Friday, September 27, 2013

Mau a mau: The Continuum

I continue. I continue a tradition of navigating and translating. Forty one years ago to the day I gave birth to my son. To create him I needed to travel, leave the home island my birth place. My tradition and practices at the time were young and in so many ways I was ignorant of the protocols ... the treatment of others, creatures, the elements. Or, perhaps to be gentle with myself, I was early in the journey of knowing. I became a mother at twenty-six, wet behind the ears, a Capricorn Moon woman with decades of practice ahead of me. There were inklings of my practice of navigation and translation: I knew I must journey even while I felt the internal tug of leaving. The clue/the inkling remains true now.

I continue and pass along the tradition of navigation and translation and see that the practice continues with my son. Born in the Pacific Northwest forty one years ago, he, like myself, travels ... back and forth, forth and back and then further from his home places he explores more of this planet home. Beyond, yet including those places I have been, my son navigates and adds his mo'olelo ... his story, to the practice. My son is now back on the island of my birth, O'ahu, experiencing the place and the traditions that expand his life. He sent us the photos below and through them he connects me with the past opening a portal through which we step together. Kekuhi Kanahele might call this connection and portal the Haka kaau. In the gesture of sending photos using the metaphoric stream of space and time both space and time become timeless. The longing and the loss I feel is tempered as I live the metaphor and am transported. There is the magic! The magic of a continuing practice.

Later today my husband and three friends and I will gather to practice putting together the tangible form of the imaginary and mythic place called The Safety Pin Cafe. I prepare myself in the early morning hours saying my prayers and meet with my guides and teachers: watch the video of Pua and Kekuhi and get myself into the portal with them, clear all doubt and visualize, connect. The recipe for creating what Kekuhi describes as "alchemy to allow flow into a different time and space" is the one I work with as I prepare the tangible Safety Pin Cafe.

  1. Recognize my space
  2. With guidance from my kumu (teachers)
  3. I consider the poetic text (the medicine story)
  4. Prepare the regalia/props that speak to particular entitities and help me petition respectfully
  5. Energy of the collective gathers
  6. The portal is created
  7. I the practitioner step in
  8. Then, it is my honor, to invite the audience in with us
No matter how many times I have presented story, I, like my kumu Pua and Kekuhi, get nervous. Humble in my approach to something not yet done. Knowing that humility is different from humiliation, my practice of navigation and translation continues. Mau a mau. Mother to son. Son to mother. Within our family the journey continues. 

Hauoli la hanau keiki kane Kawika.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Come for the story, nibble on stars, and dress for the season of common magic

''To see that your life is a story while you're in the middle of living it may be a help to living it well."   - Ursula K. Le Guin (Gifts)

The Safety Pin Café

a storytelling event & celebration of metamorphosis,
myth & mixing metaphors!

Join Mokihana Calizar for the Inauguration of The Safety Pin Cafe

Sunday, October 6th @ 11 a.m.

At the South Whidbey Tilth Farmers' Market

The two-hour event begins with a haunting and healing Hawaiian chant, followed by sharing stories, art and music – fold an origami cup as a symbol of how we can support one another – enjoy cinnamon toast, a symbol of safety and love.

Come for the story, nibble on cinnamon toast stars,
and dress for the weather of common magic. *

* Do layer up, for it might be,
"a day only a duck could love."

Mokihana has written about her journey through illness from chemicals ubiquitous in the modern world using myth, metaphor and ancestral memory to create a tale and medicine story. She has found safety on Whidbey Island and has turned a corner toward regaining her health. She acknowledges the South Whidbey Tilth campus as a safe space – fragrance and chemical free.

– from South Whidbey Tilth Newsletter (August/September 2013)

Read Mokihana's writing on the internet:
 "The Safety Pin Cafe":

For information email Mokihana at:

Please remember this is a Fragrance and Scent-free event. Performers, family and visitors are allergic or sensitive to perfume, essential oils and other scented product.

The final stitches, the details and butterflies of anticipation set the stage for the event. The season shifts from summer into fall come September 22nd and fittingly, "a day only a duck could love" is more probable than not. It makes no nevermind though, the magic of living comes from the middle as mistress of story Ursula LeGuin reminds me. 

After months of dosing you with tantalizing bits from the medicine story, I will pull up my sensible black leather lace up boots, cut bread into stars, moons and hearts spread them with magical cinnamon butter, help pitch the tents, and chant for the wisdom to spin a tale that will touch your heart. Protocol and permissions will be in place, a space for myth created. It won't be complete without you though... your story, your open heart, your wish, your prayer.

See you soon,
"Pale The Border Witch" and "The Silver-haired Raven" 

Link here to appreciate metaphor in its many layers; and a major factor in my preparation for The Safety Pin Cafe.


Monday, September 2, 2013

"Fiction and poetry are doses, medicine"

 "In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop finding comfort in the sweet territory of silence?"  - Gabrielle Roth

"A plate of fine bone china, only slightly chipped but sparkling clean, was arranged with cinnamon toast cut into stars and moons and ducks." - from The Safety Pin Cafe

 “I had lines inside me, a string of guiding lights. I had language. Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines. What they heal is the rupture reality makes on the imagination. I had been damaged, and a very important part of me had been destroyed - that was my reality, the facts of my life. But on the other side of the facts was who I could be, how I could feel. And as long as I had words for that, images for that, stories for that, then I wasn't lost.”  - Jeanette Winterson

" Scorpio Sun is both the puzzle and the puzzler.
Seeing what is beneath the surface is what Scorpio does best. When presented with a situation where the pieces don’t seem to fit, Scorpio moves those pieces around until they do. When Scorpio can’t make those pieces fit they throw the puzzle in the trash and set off to find a new one, amputation.
 - Satori H.

The weeks of late August and September fill with the details and finishing touches for the opening of a mythic and magical place, a place where common magic is the medicine: The Safety Pin Cafe. The story is transforming me as I believe "Fiction and poetry are doses, medicines," as Jeannette Winterson wrote above. The original Safety Pin Cafe is my daily place of medicine making where meals for the belly and the imagination are cooked up simultaneously sometimes; or separately as when I sit to eat oatmeal and am 'dosed' with the flavor of spice: cinnamon the friend-maker.

What continues to thrill and enliven me is the process of becoming. I love digging around, and with a broad Scorpio signature, I am both "the puzzle and the puzzler." Nature all around me in the woods does the work of becoming without as much rumination. To be human with a will that often forks into two (or more) directions at once is perhaps just one more example of quantum reality ... the wind does it all the time! As I shift a gear and compose this JOTS is stretched across my leg trying to ignore my jiggling arm that keeps striking keys. I write during the 'Ole Moons reflecting on the progress made during the months of the magic medicine story begun in November. Many surprises and challenges have made the process time-consuming. I thank my ancestors who speak to me through dreams, and that amazing box of a computer connected to the cyber-web which allows me to see and hear things like these videos.  My husband Pete encourages me as he sees my energy build after a cycle of challenge and isolation. The dreams and the stillness temper and bake my refueling mana and I listen to the quiet, and what is most important rises to the surface. I lap it up like cream to a kitty. I have much to learn to orchestra the opening of The Safety Pin Cafe. Layers of symbolism, storytelling and collaboration with others make for an event that stretches my imagination and my capacity to create.