Morning train

I didn’t train this morning.

Yesterday, I just felt quite vulnerable …even though I got out and about and delivered a presentation at a conference. It was a bit weird to have such a dip in emotions after having felt really good the day before. I was good to myself tho, I went and spent time with my mum and hung out with my niece rather than stay home and ruminate.

Actually, the conference helped lift my spirits because the people there commented so positively on the things I spoke about.

This morning, I thought it would be good for me to get up and stretch, rather than brave the cold, stress my body and go running. Its a fucken minus a million degrees anyway, there’s frost on the ground, which glitters like I’m on acid when the orange fingers of the morning sun, caress the carpet of steam.

Mornings here are special, healing and vital.

I’m looking forward to writing today, I have some good ideas that I can put to paper, or rather laptop screen, which screams at me to work work work.

Yesterday I said some prayers, and when the bubbling steam  finally finally cleared, I could see some good answers.

the past

Yesterday, I booked tickets to Melbourne. I haven’t been back there since 2004, when I decided that life was supposed to be better than waiting for people to throw flowers on my coffin.

I contracted HIV there, in 1998. I was only 22 at the time, but I had already given up on life.

In today’s world, I can’t quite fathom the person I used to be in my youth. Some of my patterns are the same but the most destructive ones have all but vanished.

I don’t like to drink anymore because really, alcohol makes me feel like shit.

I had been going to drama school at the time I left Melbourne, but at the start of my final and fourth year, I quit to move back home to Rotorua, to go to art school. Although the shift brought about it’s own set of problems, in that I finally had to deal with some of the things I had been avoiding, truly, it was transformative. In the 11 years since I have spun out a fierce creative practice, filled with colour, honesty and integrity. Now I am becoming a Doctor of Philosophy with research that covers a lot of ground including; Indigenous ways of being; Māori creative practices; Transgender social health; HIV stigma and discrimination; and most importantly, the research of getting the fuck real for a change (a good change :)).

And yet, there are still days, months even, when the most basic forms of self-love and appreciation elude me; those are the days when I just cannot get out of bed, or the months when I feel so sad that I have to force myself to eat because food has no flavour.

Unfortunately, the past month has been somewhat awful, although, I am pretty good at recognising when I am unbalanced, or when something or someone has made me feel less than the human I know I am. I have an embodied practice that kicks my subconscious into doing the things that will make me feel healthy again. It’s good to know that art is an embodied form of research; I trust my art practice to teach my head not to drown, or simply float away again, never to return.

I feel proud that I have been getting up every morning, even though it is hella freezing, to go for a run. I feel good that usually, by 9am, I am sitting at my laptop working on my thesis, or whatever other publication I have been procrastinating on. I feel happy that I walk to my village every day around lunchtime, to spend time with my mother. I feel able because whenever anyone asks me for help, I always do what I can. More than anything, I feel fucking fabulous to be learning my language… I tried so many times in the past and it just wouldn’t stay, now though, it has a warm home in my body.

I am really looking forward to going to Melbourne. It’s such a fantastic city and I really cherish the time I spent there, both trying to die and live at the same time. For sure without a doubt, living won.

no pictures please

No pictures today, just words.

It’s funny how a word or two can reveal worlds; juxtapositions slip keys in doors, which silently open through their symbolism.

For the past few months I have been experiencing a type of depression, lodged in my subconsciousness. It hasn’t been on the surface of my awareness, but rather, it has been more like a ghost that chills the air of my peripheries. Every time I turn to look it in eye, it has found a way to avoid me addressing it directly.

Anger and sadness was stuck in my body, close to my heart, slowing its beat to a doldrum.

My head couldn’t find it because it was so deeply locked away, hidden in happiness.

It’s funny how a word or two can heal worlds; juxtapositions slip silently through symbolic doors, they are keys.

I woke up today and in the dim light of the chill morning, as luminous breath bathed my face, I forgot the failings. They never really existed anyway.

Yesterday, the district council of Rotorua voted to accept a partnership model proposed by my tribe. As I sat in those council chambers, tears wanted to consume my eyes; I know the gift of this entire city that my ancestors gave in the hope of something special.

How did hope turn to dead dust, trust trussed up and thrown in a dark corner, waiting for people to work together to bring back the light?

Sometimes, maybe, hurt has to happen. Happiness begins again.

Taming the beast of power

It’s sometimes very hard to silence the doubt, the embodied response to histories of violence and suppression.

It’s hard to feel the light when Winter is looming, and my mind feels the long shadows of the past begin to advance as distance from the sun increases.

I don’t know what the fuck.

I have been training and working on my body, lengthening my muscles and helping to find a tune.

But I have been feeling like death. Even though everything is amazing with abundance, I go to bed wishing to never wake. Today I thought about the days of stench that might pollute my space when I slit my wrists long-ways. Nobody would find me for a while because I seem chipper.

And I am, but I wonder all the same, where these feelings come from?

I feel lazy, useless, inept and without power; even though I know there is hope for the future, right now I feel like I did when I was trying hard to murder me … all those decades of disaster, gone but still here somehow.

The surface is my savior, even though sanity slides dangerously slow as the world spins too fast.

I wrote a ‘to do list’ and I checked all but a few boxes. In a few days I will have satisfied the task-master … me.

I can’t shake feelings of failure.Taming the beast of power final small