Auckland and beyond

Auckland was a high energy and fullsome (sometimes exhausting) time with three main events: a small-ish gathering on Waiheke, fullhouse of 40 for the showing of Mental Notes and about 25 attending the Mt Eden event.
Also there was a Face television interview (to be shown mid-April), another long interview for Planet FM “Take it from Us”, a small gathering arranged for a M.H. Yoga group, live radio talkback show on Radio Waatea with Vapi Kupenga. I was also invited to speak at a monthly meeting of the Auckland Healing Association, and at Cityside church. I had an interview with a National M.P. Jacqui Blue, who was extremely responsive and helpful. (Proving how this issue goes beyond political colours!!), and met up with a delightful psychiatrist Patte Randall, who has herself experienced psychotic episodes, and is doing great work in conjunction with psychologists on more compassionate and holistic responses to psychosis.

Everywhere I have had fantastic responses and support from such a wide-ranging group of people.
Please accept my grateful thanks to all those new donors who I haven’ t acknowledged individually as is still my intention to do so…
Huge thanks also to Rocky and Rosie for all their help on Waiheke; Adrienne for fabulous organising, and delicious baking for the Sunday event, Hilary and Teresa for fantastic support way beyond the beyond of ordinary!
And to my generous hosts Joanna and Peter; Brigitte; Rosie and Terry; Maureen and Gay…
And thanks to all those who came out to see me off from Aotea Square/ Mt Eden…
I was (at the time of writing above) listening to a stream lullaby, just on the border of the Hunua Ranges, enjoying being out of the city energy again….

Hunuas were awesome, joined for the first section by old tramping friends Jill and Peter, with the southern Hunuas on the last day having a quality of silence reminiscent of my favourite piece of land on The Coromandel, beloved Te Moata.
I was picked up from the bottom of the Hunuas by Beccy, and transported back to her “whenua taonga” near the Karangahake gorge. I experienced the usual “clunk” of changing gears from bushwoman to the one who deals with decisions re petitions/politics/media through much electronic means….
The Paeroa event on 27th Feb was an incredibly “gathered” and heartful event, attended by many of my friends from the region (having myself lived for many years in the Coromandel area), with a sacred context created on the night by local potter/conservationist/mentor Mike O’Donnell who spoke eloquently of his need to embrace the darkness and light of his own mind and creative forces…Huge thanks to Beccy for all her work and support in making the night such a wonderful event.
The Thames event the next day was held at Te Whare Awhina, and supported by te Korowai with many thanks for venue and refreshments and especially to Aaron Wooley for fantastic work in organizing and publicising the event. Each event has had a different and unique flavour. I found the Thames event particularly intensely affecting in how people expressed and revealed themselves with such force and candour.
Back on the track last Saturday near Mercer, with old friend Andrew joining for the first section along paddock stop-banks, and a new friend Sarah with whom I amicably agreed will need some more training before perhaps joining further down the line with a lighter pack….
Sunday would have to be clocked up as one of the most challenging days on the Hikoi so far…several kilometres walked right alongside SH1 (If you ever want to experience the fullness of the insanity created on the planet by human beings having private motor vehicles, try walking alongside a major highway…) and in the rain; a confusing discrepancy between the track notes and the map, leading to the need to re-track about 1km along the highway; having coincidentally chosen to pass Meremere on the one day of the month when they have drag-car racing, someone duck-shooting on the other side of the river…it all combined to present a very hell-ish perspective on the species homo sapiens modernis…and yet in a strange way, the discipline of walking somehow held me in such a way that the sorrow and disturbance didn’t stick to my psyche.
Many miles walked along the Waikato river, many more along paddock stop banks, with snippets of history at the Whanamarino redoubt and the Rangiriri cemetery painfully reminding of the pain and brutality of colonisation (homo sapiens pre-modernis).
Currently staying just out of Huntly and hoping to hold off a virus threatening with painful, raw throat at each end of the day), and reviewing Hakarimata Ranges plans as I monitor my health…

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