wrote Arshile Gorky
"while I pressed my face into her long apron
with my eyes closed ...
Her stories and the embroidery on her apron
got confused in my mind with my eyes closed.
All my life her stories and her embroidery
keep unravelling pictures in my memory.
If I sit before a blank white canvas - "
The oral tradition of passing on family stories and histories and whakapapa is important, perhaps even crucial, to our identity as human beings living in a specific time and place.
They give clues, invitations, invocations, to help us become all we are called to be.
May we all be richly blessed by the stories which have formed us.
May we honour these stories and pass them on to the next generation.
They are our cultural DNA.