Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Superficial or Solid: your support, your backbone

I'm just back from a chat with my friend who rents us space for our vardo and the Quonset.  She was in her garden pulling thistles before they go to seed and scatter hundreds more just like themselves.  Prickly stuff and hell to rid if you're not vigilant.  We are four old folks, our friends, me and Pete living in the woods and shoring each other up.  A year ago last summer we were strangers looking for a good fit in a world being shaken by its tail-bone.  There is a maoli concept based on the life of the Kiha that seems to fit here, so I'm putting it down and hope it is a tale that you can digest and make use of it in your world.

"Coming together is not based on equality, but rather on understanding that everyone is uniquely diferent, and that each has a unique contribution to offer."- from Saga of the Kiha by Kauilahuliauikeanu & Kauakahi

The saga of the kiha is the story of the mo'o (the embodiment of strength and tenacity) the supernatural dragon and a parable for building people of value and character. Within this story, the kanaka -- the reader regardless of race, is given a sage-filled journey to understand how important the tail of the dragon, lizard, mo'o is.  The strength of the mo'o builds from front legs, the grasping legs of the young and new generation.  The explorers:  handling, sensing.  Up through the legs and into the body of the Kiha, the power of further exploration grows.  This center of power is called "Mana" in the language of kanaka.  Gradually, the mana moves into the hind legs where support and 'back-up' is given to the kanaka.  The young child, and pubescent woman-man becomes procreative, and then parents become  makua.  Makua are the guiding forces.  What is needed as the young are born and explorative is given from the back feet, and then ultimately, the stories-tales move into the tail, where all guidance waits.  These guiding stories are "moo-lelo"; stories wrapped around the tail-bone.

Sitting here, on my tail-bone, digesting the afternoon chat with my friend pulling thistles I think of my motivation to cross the orchard that separates or is the common land between our living spaces.  I crossed the orchard to check in with my friend.  It has been a trying time for us these few weeks, with tension building for multiple reasons.  We live in this American nation that took from the Kanaka, the culture and life blood of a race once-rich with mana and backbone as strong as Kiha.  Nearly two hundred years ago, Lili'uokalani crossed in a sailing ship to visit with the President of America to ask why with all these endless stretches of land as 'their own' would you also come to take our tiny islands as well? 

Winding my way to the tip of that mo'o's tail bone, I feel the rattle of a country with its tail-bone shaken loose.  We real folks, no longer young, have handled and experienced many things, decisions, jobs, diversions.  Here in these woods on an island in America's Pacific coast I talk to my neighbor and check to see how solidly our relationship supports our mutual needs.  We are independent yet interdependent.  When we came looking for a place to park our wheeled home, we came for a place with people who have skills and hearts capable of opening and supporting our uniqueness.  They were looking for someone who could help around the land; with a truck; a cat who lived outside and hunted rats; and were people they could like and trust; and pay rent.  We fit.  They fit. This afternoon's chat over thistles and poultry digging up the garden filled in the cracks in the foundations: "How you?"  "Been working on that book?"  "Thanks for the re-negotiation on the electric bill."  "Here's some $ for the bath house."  Small and vital maintenance and affirmations is what it takes to keep trust alive, and support real.

Rocky times, and tail-breaking turmoil will test the quality of your support systems.  The Kiha story ends with knowing that a mo'o can regrow a tail, escaping danger, it's internals will always grow another tail of balance and strength.  So, what is the head of the mo'o you might wonder?  The head is the future where we choose what we think with clarity or cloudiness.

What is the Kiha value in your life?  Superficial or solid? Are you someone's go to gal/guy? 

P.S. Thanks Elsa for the great topic that fueled this storyteller.

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