Sunday, June 17, 2012

To distill ... ho'opuhi ... to extract the essence

"..Madeline's bare wrist stretched from the long wool sleeves revealing a subtle yet definite pattern of ink -- tatau. The design began a thumb's length from the narrowest measure at the wrist. Four lines of peaked black ink circled and met in a pattern that was without doubt the vana ... sea urchin. Puff collected the details of her journey much the same way she assembled and remembered the flavors of a recipe she wanted to repeat. The look and taste of this moment. She sipped the bitter-sweet tea then asked, "Can I help with the pies? " Kai was back at the long kitchen table rolling the crust for the third pie. "I'm not particularly good at crusts, but I'm great with a paring knife." The bowl of Pippins were washed and ready for slicing. "We leave the skins in tact. I think it's the best part of an apple, the skin. 'cept we do skin a few of the beauties and dangle them over the stove for fun and treats for later days." Puff hadn't noticed before, but did now as her eyes looked at the open beams. Bunches of herbs and flowers dangled by their roots from every beam and rafter. Camomile, sage, a feathery sort of grass Puff could not identify, tiny roses and others as well. "Elder berry blossoms, their the lacy ones and the feathery grass is barley. We make wreaths for the holidays and sell them in the markets in town." "You are a veritable artisan's workshop," Puff was impressed.

The evening passed in comfortable enterprise and easy conversation, the exceptional circumstances for Puff's arrival melded as did the cinnamon with sugar over the sliced Pippins. There would be time for storytellers soon enough. The unspoken mana of non-intrusiveness, not being maha'oe warmed the cottage as much as the heat from the hearth and good stove. Culture is visceral, the women felt it and respected what was..."
This is an excerpt from the mytic fiction and journey of time travel that is fascinating me as I weave the many tendrils and knotted cords of life as I see it.  The link to that entire post is hereMy husband and I were having a conversation early this morning, "I read your stuff," he said.  I was still waking up but it's always fun to hear what he has to say about my writing.  His insight inspires me to write, and what he feels once the writing is on the page incites more.  This morning's conversation stretched in many directions during the minutes we shared in the vardo and as is common there are other stories tickling at me because of this exchange.  But in the main Pete's sense of the story with this segment was the desire to know more about these characters who make pie together though they are virtual strangers.  The hospitality to strangers, a universal theme stirred memories of visits to the Wisconson farm where he easily remembered the excitement of company coming.  Whipped into a frenzy with excitement, the innocence of that time came to be with him as he read. 

I said, "You've got the added advantage of knowing the background for (most) everything I write."  That's the part of writing this fiction that is exciting for me.  To a lesser extent the writing on MoonTattoos the blog, gives all readers access to the motivations and research I do to distill the story.  What a gift, is the sidebars and hyperlinks.  My curiosity and imagination is broad, my digging stick is at the ready and I poke holes as I research and water a potential link with my imagination.  Like writers and artists have done and continue to do with words, paints and music I weave a world into which new endings and versions of 'truth' offer me a place of comfort and understanding.  Naming the characters is essential to my stories.  Puff asks the young boy if she has heard his name correctly.  'Kai.  K A I.'  "Where I come from "Kai" means ocean."   The responses Puff receives moves the story forward. 

From the comfort and distance of the woods that both separate and allow my soul and my memories to distill the journey, being elder in training takes on more meaning.  The nine tools of Makua O'o are base ingredients and necessary practices.  Frequency of use, and the combination or pairing of the tools move the story along or pause the venture like compost.  I wish for my family to read this mythic fiction and feel at home with the story.  In the reading there may be a homeopathic-like remedy that rises from meeting one character or event.  I have infused so much of my history into the fiction, storyteller do that.   For other readers the story is there for entertaining and passing of timeless culture.  Healing happens over time and in circles with peaks and points along the way like the tatau vana a reminder that not all can eat (or wear) the vana.  It may not be yours, but then again, maybe it is your story.

Vana design on Hawaiian Kapa
I hope you find your way to MoonTattoos and get to know the Maxwell 'ohana and their mo'olelo.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Speak from the heart