a bad name

I haven’t blogged in ages.

I have been saving all of my words for my thesis, which is slowly manifesting not fast enough. But it’s ok, even though the words stick, my fingers find ways to untangle them so that they can be strong on their own.

I have a lot to feel good about, but I acknowledge that I am just a person. It’s difficult wrestling with the two very different identities my body in this lifetime manages to surface. I still can’t figure them out and sometimes I listen to them argue over my parts, my face and my right to live in peace. This week I have struggled to look at my reflection without repulsion and today, I am going to put makeup on so that I can snap myself back out of negative self-image-land.

The day before yesterday I got emails to tell me that a publication has gone live, but I am still too scared to watch it. There’s a piece of writing, an interview and an edited version of an hour long academic presentation. I very seldom have seen my own performance work. People tell me it is powerful, which is probably why I don’t record it nor watch what I have done – it scares me to know what can come out of me when I let go and live all of my lives without restriction. It’s different when I make visual art, I can see what I am doing as I respond to my inner-feelings. The performance art I make is not the same. I often go into it blind with a set of rituals to form a pattern upon which I emerge from. When I perform I am somewhere else.

One time when I performed, the ritual became so meditative that I left my body and began to witness my own words. They made me cry, but it wasn’t me crying, it was the robot I had turned myself into.

This year has been a lot of emotions for me, a lot of confusing emotions. I am no good with my own feelings. I can acknowledge them but don’t really know what to do with them half the time, so I just make art and hope that’s where they’ll end up so I don’t have to deal with them.

Emotions are for people, not alien robots.

I am in California again. I’ve been blessed this year with emotions that I don’t know how to resolve and wings to fly. It’s Christmas back home, and I know that right about now, all the kids in my village will be opening their prezzies. In about an hour they will start riding around to each other’s houses to show them off, while my cousins and aunties start getting the kai ready for the feasting. This year, my whānau are all gathering at my Aunty Tuhipo’s whare, because this will be her last family celebration. I checked my facebook messages this morning and one of my cousins had messaged to say that it wouldn’t be too much longer before Aunty dies.

I have already said my goodbyes to her, and even though I am sad that she is dying, I feel blessed that my ancestors gave me an opportunity to actually say goodbye. Everyone else died so suddenly that there was no time to mourn, feel blessed for the sacredness of life and let go in peace. Instead, there were decades of anger without resolution. Everybody will miss her and her tangi will be huge because she was such a fierce fighter for the rights of our people – when being a radical Māori was fringe, she was on the frontline, screaming with passion against the bully police, our colonised relations, the unjust government and the thieving british crown.

I fell in love this year, which is something I am not altogether familiar with. It was fun while it lasted but as an excellent communicator, I need to fall in love with someone who can match my mouth. It was good to feel passion again and to realise that even though I act like a robot, really I am quite a loving person. He was such a beautiful guy and I still see his beaming smile when I feel gorgeous. I also ended a relationship prior to that. It was a strange one because it went on for years, like a game where one person manipulated that other’s sensitivities. Advice to beautiful hearts, avoid narcissists, especially when they are confused by their sexual desires. He was such a beautiful guy too, for all his faults which I recognised so well because they were the things I had resolved and grown from. I can bend and contort to suit my surrounds because I am a shapeshifter, but I cannot lie to my mind, it is too clever for its own good.

All that glitters is plastic. But it’s good to finally realise that I truly am a catch. From now on I will aim high – true love is just around the corner, I can sense it.

And now for the moment there is just me again, watching over my body as it comes to terms with the massive shift in terrain, that is just my mind evolving.

I live an enviously free life. I have always floated like a flower on the surface, or a feather on the breeze – sometimes like garbage in the gutter too.

But that’s me all over, what shall be shall be.