(( Full Circles, waning moon ))
Four months ago I arrived in Auckland via Fiji & Tuvalu. I put my bicycle together. I ran into the water. I cycled out of a city and into the world.
It’s impossible to put what Aotearoa means to me in a blog post. I ate my first feijoa and persimmon and passion fruit. I attended a climate justice hui on a marae. I heard a glacier melting and witnessed a total lunar eclipse. I fell in love with a town. I gave myself permission to move slowly. I cycled over a mountain pass. I talked about my project on national radio. I developed new strategies for self-care.
I discovered that I can miss the ocean as much as I miss a person.
I met hundreds of beautiful people who welcomed me into their lives, who told me stories, who poured me countless cups of tea,
who offered encouragement in the form of merino wool tops and reading suggestions and toast w/ poached eggs
and loud music and redheaded plastic superhero figurines to carry in my pocket.
I found a new favorite song (or ten):
I cycled. I read a lot of poetry. I wrote and I wrote and I wrote.
Tomorrow afternoon I step into the next chapter.
Thank you to everyone who donated to the Kickstarter campaign to get me across the Tasman Sea aboard a cargo ship. Starting tomorrow, I’ll spend three days aboard the SPIRIT OF SHANGHAI, traveling from Auckland to Sydney. Along the way I’ll collect stories from the crew, do my best to learn about cargo ship-related things (pirates!! ARE THEY REAL?!), and write my lovely Kickstarter backers some poems and postcards and letters.
From Sydney I’ll take the train to Melbourne, at which point I’ll be a Writer in Residence for six weeks at Montsalvat.
I realized today that I haven’t ever had a time in my life where writing is the #1 priority. Writing has always been something that I make time for in my daily life, but hasn’t ever been the focus.
Poems and sentences, they’re coming. They’re coming. Stand by.
(Aussies who read this blog, know that I would love to meet you. Say hello! I know you’re out there.)
On the SPIRIT OF SHANGHAI I’m going to make such a fool of myself saying “Ahoy” on the regular. I have so many questions. What sort of language do people who work on ships use on a day to day basis? What do they love about the water? Where do they sleep? What do they eat? What does the engine sound like?
By now you all know that I love questions. They are energetic spheres.
And after my residency at Montsalvat, what’s next?
The tea leaves say it best: sometimes a lack of clarity is good.
Thank you, New Zealand, for your love.
It’s the people that make a place and I feel so incredibly fortunate to have crossed paths with so many of you. It doesn’t feel like a goodbye so much as a beginning. Maybe I’ll circumnavigate the world by boat and bike and find myself back here in a few year’s time with more stickers on my bicycle and stories to share. I feel so at home in your arms.
Anything could happen.
This much I know for sure: Australia, I’m coming.