“A Place and Way to Peg Myself” – a pre-spring reflection on an earlier autumnal contemplation – Kerry-Ann Stanton

Back in late summer, ready for the autumn article ‘All_Pegged_Out’, I wrote:
“ … A contemplation of all things ‘pegs’ feels somewhat whimsical and indulgent. Yet it is an ordinary task that I take great pleasure from. With the weather so warm, light and breezy I have been washing all the ‘patchwork’ quilts. So lovely to see them flapping on the line, out of the sun, carefully hung singly, with UV resistant, broad clipped pegs. And the deep satisfaction of their fresh smell and softly crisp feel as I fold them ready for the beds.

This rumination is to be continued as I am ‘pegging on’ with multiple other projects, while the late summer energy is still holding. …

I will finish for now with Henry Ward Beecher, “All words are pegs to hang ideas on”.
To be continued …”

Well, to be continued ended up being ‘to be paused’. My husband’s pegs became wobbly in early winter; stroke was suspected, later to be confirmed as migraine. As he wobbled so did I, trying to stay steady for us both; so no writing from me for winter.

However the contemplations have continued. A friend pointed out the role of survey ‘pegs’ to mark out the place which is ours to own, to stand on and build a house (home) – our turangawaewae.
“Tūrangawaewae is one of the most well-known and powerful Māori concepts. Literally tūranga (standing place), waewae (feet), it is often translated as ‘a place to stand’. Tūrangawaewae are places where we feel especially empowered and connected. They are our foundation, our place in the world, our home.” http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/papatuanuku-the-land/page-5

I have often reflected on the concept of turangawaewae in relation to a way of being, a way of standing in the world. A constant in my life has been the search for ‘my work’, my place to stand and be an offer. In my late fifties I have a clearer sense of this and I experience ‘turangawaewae’ in my practice of celebrancy; as a teacher of celebrants and as a celebrant delivering ceremony. Rather than a somewhat tired feeling of ‘pegging on’, I am grounded, my energy flowing and connected.

In dance I have explored my bones, my pegs; how they hold me up, hold me together, ground me, provide shape and definition, angularity and flow as I move. Dance is part of how I stand and move in the world, integral and non-negotiable. I am a ‘dancer’ irrespective of whether my ‘pegs’ let me move or not.

As spring arrives I realise that a reflection on pegs has provided a particular lens of contemplation; through the hilarity and whimsy of washing, through the solidity of a land peg, a physical place that is recognised as ‘ours’ to stand, onto the less tangible, yet more significant sense of belonging in this body and my particular bodies of work: a place and ways to peg myself – lucky me!