Before we could become authentically ourselves

Another quote from the book I am reading right now. From ‘Māori Boy: a memoir of childhood’, by Witi Ihimaera:

There was another, more insidious threat. Māori who lived in urban areas began to be called “townies” by our country cousins, creating a kind of double discrimination, one Pākehā, the other Māori. We would always be less authentic. 

Ironically, this double bind was the very bond that gave us commonality with the Poms, Scots, Irish and Welsh who had come on a greater migration from the Home Country. Here in the dominion of New Zealand, they, too, became not the genuine article. 

Then, again, maybe we all had to be less authentic before we could become authentically ourselves. p. 123


This work of becoming more authentically myself has occupied a good portion of my existence and certainly being an outsider of sorts has helped me along this journey more than I would have asked for! This work is something that my thoughts return to especially in Lent.  Next week I think I will post a little reflection that I shared in my church last Sunday. Each week during Lent individuals have been sharing pieces of artwork that have inspired them and their faith. I shared a wee reflection on Mary Oliver’s Wild Geese which echoes this sentiment of an authentic identity.


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