Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Live like we're dying. . .

Every second counts on a clock that's tickin'. . . 

Sometimes we fall down and can't get back up
We're hiding behind skin that's too tough
How come we don't say I love you enough
'Til it's too late, it's not too late

How many times have you been knocked over and fallen down?
Sometimes you don't want to get back up because you've been knocked over too many times.
A colleague said to me in a phone conversation today that it's hard to know who is a friend and who is a colleague at work, because you never know who has your back.  I had the perfect opportunity to say right then and there - well I've had many people's back for a while, but it was never enough.  The distinction between a friend and a colleague is that you would expect a level of honesty that you could disclose but now you can't.  Because too many things have happened, too many mistakes have been made and too many secrets have been buried.  Is it any wonder that skin becomes tough over time?

Our hearts are hungry for a food that won't come
And we could make a feast of from these crumbs
And we're staring down the barrel of a gun
So if your life flashed before you, what would you wish you would've done

I am losing a few colleagues who have become friends for different reasons and different seasons.
They are leaving to pursue other employmenet opportunities that are better suited for them.  Opportunities that enable them to make decisions that benefit so many people, decisions that they now have the confidence and autonomy to make - something they would have never considered before.  It has been really rewarding for me to see their personal growth, to see how their healthy ambition has developed.  They gave themselves room to dream, and followed through with room to back themselves.

Yeah gotta start
Looking at the hands of time we've been given here
This is all we got then we gotta start thinkin' it
Every second counts on a clock that's tickin'
Gotta live like we're dyin' oh

My mother has been a huge inspiration in learning how to master effective use of time.
She constantly plans, always thinks about what needs to be done for future events.  I think my older brother inherits her meticulous planning skills.  I'm pretty good with planning, but only if I'm in the zone for it as I tend to be quite 'outcomes-oriented' as my friend Viv calls it.  I wonder sometimes if we are looking at the hands of time in the right way, whether we actually know how to read time properly.  Do you make the most of the present as much as you should be?  In recent weeks I have become increasingly focused on what I need to do for myself, particularly when it comes to my doctoral research.  I have really relished the thinking space I have created which allows me to sharpen my sword as well as my mind.  Things have never been so clear and once where I housed only resentment and pain, now only love and gratitude lives.  I've made sure that I gotta start thinkin' right - thinking that all of it - the anxiety and heartache is part of the learning to being the best me.

We only got 86 400 seconds in a day
To turn it all around or throw it all away
Gotta tell 'em that we love 'em while we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dyin' oh

It's really hard to take the high ground sometimes, but it's definitely what you should be aiming for.
It's too easy to just complain about others and just think that this is what your life has become.
But no, it doesn't have to be that way.
Venting is ok, but should only be as common practice as your ability to let go of those gripes.
I am learning to turn things around rather than throw them all away.
I am learning to pick up my feelings, consider each one in turn, explore it to its fullest extent and then just learn to put myself back together so that I can continue to function and soldier on.
If you're not really to tell people that you love them, then don't.
You don't have to do anything you don't want to.  That's always been the beauty of making decisions.
You can always change your mind in the nick of time.

Well if your plane fell out of the skies 

Who would you call with your last goodbye
Should be so careful who we left out of our lives
So when we long for absolution, there'll be no one on the line

It is easy to know who I would call for my last goodbye.
My parents are number one on that list, followed by my siblings, then my friends.
I would be joining Loma, so wouldn't need to say goodbye to him, but hello instead.
What is it in the skies that has made my plane fall?  Why would I be falling from the skies?
It will take you a while to figure out whether people are worth keeping in your life or not.
If people continue to hurt you, or you allow yourself to be hurt by them, then it's time to reassess your priorities.  You should never be wasting any of those 86,400 seconds a day doubting anything that happens to you.  Good or bad, they are all part of what you have attracted for yourself so that you can learn to celebrate it or rise above it, in spite of it.

You never know a good thing until it's gone
You never see a crash until it's head on
Why we think we're right when we're dead wrong
You never know a good thing 'til it's gone

I hope that we go through life appreciated who we have and what we have in our lives.
We spend far too much complaining and griping about things - and never fully enjoying it when we do.  What kind of life do you want to lead?  What kinds of experiences do you want to have while you're earthbound.  We must learn to slow things down enough to see when imminent crashes are coming.  At least then we will be able to prepare ourselves for the impact before we see it coming head on. We need to learn to move through ourselves, and get over ourselves when we keep constantly choosing to signal when we are right all the time.  There will be time enough to know who's right, if you were, when you leave this world.  In the meantime, we just need to live like we're dying. . . 

Monday, 4 December 2017

The voice within. . .

When there's no one else, look inside yourself. . . 
A blog post tribute to Fa'imanu Villa Aurelio xx

Young girl, don't cry
I'll be right here when your world starts to fall
Ooh young girl it's alright
Your tears will dry, you'll soon be free to fly 

My first memories of you has been as a young girl.
I grew up with you in church and first knew you as my Sunday School teacher.
You were always soft spoken and never really raised your voice to any of the kids in our class.  I would've been transitioning from intermediate school into high school when you taught me.  Having you as a teacher was comforting.  Not that we ever really went through anything really traumatic at that time in our lives, just the usual adolescence and going through puberty.  It was always just easy to talk to you about anything or ask you questions if we felt curious about anything.

When you're safe inside your room, you tend to dream
Of a place where nothing's harder than it seems
No one ever wants or bothers to explain
Of the heartache life can bring and what it means

As the days wore on, it was clear that your expectations for us to be successful in whatever we set our minds to was the gentle motivation we needed.  If we ever found some of the topics that we were studying in Sunday School to be difficult or we couldn't relate it to our actual lived realities, you made an effort to break everything down.  I told Dad about you always bringing Cook Island donuts for us, thanks to your lovely wife Mary. They served as rewards for us if we did what you wanted us to do.  In my first year of high school,  we did a play about Daniel in the lion's den.  Despite having boys in our class, you still picked me to be Daniel.  White Sunday that year was my debut playing piano and I haven't looked back since.  I remember playing the entrance music for our class to assemble on stage, and having to quickly run up to the stage to take my place as Daniel.  It's funny the things you remember.

When there's no one else, look inside yourself
Like your oldest friend, trust the voice within
Then you'll find the strength that will guide your way
You'll learn to begin to trust the voice within, oh

You were always supportive of my piano journey.  I even taught your daughter Tekura for a while in my second to last year of high school.  You worked at Bluebird then and as well as paying the piano fee, you would also bring a huge box of whatever snacks you wanted to give me.  You always gave generously and never without complaint.  You had an infectious smile and there weren't many of the fathers at church who were openly quite approachable.  You were that and more.  When you asked how school was going and what I wanted to do after school, you kept saying to work hard and to make my parents proud.  You understood the value of hard work and what it meant to continue to serve in church through my music ministry.

Young girl. don't hide
You'll never change if you just run away
Ooh, whoa yeah
Young girl, just hold tight
Soon you're going to see a brighter day, ooh

Our conversations as we got older became more about life in general.
When I got married, you gave the biggest monetary gift and it blew me away.
I wasn't expecting that at all. I was honoured and it made me think about all of the times you had encouraged me to be all that I could be.  It was obvious to me that you were happy for me and that I had found someone that I could share my life with.  I never ran away from challenges that I faced with Loma, particularly with his health.  When he passed away you were sad for me and didn't comprehend why when I had found love, why it was taken away from me so quickly.

Now in a world where innocence is quickly claimed
It's so hard to stand your ground when you're afraid
No one reaches out a hand for you to hold
When you look outside, look inside to your soul

I will remember the life lessons you have taught me.  Your quick wit and sense of humour are the things I will miss the most.  Your sincerity and 'what you see is what you get' demeanour are other things that I will miss too.  If anybody ever complained about anything, you had a philosophical response about how things would turn out - and to not sweat the small stuff, but instead rely on God no matter what.  I attended your family service last night and it was because I couldn't get time off today to attend your burial.  We have lost so many good people in our church so young.  We can now count you among them.  If I've learned anything from losing Loma, God always takes the good ones young.  I asked you say hi to Loma and to tell him I love him.  Aunty Palagi was in line before me and asked you to say hi to Saga.  That made me smile.  It's funny that we ask the recently departed to pass on messages to the ones who have gone before.
Life is a journey 
It can take you anywhere you choose to go
As long as you're learning
You'll find all you ever need to know
(Be strong) 
Break it (hold on)
You'll make it (be strong)
Just don't forsake it because (hold on)
(No one can tell you what you can't do)
No one can stop you, you know that I'm talking to you

This has been a really easy blog post to write.
I guess it's because it is easy to say nice things about you - you were just such a good man.
My parents visited you often, in Dad's capacity as a lay preacher.  Dad told me how at times you moved in and out of your lucid moments.  When you saw Mum, you recognised her instantly.  You called out 'Afamasaga!  Vaiola!  Oi o se tinā lelei!'.  You saw Dad and said 'Pulumelo!  Aiono! Lucky tele oe ia Vaiola'.  They told me they laughed really hard when you said that.  Then they told me that you asked after me.  'O ā mai Manu?  Fai ia Manu e toe fo'i mai i le galuega.'  Don't worry Villa. I will come back.  I just need to finish this thesis and then I'll come back and play for church.  Thanks for everything you've done for me growing up in church.  I listened to your daughters talk about you last night and I felt such overwhelming love for them and could feel your pride in them fill the entire church.

Rest easy Villa.
Sending you love and light.
I wanted to say goodbye and bid you farewell.
Thanks for helping me to find the voice within. . . 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Where did I go?. . .

My love was on hold. . .

Maybe this fate was overdue
Babe it's late and I'm confused
You showed me love that wasn't real (wasn't real, wasn't real)
Can't teach yourself to be sincere

I'm a fan of neo soul music.  I think from the time that I first watched Waiting to Exhale with my college/university girlfriends, the soundtrack spoke to the deepest places of me as a young woman,  One who was trying to find herself in the world, particularly if you had attended an all girls high school and wasn't really interested in knowing about the opposite sex because you grew up with brothers and didn't really pay attention to anybody other than in a platonic way.  There were particular songs on that soundtrack that were r'n'b inspired but for me, took me down a road of women who were able to sing about their feelings and express their emotion in melodic form.  To be able to understand how to lay your soul bare and to have levels of vulnerability exposed is hard to process for yourself, let alone with someone else. 

Where did I go?
Where did the sun rise?
How did I fall?
Got lost in the moonlight
Where did I go?
When did I realize?
My love was on hold?
So now this is goodbye
Good, goodbye
Good, goodbye

If we are careful we lose ourselves in places that we never think we get lost in. 
We get lost in the ideas of things, that time of ideation where you are so absorbed in what you've created that it seems so real, but wouldn't stack up in reality.  This is mostly because we measure ourselves by society's norms about what we think is acceptable, what we think we should be like and behave like - to conform to society and its expectations and belonging to some sense of social order so that we don't stand out for being too weird or too much of a freak.  If you've watched Spike Lee's Netflix series"She's Gotta Have It" you'll know that the female protagonist detest the word "freak".  How much freedom do we allow ourselves to explore, to really be what we want to be able to be, just be.  I guess when we are sick of sacrificing so much of ourselves for the sake of others - only then will we be able to break away and think about what is truly most important in your life.

This time my questions lay with you
'Cause each time inside I play the fool
Silly boy, where did that man go?
The one that hurt my soul
Now little man I left you on your own
With the whispers on your phone
I've been asking all along

My late husband used to say lots of really cool things that I now remember fondly.
He was probably more philosophical than he'd liked to have let on, because it's those conversations about ideas that I do the miss the most about our relationship.  When it came to love as an idea, he would say "Most of the time, people get love wrong, because they are in love with the idea of love, rather than the person.  They get that confused. They love the idea of being in love, but they don't really know what that means".  He was always wanting to know about past loves, why they hurt me, why I hurt them, why things never worked out.  He was curious and cautious all at once.  One of the biggest lessons he taught me about love, after he learned about those previous relationships, or if we had fights about things I can't remember now, but seemed so important to be right at the time (!), he would say, "You know, I only ever want your happiness.  Even if it means you're happy without me.  I only ever loved you for you - not for anything you can give me, just you being you."  That always melted me.  Every time.  Ladies, if you're starting to question where that man has gone, figure out whether it's worth being with a silly boy.

Where did I go?
Where did the sun rise?
How did I fall?
Got lost in the moonlight
Where did I go?
When did I realize?
My love was on hold?
So now this is goodbye
Good, goodbye
Good, goodbye

I hope that you learn about love in due course, of course, no remorse, I do endorse.
Love is different for everyone, in so many different ways.  There will be things about yourself that you won't understand, where you change because being with someone alters how you are with others.  It's something to do with how people can affect each other.  We will go through phases in our life, when we get lost in the moonlight and have to use that shine to find our way back to ourselves.  That hazy dream of moonlight can often reveal other things in the dark, other shapes in the shadows that you didn't notice are lurking there.  It will be important to say goodbye to the worst parts of yourself, to renew, to recharge, to be resilient and accept that even when you make mistakes, it's important to restart and get back on track again.  Once you stop putting your love on hold you'll no longer need to question where did I go?. . . 

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Friends. . .

They'll never know what we've been through. . . 

We're not, no we're not friends, nor have we ever been
We just try to keep those secrets in a lie
And if they find out, will it all go wrong?
And Heaven knows, no one wants it to

Start watching the song from 0:45.
Excuse the NYPD Blue shaking of the camera during this live performance.
I've had opportunities in the past week to connect with new people I've just met or reconnect with people I have only met recently as well as reconnect with friends that I haven't made time for in the past year.  It's been great to be present and just see what's happening in their lives.  I have been thinking about that a lot lately, being present in the moment and just listening, really listening to what they're saying.  Most of the time it's what they're not saying that tells me so much more than what they are willing to say.  Have you questioned your friends lately? You might ask yourself questions in your mind as you talk to them.  You might be assessing whether being friends with these people is harmful to you or something worthwhile.  What secrets do you continue to hide in the lies that you hold?  We might be hiding so many lies that we forget what the truth looks like anymore.

So I could take the back road
But your eyes will lead me straight back home
And if you know me like I know you
You should love me, you should know

Do we know our friends well?  Do we know people who want to be our friends really well?
What constitutes a friend these days?  Someone who doesn't hurt you because they don't set out to hurt you or someone who will stop any of that happening and sacrifice their self worth to make you feel better about yourself?  Anybody who is a good friend will try to protect their friends at all costs.  Sometimes we do that too many times, we do that too willingly - being the martyr, being the scapegoat, being the friend who takes it all so that the victim remains innocent in all of it.  What eyes lead you straight home?  The eyes of those who people think are innocent?  Where is home anyway?  Why should we love people?  Why should we know how we should feel around others anyway?  Why do we keep asking ourselves questions that we already know the answer to?

Friends just sleep in another bed
And friends don't treat me like you do
Well I know there's a limit to everything
But my friends won't love me like you 
No my friends won't love me like you

You would think that friends sleep in other beds - like their own.
But sometimes friends try to sneak into your bed (both literally and figuratively) where they want to take up your personal space there too, that special sanctuary where you are meant to fall asleep and replenish your mind and body and be able to prepare for the new day.  We shouldn't have to deal with friends who take so much from you that you allow it to happen because you feel sorry for them.  Being an enabler this way, just makes them weaker than they already are.  The best way to be a friend is to be a tough one.  To let them go and let them understand that the best thing for them is for you to keep your distance, to keep your sanity by not worrying about theirs, to keep everything about you - to yourself and not have to disclose everything.  You will soon learn to understand that your own privacy and personal moments are things that you should savour to yourself.  Why don't your friends love you this much?  Why won't they love you as much as the friend who constantly wants you to be their only one? 

We're not friends, we could be anything
If we try to keep those secrets safe
No one will ever find out if it all went wrong
They'll never know what we've been through

I hope that you won't have to keep secrets for long.
It is always challenging to try and keep things to yourself, especially if you know that people are already curious about you, already want to know what makes you tick, already want to know what you are unwilling to tell, because quite frankly, it's not really any of their business.  This might take some time for you to establish boundaries, renegotiate rules that you thought you had in place but never really enforced.  Nobody will ever find out anything, because you kept it all hidden for so long.  All of the secrets that you know, people would just die to know, but they will never ask.  You might ask why?  Well they're not really my friends and they'll never know what we've been through. . . 

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

When you believe.....

Who knows what miracles you can achieve. . . 

Many nights we prayed
With no proof anyone could hear
In our hearts a hope for a song
We barely understood
Now we are not afraid
Although we know there's much to fear
We were moving mountains
Long before we knew we could

Music has and continues to be a source of inspiration, hope and light for me.  
It is something that I cannot do without, because it helps me to get past or get through all of the things that I think that I cannot get past or get through.  Granted everyone has problems and everyone never feels 100% percent at the best of times.  If you can avoid having to deal with other people's problems as much as possible - that is the beginning of the rest of your life.  There will always be things to be scared of.  There will always be people who will try and intimidate you and knock you off course.  You just don't need to stick around to let anything happen to you.  It's as simple as that.  What mountains have you been able to move without knowing you could?

There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It's hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe somehow you will
You will when you believe

Do you believe in miracles?
It can be hard to believe in anything, even yourself, when you don't have faith that you can do anything.  If we let any doubts or take into account the negative stereotypes and oppressive language that people use to describe us - then we will tend to believe them, Especially if we don't know any other way of living and being in this world.  You might get frustrated when people ask you for opinions and when you give it, they pretend to listen.  They might not take on board what you have to say, but that's ok.  If you have to keep repeating yourself, they actually don't have the ears to really hear you, or lack the intelligence to see situations as they are for themselves.  It isn't your job to make them see, they have their own eyes for that.  You can only do what you can do, and refocus on your own priorities, your own goals that you have let fall by the wayside because your heart has been busy trying to get theirs in order.  

In this time of fear
When prayer so often proves in vain
Hope seems like the summer bird
Too swiftly flown away
Yet now I'm standing here
My heart's so full I can't explain
Seeking faith and speakin' words 
I never thought I'd say

The greatest knowledge of yourself comes when you start to speak words and messages that you haven't had to filter when you think about it.  Trust the anointing spirit that allows you to speak those words and messages to others.  People will rely on you to give guidance and support where they should be doing so for themselves.  Hope may seem seasonal because you stopped believing in what you have always deserved, what you have believed in your heart is the pathway to a road that you must prepare for others to walk.  It's challenging going through this on your own and it's understandable if you want to push everyone away.  There continues to be danger that lurks at every corner so you must continue to stay vigilant.  It can get tiring but this is your life now.  I'm not saying that you need to accept it, but it's important to acknowledge the obstacles and not dwell so much on it.  

They don't always happen when you ask
And it's easy to give in to your fears
But when you're blinded by pain
Can't see the way, get through the rain
A small but still resilient voice
Says hope is very near, oh 

I continue to hope because that is all I can do.
There are people out there that wish to harm me because I have eluded them, I have outsmarted them at their own game,  I don't gloat about it.  In fact, it makes me more resilient and understand that I have come unscathed because there is still more important work to do, there is still more pressing and demanding tasks ahead, all part of a greater mission that I was born to deliver that I cannot deny - no matter how many times I want to give up, no matter how many times other obstacles are thrown in my path to distract me from my destination.  I will always be grateful for the journey and the learning along the way with seasonal people. stacked with treasonous acts who only react in ways for self preservation.  In a world where you can sometimes only rely on yourself to be the resilient voice, that's all I can hope for and come to know.  All of it can be yours to hold, right there in the palms of your hands when you believe. . . 

Friday, 24 November 2017

It was you. . .

Through the lies and the truth. . . 

Right now to the way we were
So in love but life
Soon brings change
Through ones eyes
He cried tears for me
But by his side
I can no longer be

When you are sure that changes are afoot, you know you have to follow through.
If he cried tears for me, they may have been for a short while, and I don't think they were ever meaningful, or genuine.  Maybe they were once, but men can be like that you know.  Fickle.  
A woman knows when she no longer serves a purpose or a function in a relationship.  She knows when she has compromised herself so many times.  Is this subservience something that is learned, ingrained in us so passionately from women in previous generations to teach us how to be tough?  That we will only be able to develop the necessary resilience because as the fairer sex, it will almost be that sex that is meant to punish us for all other interactions to come?

We used to talk all night
Of different things, but you
You didn't hear me cry
Our love is ending
Somewhere between the lies
This sadness I could no longer hide

How many men have you talked to for hours on end at night?
Women believe they are meant to save men, to give them salvation from themselves as they lack the courage and strength to save themselves, from themselves.  That's the irony really.  Men actually are weaker than most women I know.  It reminds me of so many conversations I've had with men.  So many conversations I've had with women.  Men will have no problems talking themselves up and apply for jobs that they are unqualified for, whereas women who have the relevant experience and credentials, never put themselves out there for these top positions.  Instead they engage in self doubt.  Strong women never cry in public.  They will cry privately behind closed doors.  Strong women might even cry together.  But if you're not careful, jealousy amongst the sisterhood can rear its ugly head. Then it's time to reassess your priorities, take a step back and see what your reality is.

Cos it was you who brought the sunlight
Back in my life it was you
Who promised me forever 
That things would be right
It was you who made me cry
Now to you I say goodbye
Through the lies and the truth
It was you

Summer is finally here in Aotearoa. We will have more sunlight as the days stretch out before us.
What sunlight did he bring to your life? Men may come and go in your life and bring you seasons of sunlight.  When they try to promise you forever, it is up to you whether you believe them or not. What actions would he need to do to prove his word to you?  What promises did he make?  They may fall short of providing that proof.  They might keep apologising profusely for breaking that trust.  As much sunlight that he has brought to your life, we need to remember that when sunlight falls on objects or people, they create shadows in the process.  We might never get to see those shadows being cast until we learn to look past the sunlight.  Learn to tell the difference between the two.  They are literally light and dark.

And so my love goodbye
I'll miss you though you've gone
But leaves do change
As time goes on
And though we parted in the end
For all the time spent in love
I thank you

Why should you thank him for the time spent in love?  How do you know if any of it was real?
He might say things to you that seem real at the time, but then go off and do other things that completely negate everything he has said to you.  If leaves change, it's only because they have fallen off the branches, started to dry out in that supposed special sunlight and then appeared trodden underfoot by oblivious people who walk over them on the way to something better - another person or another offer - whichever comes first.  You may not be sure about what you would miss.  You start to question if anything is worth remembering because respect has been lost, the trust quashed.  

Cos it was you who brought the sunlight
Back in my life it was you
Who promised me forever 
That things would be right
It was you who made me cry
Now to you I say goodbye
Through the lies and the truth
It was you

How do you make sense of it all? Answer: You don't need to.
What do you want back in your life?  Certainly nothing or nobody who makes you feel less than you actually are.  You will no longer be measured or valued by what you can do for others.  They will need to sort out what they need to be able to do for themselves.  You will need to stop enabling people to suck you dry, and leave you little else for yourself.  The time for crying because other people caused it - has ended.  You don't need to keep investing yourself in their issues.  There is definitely no reciprocity.  And besides, you need to remember, you didn't create it - so why do you think you need to keep fixing it?  It may take you a while to figure this out, but once you do, the freedom will be too delicious to give up.

You who never spoke your feelings
So many times I tried to tell you 
That you were losing me
But you never tried to make things better
But you didn't choose to see my pain
Now I've got one thing left to say

If he loses you, it will be because you gave too much and he took you for granted.
If he loses you, it will be because he kept making the same mistakes despite you offering all the solutions in the world.  If he loses you, it will be because he didn't know what to do to keep you in his life.  If he loses you, it will be because you were never his to have in the first place.  If he loses you, it will be because you let him have you, but only until he could start to be real with himself and speak his feelings.  If he loses you, it will be because you didn't think you would have to spell. things. out. so. damn. much.  If he loses you, all he needs to know is now to you I say goodbye, through the lies and the truth, it was you. . . 

Thursday, 23 November 2017

The animals. . .

"Don't feed the animals". . . 
A song endorsement by Kerry Taula. . . 

Big teeth in your face
Claws like a razor blade
Never again will I be friends with a big bad wolf like you
Poison that will eat you alive
Tongue like a dragon fire
Never again will I be friends with a creepy little snake like you

You know when you get that feeling like you don't know how you're supposed to feel anymore?
It's hard to explain and you wonder to yourself, is it even worth explaining?
How many big bad wolves have you known in your life?  Tongues of dragon fire and creepy little snakes?  A menagerie of equally menacing and untrustworthy animals that you never realised until it's too late - were quietly circling you.  Why do people seek you out and want you to be all of these different things to them?  Why do people continue to hide things from you and then end up revealing it all anyway?  I must have that kind of face.  I must have something that's plastered on my forehead, "tell me everything. I want to know".  Well actually, I don't.  I never asked. 

I didn't learn from the first time but oh I learned the second time
Never again will we ever be friends
They told me "don't feed the animals"

How many times do you actually need to learn something?
If you didn't pick it up the first time, then there's some things that you need to pay close attention to.
Have a think about all the things that you've learned in your life that took a second time to get right.  Is there some kind of pattern there?  Is what you are learning and being asked to do - at odds with what you believe within your heart of hearts?  How much longer will you tolerate people who continually lie to you and seem to think you don't know what's actually going on?  That the reason you say nothing is that there is nothing worth saying, it's not you doing all the damage and being silent doesn't equate to complacency.  It just means you're no longer going to let become a feature of your life.  If you are sick of waiting for people to see the penny drop, because even if they stood in the middle of a penny rainstorm and refused to acknowledge the reality of their situation - it is no longer your responsibility, it is no longer anything that concerns you.  And you no longer feel concerned.

Big teeth in your face
Claws like a razor blade
Never again will I be friends with a big bad wolf like you
Poison that will eat you alive
Tongue like a dragon fire
Never again will I be friends with a creepy little snake like you

Big flashing teeth in your face - toothy smiles that hide lies that you don't want to wear anymore.
They will put their claws into anything and anyone you are trying to pull yourself away from.  As much as people say they want to be what they think they need to for you - they don't quite understand what that involves.  If you are sick of broken promises, of people saying things that they break only within days, then you start to question whether it is worth being around them anymore.  If they compromise themselves because they allow it to happen, and keep running to you to fix them, that's not your job.  The poison of their toxicity that they continue to collect from someone else who lives a fake life, need not fall within your realm of responsibility.  The fact that you have the patience of a saint says a lot about you being able to protect them from themselves, even if they don't appreciate it or truly understand how much you really love them.  They don't deserve you, bottom line.

I didn't learn from the first time but oh I learned the second time
Never again will we ever be friends
They told me "don't feed the animals"

You shouldn't feel obliged to feed the animals anymore.
They have their own ways of finding sources of nutrition so that they don't become malnourished.  When you have stated things and made it clear what you want for yourself, and they continue to disrespect it, then it's time for you to focus on yourself, focus on what your destiny is and move past the first world problems that they leave at your doorstep.  You no longer need to put yourself in harm's way, because that's all they know how to be - they're like a bull in a china shop - no amount of good intentions or carefully stepping or manoeuvring is going to prevent them from causing irreparable damage.  They're an animal after all remember.  Don't feed them anymore.  They can feed themselves and don't need you to get sucked into feeding them with their regurgitated food.

Almost had me down 
But I know now 
Ain't no friend to me, the enemy
Tried to make me bleed
On my knees
But I'm still alive
You better run and hide
Almost had me by the skin of your teeth
You tried to bite it but you couldn't catch me
Thought I'd run and hide but I'm still alive
Just go before I make my attack
Just go on and never look back
Don't feed

I hope that after all is said and done, you start to understand that you must come out of this.
There is no guilt that prevents you from living your best life, and if you do feel guilty, remember that the guilt is not yours - you didn't cause any of the drama that is continually laid at your feet.  You're well equipped to deal with your own stuff yet they continually bring their dilemmas for you to solve.  The other party may not even be aware that you know every.single.detail of what has been going on and is oblivious to how much you actually do know.  Don't let the animals get you by the skin of their teeth.  There is no longer any need to run and hide either.  In order to stand confidently on your own and do what you need to do, surround yourself with real friends who have your best intentions at heart, who treat you with the real authentic genuine respect that only true friends give to one another.  They can no longer touch you with their toxicity, especially if they can't see it.  They can no longer demand your time from you.  You no longer need to accept apologies and promises and regrets - they are not yours to bear.  If you had ten dollars for every excuse that you have heard, every fake tear that you have dried, every indignant cry that came out of their mouths, all you need to do is be silent and above all else, don't feed the animals. . . 

Monday, 20 November 2017

Waiting on a friend. . .

A smile relieves a heart that grieves. . . 

If you're a person that doesn't smile often, you should probably start trying to do more of it.
There is a tendency to believe that we need to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders and we pressure ourselves into doing so many things that steal our time and attention from enjoying things and people in life.  I'm not saying that we should shirk our responsibilities, but we need to remember what our divine purpose is, what we expect to do with the time that we have and prioritise this above all else.  You may be grieving for things and people that can no longer be, can never be, can't even begin to hope to be.  Through all of the trials and tribulations that you might be facing in life, I have found that smiling about the things and people that you do have in your life, is a surefire way to diminish and minimise those negative thoughts.  It may take you a lot of practice to get that right, but in time, with enough patience and practice, it will be easier to get done, rather than said not done.

Watching girls go passing by it ain't the latest thing
I'm just standing in a doorway
I'm just trying to make some sense
Out of these girls passing by, the tales they tell of men
I'm not waiting on a lady, I'm just waiting for a friend, mm

I've written before about being a people watcher.
I watch people often in conversations or at places that I am expected to be in, to be a voice for whatever needs to be said or a presence that must be felt.  It can be particularly draining to have to be that, but if you are required to do so, then I choose to look at it in a different way so that I learn something from it, rather than resist it.  Depending on what sex you are attracted to, you normally observe and subsequently judge people on what they look like, their outward appearance, their demeanour and how they carry themselves.  You might watch for specific things that pique your curiosity and take your attention.  There is the obvious of whether they meet your physical demands for aesthetic beauty and whether you will continue to watch them and observe them because of this.  I have found it's more about what comes out of that person, the way they speak, what they say, whether those words are followed through with actions that have meaning for people or the world around them that is more important.  This is what I think my life has become these days - making sense of what people are trying to tell me, trying to get me to fix, trying to get me to do to make their life better.

A smile relieves a heart that grieves, remember what I said
I'm not waiting on a lady, I'm just waiting on a friend
I'm just waiting on a friend, just waiting on a friend
I'm just waiting on a friend, I'm just waiting on a friend
Just waiting on a friend

If I'm not waiting on a lady, I'm not waiting on a man, I'm not sure what I'm meant to be waiting for.
There are people who will say that they are your friends but they will continually do things that are not in alignment with what they say.  This could continue to be a problem for you if they are the source of grief that continues to visit your door.  You might find that their smile doesn't relieve your grieving heart anymore, but rather it has become that source of grief.  So what do you do to find relief from that grief?  You might be compelled to cut them off or have them out of your life for a bit until you can make sense of your own life.  There will be friends that you don't normally see for ages, but when you do, it is like time hasn't passed and you can pick up where you left off from the last time you saw them.  For me, that's the litmus test of friendship.  That is how you decide that those people are worth keeping - that they know what it means to be a real friend, a true friend.

Don't need a whore, don't need no booze, don't need a virgin priest
But I need someone I can cry to
I need someone to protect
Ooh making love and breaking hearts, it is a game for youth
But I'm not waiting on a friend 
I'm just waiting on a friend, just waiting on a friend
I'm just waiting on a friend, just waiting on a friend

I've been trying to finish writing this blog post all day but have been distracted by other things (and people).  It's quite typical of what life is usually like for me.  There have been other conversations I've had with people that I normally don't talk to because circumstances and situations just allowed for these random and chance happenings to occur - and those are the best gems of conversations that are not only unexpected but quite fulfilling.

I hope that you have someone that you can cry to when you need to.
You might think that you don't want to be a burden to someone and not tell them what's really going on in your life.  You might not necessarily trust them perhaps, especially if they have a bad track record of keeping secrets, or they burden you with keeping more of theirs than you are willing to allow (or condone).  You might not necessarily trust yourself either, if you have been burned quite a few times and are unsure about whether it is worth opening up to anybody again and just keep things to yourself until someone is able to reciprocate with you, to find someone or allow someone to find you that enables this to happen.  I guess all you can do is just be patient and not rush things aye.  All you need to do is focus on what you need to do in the meantime while you're waiting on a friend. . . 

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Many's the time (In Dublin). . .

I was only trying too hard. . . 

Many's the time I'd do anything just to belong
Many's the time what I did I would feel to be wrong
(I was only trying too hard)
Just to belong
(I was only trying too hard)

I'm not too familiar with this song.
I've listened to it a couple of times over the past couple of months and weighed up whether I should write about it or not.  It reminds of situations you find yourself in life, where you're unsure whether to say something or not, to express any feelings or not.  What do you say when you're unsure about whether it will be accepted by people who ask you questions, but aren't really prepared for what you have to say anyway?  What would you do in order to belong?  We will come across quite a few situations and contexts in life where we are expected to conform and show that we are able to socialise enough to belong, to understand the rules and codes of conduct so that we participate in the social order of things, and understand the rules of engagement.

The wind pulled the water
Bonfire burning high
You took me in your arms
And told me I could cry
I didn't want to hurt you
I felt something was wrong
I didn't mean to want you
Just to belong

When you come across people and create memories with them, you might not be aware if there will be a shelf life or not.  Things that you counted on that would last forever, don't.  Things that you counted on being fleeting, last longer than expected.  You can never truly predict what will happen and it all depends on the tiny choices that you made that lead to these becoming tiny milestones.  When you are comforted by people and then turn around and hurt them - what is the motivation behind that?  I've been thinking about the many times that people have been open to me in recent weeks and shared about their private pain or public pride and to be honest, it isn't really clear whether there is a distinct difference between both at all.

First we got turned away
Then we got welcomed in
(First we got turned away
Then we got welcomed in)
I was only trying too hard
A place to begin
I was only trying too hard

Sometimes in life, we never really know whether we are coming or going.
If you are able to train yourself to step back from situations and learn how to "be" in the world, it's much better for you.  It may take a while to figure this out.  When we try to belong to something that is usually considered outside of our "normal" but mostly natural surroundings, the people we are tasked with expecting acceptance from, can choose to turn us away or welcome us in.  It could be soon resemble some kind of awkward tennis rally, where a flow or exchange isn't as smooth as it could be, until you get into some kind of groove that ultimately leads to you winning some straight sets (or unexpected wins like the Tongan and Fijian rugby league teams who have both beaten the Kiwi team and knocked them out of contention in the current Rugby League World Cup). 

We drove past the nightclub 
In a beaten up old car 
The man on the door said
"Do we know who you are?"
They gave us fruit cocktails
That we didn't want to drink
Techno music coming through
I started to think
Where are the people that we welcomed in
Where is the place, the place to begin
There's got to be someone, tt's got to be now 

People will often question who you are and whether you are someone worth knowing.
You just need to show people what you're made of, that you are made of stronger mettle than they think you have.  If you are from an ethnic minority like I am, it's something that you live with.  Like some disease that people from ethnic majorities don't actually see because they don't have the eyes to see that you work twice as hard, if not more, to excel not only in their world, but your own.  I think this is probably why I welcome people as much as I can in conversations that I have with others.  I think this is also why I try to include people in a dance circle if I happen to be dancing.  There's nothing worse than seeing someone feel like they don't belong.  Because I know what it feels like when people deliberately try to make you feel like you don't.

I made it my purpose
I made it my plan
The rulers of the world
Would never understand
That you are my dancing queen
I wanna hear you sing
The day that you do
I'll be your dancing king

If there are dancing kings out there that want me to be their dancing queen, hey, I won't say no to a dance.  There's nothing wrong with dancing. I just don't want people sidelining others from participating, or criticising others for how they dance (like how people used to make fun of Lorde or the late great Michael Jackson when they danced because they let their bodies flow to express their music).  What is your purpose?  What is your plan? I've been listening to friends, family and strangers talk about plans that they think they can no longer execute or lament that they need to change.  Don't give up.  There are things that you can do to make your dreams come true.  A friend said to me only a few hours ago that her dream was over.  No, I told her.  You can always begin again, you can always dream a new dream.  Remember, there is no limit to the amount of dreams that we have.

And if my words were stars
I'd send you a skyful
It felt so good
It felt so easy
It felt so good
It felt so easy

I hope that if anything as you continue to read my blog posts, that there are some gems or nuggets in there that you think will be of use to you.  They are usually words that come from my heart and my mind in a one free flowing breath that doesn't end until I add the final full stop to the final paragraph.  I sometimes think this is how I would like to live my life - but know that it isn't possible, and it isn't necessarily a bad thing.  There are some aspects that flow easily and other aspects that make you think you need to scan back over what you wrote and add some punctuation (like this sentence I've just written ha!).  I hope that you learn to send yourself a skyful of stars so that you understand and learn to create dreams that continue to light your path so that you learn to live your destiny.  You don't need to think that you only have one shot at this. but that you have many's the time. . . 

Saturday, 18 November 2017

The Root. . .

What's wrong with the truth?. . . .

You can dig all day and never find the root
You're gonna get dirty child digging for the root
If you're looking for an answer what's wrong with the truth?
Keep digging child, looking for the root

Have you spent enough time getting to the bottom of the issues you face?
Sometimes you're not sure whether what you are being tasked with facing is something that you've created inadvertently, something you have to clean up or something that has crossed your path because you haven't dealt with it effectively in the past.  If you find it hard to find the root, it may be because people are deliberately withholding information, blocking the truth from reaching you or trying to protect themselves in the process. If people continue to do this to you, why do you continue to hang around?  Do you not have a choice in what's happening in your life?  Maybe you do, maybe you don't.  Whatever reasons you have chosen to stick to whatever brand of truth that you have allowed in your life, sit back for a minute and consider long and hard whether this is how you want to live your life.

Look for love
It must be love
Look for love
It must be love

What are you looking for?
You might get distracted looking for the wrong things in life,  the wrong types of love.
What you might think is beautiful and pure, is in fact tainted with things that you have yet to see in its authentic form.  We can never really see what is in front of us unless we are taught to see things as they are, what they represent and the effects that they have.  I have learned to avoid putting myself in situations where I thought love lived.  I have become more discerning about the right places that love lives in and I guess this is why people ask me about where to find love for themselves.  I can tell you, it can be pretty draining trying to explain to others why they persist and continue to chase ideals that are not even part of their destiny.  They might be confused about what real love is.  All they need to remember is that if they are being disrespected, abused and treated in ways that they don't like to be treated - then they have their answer.  Asking for my opinion doesn't change the actions of who is doing all the damage.  Not my circus, not my monkeys.

To be born is original

Original is a sin
And noone who can fix it 
Is forgiveness in the end

No matter what happens in our lives, we must at least try to prepare for outcomes that we want.
I don't know how responsible we should feel at the end of the day - for actions that people take.  I don't know how responsible we should feel for solving problems that are not of our making.  I long for days that bring peace and joy.  We cannot rely on others to do this for us, and if we do, we are sorely mistaken and deluded.  I think it's important for us to look inside ourselves to check that we are in perfect working order for ourselves, that we know what needs to be done for ourselves before we can help others.  If you are the type of person that continually drops everything to help others, friends and family out of a strong sense of loyalty - have a think about whether there is reciprocity in that space. If there isn't, then do yourself a favour and pull back.  These people seek forgiveness that you cannot give, but that which they should be earning by sorting out their own dilemmas.

We keep reachin', reachin' for the fruit
We keep digging, digging for the root
Looking for the answer, what's wrong with the truth
Keep digging child, looking for the root

How much time have you spent digging for the root?
You might be starting to bear witness to so many injustices in your life, where you are either yelled at, blamed or mistreated for things that people try to hide.  In professional circles you might be struggling with maintaining an air of professionalism because people talk about you behind their backs, and rather than talking to you about issues that relate to you - they would rather talk to others about you, rather than to you.  This might happen because people don't know how to talk to you, that those people have no idea about their actions (or lack of actions and lack of courtesy) in being able to have proper conversations with you.  You might have left other jobs to seek career advancement or new challenges to extend your skills, but then find actually, jobs are the same wherever you go.  White privilege exists everywhere you turn but you never speak up because you want to believe that institutionalised racism will not affect you.  You want to believe that you can take the verbal abuse that you are subjected to from others, because you know that if situations were reversed and you were to do the same - acting in a belligerent or defiant manner in phone calls or emails - would have you hauled into human resources because you're brown.  So you continually take the moral high ground.

Look for love
It must be love
Look for love
It must be love

So we mustn't be distracted by this quest for love from others.
The most important form of love is first, to seek within yourself, the love for yourself.
If you are lonely or alone -  do things that make you happy, engage in activities that give you joy and keep you fulfilled.  Get to know yourself and learn about the vulnerable qualities that you possess - learn how to convert those weaknesses into strengths.  If others continue to bring their problems to your doorstep to solve, shut it down.  It is important to shut it down if they persist in talking about the same problems, as they already know what to do but need constant reassurance.  There will be others who try to bring their problems to you in secretive ways but continue to hide their real intentions.  These people will reveal themselves in the end and you won't need to do anything when that happens.  We just all need to remember to treat everyone with love, even when they don't deserve it.  Even when they have wronged you in the past, even if they are all saccharine sweetness to your face but have different intentions behind your back, how you react or respond to all of that - think about acts of love instead.  Be kind to yourself and you will act accordingly.

It must be love
Look for love, 
Look for love, love
Oh yeah
Keep on lookin
Keep on reachin' reachin'
Diggin' uh huh
Love is love, love
Look for love, find your love
If you're looking for that answer, what's wrong with the truth?
Keep digging child, looking for the root

Long gone are the days for justice.
We should no longer be thinking about who is in power, who is in control and our own sensitive, precious issues that do not culminate in acting for the greater good of all.  I have lost all patience for people who persist in living this way - to show others what hierarchy is all about if it is entrenched in forms of tyranny - however they choose to disguise it.  It's like putting lipstick on a pig, it's still a pig and besides, pigs thrive better in their natural environment without the fake facade of trying to make them human in that way.  We need to just keep looking within ourselves, keep reaching within ourselves and keep pulling the best of ourselves out in every situation.  I don't know how things are going in your world but for me at least, I know that the answers I seek are connected with truths that people are too afraid to make public, too afraid to admit out loud, too afraid to confront for themselves as they look in the mirror.  So my advice to myself - to thine own self be true, trust my instincts and know that I need to just keep digging child, looking for the root. . . .