Roadside Chats (7) 7/3/15
I wake to the sound of a banjo. A male voice rehearses;
Jesse James was a lad, he killed many a man
He robbed the Glendale train
He took from the rich and he gave to the poor
He’d a hand, a heart, and a brain
I love these old songs. I love songs about justice. The Waihi Bush music Festival is the place for me!
After breakfast I head for the composting loos. Waiting in line I introduce myself; ‘You’re Fraser aren’t you; I’m Kevin.’ Fraser tells me he has a new name. His name is Free. He’s been through an initiation experience. He didn’t choose the name. It was chosen for him.
I tell him I also have another name. I rarely share it. I’m happy to be called Kevin… but I find the alternative name helpful… It reminds me of my true identity… of my wairua… of who I am… deep down… beneath conditioning. Free asks about my other name. I tell him it’s Kotuku. I explain how the Maori people see a kotuku (or white heron) as a spirit messenger. I say that’s who I am… I’m a spirit messenger… I receive tiny ‘sayings’ from my wairua… on the edge of sleep… I include them in my writing. I tell Free my spirit appeared in a dream as an incandescent Kotuku. Free responds; ‘then that’s what I will call you; Kotuku.’
I choke back tears. I’ve been named.
Initiation is ongoing. So far mine has taken 17 years. It’s involved many deaths and many rebirths. I now enter a different phase. I’ve been deep in the unconscious. I’ve struggled with the dragon. I’ve stolen its treasure. I made it out alive. I now step forward into a new mode of service. Stepping forward is not about ego. It’s about being who you truly are. It’s about fulfilling your call. It’s about integrity.
Saturday afternoon there’s a blackboard session. I write my name on the list. When I’m called I feel relaxed. I am Kevin. I am Kotuku. I tell the audience there’s something unique in each of our lives. We must never lose it. It can take different shapes and names at different times in our lives. When we lose it we must seek it with all our heart. Recovering it is the great task of our life. I then share my poem ‘Fidelity.’
… To become who we are we must re-gather what we have scattered
We must retrieve our light from the stars
Till our words grow still like mountains
Only then can we pray with the Earth
Fidelity is a compass
Driving us deep into our wilderness
Our only path home …
I sense people connect with the poem. I feel they’re drawn in. The next day; as I wander past a gypsy caravan & two tiny houses, I overhear a woman say; ‘There’s the poet.’
I so enjoy having Elle with me. We have become lovers. We’ve also had our first misunderstanding.
There’s so much we don’t know about each other. We feel vulnerable. The bridge of trust is still being built.
Sunday morning we work it through. We discover how past relationships influence the way we relate to each other. We name our hopes and fears. We name feelings. We listen carefully.
The most important thing we do is affirm our love for one another. We feel spirit is calling us together. We know its early days… yet we feel attraction… we feel love… we want to deepen the connection.
We played in love
After Waihi I return to Christchurch. I enjoy celebrating my sister Eilish’s 50th birthday with family.
The following day I park up at my daughter’s house. I love being with my grandchildren. I feel ecstatic as I watch little Aria learning to walk. She’s so natural… so affectionate… so full of joy!
Charlie (6) and Eilish (3) love stories. I tell them the story of two great whales. I adapt the story from; ‘Song of the Whale’ by Barry Brailsford. Two wise and loving whales are attacked by a giant Kraken. Charlie is transfixed! He immediately wants to know if Kraken are real! He demands I get my phone out and show him one. Fortunately Google has a painting. The giant octopus pulls a sailing ship to its doom beneath the waves. Charlie is mesmerized. He wants to know if Kraken are extinct. I tell him we don’t know. It’s possible Kraken are extinct. It’s possible Kraken have never existed and are, in reality, giant squid. It’s also possible Kraken exist or have existed. The oceans are millions of years old. Who knows what has lived in them?
I wonder how my grandchildren will remember me. When my time comes to pass beyond this life I’d like Charlie and Eilish to stand at my funeral and say; ‘Granddad was kind and loving. He loved jokes. He told us great stories. The most important thing he taught us is there are a lot of things we don’t understand.
It’s time to write my book. I decide to begin at Anatori. Elle wants us to spend a few more days together. She suggests the Wakamarina Valley, near Canvastown on the road between Blenheim and Nelson. She’s been there before. There’s a tiny cottage she’s spotted on Trade Me. She will join me at the DOC camp. Driving north I reflect on two ‘sayings’ given by the Self; ‘The road of impossibility’ & ‘Ride the impossible wave.’ There are so many ‘impossibles’ in my life at present. Finding a writers cottage is one of them.
The road of impossibility
Roadside Blessings – Kevin