(image video still)
‘Makutu #2: Rangipo | Sitting with Mountains.’
Split Screen HD video
This work is a continuation of the Makutu series and the following text is documentation of my experience in the desert.
I walked out into the wild grasses and sat down.
Behind me a bomb blast and rifle fire.
‘What is this?’ I thought as I stared across at Tupuna Maunga and this Tapu landscape.
I am surrounded by signs that shout ‘Beware, Danger, Do not enter’
This whenua is clearly owned by the Government
This land is preoccupied with war practice
I am annoyed
All I want to do is sit down with my Tupuna
To hear, to hone my intuition, to learn
With stubborn intent and a shaking hand
I raise the blindfold and cover my eyes.
Why do I cover my eyes?
I want to hear the sound of my Tupuna
Without the visage of strength that looms above
This ineffable presence that sends shivers down my spine
IHI WEHI WANA
The icy chill of a southerly blast, whispers icicles into my body.
In that moment of acknowledgement my body is aware
This place is capable of taking me forever into its embrace.
Anxiety sends blood racing and the heart beats too quickly
I want to abandon this mission
Write it off as a failure
Boom! Another blast down the road, and a car flies past.
Against the warning of the signs, the road here invites speed
Humanity reminds me that I am not alone
In this place of solitude.
This is not the home of my ancestors
Quiet now, remember why you are here.
I am no student of meditation and quiet contemplation
I listen and try to concentrate
Whoosh another car flies past
Suddenly I am aware of a bird.
My Nana Wikitoria Rangitakina
Long past into Te Ao Wairua
Springs into my mind, with the chirping of the bird
A flood of her memory
Warmth flows again
Birds were her messengers
I can see her and hear her voice
She is chatting away to a pukeko over the hedge as she feeds him bread scraps
How could she understand their messages?
What is this bird trying to convey?
It sounds small and excited or is it fearful.
Is it shouting a warning at me?
Quiet now Moko, she would say if she were here
Whoosh an icy whisper in my ear
No car this time
It is the wind
‘Tāwhirimātea!’ I shout out across the desert mindscape.
In characteristic wild abandon he flies across it and shakes the grasses awake
I hear them too
Wild cheering, like a crowd, waving him on
A crowd in unison I see them in my mind creating waves of colour
Bowing and extending in rhythmic lines
Light and Dark ripple out
Verticle, horizontal, diagonal waves converge and diverge – energy!
I want to paint, document and record that movement
Then, as I sit blindfolded on the stony desert floor
I hear it, the immensity of what stands before me
It’s silence weighs heavy across the landscape and touches my mind
I am suddenly aware of this primordial silence
All other noise
No longer exists
I am here,
Sitting with Tupuna
I no longer need to hear the messages
I no longer feel the fear
I feel the heavy weight of silence
The Sound IS the Silence
This IS the energy
This IS Tupuna
I am home
This IS turangawaewae
I am whenua
We are energy
We are interconnected
We are Tupuna
| * to become a book (text, drawing, photo) & dvd set