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The Nahuatl word “apapachar” -- a truly Latin embrace

stories in a word May 19, 2018

Have you ever felt embraced by a person or a place?  I have that sense about Aotearoa/New Zealand, a place I came to originally in 1983 and spent almost 30 years discovering.  I feel a deep connection to this land and she has a great sense of aliveness for me.  I call her "she" because in Maori tradition, Papatuanuku is the name of the Earth Mother.  The longer I spent living on her hills and under the starry skies of the South Pacific, the more I sensed that she chose the people who would come to explore her and those who could stay. One of those transplants is my friend Jaqueline Benndorf  -- originally from Uruguay -- who is both a skilled counsellor and an artist.  She creates embracing environments, so her story in a word came as no surprise -- apapachar.

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Nurturing stories around the table

stories in a word Jan 24, 2018

 I've been hosting an international Booksprint over the past few days.  Around 40 authors are engaged in creating a Visual Facilitation Fieldguide, with the aim of both sharing their expertise and extending the field.  While many authors are working virtually and checking in via Zoom, six of us have come together to work -- and live -- communally in the Netherlands.  You can learn a lot about people from the way they work, but you can learn an equal amount from the way they eat.

Holger and I had a conversation about "bread cultures" -- that includes, for example, all the countries with the sea at their borders: Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France, and more.  I heard a radio programme once suggesting that the average German eats four slices of bread and a brötchen (a bread roll) every day.  Holger thinks that might be underestimating it!  Our host, a Dutchman, told us that in his younger days of competitive sport he ate a loaf...

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