Wednesday, July 03, 2013

transition zones

I spent part of yesterday walking the Auckland Art Gallery. After an academic conference, art is exactly what I need.

I spend quite a bit of time contemplating Ralph Hotere’s Godwit/Kuaka. It was commissioned in 1977 for the Auckland airport. At over 20 metres, it is a stunning piece of work. The godwit is known for its migration patterns, flying thousands of miles, to land, exhausted, in New Zealand.

Contemplating the art gave me time to reflect on my flight patterns. First, just about to fly to Cairns for 10 days holiday with the rest of Team Taylor. Yeehaa. So a transition zone personally and as a family.

Second, having just finished being part of a conference, hosted at Laidlaw College, where I used to teach, catching up with old friends, so talking about journeys, hearing about journeys. And then spending the Tuesday and Wednesday with great friends from our Graceway-Auckland-church planting days.

Third, it was just over a year ago that I began as Principal at Uniting College. I drove to work with heart pounding, and settled into a whole new role. A year on, there is much to reflect upon, regarding the changes this role is making in me and requiring of me.

Here is the poem that sits beside the Hotere art work.

Death/exhaustion rises up
It is the rope, koakoa (the cry of the bird)
Binding you to here to me
The cry/chattering of the flock

Come closer together
From inside its throat – a marauding party
A godwit
A godwit that hovers

One bird
Has settled on the sand bank
It has settled over there
It has settled over there
They have settled there

There is such fascinating interplay in this poem between distance and closeness, between here and there. It is exhausting. Yet in the exhaustion, companions are found, the here and there is blurred. Such a deep sense of community and discovery is evoked. I left the gallery glad of godwits, of art, of journeys, of migrants, of settlers, of friends, both here and there, of communities old and new, new and old.

Posted by steve at 12:45 PM

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