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Author: Netta

OTHER VOICES: Grace Iwashita Taylor

OTHER VOICES: Grace Iwashita Taylor

New Zealand’s Grace Iwashita-Taylor is a Shaper and a poet. She lives her life as a single mother, as a loving daughter trying to deal with the realities and challenges of her beloved mother’s decline into dementia and as a youth worker in a place that is one of the most expensive places to live on the planet. She is also an award-winning spoken word and published poet, playwright, and performer. The poet’s upu (words) circle around and around the…

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SHAPING IS BUILT ON ACCEPTANCE

SHAPING IS BUILT ON ACCEPTANCE

Okay.  Almost everybody agrees:  we humans can shape our own worlds.  All we have to do is make the choices that help us get to our own bright and happy place. Making choices, deciding where and how we want to go, is our best and brightest super-power, it says here. So, why does it keep going glongy?  Every time we use this supposed super-power of ours, why is it that the options we choose rarely transport us over the threshold…

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SMALL TOWN * BIG ART ON THE ISLAND

SMALL TOWN * BIG ART ON THE ISLAND

One time a friend asked one of the old-timers who had lived his whole life on the island of Maui through the decades that made up the beginning of the end of the twentieth century what it was like to live his life in this place.  They were digging holes for pasture fence posts at the time. The island had gone through numerous transitions during that one lifetime.  Henry Burns had seen many of them. The laconic old man stopped…

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SWEET DRINK OF WATER

SWEET DRINK OF WATER

I like watching Judy Bruder be.  She is one of those people who seems to be comfortable in her own skin – what Hawaiians call being “pa’a”, grounded.  It does look lovely on her. Judy loves art.  She has a “good eye” for it and a warm tendency to nurture, celebrate and take delight in the people who make good art.  These tendencies of hers have stood her in good stead as she continues to develop and build her shop,…

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LEGACY-SCHMEGACY, KEEP ON WALKING

LEGACY-SCHMEGACY, KEEP ON WALKING

Lately I keep tripping over people who are either “building a legacy” or are trying to convince me that I should be doing one too.  It’s beginning to make me all kinds of grumpy. These strangers are telling me that my life will only have “meaning” if I do stuff that will somehow “impact the future” after I’m long-gone.  That one makes me scratch my head.   It’s even a bit intimidating. Me, I’m still walking towards my dream and I’m…

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LET THERE BE LIGHT (The Power of Small)

LET THERE BE LIGHT (The Power of Small)

Very often it is the little things that make a big difference in lives that are lived on the edge. In poorer parts of a city, where people’s homes often do not have access to reliable electrical service and where windows that let in light might be a bad idea in terms of home security, people either spend a lot of time outside their unlighted homes or use open fires, candles or oil lamps as light sources.  These can be…

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MAKE ROOM FOR CHANGE (Another IPS)

MAKE ROOM FOR CHANGE (Another IPS)

New year, new start, new plan, but same old you.  Ai-yah!  It’s the perennial conundrum that! At the start of every new year, it’s “traditional” for those of us who follow the 365-day Gregorian calendar to make some sort of list of resolutions at the start of the new year.  Many of us do. We start the process by reviewing our actions and our lives over the past year. Self-flagellation ensues.  Some of us pull out special whips for the…

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OTHER VOICES: Joy Harjo

OTHER VOICES: Joy Harjo

Poet, artist and musician Joy Harjo is a member of the Mvkoke (Creek) Nation.  (More usually, that word is spelled “Muscogee.”) Harjo became the first Native American to be appointed as a Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the American Library of Congress in 2019 by Librarian Carla Hayden.  In case you didn’t know, the Library is America’s oldest federal cultural institution and is said to be the largest library in the world. As well as other things, national poets…

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REVAMP ROUTINES (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

REVAMP ROUTINES (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

It’s a perennial bit of advice from most of the entrepreneurial advisers and advocates of DIY bootstrapping in the world to get yourself organized by working out routines and systems of routines that will help you get ‘er done and help facilitate your making that run towards your dream. It does work. It has occurred to me more than once that we humans are routine-building fools.  For some of us the whole routine-building thing may even be automatic. We can…

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OTHER VOICES: Maya Angelou

OTHER VOICES: Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou’s life story always reminds me of a quote by William Blake that never fails to lend me heart when I’m feeling low: “No bird soars too high if it soars with its own wings.” The woman probably qualifies as a “force of nature.”  What can you say about someone whose first autobiography, I KNOW WHY THE CAGED BIRD SINGS, which was published in 1969 when she was 41, has gone through 154 editions so far?

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