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  • Writer's pictureHannah Telluselle

Looking the other in the eyes

The other day, I watched an indigenous ceremony for setting off a new Polynesian voyage with Hokule'a, through livestream by Honolulu Star Advertiser. As I listened to Nainoa Thompson's speech, I became moved with validation. He spoke without a script, he said, purely from the heart, so it must be the Holy Spirit working through him. The pattern on the speaker's chair was like the one I made when I lived in Honolulu, except that mine was made with half-circled curves and this one was half square shaped, with a dot in between as mine. He spoke about how healing only can take place through our courage to tell real stories, and I thought of especially my second book, where so many brave women shared how they have been sexually abused and how this had shaped them. I also thought of the fact that I am considered someone who has courage and have shared my story in the first book. Another thing, Nainoa said, was sharing how he had known someone who had been shamed so much that she couldn't see others in the eyes when she spoke with them anymore, until this too had become healed through a respectful resurrection. The thing is, I noticed just about a month ago, that I had just been able to look a friendly woman at the cashier in a grocery store in the eyes, in a way I haven't been able to, for several years.

The thing is, I haven't felt ashamed at all, but shamed by others. I've felt bad about not having had teeth in my upper jar for several years, but at the same time, my procedure was delayed for an extra year by someone's mishandling of my address registration in Sweden, upon returning here late 2020, after having lived for a little more than a year in Portugal, and another year in Germany, before that. The wrongfully registration had put me out of healthcare status within EU, right when Covid hit, so I was quite lucky to not having contracted it during that time. Therefore, it wasn't so much anything for me to feel ashamed about. Likewise, with the threat that I had e-mailed to another woman - well, it did make her stop her slander, so that too is nothing I'm ashamed of. Especially not since I'm the one subjected to threats through stalking all these years, without getting any help from police and courts in Sweden.

By being pono (righteous), there is no shame.


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