Serious – Happy – Brave

Monday 18 April, 2011:

Couple of things. First, Tahiwai rings me – the TI lady has given Inia a 9am slot for an interview tomorrow morning. He asks if I can meet them over there.

Then La-Verne rings me as well. “Oh,” she says. “I just want you to hurry up and bring the boys out to do that wall.”

I sigh. “Mmm,” I say. “I know,” and then, “But… I guess you won’t want Inia coming out to do the wall now.”

She looks at me and says, “Why wouldn’t I want Inia to come and do the wall?”

I actually feel tears in my eyes. She doesn’t even know Inia – she’s only met him once or twice – and yet I can see that she’s not judging. Not that I thought she would, exactly. But not to draw the line with her own place – it really touches me.


And apart from those nice moments, the overall status of my life is this: I honestly can’t remember very well what it’s like to wake up and feel that things are alright. I’m not ‘depressed’. And I don’t even think I’m ‘burnt out’. I just don’t think that things are alright. I really don’t think they are, and maybe there’s nothing wrong with saying that – but I guess then the question is: How do you do what you can, without letting it make you too sad?

I wish… I wish for ‘that thing’. That thing I’ve always wished for, my whole life. And now and then, I’ve felt it – and I want it so bad it makes me ache.


Tuesday 19 April:

Inia’s interview goes well. Although Court and the Board meeting were big deals, this is much simpler. Once it begins, he’s confident, matter-of-fact, curious, and responsive. He comes across very well – and I can see the programme director thinks so too.

At the news that he’s offered a place on the course, Inia seems suddenly unfettered, as if a great weight has been lifted off him. He squints and blinks with joy, and, “I can’t wait to start!” he exclaims. When I think of Inia, and how really vulnerable and scared he’s been in the last few weeks – oh, well it gives me that happy and heartfelt feeling which I yearn to keep close to me before it goes away again.

Following the interview, Inia spends an entire hour (at least) on the numeracy and literacy tests – I don’t have the heart to cut him short, even though the interviewer’s told us it isn’t necessary to finish every single question. But no, Inia is on one of his ‘rolls’: concentrating hard, and as happy as a little lark. So I just give up and let him enjoy it.

Meanwhile Tau is texting me to get an update. When I reply and tell him the good news, I also mention that the guy has told me Tau is doing well on his course – which is true – and that I’m proud.

I can see how hard Tau must be trying to stick with this thing – it’s nearly been two weeks already.


Thursday 21 April:

I go round to Inia’s to talk about the new wall. He, Noa and Kost are going to start putting together a draft, so we can go ahead. Inia’s excited to see the photos of the site. “Fuck…” he says, “That’s a big wall,” and grins. Then, “But, Miss?” he asks, with his usual complete lack of guile. “We’d have to be there for the whole day aye; what about our… seshes?”

I look at him fondly. “Well, you’ll just have to find some other ways to get creative,” I say matter-of-factly, and he cracks up laughing.

“Bloody hell!” growls Tahiwai, admonishing his son. “Forget that!”


Saturday 30 April:

I’ve got my light hearted side. But scratch the surface and I’m serious. The thing is… I’ll never forget. Never can, never will. And I want it to be that way, but does being serious mean I always have to feel so sad? I wanna get that sad, sad look outa my eyes. Levi noticed it; and for some reason it threw him.

I see this link right now: Serious – Sad – Afraid

But couldn’t it be something else? Like: Serious – Happy – Brave

Oh, sometimes I feel like being ‘happy’ is almost… disloyal. Like I’ve got to keep bringing it to mind over and over, so that somewhere, somehow, people know they aren’t forgotten, and we’re still trying; won’t stop.

And does it ever really matter that I was there and didn’t forget? At the beginning of the day; at the end of the day.


 Sunday 1 May:

The most cheering-up part of today: driving through Municipal – the usual landmark ‘CLUZO’ (hard and fast on the back of the roundabout sign, in pink). And all the way out towards Carthill, as far as the eye can see: ‘KOST’, ‘RICH, ‘CIPHR’… and then, ‘QUEST’ on the overbridge (in Zion’s unmistakable hand). I feel uplifted! And inwardly I give a little bow towards them all: my compadres.


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