Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ka Poipoia, Boy. Ngati Rangipapa:

"Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives.  I think we're being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I'm liable to be put away as insane for expressing that.  That's what's insane about it."  - John Lennon

When I was locked in Rangipapa for criticising local police, the daily horrors were numerous.  One after another the other the days slowly rolled by, locked up with the other patients in the secure mental unit - for criticising local police of all things - I'm not the only one criticising them either - there's a huge inquiry into their incompetence and corruption, which is well documented!

Just trying to explain to the other patients what I was there for was hard enough, they didn't believe me and thought I was making it up at first, until they saw the paperwork - then the staff tried to stop me discussing it with them because it was obvious to everyone that I shouldn't be there.

On arrival I was treated like an animal for a few days, locked in a concrete cell with nothing but a thin plastic covered mattress on the floor and a couple of blankets, told "Take off your clothes and bend over" and told to put on a denim gown..

After a few days I was allowed to wear my clothes again, the one set of clothes I had, and taken over to the "open" side of the ward.  As we left the cold, spartan Rangimarie unit and came out into the other ward I felt the sun shining in the windows and onto my feet, and I heard what sounded like angels singing.

It was a lady who became my friend during that terrible time, one of the 'clients' called HK, and one of the nurses.  They were singing a Samoan song, and it was very beautiful.  Later, during one of the never ending days (more than one actually) HK taught me this song, Ka Poipoia, and how to play it on the guitar.  Listening to her singing it and playing the guitar (we had to ask for the guitars, and would be allowed them under supervision, only if we had had a "sharps assessment" - I never had one but used to get the guitar anyway depending which staff were on duty, in case we tried to top ourselves with the strings), was probably the best cure for anyone's mental illness, mine anyway, which was depression and anxiety - caused by finding myself suddenly waking up every day locked in a secure mental asylum.  It was just beautiful, thanks HK.

For HK, Jaxsta and Naughty Nana.  My Ngati Rangipapa sistas, love you always.  Thank you HK for teaching me this beautiful waiata, listening to you singing was one of the most healing things about Rangipapa.  For the nurses who used to sing with us, and share kindness with us.
For my dad, my grandparents, my bruv, for all the little kids, a bedtime song.
Thanks to this lady, Hevyn Sc3nt on Youtube, the voice of an angel:



All good kiwis need to learn a good waiata or two.

And here's another one from the Patea Maori Club and the movie Boy, which we used to watch over and over and never get sick of.  (We were Ngati Rangipapa ;)  This is for Rohit and Pinky, Lorraine, Sue, Dr Wolfgang Kure, and all of the kind and compassionate staff at Rangipapa and Te Whare Ahuru (not all of them were kind and compassionate) - you know who you are:

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