Water and Politics

I try to swim at least four times a week. My local recreation centre has a reliably cold outdoor pool and in South Auckland, we have been fortunate to have free access to swimming pools. I swim as the sun is setting, I like the light, and the quiet; I often have the pool to myself.

After I’ve warmed up, and my body stops struggling against the cold, I start to observe my own silence. Being in between the water and the sky, I’m aware and alert. I hear differently, and smell differently, and think deeply.

Today, the singing from a church group at Otara Music Arts Centre across the road was vigorous. Perhaps a significantly large congregation, or a special occasion – the doors must have been wide open. I could hear individual voices, I could hear their faith.

Last week I could smell an umu. I was interviewed for an article a few years ago and spoke about one of the things I love about Otara being the haze of umu smoke on Christmas day. I think I was probably exaggerating, but the smell of umu or lovo, is happiness – memories of family, celebrations, love, land, home – and all from a smell.

I resigned two weeks ago from my job of more than six years. I’ve worked in the ‘change environment’ for almost half of that time. Considering my future and contemplating my own ‘change environment’ has effected my outlook in a big way. At times, everything is different – how I walk in different spaces, my language… my perspective. I’m emotional, and final. I see clearer, but also feel like I’m seeing things for the first time.

With news of a New Zealand local government reform, that will certainly affect the services I benefit from as a ratepayer in South Auckland, and my own professional change environment, it’s the moments in the pool – where I swim for free, every second day – that I reflect on what feels like the end of a golden era.

Sadly, with leaders like this, informing change that will inevitably disenfranchise some of the country’s most vulnerable sectors, migration has never looked so appealing.


3 thoughts on “Water and Politics

  1. As my baby makes the biggest move in her life by leaving behind her beloved Fresh Gallery Otara, my thoughts are on how brave she is in taking this step. She won’t be alone, because I’ll be by her side. I know she won’t fall because she was always meant to fly. So, I have no knowledge of art, the Mona Lisa looks like a lady with bad dress sense, but I know about leaving something that you work hard for.. and in saying that, there are doors to be opened for my Ema. If it’s opening another art gallery, making business plans for people or pole dancing, these doors will be there, she’s just got to open one. Just don’t go through the door with the pole dancing. To my baby, I love you and keep your head up and give me your hand cos if you go through that door, you have to take me with you. Love you. Big kiss. Little kiss. Big hug. Little hug. Big kiss. Little kiss.

  2. Awwwwww….awesome Taka that you love Ema enough to let her fly….cos the cool thing is, you’ll fly with her….Ems, you are everything and more, you are an inspiration to me and others, your smile, passion and soul are going to mean you are going to do more amazing things in your life…..love you!

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