Serenade to E block…..

 

It was our second home

Inside we built lives and futures

We shared hopes and dreams

Aspired to greatness

Grew kindess and compassion

Sometimes said goodbye to lost souls and kindred spirits.

We tried to mend the ills of the world

And send forth young men and women

Capable of strength and resilience

Who could dance and sing to any tune

Knowing that they were capable of great things.

E block was more than a Nelson block of classrooms

It had a vibrant beating heart

And a soul of its very own.

It was our Taonga.

 

 

Ellen has a fever

 

It was the coldest night of winter,

snow on the footpaths and icicles

hanging from the window ledges.

Every window open to biting frost as Ellen had a fever

Cradled in the crook of my arm her chubby hot hand curled around my fingers.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson

For Quadrille#23 Curl at d’Verse.

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Juanita the human barometer.

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Juanita could tell when there was a wild storm approach

Rheumatoid arthritis made her a human barometer

As the wind and rain would vent and hurl

her tiny hands would begin to curl

And she would feel intense pain from her neck to toes.

 

Alison Jean Hankinson.

 

for Qaudrille #23 at d’Verse

It wasn’t possible to outdo the prompt verse…. it is at is…I tried to keep this in the same lighthearted style….

Thought I had better say that I am not being mean….I have RA and this does happen.

 

 

Recipe for a meaningful life

Be humble

Recognise that whilst we walk similar paths we all stumble

Be kind

Recognise that in moments of despair it is the hand that we hold

that makes us blind

To the pain.

Be giving

Recognise that it is our contribution to living

That ultimately counts.

Be brave

Have courage to stand tall and speak truths

and lift up the spirit and soul

of  young and old

Leave silent footprints

That others may follow

In their own time and at their own pace

Be mindful

Recognise and respect each moment for what it is

It is your live to be lived

Make it meaningful and worthwhile.

 

This is for d’verse  Poetics recipes

http://wp.me/p1GTyJ-3Ba

Alison Jean Hankinson

Portrait of a Photographer-Stephanie Sinclair.

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Series-Handmaidens of the Lord – 1. Portrait of a Photographer- Stephanie Sinclair.

(The photo is of Auntie Shirley’s wedding BTW.)

This is a first for me, but as next week is our “Say no to violence” week I wanted to celebrate some of the women whom I have been inspired by over the years and reflect on their compassion, resilience and advocacy for women across the globe and to give acknowledgement to the amazing lengths they have gone to, to empower, strengthen and rebuild the lives of others – hence the title- Handmaidens of the Lord.

My first is Stephanie Sinclair. She is an amazing and award-winning photo-journalist who has captured the stories closest to many women’s hearts across the world. In 2012 I first came across her work on “Too Young to wed” It was based on a series of photographs she had captured over a long period of time for the National Geographic telling the stories of marriages and marriage celebrations across the globe. I came across it trying to find something different and of substance to inspire my teenage students who were looking at sexuality marriage and rites of passage.

2012 had been a humbling year for me, and whilst teaching High School students can be complex I have always regarded it as a privilege especially when I have senior classes full of bright and empowered young women. I wanted to share with our young women the stories of women around the world. I wanted them to be empowered and recognise their place, privileges and opportunities in a world where more than 700 million women were married before the age of 18. I wanted them to embrace their lives and value the education and opportunities offered to them by living in a culture and society that generally supports and recognises the value of women, where my students are unlikely to die before the age of 15 in childbirth unlike their peers in countries like Afghanistan.

I found Stephanie, and I found Nujood Ali and I found a beautiful colourful but corrupt world. It was the beauty of the imagery and the short succinct nature of the film that made it perfect to use in class and my students accepted it in stunned silence. Some even went to the library and borrowed the book by Nujood Ali. It was the first year I took my students globe-trotting in an attempt to get them to value their own roots and I will never regret it.

Stephanie Sinclair demonstrated compassion integrity and tenacity in her endeavours to get the issue noticed in the Western world. Her advocacy and its continued impact for women has continued to send ripples through society. We faced further horror as the years went by when we recognised the other darker sides of the treatment of women and recognised that for many our experiences here in New Zealand would seem beyond the stuff of dreams.

Stephanie set up a global initiative based on “Too young to wed” aimed at creating positive experiences and rehabilitation for women who have suffered from the abuse of child marriage. The links to the video clips and the websites are at the end of the blog. Stephanie Sinclair continues to work to support and advocate and help women to heal in other projects she is involved in. One of the latest projects is called “Story half told” and it documents in portraits the struggles and journeys of women and their families living with, dying with and surviving Breast Cancer. Again the link is at the end of the blog.

So my first portrait in my series of acknowledgments to women who have made a difference to the lives of other women is of Stephanie Sinclair. Thank you for all that you are, all that you have done and all that you continue to do. I believe my life has been richer from appreciating your work and I believe that I, in turn, have passed some of that beauty and richness on. Much love. XXX

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c_zppPutQw

http://tooyoungtowed.org/

http://www.storyhalftold.com/meet-stephanie-sinclair

 

Musings on moons and life at 50.

So in one of the photos I am definately younger than now…confession over.

It has been one of the lowest weeks I have had in the last few years and I have no ryhme or reason why, except the moon was out of joint. I celebrated my 50th birthday in style and having surgery-staying in Ward 3 at Whangarei base Hospital, but the time to heal was interrupted by the kind of stuff that saps energy and confidence and replaces goodness with self-doubt and hurt. It is a long story and it will be told but in a different time and place. You meet all manner of people who’s journeys are equally painful in life and I am eternally thankful for the kindness of those souls who give compassion and love even when their own cup overfloweth with tragedy and despair.

The moon was to have its pull in many ways and there but for the grace of God. To all who suffered from the Earthquake in the south island and will continue to suffer from the harm of aftershocks, destruction, devastation, uncertainty and all the things that will follow in the coming months and years that will drain crush and need to be conquered. Our lives are complex and often the calamaties and crisis we face are not of our choosing.

We all have battles we did not chose to fight. We all have to continue to walk on with some semblence of dignity and pray that the kindness and spirit of those around us will continue to help us walk humbly onwards on our journeys into whatever uncertain futures we are heading towards.

I have been glad to move into a new week, and know that the newest phase of my life will bring joy and heartache. A single moment can alter the course of our lives so quickly and yet a similar small seemingly insignificant moment can enrich beyond all expectations. On this positive note- I got an A for my final assignment- a wonderful 87%…and I learned something new about my Dad and those moments are the best. So Sunshine on Leith it has been indeed this week.