This statement is deeply important to our whānau it embodies what we strive for everyday. What it means to us is the acknowledgement, responsibly and action of aroha beyond human form and knowing. We understand that Aroha is one of the most emancipating values, not in a loving, romantic kind of way but freedom, to be who you are, accept the unknown and connect to all things both positive, negative and all the in between. Aroha is the profound passion, fascination and illumination for yourself, those around you and within and beyond this universe.
Here I consider both the articulation of the kupu/words in relationship to your tinana/body, how they travel and, how the kupu are understood when broken down.
A – When you make the sound ‘A’ it starts with an open mouth, the sound echo’s and the vibration sits at the back of your throat. A = (particle) at, on, when.
(A)Ro – then your lips smooch out and your breath travels down your throat, tumbling down to your puku, a nice deep vibration. Ro = Inner, within, introspection, to face, turn towards, take heed, take notice of, pay attention to, be comprehended and understood.
Hā – then your breath comes back up, exhaling with a widened mouth. Hā = To breathe, taste, breath, essence, taste, breathing.
Wai – Where you lips meet and widen both to exhale and inhale at the same time and the ‘I” breath hangs out in the corners of your mouth/lips. Wai = Waters both salty and fresh. Tears, rivers and oceans.
Rua – Starts where the tip of your tongue meets the roof of your mouth and travels to your puku and comes back to your mouth and ends with exhale of ‘A’. Rua = Space/time/knowledge that exists beyond – that we don’t see. When the merge of light meets shadow. “A place where heavily bodies disappear to before reappearing again.” “Hei pupuri te aho o te wānanga. Hei kawe i ngā kura huna a Rua” To perpetuate the hidden schools of Rua.
Wairua – Belief and acceptance that something exists beyond physical realities by making links to atua and seeking and commanding spiritual protection. Wairua is paramount to our health, wellbeing and customs.
We dont say “I love you” in our whānau we say “Love is you!”
When our son was learning to kōrero/talk we would say “I love you”. He could not quite make the sentence and would say something like “Ioveshyou” and then one day said “Love is you”. My partner paused and repeated “Love is you…..wow yes Love IS you!!! Hes a genius”. It felt like an observation, a truth, rather than affection or romance.
Love is you simply means “You are love”. Now we recognise and understand each of us as the embodiment of love and announce “love is you.”
Love is the person and by acknowledging that love is known as more than “love” [from a western perspective] it moves closer to an understanding of aroha.