Saturday, 29 July 2017

Family. . .

This blogpost is a tribute to Afamasaga Leuli Robert Ieriko
Whatever dreams we have, they're for the family. . . 

What about I need?
Curtis says it's the best thing for the group
What about what's best for me?
He feels that The Dreams can cross over

My parents and I received news last night that you had left this life.
You had been sick for a while, probably for a long time, but you never let on that things were much more dire than they actually were.  I write this because I probably won't get an opportunity to say anything in tribute publicly in your final church services.  That right is reserved for your immediate family; cousins I've grown up with my whole life and only just recently reconnected with intermittently during your illness in hospital.

What about how I feel?  
When we're famous I'll write great things for you 
Effie do it for me
What about me? What about me?

As I'm writing this, I'm thinking about the things I did for you growing up, particularly with music.
As soon as I realised that I had a natural ability for playing the piano, I stopped playing sports altogether and focused on playing for church.  It would only take me 9 months of hard work to move from Grade 1 to Grade 4, debuting at White Sunday.  Now that you're gone, I think about how I feel.  As a child, I always felt good about playing for church, and playing while you were conducting from an early age was part of the beginning of my musicianship training.  You didn't explain anything to me.  I had to learn by observing.  You taught me by growling me.  At your worst you would embarrass and ridicule me.  At your best you would smile and nod before resuming the task at hand.

It's more than you, it's more than me
No matter what we are, we are a family
The dream is for all of us, this one can be real
And you can't stop us now because of how you feel

The more I learned about music, it wouldn't be long before I not only started to develop my singing voice, but also my own voice to speak up when I felt things weren't right.  You taught me this, but I'm not sure that you intentionally meant to teach me.  God works in mysterious ways - using his children to teach us lessons about ourselves, to learn about service and obedience, and also about justice.  I wonder, what your dream was for all of us?  Not only the musicians, but also just everybody who was connected to you?  Nothing would stop the events that were about to unfold, but the biggest lesson upon reflection, and in light of your passing, it's more than you, it's more than me. . . 

It's more than you, it is more than me
Whatever dreams we have they're for the family
We're not alone anymore now there are others there
And that's dream's big enough for all of us to share 

The last time I saw you in hospital, it was a spontaneous visit.  I had dinner with Phillip and we had a good conversation about lots of stuff that we usually talk about when we catch up.  The thing about catching up with good friends is that the range of topics can vary and go as deep or as light as you want.  Eating good food that night was a bonus too, going to support Rita who was excited to see us there, as her other close friends weren't able to make it - so it felt like we were a representative contingent, together with Torise who was with a friend at a separate table.  When we arrived at the hospital, everyone was gathered in the family room.  Aunty Palagi wanted to make sure that we were all able to come and see you.  I reassured her that no, your immediate family took priority, I just wanted to come and see how everyone was, with no expectation to come and see you.  When we were able to get in the room to see you, we sang a hymn, a prayer was said and then we started to file out and say goodbye to you.

So don't think you're going, you're not going anywhere
You're staying and taking your share
And if you get afraid again, I'll be there

You lay there on your back with your eyes open.  You had been laughing at Robert during the prayer as he kept saying things that made you laugh.  When he asked you to go to Samoa with him, you vigorously shook your head and we all laughed.  You moved your legs around, and I could sense your frustration.  I knew you wanted to get up and just walk out of there.  It was time to leave, the nursing staff needed to attend to your medical needs, so we all filed out one by one, saying goodbye.  If I had known that it would be my last time seeing you alive, I would have said something more profound.
I said "Hey! It's Manu" while rubbing your right arm.  You sat bolt upright and turned towards me and gasped.  I think I was more surprised by your reaction to me than everyone in the room, I just hid it better.  I wasn't sure if you were surprised that I had come to visit you and didn't expect to see me there.  In that instant, I had a flashback to a few nights earlier while I was asleep at home, and someone had whispered my name that woke me out of my dream.  There was nobody around.  I wondered if that was Loma who had come to visit.  I felt that it was a message to come and see you. I came back to the present moment and as I looked at your face and into your eyes, I wondered if you had seen Loma when you had gone under.  I told you in Samoan, 'that's enough lying down, time to get up.'  I told you my parents were thinking about you, wished you well, that our whole church sent their love.  You visibly relaxed and lay back on the bed.

We are a family like a giant tree branching out of the sky
We are a family, we are so much more than just you and I
We are a family, like a giant tree
Growing stronger, growing wiser, we are growing free
We need you, we are a family

We may have had our differences, but I always respected the opportunities you gave me as a child that helped to form the foundation of my love for music.  I will always remember you testing me, by throwing so much music for me to sight read (you were responsible for making me good at sightreading).  I will always remember how I watched you like a hawk when you conducted and knew instinctively during rehearsals, when to start playing again to bring the choir in because I could sense you were starting to get angry and might say in Samoan 'ok, we're not singing this song now', then abruptly change songs.  Your temperamental disposition made playing for you a constant challenge, but I truly believe it would not have made me the discerning musician I am today, allowing no room for compromise when I wanted nothing but perfection from the choir.  We just had different approaches to achieve the same goal.

Even though you have physically departed, I know you have left behind a legacy for your children and grandchildren.  I've been playing this song on repeat all night,  thinking about how proud you were of your family, of where you came from, and where you wanted your family to head into the future.  Thanks Uncle Saga for your life and being hard on me.  I value that as I move ahead and try to make my own mark in the world.  I am confident that you are now with our ancestors and that you are free from illness.  Do me a favour please, and if you see Loma, give him a huge hug from me.

Manuia lau malaga Saga.
We are a family, we are so much more than just you and I. . . 

Friday, 28 July 2017

Bless the broken road. . .

This much I know is true. . . 

I set out on a narrow road so many years ago
Hoping I would find true love along the broken road
But I got lost a time or two
Wiped my brow and kept pushing through
I couldn't see how every sign pointed straight to you

How many roads have you been down?
We sometimes forget that we are constantly on roads but don't really take much notice of our surroundings while we're on the road.  As a passenger in cars, I have the luxury of noticing what goes on in roads, while the driver is usually occupied with making sure we have safe passage on those roads.  I sometimes think it's strange when you're with someone but can still feel like they will never really understand you, or know what you're really about.  Are these the times when you are lost?  Where the signs pointing you?  Just as I think I can rely on things and know what is for sure, there are just as many changes that you move along just as quickly as you thought your convictions were immobile.

That every long lost dream lead me to where you are
Others who broke my heart, they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you
Yes it did

Who are the northern stars in your life?
They might not even know that they have broken your heart, unless you have told them.
On your broken road you may come across people who will help to heal parts of your broken road.
It has to be said that you should also be careful not to be responsible for breaking other people's roads either.  Even if you don't mean to, had no intention of doing so, but I think if people practised more self reflection and were more considerate of others, there would be less pain in the world.  It is challenging enough not to cause self inflicted pain, let alone collect it from others who want to transfer theirs to you.  What do you do when you carry so many other broken roads from everyone else?  Who will be there to help you with your broken road?  Even if you don't believe in God and have lost faith in humanity - there must be someone or a higher being (if you aren't strong enough) who will bless your broken road.

I think about the years I just spent passing through
I'd like to have the time I've lost and give it back to you
But you just smile and take my hand
You've been there you understand
It's all part of a grander plan that is coming true

The gift of time is extremely precious - and one that people shouldn't take for themselves if they can't give it freely.  What places have you been to that allows people to truly understand where you come from?  You should be able to surround yourself with people who will always hold your hand, no matter what you do.  It is hard to find non-judgemental people who will accept you warts and all.  How can you repay someone for all the time they have spent on you?  You can't give that time back.  I went to watch a friend perform with his band last night and it was an interesting experience.  I went alone and had the opportunity to soak in the atmosphere.  At one point it was funny to be standing there minding my own business and then have parents of a former music student approach me.  They wanted to know what I was doing at the venue and who I was connected to.  I said I knew the frontman of the band.  They commented on the fact that I have a wider reach of music and not just within a classroom.  Well, I don't think you can be a real music teacher if you aren't some type of musician first.  You can't teach about music if you can't spend time appreciating it.  I've moved beyond teaching music, but I guess it's all part of that grander plan that's coming true isn't it.

And now I'm just rolling home 
Into my lover's arms
This much I know is true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you

I hope that I will be able to see that even when my road ahead is broken, that I won't be focused on how hard it is to travel upon; in fact that won't be my focus.  My whole life has never been easy, even though people would like to think that it is.  All of the challenging moments I have ever faced, have all been because it is important training for what I am meant to do in this life, on this earth, during this time.  Even though I miss Loma, and wonder if he would be proud of all that I have achieved thus far in his absence, I know that he is never very far away.  I see him and feel him in all the plans that we made so long ago but what I was going to be able to do for him, for myself, for us.  There are no lover's arms in this lifetime that could warm me, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.  I just don't think it's a priority for me right now.  I'm using this time to get used to who I am, knowing the 'me' that I need to be, before I form another 'we'.  All I need to remember is that God will always bless my broken roads, regardless.  This much I know is true. . . 

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Just let it go. . .

When you're learning to let go. . . 
Happy birthday to my brother in Sydney - thanks for teaching me more than you'll ever know :-)

You've been through so much
So many ups and downs
You've given your love
But never liked the way it turned out
You closed off your heart
And you carried the weight
Like a million rocks on your shoulders
But you don't have to wait for an apology (But life isn't meant to be perfect)
Or for someone else to make amends (And we won't always win)
When you can remember (But can you remember)
That your healing is in your hands

Lately some family members have been unwell and are in hospital.
Life has revolved around working, study and spending time with people who need me there to support them has been a top priority.  Watching people fight for their lives has helped me to get on with my own and think very carefully about what we are meant to do in this world.  When you have focused in the past on superficial things that seemed to take up the most of your focus and energy, it's important to not be dismissive of that either.  When you have carried the weight of so many who should've carried their own weight, it has not been a complete waste of your time.  The thing about learning how to teacher others to do what they need to do, may seem like it has come at a cost to you, but this should not be the only thing you see.  How did you feel helping everyone around you?  There must surely be a reason why your shoulders are broader than others, why your ears hear more than others care to bear, why your mouth speaks more words to heal others when others seek to pull them down.  It's ok to give your love.  If it isn't reciprocated, it just means that they are not meant to be the ones who reciprocate for you.

Just let it go, inch by inch
Just let it go, and do it again
Just let it go one day you'll see
Just let it go, you set yourself free

When I visited a sick uncle last night, he had just come out of a coma.
We had not seen eye to eye for such a long time, for various reasons that I won't explain, other than to say that the more that I learned about music, the more I discovered my truth, discovered my voice, and felt empowered to speak my mind.  This was at odds with him and when I confronted him so many years ago, I was only 20 myself at the time, it felt like the words coming our of my mouth were words that I had not thought in my mind.  My mouth moved and I spoke, but I wasn't completely conscious.  I just remember at that time having had enough of what I felt was mistreatment.  Fast forward to last night.  I had only visited him once before, last week.  My parents had been visiting on alternate days.

You've been used
You've been abused
Someone came along
Who didn't value you
You carried the weight
Of your heart
Like a million rocks on your shoulders
But life isn't meant to be perfect
And we won't always win
But can you remember
That your healing is in your hands

We sang a song.  One of the mothers with us, lead us in prayer.  We sang the closing song to signal the end of the small intimate prayer vigil we held for him.  We all took turns saying goodbye to him so that the hospital staff could carry on with their duties.  The first time I visited him last week, I had rubbed his arm, spoke to him in my mother tongue, encouraging him to be strong and that my parents and our church people were thinking of him.  Last night I rubbed his arm. and said casually, hey it's Manu.  He sat up abruptly, faced me, and seemed to be in shock.  I'm pretty sure the family were as stunned as I was.  I told him in Samoan, that's enough lying there, time to get up.  I told him my parents sent their best and that the church were thinking of him. so pretty much the same sentiments as the first time I saw him.  The first time I saw him, he was asleep.  Last night when I saw him, he was awake.  If there are people around you who are sick, go visit them.  Use your healing hands.

Gave it your all
You put your blinders on
When you looked around
All of your friends were gone
You took the fall
And you carried the weight
Like a million rocks on your shoulders

All of the things he had done to me in the past, I let them go.
To see him in a helpless state was moving.  I could see how much he meant to his immediate family - my aunt, my cousins, his grandchildren.  I couldn't help but think, maybe he reacted that way to me because he must've seen my late husband while he was asleep.  Maybe when he was asleep, he was set free if only for a short time.  I would also like to think that all of us who have been to visit him have been able to help heal him in some small way, with all the things we have said to him, all of the loving gestures we have shown him.  I don't need to wait for an apology from him for the past,  I was just glad to be with him in the present.  Whatever initial awkwardness there was in me being there, was quickly banished when the sincerity of my presence was felt.  Maybe this is what we need to show more for each other these days?  How we can be sincere, how we can be there for each other, how we can truly care and heal others who may secretly reach out to us for healing, in spite of it all.  Maybe this has been the way I have been able to set myself free in the process.  As hard as it has been for so many other journeys that I have travelled alone in my life, I can still see the beauty through all the pain, just because I just let it go. . . 

Friday, 21 July 2017

Life is good. . .

Note to self. . . 

The blog posts of late may have felt like negative and intense.  You may be right.
But it has been an internal storm that has been brewing for some time that needed to pass through, much like the weather system that has been battering New Zealand towns in the past fortnight.  You could say that after all of this rain, sleet, hail and just biting cold that has gripped us for a while, it has come to pass.  There is no music video for today's song, but you can follow my Spotify playlist that has the song recently added to listen.  Just search for my name and the playlist ManuScript.

Note to self, chase your dreams
Note to self, find your wings
Note to self, seek your truth
You have nothing left to prove

When we allow negative and mind numbing experiences to take over our daily lives, it can cause trauma that is difficult to process.  So how do you push through the pain?  Try and remember what the great things are in life that you know are important.  We need to know that our dreams are still intact.  We need to know that our wings, even if they feel like they have been clipped or suffered some damage, are still there and ready to be used.  The truth that you have been searching for all along cannot be found in the apologies and forgiveness sought from you; instead it comes from within.  There is nothing left for you to prove in this world, so why continue to seek it in this plane?

The road may twist and turn sometimes
But at the bottom line, hey 
Life is good
Hey, life is good

What road wouldn't be interesting if it was twisted and turned somewhat?
It's those very bends in the road that help to build character, that help us to understand ourselves so well that we put pressure on ourselves, allow others to learn so much from this pressure.  Despite all of that happening, the bottom line is that we must celebrate what life brings.  Are you happy with your life right now?  If yes, then you should be shouting from the rooftops how great your life is.  We make the most of the opportunities that are afforded to us, and when there are no opportunities to be had, we go out there and create them.

I've been down on my face
I've felt the victory of winning the race
I've felt love's pain and it's joy
Depending on the day, flip sides of a coin

We must be prepared to feel all of the good feelings that this good life brings.
Granted there are situations that tell us that life isn't as good for some people, but I'm not referring to people who are in situations that are beyond their control. I'm talking to the ones who continually make the same mistakes, make the same bad choices.  You might like to throw caution to the wind and on the fly, just like to live a little dangerously, without any thought for being really prepared - just feel the emotion and let it run its course.

As we write the story of our lives
At the bottom line, put
Life is good
Hey, life is good, yeah

What does the story of your life look like?
We might have so many different chapters or episodes that don't make sense to us right now, but I don't think I have ever regretted any moments in my life.  I may have felt like that at the time, wallowing in those pits of despair, but I was meant to feel that at the time.  It's all a matter of perspective.  I just think we should be thinking more about our good lives, and just live it.

The difference in living life and feeling alive
Is using fear as fuel to fly, hey

I hope that we start to know the difference between letting our lives take over and stop us from feeling alive.  I can't imagine key moments in my life without those wonderful "feeling alive" euphoric times.  There are those time of intense happiness that is boundless and just utterly magical.  Those are the times when smiling inexplicably and understanding what pure joy means cannot be eclipsed.  I hope that one day we are all completely satisfied with the people we have become, who we are now and what we strive to be.  I feel that I am in a perpetual state of becoming, and that excites me beyond reason.  Do you feel the same way?  We should no longer be afraid to fly.  If you ever needed to know where I'm at right now, I can tell you, I can even reassure you beyond a shadow of a doubt, that although life is nowhere near perfect, I can feel that life is good. . . 

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Don't explain. . .

There ain't nothin' to gain. . . 

Have you been in this situation?
Has someone been unfaithful to you? Maybe you've been the unfaithful one?
Cheating is a very straightforward and simple thing.  Isn't it?  You're with someone, but then you choose to be with someone else.  Why can't we be monogamous and be faithful to one person?  What compels us to seek solace outside of our committed relationships?  Why is it that even after we make promises and vows to be with someone for the rest of our lives, we then decide to be with someone else at the same time?  There are different stories - you fall into things by accident, like you slip and fall on someone and then you really start to notice that they're there, when you didn't really notice before.  You might have someone who has had premeditated designs on you for some time, but you didn't know until it was too late and you became ensnared in their trap.  You might be the predator, who hunts specific personality types that excite you, the fact that you don't know any better because this is how you've always been - how you've always behaved so why change now?

Hush now, don't explain
There ain't nothin' to gain
I'm glad that you're back
Don't explain

There isn't anything to gain from someone who cheats on you.
We learn from an early age about fidelity and what it means to be committed to someone.
Why do we subject ourselves to accepting people who treat us this way?
Why do we hurt our loved ones by doing this?  Why would they not want to hear any explanations?
There's nothing worth explaining because the damage has been done hasn't it?
I'm not judging here.  Just able to see it from both sides of the fence.  What must it feel like for both sides?  Unless you've been on the receiving end of either side, you don't know what it feels like, what it really feels like.

Quiet baby don't explain
There is nothin' to gain
Skip that, lipstick 
Don't explain

What would you do if you found lipstick on your man's collar?
Might be a number on the phone, a text message, an email, hidden pictures.
How can you gloss over that lip gloss you found in the glove box that you know doesn't belong to you?  Can't gain anything from explanations because the evidence is too strong.  Can't gain anything from talking about the lipstick, so you skip it.

You know that I love you
And what love endures
All my thoughts are of you
For I'm so completely yours

Do you think that the reason you accepted being cheated on, is because you think that your love is enough for the both of you?  Maybe that might happen.  He or she might come to their senses and realise, you were always the one.  That the reason why you did the things you did was because you thought you couldn't be part of a love that endured.  You didn't realise that he or she could have thoughts that were only of you.  Did you not ask?  How did you not know?  Did you think that you weren't worthy of such love?

Don't want to hear nobody chatter
'Cause I know you cheat
Right and wrong don't matter
When you're with me, my sweet

Behind closed doors, behind hands that cover mouths that hide the words that spill out talking about you.  How do you handle it?  You know they cheat.  Everyone knows they cheat.  Yet you still hang on.  You might think that having pieces of them is enough, that you don't need their whole body, mind or heart - you would be happy with but just one of those parts - as long as you get your little now and then.  Is this enough for you?  Is this the kind of love that endures that you had pictured in your mind?  As I write this, the words flow onto the screen and my fingers don't know what it is writing.  These thoughts that leap out in front of you as you read, surprise even me no less.  Maybe this is what cheating feels like.  You are compelled to just do it.  There is no reasonable explanation that would be enough to assuage that pain that you feel from finding out lies that have covered behaviour you didn't sign up for.  Yet you are willing to accept what little scraps of affection you are being fed like goldfish in a bowl, circling lazily because you know that fish food eventually comes with minimal effort on your part.

Hush now don't explain
Don't you know
You're my joy and you're my pain?
My life is yours love
Don't explain

I hope that you never have to experience such heartache.
You think it's stuff that only happens in the movies, but it's real stuff.  It happens to real people.
There are real secrets out there that are hidden in plain sight.  People don't know how hard they need to look, not very hard as a matter of fact.  What do we hope to gain by exposing such secrets?  Who needs to learn such truths from uncouth youths?  Nobody really.  How can a person be the source of both your joy and your pain?  Who gave them this power?  To be honest, I don't even know why this is the topic of this blog post.  I guess it doesn't really matter does it?  You don't really need to know,  So I won't.  You could say, hey, hush now don't explain. . . 

Can't get by without you. . .

And I'll have all the love I need to keep me satisfied. . . 

I've been feeling a bit reminiscent of late.  Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it isn't.
I've been spending time with people that I normally don't get to see, particularly during this two week holiday break when I'm not in schools so much, and also because are here from overseas and will be returning to their own work as well.  What do we take notice of when we talk to people?  If I'm in the car, the first thing I notice is the music - what songs are playing in the background.  Today's blog post features one of the songs I heard in a car today.

When I leave your door
When we say goodnight it hurts me more and more, 
Cause girl it just ain't right to end a day like this, with no more than a kiss
And spend the night just dreaming of the things we're gonna miss

The opening of the song reminds me of some classic Barry White number that I can never remember.  It's quite typical and formulaic of the songs of that era.  When you say goodbye people do you often think about the things that you're going to miss?  I don't think we sink ourselves heavily enough into the moments, drinking them in, taking notice of all the little details that make that moment.  Sometimes we are so single-minded in the moment that we forget about the bigger picture at play.  We only think about the desires that come to mind that contribute to our own pleasure. We neglect to think about what is happening in the moment for someone else.  Why should the end of the day end with more than what you expected?  Why should you presume so?

If I have my way, girl we'd be together more and more each day, 
We'd go on forever, lovers hand in hand, 
Can't you understand
Girl you've got to be my woman, I've got to be your man!

If someone wants you to be their woman, they will do whatever it takes to make it happen.
If they are half hearted about what that really means for them, then the simple answer is just to shift your focus and energy into something else, or someone else (hopefully yourself).  Why would they talk about having things their way and not ask you what you want for yourself, what you want for each other, for the "us" that you are going to be?  Why does he have to be your man?  How much better is your life going to be with him?  Do you really need him?  What if his quality of life significantly increases because you're in it, but not vice versa?

'Cause I can't get by without you, I need you more each day
The way I feel about you, leaves nothing more to say
'Cause I love you, girl I need you
And I can't get by without you, no way!

If someone can't get by without you, it should make you wonder.
Why is it that they need you to be dependent on - why can't they do things for themselves?
If someone loves you, they will respect the fact that they won't necessarily protect you from everything, but they should know that it is important to be upfront in that relationship.  It sounds cliche that all good relationships are founded on honesty and being honest with each other - because well, I don't really see the point in hiding things or lying about things either.  I wonder about the tone of desperation - is it warranted?  Would you sing a similar sort of song in return?  I'm trying to rack my brains thinking of a female equivalent to this song - there probably is, but I just think there are more male songs about this kind of topic - wanting to hold on to someone who does not want to be held.

It's a sad affair, wasting precious time that you and I could share, 
Girl it's such a crime to hear you call my name
It's a crying shame
When we're not together, there's only time to blame

There is something to be said about patience.
Very few people have it, and the ones that do, are already impatient with the ones that don't.
When we go to call out people's names and tell them what's up - do you know what you're trying to say without having to filter it all the time?  Maybe we call out people's names to tell them to stop, to tell them that it's enough, that you want to stop the merry go round they keep trying to put you on and just get on pushing yourself in your own direction.  Is it any wonder that you would rather be apart with all the time in the world, than be together and know that time is an illusion?

There will come a day, girl I do believe it's not too far away
When I can say goodnight and still be by your side
To dry the tears you've cried
And I'll have all the love I need to keep me satisfied

At this point you're probably thinking, wow, she really hates this song haha.  Not at all.  I actually like this song, but I guess because of what's happening around me at this time, the song makes me think about how being apart can be a really good thing.  That when things are meant to be, they will naturally run its course and things will happen in due time.  Why are we impatient for satisfaction that can't be rushed?  The longing that people have for each other, sometimes has to be exercised with restraint.  Maybe people just stopping believing and gave up?  What does each passing day hold for you?  I hope that despite all of the challenges you face in your life, that you are able to count the blessings rather than the blemishes that you think hinder you.  Too often we can focus on our mistakes, our downfalls, our pride and hearts being smashed to pieces.  But how can we move forward?  Even if you think you can't get by without me, I actually feel the opposite, that I don't feel I can't get by without you. . . 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Stay awake. . .

You know I just can't let you be. . . 

What do you do when there is no justice in the world?
It always seems like those who hurt others seem to get away with so much and are never made to be accountable for their actions.  Why do we let this happen?  Some may argue that this is how the system is put together, that we can't possibly hope to have justice served in the way that is right, because it can be bought, it can be sold, it can be manipulated beyond any poor man's control.

I am the blank page before you
I am the fine idea you crave
I live and breathe under the moon
And when you cross that bridge
I'll come find you

Have you ever been anyone's dream before?
They might have designs on you being able to advance them in some way, be able to articulate things for them that they never could.  They might have learned so many things that people start to believe that they came up with all of that on their own.  Nobody would ever deign to think that they couldn't possibly have come up with anything that original.  No crafted responses surely.  What bridges must we construct for ourselves to learn anymore about ourselves that we think we already know?  I don't know if I want to willingly go and find people who do that.  They might come looking for me, continue searching for me.  Maybe I just don't want to be found, because I was never really lost in the first place.  I've just gone into hiding.

Stay awake with me
You know I can't just let you be 
Stay awake with me
Take your hand and come and find me

What would make you stay?
People will probably stop trying to mess with you once you make it clear that you are not to be messed with.  The fear that you hold within yourself is actually a stronger hold, does more damage than what you think others could ever possibly do.  This is what people who try to do harm to you try to do.  This is what people who try to blackmail you try to do.  They play on your fears and think that you are weak enough to manipulate, that you don't know yourself well enough to rise above those fears and discover your inner strength that they couldn't reach.

I don't have a skin like you do
To keep it all in like you do
I don't have a soul like you
The only one I have 
Is the one I stole from you

What do those blackmailers try to do when you develop a thick skin?
They start to panic and realise that you have surpassed their low level machinations, that they can't actually touch you from the opposite side of the world sitting behind their computer screens.  There are so much elaborate schemes out there that exist, that by the time police are able to investigate what is actually happening behind the scenes, the scammers will have moved on to the next approach, the next play, the next victim.  Why do we allow ourselves to trust so easily in this day and age?  People will start to show that they are not what they seem to be.  Humanity cannot be trusted because security measures must be tightened and you have to be more careful about what it is that you do and whether you can trust who you are talking to.  Be wary when other people try to steal your soul from you.  It isn't theirs to take and they can only take it if you let them, so stay vigilant at all times.

Stay awake with me
You know I can't just let you be
Stay awake with me
Take your hand and come and find me
Stay awake with me
You know I can't just let you be
Stay awake with me
Take your hand and come and find me

I hope that you will learn how to do things for yourself.
Sometimes we get so used to people being there for us all the time, that we don't know how to function on our own.  When we develop co-dependent behaviours, we don't do ourselves any favours.   I hope you know how to deal with people who want to cause you harm and want take all that you are to claim it for themselves, to strip you of everything that you hold dear, because they either have nothing else to do, or because they've done it to so many others before you, that they know no other way of life.  They do to others, otherwise they get done to.  Is this the world we live in now?  This is what the world looks like with no justice in it.  If anything, all I want from you is to stay awake. . .  

Monday, 17 July 2017

Let her go. . .

Hoping one day you'll make a dream last. . . 

Well you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go

There's that phrase you might have heard - you only miss your water when it's gone.
You may struggle internally to deal with issues that continue to plague you.  But I think if you are completely honest with yourself, you will see that either these issues are not yours in the first instance, or you have inadvertently exacerbated these issues in the attempt to help someone get through - but it's not your journey to make right?  Isn't this why they aren't capable of dealing with issues unless you are there to fix it for them?  Only when you are there to put all of the pieces back together and make them whole again, but in the process, making yourself empty and not doing what you need to do?  Who gives you energy when someone else depletes yours?  How much longer must you subject yourself to that?  You cannot possibly hope to sustain this.

Staring at the bottom of your glass
Hoping one day you'll make a dream last
But dreams come slow and they go so fast
You see her when you close your eyes
Maybe one day you'll understand why
Everything you touch surely dies

I'm surrounded by people who do so much for others but don't realise they are being ridiculed behind their backs.  I know there are people that read my blogs religiously because they comment on how they have read them.  Sometimes I want to tell them what I know about what is actually going on in their lives, because I'm privy to information that would sooooo shift their perspective on how they are operating in their lives - but it isn't my place to say, it's not my journey to make.  One thing I have learned to do is to keep well enough away from situations that I don't need to be involved in.  One thing I will hint at though - is if you're someone who looks after other people's children on a regular basis, because you're kind hearted like that, and would do so at the drop of a hat, just think about how genuinely those mothers are about being your friend.  Because while you're being a good friend and being nice, they actually don't think much about you behind your back.  I only know this because other people have told me what has been said.  I must have that kind of face, or an invisible sign that says - tell me everything.

Staring at the ceiling in the dark
Same old empty feeling in your heart
Love comes slow and it goes fast
Well you see her when you fall asleep
But never to touch and never to keep
'Cause you loved her too much and you dive too deep

If you keep coming up against the same roadblocks - have a real serious think and reflect on why the same things keep happening.  I have been at a crossroads at a while, thinking about the goals that I have.  My destiny is intertwined with those of many, those who have not even been born yet, propelled by those who have gone before me.  Being part of a legacy is an important factor to remember and every action you do in the here and now has echoes that will reverberate into the future, much like how we can feel those of our ancestors in the breaths and steps we take now.  There are people we can never touch, never keep.  If you go too much too fast, they are always bound to slip through your fingers.  How then do you improve your grasp?

'Cause you only need the light when it's burning low
Only miss the sun when it starts to snow
Only know you love her when you let her go
Only know you've been high when you're feeling low
Only hate the road when you're missing home
Only know you love her when you let her go
And you let her go

I hope that you don't turn to people only when you need them.
This is the problem with society today.  We only call on people; run to them when we have problems that we can't solve, but we forget to realise that we are the ones who created those problems in the first place.  If you're like me, you would have tried to push past the problems to find solutions for these people, but when is enough, enough?  There are limits that people need to be aware of, that sometimes you won't be there for all of the time at their every beck and call, especially when your faith in them starts to erode, when they have continually abused you, again and again.  Those are the times that you realise that you just need to let her go. . . 

Clairvoyant. . .

You might hate my words but you know that I'm right. . . 

I think you'll notice when things become different
The good vibes in our lives won't feel so consistent
And less becomes more cause the weight is too heavy
I swim in the water that is breaking your levee

What do you do when things shift and become different?
Usually I'm a person who is quite open to change, only because I understand things happen and roll the way they do, because we can't really stop momentum.  When good vibes are no longer consistent, we have to ask ourselves whether we are inviting bad vibes to dabble in our lives.  What things are you doing - both intentionally and unintentionally?  There's nothing anybody loves more than having to carry extra weight around - whether you are picking up the slack for others or you are having to pick up after someone else because they're incapable of doing it all themselves.  If we fail to notice that things are becoming different, then we only have ourselves to blame when we are confronted with change, because we haven't been paying attention to our surroundings and being mindful of what is really going on.

The way that you left me is alright, it's alright
If I argue the point then we yell and we fight
And I won't be home for the rest of the night
You might hate my words but you know that I'm right
You know that I'm right

What is the point of arguing, yelling and fighting?
The point of arguments (according to some people) is to arrive at a conclusion where one person involved in the argument is the winner - because their explanation or idea becomes the solution or next step to be followed.  How many times do we ignore when an obvious solution stares us in the face, yet we always choose the most sophisticated way forward?  When someone leaves you - are you really alright?  Are you hiding how you are truly feeling?  I don't think that it is worth arguing a case if you aren't prepared to be completely honest.  The space that is afforded when you are able to breathe and just be able to distance yourself from unwanted drama, is the only way to be able to finally rest at home, for the rest of the night.  When was the last time you were able to rest that way?

This is your life there's no way to run from it
The doubt in your brain or the pain in your stomach
I only have but one complaint at the moment
Don't paint me black when I used to be golden

I guess on the flip side when you do something wrong, or you hurt others, all they will remember is the blackness of the act, rather than all of the golden moments you have exhibited before.  If we cannot run from our lives, what compels us to stay?  People we care about? Plans that we have made?  Places that we want to see?  Pleasures that have yet to be indulged?  What do you object to?  Are there things that you will no longer tolerate?  Have a good look at what is causing the doubt in your brain or the pain in your stomach,  Sometimes no medication cures you of those - but instead you have to consider how your actions will impact on what is to come.  Are you aware of the complaints that either you might be generating or where the origin point is?

The way that you left me is alright, it's alright
If I argue the point then we yell and we fight
And I won't be home for the rest of the night
You might hate my words but you know that I'm right
You know that I'm right

I hope that you understand what you need to do in order for things to be alright, because it's alright.
I know that a lot of people aren't usually fans of what I say (so I've been told, in lots of other different contexts) but that doesn't mean it's any less valid to say.  In any case, I hope that when words fail you, because sometimes words are never enough - just take a back seat and have a rest, just don't paint me black when I used to be golden. . . 

What you get is what you see. . .

Sometimes what you get isn't what you see . . . 

Some boys got the look of a Greek Adonis
Some boys try to talk you off your feet
Some boys think they're god's gift to women
Some boys think they're sweet enough to eat
Try to change the habit of a lifetime
Don't even try
Cause when you cut down deeper than the icing
You realise

I don't know about you but sometimes I think men are a complete waste of time.
Spoken like a true feminist I know, but apart from my own family members, there aren't very many great examples of the opposite sex that I can rely on to just have themselves pulled together and know how to deal with their own business.  Instead, it's all about games and telling me (or not telling me) about things that they've said and done and then I realise that yes, it is hard for such men to be able to change their habits of a lifetime.  I don't think I'm prepared to keep looking after broken men or fix them because they've caused this damage, whatever damage it is, to themselves and expect me to clean it up.

What you get is what you see
Ain't nothing more to it
And if you want a woman like me
It takes a man to do it
If what you get is what you see
Then I don't want your kind of love

I would like to think that I'm not as complex as people think I am.
Maybe people don't understand you because they've already pigeonholed you into some box that you don't really belong in, because they don't really know you.  Why do people persist in doing things that don't involve you, but they want it to? Ladies, just watch what kind of trouble comes to your yard and have the nous to know what to do with said situation.  Would you even care what kind of woman you are that men want to be with?  I think we focus too much on the wrong stuff and don't really invest our time and energy into what we need to do to elevate ourselves, to keep ourselves at the forefront of preparing for a future that doesn't solely on someone else.  I think that's probably the biggest lesson I've learned since I've become a widow.  Why would you open your heart again, only to have someone mishandle it?

Some guys got lips that you can't help kissing
And some guys got a smile that you can't resist
Some guys gotta build a reputation
They just want to add you to the list
You got a lot of physical attraction
I can't deny
But you can guarantee me satisfaction
While I'm still waiting, waiting, waiting

I guess you're better off waiting for someone worthwhile, someone with substance and someone who genuinely cares about what happens to you, what you value without all of the other noise or drama that they bring.  Are you done with guys adding you to their list?  The type of guys who use you for their own personal gain, but give no real credence to the phenomenal woman that you are?  Don't you dare put yourself in situations where you lay yourself vulnerable - no matter how innocent things seem, no matter what excuses seem to bubble and brew themselves to the surface.  You should be more discerning with the satisfaction that you can bring to your own life - and not on someone else who doesn't know what that really means.  Enough empty or broken promises.  The reality remains to be seen.

So let me see your cards on the table
Before I buy
I always read the writing on the label
So give me reason to believe there's more to you than meets the eye

I hope that whoever you're playing cards with, knows how to play the game properly.
There's nothing worse than playing cards with someone who keeps changing the rules on you or reveals that they've cheated the entire time.  I'm a huge fan of always reading the writing on the label.  We can't afford to let our gaze falter from that label.  Someone might've tried to dupe you by sticking a fake label on.  I have yet to see anyone be more than what they present themselves to be.  I'm past caring about what men try to do with their games.  It's tedious, ridiculous and a complete waste of my time.  But hey, I guess what you get is what you see. . . 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Leave me alone. . .

Who's laughing baby, don't you know. . . 

I don't care what you talkin' bout baby
I don't care what you say
Don't you come walkin' beggin' back mama
I don't care anyway
Dime after dime I give you all of my money
No excuses to make
Ain't no mountain that I can't climb baby
All is going my way

No matter what you try to do to change public perception of you, people will believe what they want to believe.  The more that you do for others, the more you seem to come under scrutiny.  People will become suspicious of your motives and not bother to ask you point blank why you do what you do, and what lies behind the thoughts that sit in your head.  When do you decide that enough is enough? When do you decide that if people are not going to be upfront about what is really going on behind closed doors - you the keeper of secrets - when will you be able to just let all of it go and just walk away?  How will you climb over those mountains and distance yourself from the mountains that people keep putting in your way?

'Cause there's a time when you're right
And you know you must fight
Who's laughing baby, don't you know
And there's the choice that we make
And this choice you will take
Who's laughin' baby 

What are you fighting for?
When you are right about what you are fighting for - is it still worth the fight?
Once you have decided what choice to make, are you prepared to take that choice and bring it to fruition?  How will you silence your critics?  Just as there are people who are there to support you, there are probably twice as many people rooting for you to fail.  Will you give them the satisfaction?

So just leave me alone
Leave me alone (leave me alone) (leave me alone)
Leave me alone (leave me alone) (leave me alone) (leave me alone)
Leave me alone, stop it!
Just stop doggin' me around

Are you strong enough to tell people to leave you alone?
In professional settings do we have the ability to tell people to leave us alone?  In our personal circles, can we tell people to leave us alone too?  Sometimes you might be conflicted because just when you feel that you want to be alone, you start to miss having people around.  How can we maintain the right balance of contact with people?  How can we create environments that enable us to be the best version of ourselves, without compromising anything else in our lives.

There was a time I used to say girl I need you
But who is sorry now
You really hurt, you used to take and deceive me
Now who is sorry now
You got a way of making me feel so sorry
I found out right away
Don't you come walkin' beggin' I ain't lovin' you
Don't you get in my way

When you have decided to make that choice and either move on to more important things that serve you better, serve you well because it's all about self care really, then that is the totally the best way to go.  I often think about how much longer you are prepared to hold on to what little scraps people throw to you.  I know that I'm not prepared to relinquish what little self respect I have for myself.  We need to remember where we come from and on whose shoulders we have been standing on in order to raise our next generations.  It is too easy to blame our circumstances for our lot in life and to acquiesce when people say we can't do the things we have set out to do, when people say that people who look like I do, can't possibly achieve what I have already proven to be true for so many years.  There is more to me than what your eyes can see.

'Cause there's a time when you're right
And you know you must fight
Who's laughing baby, don't you know
And there's the choice that we make
And this choice you will take
Who's laughin' baby 

People are so hell bent on being right sometimes that they will argue that so much and miss the bigger picture.  You should be able to have a greater sense of discernment.  You should be able to know when people are not really listening to what you have to say.  They can't possibly do what you do.  They cannot possibly fathom that you can achieve what you already have - that the reason you are talking to them is because it has all been predestined.  It is by no accident that you have positioned to where you stand right now.  Have they no greater understanding of what you are like at all?  Don't know they know who your ancestors are?  Who's laughin' baby?

Don't come beggin' me
Don't come beggin'
Don't come lovin' me
Don't come beggin' 
I love you
I don't want it
I don't, I don't, I don't, I don't
Don't come beggin' me
Don't come beggin'
Don't come lovin' me
Don't come beggin' 

I hope that you will know how to deal with people who abuse your trust, make you feel like you aren't worthy of making your own decisions or just living your life.  When you start to decide that believing in your own self worth, valuing your own self identity is something that is worth having, something worth holding on to - then you will begin to realise the real and genuine joy that only you can create, only you are responsible for and choose to emanate.  So if you find yourself having to deal with situations where you are continually pushed into a corner or having to justify yourself because people don't see your worldview that is critically important to the success of everyone involved, for the greater good - then walk away.  When things happen that only you can fix, that only you have the skillset to be able to decipher and make sense - then you can calmly turn around and tell people, leave me alone. . . 

Monday, 10 July 2017

From Russia with love. . .

To Russia with love from Aotearoa. . . 

I wouldn't say I'm a real James Bond fan, but I do appreciate the theme songs from the movies over time.  This is one of my favourites from the franchise and also because well, it's a thank you to the readers from Russia who read my blog.

From Russia with love I fly to you
Much wiser since my goodbye to you
I've travelled the world to learn
I must return from Russia with love

The song speaks to me of past relationships or encounters, dalliances even, with people you connected strongly with - either emotionally, physically or both. It is very rare to find spiritual connections with people and if you do, it is probably those types of connections that I value the most.  I am fascinated though that there are large amounts of readers from Russia who read my blog.  For a start it's mostly because I've never been to Russia and the most that I know about Russia is from studying its political history at high school (Russian Revolution), its music history (so many great composers to name, I wouldn't want to miss anyone out),  One day it might be good to go to Russia and see what life is like there.

I've seen places, faces and smiled for a moment
But oh, you haunted me so
Still my tongue tied, young pride
Would not let my love for you show

When you look back at your life, are there people that haunt you?
I can recall places and faces of people that haunt me during different moments of my life.  I sometimes feel like I'm experiencing dejavu but I'm actually triggering memories that I have stored in my mind of these places and faces.  Have you ever felt strongly for someone but then never told them how you felt?

In case you say no 
To Russia I flew but there and then
I suddenly knew you'd care again
My running around is through
I fly to you, from Russia with love

I hope that when you fly to your own Russia, that you are ready for what greets you when you arrive.  We would all like to think that when we say goodbye and stop revisiting harmful behaviours that do nothing for us in the long run.  We would all like to think that we know other people so well that we can anticipate how they will think, feel and act around you - but we all know that we can never really be sure.  I guess the only thing that you can do is to make sure, that whatever state you're in, that whatever state they're in, that you leave them with the knowledge that you wish them only the best, from Russia with love. . . 

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Fall. . .

So what if the rain falls?

Blue likes to drop sometimes, one by one
But I don't mind, no I don't mind
Cause luck is on my side
I feel the drip drop, nonstop, pour on tonight

Are there times when you suddenly feel sad and can't explain why?
There is the public perception that you need to be happy all the time and as much as there is sense in that, there is also some healthy acknowledgement that needs to occur to gain some balance in your life.  We can't hope to appreciate how happiness truly feels if we are not sad or mad first.  Is luck on your side?  Have you thought about how you feel when there are some moments that are tinged with blue?  I think I have friends or people who are tinged with more blue than me.  I don't wait to point it out to them but rather if they would like to talk about the blueness that exists for them, then they are more than welcome to do so.

So what if the rain falls?
Let's find the gold at the end of the rainbow
So what if the rain falls
I'll shower the shimmers of gold

When bad things happen to us or we are faced with challenges, we can choose how we react to it.
We often think that these things happen because we think we are bad people and we deserve it.  There are a whole host of variables that come into play that you maybe cannot control.  Making lemonade out of lemons can always be enhanced with a splash of lime and vodka.  There might even be people who wish the worst for you and revel in you being caught in the rain.  It's funny because I went to visit my late husband recently at the cemetery and got caught in the rain, together with some light hail.  I remember screaming and laughing, rushing to get the flowers put into place.  I smiled as I thought about how even when I was stuck in a seemingly uncomfortable situation, that I was able to stay committed and complete what I had set out to achieve in my mind.  

Blue likes to drop sometimes, all at once
But I don't mind, no I don't mind
Cause luck is on my side
I'm looking at where the man upstairs might live, fall on tonight

What does the man upstairs think about the blue that drops sometimes?
Do you start to blame Him and think that your life would be so much better if there was less blue?  I think we start to feel blue, because we are becoming in tune with what it feels to be aggrieved in some way, to know how loss feels and then to also think about dramatic or drastic changes that bring trauma into our lives.  Is luck on your side?  And if luck is on your side - is it good luck or bad luck?  Sometimes when we think that we are tinged with blue and with bad luck from the same brush, it can be really easy to get into a downward spiral that makes us feel like we're constantly falling.

So what if the sky falls?
We'll build a life right on the cotton clouds
So what if the sky falls?
We'll play hide and seek with the stars

If you start to feel sensations of falling, you can always imagine yourself to be somewhere somewhat elevated.  How high are you willing to go?  People are looking for absolutes in life.  They're looking for guarantees and promises kept.  Sometimes those things never happen or things never pan out the way that you planned.  So what do you do?  Carry on building your dreams in spite of it all.  No matter how many times we get knocked down or knocked back, we shouldn't give up when we get knocked out.  It just means that we have to take some time to recover and regroups, rebuild and reinforce what we have set out to do.  Keep focused on the plan, keep your eyes on the prize and keep on keepin' on.

Let the rain fall, let the sky fall
Let it all fall
Let the rain fall, let the sky fall
Let it all fall

When the rain falls these days, I quickly shrug the initial reaction of it being something that is a nuisance.  Even I laugh at what happens to me inside when the rain falls.   Nobody can see what you see in your mind when your eyes are closed, unless you want them to see it.  When the sky falls is it a good thing or a bad thing?  Surely you would want to be closer to the clouds if the sky fell?  If the rain falls, the sky falls, does this mean that you should fall too?

So what if the rain falls?
Let's find the gold at the end of the rainbow 
So what if the sky falls?
We'll build a life right on the cotton clouds. . . 

I hope that you find your own gold at the end of the rainbow.
We must remember that as much as we can plan for things that we want and people we want to be around, we cannot account for chance.  It's those moments where random things happen (what may seem random at the time) and you have to learn to trust yourself to know, trust yourself how to conduct yourself in situations that may cause you to make bad choices.  Even when we feel that most of the time the sun shines, we need to prepare ourselves about what to do when the rain falls, and instead ask ourselves so what if the rain falls? Let's find the gold at the end of the rainbow . . . 

Sunday, 2 July 2017

One wing. . .

I can't fly with one wing. . . 

Feels like I'm going down on one way street
And every direction
I need, I need I need heaven to show me a little affection
No, cause all other sides
Torn towards bad for me
And I wish I could get a running start
And sort out my victory

It is a very natural thing to try and find affection, especially when you lack self compassion and beat yourself up quite often.  I have been having some really open and frank conversations with lots of different people in my life recently.  Everyone is going through their own situations and seem to be feeling out of sorts or trying to come to grips with some real challenges.  As a good friend, I listen and offer support where and when possible.  When you arrive at a plateau that you can't seem to escape because there isn't anything in sight to assist you, what do you have within you to get through?

But, one wing I can't fly with one wing
Heaven help me, fly with one wing
I can't fly with one wing, oh no
No matter how hard I try, I can't no

Do you think that maybe you can't fly with one wing because you're carrying too much weight?
Not just your own, but that of others too?  There might be people who want you to carry them all the time, because you've always enabled them to feel like you are always there for support.  I don't turn away friends or family who need support - that's not what I'm saying.  I am talking however about people who have perfectly well formed wings of their own that they haven't bothered to start flapping because they're in awe of your wingspan (yes, even with one wing lol) and compare their wings to yours.

Feels like I'm running out of time
And I gotta whole other things on my mind
And I'm walking around in the dark, oh oh
Trying to find just a little peak of sunshine 
No, no oh I did everything to make it work
But I'm still on my loss
Now I'm on the runway of my life
Waiting to take off, but I

Minimise your time spent on other things that steal valuable time and investment, energy and focus on things that help to nurture you - so that you can go out there and make that difference for everyone.  It took me a long time to figure that out.  I'm still learning how to cope with this, but I think the more I practice it, the better I am at getting more discerning (people would say selfish, but hey, you can afford to get the ish about your own self right?) about what I do.  Have you found a little bit of sunshine?  Sometimes all we need is a little bit of an incentive, even just to feel the sun's rays to warm up the wings we have, to enable us to have the confidence to fly.

Cannot fly with one wing
Heaven help me, fly with one wing
I can't fly with one wing, oh no
No matter how hard I try, I can't no

I am a huge fan of asking for help.
Everyone will have their own places to go to, own people to ask for the assistance they need.
One of my PhD supervisors always talks about not being a problem to others, you only want to be a solution.  I really took that on board and have applied that to all areas of my life.  I guess this has meant that maybe I don't offload my problems to people as much, because I don't want my problems to become their problems.  I even did this when I was a classroom teacher.  Often I would get in trouble for underutilising the school disciplinary system, because I didn't think that if I couldn't manage student behaviour in my own classroom, why would I send misbehaving students to someone else's class and make them someone else's problem?  I soon learned that in fact, if I chose to engage with the system and use the process, I could find alternative measures that weren't so taxing on me.

Oh I need many nights friend
For the coming of my victory yeah
But there's always something in the way of light
I just can't get up on my feet
To reach my destiny
To where I just can't see
It's just too high to reach

I hope that you never give up on your dreams, never give up fighting for your goals and reaching your destiny.  I think there are so many people who would rather see you fail.  They might keep it close to their chest and not say anything negative - but they don't exactly say anything positive either.  I think it's ok to rest sometimes and think about ways to make your wing stronger, to make it strong to endure the challenges that you may face alone.  How prepared are you for your victory?  Can you actively see all of the people who are your biggest cheerleaders - ready to celebrate your success when you are done?  Sometimes we focus too much on what we don't have, rather than using what we don't have.  So even though at times, when we are at our weakest points, we may think that being impaired by having less than what we have; we just need to remember that we don't have no wings.  In spite of everything that comes our way, when we feel like giving up, we can't.  We must never forget that we can still achieve our greatest imaginable challenges that lie ahead: we still have one wing. . .