Quite a few years ago I made this charcoal drawing of a Maori lady I met in Picton on the top of the South Island.
Her story was remarkable.
I don't know her name anymore and she never saw this drawing.
Together with her son she owned a little tourist shop and when I walked in I was straight away captured by her presence, her aura of wisdom and grace. In Maori language this is called "Mana".
She had a moko tattooed on her chin and I asked her if I could take a photograph of her, so I could later sketch her.
She agreed to the photograph and then she told me her story:
"I was married to a Pakeha man [meaning white man] for many years, but then I had an horrendous accident and nearly died. I still have a scar on my forehead from this accident.
I decided that when I would live, I would have a moko tattooed on my face, because I was given another chance of life.
I lived and recovered from the accident and got a moko.
My husband didn't like it and he told me he couldn't wake up every morning next to me and look at the moko on my face, so he left me.
But I know that I had to be true to myself for what I believed in and to this day I never regretted my decision".
I really admired her to do what was right for her and a few weeks later I did the charcoal drawing of her.
She was one of those people you meet on your way for a just a moment in time, but as a gift of wisdom.
I am part of Sunday Sketches.