I've just had three days at Long Bay in Auckland, at a 'residential workshop' about 'writing the Maori world.' Talk about fascinating.
One thing it reminded me of was the extent to which the direction and feeling of a hui is so deeply shaped by the people who are present. It will move at the pace of the dominant group, power structures from outside the specific hui will be visible regardless of individual 'intentions,' and when all is said and done you learn from the process of being together, even when the attempted process of acquiring these insights is tiring, boring, dated, and dodgy.
I'm reminded of someone who told me that sometimes good things don't come in the packages we expected, but that doesn't stop them from being good packages.
I've got new friends, I've solidifed existing friendships, I've had the chance to talk about poetry, and I've returned home inspired to be active in my own writing, in creating space for other writers, and in producing the necessary structures for future critical publications.
Oh, and I've also come home tired: another sign of a good weekend. Good nite! x