Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Happy Tea - in mind for September 22nd a Sunday

Happy Tea House Event in September 

                  - Grey Lynn Tamaki Makaurau Auckland

The elephant arrived.  It's being painted like Indians in India paint elephants. Only a baby animal, but it's taller than the tallest man I know. 

Entrance to Happy Tea House is down the side of the house here, Blue Haven. Our bright blue place stands out, flowers grow there too. Having no fence at the front, a garden barrier instead, encourages people to say hello as they walk past, especially in the mornings. Also, car drivers are more likely to be careful driving by, if they see evidence of people living near the road, (not just a wall or high fence).  

So down the side of the house and then Alice in Wonderland shows the way, white rabbit close behind her. Our elephant's close by, smiling. He's covered in blue stars, with one cheery green eye showing and a yellow face. Big legs green and a green belly too, soon we'll add violet, a lilac-ish shade and pinky red.

Under the lania around the corner is the underwater world of Stranded Mermaids. Shady, where we'll offer free books, to draw attention to the dis-establishment of Te Papa's research library recently without any announcement to the public. 

People shall dress up in costumes, some of our guests, and we'll chat, smile and mingle, safe cosy times at Happy Tea House. Prizes shall be offered for costumes and for writing.

Some books also for sale - cash or cheque - and people are writing punk poetry and me me me stories to read aloud over the open mic. Prizes for reading work aloud, too. A few guest poets are to be announced.

Happy Tea House started when we saw the need for a more private poetry event venue, in inner-city Tamaki Makaurau Auckland. Magazine, a literary annual was launched there every year for six years. Various other books have also been set to sail into lives from here. Many readers, writers and artists from the world have enjoyed themselves at Happy Tea House. 

A magical garden and an Alice in Wonderland lounge offer alternative places to relax. For around nine years, pleasant times for many people, books for sale, entertainments, prizes, the gift of literary community in a kind of harbour and also, opportunities for new projects to be considered there and take off later.

Meanwhile, in all this busy life, through the extraordinary hours I spend, often unpaid, organising events something aches. I do this unpaid work due to the belief that the people I love and want to support, including myself, need such a place, but I sometimes lose heart. So, here now I call out to myself, in the nowhere places I find myself lost in, and my voice disappears in the nothing. My fear, my uselessness, great hulking monsters and slime appear and almost fill all the space. I skirt around them hoping not to have them attach themselves. How I can ever know enough? This may trouble me like a little yapping dog that will not shut-up and nips at my legs. I climb to a high window to get away. 

Then she appears, this little girl in a forest outside. See her standing there? She stands in a sunny grove. The small child has lots of curly blonde hair and she stares at me. Looks like she's starving however and was shocked by something, an unnameable horror she has no words for, but she keeps looking at me. 

I call to her as if she is a lost kitten. 

The small girl slowly transforms. Her face fills out a little, like she's been well fed for a few weeks, and she loses her startled, hollow-eyed stare. This happens in mere minutes, because writing makes it so. Years of practise and assistance enable me. Countless people's support, their critiques, their admirations, their thanks, their wishes to keep me well, all these assist, permit me to create this new vision, for myself. 

Gratitude given freely, thank-you so much my family, friends and colleagues.

I suppose in some ways a great deal of the paid and unpaid work I do helps me to heal myself and feel I am of some use in this world. No matter how tough it is, and often boring or a complete puzzle, what keeps me going is people.

So, The Happy Tea House is about many things, it's a personal journey of discovery and understanding, also a place for people to meet and enjoy life. A literary pool and a venue where we also sell books and gather koha to help with the running of the whole organisation. 

Thank-you for reading my blog, comments are welcome and please do go ahead and say something, comment. It feels difficult at times to work in such a lone manner. Other people's responses usually make the work far more worthwhile. 

I'd love to hear from you, it helps me to keep on writing. I trust this has also been of some assistance, somehow and if not, ah well, c'est la vie. Bon chance.

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