Also see Maria Popova’s ever-brilliant Brain Pickings site.
We needed fire to make
the tongs and tongs to hold
us from the flame; we needed
ash to clean the cloth
and cloth to clean the ash’s
stain; we needed stars
to find our way, to make
the light that blurred the stars;
we needed death to mark
an end, an end that time
in time could mend.
Born in love, the consequence –
born of love, the need.
Tell me, ravaged singer,
how the cinder bears the seed.
“I like to quote Shakespeare. But in this case, the rapper Eminem said it best: Words are a motherfucker.”
Jillian Keenan: Sex with Shakespeare: Here’s Much to Do with Pain, but More with Love
This informal black-and-white portrait of Leonard Cohen shows him at age 30 on a visit to his hometown of Montreal, where the poet, novelist and songwriter comes “to renew his neurotic affiliations.”
This text is an essay included in “Back to the Māori Future” in Inequality: A New Zealand Crisis, Max Rashbrooke (ed.), Wellington, Bridget Williams Books, June 2013.
Better by Design: back to the Māori future?
At the creation
It is interesting to speculate on the vision that the Māori leadership of the nineteenth century had in mind as they signed the Treaty of Waitangi, and what they may have envisaged a co-created Aotearoa New Zealand – and their role in that nation-building exercise – would look like.
A genuine blending of the Māori worldview, with its dynamic, community-grounded customs and values held in a frame of reciprocal responsibility to each other and the natural world, and the equally dynamic Western model, with its technologies and capital market economy and systems of management, would have been a heady mix indeed.
We do enjoy, fortunately, a unique Aotearoa New Zealand approach to life, one that shapes our view of both each other and the external world. But the merger – to date at least – has been a largely one-sided affair, with the indigenous instinct being overwhelmed by the globally dominant Western frame. It has taken a long time for Māori to tack their way back into the contemporary field, and the relatively impressive progress of late is still tentative and fragile.