Where I wish to die

By Lumepa Apelu 29 April 2016, 12:00AM

If I was granted super power, I would have a wand to choose my place of death. 

And given that gift, I would never choose to die at my place of work in Apia. 

Well, with the misuse of funds and the displacement of common sense, work is seen by the simple eyes as a place where we go to pay the bills and tick off some small boxes. Laugh as much as you may but if you stay at work for a long many years, you may find yourself kissing up not across. 

And you let out a breath of hot air now and then, because crooked ways are hard to fight off your wrinkly sleeves. 

But if it brings home your bacon, then perhaps work in paradise is better than what it sometimes really is. But let us ponder our safety at work. Work is unsafe by the basic standards of breathing in and out naturally or so it seems, in the simple man’s mind. 

But there is a comedy in the nose of corruption and hierarchy. Have you felt the giggling choke in the throat of the prisoner who keeps running from Tafaigata? The same awful comedy is in the offices where we work day in and day out, unprotected by the rise of our own ignorance. 

Perhaps it is carelessness. Perhaps it is a wrapped up rag enclosing both, and sums us up with indifference. Are you identified by the door you close behind you at work? 

Or are you identified by the smiles you put in people’s minds? Which kind of worker are you, the earnest or the blind?

But if some of the workers find that their intelligence is on face-book, I dare to say that I miss the smell of old books and the feel of turning pages, just to hear the wind of inspiration inside the eloquence of artfully placed words. In writing and literature, I almost always miss depth. I miss elegance. 

I miss quality minds. Yes like every flower struggling in a desert of noise, I miss music and the precision of deep words. These things touch my broken soul. 

But sit in your quiet and watch closely a child who busies herself in earnest love for what she writes. She is in deep thought. She calculates her energy with her time. She asks questions when she is stuck and she is ready to have her own input when the answers she gets are not enough. Freedom allows for creativity. Creativity blooms a lasting humility. Humility is a gift to the world. 

But ponder ourselves at work. Listen here dear reader, all these things we have, they are fast things. They outgrow us sometimes. They are often wanted too much for what we can barely manage to own. Why not need less? Why not own less? 

Progress takes with him our peace. It places anxiety in our chairs and on our shoulders. It whines about riches we do not need and places we do not want to visit because they only bring turmoil. 

It depletes our memories of who we truly are, a simple intelligent race of people, whose heritage now each by each falls like the leaves of autumn from our branches. 

On the discussion of safety, and the need for it, I know, that when my child drowned, she was chosen. But a quick and repetitive escape from prison and the continued neglect of our humaneness in the midst of this racket we place ourselves in at work, are things we miss because we are numb from our feet to our heads about the simple things we need. 

We are as insensitive to the needs of the heart, as much as we do not hear the cry of the children on the street, and the unsafe ones at home. God bless you my dear reader. May you hold this rag as a memory of what we have done and also what we have not done. The thing to do is to live in the joy of this moment, to kiss across from you not up, and to own this life with a deep responsibility. 

So to end this rag may I gently say that when it is my turn to die, and as a commoner, not a king, I wish to die beneath the stars in the moonlight, loving my country back. 

And as I live alongside you, I shall stare into your eyes and quote Shakespeare as our common ground, “ Boldness be my friend.”

By Lumepa Apelu 29 April 2016, 12:00AM

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