For the past three months I have been a monster-nerd, making making writing writing making theorising reading travelling making sense etc. Now, I suddenly feel like I know exactly what I am doing.
I left the Aotearoa a few weeks ago, and since, have spent life between the public library and my sister’s whare, in Australia. I feel good that my days are spent working on myself, rather than for the tax department. Even though I am somewhere different again, it is good to spend time going slow so that I catch my breath and re-coordinate my senses. I wish I could spend more time walking, listening to music and swinging my poi, but it’s just way too hot. I don’t love the heat here, it’s sticky and I stress out that my makeup is gunna melt off. I have only been learning the poi for just over year, but in that time I feel like I have become pretty amazing. As a weaver I have very strong wrists and forearms, and I think that, along with my sometimes obsessive focus, has enabled me to teach myself some pretty freaky dexterity. I must admit, over the past few weeks, my poi beats have been absent from life. Maybe that’s something I will address when I get home today.
At the end of the weeks here I have been having drinks with my sis and relations. I don’t really like to drink too much anymore. It seems like a waste of time.
Today I had a bit of a conversation with a past student. I was telling her about how I have been feeling stink about not having heard back about a job that I applied for. It was awesome to have her put some positive thoughts into my brain, as I suppose I have done for her in the past. Empowering others isn’t just a one way street, it comes back to you all the time.
Yesterday, I had a conversation about my 8 inch platform stilettos. For a few years, those shoes empowered me for sure. I ended up on the national news on a couple of occasions wearing those shoes… I even did stand up paddle board in them and the news presenters lost it, in hysterics over me toppling into the ocean and nearly drowning in them. Now those shoes are dead… broken. I threw them away with the rest of my life when I left my homeland a few weeks ago.
Right now, I don’t feel like I want to live there permanently again. There is an undercurrent of racist policy, and often people have no qualms about publicly denouncing Maori people, nor Maori culture. It sucks the life right out of you when people take over your country, and then take everything from you, including your identity. We have an incredibly conservative right wing government that is intent on selling our souls to corporations… but that’s reality everywhere in the world at the moment.
So yah, for the moment I don’t want to be in Aotearoa because it will give me cancer.
Not everybody is racist in Aotearoa, most people are amazing and uplifting, but the fact that socially acceptable racism exists at all makes for an oppressive atmosphere, especially when you’re sensitive, outspoken, and therefore a target.
Anyway, enough about shoes. I miss my village in Rotorua, Ohinemutu, it is a beautiful and spiritual place where my ancestors settled on our arrival to Aotearoa.
It is strangely quiet place at times, with the sound of hissing steam, and bubbling water from thermal vents in the ground washing over existence. Often, my family home is ridiculously loud with all the kids in the village coming and going, and my brother, sisters and mother, aunts and cousins all engaging in our own peculiar village way.
Being there is good, as it never seems to change. With the life I live being a constant process of transformation, through multiple spaces, it is grounding to always return to a space that is grounding and somewhat intense in its REALNESS!
Our village is nestled beside a beautiful lake, which of course, is now polluted through colonial productivity. Even though it’s dirty, I miss my lake. I am a lake creature for sure.
We get a lot of tourists sauntering across our backyard, and for most of my life it really annoyed me. These days though, knowing how disjointed, hijacked, and fast the rest the world can be, I am glad to keep the home fires burning in a place where so many can continue to visit and find space to breathe.
Even though I am not in my village, being with my family in a foreign land makes me feel like home. Finally, my project is starting to gain some traction, and I just got funding to present at two conferences in the US in April… I still need to find funding to get me to Peru to present at the end of April, but shit betch, ima get there. I just have to keep on doing what I am doing. Deep down, I know that this project sustains itself. All I really have to do is stay committed to the knowledge I seek.
This coming month, I have to write two academic papers titled: “Bills pills bills: Destiny’s children and the sedation of image seduction”, and “”Under Heartbeat City’s golden sun: Maoritanga and the margins of performing the ultimate urban”. I also have to write an abstract to submit titled: “Welcome to the jingle Jung-le: The psychological war of terror through puns and posers”.
Urgh, that’s a lot of writing to get done, as well as make art, but I am up for the challenge.
If there is one thing I can feel good about, it is my ability to get things done regardless of barriers. I never really realised until recently, how fearless and determined a person I am. I suppose for much of my life I have been colonised into only seeing my mirrored self, my described self; the mad sad bad ballad of bored stoners and serial swiggers.
But no more, now I know exactly who I am, and the things I need to do in order to sustain the new life I am growing to love. The answer is simple.