Saturday, December 3, 2016


Thanks for the music, the medicine, the memories.

"Leon Russell died on Nov. 13, 2016 in Nashville at the age of 74. His wife said that he passed away in his sleep," Russell's website wrote. "The Master Of Space And Time was a legendary musician and songwriter originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma who performed his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues, and country music for over 50 years." - Rolling Stones

Leon Russell and Elton John Documentary "Union" ... 'when you love somebody ...' -Elton John

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Transforming the English Language

Robin Wall Kimmerer "Mapping a New Geography of Hope"

I'm awake when I should be finishing a night of restorative sleep. My practice of self-care is changing so among the remedies for maintaining balance I've started taking a small prescriptive remedy three times (instead of twice) in a twenty four hour period. For awhile, my body needs this increase dosage. Twenty-four hours divided by three means I take this small prescriptive medication every eight hours. Any way I do the math this requires waking up at that deliciously deep hour when dreams and rest are working their medicine. There's a conflict going on here.

So rather than fight with myself and the disruption, I left the cozy futon and my bed mate who is also part of this new normal because he is my caregiver who wakes me at that late night hour with the pill and a glass of water. When I can't get back to sleep, and say, "I'm up." He says"Okay, I'll finish reading that book then." "I'll bring it back for you," I told him as I dressed in the dark for the walk across the forest to the Quonset where he'd left the book about a contemporary mythic adventure with seasonal change. Summerlong by Peter S. Beagle. 

My New Moon wishes still wet with the making I long for the company of care, the voice of caring, the presence of reassurance, and find it. Like those phone calls to dear pals, I type in a name and find this video with Robin Wall Kimmerer one of my heroines. Her words string stories that soothe me just right with language that braids no less sweet than the sweet grass of her beloved Sky Woman. I exhale deeply, shoulders drop and my eyes are drooping, I yawn with sleepiness now that I have heard her, seen her.

A safety pin's worth of medicine this one. I inhale the message to remember to remember and laugh from all the best of places within me at the thought of transforming the English Language. Now that's something to look for in a new normal, a new remedy. 

Good Night Moon. Good Night Me.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

New Moon in Sagittarius

Hover on the image above for a wonderful quote about wishes.
“If you are a dreamer come in
If you are a dreamer a wisher a liar
A hoper a pray-er a magic-bean-buyer
If you are a pretender come sit by my fire
For we have some flax golden tales to spin

Come in! 

Come in!” 
(Shel Silverstein, one of my favorite writers, and drawers, and fun word-makers who delighted me when I was a young mother with a young son just beginning. Link on his name above to visit his website where Shel continues to shine the light.) 

 "Comfort to the Corns" J.Gillway Wellcome via Wikimedia 

Mahina the Moon conjoins Ka La the Sun in the sector of the heavens astrologically named Sagittarius. The sky above us here on the south end of Whidbey Island is heavy with the flannel of dense clouds. I don't know exactly where that sector is, but, I pay attention to the cycle of Mahina's journey around Earth and note: She begins again.

Astrologer Elsa P. writes,"The new moon in Sagittarius takes place early in the morning on November 29th. This is a day full of potential. Potential does not manifest itself..."

The New Moon is a time when all beings including humans begin again. The many tools and practices we humans use to mark or note new beginnings is different for each of us. Maybe a group of us practice similar methods including not practicing or noticing at all.

I was talking with two friends yesterday. The first chat was early in the morning and this conversation wove in and out of the history we have over more than twenty years. We have grown children and she has grandchildren. At one point in our lives we have worked together conspiring and collaborating on issues of equity and culture. Now we are cronies, in the sense we are old(er) women who watch our children replicate or continue legacies surprising us, inspiring us, troubling us.

At one point during that chat I said, "I was writing in my little book by hand. I'm not writing as much on the computer." My friend was quick, "Why is that?" I told her the set up for our computer was jamming my body up. I complained about how it was tough to accommodate two people who are more than a foot different in height. Again she was quick, "You can't not write. If you ask people for help, put it out there they might could help you."

That's the thing. That's the wish for my New Moon, my wish for potential to manifest itself. In another of ElsaElsa's blog posts I left this comment for Satori about the New Moon in Sagittarius:

"New Moon will sit on my natal Jupiter conjoining natal Venus[11th House]. I’m hoping for good luck in friendships that make a difference in positively grand ways. That Sag conjunction tries Natal Pluto in the 7th House of relationships. A few really good friends is solidarity!"
Later in the day, when the short hours of daylight were spent I sat in the vardo beside the Radiant Heater. Quiet and reflective after a full day of this and that's I thought of another friend I was missing. I dialed her number. We were both glad to be speaking with the real deal person and not leaving a message to be gathered up at some point. We spoke of things of depth and meaning, and shared the hearty laughter that I have come to appreciate most about this friend. Unlike my morning chat this one was a connection with a pal who is living a very solitary life though she is the first to admit she wishes for the opposite.

I enjoyed hearing her latest experiences of being in a small Eastern Washington town not far from the Canadian border. We have known each other for a few years and came together when she sat on a bench to listen to stories at The Safety Pin Cafe one sunny afternoon. It was language she was drawn to, the one I cling to even though it is not fluent to my tongue, yet rooted to my soul. Over the years since she first sat on that bench it has been the holoku the dresses or phases of the moon which seem to tie us together when either or both of us are untethered.

Counting on the moon is a meaningful practice when you're untethered. That sole heavenly body assigned to accompany our Earthly Home holds space for the emotions that are all shades of dark and light. Today she starts again in very close proximity to the brilliance of the Sun. Our eyes don't see her. But she sees us. My friend was glad to be reminded of that and I was glad, too.

Today we begin again. What are you wishing for?

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Mahalo nui.

We take a few minutes today to pause and give thanks for the many blessings that make this life robust and worth living. In the comfort and shelter of our vardo and Quonset hut we give thanks for roofs that keep us dry, heaters to warm us, blankets and a bed for cozy sleep and restorative comfort, electricity to pulse currents to a cooktop for a hot meal, boil a kettle for tea and make it possible to stand beneath a hot shower at the end of the day. The skies open up with the seasonal deluge of rains and though we mutter about the inconvenience as we walk fifty paces under the roofless spaces between bedroom and kitchen it is the Elements – the rain and clean air and the solidity of a forest floor, that connects us to what is most Earth-bound. Without that water we are nothing, without clean air our lungs shivel like the last of Alder's leaves, and without the solid footing of Earth's surface we are rootless.

As my shoes dry and warm between treks in and out of sheltered spaces, I send greetings of thanks while the Wild Rice from Sister Margaret in Minneapolis simmered with onions to become dressing with turkey and butternut squash dinner.

The rain continues and the winds add to the day. We are grateful for life, and for the Elements, the Ravens, Crows, and smaller Feathered Ones who skitter and plow up the parking lot gravel looking for nibbles shaken from Hemlock and Doug Fir just for them it seems. And to our family and friends and readers we are most grateful for the connections. Take care of one another.

Mahalo nui. Thank you very much.

Monday, November 21, 2016

"Old, entrenched agreements"

The Virgo Moon squares Juno in Sagittarius, then opposes Neptune across the Moon’s nodal axis – Moon on the north node, Neptune on the south. The veil has lifted. Old, entrenched agreements face challenge in the gut. Feel the impact of new details regarding a new direction. What feels healthy? Pay attention to that. Don’t bother churning over what doesn’t feel right. Concentrate on what does.- from this week's astrological forecast by Satori
 I woke from another big dream this morning.  The time on Pete's cellphone read 2:30AM. "Old, entrenched agreements face challenge in the gut"  that's part of what's going on for me without doubt. After a wonderful birthday celebration with safety pins and good friends the challenges of life on the planet collectively and personally are churning things up.

What agreements have we signed or not signed; how informed am I about the direction of this country, community, neighborhood?

In the past week the protest and gathering of activists at Standing Rock has the attention of many in our community. Fund raisers and consciousness raising galvanize here in the Pacific Northwest. The communities of color, and the people with blood, and the communities of white seem to be in agreement: drilling under the river on the rez is NOT the direction. Supporting and standing in solidarity with the people of North Dakota and the Tribal Nations of America will be an education for all of us. The nitty gritty down and dirty where do we sleep when we get to Standing Rock is a small part of the lesson; but it is a pragmatic one. Do you have an RV or a truck big enough to sleep in? Welcome to the land of paradox. Takes oil or diesel to run that rig don't it.

It may be waking up to the reality that life is complex, or made more complex when I forget that there is more to living with the needs and the relationships with humans; that in fact there are other beings who live on this planet and they have voices less often heard or attended to. But that's our loss, and theirs. There was a time when all beings understood and spoke the same language.

I started this post much earlier today, it's mid afternoon and most of the words I thought would need to be put down aren't really what need to be said. Instead, I've been revisiting a story I wrote earlier this year. It's one of the medicine stories written when a human condition needed remedy beyond a prescription.
A Native Fern, its title was plucked from the pages of the Hawaiian Dictionary on a morning when something other than loss was greater. The word is maku'e.
Sophie Lei Maku'e is a wife and grandmother living life suitable to her family name, maku'e. If you are new to these medicine stories, they are written in doses, homeopathic remedies for healing soul and heart(h) in gentle stanzas influenced by daily life and messages that cross the borders where separation is mutable, and subject to artistic tampering.
Perhaps you are in need of a remedy beyond a prescription. Try this one, a dose at a time, or one after another.
This is the maku'e fern a Hawaiian native fern with long narrow undivided fronds and the inspiration for the story about an aging grandmother who is losing her memory but finding something more valuable in the process.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Dandelion for Courage of Heart

This is a short medicine story, a gift for all the lovers of story and creators of art who wonder "Do I have the heart to keep at it?" More than ever and ever more into the vast tomorrows yet to come this lone Dandelion (and the words from this Devon light) had the answer. 

Especially, for Terri Windling who makes space for creation.


An original medicine story and photographs
Yvonne Mokihana Calizar

The last of the good collecting moons lit the sky making the trek easier. 

"A short walk really," the little witch reminded herself though even the fifty steps were sometimes too much. The cold was coming.

"Mid-November, it should be getting cold." The voices reminded her of two things: seasonal cycles and she was here not there

In the larger picture the oddly laid arrangement was enough to keep the old couple comfortable exquisite in its simplicity. Parked on the edge of the gravel lot the sleeping wagon was blessed with a bigger share of the modest sunshine available during a forest winter. the move into a more public place took a bit of getting-used-to-ness, but not much.

There was the long thin shelter where hot water made it possible to shower themselves, two large sinks provided triple-duty access for dish washing, laundry by hand, and a soaking tub for the small and aging witch. Her son had to ask for clarification when the soaking tub option came up. Over their cellphones he asked, "You fit in the sink?" He is one of the few humans familiar with the layout of the compound.

"Yup," his mother proudly proclaimed describing how she prepares and cleans the stainless sink, sets up the collapsible step stool and carefully climbs in folding her still-nimble enough limbs into the sink of hot water with a hand full of salts and quiet time with favorite tunes from her home islands. 

The wash house tucked against one of the garage walls is half-way between the wheeled sleeping wagon and the eating hut. Until it gets really cold, the cooking is done outside--under the eaves of the wash house. 

The morning walk took a bit of organizing, no small chore fresh out from under the coziness of quilts and comforters. Back and forth to fill a pan, heat water, wait in the hut for the boil, and then back outside to fill a mug for the first cup of tea. Today it was the dried chunks of Dandelion roots she'd chosen. "For strength of heart," this time the Writing Witch put her intention onto a space held for gentle souls and hearts of lions with creative work to do.

In both the details and the largest picture imaginable the small old witch knew what mattered and did that.

*Dandelion Flower Meaning

The photos in "Dandelion for Courage of Heart" are mine, save for the last, which was taken by my husband Pete. Hover over the photos for short messages about what you see.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Who said Solidarity couldn't be fun?

"I brought you a birthday present. When you wanna be someone else," said Prescott my sister Golden Pig (we were both born in 1947 the Year of the Golden Pig).

Our gathering for solidarity time was wonderful. The drenching rains paused, the sun shone, and the perfect mix of friends who share our values and believe in the power of common magic came to eat hot golden squash and coconut soup and had such fun.

There is plenty of work to do to balance the scales of social and political injustice, a safety pin will be needed in all the right (and wrong) places, too. But as well as the work, life is a fiesta. For the long haul surround yourself with people who will cover for you when you can't, be your rock when you are crumbling, and will help cut through that red tape because they know how.

Maria (Callas) aka Moki and Pirate (also known as Pete)