I am nobody special. And I mean that in the way that everybody is special, unique and brings with them gifts.
Nearing the end of 2014, after a somewhat bumpy year, I had the desire to create, and to carve out a space where I could share those creations. I have never developed a website, and am somewhat technically challenged. But what I lack in technicalities, I make up for in persistence. I had many offers of help and yes, someone who knew what they were doing could have probably created in an hour what took me days. But I wanted to create this. I wanted this to be from me. So I persevered. Because I wanted to share something of my way of being in the world with you.
I am a 40-something Maaori woman from Aotearoa/New Zealand. I have lived in a small seaside township in the north island, where I was privileged to be able to feel the black west coast sand under my feet every day. I currently live on a tropical Pacific island where each hot and sticky day I have the opportunity to observe blessings all around me and be grateful for all that is my life.
I have a somewhat eclectic background. Jobs throughout my life have included cleaning hospital floors, media monitoring the old school way when you actually clipped an article out of a newspaper (I know - who would have thought!), policy analyst, researcher, academic, lecturer, and writer. I have been self-employed for the past 6 years. I have a PhD for which I wrote about indigenous psychology in Aotearoa. I have traveled to places including Australia, Hawaii, Italy, Hungary, Spain, Portugal and Egypt. I have lived and traveled extensively in Morocco. I am learning to love the photographic abilities of my iphone, and to immerse myself in my world of creative writing.
So ... welcome to a little of my world ... make yourself at home and take a little look around ... Just to get you started, here is a piece which might tell you a little more about me ...
Does this mean ....
I am by nature, what might be called an observer. I am quiet, and have never really excelled in the art of making small talk, although I can if I have to. I am shy, and am more than likely uncomfortable when I find myself the centre of attention. I prefer the familiarity of a few close friends, as opposed to a lot of casual acquaintances.
The girl with a 1000 friends on facebook - she will not be me.
But to describe myself as an observer? That sits uneasily with me. Shouldn't we aspire to be the participators? The doers? Those who are in the middle of it all?
It's a word that conjures up visions of bystanders; onlookers in the shadows.
What is our value?
What do we, those who describe ourselves within the realms of those who observe, offer to the world?
In thinking about this, I find myself seeing the observer as a witness. And it is in that clarification that I am able to come to my own understanding of myself as an observer.
I seek to bear witness in order to affirm the truth and authenticity of my own experiences. From this vantage, I can understand that I encounter meaning in the detail. Reflected in all that I am, and all that I do, from the complex to the mundane, it is the detail that I am attracted to. It is to the fine points, often overlooked or deemed unimportant by others, that I am drawn. It is by examining the fine detail that I gain the most learning. It is from the detail, that I make sense of, and fully appreciate something bigger. The details lead me to examine what I take for granted, and what is most precious to me.
So yes, I can comfortably occupy my role as an observer; the one who bears witness.
Does this mean I do not participate?
Not at all.
Yes, I am often artlessly shy. Does this signify courage is lacking?
Yes, I am quiet. Does this signify I have nothing to say?
I feel uncomfortable being the centre of attention. Does this reveal a desire to be unseen?
Not at all.
Being an observer means paying attention to the beauty and learning that I see in the detail; a witness to the truth and authenticity of my own experience.