This is Goshier than Gosh!

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Lumepa Hald

There in the village, giants sleep on the mountains as you pass them by. 

And the fog of dawn leaves the landscape like a mother of heaven is rising to make breakfast. Breakfast is the fresh air that you and I breathe. And when we are prayerful, we can decide to smile for all the things we amount to are simple and meaningful. 

Heading to Apia from the village is like leaving heaven to arrive in a semi-hellish place in the middle of an unfortunate forgotten simplicity. 

It is like dreading the suddenly dusty, suddenly crowded, suddenly strange New York like kind of existence where nobody really cares where you are going except for the people you left at home. 

The streets of Apia may not be filled with pot holes but they are also not full of grass and the shortened trees by the beach road are probably missing the birds. Some by-passers may not notice those departed birds but I do.  

I welcome the birds’ noise to return to eat up the noise of pollution, the sound of overflowed Chinese shops opening up early and the screech of reckless drivers, buses included. 

Yet if a bus driver was less reckless he would take trash bags with him to remind his passengers to not spoil the greenery and the cleanliness of the environment. 

Isn’t that what mindful people do? And imagine if each bus driver was proactive for the trees and the fish in the sea. I have a deep belief that when that happens, less bus accidents would happen. We would see a myriad of compassionate drivers letting bus drivers take over the road as they do, but without ear paining complaints from the radio, the television or the mindless social media. 

Speaking of social media, Facebook clearly is literally about the Face. So much so that when we post our faces in repeated selfies some of our friends would say, “Are you not tired of your face yet?”  Yet there is more warring trouble in Facebook, and I know you know.

So with the uncontrollable attitude on it, the offensive language used, the rude photos, the threats, it seems to me that a new kind of social media needs to be created for the backside. That kind of social media can alternatively be called the Rearbook? 

That way we are literally correct and I guess politically precise at all times, no? 

And it would also lessen the friction because when we are focusing on the actual side of the body where the insults are coming from, then we may laugh a little to always see people with kinky knees, larger than usual big toes, painted and unpainted nails, jerky ankles and scarred ankles, you get my drift. The ultimate point is that if we are on Rearbook, we cannot say someone is ugly, and end it all there, but we can say unedited things like Homer Simpson the cartoon would say, “ Eat my shorts!” What serious old man would not laugh at the irony of Facebook and Rearbook combined? Peace on Earth seems nearer now, I know. 

But there is more to be happy about besides control of the social media fiascos. We can be happy that most people in the village own mobile phones though not all of them have access to water. I guess the superficial pleasantness of Facebook and in dreams of yours truly, the Rearbook, contributes to distraction more than anything. Maybe it is robbing us of courage too.

And while we live side to side in this most distracting life, I wonder if you will care to look me in the eye some time. I wonder if you will know that I am writing this for our sense of humor to remain a part of our heritage. I wonder if you know that I often look at our Samoan-ness, our carelessness, our funny ways, and say to myself, “ Oh this is goshier than gosh!” But God bless you more.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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