Darling; Ko au te awa, te awa ko au -I am the river and the river is me.
The Awa (Rver) is a toanga (treasure) towards identity and is the mauri (life force) of the indigenous people of Aotearoa, New Zealand. Our awa is the life giver of all things. It is water in its purest form and has the power to give life and sustain wellbeing. Ko Toku Awa- is part of an ongoing kaupapa (project) exploring connection with whenua (land), tupuna(ancestors) and wairua (spirit).
Darling embraces her own mana motuhake (self-determination). “I submit and let my awa swallow me. Through that comes my real power. I can forget about the cancer growing inside me for this one moment. The cancer that has become the death of my ego as I let go of what people might think of the hairless me. My awa makes me feel free. My wiarua (spirit) is orbiting out of me as I am lost in my own journey, my vulnerability, my broken, my happy, my free, my everything, my whole tangata whenua (people of the land). This is my space. The awa always takes away my heavies. My awa forgives me. I normally rush at everything I do but this day I didn’t. I submitted to everything. To my cancer which I have told to fuck off, to my hardcore life as a druggie, to my vanity. I submitted and through that came some real power for me.”