I don’t log into Facebook under the personal profile page that my partner and I share very often, but when I do I see updates from an amazing organisation here in South Auckland called Sands Manukau. Having experienced the loss of our baby last year, Sands Manukau provided some of the most significant support during a period of horrific heartbreak. I see their updates and think of the amazing generosity and strength of the people who work for this cause.

The blog wars and art hype that has created unprecedented traffic and dialogue on my website over the past few days represents time and energy invested in a marginal area of my life. Art is a luxury I fit in and around caring about things like cooking, growing food, paying bills, rats in my roof, writing assignments for my Master of Arts Management degree, family politics…

In my day I think about people who work for people in need, people who do what they can, like the hummingbird. I think about the local government election hoardings on every fence line in my neighbourhood and wonder whether local body politics is in any way engaging Pacific young people to feel included in governance and power structures.

Being away from South Auckland made me grateful for the little things, like hearing Pacific music and language on the radio all day and that events like the launch of Samoan writer, Lani Wendt Young‘s third and highly anticipated book, The Bone Bearer is taking place this weekend in Manukau.

When I court art controversy, I think about all the times I’ve sat around advisory tables feeding into decisions that affect whether people get funding and opportunities. I know my actions carry consequences and there will always be people who invest time and energy in discussing the credibility of my work and position. Whilst bridges burn, the river changes course and new pathways emerge, i.e. new doors are always opening for me and I move in time with my heart – doing work that I believe is important.

In a nutshell, I’m happy to be back in South Auckland.