Saturday, 26 September 2009

"Now the winter's done"

Praise the stones below my feet
& the walls on the street
say good morning to everyone
recognising none

Was it June or July?
we couldn't think of anything
& though the path is always round
our feet were buried in the ground

I'm going to die & when I die I'm going to wake up
there's a flower in a field & a bee wants to climb in her ear
he'll only tell her things she cannot hear
now the winter's done

People come & people go
whatever stays I don't know
she took her clothes off in the bus
& the evening fell like dust

morning sun, blinking eyes
holograms, getting wise
now the weather's turning clear
dots like you just disappear

I'm going to die and when I die I'm going to wake up
a flower in a field & a bee wants to climb in her ear
he'll only tell her things she cannot hear
now the winter's done.

"Now the Winter's Done" a song written by my old friend and fellow musician Tim Heraud.

As I write the promising spring weather here in Northland has given way to a very wintery fit of driving rain and wind laced with orange dust from the desert of Australia.

My new job as Rawene Hospital facilities maintenance manager has been very demanding and rewarding but it has left me drained of energy for anything extra. Julie and I have decided to put our Waima Lodge house on the market and retire to the coast in the little harbour side town of Rawene in the Hokianga district, not far from where we currently live. We are motivated by a need to simplify our lives and reduce the amount of work we need to do on gardening and lawn mowing to free up some recreational time to go sailing.

Perhaps it is the shock of our impending change combined with the stress of marketing our property for sale, perhaps it's the effect of the relentless low pressure systems lashing the country over winter, whatever it is the Rheumatoid Arthritis that affected me so badly several years ago has returned with a vengeance and has left me badly disabled at times. I'm hopeful that, with our new choice of lifestyle, I may recover enough to complete the last remaining tasks on Toroa before summer and have the physicality to be able to sail the demanding proa.

Our new place in Rawene is a small modern cottage elevated on a North facing, 1/4 acre site with an unbroken view of the harbour. Toroa will sit on his summer mooring within sight of our lounge window 100 yards away from the cottage.

Takapu has been gifted to Paul Bowker and Will Ngakuru (both of the Hokianga district) on the understanding that they will pool their skills and resources to make him ready for sailing in order that together with Toroa we might create a small core of sailing waka ama from which we can impart some sailing and water skills to people willing to learn.

The so called "First NZ Proa Congress" on the 7th of November at Arkles Bay, Whangaparaoa, Auckland is looming as well, (by my reckoning it's actually the fourth) but hey, who's counting, its always a first for someone right? All things being equal we should be ready to attend. I'm looking forward to it.

Just as soon as I have more images to share I'll post them here.

That's all for now I'm off to listen and to play some music with our friends.

Harmen R Hielkema

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Toroa by Harmen Hielkema & Mike Toy.

Header Photo: Toroa at Rawene by Julie Holton.

This blog is dedicated to the memory of my father Roelof Hielkema who instilled in me the willingness to learn.
These pages are intended to inform and add to the growing body of knowledge concerning the Canoe Culture of the Pacific, past, present & future, from the Tupuna, the Ancestors of the Pacific cultures to the people of the world.

These pages contain Images and text relating to our two proas, Toroa & Takapu, some history relating to our experiments & experiences.

The dissertation that I posted on this blog in April 2008 "Takapu The Proa" was written by me in 1997 in response to an assignment that I was set whilst studying for my design degree. The dissertation covers many issues that a proa enthusiast may benefit from reading about.

Waka define culture as culture defines waka

Waka reflect the individuality and uniqueness of a society which in turn is governed by the geography, geology, topography, climate, location, resources, isolation, origin, flora, fauna, flotsam, jetsam, etc.

Waka are our link to the past, they have shaped our present and define our future.

Waka are the vessels of knowledge, physical and mental development, freedom of bondage to the land, key to our inquisitiveness, expressions of our ingenuity and courage, our love of shape and form, the seat of our power.

Waka are the source of our material culture, from which all processes are derived.

Waka are who and what we are.