How am I losing you?

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Lumepa Apelu

“Don’t flow into a whirlpool, as when you are water, you don’t have control.” 

But water; the nature of her flow is that she reaches the sea and crushes mountains when she is willing. And if you listen in your quiet from the top of the stone they wrote songs about years ago, you hear the cry of the water to let her go.

If our families break from within, and we are Samoan, do you think the culture we hold up high is failing or is it the government we voted for? 

If children hate each other, and we are Christian, do you think the church is failing or is it the teachers we pay to watch the children from falling like corpses all over the playground? 

What we learn in this life is part of the cloth we sew to clench in our beliefs. The heroes we worship are very human. The money we spend are used well by some and made into roads of greed by others. But we are a small island in the big world. Despite the smallness of our impact in the body of mankind, we are closest to the coral islands which will one day be gone under the rising sea. And we are not at all parted from the flow of the sewerage of international corruption either. We are in it if you have not seen. We buried many loved ones before today because we are part of everything.

So you and I know that in all our defeat, so far, we have learned above everything, that what we have we lose anyway. But I write to ask a hidden question to the Samoan child who takes a day out of his life to ruin his future, and to unearth the future of other children beside him. I want to ask him as a mother country should, “How am I losing you?” 

As a mother country am I shaking too much in my own uncertainties? Am I, as a mother country too deaf, too busy, too blind even, to hear you? In my sunrise when the child who has left over manners and opportunities is thriving, am I forgetting your tears and is that your abandonment, bleeding in the sunset? This cruelty of your life choices, is it part of me, or are you as a whale losing breath on the barren reef of my own forgetfulness?

But let me remind you that we sing songs to cheer the hearts of the listener who wants to listen. The stories we choose to tell attract the ones who need to hear them. Towards greater things, we pray to obey God and we laugh to respond to humor. On the bottom side of our forgotten mistakes, we cry for the loss we suffer. Darker still, we kill another human being because we are prone as animals to defend our lives, our peacefulness, our pride, or we plainly kill like hungry wild lions anyway. Whatever we choose, we make. And it seems from the loss of our children that we have chosen poorly still. 

But these things are in our blood, not our personalities. We are as paradise inhabitants, children of the sun. And when you wake up to dream you are your own country, then you can see through the eyes of the suffering, the thing that we are not.

Here now, on this note to the hearkening ears, and in my womb as a mother country, I think like a child sometimes. I wonder if the waking up from a lonely life would carry me as far as my own grave holds me alert of this short life. I wonder too, if as a child without love, I would make it to the end of this life with a sword or a smile from inside. 

The warmth in the cradle of our existence is almost completely gone. If you look me in the eye, and say to me, that you love me, I would doubt you. I abandoned somehow my trust when I was hurt in the early years of my own small life. 

But faith has a beckoning light in the back of my mind, which does not rely on human made batteries to keep me standing still. I am as you, tired of the promises.

And if our heroes cannot figure out the disappointment in our faces, then what have we to do? We must ponder the trees and their love of waterfalls. We must brace the boldness of the clouds in the falling of rain. We must breathe for the whales whose gills have lost their dreams. We must be the hero, the mother country and the child within. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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