Our traffic will at times overflow. Murmur in segue-way, implode in haemorrhage, have the circulative failure and collapse. For if there were no stopping there would be no notion of inertia. There would be no wearing down of this machine into the pavement. We need the specter of our gradual disappearance to keep our sense that things inevitably will end, so that we can savor the present. Here in this city we fall into place as witnesses, who stay out to see the night gradually dissipate the capping sky, and the street become elevated. Here we see distances fold and a realization emerge that we are all well and good beneath artificial light. A rhythm of neon and fluorescent radiates to fill to the borders of our space, tracing a disappearance at their edges. Here new interiors are made and hidden. Look around and see gradients slope downward, out of sight. Distances just seem to gradually slip from the mid plane of passing cars and passing people to sink into the ambiance of closed offices and stores. We pass empty alcoves in the forefront, protecting dim forms behind glass. The street level raises, driveways dip between buildings. And it’s here in this text, that within its loose framework, that we could; if you think off in tangents and broad minded-like, explore Maoriness as an implicit and disparate monument within the everyday. And why not? This text is more experimental than it is decisive and certain. In its’ body we can draw in texts to make a Maoriness near and close – a small interior of our own. We can make it that it was nearby where Witi Ihimaera’s Tama turned away from the lights of mourning and include his dilemma to bring on board a historical and inter-generational problematic of isolation and support. It could be these artificial lights that were above him and shining an insularity. If he was here, we also know that he was aggrieved, so his head was probably held low. Walking with his eyes low too, scanning over pavement, ‘the cold stone’. Then the source of the Author’s metaphor could have been a smoke thrown down, and sparks scraped up off of concrete – alight as if new years’ fireworks. Each discard sounding a ‘Bang! Bang!’ In repetitions, patterns, bulbing outward in icicle perfection from off the pavement. With light stems that fall or fly from each centre – an immersing veil of beautiful white light, with our shadowy figures surrounding. Maybe he turned to lights such as these, that burn out before ever really touching the ground, or that shine without ever generating heat. And he looked round and felt the cold of when you realize that what supported you was impermanent, and that we too are of that same ephemeral substance. Though his worries are not quite the same as ours, we only need consider whether or not our time this night will be cut so short by rain, or frozen away. These lights are only ordinary and passing - simple supports. Enough to illuminate a night out, but not enough to support us when it all breaks down. Tama had support, Whanau and all, and from what we know there were structures in place. He had those who would help to mediate grief. For us it’s an early morning phone call. With the lights out, you can hear voices carrying through the whole house. You know straight away that something’s wrong, that someone’s died. Notifications like these always have an infrastructure, that’s what they’re for – to initiate a way of speaking over things to mediate them, in order to figure them out and form a collaborative and uniform response.
It’s been dark for hours. In the back seat, us kids are too small to see out the front. The road’s old. The road’s near empty. The car shakes on every turn. Revs up and down, with the changing gears. Its only when a car passes – and hi-beams off – that, for a short time we can see each other in the car. Otherwise this is a darkness seems like its not going anywhere. Black sky with a darker tree line. In the back my sisters asleep and I’ve woken somewhere in the darkness. I’ve been watching power lines out the window for a while. They follow the road, but seem to follow the car too. They look like guitar strings being strummed. Cartoon like though, and drawn by a hand I can’t quite see in the distance. Quickly drawn changes, between four strings, five, down to one or two. Rising up, above the window. Flicking past like an old film. Angles change, the camera zooms in and out. The lines, move with the road. We feel the car rise and fall and the lines with us. At times I lose them in the darkness. Seeing only two flat planes of black moving against each other, trees before the sky. Then, I look again and the lines have returned. A soundtrack felt in vibrations inside the car. I rest my head against the window, and feel its song in my head. It’s the sound of the road and of moving. A singing of nearing the next place. Where it’ll be bright, and we can stand and walk, sit at the table or sleep on the floor in front of the carvings in the old house.