Thursday, August 14, 2014

Straw tails and fire

"Whoever has a tail of straw should not get close to the fire."
-a Latin American folk saying

My life is an amazing wild ride.

Chicken and raven teach me things that make the words of my elders all the more powerful. Pualani Kanaka'ole Kanahele writes about the poetry and ancient genealogical chants of the Hawaiian world, "Over eons, each of the names in [this]genealogy has taken on varied forms to accommodate local metaphors. These are added at diverse areas of contact. Besides the primary forms of earth and sky, other forms such as spirits, humans, canoes, and sharks have been added to the complexity of the story.The insertion of multiple forms provides a mythical framework based on forms of nature ... in Western literary terms, as myth. But it is based on a foundation of elements that are natural and consistent in the Hawaiian world." -
Ka Honua Ola

With their examples the birds give meaning to the everyday experiences, and meaning to Mircea Eliade's statement "Western man will not be able to live indefinitely cut off from an important part of himself, a part that is made up of fragments of a spiritual history, the significance and message of which he is incapable of deciphering."
-Mircea Eliade Shamanism

Weather systems are shifting. The dry, hot summer is now cooling not timed to the calendar which marks Fall in September, the alder leaves are falling now, the rain and fog test our resilience and the question is: does it matter? Does what matter? Does it matter that weather is not nailed to a paper grid or a digital page that moves with animation? Regularity helps. Rigidity snaps me. I ramble on trying to tell the truth. "Whenever we pretend, edit, rehearse, perform, or withhold, we support the development of false self system. Through the false self, we develop the art of self-abandonment."
-"The path of the Visionary" The Four-Fold Way Angeles Arrien

I am an amazing wild ride, with tales of deep roots.
I am a canoe with memories as old as wind.
I am lizard who survives.

Friday, August 8, 2014

"Only one great thing"

"I think over again my small adventures, my fears, those small ones that seemed so big, all those vital things I had to get and to reach, and yet there is only one great thing: to live and see the great day that dawns, and the light that fills the world."
-Old Inuit Song

Grateful for the safety of my family, friends and communities of Hawaii, as the tropical storms blew through with little damage.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Faces at the table

Our long-time friend came for dinner and a visit this week. We have known each other since the early 1990's when we were both very involved with workshop creating and facilitating; training the world for a living. Between us there have probably been many thousands of people who have sat around tables or clustered in groups to explore, delve or been subject to our brand of teachings. Many events have changed those roles for us as we are now crones in our sixties and seventies.

Pete, my husband and I are studying the teachings of The Second-half of Life as described by Angeles Arrien. Through this exploration I am meeting 'the face I had before my parents were born' Angeles Arrien reminds me about. It's the face, the role, the me, that is the essence of myself without Ego's Face and the one where all faces/roles are integrated. As I have written before, as grief works through me, life and death has taken on a deeper meaning in this summer. I have Big Teachers guiding in this summer of grief: Angeles Arrien, my Brother David, my Cousin Cindy (all three passed this spring-summer); Ross Moss leads me more confidently through the dream time; this place in the woods comes to be with me for a fifth season. I read the words from Arrien's books, reflect on her questions and let the work work me. I practice with the ancient and original tools of magic: rattles, sticks, and meditations and find the faces of the child (who wishes to play more regularly ... Pete wants to be there, too!); the adult who explores creative ventures is good at that (she just needs to have the child along so both are acknowledged without exclusion); the elder is comfortable with silence and the wisdom that comes from the wind, changes in tree color, the voices of feathered cousins. (She is also glad to be makua and not trainer); the essence face is getting more and more visible and I think I saw her at the table the other day when my friend came for dinner and a visit. There was an elf wearing a blue knit hat next to her. They made quite a picture. My friend talked of many things when she came to visit; she left many gifts in the telling of story. I had not been face to face with her for two years, I looked at her closely that evening, soft to the exploration of her nose that slopes and is peculiarly positioned; I inspected the texture of her face, and her eyes which are absent of creases; her large and generous ears wore a chandelier of silver and violet stones; her hair was, as usual, tweaked a fresh color very becoming the positive self regard she is practicing these days.

It was the night of Lammas Festival when we sat, talked, ate fruit, flesh and grains of a good first harvest. And, the faces that were at the table? I believe those were our 'first faces' comfortable in the skin of the present. Great gifts for a midsummer's evening.