Friday, February 27, 2015

What would you say to your seven year old self?

Take care of yourself
— you never know when the world will need you.
Rabbi Hillel

So the Moon continues her companionable journey around our home planet, and we Trackers mark her path noticing the brightness or absence of her light during the night. We seem to be obsessed with keeping track. "When the world was new the Jade Emperor decided to create a calendar. He named the years of his calendar after twelve animals...He chose Rat for his cleverness.,Ox for his strength, Tiger for her fierceness, Rabbit for her gentleness, Dragon for his wisdom, Snake for her cunning, Horse for her swiftness, Ram for his courage, Monkey for her intelligence, Rooster for his beauty, Dog for her loyalty, and Pig for his good nature and common sense."

I wonder about the ways we human beings account for time, giving credence to what we remember and how we remember our history, and decide (or remember) our original magic. When I was in town the other day one of my usual stops is to walk up the short flight of steps into the post office. The glass door reflected the head and hair of someone with wildly white hair on end from the static. It took a few seconds to register. That was my head of hair.

An old friend I have known since we were kids growing up in Kuli'ou'ou Valley on O'ahu sent me a photo. "You and me at seven" the email said. The scan slowly opened that black and white picture. The leaves of a plumeria tree showed first. Then the tops of two dark haired heads. And finally the faces, shoulders, and then the feet -- two bare, two shod.

Me and 'Sandy' at seven years old

Sixty years later those kids have moved from the valley to make lives far from the Kawekiu Rise and Dalene Way neighborhoods. I peer deeply into the little girl who even then seemed serious (and she needed glasses). My friend 'Sandy' was always an inventor and fiddler with tools creating upside-down bicycles and becoming even more facile with his hands. As 'Sandy' and I have renewed an old friendship and kept in touch via email I was incredibly comforted to write him one day, "I have always loved writing and daydreaming. And now, I get to do that all the time." To have a friend after nearly seventy years ...

Rabbi Hillel is right. I would look into that little girl's eyes and tell her, "Take care of yourself-- You never know when the world will need you."

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Celebrating Community, welcome The Year of the Green Goat/Ram/Sheep

Here are our friends gathered at the tray of tiny rocks used for the kani the noise making, inside segments of 'ohe (bamboo). JC has chosen the embroider floss to wrap a simple and appealing length of color to embellish his rattle.

I'm tucked under that hoodie, having fun with string, rocks and green bamboo.

Here are our friends gathered at the tray of tiny rocks used for the kani the noise making, inside segments of 'ohe (bamboo). JC has chosen the embroider floss to wrap a simple and appealing length of color to embellish his rattle.

We moved in picnic benches, covered them with lovely cloth, set out the bowls filled with Lai See (Chinese red envelopes) and plugged in the crockpot of "Joy Luck Soup". Preparing to bless the space and the time, this is what it looked like before our friends arrived.

We had an extra special occasion to celebrate -- a birthday for Prescott there in the middle with the hat. She was born in the year of the Pig (Golden). She is truly a golden friend!

There's Pete (with the baseball hat) helping friends to use the rasp to file the puka (hole) that will hold the button cap in place.

Story telling is so much more fun to share with all those who come. The tale of Rooster's Antlers was the book, and story about the Chinese Zodiac we read aloud. What fun, what beautiful drawings to share, and many different voices to hear!

The final event in the ritual of welcoming the new and clearing out the old was a Blessing Dance around the grounds of the South Whidbey Tilth. We danced and walked in a counter-clock-wise direction up and around the Pavilion, into the market stalls used during the Sunday Farmers' Market, and concluded with the banging pan lids and shaking of the newly made bamboo rattles all around the Pea Patches and Lesedi Gardens.

Here's Pete and our friend Peter banging the pan lids and spreading great energy!

It was a blessed day, filled with brilliant sunshine and the spirit of the Green Goat/Ram/Sheep ... courage, strength, resilience. Pete and I are blessed with the space and the place where The Safety Pin Cafe can open its (fragrance free environment) to the community we love. We fed the hungry ghosts (our ancestors and ancestors of this Salish Island) spreading aloha and Hawaii where we live now. My Chinese great-grand father was named and folded into this ritual ... Chong Amona, it was such an honor to recognize you, and the place of Waipi'o Valley where you first arrived from the Canton region of China.

We continue your legacy, fold in the experiences of our combined Ukrainian, Polish, Irish, Hawaiian, Filipino and Chinese journeys. All that has been led us here, to Whidbey Island. Mahalo ke akua e na aumakua!

Gung Hee Fat Choy.

P.S. I'm at the library making changes to the post. I hope the changes have helped you see the photos. 

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

New Moon New Year ... and the coming of spring

The moon begins anew today (in America) in the sign of Aquarius or Pisces? According to Satori on ElsaElsa we get to choose. I kinda like the sound of that, and my dreams have been indicators of not being really sure. The weather in our part of the world is moving rapidly from winter to spring. Out the window where I tap away at lettered-keys the first sign of Salmon Berry buds are turning the winter limbs a pale green. Daffodils and Camellias have fully burst into bloom. Song Birds wake me every morning. And though the sun has yet to warm us in the woods, there have been clear skies. While I waited for Pete to return from an errand in town I stood at the edge of the Star Market parking lot. I noticed the juniper hedge, low and speckled with golden tips. As I watched a mist of what looked like light fog rose and then poooffed  like Nature's spray bottle. Pollen. It's what happens after the deep sleep--hibernation to some-- and every one starts to wake up. Slowly or medium the old cycle ends and the new begins. We do it every morning we wake. We slip easily or resist the draw of sleep and dreamtime every time we lay our selves down and let go.

As the New Moon tips me into the next, and the New Year of the Green Goat/Sheep/Ram blesses us with the character of courage, resilience and strength I sit at the screen and put together a New Year post that pulls from the dreamtime and Imagination. My writing has been focused on the dreamtime storytelling ... a winter tale. I've been in the between states of winter and spring, aware that my physical body needs the deep and dreamy conditions to reconnoiter and get my bearings. What dreams seek me out? What ghosts need feeding? How are my roots, or where is the rest of my self?  Am I all here? So many questions. With the new season folding itself into the old winter, I thought I'd do just that here ... fold part of the winter tale "Ariel and I" into the page. If you have not been reading the tale you can go here and read the installments previous put down. What follows is a scene between the folds. It may stretch you or confuse you but I hope you will find something to douse you with the magic of letting go. Spring approaches watch for the pooof.

Sleep deprivation shows itself differently. Elves don't need much sleep thriving on activity they dream awake by nature. Ravens and crows make the most of regular roosting and sleeping times. Sleep refuels them for all the meddling their lot have signed on for. If a raven has a bad night the neighbors will pay. Caw, caw, caw, gallup and gurgle. Sparrows on the other hand are bred to watch. The time they live in one tiny body is mostly awake time. They pack in a world of observation. 
 "There's not much to a sparrow." Ariel Courtney's voice called to me between waking and the glorious milky path of dream. "You the Mother Bear have dreams awaiting you. Catch up with them. Breakfast will be ready when you wake."
"It's funny isn't it?" Ariel liked to ponder the silliness of the purely human ways. With her father's help the honey-doused bear was now settled into the domed cave, her nest, yellow saddlebag pillowed under the great cheek, the snoring rumbled, a slacked jaw opened and shut, chest rising and falling.
"What's that," encouraged the man still dressed in his apron. There'd been little time to change when his daughter flew through the opened window to the bakery.
"No one noticed that "I" should have been missing these two winters. Missing to hunker into the dreams so..." Again, the serious thinker girl-sparrow wanted just the right word. Her father remained open to his daughter ponderings. He was a patient man, familiar with waiting for his breads to rise at their pace.
"Ripe and ready! That's what the Great Bear's job is. Winter sleep is the season to harvest dreams that are ripe and ready. Two winters worth of dreaming. Unharvested." The sparrow was making a point.
"I see what you're after darl'n. I see. Boote has been about its business, content or ignorant of the sleep deprived state of our most precious guardian." The father wiped at his eyebrows bushy and unruly hedges of brown and sandy stubble. Many silver spikes coiled at odd angles. "Hmmmm. Seems the Wind had a destiny to deliver when you chanced to meet "I" at the light reading WAIT." F.F. Courtney's face was no less freckled at sixty and when he had time to hear of his daughter's discoveries freckles and feathers made his name a bold border-crossing statement.
In the darkness of the great bear's cave the sparrow man's feathers patterned fully. His apron now the white chest feathers like his mother's. "Are there bits of magic needed now that she finally dreams?"
"Our part Pop, it's mostly a matter of watching the Others. Boote has forgotten how to notice. there's a story missing a part. It's in the songs really. Can't say how things will go exactly."
"What can I do then? F.F. Courtney filled with the curiosity that kept him alive to the magic of what many would miss in between. "Is there a remedy worth stirring?"
Ariel Courtney smiled, cupped her thin fingers into a megaphone and poured a secret into her father's right ear.  

GUNG HEE FAT CHOY Happy New Lunar Year.
The Year of the Goat/Sheep/Ram

P.S. My computer has some bug that will not allow me to include images, so the ramble of words is the gift for the day. All the best to you and your kin as Moon blesses us with her energy!  Mokihana . 


Thursday, February 5, 2015

A bite of winter story

"We may not want to think about our ancestors, but our ancestors are thinking about us. We are connected, like it or not, to the ancestors of our biological families, their templates may control our habits and behaviors  unless we recognize and break the mold. We are also connected to the ancestors of the land where we live. We want to open and cherish soul connections to wise ancestors and departed loved ones, but for these relations to prosper we must start by clearing unhealthy legacies and energy attachments." - Introduction from Dreaming The Soul Back Home, Robert Moss
"Ariel Courtney was a Light Sparrow, a watcher by nature and only minimally human -- on her father's side ..."
Ariel and I
This post is a left-turn from the rambling wild mind writing I did here sorting onto the blog in the flavor of Morning Pages (thank you Julia Cameron) or the 'go for the jugular' directive of my early writing teacher Natalie Goldberg. Sometimes I have to follow the laid in concrete networks of my mostly left-brain arterials giving my habits a familiar path, or rut, appeasing the judgment that is my own critical voice. "How does that connect with this ... what's happening when an old habit leads to a night of physical pain as familiar the comfort zone prescribed so very, very, very long ago." Robert Moss's Introduction to Dreaming The Soul Back Home is one of the books I read to be with my ancestors. Making connections as Moss describes above is what I do in the waking and dreaming times.
Rambling as I did with that earlier post, has led to the other sort of writing that feeds me and my soul with legacies that can detach me from old contracts best re-written, or re-spoken. The writing of medicine stories, personal myths that weave joy, humor and magic fact and fiction, greeting  ancestors and species I feed me something sustaining. Like tales told and heard in ancient caves of initiation I am writing a tale to feed my soul this winter. It's tucked into the pages (above on the Home Page of Makua O'o). It is here, and I am calling it "Ariel and I". You may enjoy reading it one bite at a time as I write, tickle myself so the dark places will open to some light, and feed the old ghosts who have been hungry for so long. And, maybe, they will be fed well enough to leave me to my life so we as a legacy can enjoy the journey with a mix of both feather, fur, scales and skin.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gula Gula "Hear the voices of the foremothers"

Sami Mari Boine ... something special to hear with a heart beat to grab your gut