"Firsthand knowledge is enormously time consuming to acquire; with its dallying and lack of end points, it is also out of phase with the short-term demands of modern life."
- Barry Lopez
first winter outside the Quonset
When you are living firsthand earth, wind, water, air and spirit are now. Seated at my writing tray, the gurgle of the sink water, hum of our tiny frig, the heat from heater and the mousing around of my husband sorting through paper documentation of bills paid, notes made, pay checks received, product research ... all add up to a chunk of my first-hand. The Quonset houses our cooking and sheltered space in 8 feet of tile floor and metal siding surrounded by the thousands of trees who allow us a place with them. The glass jars filled with filtered water for drinking and cooking sit under our sink; the daily douse of niu ola(coconut water) emptied from young coconuts come from the neighborhood grocery now days, and memories of harvesting our own fade unless I look at the photos that remind me: we did this and would do it again.
Within inches of Pete's documentation sort, my knee and the keys of the laptop work at crafting a piece of writing that calls on the spirit of story to be with me. The journey of re-claiming a life lived first-hand is a process, nothing immediate about it, we makua have had to learn through experience what it takes to make our way back to a firsthand life. In the years since we rediscovered Hina's school of wayfinding, we are reminded over and over about the 'dallying and lack of end points' in living first hand. Small things like filtering water is slow and necessary. My body requires the filtration to maintain a level of well-being. I must use that water to wash my clothes by hand in the sink. If all goes as we envision there will be a new small space that shelters filtered hot water for a shower and a washing machine (that works on electricity). We have worked three years to get to this possibility, and we know that time might stretch leaving me washing my self and my clothes in a sink for awhile more.
Yesterday, Hina hid from me. She is now in the evening sky with the beginning of Anahulu Poepoe. Without seeing her shape, to be positive of the phase? Maybe Huna, maybe not. The study group and blog we maintain focused on Kaulana Mahina is our cyber sextant, our navigation tool linking written word to the practice of participating with time. I know the value of slowing into connection with moon time through experience. Astrologers know the value of being in sync with planets and Hina, and vibe to the energy of the moon moving into different astrological signs (every couple of days). Ten po (ten nights/days) at a time, I attune to the anahulu living firsthand the draw of water through me as it draws on everything on Earth. Some of the knowledge that comes from Mahina are:
Anahulu Ho'onui ... first ten po after a dark moon ... slivers of light draw on the up-right KU masculine nature of life, my life...always begin with prayer and acknowledgment of the gods/the guardians/the providers of life ...then, time to feel the backbone of my life, strengthen my aim and my connection ... then, the 'Ole moons ask me rest, repair and keep pono.
Anahulu Poepoe ... second ten po ... after the 'Ole ... again, reminders of time to give thanks, and observe kapu practicing consciousness of choice ... the 4 full moons of Hina ... amplify the feminine quality of birth, re-birth, fullness ... the final 4 moons of Hina are la'au moons, times for planting trees and bark-covered plants ... these are also the moons when gathering la'au (plants, greenery) is most potent for healing...no 'Ole moons in this anahulu.
Anahulu Ho'emi ... the final moons of the Kaulana Mahina ... it begins with 'Ole and prayer (there's always time for prayer!) ... after a full ten phases of feminine/intuition/re-birth rest! ... pray for thanksgiving and then the kaloa moons ... these are especially good fishing moons ... and the final three or four moons (the Mauli moon is a sometimes moon) are kapu moons for the gods Kane and Lono, making time to pray for health and abundant food sources as the malama (month) ends, only to begin again.
I was reading and responding to a wonderful email discourse last night with one of the wahine paddlers in our wa'a kaulua focused on Kaulana Mahina. She reflected on the challenges of re-entering a life lived firsthand sorting through the feeling that come from the busy-ness of a work life. It was she who reminded me of Barry Lopez's quote posted at the beginning of this ramble. I appreciate her honesty and her awareness. With her permission a snip from her email is included below.
"...The problem is that despite my efforts to slow down (the message from Pele this summer) I'm still not finding the time to sink into observation of mahina and flow. i seriously want to get there and have realized that it's now on my "list" of things to work into my life. interestingly, i did see the connection as you had mentioned as well, about being able to see mahina during the daylight hours. i noticed that i was mesmerized by her presence while i was out and about. i kept thinking There she[is]! Part of it is that, like yourself, I can't always see her from my house at night due to the angles of buildings and not feeing very safe to walk at night in my neighborhood..."
Navigating is all about honesty and awareness: if you don't know where you're going you could be there at any moment. On the other hand if you are aware you are not where you want to be you can choose to be somewhere else at any moment. If the next choice moves you closer to your envisioned destination that choice is a better-feeling choice. Firsthand living is not swift, and the knowledge that comes from it is good only when you integrate the information and find the wisdom and lessons from the living. Does it conflict with the normal pace of most living today?
What do you think?