01 August 2020, Aotearoa New Zealand
Whakarongo ake au
Ki te tangi a te manu nei
A te ma tui, tui, tuituia!
Listen where above
A bird flies, its cry rings out
Join, join, join together!
E nga rangatira ma, tena koutou.
Distinguished ones, all who serve humankind, greetings.
Love in the Time of COVID has evolved from a conversation – or, rather, a series of conversations – between friends, colleagues and family about how and where we could meet during lockdown to tell our stories, share our experiences and enrich our lives, in the face of so much uncertainty.
Where is our marae, our meeting place when, in many of our countries across the globe, we are unable to even meet, and where standing six feet apart wearing masks is the only way to honour and protect each other?
We decided to create a virtual space and began inviting friends to help us give it a heart, a voice, an intellect, a mauri, a motivating spirit. Their contributions, their talkstories, poems, photography, art and music follow. We honour their generosity and are grateful to them.
Tuia i runga, tuia i raro,
Tuia i roto, tuia i waho,
Tuia te here tangata
Ka rongo te pō
Ka rongo te ao
This is our first set of conversations, and we want to invite you to enjoy the work of your fellow artists and friends, nau mai, haramai, welcome, welcome, thrice welcome. We hope you’ll add your thoughts about the world and create, with us, a wide-ranging chronicle of this year. We hope you accept our invitation to reach across borders of all kinds: geography and politics, age and gender, race and cultures. To enhance our lives and create cohesive communities. To examine things closely, to expand our knowledge of what is happening and how it is happening. To speak up, speak out, speak against the unspeakable, speak to each other.
We see this as an evolving thing – fluid and imperfect, open-minded and earnest, loving and also playful. Even if we’re angry or sad about what this world looks like in 2020, let’s ask questions together and see where we go. Let us sing out, and listen. Let us chronicle the pandemic and all its consequences with aroha and in hope.
Let us reach out to each other.
Join the above with all below
Join the outer world with the inner
Let the day hear!
Let the night hear!
Witi & Michelle