Archives: September 2003
Mon, 29 Sep 2003
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Sun, 28 Sep 2003
Matthew says to me "Mum, how do you spell Jo?"
Me: "What do you mean? You mean Jo as in your Auntie Jo?"
Then, he thinks for a few minutes, and asks "Mum, what other contexts are there for the word Jo?"
I was completely taken aback. How does a five year old know and use appropriately the word "context"?
Matthew does this regularly, come out with words that I have no idea he knows or understands, and yet he does. This learning process just amazes me.
For so long he was completely dependent on me, inside my belly. And then as a baby his father and I were his whole world. And now, it seems we are almost bystanders in this process, watching him grow and develop and learn of his own accord.
Matt and I had a wonderful Matthew and Mummy Day on Friday. We spent the whole day in town. I took him into work to introduce him to my workmates, and I was so proud of him. He was polite and friendly and engaging.
We visited his Dad's office as well, went on the bus, went into a toy shop, had McDonalds for lunch, and saw Finding Nemo (which I absolutely loved and highly recommend for children and adults alike - probably not for children under five though, as there are a few "scary" scenes).
We ended the day at Te Papa (the national museum) and watched a Maori kapa haka group perform (traditional Maori dance and song). Matthew is very interested in the haka, and the fact that men and women perform different roles. He is fortunate that his teacher at school is Maori. I know that he has learned much from her, so he is able to tell me what the different performers are doing. He is entranced at their movements.
We buy marbles at the toy shop. Marbles are the obsession of the month.
"These are knights, mum. And these ones are pearls. And these are wizards. These ones are called dummies. They are not so good."
He has a marble bag and he takes his marbles to school, where he trades them and gives them away, sometimes to "unscrupulous" older kids, who play for "keepsies."
A few weeks ago, I bought him $10 worth of jumbo marbles. Last week I looked in his marble bag, and there were no jumbo marbles there.
"Matt, where are all your jumbos?"
"Oh, I gave them away."
"You gave them away?! Ten dollars worth of jumbos! Why?"
"Mum, so I could get these... these beautiful knights... just look..." and he holds out his hands to show me the multi-coloured speckled glass balls.
And he was right. They were beautiful.
I love this age. Five is so full of the wonder of everything. Magic still exists.
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Fri, 26 Sep 2003
Well, I finally finished my Connect8 project with the last three photos. I enjoyed doing it. Not quite as fun as 26 things, but still worthwhile.
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Wed, 24 Sep 2003
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Mon, 22 Sep 2003
Connect8 : on the wharf
Photo number five of my Connect8 project : down on the wharf.
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Sun, 21 Sep 2003
Boat at Burnham Wharf
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Sat, 20 Sep 2003
I'm just dancin' the shores of Jordan
Well, I have been 40 for about 14 hours now. Let's see, the world hasn't stopped, my body looks the same, and my mind doesn't feel any slower. Yet.
I don't feel any older, nor any wiser actually.
So, this is my anthem for today: The Shores of Jordan by Iris Dement (launches Read Audio)
I observed the constellations for a clue to my destiny
But the rhyme of life confounds me, things will be as things will be
So I'll just dance the shores of Jordan till the angels carry me
I'm gonna let my feet go dancin' to my very favourite songs
'Cause I know my time for leaving is bound to come before too long
And there ain't no way of me knowin' how tomorrow's gonna be
So I'll just dance the shores of Jordan till the angels carry me
Happy Birthday to me.
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Standing in the Shadows of Motown
When I awoke this morning, I saw that the weather was not going to give me a birthday present — grey, overcast, rainy. I had been hoping to take my camera out, but it was too blustery for me. So instead, we went into town and bought CDs! Johnny Cash, some bluegrass/folk, Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, some Motown.
I bought the Motown because last night we went to see a film that I highly recommend: Standing in the Shadows of Motown, a documentary about the Funk Brothers, who were the musicians behind much of the wonderful Motown sound — bassist Jamie Jamerson, drummer Benny Benjamin, pianist Joe Turner, guitarist Joe Messina, and others. They were the sound that Motown became famous for, but got none of the recognition or fame, nor the financial rewards, that the vocalists got. This film is an attempt to rectify that while some of them are still alive.
I loved the way the film showed the older musicians talking and playing with younger artists like Ben Harper, Joan Osborne, Me'shell Ndegeocello. It was really well done, and god, the music! I was bopping in my seat. It was so uplifting.
So definitely go see this film if you have the opportunity. It's worth it.
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Wed, 17 Sep 2003
Let Me Make This Perfectly Clear
by Gwendolyn MacEwen
Let me make this perfectly clear.
I have never written anything because it is a Poem.
This is a mistake you always make about me,
A dangerous mistake. I promise you
I am not writing this because it is a Poem.
You suspect this is a posture or an act
I am sorry to tell you it is not an act.
You actually think I care if this
Poem gets off the ground or not. Well
I don't care if this Poem gets off the ground or not
And neither should you.
All I have ever cared about
And all you should ever care about
Is what happens when you lift your eyes from this page.
Do not think for one minute it is the Poem that matters.
Is is not the Poem that matters.
You can shove the Poem.
What matters is what is out there in the large dark
and in the long light,
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Sunlight on Trees in Midland Park
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Tue, 16 Sep 2003
Connect8 : Sunset and Sails
Two new photos up in Connect8 - Sunset and Sails. Only four more to go!
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Sun, 14 Sep 2003
The Head and Not the Heart
We visited with some friends today who have a new baby, just four weeks old. I looked at her wee form, bundled and sleeping in her pram. She is a small baby in weight, tiny and pale and fragile. At the risk of promoting gender stereotypes, she looks like a little girl, very feminine and delicate.
Not like my babies — big, dark, strong newborns. Both my children were born with very dark hair and eyes. Matthew in particular looked like he was somebody else's child — black hair, very olive skin. He looked a different ethnicity than Michael and myself. Joshua was dark too, and huge, like giving birth to a 3 month old.
Today I looked down at that tiny baby with such longing. All the old feelings came back, of being pregnant, that incredible sensation of a baby moving inside you, the intense love you feel when you see that baby for the first time.
I love my boys so much, but I always thought I would have three children. I always thought I would have a little girl.
But I know now that I will never have a girl. I will never have another baby. A week shy of turning forty, I know that it is time for me to move into another phase of my life.
Babies are beautiful and wonderous, but they are also draining and all-encompassing. There are too many other things that I want to give time, energy, and resources to at this stage in my life. Family, career, house, photography, getting fit, travelling. I do not have youth on my side, nor unlimited financial resources. I have only so much to give, and I know that another baby just does not make sense now.
But even so, as I looked down at her perfect little hand curled up against her cheek, I know that this is one decision that is being made with the head and not the heart.
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Sat, 13 Sep 2003
When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer
by Walt Whitman
When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.
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Looking towards the east from my front door, towards the Orongorongo Hills. Can you spot the moon?
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Fri, 12 Sep 2003
Connect 8 : Tall Building
Sorry I've been quiet for awhile. My monitor decided to pack it in, so I've been doing minimal work on the computer. I have a replacement monitor now, so I should be updating more regularly.
Tonight, my first Connect8 photo. I started with the theme tall building. And with that, I'm off to bed. Goodnight.
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Fri, 05 Sep 2003
Which Sleater-Kinney Girl Are You?
Okay, I never do these quiz things, but I just couldn't resist this one, being an S-K fan and all. Which Sleater-Kinney girl am I?
Hmmm. Sex on a stick? I can live with that. Everyone's obsession? Mmm, don't think so. I do like to shake my ass, but not in front of large groups. And am I really a compulsive liar? Not last time I checked. Of course, I could be lying about that. Hee.
So which Sleater-Kinney girl are you?
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Thu, 04 Sep 2003
Baby Baby Baby
There is nothing quite like picking up your baby (your 18 month old baby, that is), and bopping the afternoon away to some sweet soul music.
Joshua absolutely loves dancing with his mum. As soon as I put a CD in the player, he runs to me and lifts his arms to be picked up. I hold him on my hip, turn the music up loud and dance around the living room, singing at the top of my voice, and hoping like hell that the neighbours aren't looking or listening too closely.
This afternoon we had a fine selection, starting with Baby I Love You by Aretha Franklin (launches Real Audio).
I defy you to listen to this song without gyrating your hips. Ahhh, nothing like it.
Josh grinned and bounced. I moved. It was magic.
Man, I know why they call this soul music.
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Wed, 03 Sep 2003
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I see pictures everywhere. In the gaps between buildings, in the cracks of paint on old buildings, in open doorways.
I point my camera at the roof of the building.
"What do you see there?" the man asks me curiously, his gaze following my lens upwards.
I smile. "It's what's not there" I reply.
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Tue, 02 Sep 2003
Tonight Joshua points to his socks. "Tocks" he says.
"That's right, Josh. They're yellow socks." Actually, they are more a mustard colour, but who's going to quibble.
"Yeyow" he says. Yellow. This is the first time I have ever heard him say a colour, and I get very excited.
"Yes! That's right the socks are yellow. What else is yellow, Josh?"
He gets down off the couch, walks over to the wall, and points to it.
"Yeyow" he says. And indeed, the walls in our living room are a pale yellow.
"Wow, that is such a clever boy! You're right, the wall is yellow!"
He picks up his big board book, turns to the page with the bright yellow rubber ducky, points to it and says "yeyow".
"Well done! The ducky is yellow too!"
What impressed me is that not only did he know the colour yellow, but he was able to pick out different shades of yellow and identify them correctly.
This is such an amazing age. I am no less in awe this time around than I was with Matthew the first time.
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Mon, 01 Sep 2003
The Red Door
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