Too short at Twenty-two

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Today was just another day for many; the birthday for someone I know; and the 5 year anniversary of the day that someone I used to know, lost his life.

At 22 years old, Andy was gone before life gave him the chance – or rather unfortunately, there is reason to believe it was the other way around. Who knows what was behind  those passing clouds… if he just waited in the rain.

Instead of brighter days, he’s getting flowers laid.
Instead of creating new memories, he’s fading in ours.
To someone I could have saved, I apologise with a visit to his grave.
We already know this: nothing is promised.
So don’t just live life as if it’s a gift..
be one, so you’ll be missed.  

 

Heart Shaped Rocks

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I’m surrounded, but the one I want seems so hard to find.

Yet I keep looking, amongst the wrong, the close, and the not quite.

Because I’m after perfect, the one worth my time.

Not that I’m picky or a perfectionist…

I just seek to thank you for the moments you were gone…

It was these moments that kept me alive.

The Store

“Looking for something?”

“Umm.. love I guess.”

“It sold out.”

“Oh..”

“But there’s plenty of self-loathing, envy, and regret to go around. They’re free.”

“No thanks.”

“Well you’re wishing you didn’t come here today. You hate yourself for standing outside awkwardly like this, and you’re jealous about the way she smiled at that last customer… so you’re already sold.”

“Wow.. you’re good.”

“No. We’re good. Now go in there and just talk to her.”

I had

Aside

I had a poem that was forgotten.

Was it..
lost like an echo turn soft
or tossed like fruit turned rotten?

Change happens.

And unanswered is the question
Does it..
bring hope like the last drop of snow
or sorrow for the hours i’ll have to plough?

It matters not of then or tomorrow.
Because here’s a poem
that at least I know.

Muddy Mornings

green lessons

Muddy Mornings.

Despite the comparative enormity of the muddy lake spread out in front of me, I take particular notice of what looks like something between a tadpole and a frog. It’s legless, but still trying to make its way onto land.

With the same wonder that I’m casting over at its habitat, it’s looking at mine. The difference isn’t just curiosity, its certainty and confidence. This little critter knows about the life ahead of itself; I’m not sure where the flow I’m following goes, or If I’ll sink or swim.

From the dark depths of the same pool of water, numerous lotus flowers have broken the surface to swallow the warm rays of the sun. With similar persistence this cold and dark morning, I fought my way through the thick blankets of my bed to to bare witness to the birth of this day. Under the same rays, I’m now swallowing mouthfuls of what was once hot green tea.

I got distracted by my surroundings and these following lessons:

Like frogs, we need to believe we can drastically change for the better – evolve and grow beyond old limitations. Not additional legs – but hey, there once was a time when we didn’t even know how to use the ones we do have. It didn’t stop us from trying to climb everything we could as once ‘confident little critters’ ourselves.

Like the lotus flowers, we need to break through our surroundings and seek clarity in our lives. But it’s only in the right environment that we can truly blossom. No doubt, there are many plants that don’t make it to the surface, just as there are many people who tragically don’t reach their full potential.

Unlike the lotus, the right environment for us isn’t defined by the strength of the sun. Sometimes, it’s the strength of a struggle that we need to face. I left the home I knew, the land I loved, because I knew it wasn’t the environment I needed to blossom. In the South Pacific I sought the challenge not the…

Distracted again.

A large discolored leaf falls onto my open notepad. Another lesson.

Death and decay is all around us; every moment is part of a grand melody which is even more beautiful because it is bound to end… Well, it’s us that ends while the song goes on. So what we must do is to sing, dance, string an instrument, or whatever it is that keeps the colour in our lives until it’s our turn to fall. I love to write. I’ve only got a single colour pen; but with words, I can describe colours that even rainbows would love to read about.

9.15

I got a bus in 15 minutes. I better go, as I’d like to skip the lesson on time management.

Sunset. Someone. Someday

 

Something Sunset

Sunset. Someone. Someday 

It’s hard to leave that someone.
It’s harder to say goodnight.
The something about the sunset,
is the same thing in their eyes.

Promise.

There is a promise of another date,
but never guarantee of another day.
The same direction to take but in a different way.
A choice to be better or refusal to stay the same,
the only promise we can make is that at least one novelty will stay.

Potential.

Weeping clouds and different shades of blue,
colours blend the same way as the truth.
Well spent or hardly used,
today never parts with a clue
of how tonight will be coloured without you.

 

3 Months Update

DSC00532Three months

In addition to my first feelings of home sickness, my third month away saw the inventible decline in the novelty of my experience. Situations such as when I found myself far from home at midnight with a flat tyre, or bed ridden and immobile for three days due to a virus, certainly didn’t slow things down. But it was once this novelty had started the wear off, that I got to see things for what they really are. Not what Google Images and the tourist brochures showed.

Doing something like this, sure, there are inconveniences and challenges, but there are also people willing to help every step of the way. Having my boss call to check on me every morning, another volunteer cooking me dinner and others always offering a hand, the concern shown was genuinely touching. My Host Organisation / co-workers made me realise that my assignment objectives are secondary to my wellbeing, and I should hold nothing in greater importance of theirs.

In my other twenty seven days of better health, there were some great times. Including the incident which led to my illness. It started with an early dawn Anzac Service followed by breakfast at the NZ High Commission residence. Then to celebrate the birthday of one of the Tongan teachers I work with, the night was spent camping on an isolated beach, by a fire and under the stars.

The scenery was beautiful, but my personal highlight was joining another volunteer on a walk to check out the surrounding areas, only to take a seat in the sand and have a conversation that saw five hours pass seamlessly. The others were relieved that we had not gone missing, I was relieved that even miles away from home, there were still people I could really relate to.  It’s just a matter of being open and welcoming. Since then I’ve met more Tongans ( including a group that rap and sing)  and even volunteers from other countries such as American Peace Core Unit.

Through technology, I also got the chance to talk to those I am miles away from. Two separate videos calls made a difference to this month that is pretty hard to capture with words. But I’ll say that the contrast of having people in your life and then suddenly removed, makes you realise a lot of things you otherwise would not notice. It’s true, every experience exists through contrast. There is also that saying about only knowing what you got when it’s gone, so I can’t help but sometimes  wonder about the kind of difference that people notice since I’ve been gone.

Either way, life goes on. One mate heads overseas to Europe for 5 weeks today, another moved into a new place, another is busy studying. Had things gone to my original plan, I would have gone on a contiki tour of the USA instead. Spending and consuming, rather than volunteering and giving here in Tonga. As upsetting as it was to cancel my trip, I was hoping I would one day get the chance to say this – “I’m glad it didn’t work out” I can also say that while I was originally hoping to land an assignment in a more prestegious or larger country, “I’m glad I’m here” 

Spending the hours that I do by the waves and the water, you learn things. Not just from my books – such as,  sometimes you just got to go with it. This applies to the times I find myself trying to decide on my next move, will I head to Asia for another assignment, will I return home to work, another state, or will I look to further my education and return to study. Just going with it for now.

 

Sail Away

I set sail to see you again

asking you to stay while I left.

I bartered being close and oblivious

to feel far and missed.

Ungratefulness fuels the ambitious

who never slow in sought of the their prize.

If they slow their decision

they would know they have already arrived.