Monday, May 30, 2016


Ki'inoho. Homebody; to remain at home constantly. Hawaiian Dictionary, Pukui & Elbert

At home with nature unfolding. Comfortable using language pieced together. Unashamed to mix metaphors, slip up on grammar, or use language short-hand (pidgin), this is a post for all of us who speak a mix-mash of words but sometimes, too often, we are ashamed or shamed for we are not fluent or facile with (the dominant) words.

My daughter-in-law replied to my email where I attempted writing (Google) French. She was touched by my effort. That made me happy, too. The language and culture that we use on a daily basis is changing, and perhaps it is this natural unfolding of many languages being the 'norm' rather than the 'wrong' that offers me the most hope. 

I struggle with bitter and resentful bouts in my relationships when I feel my Hawaiian culture is being appropriated, and co-opted. I'm one of the generation that knew nothing about the reality of the American thievery of the Hawaiian Nation. None of that history was taught me while I grew up in the 1950's and 1960's. I attended a contemporary boarding school for Hawaiian youth, where no Hawaiian culture was taught or nurtured.

The appreciation and love of home and culture would come much later, and only after I left home. Only after I left my role as ki'inoho, a homebody in Kuli'ou'ou Valley, always close to my parents, the neighborhood, my small world did I learn what I left. It has become my Life's Work to appreciate that culture and fold in the language my Ma spoke fluently (but in secret), to keep my love for it alive. 

So here on this day in America, where the culture honors and memorializes (remembers) those who have died in service to country. This post unfolds as a way to honor LIFE WORK that is practiced every day; doing the best we can, and failing only to keep at it after the wind returns to fuel us again.

Surrounded by the bodies and beings, the plant nation, that make themselves so at home where they are ... here, I see an opportunity to acknowledge how rich language and culture can be. In pictures and a language of mixed sources, here's an expression of makua o'o ... maturing adult not yet fully ripe.

Merci Laurence! E kala mai mon Pete.
Raspberries, started from a single plant a few years ago have made themselves ki'inoho, homebodies that love being where they are. There's the gutter from the garage roof for an idea of how ki'inoho these canes have become.

 Moemoe the framboises. In wait, the raspberries ripen.
 O'o are the cerises, fully formed but not fully ripe.
Apala li'ili'i still green, but the little green apples ...  so plenty and not even June.
First harvest, salad et pissenlit. Lettuce from our garden, dandelions from the orchard floor.

mon Pete. "Cela me touche!"

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Just mess'n around

Just for fun, I'm playing with the look of things here. What you see might stay this way, or not. It might be the quintiles? Maybe.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Q is for Quirky and Quintiles

Mercury has recently moved forward after his retrograde in Earth bound Taurus, things and thinking are freed-up. On moon-level, we Hawaiian sky watchers know today and tonight are one of the three 'Ole Moons after the Full Moon. A good time for reflection, weeding, editing.

I was looking at my Natal Chart, again, and saw something new. I know, the mysteries continue to unearth. The stories pant to be watered. What I saw was how Mercury in my chart Quintiles four planets (including the moon). Three of those planets (Mars, Saturn, Pluto) aspect just about everything in my chart in turn).

Quintile? What? So I did my Mercury thing and GOOGLED "Quintiles." I found this from my friend and astrologer Donna Cunningham. An article from 2010 "Understanding Quintiles--What's YOUR Talent?". Donna has a talent for simplifying and clarifying dense material, she also has Quintiles galore.

If you're at a point of wondering about, dusting off or stumbling over the path to your talent(s) Donna's insight might help. I'm mulling my talents and gifts over, kicking things around, making notes here and there. Quirky stuff these Quintiles.

Are there Quintiles in your Natal chart?

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Is that you?

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From under my hoodie I filled a bag with baby green spinach. "Is that you, Mokihana?" it was the voice I knew as my friend the Produce Lady.

"It's me."

"Haven't seen you for awhile," she said as I continued to fill the bag from some foggy place not quite here, or there.

I explained about the Scotch Broom, and my isolation from it. "Oh yeah, I think Peter told me about that."

"It's my first day out, whoa. Another world out here."

She laughed and commiserated. I felt heard. I laughed at myself as I tried to reorient myself to life outside the woods. Shopping for a meal wasn't going easily. Spinach wasn't quite enough for us. The choices and the stimulation: I was already running out of breath.

My short excursion out of the woods was an experience with the wantings: the impatience with the time necessary to heal and re-enter the world. Even now, this tidbit of post is a drive to prove (to myself, and to my unknown audience) that I am still here. You, I tell myself and my gods, 'It is me."

But, really, the me is changing and transforming. I push up against the limits my body says is too much. "But," I say, "I love the words so much. The story wanting to be offered up from this imperfect place." Writing this, and thrilling from the simple act of hitting the Publish key is part of the wantings in the immediate. The glamour of the blog. Different from my handwritten musings, and chapters to a medicine story.

"Is this enough for now?"

"Yes," I say to the Invisible Spark that dispenses Hope and Humor. "Enough just to see how my fingers love the exercise of pressing keys and expressing art."

"Is this ono (delicious) enough for the gods within me and in the channel of the cyber?" I ask myself, and speak the chant. I wait, a little, and listen. And then I am here at the keys with answers pouring out.

The image and link that begins this post was a gift sent to us from our son, Christopher Kawika. This inaugural podcast with Kapono Souza was such a perfectly timed message. The young feeding the Akua within others, and I was in just the space to receive. Kapono's mana'o (his story) was familiar to me: asthma as a young child, invisible friendship, and the journey to 'find wind.' From the edge of the woods of a Salish Sea a rootlet of sustaining health was uncovered, and I find a way to grow from there.

The words below are from Terri Windling, writer and blogger who has helped so many times, has an archive of writing and meaningful explorations about 'Illness and healing" on her space Myth and Moor. They are words that are reaching me across the threshold of a slowly transforming self.

"In the secular world of modern medicine," writes Kat Duff, "we try desperately to rescue ourselves from the grasp of the Unknowable. Doctors have supplanted the gods, deciding when life begins and ends, working miracles, and taking credit for their successes. This aura of divinity that surrounds the medical profession in our society, and the extraordinary expectations that come with it, is the source of much pain and frustration for doctor and patient alike, especially when cures are not forthcoming....
"The sense of diminishment we often experience in the grasp of the Unknoweable, the face of the uncurable, probably has something to offer us from a spiritual perspective, but in the secular world of [modern] America, it is without meaning and so intolerable. That is why the first commandment in illness is to get well. Sick people are under tremendous pressure, from themselves and from others, to overcome their ailments, and return to life as usual in our fast-paced, production-oriented world." -"Illness and Healing"
"Although powerful work can be born of hard life experience, there are also times when calamity silences us: when shock, or grief, or sheer emotional exhaustion serves to snuff out one's creativity altogether. For those of us used to moving through life by breathing in the world and breathing out art, this silence is an unsettling, even terrifying thing. It is not quite the same thing as depression; it's more like finding the inner room where we go to create is now shuttered and bolted against us. It's like trying to speak without language. It's like living without breathing. It's not living at all." - "Re-kindling the Fire Within"

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Makua o'o update

Dear Readers,

For a time I will be absent here. My body is telling me to get the stories down another way. So, I am back to my beloved pens, a notebook or backs of pages to keep the stories coming.

There are other posts that might interest you. Search this blog, or look at what others find interesting while I reconnoiter. A hui hou.

Saturday, May 14, 2016


 I read this post by Charles Mudede on the Seattle SLOG this morning, saw the picture below, and leave this post as a response: Post # 701. I can't stop the medicine from coming, and thank the gods for the clear challenge. Inspired and incited by Mudede's line "we must be blunt" the opening segment to my newest medicine story is  here.  I can't be sure, but I have a good feeling about the woman behind the mask, and her side-kicks. In particular, I think I'm gonna love the one named Crook. 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

More about Moemoea'ali'i: ancient story, new story, collective story

Hover on the image to read about it.
I hardly know where to begin.

Sometimes tendrils or rootlets of thought, like the bright colors that magnetize a bee with a promise of nectar, pull me this way then that way. Ironic that those same tiny brilliant blue flowers with dots of yellow at their centers are so powerfully fragrant with pollen I clog up with allergic reactions to them.

So many things are sprouting in my interior landscape, matched only by what is happening all around me as spring settles herself into the 'aina that is where we are in the Pacific Northwest. My six to eight weeks of woods-bound isolation overlays itself over the retrograde of planets happening as I find the letters to make sentences. Just as I cannot do anything to move the planets in their journey, there is little I can do (alone) to affect the Scotch broom growth on the highways of Whidbey Island.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Legacy from rootlet or seed?

This is the morning after Mother's Day, 2016. I have been awake for hours appreciating the wonderful gifts of being mother to a gloriously evolving son. We skype-gathered and chatted, simply hanging out with each other. He sang, and strummed on his ukulele and a borrowed guitar from a friend of a friend. We shared bits of happenings from this side of the Pacific, Pete checked on his work habits and tossed a few cautionary tales into the mix of conversation. My son told us about life on his side of the Pacific. One dose of an hour's worth of aloha, and a little gossip. Thanks Internet goddesses. I napped after that dose of son, circling under the covers to relish the company and could easily have slept the night through.

But, I woke listening to Pete walking back and forth along the simple track between our Quonset, and the outside oven. He was making his meal; I had already eaten my chicken pot pie, pre-baked and still hot from our town market. So ... even as I was drowsy, I threw back the warm quilt, climbed down the three steps, under our Dragon Mama and her Red Umbrella, and crossed to the Quonset to join him.

Opening the Quonset door the smell of onions filled the room. I sat here in front of the keys and the screen, and just sat and Pete came in with his onion-rich turkey loaf. We chatted. He ate. "I'm ready to go horizontal," I said. The full day of sending and receiving greetings to and for mothers had filled me up.

The computer started RINGING. The skype camera lit up. It was my son with a second, and unexpected, dose of aloha. He was calling from the graves. He was there at the CALIZAR place at the foot of the Ko'olaus with a can of Bud for his grampa, and a slice of custard pie for his gramma. That roofed portable chair was set up, I saw the rusty orange rectangle of a roof first. For one more dose of aloha my son brought me and Pete to be with my Ma for our day. We, my son and I, sang E KOLU MEA NUI together, telling my folks that love is still the most important thing.

"There's a black chicken wondering around." He pointed the camera so we could see her.

"She'll probably come for the custard pie after you leave."

"Yeah." Wild chickens and families of feral cats make the cemetery home. When my sister-in-laws comes for her walks there are dozens of both keeping her company as she climbs the hills, stopping to visit my brother.

There's a legacy that persists. You can't predict which ones will be the legacy that strings consistently forward. My son was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest where the practices of grave visits is not baked-in. It's different in Hawaii. While Pete and I lived on O'ahu we had a chance to restore that legacy of sitting with my folks, and included my son in those visits.

Singing at the graves of family with the help of the technology that they could not have imagined is one of the layers of unexpected legacies that lie just under the surface. In the chants of my Kanaka ancestors, the rootlets of legacy lie in wait. In Ka Honua Ola I read about the little-known male entity Moemoea'ali'i who represents the offspring that lie waiting to be exposed once again. "Moemoe," in this instance, means to lie in wait; "a'a li'i" are the small rootlets from which new growth spouts. Many of the 'ohi'a trees that intially take root on a new eruption do so because of rootlets left in the ground. 1

The 2012 video and interview of Robin Wall Kimmerer (I'm not sure where this takes place but guess that it is near the site of Mount St. Helen's in Washington state), one of my most loved Earth Teacher/Mother speaks of biological legacy. Her message watered me with the voice, plumping my heart with hope and direction. Though I am not there at the site of my parents' graves, my son is. He knows what to do there. He knows how to respect and care for those who care and cared for him. He does remember them, even though his grampa passed in 1983 when he was not yet eleven years old. He knew. Tutu Man liked his beer. For better or for worse, the beer is just part of the legacy. He also knew his Tutu Lady could play a mean piano. I have a memory of my son turning the pages of sheet music as Ma played.

Legacy from rootlet or seed, the message is clear: Just plant them.

1 Ka Honus Ola "Mo'oku'auhau", Pua Kanaka'ole Kanahele. Rootlets lie in wait gives me a vivid image to water my nearly refreshed poet-mothering genes. 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Friday, May 6, 2016

Hedgespoken "stitched with stories and adventure ..."

When Pete, my husband, and I began to build a life that would be wheeled, I found a woman, an artist, an alchemist of words and someone who had a heart that beat strongly when I was unsure of my own. She, this strong hearted woman created a blog where her life and her ways were pictured both with words and her hauntingly beautiful beings. She called this blog The Hermitage. Once I discovered her, and her world, I have followed and been inspired to hear my heart more courageously. 

Below is a small quote from a recent (May 1, 2016) post from Rima Staines' and Tom Hirons' Hedgespoken  site. The strong hearted woman and her family continue to build a life that is truly hand-made. The links to see for yourselves, dear readers, what this hand-made life story is will speak for itself. I leave my congratulations, and best wishes to Rima and Tom and their massively community-based dreams coming true. Thank you for the bright light of an example for a good and truly colorful life!
"... In this year and a half of building, our lives have also changed immeasurably with the birth of our son in February 2015. Over this epic year, we have lived in a yurt for 6 months, and with friends for a few more, whilst we waited for our home to be born. We have set out on the incomparable path of parenthood, our path made harder by the immense work that has been the birthing of Hedgespoken, but also with a sense of planting a flag in the ground ahead, making a life for our boy that is stitched with stories and adventure and the colourful stuff of dreams. This bit was bound to be hard, but the stretch has been more than we could have imagined, and we are not quite at the other side of it yet..." - Rima Staines (link to the entire blog post by clicking on 'Rima Staines')


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Moving slow

Everybody's racing to the cloud. Putting their thoughts and treasured writing into the boundless storage. Yesterday I sat on the picnic table bench in the orchard. A bright sky began to fill with puffy cumulus clouds. Families of the white cotton balls moved above me. Never once did I think of them as boundless storage for my app or computing.

I may be left behind with my flip phone and slow moving definitions. You?