Saturday, December 27, 2014

'Ole Moon: time to chill

The sky has cleared enough for us to see the moon, Mahina. She is in the first phase of 'Ole, 'Ole KUkahi, though the photo does not do the shape justice the bright globe in the dark is a comfort.

JOTS is simply convinced of her rightful place on the placemats.

The usually busy elf took yesterday fully 'OFF' with a good and spooky book, a gift: a bowl of baked sweet potatoes topped with toasty marshmellows

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Full House in Capricorn: New Moon and Winter Solstice, December 21, 2014

Elsa P. my favorite astrologer writes, "The new moon in Capricorn takes place Sunday evening in the US.  Even a novice astrology can look at that stellium and see it’s profound.
With the five bodies [Moon, Sun, Pluto, Venus, Mercury ] so tightly conjunct, chances are, the entire stellium will fall in one house in your chart." Read Elsa's entire post for suggestions for setting your intentions for the new moon cycle.

I left this comment on Elsa's post:
"The New Moon will be in my 12th [House] along with my Natal Moon. Dig deep to release and be ‘with the bones’, my essential nature; call on the Ancestors to hold the light; be willing to hold that light as they pass the torch to me; be a participating adult.
Esoteric, invisible energy powerfully packed on the back of the Goat. Wheww!"
"Yule Goat" by John Baer
Our relationship with Mahina the Moon has deepened over time. My husband is governed by the Moon as a Cancer-born man he is conscious of the heavenly body, the goddess. I am drawn to her because I am a Scorpio-born woman and seek Mahina's mysteries. Attending to, or counting on the moon has made our lives more meaningful. It all became very real seven winters ago when we began our life living from our Subaru. That was the start of knowing what it was like to truly Count on the Moon. The link will take you to the on-line workshop we conducted in 2011 focused on the study and practice with the Hawaiian Moon Calendar.

We have learned as my ancestors the Kanaka (Hawaiian) learned about Mahina by observing and noticing what happens when the moon rises and sets; what plants or creatures are doing at different phases; the weather and temperature on different moon times; and the tidal conditions generated as a result of the moon's position. Our home in the Tall Ones the wooded trees that stand a hundred and fifty feet from forest floor to tip are thick and often prevent us from seeing Herself. If we are lucky on a winter night there is a leak of her shape that catches our eyes. But. The truth of it is the moon, Herself, is present not only during the dark of night. The first fifteen moon phases she rises during the day and sets at night. The second fifteen moon phases she rises at night and sets during the day.

The New Moon on Sunday, December 21, 2014 according to our Whidbey Island tide, sun and moon charts tells me:

Sunrise and sunset is: 7:57 am - 4:19 pm
Moonrise and moonset is: 7:13am  - 4:36 pm

So ... on New Moon and Winter Solstice this year Mahina, Herself, prevails as Goddess of the Sky occupying the Heavens longer than the Sun. We have an auspicious opportunity to make use of our Earthly (grounded position) to count on the moon. New Moon is a time to set intention(s) for the next month. Winter Solstice is a time for celebrating the end of long and dark nights with a promise of more light to come. Pete and I have had many deeply moving and meaningful conversations this winter. Among the latest dialogues I remember telling him "We are in the community we wished for. We are where we wanted to be." With the long picture rewound and stories about our past shared during the gloaming my partner and I reflect on the journey. We have been together for twenty years. Come together at the peak of adulthood, not yet o'o (fully matured) but individually we were primed to challenge and hone the definitions of partnership and character. Honing ourselves and our preferences means we have juggled, dodged, dredged and meddled in the business and the mystery of being human. The dark sides and the lit ones have made the journey incredible.

Not at all separate our experiences have made us ever more connected to each other and the collective/whole. When we lived in our car the essentials bared themselves; we learned to discern what and who was/is important. I in particular watched others in their treatment of the 'disposed and homeless.' Vulnerability is not a bad word though it's not something most of us would choose as a personal description. In 2008 I wrote the tale of Sam and Sally (The first of my medicine stories, though I would not tag them 'medicine' they were part of the original remedies)

"... Things and people have been left behind time and again. Like land turtles Sally and Sam found that only what they could carry mattered. People –friends, family and society in the main have had to decide whether the things that matter to their multiple chemical sensitive friends mattered to them. For half a year our two elder dears slept in their car and parked their mobile bedroom in beach parking lots, driveways and lawns of friends and family. Living public lives with an illness unknown or misunderstood isolates, and that is what it was like. Public yet invisible, illness and homelessness are conditions that our society denies. Political mumble is just so much dank air. The sky is falling on thousands of us every day and every night. Life after dark is a time when the goblins of entitlement and gentrification screen out and isolate the fragile and the sick."
Each night during these times we parked between the lines marked in parking lots. It was the in between hours; it was possible to be part of the collective, invisible, yet part of it. Like a blur from a fast moving car on the freeway. When one of the invisibles spots another there is a silent acknowledgement. Silent because it is not safe to be vulnerable together; there is no pay-off, no power in vulnerability together. We had money to buy our hot meal or cold drink. Money was not the problem. We were homeless but Grace and Herself (Mahina) were making her strength known to us. Day and night. Night and day. We were not sure, but we were learning to count of the moon and trust. 
Time and adventures have marked us with lines very different than the yellow ones that made space for SUVs, trucks and hybrid vehicles on asphalt. What has happened shows itself in the lines and creases that etch landscapes across our faces. Our bones bend and creak like the limbs of the Tall Ones who have given us a place beneath their canopy. Our hair has thinned, turned a color somewhere between yellow and white. The texture of my once ink black hair is wild, the cowlicks have joined and become a setting for storm fronts to meet. The high and low pressure systems tattoo themselves to me and the only way through a storm is to weather it, say your prayers, prepare as best you can, and accept the reality: 'vulnerable' applies to us all. And, when I go to my Hawaiian Dictionary to see how 'vulnerable' translates in Hawaiian, there is no exact equivalent. Instead, I dig for the value that says I (as human) know my place is no more nor less than all and I remain ha'a ha'a humble. Interesting ...
As the Solstice and New Moon approach and new intentions and letting go of what is no longer working for me, "I pray to embrace life in my community, humbled and grateful to share from the rim of darkness the light we know is true. Your stories are medicine. Pass them on."
Blessed Solstice and New Moon to all our readers and our 'ohana,
Mokihana, Pete and Jots


Friday, December 12, 2014

Birthing the Afterbirth ('I'ewe, Haumea, Placenta)

"... The placenta is a beautiful organ. It is the only organ that develops and grows within another organ. It is responsible for growing a healthy baby. It is the bridge between a mother and her baby in the womb. In some cultures, it is called the called bucha-co-satthi, meaning baby's friend.(1) Others see the placenta as the baby's protective older sibling.(2) For these reasons alone, it is unique, amazing and beautiful.
The baby and the placenta are made from the same cells, which are formed through combination of the egg and the sperm. Once implantation occurs on about day six after fertilization, the gestation period begins and the fertilized egg and the placenta begin to develop separately, still connected. The placenta stays attached to the uterine wall while the fetus has the ability to move around the uterus.
The placenta is the fetus's only source of food, blood, oxygen, vitamins and nutrients. All of these vital resources are carried from placenta to fetus via the cord. These resources come from the mother's bloodstream, which is why a healthy nutritious balance of whole foods is so important during pregnancy. Iron is especially important because iron increases the hemoglobin level in the blood; hemoglobin carries oxygen in the body. Once the baby is born and the cord stops pulsing, that baby is no longer getting its oxygen from the placenta. When baby takes a first breath, the lungs begin to work and baby begins breathing on his or her own. In order for the baby to receive all the blood and oxygen required, the cord must stop pulsing before being cut..."

After a post like this one, I have given myself the gift of appreciating and reflecting after the birth. Pete and I have been watching the series Call the Midwife, based on the best-selling memoirs of the late Jennifer Worth. The characters and the depiction of families, women, nurses and nuns specifically, delivering children in the East-end London of post WWII and into the 1950's is very much a re-winding of history for baby boomers like my husband and me. So many of the episodes flag similar circumstances that influenced Pete's Midwest America and my occupied Hawaiian Islands early years. Both of us born in the mid 1940's (in hospitals delivered by male doctors) the setting for the series: working class life, the choices women made, and mostly, the lack of choice when it came to having children juxtapositioned with the cigarette smoking medical doctor who marries a former nun left me fertile with memories of newborns and their mothers, ripened dreams and visits from the ancestors and in particular it was Haumea. In no small measure the marathon viewing of births factored into the very personal midwifery of my child Kainoa.

Pete and I created no children, but the life we create together and separately feels very much a procreative experience. Without our joining I suspect life would have been very different. Here in the wet and windy woods of Langley on Whidbey Island the placenta or Haumea that sustained for those forty years is released from me. "In order for the baby to receive all the blood and oxygen required, the cord must stop pulsing before being cut..." And so, it is.

Who is Haumea?

Pualani Kanakaole Kanahele's book Ka Honua Ola "is a tool to fuel a consciousness for things culturally Hawaiian (because) Culture anchors a people to a space-based reality ... and promotes cultural delineation rather than cultural blurring, for blurring paves the way for disengagement, cultural neglect, and a redistribution of resources. And once accountability is lost, assets are reallocated and stewardship of our land, oceans, sun, moon and stars shifts to none-Hawaiians." Beginning with that platform Kanahele's tool, Ka Honua Ola a book composed of 'oli ancient chants starts with genealogy family lineage. The lineage begins with Haumea, the chant "Haumea laua'o Moemoea'ali'i" one of the many "mo'oku'auhau of the earth family. Its purpose is to establish birthright and family lineage to earthbound parents...Haumea is the Hawaiian dominant matrix of all things born."

Kalei Nu'uhewi asks the question "Who is Haumea?" and answers with the excellent and evocative answer found on this video. The answer is big, and encompassing, and filled with potential. Haumea is potential, Potential with a capital "P" Haumea is female. Through chant, again, the demand and the opportunity (potential) is in delineating or clarifying rather than blurring ones reality. Both these women (Kanakaole and Nu'uhewi) mean to clarify the role of sacred birth and the sack or placenta in which all earth humans begin life. A very ancient name for placenta in Hawaiian is Haumea.

Swimming free in moana nui akea (the wide open, expansive ocean)
As this wettest of winter months proves worthy of its descriptors it was easy, too easy, to slip into a sadness that was a mush of old regrets mixed with the soggy season of long dark hours. We are after all still ten days away from Solstice. I am an aging woman who has birthed many stories to care for myself where there were no midwives who could tend to the soul loss begun during the centuries preceding my own birth. Using the gift for hearing stories that demand to be heard, and the oddly auspicious timing for my birth (born without knowledge of mother tongues/'Olelo Hawaii) I have not lost the ability to remember the "poetic devices" typical of my Hawaiian kupuna. Many years ago I foundered in my search for meaning my copy of the Hawaiian Dictionary lit by the old deck lamp in our Birch paneled study I asked my cousin for help. She could have given me any number of directives or suggestions. She left me with this, "Your na'au guts may remember what your mind doesn't." The memory is genetic and it is marked with the character of a mele 'au 'a or 'chant refusing a request'. I take this to mean that once I opened to the search that is no stopping.

One of the gifts that have come to me since the birthing of Kainoa is a piece of writing my son sent to me. "Prophet of the Earth Overtuned: Ke'aulumoku on Early Contact in Hawai'i " by John Charlot first appeared in the excellent French of Jean-Francois Bar: Charlot 1992. Both versions are based on a lecture. The heading "Swimming moana nui akea" is my choice of words that pin together poetically and literally what happens when I the deep sea diver Scorpio-Mercury pushes off (squares) the long-term actions of Saturn-Mars and Pluto in the quadrant of the heavens that identify with family legacy and procreation or sex. Astrologically I am saying 'I was born to explore and communicate about deep connections over time. My purpose is to learn from the past and leave a legacy that can be applied in the future.' Moana means the large open ocean. Nui simply expands that sense ... bigger. The ocean external is the ocean internal; they are one and the same. To swim one leads to swimming the other.


My son lives in France, near Paris. He works in Paris and teaches in Paris. Across two oceans from Hawaii, he sends me writing that serves as another significant vessel for crossing the mythic and the deeply truth-based ocean. I eat it and the words serve me. I read this:

"The chief Ke'aulumoku, 'The Lava that Makes the Land Grow', was born in 1715 or 1716 on the Hamakua coast of the windward size of the island of Maui. He died in 1784 in Kohala, on the leeward side of the big island of Hawai'i. His life thus spanned the last decades of the precontact period and extended into decisive events of the early contact period. Moreover, his atypical career took him through the lands of opposing chiefs, enabling him to form an unusually broad view of the historical situation.

Hawaiians usually lived in one place, which was both their one Hanau 'birth sands', and their kula iwi 'plain of bones.' " Early in the reading I connected with this chief, and prophet Ke'aulumoku with this information alone; synchronous in our 'atypical careers' that took us from our birth sands. Charlot's lecture notes include more details and analysis of Ke'aulumoku's great gift and application of his political and poetic influence as an author of 'oli chants. It is Ke'aulumoku's last and most prophet 'oli that concludes the notes. Coupled with  Charlot's reconstruction and translation/interpretation of the chant 'Au'A'Ia (Hold back, hold fast) and the historic overlay he includes I am refreshed and given another form of what Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele says "We, as Native Hawaiians, must continue to unveil the knowledge of our ancestors. Let us interpret for ourselves who our ancestors are, how they thought, and why they made certain decisions."

The chant 'Au'A'Ia according to Charlot "is [a listing] of the sacred objects that should be holding Hawai'i together, but finding them unstable or overturned...He bewails their state and tries to awaken them to the importance of the crisis they are facing."(These are the days not long after Cook's arrival in 1778)." Charlot leads to his conclusion and adds a personal experience to add to the poetry and unraveling of his tale when he recalls: "When I saw the great 'Iolani Luahine towards the end of her life chant and dance 'Au'a 'Ia, she pronounced the last words in such a way that I seemed to hear:

NAnA I ka moku
a lohe I ka nalu

'Look at the land
And listen to the wave'.

Looking and listening was the fundamental skills of skills of classical Hawaiian education. Land and sea form one of the universal pairs of categories into which the many details of knowledge can be placed. The dancer was urging Hawaiians to return to their own Hawai'i."

Does the story ever end?

Last night the winds came with terrifying power, loud and stirring, disturbing and destructive. I am writing because we have a small gasoline (petroleum-dependent I am!) powered generator. A long electrical cord connects my computer, the heater and the refrigerator to that source. I am warm, connected and fed. Last night the sounds of falling tree limbs and the howls of Lono (the atmosphere) and his family turned me inside out. I am not easy with harsh winds. Winter is deep and I was born during this season. So too was Kainoa the tree-born from the sea birthed to me in Winter. Attempting a description of birthing child and placenta I keep the story alive as I live it. Messy yet beautiful because it is what happened. Over time the story may change enhanced or exploded with newer insight perhaps. To help me through nights like last night, or a season only ducks could love is to let Art participate in the harshness of Winter. I write the medicine story to homeopathically find my way. Medicine Stories have other names as well, one of them is the Fairy Tale. You might like to link to this wonderful Diane Rehm radio program on NPR to listen to 'The History and Modern Relevance of Fairy Tales.'  I have taken the medicine that works best for me in Winter ... it has a start and a name, MoltenMadam. You are welcome to read and sip the medicine story as it writes me through another winter perhaps it will help you too. Your own story may unfold as well.

Remember the story never ends, or, the story could end a different way because you read about a woman just like you who ...

 The beautiful artwork used in this post is that of artist Jean Charlot, father to John Charlot. The first "Hala Groves"; the second "Hawaiian Drummers." Link here for more of Charlot's magnificent collection.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Kainoa -- Why not the unending sea

kaino, kainoa. Why not
- Hawaiian Dictionary(Pukui & Elbert)
Kainoa, as most have agreed, means the child of the sea, the sea with no restrictions, the free-flowing ocean. It does NOT mean "junior" or anything similar. Some say it means "the name", only when pronounced kah-ee-no-ah, not when pronounced kai-noa

The Salish Sea and Tahoma in the distance
Leaving Paradise, December 1, 2014
We were living in Manoa Valley on O'ahu in 2007 the first time I read the book Leaving Paradise Indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest 1787-1898. Little did I know prophetic links were at work and I would be living in the Pacific Northwest again, in spite of my once emphatic declaration, "Never again!" Hadn't I yet realized you tempt the Tricksters when you say, especially when said emphatically, never? I had been living on one or another of the Hawaiian Islands since 1994 but before that Mukilteo had been home for twenty-three years; Mukilteo 'good gathering place' for the First People of the Salish Sea, Washington state, the Pacific Northwest.  I think it was Pete who picked the volume up at the Manoa Library. I can still see that old building, one of our favorite small Hawaii libraries, the one replaced and rebuilt to be a large one unknown to us now. The history tracked by Canadian historians Jean Barman and Bruce McIntyre Watson begins with a Preface and this
 "HAWAIIANS LEAVING paradise are not easy to track down...Our discussions over the years with Hawaiian descendants across the Pacific Northwest raised more questions than they gave answers...No one kept score, but by the end of the nineteenth century, over a thousand had done so. Most were sojourners, but some decided to stay. They became settlers. Their descendants remain a lively, self-confident, and self-conscious presence in the American and Canadian Pacific Northwest...Each of these men and women left paradise for their own reasons. Among them were the great changes taking place in their homeland. The history of Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest is also the history of the Hawaiian Islands... 
Barman and Watson conclude their Preface with two paragraphs to describe their reasons and goals for writing this book. First, "to return home indigenous Hawaiians in the Pacific Northwest. They were each born into families that were diminished by their departures. Those who went back were changed by their time away, as were those around them by virtue of their return.. We also seek to return Hawaiians home in another sense. The great changes occurring between the arrival of the first outsiders in 1778 and the Hawaiian Islands' annexation by the United States in 1898 decimated the indigenous population, both numerically and culturally. Hawaiians' resourcefulness in the Pacific Northwest during these same years argues that they could also at home, if given the opportunity, deal with the larger world much more on their own terms. Their experiences allow us to glimpse what might have been in the Islands themselves."
I am re-reading Barman and Watson because it answers questions that bubble in my unconscious mind, or probably more accurately, it is my Hawaiian gut that bubbles with answers that give me an ever-larger answer to secrets that leave clues subtle and not so subtle. The sea is an unending gift, and once upon a time there was a child, a gift, I named that gift Kainoa.
at The WING (Wing Luke Museum), November 16, 2014
A half-inch scar on my right palm still red from the splinter marks the entry across the Mound of Venus the place of emotions; close relationships; family ties. The small group was well ahead of me on the descent, my labored breathing slowed me. I held steel-gripped onto the wooden hand-rail each stair a deliberate motion. The worn pole was split just sharp enough to leave me with a long sliver. The pain was immediate, the recognition equally so. To keep going and join the others I pulled most of it free. Blood started. The guide and other folk were already in the old Chinese man's store, the Yick Fung Company Mercantile.  I pressed on the base of Venus to ease the pain and stop the bleeding and stepped into the store. Listening and remembering where I was the glass jars of preserved plums, the can of shark fin soup worth a thousand dollars, the large old woks, decades-old dust ... Ghosts come when they are ready with the gifts we so often disregard, especially so on one's birthday. Do you remember the face you wore before your parents were born? Still reeling from the time warp tour of the boarding house/hotel where my Filipino and Chinese ancestors would have paid 25 cents a day I held my thumb onto the mound of family to ease the pain. The Pacific Northwest, Seattle, USA. Recalling Wing Luke's nephew say, "We recognize the three waves of Pacific and Asian immigrants as Hawaiians first, they were the sailors who came in the 1770's; then the Chinese and finally the Filipino." Those would be the three waves in my blood: my Hawaiian mother, my Chinese great-grandfather, my Filipino father. My storyteller heart and ears listened to the stories. He was good at his banter though not very skilled at Hawaiian pronunciation, I mumbled lomi-lomi when he said some version of it that was no where close. One woman noticed, turned to me and smiled. I laid low and kept receptive to information. It was my sixty-seventh birthday.

the half-inch scar on the Mound of Venus

When the tour was over, and the group of men, women and one child milled and asked questions inside Yick Fung Company Mercantile I found a minute to tell Wing Luke's nephew, "The hand-rail on the stairway is splintered," I showed him the wood that still stuck in my Mound of Venus. "I just want you to know it could hurt others." My voice was a tremble. More than the pain the emotions were spilling. I had to get out of there. Soon. Wing Luke's nephew apologized, and said "At least let's get you a Band-Aid." I told him I was a Hawaiian herbalist and I would be looking for something (laukahi) to chew and spit on it, no Band-Aid needed. But in the end, I took him up on the Band-Aid, declined the antiseptic wipe, pulled the rest of the splinter out with a safety pin, washed the wound under water and consciously made a note: remember this morning at the Wing. There was no laukahi to be found along the sidewalks of Chinatown. Back in the woods the herb waited. I broke off four broad leaves, chewed, pulled the Band-Aid off and spit the green blood. My Mound of Venus stung. The words of the old green herbalist from New York echoed as I laughed, "She gets around." She was talking about plantain, the other name for the common weed, the potent ancestor, laukahi. She does, but not so much in Chinatown.

Yick Fung Company Mercantile
Kainoa, November 4, 2014

I made a choice almost forty years ago. The exact year escapes me even when I try to find it in my memory it slides. The repercussions of that choice have haunted me ever since. I chose to have an abortion. The email that went out to my friend and naturopath on 11/4/14 said something like "Old stuff is coming up. Do you have an opening this week?" I have a trio of medicine women I trust. One is Chinese and lives in Seattle, she guides me with NAET and her brand of holistic suitings. When Pete and I arrived in Seattle in May, 2008 we had to learn to build a home safe enough to help me live with multiple chemical sensitivities. Medicine Woman #1 tested and treated me for every choice, and material we explored as we built Vardo For Two. We get along well and I have learned many things from her though I see her less frequently since we moved to Langley. Another medicine woman specializes in Integrated Women's health, is an allopathically trained Nurse Practitioner and I can be served with  basic Social Security Health Care A & B. When I needed a letter to excuse me from jury duty it was Medicine Woman #2 who could fill that need. The third medicine woman I see is a friend and, a naturopathic physician. The "old stuff" I described in my email was the lingering emotional burblings that began when I chose to abort the birth of a child.

Medicine Woman #3 is the one who can sit across from me on her office futon and reach unblinkingly into my eyes. She, like the other two medicine women, is a keen and deep listener. She hears between the lines and will speak to that place while clarifying the words I use. "Friday would be a good day," we both agreed on the time. I was asking specifically for an appointment using the technique and tool of EFT Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping. Explaining to her in person I said if I were home I would seek out a Hawaiian-trained practitioner of Ho'oponopono (see this article as well) and work to set things right. Healing and forgiveness work. I knew Medicine Woman #3 practiced EFT, and asked her if she used it with her clients. She said she did, and preferred to teach her clients to use the technique for themselves. She added that she felt the tapping could be done first followed by the forgiveness work. Tapping the points and talking until the intensity of the emotions (energy in motion) eased. Medicine Woman #3 and I declared the choice I made, and began to clear.

EFT or Tapping was not unfamiliar to me. I had done the technique over the years, DIY, watching YouTube videos. But, this time I knew I needed and wanted to be in partnership with someone I trusted with my spiritual and physical burden. The choice was the correct one. Face-to-face and heart-to-heart the healing and re-birthing of the child I had named Kainoa has freed me from a long and possibly heredity infliction. Whether we live consciously or unconsciously with choices and consequences the body and soul know. Some of us are born to dig up the family secrets while others will float beyond them with no desire to look back. I'm of the former tribe; I dig deep, or peel back the onion one layer at a time. Scorpio does that.

Back and forth I have gone between the Pacific Northwest and the Islands of Hawaii. Since 1971 when I first left Kuli'ou'ou Valley on O'ahu I have criss-crossed the Pacific in those air wa'a the airplane. Like my ancestors who climbed willingly or unwillingly onto the sailing ships in 1778, there was a draw that would not resist beckoning. Though I could not prove the sense of kinship in the Pacific Northwest, and most particularly in and around the Islands of the Canadian San Jan Islands (Salt Spring Island specifically) I felt the connectivity when my family and I spent summers on and in the waters of Salt Spring Island. Leaving Paradise confirmed my intuition about Salt Spring Island: "In the later twentieth century, numerous descendants in both the American and Canadian Pacific Northwest sought to recover their Hawaiian heritage. One of the events rekindling interest was accidental in its inception. During British Columbia's centennial in 1971 the provincial government sponsored a foreign press tour, one of who members was from the Islands. Sailing past Salt Spring Island, Mary Cooke's Canadian host pointed out "a place called Kanaka Row." A photograph in the book Leaving Paradise with this caption reads "Beaver Point School on souther Salt Spring Island in the early 1930s. All are Hawaiian descendants except for, in the back row, the teach and the students first and third from left, in the middle row fifth and sixth from left, and in the front row, first from left." [There are a total of fifteen students in this photograph.]

Too many secrets, half-truths and misinformation have clouded my life and the lives of many many Hawaiians living yet on the Islands and elsewhere. The 'elsewhere' that is specific to my life is the Pacific Northwest. It's where I live today. If it weren't for the "blatant disregard and disrespect and the VOG" (as Pete put it this morning) you'd still be living there ... the Hawaiian Islands and not the Salish called 'Whidbey.' The irony or the utter organization of the chaotic nature of LIFE may be the unfolding of potential to be just where I am meant to be. Without that original crossing in 1971, my son would not have been made, and birthed in late September of 1972. He was birthed, and he is much loved, and spreading his experiences to include life in Paris after a ten-year cultural immersion into the Island culture of Hawaii. He learned, practices and and now teaches Lomi lomi, a Hawaiian healing practice. Because I returned to Hawaii after his father and I divorced he followed and moved to O'ahu. The chaos theory is ripe with potential. Through the process of digging and peeling setting things to right happens with conscientious application. "I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you." Ho'oponopono in English.

When I left Medicine Woman #3 after an hour of EFT to address the emotions long stuck in vessels throughout me I drove to the water's edge. Instead of the usual walk I take in Langley I went instead to a near-by beach where boats are moored. A narrow beach was there. I walked down the boat ramp and turned right. Two nights before huge storms and high surf had churned up the water, logs and rubble littered the beach. Separate from the long bones of the Tall Ones was a curved fish-like leaving. I was drawn to it. To see it at first I thought it too heavy for me to lift but I reached down anyway. She was large but light, curved with holes and worn from life in kai -- the salt water. Kainoa was birthed that morning. I called Pete on my cell phone and asked him to come meet me at the boat ramp. Together we welcomed her this time. She is home with us now. I bought a slice of lemon crème cake and a birthday candle. We ate it and celebrated. "I am sorry, Kainoa. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you."

Kainoa's (front and center) first winter

"Within a decade of Captain James Cook's arrival early in 1778, Hawaiians were expressing a desire to sail to the Northwest Coast of North America as maritime sojourners...The first indigenous Hawaiian known to encounter the Northwest Coast of North America was a woman...a servant to the first European woman to visit both the Hawaiian Islands and Pacific Northwest."-"Maritime Sojourners" Leaving Paradise 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Dreams really do come true ... Hedgespoken Lives!

Perhaps the most glorious and connected crowdfunding project comes to a close within the next 24 hours.
Rima and Tom and an incredible community of artisans and mythic creators have attracted the attention of dreamers-wanting-to-manifest HEDGESPOKEN. In the passed weeks the vision depicted above has become a world to be on wheels.
If you haven't contributed to this wildly wonderful venture of magic. Click and Contribute to something that is of grand value: magic and dreams really do come true. Be part of it if you can!!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Pele and Lohiau told by Kamokila Campbell

When I was a young girl growing up in Kuli'ou'ou Valley in the 1950's and '60's, I listened to the radio. One of the voices that captivated my young and imaginative Scorpion nature was that of Kamokila Campbell. Her voice and her stories were a sound that embraced me when confused about my place and my nature, inspiring me to learn and be fed by listening to the power of voice.

In those days, and only until much later in life, I did not know of the great contradictions Alice Kamokila Campbell would represent. The daughter of James Campbell, and heiress to the grand fortune of sugar  "... In the late 1930s and early 1940s, ‘Ewa was a sugar plantation with miles of swaying cane baking on the dry, flat plain. Kamokila Campbell’s father, James Campbell, pioneered the area years before, finding water and making the land prosper." Finding water really meant diverting fresh water from the Windward O'ahu wetlands of Waiahole and Waikane while spraying and applying chemical fertilizer and herbicides creating great strain on the natural environment and health of the people of the Island. Also included in the article Lessons of a Hawaiian Grandmother written by Kaui Goring, "Even though she was an heiress, whose family mingled with nobility of the time—Mary remembers her grandmother noting that King Kalakaua would play “poka” with her father at his Honouliuli ranch—Kamokila lived among the kiawe trees much of the time wearing a simple mu‘umu‘u made up of two pieces of fabric sewn together. She would even go into the water in the dress. At other times, done up in an elegant black holoku (that Mary still owns) wearing strands of lei reaching down to her knees, she would duck into her limousine, driven by her private driver, to an upscale function in town...For Judy, the youngest of the sisters, Lanikuhonua was a happy and spiritual place. She suffered from allergies at her Nu‘uanu Valley home and the dry climate of ‘Ewa suited her. From the very beginning of her time there, Judy felt the sacredness of the land. She suspects that the spot was a place her grandmother reconnected with the Hawaiian part of herself. For the most part, she threw off the lavish lifestyle she had enjoyed when she was younger and found peace and simplicity. Judy, too, remembers the simple mu‘umu‘u and her grandmother sitting at a picnic table just gazing at the ocean. She even drank her coffee made with brackish water, because fresh water had to be brought in large bottles. “I think the land grounded her,” says Judy, who sees the honor of her grandmother living between two worlds—yet in the end, tried to hone in on her Hawaiian nature."

The nature of being human is a balancing act that is not easily maintained. It is instead a daily and routine act that changes over time. Growing, changing, adapting. Listening, gathering, acting. I juggle the changes and ability to adapt with various degrees of agility. Age changes the speed at which I digest change. Softening the ground of my nature means distracting myself from being obsessed with perfection -- static, fixed perspective. Play a hand of cards, and laugh at how the game plays through. Notice how the wind makes the solid disappear. Today the wind brings rain. Tomorrow the weather man says 'expect snow.' If I were still a girl in Kuli'ou'ou I would not know how to expect snow. But. Now I am an old woman who lives with a man who was a boy who knew. He says "Today I'll wrap heat tape around the pipes." Contradiction. Complementary. Juggling. My taste for listening to voices continues to soothe and inspire. I give thanks for my large ears that can hear external voices, and listen, to the quieter, yet most powerful voice that is within. In hearing the stories from Kamokila Campbell's granddaughters I hear "e ho mai I ka maopopo pono" ... grant us understanding, e ho mai I ka 'ike papalua ... grant us insight still honing in on my Hawaiian nature.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Malama Honua ... Care for the Earth ... Hokule'a's Mission

Holuke'a's World-Wide Mission

Tomorrow, Thursday, November 27, 2014 many families in America will be gathering to celebrate and give thanks. There are many reasons to give thanks and equally as many ways to gather and celebrate. Thanksgiving is being celebrated and gatherings are being defined across Honua The Earth, as the crew(s) of the Polynesian Voyaging Society's wa'a (canoe) Hokule'a crosses the oceans of Honua with a message "Malama Honua" Care for Earth.

The video here includes some advertising for the public television network 'Oiwi TV, which is a little distracting. But. There are things to learn from watching it. Somewhere in our celebrating surely we must make room to Malama Honua.

Mahalo Ke Akua, Na Aumakua, e Honua ola
Mahalo 'ohana nui Calizar a me Little 


Monday, November 24, 2014

What's Esther Hicks up to these days?

Pete asked me that question (Esther-Abraham Hicks). I found this. What a great answer.

Weird words

We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."
— Dr. Seuss
adjective: weird; comparative adjective: weirder; superlative adjective: weirdest
  1. 1.
    suggesting something supernatural; uncanny.
    "the weird crying of a seal"
noun: weird; plural noun: weirds
  1. 1.
    a person's destiny.
North Americaninformal
verb: weird; 3rd person present: weirds; past tense: weirded; past participle: weirded; gerund or present participle: weirding
  1. 1.
    induce a sense of disbelief or alienation in someone.

While wandering this morning I found Dr. Seuss' quote about weird on the homepage where a very interesting poem was responding to this visual prompt ...
Weird is one of those exceptions to the rules. Like any art form there are rules but they are meant to be broken, bent, unpinned and assembled differently.
Weird is one of those words that is the exceptions to the rules in spelling : " i before e, except after c.
Weird words are an art form.

Thank you  Chris McQueeney for the poem, and Tess Kinkaid at Magpie Tales for the visual prompt.

Friday, November 21, 2014

November 22, 2014 World-wide day of healing through letter writing

Writing and Mailing a letter might be 'old school' to many these days. But the W and M activity has a special place in my heart. It's the five-step-process captured above that took me from dreaming up the love of my life to the next level. I wrote a letter to the guy I'd dreamt up, sealed the envelope, took the envelope to the post office and let that letter fly to Green Bay, Wisconsin. A tall silver-haired man opened that letter, considered the consequences for writing back and the rest of the story is still in the making. I had written my first love letter and the rewards? Well, they fill the pages of my blogs, and the mythic tales inspired by that silver-haired raven man.

I'm a believer in all the 'old school' practices that make for a safety pinned, heart-poundingly enjoyable fully lived, kind and connectable life. I'm not such a rabid follower of Face-book, but I do have an account with that social network and because of it I found out about the World-wide day of healing through letter writing project. Here's an invitation to write something from the heart with your hand, a piece of paper, a pen or pencil. A collective and personal act of slowing down to put your whole self into communicating. One of the things I learned very early on as I watched and listened to my first storytellers was the importance of the pause -- the wait -- between one word and the next. The scene or the story halts just for a moment, the pregnant pause promises something brand new. That's the thing about the hand written and mailed in an envelope letter. The pause. WAIT FOR IT has such meaning when you think of it that way.

Do you have a letter aching to be written? Maybe tomorrow is the perfect day.

With love,

Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Marmalade Madame

I found myself slipping on an old banana peel of a habit, but was reminded to reach for something to tickle me free from that old bugaboo. I found something to write myself out from behind those old blinders ... it helped a lot, and maybe it will do the same for you. Figuring this is my birthday gift, I'll leave behind a shriveled habit needing to be recycled and share this tickled story to all my readers with a special thanks to jt for reminding me where to find the light switch.

"How'd you two get together?" I suppose that's a common question for people to ask a couple they're just getting to know. At least I've heard the question often enough.

"I dreamed him up." That's what I tell most people, though sometimes I hold my cards close to the chest and if Pete's around I give him the eye and he unrolls his version of the story which usually starts with standing at a kitchen sink in Mukilteo one Christmas time long before we were conscious of Cupid's design for us. Not every one deserves to hear the pearls of a story like me dreaming up the love of my life. When a crusty reptile like me shares the product of her psyche she doesn't want the blank stare of dis-appreciation or the eye roll of ... what does the eye roll signal?

"Oh it's that too too serious horse-with-the-blinkers making a judgment on people giving an opinion," from out of the blue and between the spaces comes the Marmalade Madame. There is nothing subtle or compromising about the three foot tall dame of fame, no, infamy, who has shown up to add her dollar bill. Ablaze with a freshly tweaked version of orange hair my faery godmother shows up at the most unexpected times. The orange-haired one continued, "It's your birthday tomorrow. I'd have thought you were expecting me. What with all the others bound to be here with their gifts, and their distractions before the next sunset. I wanted to beat them to the punch." My faery godmother is so very different than the tall, bronze and braided Max with the wool coat and bowler hat. As different as sun and moon or summer and winter, the Marmalade Madame stands stoutly three feet in her spikey leather boots, made especially for her remarkable frame. Her feet are large -- broad and very long for the height of her. "The better for me to stand the ground upon which I love to leap about on. See, the heels of this particular model are fashioned with a spring." She stopped in her original expository and demonstrated the incredible lift potential in the spikes. With a downward thrust the heels drew into two long paddles and the flaming orange hair was airborne the paddles serving as rudders on an airship from the pages of Terry Pritchett's imagination. At that elevation her short and bejeweled fingers become navigational buttons; ruby for right rudder and she will move accordingly; emeralds (on both left and right thumbs) will level her off; the diamond on her left pinkie is reserved for emergency Frappaccino stops at Starbucks (She claims to be cutting back on coffee, but she lies.) To land The Marm as I love to call her does the Dorothy gig, which can be challenging in a brisk wind. And if ever an unsuspecting observer in the right light seeing her attempting a landing will tell you, the sight is one that could cause irreversible damage to your Serious Bone. That in short is really what my faery god mother was here for. I've already seen her in action up high and in the sky.

Most of her charges, she has many, are fixed of the Serious Habit after viewing her in that elevated state. But. There are some like me who need regular Funny Bone maintenance. The Marmalade Madame had come to do mine. I think she believes there's always room for breaking out of the old boxes, and lubricating the Funny Bone can never be done too often. She's laughing at me right this minute you know. She does it never to mock me, but to join in. Right before the sun returns to the spot in the sky when I came through the birth canal. "It's really alright to have born purple. It's the reason you so prefer the color in your garments, makes you feel to home."
The color of Marmalade to inspire the Marmalade Madam's freshly tweaked hair.
CLICK for a recipe for Kumquat Marmalade just for the fun of it!

It's the gift I needed most from someone who has been watching for a very long time. Probably been watching before I wore this face that was at first so purple. Anyway, it's a winding tale to answer the question about how I dreamed up the love of my life. But then, did you have anything better to do? No.  Well then, we have just had a bit of a romp and I'm glad of it.

Hugs to The Marmalade Madame, and thanks!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Missing you ...

We miss seeing you. Hope that means you've gone back to The Islands and are reading from there!
Mokihana and Pete

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

In the last century ... we were here

We returned to the Home Place, Kuli'ou'ou Valley just before the turn of the century. With very short hair, and very very long hair and dreams that needed revisiting. The old(house numbers, paint and Ma's plant in the cement planter) and new (the red screen door, new porch and steps, a new beam to hold up the roof and Pahoa Valley bamboo railing) versions
of the family home at 319 Dalene Way can be seen in this picture
 taken by dear old friend who was visiting from Washington. Thanks JT.
Pete and I began a life as a couple on the island of Maui. This is our Iao Valley cottage deck in 1995. The beautiful blue iron chair and the cedar furo that Pete built makes me swoon. What a tropical paradise that cottage was, cockroaches (big ones and lots of 'em) and all!

The photos were scanned with lots of extra space flopping behind the images. It makes no never-mind though. We all have a little extra flopping these days. There's room for that:)

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Ho'opuhi ... to distill ... an updated story

Kapa Beaters

Kapa stamps

Kapa stamped in the Wana design

One of the things I love about blogging over time is being able to see what old posts have captured your attention Dear Readers. (Thanks to the 'Popular Post' gadget on the side-bar) This image of Hawaiian kapa printed with the design of wana, sea urchins, is one of my life-long favorites. That visual taps into the poetry of genetics that is instinctual, cellular and timeless.

As makua o'o committed to a life of investigation and life-long learning, distilling or rendering down life into its essential and sustaining foundations can be a daily 'ah ... ha.' Like the shaft of light at dawn or wana ao. Like the sharp spear of light, or the sharp spike of the sea urchin. Metaphor and poetry in a veil. Read more about the process of distilling story here.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Stick to it

" will measure your progress in longer stretches of time than a day, a week, or even a month. When things seem difficult you must not allow yourself to lose your gumption or to choose what seem like easier options...In just a few weeks, Saturn will begin the process of moving from your sign to Sagittarius. Saturn has been a consistent guide and mentor to you, and in the remaining time that Saturn is in your sign, it’s necessary to internalize the Saturn principle, which translates to self-leadership."
When Saturn, that consistent guide and mentor Eric Francis describes moved into Scorpio 2.5 years ago, another consistent presence was trying to get my attention. In October of 2012, I wrote this post "Inoculated by the Wild". The message and the guide was Grandmother Spider and she was doing her best to speak to me in a language I would understand. She kept biting me. The Wild's time is Nature's time, cycling around and through me I was being prepared for the medicine and healing salve of story to pull me into the ground of myself. Not, the cloudy airy domain of dreams without feet, but dreams that have substance. Dreams that are inoculated by something, something as tiny and powerful as the 8-legged one and her kin.
Soon after Spider took a bite out of me, on a day only a duck could love (much like this one!) I found a large safety pin on the floor of the post office. The medicine of the wild had begun to work in really and substantial ways. There was a story wanting to be told and the only way to tell it was to listen for it, write it down, give it a name, send it on the cyber surf board and keep doing my work. One installment at a time the story was told. The form of communication was unexpected. My island neighbors were intrigued as they read the installments, and wanted to know, "Where is it?" Some who read the mythical journey of an aging border witch and a silver-haired raven got the scent of magic and kept reading. Others just wanted to sit and have a cup of coffee and cinnamon toast already!
For two years I had to believe in the power of the story, and the potential to tell it both virtually via The Safety Pin Café blog and medicine stories, and eventually in person in a Fragrance Free Zone, safe enough for my Invisible Disabilities to be respected and acknowledged. In October, 2013 the first storytelling tent for The Safety Pin Café was raised, and people came to hear the story about the Border Witch and the Silver-haired Raven. Myth with feet wove the tale and playfulness allowed the audience to cross the border and into the 'doors' of the magical and moveable café. It was a reach, a stretch of my creative genes and it was worth the effort to see friends, neighbors and strangers from my community under the tent at South Whidbey Tilth Farmers' Market.
A second year, and two storytelling events this year built on the work of commitment to Story with a capital "S."

The stories told in 2014 were the stories that wanted to be told. I asked and the old stories came. I had to study and memorize the chants, then eat them like soup until they fed me a story that was fed by the three pikos (navels) of my cultural whole: past, present and future. These were the stories from ancient chants and elemental forces -- The gods and goddesses: Grandmother Spider and her sun Iktumi, the trickster who tells humans lies to tempt us from our kuleana (soul's path), Raven and 'Iole the rat. All of those voices wanted a place under the tent. We chanted. We asked permission. The Elements worked with us. We were granted clear skies and a brisk wind. Story loves wind! This time the storyteller's value amplified as I collaborated with our local food bank. All donations went directly into that bank. Coins, dollars and checks rewarded the work. Sticking to it made the story good, like soup.
Now, as the rain beats a rhythm as solid as a bass drum I consider the effect of old habits, and familiar roles and masks that I wore in an earlier life. When I created on demand for forty years deadlines were built in, and so was my regular paycheck. Life can throw you a curve when least prepared and it's those curves that have been teaching me to find the middle ground, or, accept all the notes (as above) ... the soft and low as well as the loud and high. Terri Windling has a wonderful conversation and post entitled "On Deadlines" on her blog today. It helps me to read and respond to the changing reality of what motivates, and drives creation. I hope you will link to Windling's blog post for something more to chew on. The diverse comments are worth reading. With Winter soon moving into the Salish Sea where I live, my dreams caution me to check my sources, and astrology suggests measuring success over the longer time. My body cautions me to love her at sixty-almost seven, even as I hear her say "I am a fiesta."
And finally, yesterday while I felt the muddle of too much water (that's analogous to the emotional pathways) from the heavy rains I discovered the short chick with a stick, Kris Harty. She can, and does speak for herself in this YouTube. It's a great place to end and maybe a good place to commit to sticking with it no matter what. 
Where are you in your creative path as Saturn prepares to leave Scorpio around Christmas, 2014?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Tucked in just right, leaning into each other

Moki and Pete after the stories were told, The Safety Pin Café October 19, 2014
Photo: Pam Winstanley
Bill Wither's "Lean On Me" ...