Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Red Hibiscus and Dragon Wings

Red Hibiscus for our windows Kaimuki Dry Goods
"Final project, says Maple Head to her class...write down some things you believe in that don't make sense...but don't worry about coherence and shape and narrative style. Just make notes. Play with words and ideas...Try to use corners of your brains you don't usually visit...Write from the heart." - Brian Doyle Mink River

"It was a day a duck could love. For that matter the week was a duck's paradise. Dressed for the season in my long skirt, paisley wool shawl, and tea cozy hat with the red hibiscus over my left ear, my feet splashed in puddles."- Yvonne Mokihana Calizar The Safety Pin Cafe

I am playing with words and images, using corners of my brains I don't usually visit unless I am dressed in the language of story that wears me like a red hibiscus. Fragile. Lasting but a day that is all it takes to make space for magic. Spring is making promises today. The first magenta of salmon berry coaxes me from hiding. Sun and puffy clouds tell me "seasons are for reasons." The sly wind is back and turns the rain fly into a dragon dulled from so much rain but still ... its wings never forget what flight is.  Between the editing first drafts and re-writes  I lose the melody of the story and tears come because it is the song of story that like wet dragon wings knows what is at the heart. I was in need of reminders of magic that can come if I remember to include all corners in the folding of art.

From corners of my brain so rarely visited, drawings and watercolors wished for their moments of light. Drawn onto squares of white paper with black pen and filled in with water colors folded origami tea cups spill a story of silliness ...

 The tea cozy hat with bright red felt hibiscus over my left ear, and hints as to the color of paisley that would tickle the joy from the kitties.
 The tea cup unfolded reveals the fullness of paisley, a long shirt and hair no longer blue-black ...

while sensible black boots splash in puddles and twirl at the end of city blocks.

I am in need of more reminders of the best of times from my homeland of red hibiscus. I went searching yesterday, on the look-out for new lengths of cloth to soothe me. When I was a girl learning to sew there was a place I, and many other girls, women and grand-mothers would go. Back and forth I went as my life took me on planes to become mother, career traveler-trainer and wife. Away did I go and yet when I did return to Hibiscus Island there was that place where girls, women and grand-mothers still went to find lengths of cloth, notions and patterns and the chatter that comes when preparing to stitch.

The length of fabric I found to satisfy my craving for Hibiscus Island is from Kaimuki Dry Goods' Online Catalog. I wished it was possible, and made a call to the 808 phone number from my 808 cellphone. Connected and chit-chatting the sound of a familiar lilting voice, and conversation as easy as pie has me well on my way to ordering yards of cotton with large hibiscus and tropical company. In time for spring, my sensible black boots will take me to my sewing machine and stitch a story that I could love.

Strange that this should become a bit to offer at Terri Windling's Moveable Feast entitled "Desire for Dragons. It did not start that way, but nonetheless here it is and I am glad. Link to Terri's blog Myth and Moor for the answer to the question ...Faded dragons forget what their wings are for?


  1. Lovely. I love how stories and art and cloth and the lilt of voices are ways to connect back not only to childhood, but to the beloved landscape and culture that formed it, and you.

  2. Thank you so much Terri. Those childhood landscapes do continue to feed me. "Art and cloth" are always pinned to me ... I could never have guessed it then. But now ... ah, yes.


Speak from the heart