#47- Missing pieces of home

In the end,
we all come back
In search
of our missing pieces

– It taunts us every day.

Our bedroom mirrors
Take peace from us.
Reminding us,
That there is another world 

-Inside of us 

We are still looking.

Never quite seen.
Scattered shards
Across foreign lands.

– We are hidden,

In distant lands,
Between what you want to see
And what we let you see.

We see what we remember,
But we forget too. 

So I carry a bilas bilum
And she wears a meri blouse.
Seeking approval from the mirror
Before we head to the day:

 Maski, yu wait meri pinis.
Maski, yu wait man pinis.

Our bedroom mirrors
Are missing pieces.
Reflecting what’s missing
Inside of us.

It takes the peace from us,
Leaving us anxious
For home.

– Hans Lee

Where I wrote this….

This is part of the musings of my journey home. I wrote this in one sitting at the Nadzab Airport, Lae in December 2017, watching young Papua New Guineans who had obviously just come home for school holidays from Australia.

They looked someone out of beat with the heartbeat of the Kumul Nation. Though, in that moment, I was reminded of when I used to take part in that pilgrimage too. Only now do I realise how formative those years were for me  – still finding my place as a transnational Pacific Islander, or better yet a Papua New Guinean who understands the mechanics of others lands better his own, but nevertheless vested is the interests of the mama Kantri – our Kumul Nation, PNG.

Extra Thoughts….

I make special note though of a phenomenon I am noticing that I’ve brought up in fleeting conversations to gauge whether anyone else notices it too. My dad does and thinks it is a New Hope.

“We all come back” is more a point of reflection on the idea that ‘They Are Coming Back’ to find what the Kumul Nation means for them. There is a sense of the change in the wind as young, worldly, educated and globally mobile Papua New Guineans are slowly trickling back into PNG after spending their formative years abroad. It is an exciting time to be in Papua New Guinea to see the clash of ideas and progress of the stale narrative of our journey so far.

I could name a handful of people I know who are part of this Gen Y and Millenials who are part of this return home. As part of this returning group and a cultural geographer who just so happens to be engaged in business in PNG, I am finding the potential for change ever more present. Cafes, cars, and cinemas are the rage in Port Moresby as I write this. In the midst of this, there are pressing questions that need to be asked and answered to capture and nurture this undertow of change that is bubbling under the surface of a struggling economy.


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