Sunday, September 27, 2009

Rain - Patty Griffin

I listen to a lot of rock and pop; and depending on my mood some blues and a little jazz as well.

Some people dis Country. I feel sad for them; there is so much power in the genre. If you let it in, you're a grown up - and that's all I'm going to say about that.

Hope the rain stops soon Jaime...

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Semantics - I guess

What came first, the music or the misery?
People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss.
Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?
John Cusack - High Fidelity.

This quote has been running around my head lately. I think it applies to more than just music, but don't quote me on that.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The letter

Work - bah humbug :)

So we talked of our stories
Till the sun and the waves
Returned to...
We made plans for the next year
You were on my mind
All of the time

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The ghosts within

The subconscious is an amazing thing. I left this island when I was just 10 years old, yet there are events and people who remain stored in my memory (it seems now perhaps for all time).
Today I went to pay my respects to Mr and Mrs Emori Waka at their graveside. As is the custom here they are buried in a small crypt beside their abandoned home. Perhaps abandoned is the wrong word. The house is still full of furniture, but outside the padlock on the door points to an extended stay of absence. The house seems to be resting, biding its time to be reoccupied by their children or grandchildren at a later date. As I pause to think about it, the island seems to be so much about that concept. Foundations of buildings can be seen at the end of the bush line - houses waiting to be continued - perhaps never to be finished. The pace of life here is like a leaf upon a soft wind : watch it soar, watch the island breathe in and out - the moment is gone and we are long buried and gone.

My next stop was to the oldest church on the island to visit the grave of John and Mary Baxter. I was surprised to see he was born at Gravesend in the UK - I remember a thin man with a white shirt and white smile. Brown leathery skin, always carrying a lit cigarette - for some reason I always thought he was an American who stayed on after the war.
Anyway - Died far too young; I note he was only in his late 40's - early 50's during the era I knew him - not too far a stretch from my current age; enough to remember how old he seemed to me at the time.

My biggest regret is the grave I never found. For some reason yesterday I called Mum and asked her about a girl who died here in 1976. I knew her - I can even picture her vividly in my mind. I had no idea why my memory of her was so strong, until confiding in an older lady at the Aitutaki information center. She informed me that the girl in question, Janice, baby-sat us on occasion. Truthfully, I cant remember that, but i remember her regardless. She was an attractive girl with incredible eyes, and she was murdered by her father, because she spoke to a boy. I know for a fact that the father came from an important family on the island, and I'm pretty sure he wasn't arrested until after the funeral because he was there for it *. Sure - the Police eventually came for him and he did some time in a Rarotonga gaol, but I still recall the feeling of waste, and the sadness; a ten year old boy and a 33 year old memory that remains today.
Janice Henry, I will find you again, and we will talk of stuff and nonsense. Sixteen then and now, you have not been forgotten. Rest in Peace.

* I'll update the post if I'm wrong in this

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Animals Lovers - avoid this post please

Disclaimer : I'm serious about the warning in the title. Proceed with caution.

Oh. My. God.

So here I am - riding my scooter around Aitutaki. Taking photo's of places I remember.

This place, for example, is where Muri Waka chopped the heads off those chooks on the wooden stump out the back of his house. Others had their heads still attached as Muri spun them over his head breaking their necks. We watched them run around with their heads in various states of disrepair - giggling out loud as we chased after them. Later we watched as his daughters Terri and Taina plucked them. Even later still, we had them for dinner.

At 8 years old we all understood exactly what was happening here; in order to eat and survive, something else must die - yes, even a stalk of celery Niamh.

Still, after all these years, I cant explain what possessed me to stop my scooter to look for that damn stump behind the long deserted Waka house. Maybe it was fate, maybe I just wanted so see if was real or just a thirty years old dream. Maybe, just maybe I was hungry. :)

Still, I did find out yesterday that Muri died three months ago back in New Zealand well into his 80's - I couldn't help but wonder when he passed if he was met by Saint Peter; surrounded by a shit-load of lopsided headed/headless chickens with axes at the ready, wanting revenge - still rueing their lack of opposable thumbs.

Let's just hope Muri wasn't hungry for some buffalo wings :)

Island wisdom - well kinda

The dark comes quickly here, and with no TV to distract you quickly make friends with a novel or two.

After the turning of pages no longer holds that certain je ne sais quoi, you can turn to a canceled TV show on your Macbook for enlightenment;

Love is simple - you have it or you don't.
Everything else is either delusion or self sabotage.

-The Middleman Season 1 Episode 9

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The story thus far

This island seems to know me.
This island seems to know what I need.

Every night back home when I go to sleep I play the sound of a tropical storm on my iPod. The wind and the rain lull me to sleep, and tonight I get the real McCoy here on Aitutaki.
When I first arrived here I was greeted by two cats owned by the resort - I'd see them from time to time as we crossed paths. Being the social animals they are they always say hello in their own manner before we go on our seperate ways. When the rains came one of them dropped by for a chat; sodden and miserable I invited her is, dried her off, and together we watched the palm trees strain against the driving wind and rain. As the day drew on we both fell asleep, content to be where we were in that time and place.

On a less harmonious note I can say that driving in to a tropical rain storm at 60kph on a scooter with no helmet makes for an excellent, if not stinging facial. Also an unfortunate accident with a malfunctioning underarm aerosol can has resulted in a partial (although slowly improving) loss of vision in one eye.

But Hey - maybe the Island has a reason for that too.

Me? I'm just rolling with it :)

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sullivan Street - Counting Crows

I sincerely believe that August and Everything After would be one of my personal Top 50 CD's of all time.

Take the way home that leads back to Sullivan Street
Cross the water and home through the town
Past the shadows that fall down wherever we meet
Pretty soon now I wont come around

Monday, September 07, 2009

Paradise not so lost

Come Thursday I will be here;

It may be a consolation prize of sorts - but sorry, I'm taking it regardless :)

Friday, September 04, 2009

The Horror

I might have to forget about Mary.

I mean it's been since 1986 already, and lets face it she's on her third marriage and I haven't embarked on anything near as big.

Plus at the age of 43 she's finally having a child to the latest guy. I guess that says something about commitment.

Yep; thinking about it now, perhaps it never was Mary; perhaps it should have been someone else instead.


Mary rocks - and always will :)