Listening to Ben Brown I sort of question why he is not as well known as Witi Ihimaera or Patricia Grace. As powerful a wordsmith.
He describes himself as 'A storyteller in the world of words'.
Maori at home, Pakeha at school - the world of his mother.
Great line - Behind every great writer is the ghost of an English teacher!!!
And another - Human conversation is not a frivolous activity.
'My father always a book at the table right next to the knife! They were in the workshop and stacked in piles in the house. My mother read Readers Digest condensed -'much to my father's chagrin'.
Created some great images - my mother's tongue had the quality of hard diamond that cut! Ben has wonderful descriptions of his mother - the heron that fishes, the eel that twists and turns ... She could talk to birds!
Animals had a natural affinity to her, they knew how to find her kindness.
Honky the rabbit - named from 'Love thy neighbour' - imagine that show today!!
The teacher 'Miss What ever her name' refused to allow the racist name in the pet show! 'As only a teacher in her room could'
In Tom Sawyer he could see his own life reflected - scallywag, truant, miscreant ....
Another great line - 'The constant mining if the human story. The seam is rich'
Final thoughts - Be the artist. Dream ridiculously. Don't live in the grind of someone else's machine. Poets are hopeless romantics - they believe in everything.
Be an artist. Be the maker of something real.
Make it complete and give it a name or else it will not exist.
Mana is the man who does without saying