Wednesday, November 9, 2016

"Today we grieve. Tomorrow we fight."

"Today we grieve. Tomorrow we fight. Art & activism matter more than ever. So does community. Stay strong."- Terri Windling
"Mars in Aquarius will PROTEST. I'm just not sure people will feel up to it.  They may very well detach in order to deal with their feelings of depression and doom.
Tomorrow the Moon in Pisces will conjunct Chiron in the sign. This is not going to help. Endless, un-healable wound.  Arrgh.
I wish I had something better to say. These next two days will be rough." - ElsaElsa Astrology Newsletter
"Yes, Terri. Today we grieve. In the dark hour of midnight here in the Salish Sea I was shocked to read, "He is president." No amount of Flower Nation Remedy would change that, but I dosed myself anyway. Then I picked up Aurora Levins Morales' book of essays Medicine Stories. From it she reminds me (in 'False Memories') "Ours is a society that does not do grief well or easily, and what is required to face trauma is the ability to mourn, fully and deeply, all that has been taken from us. But mourning is painful and we resist giving way to it, distract ourselves with put-on toughness out of pride."
Without thinking voice began singing the song "Kaulana Na Pua" written in 1893 by Ellen Kekoaohiwaikalani Wright Prendergast as a protest song when American business men illegally overthrew the Nation of Hawaii, and Queen Liliuokalani. You are so right, Terri today we mourn. And to do it consciously it will hurt like hell. But, to be distracted will hurt us more, longer, and we will remain oppressed. In the art, as in the lyrics of this song that means 'beautiful are the flowers' the Nation of 'flowers' people who protested and who would 'rather eat stones' have persisted in spite of America's best practices to keep us done...and dead. Tomorrow we fight, yes. But first I will grieve, and make that count for something!"  - A comment I left this morning, after the American Election, of November, 2016 on Terri Windling's blog "The view from here" on Myth and Moor

Kihei and Mapuana de Silva begin their essay "He Inoa no na Keiki o ka bana la hui" with this paragraph about the song Kaulana Na Pua: "
"This is the song that brought a pair of nearly lost, almost-haoles into head-on collision with the possibility that, in our classmate Haunani Trask’s words, we were not American, not American, not American. Not in our heart of hearts, not if our great-grandparents had anything to say about it..."

I'm at the keyboard with my first cup of peppermint tea, my sinuses are congested, but with my mouth open I can breathe well-enough. The initial shock of the reality of the election has begun to seep into those places that have caused that same head-on collision Kihei and Mapuana de Silva wrote about. That same head-on collision that has haunted me in daydreams and nightmares of being lost, and more than 'almost-haole' living in a world of oppression. Day in night out. Here or there? The low level grief and major level denial does harm to the immune system over time. Post Traumatic Stress, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, Environmental Illness. Call it what you want to. The oppression lives, and the American Public and the Powers of Greed have made their agenda clear: Trump-ed.

Today is for grieving as fully as possible the reality of this oppression. Safety pins may not be enough to create a bridge of solidarity, but, they CAN be a talisman, a reminder that common courage is uncommon only if we don't undo the clasp and stick it to the man.  If a pin is unfastened long enough to pass it along to another in your circle, your community, your family the remedy of solidarity and understanding is strengthened. In every story that can be told about a more robust and whole earth world is like, let me remember what it sounds like, feels like. My kupuna knew how to put the medicine in the words, the mele, the sound, the movement. They grieved, but then they put the music where it could be found, revisited, and danced anew. Here is how the de Silvas end their essay,

"We dance it, too, because the best defense against loss of understanding is often a strong offense: we believe that “Kaulana nā Pua” has to be danced properly and publicly before it is taken, co-opted, and commodified – as so many of our precious hula have been violated – by those who have no right to touch it. So we are taking a chance and putting our hearts on the line – as has every Hawaiian who ever loved this song enough to sing and dance or not-dance it from the depths of his and her na‘au. "

 American imperial tradition, greed and oppression has a long and invested history. "You are standing on Indigenous Land"  reminds activist and artist Tracy Rector. To make a difference I must take the time to fully grasp what has happened with this election. All the sweat, and congestion that I feel is not imagined, and is not 'just my fault' these symptoms come from choices I have made, or others made when I was either too young or too unconscious of the false memories of my history. I struggle with a different version of those memories to create a story where I am no longer victim or oppressor. I ramble on my way to some new truth.

Now I know better, and I know the meaning behind the words

ʻAʻole mākou aʻe minamina
I ka puʻu kālā o ke aupuni
Ua lawa mākou i ka pōhaku
I ka ʻai kamahaʻo o ka āina

We do not value
The government's sums of money
We are satisfied with the stones
Astonishing food of the land


  1. Aloha Mokihana, so comforting to find your post election reflections as we all take time to feel and comprehend just what has transpired in this country in this choice of leader. Thank you for bearing witness and movement toward a new truth.

    1. You are very welcome Eko, to bear witness and tell our stories IS what we can all do.


Your positive words are welcome here.