Sunday, 3 May 2015

X-Rays, The Mac Wizard, Xmas Light Fish and Life Lessons From A Baby

 Hello again all! I have been back for a few weeks now and am settling back into city and school life wonderfully. Its amazing how quickly time flies by when back in a familiar area with a schedule. I feel like this last two weeks have only been a few days although a lot has happened. When I was in the south island each day felt full and the time seemed to be far longer than two weeks, in a great way. Now days often blur together and fly by. I only have 4 more weeks of school left now, which means I only have 4 of each of my classes remaining, that in and of itself is a completely crazy feeling.

So what has been up in my world over the last couple of weeks?

X-Mas Light Fish and Mirror Bay
The second night back in Wellington I was lucky enough to go for a walk with my wonderful friend Maggie. We decided to head down to the waterfront and when we arrived we were blown away by how calm it was (I realize that was interesting phrasing). It was a dark night and no one was at the waterfront. The water in windy Wellington bay was unlike I had ever seen it before, motionless. It was glassy still giving the sailboats in the harbor a perfect reflection to the tip of the mast as though placed upon a giant inky black mirror. It was completely silent, which added to the eerie beauty of the situation. It was often hard to speak, as even a statement of awe would diminish the very thing that helped create the feeling of wonder. We continued along the water until we found ourselves at the end of the Clyde Quay Warf peninsula, which is a long apartment building that juts out into the water and separates the marina from the open bay. We stood at the end looking out on the water when something caught my eye. Below us in the deep glassy greenish water there appeared to be thousands of little flashing lights. The mystery drew our attention and the world around melted away bringing only these lights into focus. With time we realized it was a massive school if tiny silver fish darting around in a wonderful dance. As they would turn their silvery sides would reflect the lights from behind us creating the illusion of flashing lights beneath the water. We watched transfixed by this gift. After some time being tickled with glee and reminded that there is always beauty if I just stop and take a moment, we decided to continue on towards Oriental Bay. We walked along another marina with the boats perfectly reflected in the water below. We paused to listen to flute music coming from the absolute other side of the large bay, hundreds of meters away. The water was so still that the sound flew across its surface all the way to us a from a musician our eyes could not even see due to distance. We continued on to the beautiful oriental bay where we sat and chatted for a long time watching the incredible fountain carry shifting light up to 16 meters above the waters surface. Every now and then a huge barge or cargo ship would come into the bay creating perfectly even glassy waves that would distort and bend the colorful reflections from the fountain and nearby streetlights creating a mesmerizing scene. The waves would float across the bay shifting to match the contour of the beach before disappearing with a soft crisp wave crash. It was a still night that felt as though it was holding me and welcoming me back to the city, a gentle shift from the serenity of nature back to the beauty of the man made wild.

The Mac Wizard
After only a couple days back my computer started acting very strange. It stopped connecting to any wifi networks and stopped reading memory sticks and external hard drives. I took it to the I.T. department at Massey and they managed to get my Internet working but only in the Massey library. I called up my Internet provider and they did a ton of troubleshooting with me over 3 calls totaling 6 and a half hours. Still nothing worked. So next I called an apple help line in Australia and spent another 5 hours over 3 calls troubleshooting with them but still no luck. I went back to the Massey I.T. department and after a few meetings they finally understood I had a real problem. This led to another meeting where the man helping me decided it was time to pull out the big guns. He led me through a tiny door that opened up into a massive room with 30 or more I.T. guys all typing away. As I entered the typing slowed and heads turned. Eyes peered over screens to check out the new person who had just entered their lair. I was led to the back corner of the room where I could see one solitary man sitting with his back to me. He sat with stacks of macbooks to his left and a few massive monitors to his right. This was he, the man the other I.T. guys I had spoken with referred to as the Mac Wizard. He introduced himself as Ken and then ran through many tests. He determined that it was not a hardware issue. It was magic watching Ken work. He effortlessly glided through my system in ways I didn’t know possible, digging out corrupt files as he searched for the root problem. Ken whipped through my system leaving nothing but organized clean files in his wake. He finally determined that my hard drive would need to be completely cleared. He took a complete backup of my computer on his, then wiped my hard drive clean, reinstalled a fresh version of my operating system that he had and then reuploaded all of my documents. This only took two days. So after nearly 12 hours of phone calls, 5 IT meetings and much googling on my part, Ken fixed everything in just over a day. And it was completely free. So much gratitude! And Ken certainly lives up to his title as the mac wizard.

I injured my right thumb almost a month and a half ago heroically helping a friend. What was I doing you ask? Something not for the faint of heart or weak willed. It was a dark night in Wellington with the wind howling past my 7th story window, when my flatmate came to me saying she needed someone with incredible strength to help her and thought perhaps I might be of service. I agreed to give it my all. She then handed me the impossible… a jar of pasta sauce that up until that point was deemed unopenable. I wrestled with it for 20, nay, 40 seconds and then felt a little tweak in my thumb followed by a pain. I didn’t think much of it but over time the pain grew stronger. I assumed all would be well so I went to the south island and continued on my daily life but the pain didn’t subside. After returning I went to the doctor and got a few x-rays. Nothing broken but there is more space than usual between a couple of the bones where my thumb meets my hand. So the next step is to see a hand specialist. The amazing thing is all of this is free except for the $25 x-ray. Its not too bad but figured I might as well get it looked at and take advantage of this amazing health insurance. I will keep you updated on how it is going. Oh and if you are curious I totally opened that jar.

Coffee Shop Baby
I was sitting in my favorite coffee shop typing away on one of my blog posts about the south island when I felt a calm presence watching me. I looked up from my computer and was met with striking deep sapphire eyes calmly relaxing into mine. These eyes were fully present and belonged to an adorable little face that peaked over his mothers shoulder while stood speaking with a friend. These little eyes stared unapologetically into my soul. I felt connected and deeply seen. We continued looking into each other with the only change being a slight smile creeping onto our faces. After a few minutes his mother was finished and started walking out the door. The little face smiled took a last look and then, with a slow blink turned to see where he was headed. This experience was stunning on many levels, most of which words cannot adequately convey. It was a wonderful reminder that we are born with the innate ability to connect deeply and that the fear of vulnerability is not naturally within us but in fact a learned trait. Thank you coffee shop baby I hope that skill of connection remains natural for you as you continue your beautiful life. I feel deeply touched to have seen you and shared a moment of our lives.

Little surprise
Upon returning from the south island I had a couple little surprises in the succulents that live on my windowsill. There were two clover plants in different pots that had grown entirely while I was away, each bursting many leaves (Photo 1). It was a great surprise, as I love clover and am always inspired by the natural world. I feel like I have new friends that fold up each night and sleep next to me and then wake up with me each morning, opening to soak in the suns rays. One day it was particularly windy outside and one of the clover plants was in front of my open window while the other was safe from the winds power. The one in front of the open window folded up in broad daylight to protect itself from the wind while the other stayed completely open. WHAT! How cool is that? NATURE IS AMAZING!

The last noteworthy experience I will speak about was printing in the studio a couple days ago (photos in printmaking post). It was a public holiday so I had the entire huge printmaking studio to myself. I spent 5 hours playing, exploring and learning a new technique with my music filling the space helping facilitate a wonderful creative vibe. Outside there was a storm raging. Rain was falling sideways and the wind was so violent, trees bent horizontal. The only other time I have heard wind like this was during a hurricane. The more the wind raged the more energy I seemed to get. It was inspiring and helped create my own special creative bubble while also letting me feed off of the wild energy.

All right I am going to sign off for now! I hope you have enjoyed the stories from my past two weeks. I will write again soon about my first Rugby game, some thefts and hopefully other amazing adventures. I wish you all the best! Love to you all.


Photo 1 - Surprise Clover

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