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Colouring My Soul

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Kat Maxwell
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“I am Tūhoe / Ngā Puhi. I was born in Marton in 1963 and raised there till I was seventeen years old. My family moved to Palmerston North for work and that’s where we have been ever since. My usual employment is as a supervisor in civil construction.

As a child I was generally oblivious to events happening around me and didn’t really wake up to other people’s auras till later in life. My nanny called it selfish. I just think I was half asleep. So five kids, five step-kids and two husbands later, I have become more aware and am full of the need to redeem myself to those that didn’t understand me, to those that pissed me off, to those that I pissed off, and to those members of my family who needed me but I wasn’t there.

I wrote some stories with trepidation, for in writing them I was opening secrets. I wrote some stories as a way of instilling and sharing memories with those that have grown up hearing about the whānau but have never met or don’t remember them, and I wrote others because they were worth writing. I write because I find it cleansing. Writing stories is easier for me than regaling them, letting them lay at rest on paper makes sure their content doesn’t get mixed up when someone else repeats them. I write because my stories bruise my brain until they’re written. They fell out of my fingers one day after I had been nostalgic remembering my childhood and my aunties, my nanny and my koro, and all my cousins.” - Kat Maxwell