Thursday, 24 August 2017

Didn't we almost have it all. . .

Loving you makes life worth living. . . 

Remember when we held on in the rain
The night we almost lost it
Once again we can take the night into tomorrow
Living on feelings
Touching you I feel it all again

What is it like to live on feelings?
I think we can have a kind of imbalance these days.  Too much of one thing isn't such a good thing and as obsessive as we are as humans, we can easily forget to have all things in moderation.  Have you met someone who has made you feel all kinds of feels, made you learn about yourself in ways that you never thought you had?  This particular track is Whitney Houston's fifth consecutive number one hit from her debut album.  I don't think her voice has ever rung as clear as it has in this particular song.  I pin it down to the sense of loss that prevails in this song.  I think we can so often be seduced by what love is meant to be, that we may let it pass us by because it doesn't come in a neatly tied package that can be easily undone.

Didn't we almost have it all
When love was all we had worth giving?
The ride with you was worth the fall my friend
Loving you makes worth living
Didn't we almost have it all
The nights we held on till the morning
You know you'll never love that way again
Didn't we almost have it all

I think at some time in our lives we will have someone who we have let slip away or things didn't work out, circumstances were just too difficult to really make a go of things, or you had to face reality and see that being apart made more sense than being together.  Have you ever been with someone where just being there for the ride was worth it?  That even though you knew that it had a shelf life, that the wild ride was eventually going to end, it was all worth it?  I'm a true believer in it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

The way you used to touch me was so fine
We kept our hearts together down the line
A moment in the soul can last forever
Comfort and keep us
Help me bring the feeling back again

How many moments in the soul have you had?
Sometimes it doesn't take very many for you to feel like there are several forevers you could have.
What would it take for you to have your hearts together down the line?  Often we throw up excuses for being with someone because it's easier to say how hard it is.  No matter how fleeting the touch may be, you can never be sure if the touch will be repeated - and would you even want it to be?

Didn't we have the best of times
When love was young and new?
Couldn't we reach inside and find
The world of me and you?
We'll never lose it again
'Cause once you know what love is
You never let it end

I hope you remember what love was like.
Sometimes memories can be enough to sustain you through the lean years of no love.  I should know, I've been there.  But I think the longer you go without love, you become more discerning and more focused on other things, other ways that you can connect with people that don't require you to be so vulnerable, ways that you can just be yourself without having to compromise yourself, without having to break your promise to someone, back to those time when we knew, didn't we almost have it all. . . 

Monday, 21 August 2017

Should I be good or should I be evil. . .

Stand yourself in my shoes. . . 

I sit here in total darkness
Deep into the night
Should we stay together
And make it through alright

Relationships are difficult things to manage.  Partnerships, friendships, marriages, whatever form of commitment that they come in.  I've been listening to this song over and over in the past few days.  There's something about the original version of this song with just Hammond Gamble singing in it, that is so poignant.  The sentiments of the song reveal an inner struggle that we might face when we have to make decisions that will change the nature of that commitment that we promised to honour, that we promised to follow through indefinitely, most definitely.

Standing here in total silence
Far from where you breathe
Should we stay together
Or is it better if I leave

I started writing this blog post a few weeks ago, but didn't really have a chance to pump it out, as I've been under the pump in other areas of my life.  I wonder how many of us are far away from those who we are conscious of their breathing?  I think about how much love and care you have for someone, that you would be conscious of being in silence from such a far distance - that you would be quiet just so you can hear the thought of them breathing.  Who does that?  You might find yourself conscious of leaving or staying, trying to juggle which is the best option for you.

Should I be good or should I be evil?
I've gotta see the vision so the truth can be revealed
Should I be good or should I be evil?
Stand yourself in my shoes, tell me how you'd feel

Things are so black and white when they are good or evil.
We can try to explain our way out of situations, out of decisions made that cause pain and hurt to people around us.  We can try to justify why we did what we did, both consciously or unconsciously - whether they would even be subconsciously - who even knows the difference these days?  Deliberate intent and casual cause and effect.  We may never really know what our intentions are until we are faced with a situation that requires action or inaction.  Sometimes it's hard for people to know what you're going through because they can't stand themselves in your shoes.  They are so wrapped up in themselves that they can't see beyond to see what you're doing.  Or not doing.

Oh I have done right, but we all do wrong
You must see through all we can see
I guess my fate's been set, it's with deep regret
That I look back at how I used to be

Nobody is perfect.
If we were, we wouldn't have any problems that needed fixing, we wouldn't have any disasters that we needed to recover from.  Musically this section of the song is quite pretty.  The unusual combination of chords almost seem as if they are an attempt to try something different for the sake of deviation.  What does deep regret sound like to you?  It sounds poignant in this song.  It sounds like it's trying to tug itself at your heart strings to let you know that despite seeming to be strong - there is no real way of truly speaking without being offensive to another.  Have we made any progress about where we currently stand?  Have we learned enough to move on and truly change?  How did you used to be?  If you are different now, is it better or worse?  Did you change deliberately, randomly, or you had no choice in the matter?

Lying here in total darkness
I think my heart will break
As the teardrops fall
I wonder how much I can take

There is only so much a person is willing to take.
Even if people around you are totally aware of how much you have on in your life - they will still be in touch and want their pound of flesh as well.  That's ok.  Well, not really, but you understand that they have no other choice but to reach out to you.  There is too much that has happened, there is too much that has passed and no matter how much you try to move on and do things a little better, a little more profoundly, because the actions and decisions we made leading to those actions have a ripple effect that we never truly see.

Should I be good or should I be evil?
I've gotta see the vision so the truth can be revealed
Should I be good or should I be evil?
Stand yourself in my shoes, tell me how you'd feel

I hope that I find some happy medium soon - being equal parts fair and equal parts critical.
Sometimes we might not like the vision that we see, but if we want to live true authentic lives, they might not be the storybook endings that we have been lead to believe exist.  Should I be good for who?  Should I be evil for who?  Not everybody will win or benefit from whether you are good or evil.  I wonder what you would find if you stand yourself in my shoes.  I'm not sure if you would be able to tell me how you'd feel. . . 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Ain't got far to go. . .

Close your eyes and take a step. . . 

Birds fly, we turned finally free
Patience lost, I began to lose me
My advice would be take a breath
Close your eyes and take a step

It's my late husband's birthday today.
I reminisced about the types of things we did to celebrate the occasion and I remembered how much he loved how I spoiled him on his special day.  When I lost him, I lost that part of myself that defined my connection to him.  Living without him has been a difficult journey, fraught with challenges where I crave listening to his advice for me when I had issues that he could solve or just hearing his thoughts about passions we both shared - particularly music and family.  I became impatient with grief when it first arrived at my doorstep and I didn't really know how to deal with it.  I wasn't expecting this situation to arrive so soon and I couldn't really talk to many people my age who had gone through a similar experience - I was the first to become a widow in my circle of friends.

I wasn't scared, I fought this on my own
You pulled me down and I let you go
I told you I would prove you wrong
And now I'm here and I'm standing strong

One of my friends asked me last night whether I still wrote blog posts, because she hadn't seen many from me this month.  August is always a particularly troublesome month because it is full of celebrations that I normally shared with my late husband - my birthday, our wedding anniversary and his birthday.  I must say that as the years go by, it does become less troublesome, but I never expect the ache to go away as people would have you believe that it will.  There have been moments when I have questioned why I have done things for others, in place of my late husband, and it has made me reflect on what I should be focusing on, standing strong on and relinquishing the grasps that reach out to me, when I do not want to be held.

I know (I know, I know)
I know (I know, I know)
I know (I know, I know)
That I ain't got far to go, go, go
'Cause I spent forever waiting
And it's no longer a dream
And now I've landed on my feet
And I ain't got far to go

Are there things in your life that only you can do?  That only you will be able to achieve?
I have a few of those things in my life at present and I have to harness my diligence and self discipline of my high school days to pursue my goals.  I sometimes think that if you are conditioned for success, often it can start to lose the appeal that it once had.  Not because you no longer enjoy being successful, but rather, that people expectations for your success can quickly turn from support to envy, even hatred.  It requires a lot of tenacity and perseverance to continue with postgraduate studies and you should seek all the available assistance.  I feel that after a significant period of turmoil, it is really good to be able to feel like the goals are becoming more tangible.  Have you landed on your feet too?

H-h-h-hold tight, rollercoaster, here we go
Florida, Orlando, I ain't playing with you
Day one, I said I'd go for me
One box ticked, got a lot to beat

Are you done playing games?
Listening to my friends and family in different situations of late, has lead me to believe that people play so many games in their lives.  I think to myself, why do we do that?  We can't be real and authentic anymore?  We just have to play our cards close to our chests and make sure people don't figure us out?  I'm not sure if I'm fed up with playing such games or I've actually learned to see the games coming, so extricate myself from being involved.  If you don't like certain rides, just don't get on them.  People will try and push you on, misconstrue what you are about - just know whether it's all worth it or not.

I'm here to stay, I'm here to stay
Amen (amen), amen (amen)
And if I had to go back in time
I would just do it again (again) again (again)

I believe that I don't have far to go to achieve my dreams, fulfil my goals.
There are people who don't think I can do what I have set out to do, but I don't need to focus on that.
Just focus on what needs to get done, prioritise the important things that do good for others in the long run, even if they can't see it right now.  Spend less time trying to justify why you're doing what you're doing, and believe in your destiny.  If things don't pan out as you'd planned - that's just more motivation to keep pushing and never give up.  So keep your eyes on the prize and stay confident in knowing that we ain't got far to go. . . 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Rise. . .

Now I'm ready to rise again. . . 

I know that it's over
But I can't believe that we're through
They said that time's a healer
And I'm better off without you
It's gonna take time I know
But I'll get over you

When you come out of a traumatic state, a significant phase in your life, you start to wonder how to regroup and how to make the most of what you've learned and gathered along the way.  It is important to remember to grieve for what has come to pass, what new learning you are becoming to accept.  When our beliefs are tested and we are starting to realise how much of what we are thinking and feeling has more to do with ourselves and less with others, then and only then, will we be able to make some improvement.  Changing how we see ourselves, changing our ways and morphing into who we want to be should be things that we keep at the forefront of our minds.  What are the things that you do, that help you to rise?

Look at my life, look at my heart
I have seen them fall apart
Now I'm ready to rise again
Look at my hopes, look at my dreams
I'm building bridges from the scenes 
Now I'm ready to rise again

When you experience setbacks, they are only reminders that let us know that we are meant to prepare for comebacks.  People go through life trying to dodge pain and experiences that they try to avoid.  You cannot only expect the good to come.  The bad is also there to help you build character and help you to realise your true priorities.  I laugh at myself sometimes when I think about how much time and energy I have wasted on things or people that didn't really need me.  But if you truly think about such situations, time is never wasted.  Otherwise how would you know your own worth?  How would you know that not everybody who needs you, deserves to have you?

Caught up in my thinking, yeah
Like a prisoner in my mind
You pose so many questions
But the truth was hard to find
I better think twice I know
That I'll get over you

If you are surrounded by people who love to make their problems, your problems, move on.
These types of people who like to create problems and drama because they know you can fix, doesn't mane that you should always go to their rescue.  How much accountability do we expect from people when we are in fact enabling them to continue to be this way?  To treat us in this manner?  The truth is only hard to find because you are either in denial or you've been lied to so many times that you don't know what the truth looks like anymore.  It's a very sad sad day when we have been lied to so much, that we can no longer discern the truth from the lies.  It's like telling people that the media is fake news when you're confronted with hard hitting facts, common sense and logic and still in denial about your own part that you played in lying to your voters.  There is nothing worse than being a prisoner in your own mind. I refuse to allow anyone to try and keep my thoughts locked up and bottled inside, threatening me to not be able to express what I am thinking and feeling.  If you know people like this in your life, either stop hanging out with them, or school them on who you are.

Much time has passed between us 
Do you still think of me at all?
My world of broken promises 
Now you won't catch me when I fall

I hope that you don't deal in regrets anymore.  That's something I'm learning day by day.
We shouldn't have to wonder if people still think of us at all.  You wouldn't even need to ask - you would know.  There will be people that you will give up on, because they never make the effort to engage with you.  There will be people that you will give up on, because they don't have the same understanding of what it means to be a friend to you.  We need to take responsibility for our own actions too. Nobody is perfect.  Sometimes it's just the way that we react to each other because we don't want to get hurt, that gets in the way of open and honest conversations.  Once pride, jealousy and envy rear their heads, it is difficult to really know how much you are willing to divulge, disclose and just plain lose.  Regardless of where things stand between me and any other person who either wishes me the best, or less, I will always take comfort in my determination to always rise again. . . 

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

You can find me. . .

To find your happy gotta lose control. . . . 

Thinking about those nursery rhyming days
When it was all fun and games 
Never had a care in the world
When did it all begin to change
Go back to the merry-go-round
Laughing and acting like clowns
Stay in this moment til'
We see the sun go down

Wasn't life simpler when you were a kid?
When we face things as adults, where we have to grow up and face facts. we find that we wish we were young again, so that we don't have to take responsibility.  Have you had those days?  Where we just pretend like we don't have to do anything that we don't want to, that we can just do what we like, when we want and with whom we want.  What moments are you keen on staying in?  We need to all remember that time is fleeting and that we make the most of the moments that we can create or let slip by.

I treasure your heart of gold
I'll be your shadow when you feel alone
'Cause nothing changes when I'm on the road
To find your happy gotta lose control

Are you fed up with people who only turn to you when they need help?
Real friends and loved ones will always reach out when you need them to.  It's one of the perks of being close to someone who knows you better than you seem to know yourself.  Sometimes if we allow somebody else's shadow to take over your light, then we are allowing ourselves to shine a little less.  Why would you do that?  Granted you can't expect people to try and find favour with you, especially if they don't really understand where you're coming from.  Why doesn't anything change when you're on the road?  Are you really that happy with what little happiness we have?  Either be happy or have control.  Sometimes we need to let go in order to gain/

If time between us gets a little uneven
Don't you worry 'cause you will find me here
Never broke a promise, never been dishonest
Don't you worry 'cause you will find me here
Oh oh you can find me, find me
You can find me, find me
You can find me, find me
You can find me, find me

Who do you make yourself available for?
Sometimes you might need to take a back seat and really take stock of who or what you need to spend time on.  It might be difficult to figure this out at first, but once you refocus and reassess your priorities, you realise how much is at stake for yourself.  It's always been easier said than done to think about yourself first, putting your needs, dreams and goals first - because nobody is able to achieve them, except for you.  I often wonder what I need to find sometimes - it's the self belief that eludes me that I need to hold onto, latch onto, and never let go.  All of the answers lie within me if I look hard enough and just push through.

Feeling like I've been misunderstood 
Like I heard she's gone to Hollywood
Couldn't be more wrong if you tried
Think you should take a hard look
It's not hard if you try
Try to see, through my eyes

As I leave Dunedin to return home to Auckland, from another work trip, I think about the reflections that educators have shared about their learning today.  I talked about Multiculturalism and how we need to exercise tolerance and love for each other.  How we must learn to value each other and respect human life, by embracing differences other than our own.  I can't but think about Charlottesville and how we can see each other, through each other's eyes.  How much are you willing to change about yourself in order to be more tolerant, accepting and more caring of others?  Sounds simple doesn't it?  But why is it so hard to achieve?

I guess unless you are willing to come to the party, to come to the table, and see how I see the world through my eyes, only then  will be able to , only then you can find me, find me. . . . 

Monday, 7 August 2017

Love my life. . .

I love my life. . . so I'll help you learn to love yours. . . 

Tether your soul to me
I will never let go completely
One day your hands will be
Strong enough to hold me

I turned 40 years old last Friday.
I spent the day doing things that I loved with people that I loved.
Granted not everybody that I wanted to spend the day with were available (either busy with unforeseen circumstances or they no longer walk this earth), and I don't want to take the day away from those who made a special concerted effort with me either.  Life happens sometimes and despite all the plans, sometimes things happen and not everything goes according to what we want, no matter how hard we plan.  For all of the unexpected turns of events throughout the day - I had a wonderful time with people who made the effort to leave their homes from around New Zealand and come and spend time with me.  The greatest gift you can give someone - is your time.  The best present is presence.  The best present is just being present.

I might not be there for all your battles
But you'll win them eventually
I'll pray that I'm giving you all that matters
So one day you'll say to me

There are some friends or family that you don't really see that much, but you know they will always be cheering for you in their own corner of the world.  These are the kind of people that you want to stay connected with.  These are my type of people.  I had a conversation with my mother about people.  She asked me why people aren't forthcoming like she is.  The question made me smile.  My mother has a tendency to wear her honesty like a crown.  She is unique like that.  She gives more information in a conversation than is required, and sometimes I worry about her.  Because I can see that people take advantage of her, because she loves to help as many people as possible.  Some people might say that I've inherited that from her, but I think I'm more discerning in being able to smell dishonest people from a mile away; those who seek to exploit me for their personal gain.  If we extricate ourselves from situations that people are hell bent on including us in, then maybe it needs to be said that we learn to distance ourselves from said people.

I love my life
I am powerful
I am beautiful
I am free
I love my life
I am wonderful
I am magical
I am me
I love my life

You should be able to go through life knowing how important you are.
When you are constantly being bombarded with negative statements that people throw at you, there is no obligation for you to wear it.  When things don't go your way, there is scope for you to understand that there are your ways of being that will completely mystify people.  That's ok too.  Not everybody is meant to know exactly who you are - just as long as you do, that's all that matters.  I think we should start focusing on the awesome things in our lives.  I have noticed that playing piano more often and creating more music gives me such a sense of joy and wonderment that I can't place anywhere else.  The magic I find within from playing songs and music that uplifts my soul - that's the kind of magic you need to experience daily for yourself.  I am more mindful of the little things that bring me joy, that bring me excitement and anticipation that can never be erased.  Create your own magical moments, rather than relying on someone else to create them for you.

I am not my mistakes
And God knows I've made a few
I started to question the angels
And the answer they gave was you

Don't you think if we were all our mistakes and wore them around our necks like garlands, that we probably wouldn't be able to hold our necks up?  The sheer weight of all the dumb, stupid and hurtful things that we've ever done would be worn everywhere we went, until we decided we were worthy enough of new beginnings and salvation to have the courage to remove it.  Do you have conversations with angels?  I have had my fair share of conversations with angels.  Most of the questions will probably never be answered until I'm no longer earth bound and then I can truly see things for myself.

I cannot promise there won't be sadness
I wish I could take it from you
But you'll find the courage to face the madness
And sing it because it's true

Have you come across people who try to take away sadness from you?
They mean well, have good intentions, but don't understand that sadness is a necessary part of life.
Without sadness we wouldn't know the difference between that and happiness.  We wouldn't know what rainbows look like after a rainy day and we wouldn't appreciate the warmth of the sun on our faces.  People have expected me to take their sadness away from them, but I can't.
It isn't my sadness to remove and they need to hold onto their sadness for a little bit, until they have learned all that they need to ensure they understand the place of sadness in their world.  It is something that we cannot ignore but something we must process.

Find the others
With hearts like yours
Run far, run free
I'm with you

Do you know where you can find people like you?
The only way we can do that is to truly talk to people and discover their inner light.
I anticipate there will be lots of opportunities for me to travel the world soon and I'm looking forward to it; a chance to learn more about myself, to run far, run free, and see where life takes me.  I don't know exactly when that's going to happen, but I will know once it does how I will feel and finally, I'm where I wanna be. . . 

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Family. . .

This blogpost is a tribute to Afamasaga Leuli Robert Ieriko
Whatever dreams we have, they're for the family. . . 

What about I need?
Curtis says it's the best thing for the group
What about what's best for me?
He feels that The Dreams can cross over

My parents and I received news last night that you had left this life.
You had been sick for a while, probably for a long time, but you never let on that things were much more dire than they actually were.  I write this because I probably won't get an opportunity to say anything in tribute publicly in your final church services.  That right is reserved for your immediate family; cousins I've grown up with my whole life and only just recently reconnected with intermittently during your illness in hospital.

What about how I feel?  
When we're famous I'll write great things for you 
Effie do it for me
What about me? What about me?

As I'm writing this, I'm thinking about the things I did for you growing up, particularly with music.
As soon as I realised that I had a natural ability for playing the piano, I stopped playing sports altogether and focused on playing for church.  It would only take me 9 months of hard work to move from Grade 1 to Grade 4, debuting at White Sunday.  Now that you're gone, I think about how I feel.  As a child, I always felt good about playing for church, and playing while you were conducting from an early age was part of the beginning of my musicianship training.  You didn't explain anything to me.  I had to learn by observing.  You taught me by growling me.  At your worst you would embarrass and ridicule me.  At your best you would smile and nod before resuming the task at hand.

It's more than you, it's more than me
No matter what we are, we are a family
The dream is for all of us, this one can be real
And you can't stop us now because of how you feel

The more I learned about music, it wouldn't be long before I not only started to develop my singing voice, but also my own voice to speak up when I felt things weren't right.  You taught me this, but I'm not sure that you intentionally meant to teach me.  God works in mysterious ways - using his children to teach us lessons about ourselves, to learn about service and obedience, and also about justice.  I wonder, what your dream was for all of us?  Not only the musicians, but also just everybody who was connected to you?  Nothing would stop the events that were about to unfold, but the biggest lesson upon reflection, and in light of your passing, it's more than you, it's more than me. . . 

It's more than you, it is more than me
Whatever dreams we have they're for the family
We're not alone anymore now there are others there
And that's dream's big enough for all of us to share 

The last time I saw you in hospital, it was a spontaneous visit.  I had dinner with Phillip and we had a good conversation about lots of stuff that we usually talk about when we catch up.  The thing about catching up with good friends is that the range of topics can vary and go as deep or as light as you want.  Eating good food that night was a bonus too, going to support Rita who was excited to see us there, as her other close friends weren't able to make it - so it felt like we were a representative contingent, together with Torise who was with a friend at a separate table.  When we arrived at the hospital, everyone was gathered in the family room.  Aunty Palagi wanted to make sure that we were all able to come and see you.  I reassured her that no, your immediate family took priority, I just wanted to come and see how everyone was, with no expectation to come and see you.  When we were able to get in the room to see you, we sang a hymn, a prayer was said and then we started to file out and say goodbye to you.

So don't think you're going, you're not going anywhere
You're staying and taking your share
And if you get afraid again, I'll be there

You lay there on your back with your eyes open.  You had been laughing at Robert during the prayer as he kept saying things that made you laugh.  When he asked you to go to Samoa with him, you vigorously shook your head and we all laughed.  You moved your legs around, and I could sense your frustration.  I knew you wanted to get up and just walk out of there.  It was time to leave, the nursing staff needed to attend to your medical needs, so we all filed out one by one, saying goodbye.  If I had known that it would be my last time seeing you alive, I would have said something more profound.
I said "Hey! It's Manu" while rubbing your right arm.  You sat bolt upright and turned towards me and gasped.  I think I was more surprised by your reaction to me than everyone in the room, I just hid it better.  I wasn't sure if you were surprised that I had come to visit you and didn't expect to see me there.  In that instant, I had a flashback to a few nights earlier while I was asleep at home, and someone had whispered my name that woke me out of my dream.  There was nobody around.  I wondered if that was Loma who had come to visit.  I felt that it was a message to come and see you. I came back to the present moment and as I looked at your face and into your eyes, I wondered if you had seen Loma when you had gone under.  I told you in Samoan, 'that's enough lying down, time to get up.'  I told you my parents were thinking about you, wished you well, that our whole church sent their love.  You visibly relaxed and lay back on the bed.

We are a family like a giant tree branching out of the sky
We are a family, we are so much more than just you and I
We are a family, like a giant tree
Growing stronger, growing wiser, we are growing free
We need you, we are a family

We may have had our differences, but I always respected the opportunities you gave me as a child that helped to form the foundation of my love for music.  I will always remember you testing me, by throwing so much music for me to sight read (you were responsible for making me good at sightreading).  I will always remember how I watched you like a hawk when you conducted and knew instinctively during rehearsals, when to start playing again to bring the choir in because I could sense you were starting to get angry and might say in Samoan 'ok, we're not singing this song now', then abruptly change songs.  Your temperamental disposition made playing for you a constant challenge, but I truly believe it would not have made me the discerning musician I am today, allowing no room for compromise when I wanted nothing but perfection from the choir.  We just had different approaches to achieve the same goal.

Even though you have physically departed, I know you have left behind a legacy for your children and grandchildren.  I've been playing this song on repeat all night,  thinking about how proud you were of your family, of where you came from, and where you wanted your family to head into the future.  Thanks Uncle Saga for your life and being hard on me.  I value that as I move ahead and try to make my own mark in the world.  I am confident that you are now with our ancestors and that you are free from illness.  Do me a favour please, and if you see Loma, give him a huge hug from me.

Manuia lau malaga Saga.
We are a family, we are so much more than just you and I. . . 

Friday, 28 July 2017

Bless the broken road. . .

This much I know is true. . . 

I set out on a narrow road so many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

How many roads have you been down?
We sometimes forget that we are constantly on roads but don't really take much notice of our surroundings while we're on the road.  As a passenger in cars, I have the luxury of noticing what goes on in roads, while the driver is usually occupied with making sure we have safe passage on those roads.  I sometimes think it's strange when you're with someone but can still feel like they will never really understand you, or know what you're really about.  Are these the times when you are lost?  Where the signs pointing you?  Just as I think I can rely on things and know what is for sure, there are just as many changes that you move along just as quickly as you thought your convictions were immobile.

That every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
Yes it did

Who are the northern stars in your life?
They might not even know that they have broken your heart, unless you have told them.
On your broken road you may come across people who will help to heal parts of your broken road.
It has to be said that you should also be careful not to be responsible for breaking other people's roads either.  Even if you don't mean to, had no intention of doing so, but I think if people practised more self reflection and were more considerate of others, there would be less pain in the world.  It is challenging enough not to cause self inflicted pain, let alone collect it from others who want to transfer theirs to you.  What do you do when you carry so many other broken roads from everyone else?  Who will be there to help you with your broken road?  Even if you don't believe in God and have lost faith in humanity - there must be someone or a higher being (if you aren't strong enough) who will bless your broken road.

I think about the years I just spent passing through
I'd like to have the time I've lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

The gift of time is extremely precious - and one that people shouldn't take for themselves if they can't give it freely.  What places have you been to that allows people to truly understand where you come from?  You should be able to surround yourself with people who will always hold your hand, no matter what you do.  It is hard to find non-judgemental people who will accept you warts and all.  How can you repay someone for all the time they have spent on you?  You can't give that time back.  I went to watch a friend perform with his band last night and it was an interesting experience.  I went alone and had the opportunity to soak in the atmosphere.  At one point it was funny to be standing there minding my own business and then have parents of a former music student approach me.  They wanted to know what I was doing at the venue and who I was connected to.  I said I knew the frontman of the band.  They commented on the fact that I have a wider reach of music and not just within a classroom.  Well, I don't think you can be a real music teacher if you aren't some type of musician first.  You can't teach about music if you can't spend time appreciating it.  I've moved beyond teaching music, but I guess it's all part of that grander plan that's coming true isn't it.

And now I'm just rolling home 
Into my lover's arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I hope that I will be able to see that even when my road ahead is broken, that I won't be focused on how hard it is to travel upon; in fact that won't be my focus.  My whole life has never been easy, even though people would like to think that it is.  All of the challenging moments I have ever faced, have all been because it is important training for what I am meant to do in this life, on this earth, during this time.  Even though I miss Loma, and wonder if he would be proud of all that I have achieved thus far in his absence, I know that he is never very far away.  I see him and feel him in all the plans that we made so long ago but what I was going to be able to do for him, for myself, for us.  There are no lover's arms in this lifetime that could warm me, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I just don't think it's a priority for me right now.  I'm using this time to get used to who I am, knowing the 'me' that I need to be, before I form another 'we'.  All I need to remember is that God will always bless my broken roads, regardless.  This much I know is true. . . 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Just let it go. . .

When you're learning to let go. . . 
Happy birthday to my brother in Sydney - thanks for teaching me more than you'll ever know :-)

You've been through so much
So many ups and downs
You've given your love
But never liked the way it turned out
You closed off your heart
And you carried the weight
Like a million rocks on your shoulders
But you don't have to wait for an apology (But life isn't meant to be perfect)
Or for someone else to make amends (And we won't always win)
When you can remember (But can you remember)
That your healing is in your hands

Lately some family members have been unwell and are in hospital.
Life has revolved around working, study and spending time with people who need me there to support them has been a top priority.  Watching people fight for their lives has helped me to get on with my own and think very carefully about what we are meant to do in this world.  When you have focused in the past on superficial things that seemed to take up the most of your focus and energy, it's important to not be dismissive of that either.  When you have carried the weight of so many who should've carried their own weight, it has not been a complete waste of your time.  The thing about learning how to teacher others to do what they need to do, may seem like it has come at a cost to you, but this should not be the only thing you see.  How did you feel helping everyone around you?  There must surely be a reason why your shoulders are broader than others, why your ears hear more than others care to bear, why your mouth speaks more words to heal others when others seek to pull them down.  It's ok to give your love.  If it isn't reciprocated, it just means that they are not meant to be the ones who reciprocate for you.

Just let it go, inch by inch
Just let it go, and do it again
Just let it go one day you'll see
Just let it go, you set yourself free

When I visited a sick uncle last night, he had just come out of a coma.
We had not seen eye to eye for such a long time, for various reasons that I won't explain, other than to say that the more that I learned about music, the more I discovered my truth, discovered my voice, and felt empowered to speak my mind.  This was at odds with him and when I confronted him so many years ago, I was only 20 myself at the time, it felt like the words coming our of my mouth were words that I had not thought in my mind.  My mouth moved and I spoke, but I wasn't completely conscious.  I just remember at that time having had enough of what I felt was mistreatment.  Fast forward to last night.  I had only visited him once before, last week.  My parents had been visiting on alternate days.

You've been used
You've been abused
Someone came along
Who didn't value you
You carried the weight
Of your heart
Like a million rocks on your shoulders
But life isn't meant to be perfect
And we won't always win
But can you remember
That your healing is in your hands

We sang a song.  One of the mothers with us, lead us in prayer.  We sang the closing song to signal the end of the small intimate prayer vigil we held for him.  We all took turns saying goodbye to him so that the hospital staff could carry on with their duties.  The first time I visited him last week, I had rubbed his arm, spoke to him in my mother tongue, encouraging him to be strong and that my parents and our church people were thinking of him.  Last night I rubbed his arm. and said casually, hey it's Manu.  He sat up abruptly, faced me, and seemed to be in shock.  I'm pretty sure the family were as stunned as I was.  I told him in Samoan, that's enough lying there, time to get up.  I told him my parents sent their best and that the church were thinking of him. so pretty much the same sentiments as the first time I saw him.  The first time I saw him, he was asleep.  Last night when I saw him, he was awake.  If there are people around you who are sick, go visit them.  Use your healing hands.

Gave it your all
You put your blinders on
When you looked around
All of your friends were gone
You took the fall
And you carried the weight
Like a million rocks on your shoulders

All of the things he had done to me in the past, I let them go.
To see him in a helpless state was moving.  I could see how much he meant to his immediate family - my aunt, my cousins, his grandchildren.  I couldn't help but think, maybe he reacted that way to me because he must've seen my late husband while he was asleep.  Maybe when he was asleep, he was set free if only for a short time.  I would also like to think that all of us who have been to visit him have been able to help heal him in some small way, with all the things we have said to him, all of the loving gestures we have shown him.  I don't need to wait for an apology from him for the past,  I was just glad to be with him in the present.  Whatever initial awkwardness there was in me being there, was quickly banished when the sincerity of my presence was felt.  Maybe this is what we need to show more for each other these days?  How we can be sincere, how we can be there for each other, how we can truly care and heal others who may secretly reach out to us for healing, in spite of it all.  Maybe this has been the way I have been able to set myself free in the process.  As hard as it has been for so many other journeys that I have travelled alone in my life, I can still see the beauty through all the pain, just because I just let it go. . . 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Life is good. . .

Note to self. . . 

The blog posts of late may have felt like negative and intense.  You may be right.
But it has been an internal storm that has been brewing for some time that needed to pass through, much like the weather system that has been battering New Zealand towns in the past fortnight.  You could say that after all of this rain, sleet, hail and just biting cold that has gripped us for a while, it has come to pass.  There is no music video for today's song, but you can follow my Spotify playlist that has the song recently added to listen.  Just search for my name and the playlist ManuScript.

Note to self, chase your dreams
Note to self, find your wings
Note to self, seek your truth
You have nothing left to prove

When we allow negative and mind numbing experiences to take over our daily lives, it can cause trauma that is difficult to process.  So how do you push through the pain?  Try and remember what the great things are in life that you know are important.  We need to know that our dreams are still intact.  We need to know that our wings, even if they feel like they have been clipped or suffered some damage, are still there and ready to be used.  The truth that you have been searching for all along cannot be found in the apologies and forgiveness sought from you; instead it comes from within.  There is nothing left for you to prove in this world, so why continue to seek it in this plane?

The road may twist and turn sometimes
But at the bottom line, hey 
Life is good
Hey, life is good

What road wouldn't be interesting if it was twisted and turned somewhat?
It's those very bends in the road that help to build character, that help us to understand ourselves so well that we put pressure on ourselves, allow others to learn so much from this pressure.  Despite all of that happening, the bottom line is that we must celebrate what life brings.  Are you happy with your life right now?  If yes, then you should be shouting from the rooftops how great your life is.  We make the most of the opportunities that are afforded to us, and when there are no opportunities to be had, we go out there and create them.

I've been down on my face
I've felt the victory of winning the race
I've felt love's pain and it's joy
Depending on the day, flip sides of a coin

We must be prepared to feel all of the good feelings that this good life brings.
Granted there are situations that tell us that life isn't as good for some people, but I'm not referring to people who are in situations that are beyond their control. I'm talking to the ones who continually make the same mistakes, make the same bad choices.  You might like to throw caution to the wind and on the fly, just like to live a little dangerously, without any thought for being really prepared - just feel the emotion and let it run its course.

As we write the story of our lives
At the bottom line, put
Life is good
Hey, life is good, yeah

What does the story of your life look like?
We might have so many different chapters or episodes that don't make sense to us right now, but I don't think I have ever regretted any moments in my life.  I may have felt like that at the time, wallowing in those pits of despair, but I was meant to feel that at the time.  It's all a matter of perspective.  I just think we should be thinking more about our good lives, and just live it.

The difference in living life and feeling alive
Is using fear as fuel to fly, hey

I hope that we start to know the difference between letting our lives take over and stop us from feeling alive.  I can't imagine key moments in my life without those wonderful "feeling alive" euphoric times.  There are those time of intense happiness that is boundless and just utterly magical.  Those are the times when smiling inexplicably and understanding what pure joy means cannot be eclipsed.  I hope that one day we are all completely satisfied with the people we have become, who we are now and what we strive to be.  I feel that I am in a perpetual state of becoming, and that excites me beyond reason.  Do you feel the same way?  We should no longer be afraid to fly.  If you ever needed to know where I'm at right now, I can tell you, I can even reassure you beyond a shadow of a doubt, that although life is nowhere near perfect, I can feel that life is good. . .