Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Common magic, clothespins and Indigenous Practices ... what?

We strung clotheslines, hung blankets and cloth to temporarily create ...
a space for gathering with a small group 
Slow and steady process is not a combination esteemed in the every day busy-ness of contemporary life. But, there is sustaining value in this land turtle approach, for in the wisdom of many Indigenous Epistemology it is Turtle who bears the weight of our Earth's skin. It is Turtle Island upon which we People step.

He hua li'i li'i na'e koka 'io
The egg of the hawk is nonetheless small.
Significant things may arise from humble beginnings.
-'Olelo No'eau

This weekend my husband and I revelled in the company of hundreds of Pacific Island Peoples focused on the practice of ai malama ('eating the moon). In every way, in an multiple meanings, the experiences with 'eating and being nourished by Mahina the Moon' took place for our Whidbey Island community thanks to the collaborative efforts, slow and steady efforts, with many people over the past months.

'Ai Malama Pacific Lunar Calendar Conference 'streamed live' via an internet cable in the humble space picture in the first photograph above. Common magic! Based on a vision and a dream to connect as Pacific people, we harvested the dream with a gathering of 10 people.

Click here, and here to see what it was like to be part of a slow and steady process of being INDIGENOUS to Earth. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Ka piko o wakea, Homemade ceremony for Equinox, celebrating Edges

Hover over the pictures to discover a few thoughts about making homemade ceremony.

The many weeks of illness has slowed me, and to a few friends I tell them I have a new name, a new identity. "Call me Wild Snail," I tell them. Slowed way way down, inspired by the writing of Elisabeth Tova Bailey's The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, Terri Windling's posts on illness and the border lands with its many definitions, and my own project writing and recording my medicine stories I find myself at the edges again. It's fitting to acknowledge the feel of the edges at this time of the Autumnal Equinox when light and dark are equal. My Ancestral stories fuel me practices to anchor me with ceremony. Though we are across the ocean from the Piko o Wakea at the equator, and on the islands of my birth, translations and homemade versions of respectful ceremony make their way to where we live.

One of my most respected teachers reaches me across the waves of the internet. She is Pualanai Kanaka'ole Kanahele. Again and again I find Pua's messages, and her passion for Hawaiian Culture and practices via the canoe of cybernetics. How wise are our Ancestors to embrace what is good and new and include these things in the calabash for surviving and thriving. My dear old friend Joan sent me a link to a TEDX talk with Pua last week. I assumed (wrongly) that I had already watched and listened this this lesson. When I click and watched I was treated to one more gift of connection. The connection in time to make the most of the Equinox. It was an opportunity to make homemade ceremony, and build meaningful connection. Below is the link to Dr. Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele speaking of Ha'ena the Intense Breath of Life/the Sun.

We give recognition and thanks from where we live. Into the water, I offered gifts of life, and asked for renewal as the time of peace (Makahiki) approaches. We are at the edge, the border between Summer and Fall and the Harvest. To acknowledge the value of a wild snail such as the role I find myself living I see and feel the power and the humility of it all.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Makua O'o Update

I'm dealing with health issues. So, not much is going on here at Makua o'o for the next little while.

Here are a few readings and a podcast that you might find interesting:

My favorite mythic arts and writers' blog Myth & Moor, authored by mythic writer, editor and all-around dear woman Terri Windling has this to say about "Stories are medicine."

Terri Windling also has a series of posts on illness that are relevant to life on the other side of health and robust extroversion: They start here.

A fantastic essay written by Brandy Nalani McDougall ferrets the beautiful and rich genealogy of kaona. I am feasting on her words and the power of its sovereignty. To read "Putting feathers on our words ..." Google "brandy mcdougall + kaona", then download the pdf onto your system. If you are Hawaiian, or love the power of imagery and multi-layers of meaning in literature, McDougall's mana'o is worth your exploration!

My son thought I might enjoy listening to these podcasts with writers Sherman Alexis and Jess Walters. The episode about 'Grief' was very insightful. A Tiny Sense of Accomplishment might be of interest to our readers.

Take care.