Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wana and Apple Pie: the poetry of genetics ... how does it happen?

Kapa Hawaiian bark cloth imprinted with the designs of Wana
wana. 1. A sea urchin 2. Sharp-pointed, as sea-urchin spines; jagged, sharp; spike. 3. A long spike or ray of light, as at dawn; to appear, as a ray of light. For example, wana 'ao. Wana kau lani. a streak in the heavens, as of light or cloud
I "hoopuhi", I distill. Images and 'olelo (Hawaiian words) combine with the everyday demonstrating again and again
my pre-disposition to love multiple meaning(s) and synchronicity.  Kaona means "multiple meaning" and is a poetic vehicle for layering or hiding meaning in verse, 'oli or mele. It is instinctual, and when nurtured it becomes the doorway to rich storytelling and enduring connectivity with life seen and unseen.

An excerpt from a post I wrote (2012) on my other blog Makua O'o entitled "To distill ... hoopuhi ... to extract the essence"--
... "..Madeline's bare wrist stretched from the long wool sleeves revealing a subtle yet definite pattern of ink -- tatau. The design began a thumb's length from the narrowest measure at the wrist. Four lines of peaked black ink circled and met in a pattern that was without doubt the wana ... sea urchin. Puff collected the details of her journey much the same way she assembled and remembered the flavors of a recipe she wanted to repeat. The look and taste of this moment. She sipped the bitter-sweet tea then asked, "Can I help with the pies? ... The evening passed in comfortable enterprise and easy conversation, the exceptional circumstances for Puff's arrival melded as did the cinnamon with sugar over the sliced Pippins. There would be time for storytellers soon enough. The unspoken mana of non-intrusiveness, not being maha'oe warmed the cottage as much as the heat from the hearth and good stove. Culture is visceral, the women felt it and respected what was..."
This is an excerpt from the mytic fiction and journey of time travel that is fascinating me as I weave the many tendrils and knotted cords of life as I see it.  The link to that entire post is hereMy husband and I were having a conversation early this morning, "I read your stuff," he said.  I was still waking up but it's always fun to hear what he has to say about my writing.  His insight inspires me to write, and what he feels once the writing is on the page incites more.  This morning's conversation stretched in many directions during the minutes we shared in the vardo and as is common there are other stories tickling at me because of this exchange.  But in the main Pete's sense of the story with this segment was the desire to know more about these characters who make pie together though they are virtual strangers.  The hospitality to strangers, a universal theme stirred memories of visits to the Wisconsin farm where he easily remembered the excitement of company coming.  Whipped into a frenzy with excitement, the innocence of that time came to be with him as he read.  

From there to here ....

November 5, 2014
Dear Aunty Lily,

I am sitting in a tall and comfortable chair made from Oak. The seat is a pretty upholstered one, in a pattern I think you'd like. The chair is pulled in front of a very large computer screen, and that screen and I a parked in front of a wall of windows looking out on a Fall sky. The clouds are stripes of gray and white ... mostly white. No sheep in the sky today, none of those clouds that you taught me to notice when I was a girl in rubber slippers. The trees out that window are maples and this is the season when the trees let go of the fan shaped leaves leaving behind the spiky limbs, spears like many forks or very tall wana.

I am writing from the library in Langley where I live now. The sound of little voices and the voices of their parents (mostly mommies) fill in the space of my right ear. Sometimes I come here to do things I can't do from the computer at home. Sometimes I come here just to take a break from hanging out at home. Sometimes I come here after shopping for tangerines and chicken drum sticks that will be snacks and dinner later. Writing to you know I combine the best of what life offers me now, just a couple weeks before my next birthday. I think about the many delighting and surprising gifts you gave to me in the course of a day. I remember that when my ordinary day were lived away from Kuli'ou'ou Valley I wrote to you and described what it was like to live in Christmas tree land. You wrote back and said, "You are a good writer." I believed you. I didn't know writing would become the story waiting for me. My kuleana.

I am grateful to the way you helped me see connection between what is with what could be. What was our valley times together nearly sixty years ago is as 'no more' as most Main Streets in any town across O'ahu or America, in general. Still the marks left in me and my imagination remain or maybe have become brighter as I age. I see different through these tri-focal lenses not because I have finally off-gassed the plastic lenses and metal frames. I see differently because there were bright lights, rays of light and loving examples, You, to encourage the light within me yet to be discovered. How fortunate, for me to have had you next door.

I am a writer because I keep writing. The stories that come are partly the ones waiting for me to hear them. Other stories are sparked by an ordinary anything's parallel magic just-over-there. I am writing to you, my Aunty Lily because I was trying to piece together, pinning one thing with another. You would love seeing that maple tree shake itself of the golden leaves. You would notice how the clouds look wet, and I would wonder whether you might be driving now ... if in fact you decided to reincarnate, and find another human life in a place different than Kuliou'ou. Just wondering, just remembering, just spending the time making imaginary apple pie. Delicious with every step. Delicious with every bite.

I love you,

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