Friday, October 21, 2016

Silver and Gold

Make new friends,
But keep the old.
One is silver,
And the other, gold.
A circle's round
It has no end
That's how long
I'm gonna be your friend.
- "Make new friends (but keep the old)
Traditional Folk Song 

That's me and Pete in our booth at Earth Day, 2011 introducing Fragrance Free in '23 
That photo of Pete and me was taken on a blustery April day in 2011. We were out and about with our newly rooting life on Whidbey Island. Slowly I was regaining strength and our Vardo for Two was getting used to the rural South end island world. We were sharing 5 simple steps to becoming fragrance and chemical free. Earth Day great occasion for remembering to love the Mother the place that holds us every day.

Earlier this week Pete and I had a golden opportunity to keep growing an established friendship with our South Whidbey Tilth community; and encourage a new friendship with Aurora Levins Morales. Here's what I wrote on a post entitled "Coach me" on a blog (an old friend) which has been quietly and silently waiting for a time to be loved anew.
"A friend and I sat at the counter of the Tilth kitchen yesterday afternoon. The wet and blustery Elementals had gone somewhere, a nice patch of blue sky greeted us as Pete hustled around on a stepladder reattaching the roofing paper on the lean-to.
Prescott and I were meeting so I could introduce her to Aurora Levins Morales. Until a few weeks ago I did not know of this longtime change agent, activist and author of Medicine Stories. All that changed when Angie Hart, Tilth's Farmers' Market Manager and 2016 Apprentice sent me an email asking "Do you know this woman? She writes medicine stories and has MCS."

Last night Pete joined other members of the South Whidbey Tilth Council to cheer lead and grow our commitment to communities that are fragrance free safe zones. A new friendship with longtime activist, writer, teacher and curandera Aurora Levins Morales is growing now. The spark of connect began with a young woman's kilo (keen observation of a potential). Angie Hart heard an interview on the radio while she was taking a road trip to visit friends and Tahoma (Mt. Rainier). Angie sent me an email with a query: "Do you know this woman?" I said, "No." Not yet I did not know Aurora Levins Morales. I was saving that moment, reserving energy for sharing medicine stories first. After the stories did Feed the Land with medicine stories, I found this site.

I'd said a prayer during the stormy weeks of late summer, asking for a mentor, an activist of color who was living the life, walking the walk, and sharing the stories. Na 'Aumakua my Guardians heard the request. They sent me to an online home, where I discovered Aurora Levins Morales plans to be in Seattle in late December. She needs a place to be before or after her scheduled event. I emailed her with an offer to come visit us at the South Whidbey Tilth, She wrote: "That's fabulous!" in reply to this message, "
 Aloha Aurora,
We have just met with Prescott, the president of the Tilth council to introduce you and your casita for change. She is very excited, newly informed and inspired. An agenda for Thurs' meeting is in the works, and forward movement is in process with a letter of invitation to you part of that agenda. I mua. Your website is an education, she's got it on her Bookmarks!
So there you have it, make new friends but keep the old. We are excited, inspired, loving life where we are rooted. The invitation to a new friend is making that silver connection. Que bueno!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Full Moon storms, Pine Needles, Ritual, Oral History

"Perform a homemade
ritual that will enable you to magically shed at least half of your guilt,
remorse, and regret."
From here and there, the different needles dance above our golden wagon's door, welcoming different, releasing guilt, remorse, regret. Dangling with a long trusted crystal globe, the hologram is trebled, not troubled. Aue."  

Pine Needles from the woods in the forest where we live ... two different Needles

A third Pine Needle, nearly twice as long as the straight haired ones of the forest. Those long, thick needles fell from the Pines near the Muliwai the Water's Edge.

The three storms came and went through the western shores of the continental US. We prepared, praying and tethering. The small and powerful move of our golden wagon has shaken loose some old fear, outmoded attitudes and bunched up 'gremlins' in the guts. Visits to the Muliwai, the water's edge when fresh and salt meet, provided us with Nature's Remedy in the form of limu (seaweed) being massaged (lomi) something I miss ... the physical touch.

Last night our son Kawika sent this link to Hui Mauli Ola's Leo Kupa #6 Podcast  The podcast and interview was with Wes Sen, lomilomi practitioner and great carrier of story. My son said in his email to me,
"I think this is our best podcast. And we didnʻt really do anything. It was on a huna moon and he just talked. I met a friend the day before who said heʻd just met Wes too and heʻs got lots of stories.
Almost all of his perspectives were slightly off from mine. A little more depth but just right of center. So they all jump out at me like new almost."
We are having conversation via email about the podcast, I wrote that it was like sitting and listening to my Uncle Bill (Amona), my mother's youngest brother and remaining elder still living in his Kapalama Heights home in Honolulu at 90. Ideas shared in this podcast with Wes Sen stimulate old arguments I have had with myself, and my Ancestors.

My son wrote that to note the podcast took place "[On a] a huna moon." I wrote back, "Good example of how connection works yah? Not too long ago I asked Kalei Nu'uhiwa whether the "Harvest Moon" of October had an equivalency in Kaulana Mahina. She said, no, you don't blend Western astrology with Kaulana Mahina. A few days/phases later she posted Ka Piko o Wakea with description and stuff.
I'm not sure whether it's rebellious of me, or if it's somehow what I'm meant to do but 'blending the west with the essence of kanaka' is what my medicine stories and life as makua o'o reflects.
The everyday rituals that I put together come from respect and reverence, but there are also many holes to my knowing. Like Aurora Levins Morales wrote in her Medicine Stories
"... When you are investigating and telling the history of disenfranchised people, you can't always find the kind and amount of written material you want. But in medicinal history the goal is as much to generate questions and show inconsistencies as it is to document people's lives."
She's a feminist, so somewhere later in this piece she said something about looking for the woman shaped hole of history left by the absences. I relate to it and do look for those holes ... make up something that seems to come from more than 'my only self' ... and put one and one together and come up with a new number.
Astrology if studied long enough is 'older than the hills' and I love folding it with 'olelo I am learning, bits of wisdom like what you're recording here, insight's potential. Young feeding the makua, makua ripens. The ulu like Uncle Wes said, I eat too."

I fold, blend, piece knowledge together in a fashion that fills in that woman shaped hole that screams to be filled... I pray it creates a bridge of value.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Moving from here to there

Now that the stories have been shared, the land fed, and the New Moon has come Pete and I are moving our golden wheeled home. There's a medicine story for that, of course, and it has begun.  After the first day of patiently applying practical magic and rituals of protocol to ask for permission and give thanks we have spent our first night in a new place. The medicine story starts Just from here to there. 
We are half-way to our goal of moving onto the gravel parking lot just yards away. The journey is slow and appreciative. We open the safety pin and move ourselves.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


"The beauty of the true ideal," Donohue insists, "is its hospitality towards woundedness, weakness, failure and fall-back. Yet so many people are infected with the virus of perfection. They cannot rest; they allow themselves no ease until they come close to the cleansed domain of perfection. This false notion of perfection does damage and puts their lives under great strain. It is a wonderful day in a life when one is finally able to stand before the long, deep mirror of one's own reflection and view oneself with appreciation, acceptance, and forgiveness. On that day one breaks through the falsity of images and expectations which have blinded one's spirit. One can only learn to see who one is when one learns to view oneself with the most intimate and forgiving compassion."
This quotation comes from Terri Windling's post today at her blog Myth & Moor. A perfect reminder for me, especially the line I've embolded. It's a line I need to whisper in my ear today.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

The women gathered to dispense the blended medicine

Angie (above) read
"... Hares, even blended ones such as Hand and Shore have keenly sensitive noses. The snug burrow and the jolly-tunes of a blessed dream were no match for the smell of fall and the promise of a full belly. With a shake and a shiver to wake himself Hand pulled on his denim coveralls. The patches of many kinds stitched in place by his own hand, and that of his mother were his favorite human Pretty. He rubbed each patch to give off the smell of their memory. The pleasure. The sadness. The time of sheer gladness.
To leap full as a Hare, Hand wore no rubber boots. To feed the land the Wild nature must touch land's skin full-footed. The Blended Hare, Hand, heard his sister's chanting. He responded ... 
"The count is seven, we blend with heaven."The morning meal awaits, my dear..." - from the chapter, The Smell of Fall, Feed the Land
Sunday while The Safety Pin Cafe was fully occupied with two dogs, a towheaded boy with a snail, and human women and men of all ages, the season on Earth shifted. In the culture of Hawaii this shift begins when the season of Ku moves into the season of Lono. The sky cleared as if to get a better view and angle to hear the voices and the intention of the people. Clouds occasioned the space above us. Brother Wind had a hand in movement in the heavens.

 I was reminded by Kalei Nu'uhiwa via the 'Aimalama Facebook page that this is the time when "Politically, it is a time to maintain what you have, to prepare for the makahiki (Hawaiian New Year)  and to settle any political disturbances. Kū is going to be put away into storage until the next season."

Yesterday, in the spirit of the new season of Lono I made time to blend Hawaiian kilo (observation skills) with Western astrology.  Satori wrote about Monday as a time to "sit with things, contemplate, and to avoid drama or shooting oneself in the foot. You know how you don’t get something quite right and you’re inclined to follow it up with something more? Maybe think twice before you do that. Let it rest. Let everything catch up. The Moon moves into quincunx with Pluto and things can feel as though they’re of dire importance – but wait and see if that lasts before you saddle up and ride herd on it."

The photo above from Sunday's "Power of Story" event in The Safety Pin Cafe has a touching significance for me. I see a gathering of women of different ages, the youngest among them is the canine, who one could miss if you didn't know she is busy licking a bowl of smoked salmon scraps. What is significant for me is this line from Satori, "sit with things, contemplate, and avoid drama or shooting oneself in the foot." It was a big day, and the day after was a fine day to reflect on how the dispensing of medicine stories comes when all present are allowed to participate. The healing, not the rescuing, happens voice is given to the many rather than to one. 

My son, after seeing the pictures and captions from the event wrote, "Good you making them work." I laughed at his incite, and said I didn't look at it that way. But, yes, everyone who wishes to make an effort to dispense and receive the medicine worked it.

Pete and I were talking about the gathering and I said it made all the difference in the world to share the microphone with all who cared to hold it. Two hours of story told and read by the group was a healing event. What and how the medicine reached people is as the chant E Ho Mai asks, Give to me what I need to understand, the wisdom from above ... for me, you, different for each of us. It's in the asking that the giving is given. 

Blending practices -- such as pinning together Hawaiian kilo practice with Western astrology -- is not always such a bad thing.  I'm not talking homogeneity here or appropriating another culture and calling it your own. There are way too many examples of that kind of neocolonialism. What I am talking about is a conscious patchwork quilting; pinning first perhaps before sewing together skillfully; knowing and naming the various pieces, the memory of its value, the meaning and application to the present, and asking for permission before using the 'patch'; giving credit for the source. To make art from the diverse ways life pieces itself together individually and collectively it helps to recognize the patterns. 
Pallas Athene with all her attributes Via Wikimedia

One final astrological insight that helps with this patchwork post is how Pallas Athena (the asteroid's archetypal influence) influences a person's perception. At the end of my reflective time yesterday I learned something new about astrology and applied it to my experience. I learned that in the mythology of the Greeks, Pallas Athena originated from the head of Zeus (Jupiter) a fully formed female warrior. The Greek myth rang bells from the mythology or he mo'okuauhau (Hawaiian genealogical chants) of the Pele family. Those like myself who must 'study' the language of my Ancestors to know it, learn through books:

Kamohoali'i (M), born from the fontanel

Kanehekili (M), born from the mouth
Kauilananuimakehaikalani (M), born from the eyes
Kuha'imoana (M), born from the ears ... 

"The above genealogy describes the components of the earth, specifically the volcano or other forms of nature...Over eons," writes Pualani Kanakaole Kanahele, in Ka Honua Ola " each of the names in this genealogy has taken on varied forms to accommodate local metaphors..." 

So, yesterday I learned, it is inevitable that my journey as an elder in the process would blend, pin, or in diverse ways make art of the many practices that I value. Pallas Athena was in my Second Half (Personal Values) in the sign of Aquarius when I was born. Satori's article includes this about Pallas Athena, "She is associated with creative intelligence, particularly as it relates to war, healing and arts and crafts. The energy this asteroid expresses resonates with a blending of Aquarius, Leo and Libra. As simply as possible she represents the creative intelligence, perception of wholly realized concepts and balance."

What's your experience with blending practices from one culture with another and honoring the protocol of permission? Where is Pallas Athena in your astrological chart?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Story filled the air and fed the land

We pitched the tents and hung the banner as the Earth shifted from the season of Ku to the season of Lono, and announced the arrival of The Safety Pin Cafe. The overcast sky cleared, and we were treated to a warm late September Sunday.

 People we had never met before joined in the reading of the original medicine story of The Safety Pin Cafe.

Maria hung out with the humans, listening? hearing what she needed. Only she knows.
 Liz, a dear and long-time friend drove down the island from her island of Fidalgo (Anacortes) to share beautifully smoked salmon, and oranges then joined in the reading of medicine, too.
Adults sitting with their eyes closed, or minds in the story. I saw this often as I looked under the tent.
These were the first folks to arrive for story. We have seen them before here at The Safety Pin Cafe.
There were two canine story fans.
Our friend, Jude, reading the chapter of The Safety Pin Cafe, suitable for a pie maker, which she is in real life.
Liz, and Mark and Sophia a couple who we just met who live on Whidbey, sometimes, and in other places, too. From them we learned of something called 'Couch Surfing' ... we have to investigate. Travelers hook-up with people who have a place, a space to offer to land/spend the night. 
No money is exchanged! 
Have you heard of 'Couch Surfing?"
This young boy came with a snail that he was very, very surprised to discover was still at home. 
Prescott reading a chapter from Feed the Land, about what happens when Hares deal with orange growling machines. 
Angie Hart read from the newly written medicine story Feed the Land, a story written especially for the 'prairie front' the Tilth. 

There was no stage today, it was not a day for stages ... the power of story was in the voice, eye-to-eye. I told one tale of Pele and Lono, to begin the day,  and everyone joined in to make the story live. We heard many voices and it was very good! Thank you, mahalo nui to all the folks who joined Pete and me participating, learning about fire-making, whispering a treasured gift of ho'omana into the ear of a potential 'stranger.' Mahalo Kawika and Puni for sharing that mana'o with me, so I could pass it along to those who came. Story filled the air, soothed the heart and fed the land at the prairie front.

That is all, there is no more. Ho, ha, and so the stories were let go ... Amama.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

The Power of Story*

 *with a nod of acknowledgement to Terri Windling, who presented a talk of the same name "The Power of Story". There are so many versions of myth to spread the magic of story.

Sometimes life in the civilized world creates symptoms & situations that demand crossing borders for remedy & solutions. A massage helps, a prescription might do, but often it’s ...

Story these symptoms crave. 


Mokihana Calizar will be at the South Whidbey Tilth Farmers' Market with her husband Pete Little telling a Hawaiian tale "Pele and Lono", and strumming her ukulele between and betwicks. She invites the audience to join in group readings. First, the reading of the original medicine of"The Safety Pin Cafe", and then a freshly minted story for the Tilth land, called "Feed the Land."
This is a medicine story about land, not property, about people, not consumers, about community not ownership, about pirates dressed in everyday clothes, about hearts and souls craving remedy and solutions that criss-cross the borders.

Your DONATIONS will benefit the work of Real Change, a Seattle-based group which "exists to provide opportunity and a voice for low-income and homeless people while taking action for economic, social and racial justice", and South Whidbey Homeless Coalition (SWHC) whose mission is to "Help us make homeless a brief and rare experience in our community."

Mokihana Calizar is a Hawaiian storyteller, blogger and writer of medicine stories. She lives with Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and knows first-hand the issues of homelessness and life on the edges of a civilized society. 

Come FRAGRANCE FREE, suspend your disbelief and be open to create a more robust version of reality.

Sunday, September 25, 2016
The stories will start at 
11:30 A.M.
And end when the last word is told.
Where: South Whidbey Tilth Farmers' Market
Corner of Thompson Road and Highway 525

Contact Mokihana