Thursday, 28 December 2017

One sweet day. . .

Sorry I never told you, all I wanted to say. . . 
This blogpost is a tribute to Va'aelua Taloolevavau Malo Va'aelua

Sorry I never told you
All that I wanted to say
Now it's too late to hold you
'Cause you've flown away
So far away

My earliest memory of you was when we went on a trip to Samoa with the youth group in 1984.
We stopped off at my father's village and I remember we took so many photos.  There was a big welcome from the village and I remember my older cousins who lived in the village pestering me to ask my father for money during the festivities.  I remember you in those photos, because I would often look through our family photo albums and you featured quite prominently in them.  The most striking feature about you in a photo is your sheer size.  Clearly the tallest person in the photo, your stature could not be surpassed by anyone else, not even by your younger brothers

Never had I imagined
Living without your smile
Feeling and knowing you're near me
It keeps me alive

I think the older you got, your smile became more apparent and easy to share.
I understood what your sons and daughter said about you in your eulogies.
Your insistence and high expectations that everyone did what they were good at, to the best of their ability is something that I was raised to believe in too.  You didn't give your smile freely.  I used to laugh when I would say hello to you (internally of course!), as I did with all the church fathers, and you would greet me without a smile.  That was just your way.  Praise never escaped your lips easily; it had to be earned.  I would learn this as I got older when I started playing piano for church.  After playing the closing song for the service I would come out the side door and you would walk towards the minister's house lead by your wife and a family member as you struggled to walk.  I would greet you and ask if you were well.  You would answer, "Malo Manu, manaia pese".  That was just your way.  Praise never escaped your lips easily; it had to be earned.

And I know you're shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we've lost along the way
And I know eventually we'll be together
One sweet day

There are so many stories that my father had to share about you at the family service, but he could only touch on the highlights.  We talked about what he was going to say about you.  I had never seen my father prepare for a eulogy as much as he did for yours.  He also had to do the prayer for the service and he worked on his sentiments for that as well.  I think it was a testament for the respect he held for you.  One story that he didn't mention but that I also thought was a funny one, was that sometimes during some church services when a minister would announce a hymn and rather than have accompaniment for it, he would expect someone to sing it a cappella from the congregation.  You knew that you didn't have the best voice in the world, but you had no qualms about starting a song and singing with gusto. 

Darling I never showed you
Assumed you'd always be there
I, I took your presence for granted
But I always cared
And I miss the love we shared

This week has been full of preparations to farewell you. 
To do my part the best I knew how would mean playing for your final church services. 
As long as I can remember being at church, you have been a constant figure.
Your children have grown up alongside my brothers, and each of us has someone in the same age group that parallels with yours.  I was probably more aware of you in my high school years in church meetings and church events that we held.  You were a commanding presence and anytime you spoke the room would always fall silent.  With your physical presence gone, the room will just be silent and empty without you in it.

Although the sun will never shine the same
I'll always look to a brighter day
Lord I know when I lay me down to sleep
You will always listen as I pray

Your children expressed their stories about you in their own way.
It was humbling to see how much each had their own relationship with you. 
I remember attending at least three of their weddings - Faamanuia, Solofa and Fouai. 
I remember Fouai's reception quite vividly.  It was the hall and I was in the Sunday School rooms hanging out with the other kids during the speeches.  I remember playing for Solofa's wedding.  It was at church and only a small gathering was invited.  I brought my friend Mana to sing with me. I was still in the youth group at the time.  I also played for Faamanuia's wedding, and I remember the service was at a church in Ponsonby.  Lapi Mariner sang and we only rehearsed during the wedding rehearsal before the actual wedding day.  You shone like the sun on those days.  In times of celebration, that was when I saw you at your happiest.  You loved to celebrate your children.
When I started teaching Sunday School, Fouai and I taught in the same class.  Soon enough your grandchildren would start making their way through my class.  It was good to see them grown up and speak about how much you loved them - more than their parents it seemed.  But that's what grandparents do right? 

And I know you're shining down on me from heaven
Like so many friends we've lost along the way
And I know eventually we'll be together
One sweet day

As your family and friends prepare to say goodbye to you today, I just wanted to say thank you.
We have lost a lot of church friends along the way and more recently in quick succession.
I know you will be happy to be reunited with the ones who have gone before you, while those you leave behind will constantly ache for the absence you have created.
I am sure that everyone who has been touched by your acts of generosity, staunch stance on doing what's right and what's best at all times (high expectations) will treasure those memories with you.

Rest in peace Va'aelua.  You will be missed.
I will pray for your loved ones and those you loved the most.
Grief is a personal journey and there is no easy way to get over a significant loss.
As much as they have each other and the support of their nearest and dearest, they will never forget you, and may also be thinking Sorry I never told you, All I wanted to say. . . 

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

All in love is fair. . .

I had to go away. . . 

All is fair in love
Love's a crazy game
Two people vow to stay
In love as one they say

I've written a lot of songs over the years. Some people have heard some of them, others I haven't really let people listen to because they are like private windows that show situations and scenes that don't need an audience.  I guess it's easy to write love songs because everyone has their own experiences of love (or lack of it).  I have had lots of friends go through some traumatic experiences when it comes to love and these have served as inspiration for the songs I have written (so no, I'm not a Taylor Swift by a longshot!).  What fascinates me about love is how when it is shared between two people, there are the promises made that pass each other's lips.  You make these promises with no view of anything else around you, because when you're in love, all you see is the person right in front of you - nothing else seems to be present, all else just fades into the background, and soft music plays that makes everything seem to slow down.  That and you think that their voice is like music to your ears. Lots of people treat love as a crazy game.  They hurt each other and they do things to continually try to test people and their professed love.  What makes you vow to stay in love as one?

But all is changed in time
The future no one can see
The road you leave behind
Ahead lies mystery

It stands to reason that time does change everything.
The less time or the longer it takes you to do things is totally up to you.  I think we fret so much about the future that we forget that if we pay attention to the now, and deal with that first, then the future will be protected, or at least in some way, can take care of itself.  Nobody is meant to see the future I guess. We can dream about it and start to make plans about what we would like to be able to do.  We can see the potential in people and in pathways that you can choose to take.  Have you thought a lot about the roads you have left behind?  I sometimes think about and even reminisce about the roads I have left behind.  I wonder about if I had stayed on those roads, where I would have ended up right now.  I don't think about those roads with regret.  I know that the choices I made on those roads were the best decisions that were either made for me, or made by me.  You can always think, what if I had made a different decision?  Well, you didn't.  You didn't have the strength or the courage to make the decision that would've altered the very reality you're living.  You didn't think about giving yourself that present - how to prepare for the mystery ahead.  Just enjoy what you have and who you have.

But all is fair in love
I had to go away
A writer takes his pen
To write the words again
That all in love is fair

What is fair in love?
Is it when things just can no longer be, that you just need to accept things for what they are and just learn how to grow through it and push past it?  How does one make something fair in love?  What is fairness these days?  Doing what's best for someone else in the long run and not compromising their life, or ruining theirs - does this come at the expense of your own?  It's a question of who being fair isn't it?  There is a certain amount of compromise or some concession at least that people need to be willing to accommodate in order for equity in love to exist.  But is that what you want in love?  Is that what's fair?  Where did you have to go? When we have to go away, we might be running away from or running towards something or someone.  That's another thing to decide for yourself as well.  You might be running away from problems that you can't see a resolution in sight, so you need to disappear a bit (or at least disappear from the situation a bit) in order to gain some clarity.  When we are running towards a goal that will, we hope, give us some peace of mind - then make plans to do so, as much as possible.

All of fate's a chance
It's either good or bad
I tossed my coin to say
In love with me you'd stay

We cannot decide whether someone stays in love with us or not.
We think we are invincible when things first start out.  They display some sort of obsession or possession (you can't really tell sometimes the difference between the two) so you go with that.  You go with that feeling that what you are being subjected to is completely natural, it's what everyone else goes through when they are in love.  You start to make excuses or justifications for why you are being mistreated or abused (from low level "is-this-a-thing" to full blown "it's-time-to-call-the-cops").  You ask your friends to check for comparison what you're experiencing because you think that sharing the situation, if they have already gone through what you're going through, you can get some answers at least.  But it's the darnedest thing in the world when feelings change.  Yes. Feelings.  These things change all the time, like how you change underwear when you start to feel all types of funk.  Some people like the funk more than others and won't wash for days (but I digress, that's a whole other blog post).  The choices we make, combined with the chances that present themselves (if we take them) take us to places that involve coin tosses or coin losses.  Up to you how you play with those coins.  
But all in war is so cold
You either win or lose
When all is put away
The losing side I'll play

What happens when love turns to war?
This is when you start to see feeling change.  The rose coloured glasses have come off.  The gloves do too.  You start arguing about things that you used to laugh about and recognise as quirky loveable things about the other person.  Now you're all up in the realness of not really liking who you've chosen to love and you question what you ever really saw in them in the first place.  This is when you start to realise that you've made this huge level of commitment to someone who isn't really committed to you.  When did you get here?  Why didn't you see the signs along the way? Do you normally win or lose?  You start thinking about the fact that things have been changing steadily over time, for a while now, but you were distracted by other things that you thought were pressing, that took your attention away from the priorities that you needed to focus on.  It's ok to play on the losing side I guess.  But if you're in the habit of playing on the losing side, this probably means that you enjoy losing yourself in this dimension.  You don't know any other way to be when you're in love.

But all is fair in love
I should have never left your side
A writer takes his pen
To write the words again
That all in love is fair
A writer takes his pen 
To write the words again
That all in love is fair

I hope that when you take your pen, you think about what the story is that you want to write.
Too often we either second guess ourselves or make rash decisions that can set us on a course not only for self destruction, but no closer to what we thought we had set out to gain - love.
What stories have you written so far with your pen?  Have they been stories of heartache, or lost loves?  Have they been forbidden stories that nobody is allowed to read but you continue to write?  Sometimes you might be told those stories, or you create them yourself, starring in your own salacious episodes that nobody pictured or even dreamed you were capable of acting in.  I guess once we're all done with deciding what is fair in love, then we might be able to engage in it more meaningfully and without any reservations about ourselves.  What is stopping us from being where we want to be?  What pressures do we face that prevent us from loving how we want with who we want?  I don't know the answers to these question for you, the reader.  I don't know your stories.  I can only answers those questions for myself and what works for me.  One thing I do know for sure, though - as a writer I will take my pen and write more words again.  As often as I need to.  Because after all that I've been through, I know that even though love isn't the easiest thing to understand, I know that in order to understand it in its fullest extent, I must be willing to acknowledge that all in love is fair. . .   

Saturday, 23 December 2017

Angel. . .

May you find some comfort here. . . 

Spend all your time waiting for that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There's always some reason to feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction, oh beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins
Let me be empty and weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight

How long have you been waiting for your second chance?
It might have been something or someone that you've been waiting for.  There might have been signs along the way that presented, that made you think that you the chance was coming.  Did you believe it would be as easy as all that?  We beat ourselves up thinking that we're not worthy to receive love, not worthy to live as we want and so we put ourselves last, put the things and people away, push them away because we think we don't deserve any of that.  What distractions have you been filling your days with lately?  Distractions can be helpful or they can hinder you.  Sometimes when we focus too much on something, it detracts from us being able to relax and let things take their natural course.  What memories are you bleeding out from your veins?  Are they memories that you are trying to forget?  We should acknowledge the things and people that bring us pain and decide what we are going to do about it.  There's no point in making any decisions that will not bring you peace tonight.  What does Christmas symbolise?  The bringing of peace and goodwill to all men. 

In the arms of an angel
Fly away from here
Far from this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

Where would you fly to?
How many dark cold hotel rooms have you found yourself lying in?
People may not be aware of the darkness that you have lived through.  You might be thinking that you will never show that side of yourself because it's your own private space that doesn't require an audience.  When we get stuck in those places, we should only be in them as long as we need to recognise that it's time to escape.  People have different ideas about what hotel rooms can offer.  Depending on what activities you are invited into or find yourself in, you can't really know how you are going to react to what you find.  What is the endlessness that you find in those dark cold hotel rooms?  Where will the arms of the angel come to offer you some relief and comfort from the drama or situations that plague you?  Do we know enough angels that we can call on to help us when we need it most?  Where would you fly if you had the chance to fly?  The endless moments that you would rather end - totally depends on how strong you become to end them yourself.         

So tired of the straight line and everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
And the storm keeps on twisting 
You keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack
It don't make a difference
Escaping one last time
It's easier to believe in this sweet madness oh
This glorious sadness that brings me to my knees

Life isn't mean to be lived in a straight line. 
We have so many plans as teenagers, that careful stage of dream time when we think that there's so many opportunities out there and start to learn how to push our own boundaries, to push the boundaries of others.  I naively thought that my live was going to be lived in a straight line, but it didn't turn out that way.  Now I think, I don't think I would have enjoyed the life I lead if it had been all straight.  There have been many other lines that came from nowhere and that I followed, some eagerly, others somewhat reluctantly, but they all lead me to one place.  The best of me.  Despite whatever challenges and obstacles I faced, I have learned to value all of the experiences I have had.  They are the lines that have lead me to the straight line that I thought connected me directly to my destiny.  We soon discover that no matter how many times we escape, we can never run away from who is staring back at us in the mirror.

In the arms of the angel 

Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage
Of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here
You're in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

I hope that you continue to have silent reveries.
The deliberate contrast of the wreckage and our silent reverie makes us think about perception.
Does what we see and what others see about the same situation the same?  I wonder when I will feel the arms of the angel.  I think if you can believe what those arms will feel like and the kind of comfort that you would receive, it helps you figure out what kind of life you should be leading, how hard you are prepared to live life.  I often wonder if that wreckage I've been pulled from in slow motion will come to a head (literally) and I will be able to see it before it hits - that moment of impact where the silence is deafening and everything slows right down until all you can do is feel the damage that is caused.  I guess then, and only then would quiet relief from an angel would suffice.  Only then would we be able to end the endlessness that we continue to manifest and create with our anxiety and worry.  I am thankful that I will be in the arms of the angel when I need them the most.  I hope that you find the same.  May you find some comfort here. . . 

Friday, 22 December 2017

Satellite call. . .

This is so you'll know the sound. . . 

This one's for the lonely child
Broken hearted
Running wild
This was written for the one to blame
For the one who believes they are the cause of chaos in everything

Who do you blame for how things are going in your life?
For all of the negative things that you think you had no choice in participating in or helping to shape?
There are a lot of lonely people out there and it becomes more prevalent when big holidays emerge.  But I've spoken before about the fact that you can be alone in the midst of a crowd.  You might not know how to handle the mental and spiritual distance that everyone is at, even though you're in close physical proximity.  Why does this happen?  Are there things that we are meant to figure out?  It might take us a little time to discern what we think from what actually is.  People may not want the help that you've been accustomed to giving.  Skepticism is natural and not  something that you can disprove unless people are willing to see what you see.  Maybe you are to blame for all the chaos in your life? Is that something that you've considered?  It's always easy to blame others; to look outward instead of within.

You may find yourself in the dead of night
Lost somewhere out there in the great big beautiful sky
We're all just perfect little satellites
Spinning round and round this broken earthly life

Have you ever been out somewhere and then only noticed your surroundings quite keenly?
You look up into the sky and then wonder if someone else somewhere halfway around the world is looking up at the same sky and wondering where they fit in with that sky?  Having a sense of belonging is important and it's something that we are taught from an early age to value or aspire to acquire if we haven't been lucky to be born with access to a caring group of people who love you and raise you.  Where to get lost?  There are so many places around the world that you could willingly get lost in.  There are might be some places close to you where you can get lost somewhere too.  I guess it comes down to how open you are to seeing things in different ways, to know what it means to transport your mind to other places that you wouldn't normally go, so that you can begin to learn about how to understand your own consciousness.

This is so you know the sound
Of someone who loves you from the ground
Tonight you're not alone at all
This is me sending out my satellite call

The vocalisations that Sara Bareilles makes in this song, seem to mimic what satellite calls might sound like, when satellites communicate with each, transmitting information and data that is invisible to the naked eye.  Who are you sending your messages out to?  Hopefully people who will appreciate that even though you cannot be together, that they are never far from your thoughts, that if things had gone differently, who knows where they would be right now.  When you feel alone, and it may be often, think about the times when you were weren't.  That method is always guaranteed to make you depressingly sad or inspire you to reminisce through all of the different memories that constitute the need to still reconnect.  Do  you think people know what the sounds of your satellite call sound like?  What if they forget what they sound like?  How are you supposed to communicate then?   

This is so you'll know the sound
Of someone who loves you
From the ground
Tonight you're not alone at all
This is me sending out my satellite call

I hope that you listen to your own satellite call.
Listen carefully to your own sounds that you are emitting and the message that you want to send out.
Sometimes we unknowingly send out signals when they might not be the right things to do.  We must constantly check for weather conditions, for whether other satellites are attuned to what we are saying, and if they aren't - then that's ok.  We need to be more discerning about what is ok for ourselves and what is ok for others.  When you don't want to be blamed for not being there for someone, I guess it's ok to be guilty for being over protective or trying to be helpful!  I guess we do things like that just so we keep our contacts and connections informed.  This is so you'll know the sound. . . 

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Where you're at. . .

The best part of learning is just loving. . . 
Dedicated to everyone who needs a reminder about where they're at. . . 

I keep my dirt on the surface so you don't gotta dig
The people didn't make me nervous, tried to hide all their sins
And I've got no reason to cover my tracks
The best part of learning is just loving where you're at 

People will always try to find things out about you, try to pin things on you where mud doesn't stick.  But if you know that you have your own dirt and try to hide it, there are a couple of things you can do.  1) Try not to have dirt in the first place or 2) Put your dirt out there for all to see, if perfection or being squeaky clean isn't something you're particularly bothered with maintaining.  It's natural though right?  When you meet people for the first time, and you spark a genuine interest in them, you want to find out what makes them tick and what they find important in life - their values, belief systems and how they treat others.  That last one is an important one for me.  Often you can't really find out that last part unless you witness something yourself or information presents itself and later confirmed.  Like you didn't even go searching for it - they either reveal it themselves and then want to know what you think about what they've revealed.  I've heard it all these days.  Literally.  And nothing bothers me about anyone anymore.  I guess that's part of me learning where I'm at with my fellow humans.

So love where you're at, yeah, love where you're at
And keep your dirt on the surface and just love where you're at 

Do you love where you're at?
Christmas is literally around the corner and not long after, we'll be heading into the new year.
What new resolutions are you hoping to put in place for next year?  If you lack in self discipline, then it might be a good idea to try and master that first about yourself, learn to take on board commitments - no matter how small - and keep meeting your commitment goals until you reach that first mountain of commitment.  A lot of the time we fool ourselves into thinking that we can tackle commitments - to people or events - but we sometimes self sabotage by aiming too high and never really plan carefully enough to ensure success in meeting those commitments.  We all know, once we've failed in reaching or meeting a commitment, you get famous for being "that guy" - who can't complete a task or be relied upon to deliver anything worthwhile.  My high school Latin and Classical Studies teacher talked about (ok, she drilled into us) the importance of being able to do things to the best of our ability, and that if we said we were going to do something, that we better follow through.  Dictum meum pactum - my word is my bond.  That's something I try to live by, especially when helping people.  Whatever words I choose to escape my lips, rest assured that I have every intention of following through.

I wear my sins on my collar so everyone sees
And there ain't no bother in spreading rumours about me
I ain't no angel, but I ain't so bad
And the best part of learning is just loving where you're at

I don't think there is enough room on my collar for my sins to fit so that everyone can see.
When people disclose to me their sins, at first I used to think - why are you telling me?
Now I understand that the reason why people show me where they have come from and why there are in their current state - is because they want someone to be there for them to listen, reassure, hold their hand and not judge.  It's really hard not being able to judge people isn't it?  But it's one thing I've been actively trying to learn how to do and I think I've started to make inroads (within myself) about how I treat others in this regard. Even if I've been mistreated or whatever by people, I will always (to my detriment) keep giving them the benefit of the doubt.  And this is no sign of weakness.  Don't get it twisted on that.  If anything it shows great forgiveness on my part to be able to reconcile the ego and the pride that comes from being hurt, and pushing past that, to recognise the bigger picture.  It's like looking at a great masterpiece, a great work of art and only fixating on a small part of the painting - when we never really appreciate the work in its entirety.  Remember, people will only spread rumours about you, because they can't do what you do.  They wish they did, but they can't.  You're the one with the gifts and talents that are highly sought after.  So keep hustling and stay true to yourself.  I ain't no angel but I ain't so bad.  I'm just in between.

So love where you're at, yeah love where you're at
And keep your dirt on the surface and just love where you're at
So love where you're at, yeah love where you're at
And keep your dirt on the surface and just love where you're at
So love where you're at, yeah love where you're at
And keep your dirt on the surface and just love where you're at
So love where you're at, yeah love where you're at
And keep your dirt on the surface and just love where you're at

I hope that as the year draws to an end, as you're spending time next week celebrating Christmas or the festive season with your loved ones, that you understand how much you mean to the world. You might be questioning where your life is taking you at this moment and you might be starting to develop the holiday blues.  Take some time to reflect.  Have a think about how far you've come.  Look at and appreciate all of the milestones that you've achieved.  If you're not satisfied about the lack of progress - do something about it.  A friend complemented me just this morning about my self discipline and single minded focus on a task I was working on - and I said to her, well, there will be plenty of time for fun and partying, but for right now - I need to do what I'm doing to set myself up for the rest of my career.  I truly believe that.  So even if people don't understand you right now and don't know where you're coming from - as long as you believe that voice inside of you that tells you to get out of bed each morning, that little voice that keeps encouraging you to believe in you when noone else will - pay attention to that voice.  I'm learning to love all of that about myself.  I tell you, it continues to put a smile on my face.  And the best part of learning is just loving where you're at. . . 

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Pick yourself up. . .

Start all over again. . . 

Nothing's impossible I have found
For when my chin is on the ground
I pick myself up, dust myself off
Start all over again

Nothing is impossible.
You have the choice of giving up, packing it in - or picking yourself up, dusting yourself off and get on with it.  Even when things seem impossible, that there is absolutely no way out, there is always a way out.  We've come to the time of year where we should be counting our blessings and thinking about how we have achieved our goals - or playing the regrets that littered the year through your mind like you're hosting your own pity party film festival of one and then push yourself to make poor choices leading to disastrous consequences. I think I know which pathway I'm heading down.  Do you? I'm counting my blessings of course :-)

Don't lose your confidence if you slip
Be grateful for a pleasant trip
And pick yourself up, dust yourself off
Start all over again

When we lose confidence based on what we have or haven't done - it is natural to feel knocked back.  You might need to take a trip away, physically.  It doesn't need to be some grand holiday, just a couple of hours somewhere and immerse yourself into becoming part of the environment.  It's our attitude to starting all over again which may make us think that we have wasted time.  But there is something somewhat comforting about starting again, being renewed in the promises that you make to yourself, that you will do something better this next time around.  Being confident in your own ability (or faking it till you make it) is something that only you can do.
Work like a soul inspired 
Till the battle of the day is won
You may be sick and tired
But you'll be a man my son!

What inspires your soul to work so hard?
You might find inspiration in the little things that come across your day.  You might be inspired by people whose journey in life you would like to emulate.  You might be inspired by people who have mistreated you because you don't want to end up like them.  Whatever your inspirations are for working so hard - acknowledge them, accept them and set about making your own mark in the world.  What will make you a woman my daughter?  I have been raised to think that who I am and what I bring to the world has just as much value to add, if not more, than men.  I hope there are men out there who are raising their daughters to be the women they were destined to be, and that there are also men out there who are teaching their sons to be the men that society need, that women can respect and who can look at themselves in the mirror and feel good about themselves too, so that they don't grow up to mistreat or abuse women to make themselves better than. . .

Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again?
So take a deep breath 
And start all over again

Do you remember who all these people are?
They might be family members or other men you look up to.
The famous men who have been highlighted in recent new activities for their abuse of women will not be able to rise again I don't think.  They have hidden their agendas (or thought they did) for so long, hiding their true natures and what they are really like behind closed doors.  Not saying that you would be guilty of the same crimes, but would you be prepared to fall like them for the magnitude of their crimes?  You need to think very carefully about how you treat people.  Kindness is key and people that abuse their constructed sense of power by forcing themselves on others will have their day in court, if not out in the public domain where they fought so hard to make those names for themselves.

Work like a soul inspired
Till the battle of the day is won
You may be sick and tired
But you'll be a man my son!

Do you choose your battles carefully throughout your day?
It is a skill that you learn to acquire over time.  There will come a time though, when looking at how things are going will prompt you to be able to surface your own truth, and to tell people how things really are.  You will no longer need to compromise yourself, your integrity and your opinions - because people have either discounted them in the past or people have written you off, not knowing that you have been the answer all along.  That's their problem not yours remember.  You just keep working hard the way you always have and just keep motivating others to up their game as well. It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it.

Will you remember the famous men
Who had to fall to rise again?
So take a deep breath
Dust yourself off
Pick yourself up
Start all over again

I hope that whatever situation you find yourself in through your life at the moment - that you know that you are not alone.  You do not have to suffer through your trials and tribulations on your own.  You can reach out to someone, even if you feel like it's been too long - if you've had a strong connection with someone who always "got" you more than people you thought should've had your back - gravitate towards your support crew, your number 1 team who love you regardless what you do.  If people keep kicking you down and subject you to abuse because that's how they've been raised, you can choose not to participate in that vicious cycle.  Never be afraid to start over.  Never be afraid to love you who want to be inside.  You have nothing left to prove to anyone, but yourself.  So take a deep breath, dust yourself off, pick yourself up, start all over again. . . 

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Love me still. . .

Only you have seen the other side of me. . . 
A song endorsement from an old friend. . . 

Here is my hand for you to hold
Here's a part of me they have not sold
I've wandered far, I've had my fill
I need you now, do you love me still?

I reconnected with a friend I haven't seen in a long time last night.
It was really interesting tracing steps since the last time we had a real conversation.
Do you have people who reappear in your life?  There are a couple of things that happen when you reconnect in this way.  You might try to remember what happened the last time you met.  You might try to avoid or embrace the chance to connect again.  You might try to find out what has happened and what you each did with your lives in the time that has lapsed.  There will be pieces of you that have remained from that time that you knew each other when.  Those are the pieces that could not be sold.

Only you have seen the hidden part of me
Call me fool hearted if you will
I loved you then, do you love me still?

If you are able to become close with a person, it is because they trust you and feel comfortable revealing the pieces of themselves that they hide from the rest of the world.  It is extremely important to be able to be supportive and be there for them, no matter what they're going through.  It is too easy to be judgemental and to think about what you could do in certain situations, but that isn't your role in this scenario.  Your role is to listen and offer some explanations to check that what you are hearing connects accurately with what is being said.  What the other person wants you to be able to do is just listen and offer positive support where you can.

So many smiles and lies surround me
Empty expectations, faceless fears
Sometimes this life is a bitter pill
I loved you then, do you love me still?

As we near the end of the year, with Christmas looming next week, we can choose whether to surround ourselves with smiles rather than lies. If we let it, life can be a bitter pill to swallow, but only if we allow it to be.  Do you think about love that you have lost and wonder if they love you again?  If they still love you?  You might never know for certain.  Why?  Pride gets in the way. People who are stubborn and don't want to show weakness, because they think that being honest about their love means they are submissive or subservient.  When reassurance is sought and found - what do you do with it then?

You have been mine since time untold
Our love is immortal, don't you know?
Others will come and they will go
But I love you young and I love you old

Immortal love.
Is it possible?  Does such a thing exist?
Myths and legends speak about this in abundance.  They talk of superhuman feats that are performed by mere mortals in order to be reunited with their lost loves again, or to sacrifice themselves so that their love can live instead.  What does it mean to have an immortal love?  To me it almost speaks of being unconditional, because you will know that it is always there, that no matter how long time goes by, when time escapes us when we're not paying attention, the love will always remain.  Have you ever belonged to anybody?  Has someone ever told you that you are theirs till eternity.  "You are mine" and "I am yours". I have heard these powerful statements over the years.  I might have even let these phrases escape my lips myself.

Only you have seen the other side of me
Call me naive, I think you will
I loved you then, do you love me still?

There are different times when love can be imbalanced.
This happens when that level of love expressed from both sides doesn't quite match.  One person may love someone more than the other - or someone is in love while the other just loves or cares deeply for the other.  Is it important to have that match?  To ensure that the same amount of intensity of love is maintained?  How often do you let people see the other side of you?  I have lost count of the number of times people have said that they surprised themselves from telling me things that they haven't told other people.  I must have that kind of face that tells people that I'm genuinely interested in them and what they want to say.  I think for the most part, I think it just comes down to just being able to listen to people with love, even if I might disagree with what they have to say.  It's not my circus, it's not my monkeys.

Here are the eyes that only see you
Here's the mouth that only calls your name
Here is the song that they cannot kill
I love you now, do you love me still?

I hope that when you experience being an immortal love, being someone's "mine since time untold" and being able to see their other side - that it helps you to be more conscious of other people and their needs, their hang ups and their different challenges.  If you still love someone now, it might be important to let them know, even if you think it's not a very good idea.  What is the worst that could happen? Denial? More smiles and lies? We will continue to listen to love songs to imagine how it feels to be in those imagined or conjured spaces.  We will continue to have hope in the belief that love can revisit the homes of those who believe that love has died and physically left us.  It's an interesting concept to think about - what you do with love and how you express it towards others, manifest it into your own life and prepare for it - will all come in due course.  I think if I continue to do that, there will be plenty of other opportunities for others to hear you whisper - only you have seen the other side of me. . . 

Follow your arrow. . .

You might as well just do whatever you want. . . 

If you save yourself for marriage
You're a bore
You don't save yourself for marriage
You're a whore-able person
If you won't have a drink
Then you're a prude
But they'll call you a drunk
As soon as you down the first one

Life is funny.
The contradictions that we are taught to think about, live with and move past create unnecessary pressure on us.  We worry too much about what people about us.  We worry about other people's opinions who don't matter.  We worry too much about how people we barely know can have some kind of placebo effect on us.  What happens when you start to worry about people's opinions who do matter to you? If suddenly they realise something about you that they hadn't really been paying attention to before?  It is always interesting when you have conversations with people that you don't really know, and then they will say things about you that they have heard from someone else.  It's like a really lazy way of getting to know you.  How about they just see how the conversation goes and then they tell you what they think of you, by checking upfront.  Sounds pretty simple aye?  Easier said than done.  But I guess if you're committed to making a real change in your life or just living in the most authentic way possible, then the 'doing' gets easier and eventually done if you put your mind to it.

If you can't lose the weight 
Then you're just fat
But if you lose too much
Then you're on crack
You're damned if you do
And you're damned if you're don't
So you might as well just do
Whatever you want

Why do you need to be one thing or the other anyway?  We can tend to get ourselves all worked up about not being the exactness of perfection that we want, or having the things that make us look and feel wonderful.  We need to stop focusing on things that we can't do, and focus more on what we are actually prepared to do - so that "can't" doesn't feature in the vocabulary anymore.  I had written this blog post and finished this about an hour ago, but it didn't save properly.  So instead of being frustrated with it not being there, I stepped away and returned to write it.  I think we learn how to deal with making decisions that aren't going to be better off for anybody in the end - but a decision has to be made so that people can start picking up the pieces afterward.  How much collateral damage have you created in your lifetime?

Make lots of noise

Kiss lots of boys
Or kiss lots of girls
If that's something you're into
When the straight and narrow
Gets a little too straight
Roll up the joint, or don't
Just follow your arrow
Wherever it points yeah
Follow your arrow
Wherever it points

I like the fun lighthearted nature of this song.
It is cleverly written and full of innuendo and hidden messages but if you can read between the lines, it is clear as day.  Do we have the courage to follow the arrow that we aim at whatever targets we're shooting?  It will take us a while to figure out how we can follow our arrows; whether we have learned the necessary skills required to know how to navigate our way, whether we have figured out the direction we want the arrow to go, and whether we are prepared to follow that arrow to the bitter end.  How many of us will fulfil what we have set out to do, knowing that there will always be the unknown?

If you don't go to church

You'll go to hell
If you're the first one
On the front row
You're a self righteous
Son of a-
Can't win for losing
You just disappoint 'em
Just cause you can't beat 'em
Don't mean you should join 'em

We should never join others because we can't beat them at what we know to be wrong.
We should never acquiesce and be flippant about changing stances - because when we need to stand up for ourselves the most, has never been more important than it is now in the world.  The tricky thing about a spiritual journey is that it can only be one that is taken on your own.  Even if you were to worship with like minded people, at the end of the day (well your own day), when you die, you will be in your own coffin and what happens then?  Well, you won't be compared to anybody else or at the very least - nobody's opinions or criticism will matter.

Say what you feel
Love who you love
'Cause you just get
So many trips 'round the sun

Use this time on this earth to be as real as possible.
Learn to say what you feel, even when you're not even really sure what it is you're feeling.
Love who you love, even if they don't love you back.  Because once you do love someone who sees you for the gem that you are, they will love you back the same.  For as much time as we have left in these trips around the sun, I wonder how much you will commit of your time to doing things that matter in life, spending time with people whose absences would make your life unbearable.  Whatever you want to be able to commit to - people or priorities that ultimately lead you to think that you might as well just do whatever you want. . . 

Wednesday, 13 December 2017

The windows of the world. . .

Let the sun shine through. . . 

The windows of the world are covered with rain
Where is the sunshine we once knew?
Everybody knows when little children play
They need a sunny day to grow straight and tall
Let the sun shine through

Who knows what children need?  Have you thought about what you did as a child? 
You might have had great memories of growing up or they might be days that you would rather forget.  If your life was a movie, you might have a soundtrack or film score that warns you about certain situations to avoid but you never fully realise until it's too late.  Memories of sunshine should be pleasant and warm, giving you reassurance that more sunny days like this will fill your life.  But you might find yourself looking out the windows of the world with rain covering the glass. 

The windows of the world are covered with rain
When will those black skies turn to blue?
Everybody knows when boys grow into men
They start to wonder when their country will call
Let the sun shine through

What call are you expected to heed?
I'm supposed to be writing a business case right now but I'm either having a mental block or just generally procrastinating.  There is no excuse to get it finished in the next 30 minutes and finally get to sleep.  Sometimes you know when you're in the zone and the words won't flow, so blogging right now is a good way to ease into it.  It is extremely easy to be negative and to misconstrue every look, every message that comes your way.  When people come calling for you, even when it is your country, will you be prepared?  What ways are we searching to fulfil promises or live through challenges that seem to block us and create self doubt?  We must make space for the sun to shine through.

The windows of the world are covered with rain
What is the whole world coming to?
Everybody knows when men cannot be friends
Their quarrel often ends where some have to die
Let the sun shine through

The futility that comes with fighting can only be realised when one stops.
So there is no more internal struggle and no more outer explanations for what cannot be explained.
If we slow down enough, we can see how fast the rest of world are in a hurry to die.  Some men have to die because they think it is what they are meant to do and they walk willingly into the valley of death.  What do you do when you are surrounded by so much death?  Remove yourself from the equation?  Think more positive thoughts so that you can manifest them into reality?  Sometimes the windows of the world are covered with rain because our glass windows needs to be cleaned when we are unwilling to clean.

The windows of the world are covered with rain
There must be something we can do
Everybody knows whenever rain appears
It's really angel tears
How long must they cry?
Let the sun shine through

I hope that you know that when it rains, it is because the land needs to be nourished too. 
Eating a meal last night with work colleagues, it was a signal that our team would never be the same.
I wondered what else we could do to regain and relive and still enjoy the memories that we shared together.  As we sat there and ate together, we reminisced and laughed about all the years we had spent as a team, learning about each other's strengths and I smiled thinking about how much we had not only grown as a team, but as individuals.  I'm not sure if it's the end of the year or because there are so many changes, but there is no need for you to feel left behind.  I think one thing we need to remember is that everyone develops at their own pace or rate of change.  Just because everyone else is moving on and changing around you - it doesn't mean you have to.  There is no need to compare yourself to others.  Instead, stay true to yourself and work on your pathway.  In time, we will wander through so many houses that show us that the windows of the world are covered with rain. In spite of all that, we must always remember to recognise those angel tears, reflect on the pain, but never dwell on it, but just let the sun shine through. . . 

Sunday, 10 December 2017

(No one knows me) like the piano. . .

And you know I'll be back home. . . 
A tribute blog post to Lole Lafoai. . . 

When news broke that you had passed away, it came just after I had said goodbye to another important member of our church community.  You were a lay preacher for over 50 years and a Sunday School teacher for one of my older brothers.  Back when church services ran in both the morning and the evening, you often lead the evening services if the main minister at the time was not feeling well.  It was a way for you to cut your teeth on the cloth and to preach to us about the word of God in a succinct and matter of fact way.  We would only see glimmers of your sense of humour in one to one conversations rather than from the pulpit.  This was a testament to how you took your role seriously in the church.  A work ethic that I admired and continue to admire as I think about you.

No one knows me like the piano in my mother's home
You would show me I have something, some people call a soul
And you drop-topped the sky, oh you arrived when I was three years old
No one knows me like the piano in my mother's home

I taught your granddaughter Siobhan in Sunday School when she was quite young.  A shy and introverted young child who seemed lost in her own quiet spaces, away from the other demanding children in her class.  I often wondered about what she thought about in class.  She would respond when she was asked questions, but wouldn't initiate asking any questions or contribute to classroom discussions.  She took a couple of years to warm into the expectations of being at Sunday School but seeing her with you showed me how dedicated you were to her understanding how great a place faith played in your life.  This was the legacy you wanted to pass on to her.

You know I left, I flew the nest
And you know I won't be long
And in my chest you know me best
And you know I'll be back home

I spoke to your son after the family service and he was happy I had come to play for the service.
He knew that I had taken time away from playing for any services because of my studies.  He had mentioned that he had said to his family while I was playing, wow, she came to play for Dad even though she's taken leave.  I told him that there was no doubt in my mind that I would miss paying tribute to his father for the world.  He was happy to hear how my studies are going and that I would be returning to church soon enough.  My father said his eulogy on behalf of the other lay preachers.  We sang a couple of songs that I hope you liked.  He struggled to say much about you, only because your works speak for themselves - there's really no need to say what you've done in your lifetime.  It just feels like they will be things that will always be remembered by those who love you and know you best.

An angel by her side, oh, all the times I knew we couldn't cope
They said that it's her time, no tears in sight, I kept the feelings close
And you took hold of me and never, never. never let me go
'Cause no one knows me like the piano in my mother's home
In my mother's home

I hope that your life will continue to serve as a reminder for us all to continue to think about what we need to do.  I would like to think that we would all be able to remember you in the best ways that help us to reach our goals.  I hope that your wishes will be honoured and all of your very own hopes and dreams that you held for your family.  Thank you for your service and thank you for being an inspiration to serve.  Often it is easy to get distracted by things or people that serve no purpose in your life.  Thank you for your teachings and your humble spirit.  Manuia lou malaga Lole.  It won't be long before I'll be back in my mother's home . . . 

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Live like we're dying. . .

Every second counts on a clock that's tickin'. . . 

Sometimes we fall down and can't get back up
We're hiding behind skin that's too tough
How come we don't say I love you enough
'Til it's too late, it's not too late

How many times have you been knocked over and fallen down?
Sometimes you don't want to get back up because you've been knocked over too many times.
A colleague said to me in a phone conversation today that it's hard to know who is a friend and who is a colleague at work, because you never know who has your back.  I had the perfect opportunity to say right then and there - well I've had many people's back for a while, but it was never enough.  The distinction between a friend and a colleague is that you would expect a level of honesty that you could disclose but now you can't.  Because too many things have happened, too many mistakes have been made and too many secrets have been buried.  Is it any wonder that skin becomes tough over time?

Our hearts are hungry for a food that won't come
And we could make a feast of from these crumbs
And we're staring down the barrel of a gun
So if your life flashed before you, what would you wish you would've done

I am losing a few colleagues who have become friends for different reasons and different seasons.
They are leaving to pursue other employmenet opportunities that are better suited for them.  Opportunities that enable them to make decisions that benefit so many people, decisions that they now have the confidence and autonomy to make - something they would have never considered before.  It has been really rewarding for me to see their personal growth, to see how their healthy ambition has developed.  They gave themselves room to dream, and followed through with room to back themselves.

Yeah gotta start
Looking at the hands of time we've been given here
This is all we got then we gotta start thinkin' it
Every second counts on a clock that's tickin'
Gotta live like we're dyin' oh

My mother has been a huge inspiration in learning how to master effective use of time.
She constantly plans, always thinks about what needs to be done for future events.  I think my older brother inherits her meticulous planning skills.  I'm pretty good with planning, but only if I'm in the zone for it as I tend to be quite 'outcomes-oriented' as my friend Viv calls it.  I wonder sometimes if we are looking at the hands of time in the right way, whether we actually know how to read time properly.  Do you make the most of the present as much as you should be?  In recent weeks I have become increasingly focused on what I need to do for myself, particularly when it comes to my doctoral research.  I have really relished the thinking space I have created which allows me to sharpen my sword as well as my mind.  Things have never been so clear and once where I housed only resentment and pain, now only love and gratitude lives.  I've made sure that I gotta start thinkin' right - thinking that all of it - the anxiety and heartache is part of the learning to being the best me.

We only got 86 400 seconds in a day
To turn it all around or throw it all away
Gotta tell 'em that we love 'em while we got the chance to say
Gotta live like we're dyin' oh

It's really hard to take the high ground sometimes, but it's definitely what you should be aiming for.
It's too easy to just complain about others and just think that this is what your life has become.
But no, it doesn't have to be that way.
Venting is ok, but should only be as common practice as your ability to let go of those gripes.
I am learning to turn things around rather than throw them all away.
I am learning to pick up my feelings, consider each one in turn, explore it to its fullest extent and then just learn to put myself back together so that I can continue to function and soldier on.
If you're not really to tell people that you love them, then don't.
You don't have to do anything you don't want to.  That's always been the beauty of making decisions.
You can always change your mind in the nick of time.

Well if your plane fell out of the skies 

Who would you call with your last goodbye
Should be so careful who we left out of our lives
So when we long for absolution, there'll be no one on the line

It is easy to know who I would call for my last goodbye.
My parents are number one on that list, followed by my siblings, then my friends.
I would be joining Loma, so wouldn't need to say goodbye to him, but hello instead.
What is it in the skies that has made my plane fall?  Why would I be falling from the skies?
It will take you a while to figure out whether people are worth keeping in your life or not.
If people continue to hurt you, or you allow yourself to be hurt by them, then it's time to reassess your priorities.  You should never be wasting any of those 86,400 seconds a day doubting anything that happens to you.  Good or bad, they are all part of what you have attracted for yourself so that you can learn to celebrate it or rise above it, in spite of it.

You never know a good thing until it's gone
You never see a crash until it's head on
Why we think we're right when we're dead wrong
You never know a good thing 'til it's gone

I hope that we go through life appreciated who we have and what we have in our lives.
We spend far too much complaining and griping about things - and never fully enjoying it when we do.  What kind of life do you want to lead?  What kinds of experiences do you want to have while you're earthbound.  We must learn to slow things down enough to see when imminent crashes are coming.  At least then we will be able to prepare ourselves for the impact before we see it coming head on. We need to learn to move through ourselves, and get over ourselves when we keep constantly choosing to signal when we are right all the time.  There will be time enough to know who's right, if you were, when you leave this world.  In the meantime, we just need to live like we're dying. . . 

Monday, 4 December 2017

The voice within. . .

When there's no one else, look inside yourself. . . 
A blog post tribute to Fa'imanu Villa Aurelio xx

Young girl, don't cry
I'll be right here when your world starts to fall
Ooh young girl it's alright
Your tears will dry, you'll soon be free to fly 

My first memories of you has been as a young girl.
I grew up with you in church and first knew you as my Sunday School teacher.
You were always soft spoken and never really raised your voice to any of the kids in our class.  I would've been transitioning from intermediate school into high school when you taught me.  Having you as a teacher was comforting.  Not that we ever really went through anything really traumatic at that time in our lives, just the usual adolescence and going through puberty.  It was always just easy to talk to you about anything or ask you questions if we felt curious about anything.

When you're safe inside your room, you tend to dream
Of a place where nothing's harder than it seems
No one ever wants or bothers to explain
Of the heartache life can bring and what it means

As the days wore on, it was clear that your expectations for us to be successful in whatever we set our minds to was the gentle motivation we needed.  If we ever found some of the topics that we were studying in Sunday School to be difficult or we couldn't relate it to our actual lived realities, you made an effort to break everything down.  I told Dad about you always bringing Cook Island donuts for us, thanks to your lovely wife Mary. They served as rewards for us if we did what you wanted us to do.  In my first year of high school,  we did a play about Daniel in the lion's den.  Despite having boys in our class, you still picked me to be Daniel.  White Sunday that year was my debut playing piano and I haven't looked back since.  I remember playing the entrance music for our class to assemble on stage, and having to quickly run up to the stage to take my place as Daniel.  It's funny the things you remember.

When there's no one else, look inside yourself
Like your oldest friend, trust the voice within
Then you'll find the strength that will guide your way
You'll learn to begin to trust the voice within, oh

You were always supportive of my piano journey.  I even taught your daughter Tekura for a while in my second to last year of high school.  You worked at Bluebird then and as well as paying the piano fee, you would also bring a huge box of whatever snacks you wanted to give me.  You always gave generously and never without complaint.  You had an infectious smile and there weren't many of the fathers at church who were openly quite approachable.  You were that and more.  When you asked how school was going and what I wanted to do after school, you kept saying to work hard and to make my parents proud.  You understood the value of hard work and what it meant to continue to serve in church through my music ministry.

Young girl. don't hide
You'll never change if you just run away
Ooh, whoa yeah
Young girl, just hold tight
Soon you're going to see a brighter day, ooh

Our conversations as we got older became more about life in general.
When I got married, you gave the biggest monetary gift and it blew me away.
I wasn't expecting that at all. I was honoured and it made me think about all of the times you had encouraged me to be all that I could be.  It was obvious to me that you were happy for me and that I had found someone that I could share my life with.  I never ran away from challenges that I faced with Loma, particularly with his health.  When he passed away you were sad for me and didn't comprehend why when I had found love, why it was taken away from me so quickly.

Now in a world where innocence is quickly claimed
It's so hard to stand your ground when you're afraid
No one reaches out a hand for you to hold
When you look outside, look inside to your soul

I will remember the life lessons you have taught me.  Your quick wit and sense of humour are the things I will miss the most.  Your sincerity and 'what you see is what you get' demeanour are other things that I will miss too.  If anybody ever complained about anything, you had a philosophical response about how things would turn out - and to not sweat the small stuff, but instead rely on God no matter what.  I attended your family service last night and it was because I couldn't get time off today to attend your burial.  We have lost so many good people in our church so young.  We can now count you among them.  If I've learned anything from losing Loma, God always takes the good ones young.  I asked you say hi to Loma and to tell him I love him.  Aunty Palagi was in line before me and asked you to say hi to Saga.  That made me smile.  It's funny that we ask the recently departed to pass on messages to the ones who have gone before.
Life is a journey 
It can take you anywhere you choose to go
As long as you're learning
You'll find all you ever need to know
(Be strong) 
Break it (hold on)
You'll make it (be strong)
Just don't forsake it because (hold on)
(No one can tell you what you can't do)
No one can stop you, you know that I'm talking to you

This has been a really easy blog post to write.
I guess it's because it is easy to say nice things about you - you were just such a good man.
My parents visited you often, in Dad's capacity as a lay preacher.  Dad told me how at times you moved in and out of your lucid moments.  When you saw Mum, you recognised her instantly.  You called out 'Afamasaga!  Vaiola!  Oi o se tinā lelei!'.  You saw Dad and said 'Pulumelo!  Aiono! Lucky tele oe ia Vaiola'.  They told me they laughed really hard when you said that.  Then they told me that you asked after me.  'O ā mai Manu?  Fai ia Manu e toe fo'i mai i le galuega.'  Don't worry Villa. I will come back.  I just need to finish this thesis and then I'll come back and play for church.  Thanks for everything you've done for me growing up in church.  I listened to your daughters talk about you last night and I felt such overwhelming love for them and could feel your pride in them fill the entire church.

Rest easy Villa.
Sending you love and light.
I wanted to say goodbye and bid you farewell.
Thanks for helping me to find the voice within. . . 

Friday, 1 December 2017

Where did I go?. . .

My love was on hold. . .

Maybe this fate was overdue
Babe it's late and I'm confused
You showed me love that wasn't real (wasn't real, wasn't real)
Can't teach yourself to be sincere

I'm a fan of neo soul music.  I think from the time that I first watched Waiting to Exhale with my college/university girlfriends, the soundtrack spoke to the deepest places of me as a young woman,  One who was trying to find herself in the world, particularly if you had attended an all girls high school and wasn't really interested in knowing about the opposite sex because you grew up with brothers and didn't really pay attention to anybody other than in a platonic way.  There were particular songs on that soundtrack that were r'n'b inspired but for me, took me down a road of women who were able to sing about their feelings and express their emotion in melodic form.  To be able to understand how to lay your soul bare and to have levels of vulnerability exposed is hard to process for yourself, let alone with someone else. 

Where did I go?
Where did the sun rise?
How did I fall?
Got lost in the moonlight
Where did I go?
When did I realize?
My love was on hold?
So now this is goodbye
Good, goodbye
Good, goodbye

If we are careful we lose ourselves in places that we never think we get lost in. 
We get lost in the ideas of things, that time of ideation where you are so absorbed in what you've created that it seems so real, but wouldn't stack up in reality.  This is mostly because we measure ourselves by society's norms about what we think is acceptable, what we think we should be like and behave like - to conform to society and its expectations and belonging to some sense of social order so that we don't stand out for being too weird or too much of a freak.  If you've watched Spike Lee's Netflix series"She's Gotta Have It" you'll know that the female protagonist detest the word "freak".  How much freedom do we allow ourselves to explore, to really be what we want to be able to be, just be.  I guess when we are sick of sacrificing so much of ourselves for the sake of others - only then will we be able to break away and think about what is truly most important in your life.

This time my questions lay with you
'Cause each time inside I play the fool
Silly boy, where did that man go?
The one that hurt my soul
Now little man I left you on your own
With the whispers on your phone
I've been asking all along

My late husband used to say lots of really cool things that I now remember fondly.
He was probably more philosophical than he'd liked to have let on, because it's those conversations about ideas that I do the miss the most about our relationship.  When it came to love as an idea, he would say "Most of the time, people get love wrong, because they are in love with the idea of love, rather than the person.  They get that confused. They love the idea of being in love, but they don't really know what that means".  He was always wanting to know about past loves, why they hurt me, why I hurt them, why things never worked out.  He was curious and cautious all at once.  One of the biggest lessons he taught me about love, after he learned about those previous relationships, or if we had fights about things I can't remember now, but seemed so important to be right at the time (!), he would say, "You know, I only ever want your happiness.  Even if it means you're happy without me.  I only ever loved you for you - not for anything you can give me, just you being you."  That always melted me.  Every time.  Ladies, if you're starting to question where that man has gone, figure out whether it's worth being with a silly boy.

Where did I go?
Where did the sun rise?
How did I fall?
Got lost in the moonlight
Where did I go?
When did I realize?
My love was on hold?
So now this is goodbye
Good, goodbye
Good, goodbye

I hope that you learn about love in due course, of course, no remorse, I do endorse.
Love is different for everyone, in so many different ways.  There will be things about yourself that you won't understand, where you change because being with someone alters how you are with others.  It's something to do with how people can affect each other.  We will go through phases in our life, when we get lost in the moonlight and have to use that shine to find our way back to ourselves.  That hazy dream of moonlight can often reveal other things in the dark, other shapes in the shadows that you didn't notice are lurking there.  It will be important to say goodbye to the worst parts of yourself, to renew, to recharge, to be resilient and accept that even when you make mistakes, it's important to restart and get back on track again.  Once you stop putting your love on hold you'll no longer need to question where did I go?. . .