This little guy is is a myosin protein dragging around an endorphin, on his way up to the brain. It looks happy because it is basically happiness. In times like these (shaky earth, shaky politics, shaky people, uncertain futures) I take comfort in the fact that this little dude is still working away, trying his best. And in these times of heightened anxiety, I also take comfort in people. It's all about people. So this week's Fast Five is dedicated to great people, doing great things:
1. Poets are like seers. They are able to simultaneously tell the future, the present and the past. A good poem has a knack of knowing you better then you know yourself; it finds a thread within you and tugs on it until you unravel. A good poem is like a television psychic - it speaks universally but somehow...it knows your secrets. A good poem is grounding and reassuring, even if it's bleak. My Mum recently bought me Essential New Zealand Poems and after the disruptions in Kaikoura and Wellington, I turned to it's pages for comfort and found Ingrid Horrocks, Light between houses, Wellington, May, for T:
2. Archivist Bergis Jules' keynote at the National Digital Stewardship Alliance meeting- reminding us that it's always about people and that we need to be mindful of the exclusion in digital collecting:
"The more selective and specialized space of digital collections, prioritizes professionalism, technical expertise, and standards, over a critical interrogation of the cultural character of our records. So this is certainly an appropriate venue to ask questions about the diversity represented in our historical records. Because for digital collections, who gets represented is closely tied to who writes the software, who builds the tools, who produces the technical standards, and who provides the funding or other resources for that work."
3. This coming Monday at 6pm, Auckland Museum is hosting a panel discussion with Vincent O'Malley, Mihingarangi Forbes, Tom Roa and Rahui Papa around O'Malley's new book The Great War for New Zealand at Auckland Museum. I'm gutted that I can't go as I believe the release of this landmark book could help change the course of our nation's struggle in coming to terms with our complicated past but if you're in Auckland - gooooooo.
4. I think we've all been in awe of Takahanga Marae this week. Once again, Maori show us what manaakitanga looks like in action. The people there have cooked nearly 7000 meals for those who have found themselves displaced and stranded from the earthquake. They have provided shelter, kindness and hospitality. Let's all remember that in our country's recent times of need, marae have been first to respond - at the coalface helping our vulnerable people find comfort and a place to call home, at least temporarily.
5. And finally, I couldn't let this Fast Five go by without mentioning Aradhna taking a stand at the New Zealand Music Award. Announced as the winner of the awards' 'Urban/Hip hop' category, she bravely got up on stage, politely declined to accept and called the situation for what it was, "I’m a singer, I’m not a rapper, I’m not a hip-hop artist. It feels like I’ve been placed in the category of brown people. That’s what it feels like." She then gave her award to Onehunga's SWIDT, who she called "the future of hip hop." Damn. That took A LOT of guts and determination but she did what we alll should do - she used her platform to speak truth.
And now for a bit of good vibes Paul Simon. The day after Trumpocalypse I listened to this song on repeat. It reminds me that although there is such ugliness and fear in the world, humans create such beauty and spread happiness and love constantly. It also reminds me of flying over the Mississippi delta with my Mum which was just pure happiness.