend accommodation) near Te Punakaiki. It is a monastery of sorts, and it allows much time for contemplation of things spiritual. It has always been a very spiritual place, as it was once a School of Learning for the pre-Maori people of Aotearoa - the Waitaha. What I am about to tell you won't be found in any Lonely Planet type publication. I wrote the current Maoritanga part of their New Zealand guide and I ignored all the real prehistory (and they haven't altered it since). I am not trying to say that they are misguided in their guidance - they just do not know any better and nor did I at that time. And who am I to crow in the benefit of hindsight.
Current New Zealand history is bunk, to partially quote Henry Ford.
I am about to quote from pp 222-3, Chapter Nine, Song of the God Stone, from The Kete (Basket) of Knowledge of Paparoa in Song of Waitaha - the Number One of a Thousand books you should browse before you die. I explore myth with a Joseph Campbell-ian fascination, and Song of Waitaha is the best preserved myth (history) of all our previous epochs. It is sewn as the Mind Song, but a far more intricate weave than say Bruce Chatwin's 'Songlines' about the Aboriginal cultures of Australia's central deserts. I have some editorials in [ ] brackets.
''Move swiftly on the river to join Te Tai Poutini, the fishing tide'
With the sail stretched, and the great tide surging on, we soon lay west of our old home of Whakarerea [Golden Bay]. However, the distance to that shore was so great only our memories pierced the haze between to reach our families. Then the tall mountains of Aotea Roa [South Island] filled our world. They were cloaked with snow and wore their mana proudly.
The Long Tide curved towards the coast to find Te Tai Poutini, the current that carried us to Hokitika, Arahura [river] and Waimea Whaka Hirahira [near Paroa], the children born of the 'marriage' of the stars, for we sailed on the joining of Poutini and Mere Pounamu in the heavens. By their light we came to the waters of the God Stone, to the mouth of Nga Wai o Marami [Arahura River], and we went ashore.
'Seek the blue duck plunging beneath the fast waters'
Our stay was short because Paparoa knew what he sought. It was a precious taonga [treasure] from the past; a carving in Pounamu [Greenstone]. The hand of Ngahue shaped it; his mind and spirit released the wonders within the God Stone. Ra Kai Hau Tu carried it to these waters, and it has waited eight generations for the dream to bring it to the people again.
In the place of the taonga, Paparoa left Rangiruru on the reef beyond the river. We put aside the name Tairea, and sailed as Tirea, to honour the Stone. Sailing north we passed Waimea Whaka Hirahira and came to mighty cliffs and pinnacles, and felt a strength in this land that would never let us go.
'Landfall ahead', cried Te Hau from his station above the splash of the plunging prow. And Te Punakaiki opened before us where the Pororari river joined the ocean. He sat quietly studying the channel to the estuary as we furled the great sail. Then, on his command, our blades lifted and fell as we moved strongly through the surf to run in hard against the tall cliffs and break through to calm waters.
The waka rested in the lagoon. We waited quietly, awed by lush green forest, nikau palms and bird song. Then the keening karanga of greeting soared out from Tirea. It rushed past the trees, echoed off the lofty bluffs and silenced the birds to announce our presence. We called inviting answer but none came across the waters.
Paddles flashed and we beached our waka and planted karaka trees to put our mana there. Then we lit a small fire to bring our warmth into the land. Its smoke rose through the towering bluffs as if to carry our joyful spirit on the wind to embrace our new home. Caves and rock overhangs gave us shelter. We remained warm and dry, and welcomed the rain, for it gave life to the forests and gardens.
Bright was the fire that wrote our story on the stone. The shadows thrown by the women of the waka left wonderful messages for those that would follow us. Huaki felt the warmth of those flames and gave her shape to guide the hands that drew the pictures on the walls.
We sailed in the mana of Paparoa, and honoured him by raising his tall figure in stone to look out on the waves forever. Only those who know how to stand to face the tides, know where to see him hidden in the land. In later years, when Paparoa went to answer the last karakia [prayer], we carried his bones to Te Aka Aka o Poutini [Cobden] to rest on the back of the Tuatara [The Twelve Apostle Range]. There he was with Huaki again and in the long nights ahead another would join them.
We came to Te Punakaiki to care for the God Stone that called to us from the river. Those with the heart and hands to carve, would sit at the feet of Paparoa to learn how to release the shapes within. And we others would carry the Stone to the peoples of the Nation to honour the dream of Ngahue and Poutini, for we are of the Stone People.'
Te Punakaiki, between Westport and Greymouth on the Coast Road, one of the most beautiful drives in the world. Yes, I do see it far more spiritually than when I wrote for Lonely Planet. And those beautiful nikaus are everywhere...
Me again. I must confess that one of my character defects is addiction. I am easily addicted to things - must be some sort of chromosone gone west! Well I confess, that even in this embryonic point of my relationship with Blogger I have become addicted to it.
The subject of today's Blog is calcite microcrystals. This has absolutely nothing to do with addiction... or then does it?
The writing is in the search, in the journey, and let me assure you - well and truly in the now. We have calcite microcrystals in the pineal glands of our brains. The pineal gland is the ajna chakra of all the most ancient Hindu traditions. It is our third eye. It is our gateway to Other dimensions. We have always had a pineal gland lodged in the very centre of our skulls. It is the engine room of your body that bears your soul around on this part of its journey.
As children, the calcite microcrystals in our pineal glands were crystal clear until around age twelve - they become covered over with a concretion (thin film of concrete). No more child's eye view of the world, nor a belief in faeries, Santa Claus, and the Easter bunny. In short, paradise or innocence lost.
Now don't be frightened away by the list of sources, just look them up on Spider Grandmother's intricately woven web. The keywords are second harmonic generators - any web search will give you all you need to know about getting your third eye powers back.
In short - open your third eye with a diet high in whey protein, the source of tryptophan. There are several reasons for all of this, probably the subject of a later blog on inangawiremu.blogspot.com or http://www.hogproductions.com.
It was a few years back that i was first alerted to the subject of second harmonic generators and the benefits of whey protein in removing the concretions from around our laser beam in our pineal third eye. It all had something to do with seeing the light as I remember him saying. He recommended the work of Baconnier Simon, Lang Sidney B. and De Seze Rene Ben-Gurion University of the Negev or firstname.lastname@example.org. Their article on Electromechano-transduction describes it all much better than I can blog it. It was fun blogging the memory about Te Punakaiki, a grand example of sum frequency generation if there ever was one.
acrylic, gouache, watercolour and goldleaf on thick photographic paper 2006
This painting is dedicated to the caring staff of the Downtown Community Ministry, Whanganui-a-Tara (Wellington) and to Pam Whittington QSM JP whose 'The Survival Guide: Surviving on a Low Income in Wellington' was more helpful to an impoverished traveler than any guide i ever wrote for Lonely Planet Publications. You guys are true Samaritans and taught me the meaning of true humility. Who would look after Blanket Man if you didn't? And he is a national treasure.