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. 

One of the wondrous things that has happened has to do with learning new software. Three months ago I began teaching myself how to use LibreOffice Writer a free software program. The software came with the new desk top computer we bought earlier this year. It's not easy, but it can be learned slowly. Bit by bit I worked at it. My goal was to be able to use the software to write, design, and self-publish. Maybe a zine, or a chapbook, or a print-on-demand book? I explored my options.

In the end (at this point), the software and my Ancestral Pipeline led me into something else: Medicine Cards. Of course, given my predisposition to tweaking the definition of things, these medicine cards will be different from most, and yet, perhaps similar to others I have not seen yet. A grand and timely collaboration between our local printer and my son just returned from France is turning the medicine story into cards. My pencil drawings filled in with watercolor will be pinned through the cards. Thanks to the technical facility my son has with digital artistry what I draw can be integrated with the story. The photo above is one of my pencil-watercolor drawings. It will be on the cover of the medicine cards. Look for the Common Magic Medicine Cards when we open The Safety Pin Cafe at the South Whidbey Tilth, Sunday, October, 6th at 11AM.

Join Mokihana Calizar for the inauguration of the Safety Pin Cafe on October 6 at the South Whidbey Tilth Farmers' Market. This two-hour event begins at 11 a.m. 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. Mokihana has written about 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

Here is a tidbit from the Common Magic Medicine Cards: this is the "Letter to the Adventurer" card that introduces the reader to the packet of cards.

Dear Adventurer,

The cards you hold are a medicine story first given to me one winter when I was low on energy and forgetful of magic that is as common as a safety pin. I needed reminders of a bigger frame into which I could artfully venture from ke'ia to kela … here to there. It's a process that cycles like time and through dreams and listening with the whole body. “The Safety Pin Cafe” wrote itself through me using common magic for uncommon necessity. I share it with you in the form of medicine cards.
The Common Magic Medicine Cards are assembled into color-coded 'doses' or in a book they might be called chapters. Enjoy each of the doses as you might take a sip of a soothing cup of your favorite drink. Warm or cold, the beverage of your choice satisfies as you choose; read and enjoy these cards with that same sense. 

What I love about the writing is what it evokes.
It is not even what the words mean, but the stream of consciousness writing that lends to a richness
of smells, sounds, sights, some out of focus, some coming into focus, others fading away.
This writing caresses the reader in an environment that is welcoming, and soft,
and somehow familiar.”
- Teri Wise

Enjoy the magic as you take the medicine. Aloha, Mokihana

LINK HERE For "Mau a mau ... the continuum": How I prepare for the tangible form of fiction.

Mahalo to Terri Windling for her inspirational blog where I found the quotations about the medicine of stories. And to Satori, one of my favorite astrologers found on the first astrology blog ever! And a loving hug to an old friend, only recently reconnected with after decades of separate journeys. Teri (with one 'r' )for the review of The Safety Pin Cafe: it is what I hoped could happen for a reader!

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