And So I Go Part 1

Trip Start Sep 02, 2007
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Trip End Dec 25, 2007


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Flag of French Polynesia  ,
Friday, October 19, 2007

This is a story by a Maori writer in New Zealand that we read in World Lit. I thought it spoke well to what I was doing. Spoiler: I cried, consider yourself warned! :)

And So I Go
Patricia Grace

Our son, brother, grandchild, you say you are going away from this place you love, where you are loved. Don't go. We warm you. We give you strength, we give you love.
These people are yours.
These hills, this soil, this wide stretch of sea.
This quiet place.
This land is mine, this sea, these people. Here I give love and am loved but I mist go, this is in me. I go to learn new ways and to make a way for those who follow because I love.
My elders, brothers and sisters, children of this place, we must go on. This place we love cannot hold us always. The world is large. Not forever can we stay here warm and quite to turn the soil and reap the sea and live our lives.
this I have always known. And so I go ahead for those who come. To stand mid-stream and hold a hand to either side. It is in me. Am I not at once dark and fair, fair and dark? A mingling. Since our blue-eyed father held our dark-eyed mother's hand and let her lead him here.
But, our brother, he came, and now his ways are hers out of choice because of love.
And so I go because of love. For our mother and her people and for our father. For you and for our children whose mingling will be greater than our own. I make a way. Learn new ways. So I can take up that which is our father's and hold it to the light. Then the people of our mother may come to me and say, 'How is this?' And I will hold the new thing up to the light for them to see. Then take up that which is our mother's and say to those of our father, 'You see? See there, that is why.'
And brother, what of us. Must we do this too? Must we leave this quiet place at the edge of hills, at the edge of sea and follow you? For the sake of our mother's people who are our own. And for our father and because we love?
You must choose but if you do not feel it in you, stay here in warmth. Let me do this and do not weep for my going. I have this power in me. I am full. I ache for this.
Often I have climbed these hills and run about as free as rain. Stood on the highest place and looked down on great long waves looping on to sand. Where we played, grew strong, learned our body skills. And learned the ways of summers, storms, and tides. From where we stepped into the spreading sea to bathe or gather food. I have watched and felt this ache in me.
I have watched the people. Seen myself there with them living too. Our mother and our blue-eyed father who came here to this gentle place that gives us life and strength. Watched them work and play, laugh and cry, and love.
Seen our uncle sleeping. Brother or our mother. Under a tree bright and heavy with sunned fruit. And beside our uncle his newest baby daughter sleeping too. And his body-sweat ran down and over hear head in a new baptizing. I was filled with strength.
And old Granny Roka sits on her step combing her granddaughter's hair, patiently grooming. Plaiting and tying the heavy tangled kelp which is her pride. Or walk together on the mark of tide, old Granny and the child, collecting sun-white sticks of the fire. Tying the sticks into bundles and carrying them on their backs to the little house. Together.
And seen the women walk out over rocks when the tide is low, submerging by a hole of rock with clothes ballooning. Surfacing with wine-red crayfish, snapping tails and clawing air on a still day. And on a special day the river stones fired for cooking by our father, our cousins, and our uncles who laugh and sing. Working all as one.
Our little brother's horse walks home with out little one asleep. Resting a head on his pony's neck, breathing in the warm horse stink, knees locked into its sides. Fast asleep on the tired flesh of horse. And I ache. But not forever this. And so I go.
And when you go our brother as you say you must will you be warm? Will you know love? Will an old woman kiss your face and cry warm tears because of who you are? Will children take your hands and say your name? In your new life our brother will you sing?
The warmth and love I take from here with me and return for their renewal when I can. It is not a place of loving where I go, not the same as love that we have known.
No love fire there to warm one's self beside
No love warmth
Blood warmth
Wood and tree warmth
Skin on skin warmth
Tear warmth
Rain warmth
Earth warmth
Breath warmth
Child warmth
Warmth of sunned stones
Warmth of sunned water
Sunned sand
Sand ripple
Water ripple
Ripple sky
(Sky Earth
Earth Sky
And our beginning)
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