This poem, together with Curnow's on the
skeleton of the great moa, captures for me some of the sterility and rootlessness
of my early years. Nominally Christian, I found nothing in conventional
belief that addressed this. Nor had my university degree helped in this
respect, or my OE.
As a rep hockey goalkeeper for Rodney, one
magic day at Port Albert, I played against the Indian national team who
some six weeks later would win an Olympic gold medal. We held them to
3 - 1, and in doing so I reached, I think for the first time, a source
of inner strength and self I had not known before.
In the seventies, the music of the American
South, in particular, Texas outlaw country and southern rock, attracted
me with its strong sense of geography and of community, but I found few
who knew what I was on about.
In my house in Drury, I expressed at least
some of my sense of self, but it left very little room for others to live
alongside of me, and seven years and two relationships later I left for
Centrepoint and began setting down the roots that allowed me ultimately
to draw nourishment and a sense of greater community from deep within.