Hinetītama demonstrated immense courage following the events between herself and Tāne Mahuta; she experienced something traumatic and rebuilt herself, as Hinenuitepō, Goddess of Death, and made herself at home in Rarohenga (underworld).
“A mind that is stretched by new experiences can never go back to its old dimensions”
Hinetītama transforming herself into Hinenuitepō could on one level, be observed as suicide - as mentioned in last week's post. Or a less literal perspective could be something aligned to the title of this post; how Hinetītama, the Dawn Maiden, recreated herself as Hinenuitepō after an event that challenged her values, her belief systems and how she made sense of the world.
How could she go back to 'life as usual'? When what she'd considered normal had been completely blown out of the park.. I can't fully understand how she felt, or what her thoughts were doing because I've never experienced what she experienced - but I can empathise that it hurt. In all the articles and books I've read about her, I've interpreted that she was mamae (hurt) and maybe becoming Hinenuitepō was part of her healing process.
For instance, her names show different phases of her life; Hinetītama, the Dawn Maiden - the dawn of a new age in our creation story and the introduction of te ira tangata, humankind. Hinenuitepō; which literally translates to the Goddess or Maiden with much darkness/chaos/unknowing.
Similar to how Ngāti Ohomairangi left Hawaiki and arrived in Aotearoa as Te Arawa...
They went into a dark place - physically; into Te Korokoro o Te Parata, and also emotionally, spiritually and psychologically; after coming out of the whirlpool with their lives. They couldn't go back to business as usual because they had been changed by the experience - and to acknowledge this, they named themselves after one of the kaitiaki (guardians) who led them back to the surface and to Te Ao Mārama, the world of light.
Similar to how I experienced that phase of indifference and lifelessness a few years ago, which served as a catalyst for creating this blog and what has grown with/from it since.. I'm proud to say I'm not the same person I was back then. I don't think a new name is in order, I like Hana, but maybe my moving back home to Aotearoa recognises that growth?
I like that whakaaro and I very much enjoy being back home. Tēnā rawa atu koutou,