Island musing.

To capture the essence of anything in words requires more than the mere ability to play around with them.

That’s why I might just fail miserably as a writer of anything greater than whatever thoughts I fitfully spew onto this miniscule virtual space of mine. The posts that flow the most are those propelled by vast quantities of emotional energy, largely because such energy is detrimental to me and because my overused venting mechanism has indeed become this miniscule space right here. WordPress kindly reminded me a few weeks ago that this blog had its first birthday. It also sprung to mind that I now get a few regular readers (hello, friends) and far fewer likes. I wonder whether that’s because people have realised that I’m really not very interesting and my material has about as much use in their lives as a chocolate teapot or simply because I’ve become accustomed to caring far less to impress and my writing has become more authentic with less constipated positivity (not that I’m less positive, I think I just realised that it is actually better to feel negative emotion rather than be afraid of it and push it away like I used to). I guess that makes me more positive actually… just without all the rainbow shitting.

Anyway, this post began life as one about my travels, thus far. And I began by trying to justify why I can never write anything to adequately capture the essence of this trip to a Pacific island whose name on the world map is bigger than the land it points to. So I will spare any day by day journal like account of my existence and instead cut straight to the chocolate teapot within.

  • Parts of the samoan sea have no silt underneath them. I had no idea that siltlessness is what made seas so clear and so deeply, stunningly blue. I wish I had no silt in my head.
  • Communal spaces are an ideal platform for actual human interaction. That’s where people do this thing where they have conversations face to face. They have pointless banter and get to know each other. Rumour has it that people used to do this before the world became one giant social media screen. Bizarre.
  • Beer is okay.
  • When the mist clings to the mountains and shrouds the treetops that canopy over the menacing green landscape, you wonder what is going on up there. The weather, you see, is always different on the opposite side of the island.
  • I have met the most lovely Samoan doctor named Grace. Grace lets me loose on all her patients so I’ve punctured my way through multiple veins, listened to hundreds of chests and hi fived a lot of toddlers. She signed me off two weeks early, yet I keep going back for more because to feel capable at long last, is an exhilarating thing.
  • I get anxious in big groups of lots of people whom I don’t know, but it has melted away bit by bit. I never thought I would be someone to wince at the thought of going to the living room to fill my water bottle but it has happened more than once over here. I guess that’s because without friends or family, I’m so out of my comfort zone, that I forgot what the desperate desire to belong felt like. It is the same desire that I had to put to use every single time I was the new girl at another primary school and during fresher’s where I pretended to love going clubbing four times a week. I like that I now have the insight to see when I’m doing this, so I can remind myself that I don’t need to pretend to be someone else to fit in, I simply need to relax and find common ground with a few people and slowly it gets easier.
  • Zimmy zimmy and Good Day Bruce are excellent drinking games that I will teach my friends when I get home.
  • Sleeping in a beach hut under a sky loaded with millions of tiny stars is the thing of dreams for a romanticist like me, yet when I was forced to share my falé with a copious number of ants, the vegetarian inside me did the unthinkable. It involved a lot of swearing and a bottle of deet.
  • I’m annoyingly self conscious about my body in a bikini because all the other girls here seem to resemble swimsuit models whose abs I could use to grate cheese. But I’m also glad I am an able bodied individual without any health problems and a pair of legs that carry me from place to place, a pair of eyes from which I can see the skies, stars and sunsets, a pair of hands that… you get the idea.
  • I need to accept the idea of being happy completely by myself if I am to progress anywhere. This is far easier said than done. I have learnt that I like attention and then I don’t know what to do with it. So perhaps it would be beneficial simply to attend to myself more.
  • Snorkeling takes far less skill than I expected and it is astonishing how we dismiss a whole world that exists beyond land and air. I must stop consuming the precious creatures in that beautiful world.
  • The reason people often crave travel is due to the way it makes them feel. I think people are happier travelling because they are more mindful and grateful, open to new people and experiences. All these feelings can be achieved without travelling the world.
  • I miss my sister and my house. I miss its distinct smell of wood and clean coats. I miss the comfort sought in of cups of hot tea in cold weather and warm showers after bouts of sticky English spring rain. I miss the fresh, crispness of the morning air with all the dewy grass blades. I miss the relief associated with deep familiarity.
  • Even being here, things have been rocky, but I’m content with the knowledge that life is a continuous sine wave and with each breath I take I’m forever grateful for this experience and those who pushed me towards it.

Sometimes I’ll be sitting squished at the back of a seven seater carrying nine people, gaze fixated on drinking in every palm tree, forest, mountain and colossal stretch of sea that my eyes can binge on to save as snow globe moments in the Samoa Scrapbook of my temporal lobe and then I feel like the luckiest person alive.

 

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