Thursday, October 30, 2014

Soggy season, mending work

Today is 'Ole Pau, fourth po mahina (moon phase) of reflection and considering the current state of affairs, and internal pono (well-being). I've been doing a lot of mending, and dreaming. To assist with the internal workings I take things literally and am stitching and patching things I can see.
a huge purple egg patch is filling in where once warm and stretchy tights kept me warm.
Follow the ----> for the soggy season story at The Safety Pin Café.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Perfect fit

"Dear Ma, I LOVE THEM! Your needles have been busy. So deft! Is that what keeps you flexible rather than brittle, and warm at heart in spite of all that rubbish and rhetoric about being old? I love that you mixed the wool with the dog hair. Yes, I can feel the difference, someone taught me to notice things like that. I love that they are big and floppy and if I tug them, up they reach. Up and over my knees. I'm tucking into my cozy chenille robe about to slide into those Birki's and will be out the door to feed the chickens who don't have a Ma to knit them floppy socks. The dark Kona roast is bitter and rich, the perfect top-it-off gift for the near-snow white knit.
Thank you my love you are the perfect fit!
This is a Monday morning tickle of words inspired by Magpie Tales' wonderful photo of socks, coffee, toast and other comforts: Magazine 243...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pacing and places

I have refueled and restored myself after a morning of telling stories, chanting and gathering with fine neighbors and friends at The South Whidbey Tilth Farmers' Market. With the wind and clouds active in the storytelling, I felt my aging storytelling self shift several times lowering and slowing the pace. A visiting Titmouse just flew into the door with the wind, then back out. She is traveling at wind speed today. Fast. Such a gift to be living in the trees and the breeze. The risks? There are those. We make ready and batten hatches down, and beyond that I just try to shift my gears, and drop the healing medicine of warmed 'olena-garlic-olive oil into my ears as the wet and moldy season begins in earnest.

Kalihi Valley 'Olena ... mahalo Ho'oulu Aina

Baby girl my tiny Cousin Keala chopping 'olena

My ears are filled with the pungent yellow-orange brew capped with cotton balls. From across the ocean the medicine of my family roots is concrete in its application. The young generation have their hands and hearts in the care and nurturance of our culture. I am here. They are there. The blonde-haired keiki girl among the youngest members of our 'ohana lives the pace of childhood...curious, exploratory, vibrant. Her mother birthed her with the blood that is part me, and so many other parts. The pace is steady ... and the route broad. How fortunate for us to know we are part of each other.

The wet and cold valley where the golden turmeric, 'olena, grows is the valley where my grandmother raised my mother. It is as wet as the grounds that surround me now. In this place, this island where tall Fir, Pine and Cedar keep me company and dance with the high moving wind I feel the heat of the fire, the heat of Haumea Mother Earth. The Winter storms and the winds that bring rain across the Pacific bring news from Hawaii and dump it onto the Pacific Northwest. I call my old kumu in Haleiwa on O'ahu's Northshore. She says, "This goofy weather ... raining like cats and dogs."

The pace of nature ... slow to medium. Over time many different paces make for a human's journey. Not always satisfied with medium or slow, sometimes we rush. We imitate the wind at storm pace. We try to keep up with the stories weaving so furiously. But then, on occasion the chance or the demand for Nature's Pace pulls the internal lever, and I slow down or pick up a stitch on a story that has been waiting its turn. On this New Moon in Scorpio and a Solar Eclipse ... make a wish grounded in the deep. Eli'eli Kau Mai

Mahalo Kaliko and Keala!

'olena ... turmeric
keiki ... child
'ohana ... family
kumu ... teacher

Thursday, October 16, 2014

I am here

"Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu
 (A person is a person because of other people.) "

African Proverb
"Au a 'ia
(I am here.)" *
Hawaiian chant

'A red wool beret ... perched like a cherry on a sundae' ...

"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..."
- Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele Ka Honua Ola

* The prophetic chant ‘Au'a ‘Ia, ..." the drum dance that gives their class its name and mission. They are "Kama, kama, kama o ka huliau" -- children of the turning tide and changing times. And they are urged to hold fast to their "moku" -- to this land, to their heritage, and to their years of study. Life will turn quickly now for them, one turning point after another, but the dance and the years leading up to it have given them a set of "pōhaku kū" -- of anchor stones -- that will ground their mats in the wind and steady their nets in the tide..."- HMI

My toes are chilly from an early morning walk with my pal, my cat JOTS. We were ready to spring from the slowed down 'ole po mahina (the 'ole moon phases) just pau. The three reflective, feed-and-repair phases amplify the position of the stars and planets: Mercury in his retrograde (backing up) journey, the long term squaring off of Uranus and Pluto. There is nothing we can do about how the Heavens traffic the energy from their position in the hei of Grandmother Ku'uku'u. They are there, and I am here, you are there. We are where we are, all together.
The chilly temperatures remind me I am here on Whidbey Island, and not in Kuliou'ou Valley back on O'ahu. There is a sadness. There is an awareness of how deep my roots are. I feel the connection. There are stories that fold in and hold me. The other day I wrote about a net wearing the small red hat pictured above. Memories of the original storytellers who ensnared me with their magic opened up in me. I gave the story this name: The Net and The Red Hat. You might enjoy that one ... READ MORE.

Raven is outside calling me, and if I ignore him any more he will surely have some mischief stored up for me. So ... off I go into the further-ness of this amazing new day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Magic-makers live!

Once upon a time when the world was falling inside out a friend watched as step by step and then in halves and quarters .... we built a space from which to begin again. Early in the days and nights of mending and dreaming of the new life being re-created that friend sent special packages of magic and magic-makers, art from across a continent and an ocean created by a woman named Rima Staines.

'we built a space from which to begin again'
That magic-maker and artist became one of my life-lines and spider web connections as strong as Grace and alive with passion to live a life fully turned to ON. Rima was living in a moveable home, a Bedford StepVan at the time of our first meeting (thanks to the 'web'). We shared stories of wee home living, and magic that wayfarers understand to be life empassioned. Rima encouraged me when critics chastised our awkward new beginnings from a home no bigger than most peoples' walk-in closets.
It makes no nevermind, magic-makers are fueled with a spark and fire that will not be easily put out. We root, and we regain deep footings ... and today in Devon, across the continent and over the Atlantic waters Rima Staines and her husband Tom Hiron have launched a marvelous project ... A THEATRE AND TRAVELING CIRCUS FOR THE IMAGINATION --  HEDGESPOKEN

Rima and Tom have designed and created a crowd funding project to build a traveling circus decked to be their home as well. The life of traveling storyteller and artist is one I relate to and write about in my medicine stories; and wish to encourage and bless this in the real-time venture. So here is a serving of encouragement, with blessing entwined and mixed well. Click on the link above to discover the magic and real life being conjured in a town called Devon, and if you've the resources to contribute, please do.
Many good and lucky coppers to you Rima and Tom.
Terri Windling has a lovely post with lively pictures of HEDGESPOKEN rolled out in a field in Devon, UK.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Alchemy and Amulet

"The same pain that can blemish our personality can act as a creative force, burnishing it into an object of delight."
Pir Vilayat Inayat Khan
Alchemical Wisdom
"around my neck hangs an amulet ..."
Rima Staines
My on-line writers' group has been re-opened with prompts, tickle lines, to draw the inspiration up and out. One of the prompts is "The dream tasted ..." I drew the next word like the Jack-o-Spades. Odd. I took the prompt and began to write. "The dream tasted odd." The pain that can blemish was working at my deep self seeding my dreams with memories and different endings that I could not predict. That is the alchemy of dreams. Skilled dreamers like Robert Moss lead dreamers through the protocol and landscape of the multiverse; I am not so skilled and practiced. Yet, the seeding of my dreams led me to be with my Dad. The cat-skinner and bulldozer operator who cleared many pathways and roads during the 1950's through 1970's came in my seeded dream. With smooth and uncalloused hands we sat together. Few words. That was just the way we spent time, mostly. Few words, grunts and facial expressions filled in where words would have been over-kill. We traveled in the dream and avenues of uncharted potential cleft the pain of clear-cut. In his day, that was the work he did. Done in the harsh environment of man's work my father cleared trees for roads, reservoirs peoples' wants. The dream was odd. It was a burnishing dream, buffing at the hard edges I have on my heart. Writing becomes my polishing cloth. The dream the torch's flame.
I read Rima Staines' entry and pictorial journal as she creates an amulet, and connections are made.

Yesterday, when Pete and I packed up early in the morning for a day trip out of Dodge and out of the forest our first stop was Home Depot. Yes, the forest elves shop at the big box just like all the contractors and DIYers. Not often, but sometimes we do this. Pete would do it more often if the huge store wasn't an hour's drive. But anyway ... yesterday we stopped at the big box to find more mylar-wrapped bubble insulation for our Quonset floor. Winter comes, and soon the floor that is only a tile away from bare earth will get very damp and cold. We will layer the floor with that insulation (which I can tolerate) and cover it with our cotton rug.
Pete found the insulation as I sat in the passenger seat reading another chapter in the latest library-borrowed novel I am devouring. Blue Plate Special. Kate Christensen's autobiographical memoirs has contributed to the seeding of my dreams. In the early pages of her memoirs she describes the harsh yet real pain that is her relationship (or lack of one) with the father she so adored as a girl. She is the first-born. Quickly I related to her 'shyness' with her father who could never, and never did allow for closeness. Like the swipe of wipers over the fog-stained windows of our car that morning in the big box parking lot, a plaid flannel shirt and a well-worn baseball hat dressed a medium tall man. A dad. He and his daughter, dressed in a long-sleeve tee shirt and black gloves walked in a bubble of precious time in front of our Subaru. Neither was conscious of the two old people in the green car. The faces of joyful interplay was impenetrable. She clapped her mittens and made some small talk that drew her father closer. Laughing and then she did this pat pat pat with her mittens-gloves like the patty cake of nursery tales on the man's back and belly. I know that gesture of alchemy. Love. Her Dad surrounded the girl with his left arm and gave her a knuckle sandwich, that playful stuff that makes time stand-still.
We watched this silently. Then, we looked at each other "That was something!" Pete said. "Yeah, he will never forgot that. And, she might forget it happened until years later when the fog is thick and she puts on some black cozy mittens." The alchemy of forgiveness and memory is an amulet.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mahinakulu (Kulu Moon Phase) ... Ku'uku'u Spins the Webs

Here and there, and almost everywhere signs of Grandmother(and her clan) Ku'uku'u the great spider tell us she is plotting. More than one species make their hei (net) setting up the potential for feeding themselves.

I observe. I make note of them. Practice the first tool of a makua o'o: notice. Down at the shoreline at noon the tide was coming in, but plenty of sand and rock lay exposed. Heron was still and hunkered down, reflecting her body space into the water, her bill inches from the malie (calm) surface. The fog was thick again, three days in a row. We sat and lunched while the seagull inched closer to the chicken bones we had cleaned of flesh. He coveted the remains. Wasps did not wait, landed on the napkins greedy, hungry.

Back on kuu'one hanau (the sands of my birth; Hawaii) The Moon Phase Project is an online forum designed to notice and record lunar knowledge specific to the unique observations where you are. I have purchased the journal created by Kealopiko. It's a wonderful tracking tool with helpful visuals to follow the phases, and lines to write in as mahina moves across the sky. The one suggestion for the journal is to make it more useable for makamakule (old eyes, like mine.) But, not really. That would simply mean more trees to turn into logs. I will not be going there!


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Lunar Eclispe (in the sign of Aries). October 8, 2014, Spider Season, and the 8 Lies of Iktumi

 "... if you’re lucky enough to be on the east coast of the US, the blood moon will set on the western horizon at exactly the same time as the Sun rises in the east — you’ll be able to see the Sun and a total lunar eclipse at the same time — a weird quirk of celestial geometry that should technically be impossible.
The lunar eclipse of October 8 will reach totality and be directly overhead in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Those of you on the west coast of the US will see the Moon rise as normal, and then the eclipse will begin at 1:17am (Pacific Time), with a total eclipse occurring between 3:27am and 4:22am. The east coast of Japan and Australia should see the lunar eclipse in the evening, as the sun sets. On the east coast, the eclipse will begin at 4:17am (Eastern Time), with the total eclipse lasting between 6:27am and 7:22am." - Source

Astrologically-speaking two of my favorite astrologers said this about the up-coming Lunar Eclipse/Full Moon:

 Satori writes about the 'Prelude to the Eclipse."

"...The issues surround what you want versus what you need and both stand at odds with a rotting infrastructure. With the Aries-Libra opposition energy (Venus and Sun opposite Moon and Uranus) this means self versus other: relationship... It’s the need for validation versus validating your own experience...Watch the run-up to the early morning (Wednesday) full moon eclipse for those gaps to be illuminated. Once spotted, they can be fruitfully addressed or eliminated (Pluto).

Elsa sees the Aries-based Lunar Eclipse as a scene from "West-side Story."

"Have you seen, “West Side Story”?  It’s a perfect example of the energy described here. You just can’t stop yourself from reacting on a visceral level. It’s your primal instinct, activated."

On a personal level the Aries Full Moon and Pouli Ka Mahina is in Pete's 7th House of Relationships and my 3rd House of Neighbors/Siblings and Communication. Acres of wooded 'aina across the road from us has been clear-cut. The action has ignited 'reacting on a visceral level. Our primal instincts are activated. We are enraged, and frustrated by the brutal disregard for land and trees, air, 'aina (the land that feeds others as well as ourselves). When the man with a degree snuck in with his hired saws and machinery, I took this picture. I called my land-mate to ask if she knew of the hewa (wrong-doing) beginning. She said she did not. I said "It's happening now!" A year ago we stopped this clear-cut by going through legal channels including involving the DLNR (Department of Land and Natural Resources). Stalling the California-resident owner from the clear-cut was a stop-gap. We heard nothing until I heard the first fall of a tree on September 29, 2014. This morning the sound of equipment echoed through the forest before sunrise. The energy of the Aries-based full moon has been building over the week. In the Hawaiian culture, the Full Moon is actually observed as four phases of building energy. Each morning and night I have said my prayers after having said this Pule 'Aina at sunset when that first tree was felled.

Prayer for the Land

E ke akua, he pule ia e holoi ana i ka po’ino o ka ‘aina
a me ke pale a’e i pau ko ka ‘aina haumia
He pule ia e ho’opau ana i na hewa o ka ‘aina apau
Oh God.
This is a prayer to wash away all iniquity from the land,
to ward off and end the contamination of the land.
This is a prayer to end the mistakes done to all the land
I pau ke a’e, me ke kawau
I pau ke kulopia, a me ka peluluka
I pau a hulialana
A laila niho peku, ho ‘emu, huikala, malapakai,
Kamauli hou i ke akua.
So that the bitterness may be over.
The ground will be covered with greenery, leaves and vines,
and we may offer again our prayers of thanks to you for abundance.
As the sun began his rise, Pete could not stay to hear and feel the devastation happening in the forest near-by. His fury was full throttle, and at this point a West-side Story scene would not get us far. So instead we dressed and climbed into our Subaru. I took a couple short videos of what we see at the end of our driveway, but, the videos are too large to include here. We turned right at the end of the driveway and in the direction of the rising sun to watch ka la begin a new day. The fog was thick. We were part of the rushing bikes and commuters hell-bent on making the ferry. At the traffic light that controls the ferry traffic we turned right onto Columbia Beach Road looking for the beach cottage a friend uses. We were looking for a small Crèmesicle cottage with turquoise windows. Among the mega-dominions about two-thirds of the way was my friend's cottage. It will be a fine east-facing beach place to come for respite. I needed to know there was somewhere to be grounded with the sight and sound of saltwater when I need it. My friend Morgana has extended an open invitation to sit and be there, I will return to the Cremesicle cottage another day.

The fog was still thick, the sun probably already in the sky behind it. We crossed with the Green-light and parked in the small park in Clinton. Once out of the car, Na Aumakua had something for us to witness. In spite of our visceral need to escape the clear-cut the gods, perhaps Uku-uku Grandmother Spider or her son Iktumi had one more spider's bite for us. "Ahhhh, if only the world was a better place," said Uku-uku. "Then I will be happy," continued Iktumi. The spider bite? This is what we saw driving down the hill into the ferry lane.

How do we 'listen' to the lesson Grandmother Spider has left with us today, on this Blood Moon, Pouli Ka 'Ula Mahina? I am a storyteller with the kuleana like the recorders of my ancestors, the storytellers who documented devastation and magnificence in their 'oli, the chants. What is the lesson Grandmother Ku'uku'u was giving me? "Oh if you were a famous author with words printed on paper ... then of course, you will be happy." Tempting and entangled in that web of illusion for so very very long I have struggled with the distribution of my writing. Trying this way and that way to publish on eco-harvested, eco-printed means. Over and over I have tried to make that happen. Because, of course, THEN I would be happy.

What is the lesson Grandmother was giving me this week, this moon leading up to the Blood Red Moon in Aries with an eclipse for good measure? She was letting me decide once and for all: NO I do not need to put my words onto the skin of trees for my happiness. NO I have seen the price of tree skin. NO I have felt the crying when one tree after another is felled for man's (or woman's) profit. $1.3 million dollars for the trees that became 'logs'? Is that what it takes? NO I do not hold the value of books, or houses, or fires with that regard.

After seeing the logger, the logging truck and the trees we knew as family and neighbors, Pete and I spent the next two hours at the end of Humprey's Road at a spot of shore overlooking Puget Sound. Glendale Shoreline is one of the only public accesses on this side of Whidbey Island. When we needed to find a place to invest our precious resources of personal and soul-fueled energy we called our friend, and kupuna (elder) Loretta Wilson. She and her sister Ruth are the sisters who inspired me to create The Sweet Sisters, two characters integral in my medicine stories. Loretta and Ruth were at a work party clearing ivy from old maples this weekend on the Glendale Shoreline. Pete caught Loretta on his cellphone just minutes before the two 'Sweet Sisters' headed off for an Eastern Washington car trip. In the nick of time Pete got directions from a trusted and respected elder, and we found this ...

a puka of hope

Who are the men responsible for the clear-cut on Forest Lane in Langley, Washington? 

Know these names, and reckon with them with caution!

The land owner is Jose Antongiorgi. He lives in Redondo Beach, California.
The logger is Jason Anderson, a 5th generation logger from Darrington.
The forester is Walt Michalec. He is the one responsible for all decisions being made.

When we arrived in South Whidbey Island five years ago we had been living in our car because I could no longer live IN a house, nor in most places because of the multiple forms of toxic products or processes common-place. We have learned through experience the dangers and risks involved in living a life based on the values of entitlement. "If I can afford to, I will __________." At first it was far easier to blame everyone and anyone who did not meet our expectations. But, eventually we would need to ferret out the attitudes of entitlement that clung or hid in our habits. Time has shown us the many ways we have been deluded by the 8 Lies of Iktumi. What? The spider lies? Well, yes he does but he is tricky and will often hold a mirror in front of him and it will be your/my own face and my lies that trick. What are the 8 lies? Here is what I have heard, the lies are:*

If only I were rich, then I would be happy.
If only I were beautiful/handsome, then I would be happy.
If only I were famous, then I would be happy.
If only I had more friends, than I would be happy.
If only I weren't physically handicapped in any way, then I would be happy.
If only I could find the right person to marry, then I would be happy.
If only someone close to me hadn't died, then I would be happy.
If only the world were a better place, then I would be happy.

* According to Billy Mills and Nicholas Sparks's book Wokini.

"In truth, none of these self-deceptions has any relationship to happiness, and in fact they present overwhelming barriers to authenticity." - Angeles Arrien The Second Half of Life

There are spider webs within and outside me, and I have felt the spider's bite. I age and grow more authentic as na hei (the webs) release the lies through the puka the holes and capture the potentiality for something to come. When I have been bitten by the spider Grandmother Ku'uku'u was trying to get my attention! This is a potent red moon, and with it I say my prayers to become more authentic and less deceptive. What magic is spun by the Grandmother. If you have read this far and still have the courage to explore more. Link here when you have an hour to listen ... for in this podcast is a chant for the Lunar (Red Moon) Eclipse. A chant for health.

It is spider season. Pay attention.

"The Clear-cutting Controversy: Myths & Facts"
"Clear-cutting the Debate ..."
"Washington Mudslide ..."
"Do Trees Have Feelings?"

Thursday, October 2, 2014


The soul should always stand ajar,
ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.
-Emily Dickinson

Early October
The Sun at just slightly more than 9 by the clock
Eye to Eye while I write
About what do I write?
The opening
of a new day
gives me
a click
a clack
At what could be
some small
A hipu'u
A joint of potentiality
connecting me
on that unbroken
Up and over
the pointy blades
of glass
a ledge
There ... that door
Just wide enough
something I had never
I seek it out.
(click to explore!)
Coral spawning
 He puko 'a kani 'aina.
A coral reef that grows into an island.
A person beginning in a small way gains steadily until he becomes firmly established.