The lessons of preservation, something that I have been forced to focus on these last 6 months, even the last year. One year seems like such an arbitrary number now. One year. One year older. One year living alone in the middle of the bush land of the New Zealand Waitakere Ranges, in a little hut, completely off grid. One year since they made a connection. One year since the one week stand. One year celibacy. One year through this Handshake program. One more to go.

I normally write pen and paper but lets do some blogging. I ‘believe’ in living by brutal honesty. So that’s what your going to get. Simple basic truths. Some things might not make complete sense.

One week ago I was hit with the loss of a most close beloved. I haven’t dealt with a loss quite like this or felt so grief stricken. Or I had forgotten. In my minimal experience, death is something our society shy’s away from, avoids, and it can be just down right awkward. Especially suicide, which is such a big ‘problem’ in New Zealand. I am a very private person, believe it or not, and no I don’t necessarily want to talk about it. Sharing myself with anyone is difficult. But its obvious and when people ask me how I am, I don’t want to lie. Some of the reactions I have received have just been down right rude, harmful and inappropriate. Grief is something so personal and differs per situation. Death is certaintly a huge part of this life, for with life comes death. Yet we all don’t want to think about it or talk about it. Awareness. There is no ‘normal’. A funeral is normal? Yet support is much needed. To smile or laugh feels like a foreign language right now. For me the mundane things like laundry, eating, and even finding the will to get up to go to work, then being at work, have been the hardest. To be motivated to do all the basic survival mode tasks… which are already harder than average, living way out in the middle of nowhere, with no street address, just a little dirt track metres and metres down hill. My little hut has special maintenance needs. Laundry requires lugging it all the way up and down that hill track to the laundry machine or laundry mat (dont get me wrong, usually its hard, but I dont mind, I actually even enjoy it, this idea of whats harder to obtain makes it all that more worth it, working hard for my clean laundry.. ya!). I’m too busy trying to survive, literally. Survival mode: worrying about water and battery levels, weather, which crucially affects both. Adorning/ornamenting oneself when in the wild seems so not necessary. Only things like lighting and even just going to the bathroom/tiolet (no there is no flushing toilet!). On top of it all, being creative when your heart aches and you cant stop weeping, nothing seems to matter much and many things in this life are deemed so unnecessary. Like how people are so addicted to their cellphones, the computers, and the internet. I hate sitting here in this café (lunch break. wifi. No I dont even have internet) on my laptop instead of physically talking to someone sitting across from me. Where is the eye to eye contact?? The connection? It feels so lost. Your so-called Facebook ‘friends’ aren’t really your friends, even if they send you ‘messages’. Your real tribe are the people there for you in the times of need, doing your laundry for you, making you food, even giving you extra affection, the little things; this is a form of love. Humans need physicality as we all are physical beings. We need love, tender love and care.

On top of recent grief, I have also have been dealing with some serious physical health issues the last 7 months. Again I don’t want to talk about it. And I definitely don’t want to make excuses. Hospitals, doctors, all the natural path remedies haven’t healed me fully me thus far. Feels as though I have tried almost everything, and nothing has worked yet, but there is always hope right? All things cost money right? So health and money struggles. Then there is my infinite mould situation. My hut is mould ridden! Of course that is not helping my health, and I suspect is the origin of my issues. All kinds of colours! Even black! It’s a constant struggle and fight against the mould! The moulddddd *echoes*.. There has been thousands of dollars’ worth of damage and loss of my personal items thus far. Even my handmade jewellers work bench is completely covered in mould (the green kind *wink*). And I really don’t even care. And what I do care about I am trying to maintain. I have learned what physically is important to me and what I can let go. And I always think twice about what I bring down to my hut. Since moving here… my contemporary jewellery work, practice, and my material library has been made up of all things made of nature. Keeping my work dry and even mould free has been such a struggle, a learning lesson, and a priority. Many things have been lost. Acceptance. Which also of course is expected, as all things from nature are mortal and have a life span. Taking photographs or drawings is a good tip*. The lessons of preservation. Preserve your body, your mind, and your soul. Your body is your temple, your vessel, put things into it and around it that benefit it only. Dont abuse it. Your time is of the essence. (slower) Your time is of the essence. Your objects, the things you treasure in this material world, Do they really matter? Do you really need it? Preserve your relationships and your connections. Preserve your memories and the memories others have of you. Preserve this Earth you live on, for this too is a temple, a vessel. Its keeping you and everything alive. Alive. These things are what matter. Self-preservation is one of the most important gifts we can give to ourselves. By knowing our limits, honoring our needs and desires, and taking the time to heal and repair, we are able to give ourselves more spark to radiate our internal light. Right now I don’t have much or any spark. So please I beg you to bare with me. To give me a break. For I am exhausted. And alone. Literally.

Until next time. I need to remember for myself that I am important. My body and my health. He wouldn’t want me to be sad forever. He would want me to keep spreading the love. Hold the love that we had and only we will ever know. To be wilder and free and keep pushing the boundaries. To keep using my gifts. So I will be determined to write more and make more connections, for when I leave this place I want to leave something of myself that actually means something. And I will still continue to find the will to make. To make anything… jewellery, clothes, masks, costumes, drawings, poems, music, taking photographs and recording videos. For me these are the important ‘physical’ things to leave behind.

And yes One year is up and I am moving out of my precious little hut… as much as it pains me. I don’t even know where yet. Storage unit til then. One month left. One month of this meditation. One month of the wild west coast ocean sunsets. One more month together. Let me enjoy it. Every day. One day at a time.



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