Homai to Aroha
Little bit of a cluster fuck today, but seeing as this is my blog and I can cluster-fuck it if I need too … here we go:
As I have been going on about our river trip for the last few days, and the convent that we stayed at, I’ve noticed I’ve been avoiding the photographs of the church and the actual convent.
Therein lies the cluster fuck and the unfuck.
I don’t like churches. I don’t like the way they make Me feel. And when We went into this church I was approaching it purely from a ‘lets take some good pictures’ point of view … and still felt horrible going in there.
These are the photos from the outside only … tomorrow I’ll do the ones from the inside. So in essence this is a 2 part cluster-fuck-unfucking-of-thyself lol.
I don’t like churches for a lot of reasons. One being, that I was brought up having to go to church every sunday (not a church like this), and I have some ass hat memories from that ordeal that have taken half a lifetime to come to terms with. Part of that unfolding has been separating religion from ‘god’. The two are not even remotely related.
The other part of my angst with this particular iconic building, is that it overshadows the settlement that was there long before the missionaries arrived on these shorelines. And whilst the nuns that set up shop here, may have actually been quite righteous individuals, they are themselves the ‘icons’ of our colonial history. They came, “the great white hope”, and they ‘saved’ the natives from the other colonial parasites and the diseases and alcohol and rape and perversity, they bought with them. They set up an ‘orphanage’, which is honourable … missing the point that We never needed ‘orphanages’ before they arrived.
The land that this big iconic building sits on, is ‘gifted’ land. As in, tangata whenua of this area, ‘let’ the catholic church build their buildings on the land. The idea was they would help the church and the church would help them. The nuns have done that: again, thats an honourable thing.
But the whole building smacks of the colonial history that has diminished or is not so obvious anymore, everywhere else in our country.
When I stepped into this building, I couldn’t hardly breathe and felt dizzy as fuck … more so than normal.
I could feel the weight of grief Tangata Whenua (people of the land) had bore. The disbelief, that a ‘visiting’ peoples could wreak so much havoc in such a short time. And then I could feel the angst of all colonised people … the disbelief … the horror … the clamber to find solutions … the grief. It makes everything tight and quite unbearably sad and desperate. All in those 4 walls where the pakeha come to ‘worship’ the gods of their ancestors.
Anyway, thats part one. The best photograph, in my opinion, is this one because it is just a silhouette. If only that was true of the indentation that they have left on this land.