Sunday, October 25, 2015

Holo on Hua

Yesterday, on the Hua Moon, we got outta Dodge, went for a ride and a shift in scene. Click here for more of what we saw on the fattened moon. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015


The first true cold seems to be settling in. Colder than cool, the thermometer reads 47. The long dry summer and extended fall warmth does things to us humans. Here in the Quonset the evidence: long Johns under my flannel robe, and a fleece blanket hung in the doorway to keep the cold draft from chilling off this curved room. This place is getting ma'u with the emphasis (or kahako) on the 'u.

Fog fills in the space between the top of the forest floor and the sky. Lono. Cool air descends. What warmth there is in the Earth's skin rises. Captured, there is the Ma'u ka leo o keia wahi, the earth here is damp. Right out of the pages of the Hawaiian Dictionary, that word ma'u picked me ... first thing up while my eyes were still filled with piapia the crust and evidence of being recently asleep.

My posts here have been infrequent as I focus my energy and attention to writing a grant for the first time. The deadline approaches, and there is still more to edit, details to assemble, old fears of being able to pull it off rattle my serenity. Progress not perfection, a piece of old wisdom steps in. That is good. It's a new season, a new fall shifting into winter and for all its familiarity, this is a new venture, new territory. It's a competition grants are. I'd never thought of it that way, but, then I've never applied for a grant before.

We have learned to accommodate ourselves as best we can here in the damp. Long Johns on, blanket over the door, hot rocks in a sock for warming the chest at night. Somewhere there's a thread of commonality I'm stitching here in the early morning time. My cup of Black Forest Wild Tea warms me and the caffeine does something, too. A bit of constructive word dabble to keep the worts of worry from taking hold I take a break from the grant competition, consider opening a metaphoric window so as not to cramp my style. Sip on that dark tea brew.

There's a sag in this old bag and she can get lost in worry, if I let her.
Can't let that sag get the best of me fretting away the goodness
Lingering on the angle of what's the usefulness of that ...

There's a sag in this old bag so why not just put a bit of color in it.
Stitch it with floss and swing a spider in a web
To keep things potent, keep life fresh

Here's a bit of floss and webs on an old baggy pair of favorite pants. I have more stitches to add and maybe a cuff to add length for warmth ...

And some lines from the medicine story Spider Season are just a click away!

What's the season like where you find yourself as Scorpio Season has begun?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Living it forward.

"Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards."
-Soren Kierkegaard
Barrels of rain fell yesterday. The long needles of golden Pine mounded like sand on a incoming tide. Pine dunes.

My friend called me just before the heaviest rains started. "Hey Moki, I have your milk in the frig. I'll be here all day. You might have to back down the driveway, I've got people at my house."

"Okay, I'm writing but I'll be down to get it." This is my goat lady friend, and it's a pint of fresh milk she saves me every few days. Her driveway is a steep winding gravel and dirt road. When it rains hard it's a trip to navigate even in a Subaru. But. The milk and her company is always worth it.

Between the phone call and eventual pickup the rains she came in down pours. I wrote, and then ate lunch and drank tea. My husband came home soaking wet after a morning work party at the food bank garden. He and I chatted and I got the latest news and tattle from the local young farmer society into which Pete gets to meddle and partake. Always an interesting chapter. We're lucky to have opportunities to invest in this generation of food growers who truly commit to hard, smart and hands-on living. One of the young woman who is the luna (straw boss) for the food bank garden lives in a sweet little studio on the land with my goat lady friend. In exchange for tending the goats, including milking them at least once if not twice a day, the young luna has a great place to live and a community of very interesting people to share a kitchen and a life with.

The squall that dumped on us just after lunchtime finally shouted, "RAIN OUT!" Pete was home when I woke from a mid-day nap. I was still drowsy from dreams and muttering to myself about getting dressed and out to get the milk.

"Hey, I didn't hear you come home. I've gotta go get my milk." Pete was in the Quonset munching something while he rode the internet.

"I wanna come along."

"Okay then. That sounds good." Pete's a lot better at navigating that old gravel road. I could do it, but, he's better at it. So in the end he drove, waited while I retrieved my pint of milk. I knock on the door of my friend's house. Through the glass in the door I saw unfamiliar faces. The friends. Turns out it was a day of Craft Group. Tea cups, large and colorful lined the center of the long wooden table in the dining space. Everywhere else there was evidence of activity. A blanket, a quilt in the making maybe. A sewing machine. A cozy jumble of this and that's on a low table to the side.

A friendly woman tall and bespeckled greeted me, "You must be Moki."

"I am," I said.

"We saw your milk labeled. It was a good thing. We didn't drink it by mistake." There were two friends in the kitchen making food. The rest of the group including my friend were out for a walk between the qualls. The tall bespeckled one told me what was happening here. It was all very friendly and fun. A new something I didn't know about our goat lady's community.

Pete was content to wait, and when I told him of the goings on in the house, it was just as well. He maneuvered the Subaru around cars and trucks and pot holes as we chatted making our way into town from there. There was food for dinner to buy, movies to return to the library, and general living to enjoy. The pint of goat milk tucked into the front of the seat, and in town the rain seemed to refresh both the sidewalks and the folks on two legs.

And as a bonus to the day, my cellphone rang just as we neared the stop sign at the end of Craw Road. An 808 number. Hmmmm. That's Hawaii.

"Hello," I answered still not anticipating such a treat.

It was my son. Freshly arrived on O'ahu. I cheered, glad to know the transworld travel got them there from France.

"Are you at the Northshore?" I asked.

"No, not yet. We're at the cemetery." He was calling from his tutu lady's and tutu man's grave in Kaneohe. Ahh.... I felt my body embraced with that inimitable sense of home. The one I don't allow myself too often. It hurts to be separated, even as I live here with goat's milk, lovely friends, and a Subaru.

"Did you bring a bottle of beer, and some pie?"

"No. I'm just gonna sing a song." My heart was melting. I heard my son strum the ukulele, tuning it up.

"E kolu mea nui." He began, and I joined him. "Ma ka honua..." We sang two verses of  "E Kolu Mea Nui" together and then we both sank into the silence of the meaning of that mele. The three most important things in life. But. The most important being love. I could see the Koolau mountains of my familiar. Oh boy. Breathing in, Pete said, "Feels good, ha." My son said, "Yeah." Thank you akua.

Wow, and wow.

A sample day in the life. Living it forward. 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Mercury is direct! (Today), October 9, 2015

"Besides the fact that zero Libra is one of the critical degrees in astrology, the Moon, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and the n. node will all be in Mercury-ruled Virgo when the planet turns direct. This is a big one!" - ElsaElsa


This makua o'o has herself filled with the daily practices of kilo. Paying attention. I am still vibrating with the experience of the three-day 'Aimalama Lunar Conference. Feeding on the energy as it was intended to do Pete and I feel the empowerment of being in the company of many kanaka who live and practice TEK (traditional environmental knowledge) and kilo. Slow and steady, consistency pays off as we root ourselves in the reality of place, this place where we live now (Whidbey Island, WA) while simultaneously feeling the heartbeat of my Hawaiian Nature. It's an awesome affirmation!

With the planet of communication just now (appearing) to move direct I have spent the retrograde weeks on editing and fine-tuning a project that combines a lot of my lifework as writing, myth-maker, kilo, navigator and translator. Behind the scenes I am stirring together the many ways I communicate my philosophy. Astrologically? That's 9th House stuff. That's where "Libra at zero" means for me. Elizabeth Rose Campbell identified the 9th House as "Worldly Wisdom," and writes in her Intuitive Astrology, "The ninth house encourages unifying all you have learned. Often called the house of holistic thinking, the ninth house synthesizes your life experience into beliefs that become the guiding principles you look to--your cosmology."

I really love that description as a way to appreciate what it takes to navigate and translate life where I am. It is the perfect synonym for the Hawaiian word and practice of 'kilo' applied from the kanaka viewpoint. Woven intimately SPIRIT and MUNDANE are inseparable. In the sky where this invisible 9th House resides my personal cosmology is coming together just in time for my solar return in mid-November.

So, as Mercury move forward, I too move my process forward. Rewarded by years of slow and steady progress to rebuild (makawalu) a new life after illness and loss, we have a community that is now more aware of my culture's cosmology: they have been introduced to Kaulana Mahina the Hawaiian Lunar Calendar that's to Mercury in action 2015. 'Live streaming' internet access linked Manoa on the island of Oahu with South Whidbey Island in the middle of the Salish Sea.

With that advancement, I continue to unify what I have learned, and leave this post here to let our readers know why most of my attention will be behind-the-scenes:

What is going on in your world as Mercury goes direct?

Saturday, October 3, 2015


"Go find your father!"

The Winds have come. Glorious Fall Day today on this moku Whidbey Island. The temperature is crisp, and I feel glad to be layered with warm clothes, except my socks are damp. Darn, such is the way of things imperfectly perfect in my place I am comfortable from head to ankle. Such a small price to pay for the Glorious Fall Experience -- damp feet.

I am back from a small journey from the woods driving my Subaru to visit my goat-tending, goat-loving friend. Her dear goats give her company and lovely milk. It was the milk I was after, another 
venture into creating a wildcrafted remedy to soothe my smoke and ash affected lungs. Learning as I am this year to ask for the knowing held in medicine plants who live with me, I needed a pint of freshly milked goat milk, raw and enzyme rich milk to add to the mullein infusion made before Mahina turned 'Ole. 

Journeying on this path of respectfully acknowledging how connected I (and we) am to all others, this discomfort and congestion from smoke-inhalation slows me or tempers my wanting to get the quick fix. The process is slow, this process of huaka'i, this process of migrating. Going from what has and is the cultural overlay of ignoring or devaluing the huge loss as a result of Tree Losses; believing there is nothing I can do to readapt my relationship with Tree; or worse not recognizing there are actions I do that led to the loss of water Tree requires to create oxygen.

Muddling toward a lei of words that string together my morning's experience so many pieces want to be part of this story. Which pieces?

I turned right rather than left at the highway, and took the longer road to my friend's house
On the way there I had more time to listen to Clarissa Pinkola Estes' Mother Night Myths, stories & teachings for Learning to See in the Dark
On the longer way there I spot Mullein! More Mullein and she blooms. She blooms in early October!
I miss my friends driveway the first time, but it made no never mind, I turned around and found the orange flag left there from an earlier trip
My friend and I speak of wonderful things: the awesome effect of the 'Aimalama Lunar Conference; she is answering the questions about the conference in her head, but, they're not on paper ... it's okay!
My friend and I speak the words of my Mother's tongue: mahi 'ai = the one who farms yes, but more than that the one who grows a relationship with that which will feed; kilo = observe; observer of life as it happens where you are
My friend and I speak about the mixed blessing or curse of 'affliction' and how we deal with the experience. Rid it quick? Learn from it slowly? I relate to her quandary and we talk more as I hold on the pint of fresh goat milk
My friend holds up a palm-size Ozette Macaw potato the children from the School Garden harvested this week. Fingerlings grew huge with the very different climate this summer. What appeared on the surface (imperfect green leaves) were hiding roots and food to feed many. It was in the digging that the bounty came.
"There's a metaphor in there," said my friend's partner who had just woken as I prepared to leave.

Huaka'i, journey leave home and find your path find 'your father.' Live your own heroine's or hero's story. With Mahina the Moon in her 'Ole face I see her there out of the driver's seat of the Subaru. Here with me on my morning's huaka'i I greet her, "E Hina!" I love the company and kilo observe her shape in the clear mid-morning sky. The stories from Mother Night have fed me all day and night and they are stirring me, refreshing my commitment to write, to tell, to notice and record. The 'Ole Moon Faces (phases) are a time to prepare the ground for planting. I do. My belly has the milk of my friend's dear goats mixed with Mullein infusion from Jayne's pea patch garden swirled with a forkful of Buckwheat flower honey. I believe it hums in me. I prepare my ground for planting restoration ... slowly, respectfully I huaka'i.