Sunday, November 25, 2012

The halls ... between fact and fiction

"...having a tendency to think you always need more knowledge before taking action. Instead, it’s time to take more risks, to reach for center stage, and to develop one’s confidence---even if it means allowing your childlike qualities to come out more, and for you to be more of a “character.”- Elizabeth Spring
" ... [your story] is like Alice in Wonderland meets Harry Potter" - Jt 

It is still November, though barely so, and the theme of Medicine Stories is prevalent. Still the season of Makahiki, The Hawaiian New Year continues in its four month cycle. No war. Paying taxes. Gathering to celebrate harvest. Playing games. I've begun my 65th trip around Ka La (the sun) and the quote from astrologer Elizabeth Spring feeds me. Jt's comment about my latest Medicine Story, The Safety Pin Cafe, tells me my "character" grows with age, and practice.
My everyday world is the papaku (the platform) from which today unfurls. Papaku Makawalu. Ancient is the Creation Myth (The Kumulipo). I count on ancient, and use it to push myself into the hallways between fact and fiction, now and then, keia i kela. Journeying between, in the hallways of my ancestral path, I pick themes up. Images and ancestors concoct remedies and medicines that translate across time.

Today, this story happened to me.Tomorrow is somewhere down the hall. I woke at Four, felt for my robe in the dark, put my floppy cotton hat on, opened the vardo door and stepped into my boots. Barefoot, the inside of the boots were cold -- not icy, but barely comfortable. Nearly. Out from the umbrella awning the stars and planets aligned and signed to me: some messages I missed, others were probably not in my language, Makali'i (The Pleiades) was already moving home; I waved to the family.

The cozy den of Quonset welcomed, but still, the lingering smell of last night's dinner cooked too long unattended beckoned. "Good morning," I said to The Cat, glad she was safely occupying her rug in front of the heater. Owl was close, very close last night. After a bit of conversation and chin rubs I carried the white enamel pot out the door, switching from inside slippers to outdoor boots and headed for the wash house. Hot water for washing up. The back deck lights had been left on at the big house massing the forest with artificial light, but above the heavens competed.

Living between covered rooms in the woods, the outside is our hallway. In precisely the best of ways, the labor of executing simple tasks are made more deliberate. It takes five steps rather than one to wash a pot properly, or so we believe. Hot soapy water is a luxury we don't take for granted but enjoy the heck out of every time. As I reveled, my hands up to my wrists in the dish bubble bath the image of three friends chatting in the parking lot rewound. The broad faced dirty blonde woman, warmly outfitted with a heavy coat had her hand on the tailgate window, her head emerging from the SUV. "I look like a homeless person," I heard her say to her companions. I turned at the comment as she continued to explain her bootie of parcels: shopping from the day. Barely enough separates one with a home from one without. What halls separate her rooms?

The artwork Hi'iaka and the Mo'o with link to a current issue on the island of Kauai.

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