Tuesday, July 25, 2017

`Aha Update #5: Clouds and Wash feet

"...Late Tuesday and early Wednesday, the Virgo Moon opposes Neptune. It goes on to square Saturn then Venus and oppose Chiron, a loose grand square. Remember what you’re up to! It’s easy to lose sight of your emotional grounding when things grind to a halt or directions become fuzzy. If you feel discombobulated, slow down. Breathe. Wait for inspiration and the voice of wisdom..." - Weekly Forecast from Satori

This is a very dry and dusty summer on Whidbey. It's our first summer living at the edge of the gravel driveway; that might add to the reality of dust every where. So last night as I pulled myself onto the futon with a major case of sinus congestion, my Aunty Lily showed up. Aunty Lily was my next door neighbor in Kuliou'ou Valley. She taught me all about clouds as a girl. She taught me through showing me to look up and notice the way the sky changed. I have continued that practice.

Aunty Lily, and another girl time Aunty, Mrs. Pung, taught me other things. Last night both those kupuna showed up to remind me about keeping the dust and dirt out of the house. Our small bedroom and wheeled nest gets dusty. As if to prepare us for the protocol -- practical stuff, of Hawaiian Island style living to come, I talked with Pete about the visitation, and making some changes to our in-and- out of the vardo habits.

 We always take off our shoes before coming inside.
 the change is taking them off at the bottom of the stairs.
Pete swabbed the wooden steps down with a rag and a bucket of water, and set up a clean rug at the top of the lanai (porch).

We cleared the lanai preparing the vardo to trundle off to The Tilth and have kept it that way since. There is room for a chair on either side of the front door. Small kine change, but oh, such nice feng shui; flow and freedom.
 A purple cotton bandana (in honor of my Aunty Lily who always wore bandana during the day) is kept wet in an old pie pan. Sit. Wash feet.
Sit, wash feet. Homemade ceremony. Simple kine.

 Inside, the yoga mat and a long wearing favorite rug passed to us from Aunty Lily's daughter, Nola, welcomes clean(er) feet:)
A second Mullein flower yellow folding chair is parked inside.

Homemade ceremony

Washed Feet
Things that
Us going.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Update #4: "Why you do this?" (Edited)

When Pete and I lived on Maui in 1995, in a lovely cottage in Iao Valley, we became friends with the Okinawan Paranku community. Thanks to Kimiko Takamiya. Every Sunday afternoon I would join this long-time established group to learn paranku. It was "Kimi" who encouraged me. We worked together at the Westin Hotel back then, we got to know and enjoy each others company. One Sunday, as we took a short break from practicing one of the old-timers (and if I remember right, the instructor) asked, "Why you do this?" I'm not exactly sure how I answered her, but I remember that I was not intimated by her briskness and answered "Because I love this." I didn't say at the time that I loved trying something new to me even if I looked as awkward as a kid learning how to skate for the first time. And, I am not Okinawan might have had something to do with her question.

My dancing never reached any great mastery, Pete and I marched in a parade with the group, and had great fun. We celebrated at Christmas and New Year's at the old Maui Palm's buffet with these folks. Those memories and that question, "Why you do this?" have become communication shorthand for us over the years. You know, da kine.

As we navigate our boat and feed our beliefs with the vision and intention of Safe Passage Vardo for Two and Pete and Moki, "Why you do this?" comes up as another Hinged Question. The video from Kanaeokana with this lead paragraph answers the question for us.

"Our indigenous cultures have always been about the future. Our ancestral knowledge teaches us to save huli to plant, put seasonal kapu on fish, and manage fresh water for the good of all. These are but a few examples of how Hawaiians use the ʻike passed down from our kūpuna to ensure that our futures are pono and that we are lako in those times to come. All of us who live in Hawaiʻi have much to learn from these values and practices handed down through the generations. They teach us how to live sustainably, how to care for the land, and how to generate abundance, all things that are needed now more than ever."

So at this point, as the New Moon in Leo moves ahead, we are infused with it's firey energy, and the astrological admonition 'share the stage with others.' We keep the communication going; we hinge you folks with our vision and our progress.

Yes, the move will be a complex puzzle to put together.

We have not assembled all the details to the puzzle, things change/the sand shifts under our feet; and not yet chosen the fundraising platform. Our goal is to get closer to these answers in the next couple of weeks.

There's an Eclipse in Leo mid-August; that'll give the Moon something to howl about:)

We are building community and have a trusted `aha `ohana rope of family supporting our roots, and dream. This part of the journey, the community building, the affirmations from trusted friends and family ... this is most important!

We are overwhelmed. Often run out of 'spoons' , refuel, rest, call for help and go again. Asking for help in this public way is very new to us. We are humbled, and admit we may fumble and scramble on the way.

One more communication story to pass along. This comment was left on the blog post "The Hinged Question." It was written by our very dear friend Liz Smith who is in the Peace Corp in Guatemala. We first met Liz in the summer of 2007, the summer I got very sick with MCS, and the same summer that led to us driving south to San Sebastapol to learn how to build Vardo for Two.

Here's what Liz wrote about 'hinges.'

"Wonderful!!!! and great fotos!!!!! hinges must be played with......here is a cautionary tale about that, sadly true!!!!! My brother, a Pete-type guy who always had the tools and bits of hardware needed (just add wood) for everything, made some lovely chip-carved mortise-and-tenon cabinets.....They were truly lovely, of re-used old-growth fir. He wanted special hinges, so he bought beeswax (bis blocks) and carved out a set of large strap hinges. Then life intervened, the project stored in the basement for a year, and, like the salt that can harden in its cloth if the dream is left too long, the wax was ruined by curious rats.......(my emboldened emphasis).The two chests live on forever in his daughter's house. Neither has hinges, but they do have sties inside and within.... " 
We remember to befriend time, and not leave the dream too long; we know about the habits of curious rats (and other rodents). We do what we are doing because we love life in spite of all the evidence. Wendell Berry might have said that. And because my Kupuna have very long memories for what is important, and why? They have strong and resilient roots like the women in that parunku group, their hinges received lots of play.

Let us know what you think, and if you have questions and ideas please leave a comment or email us. Mahalo nui loa to everyone who 'holds space' for us.

xoxo Much Aloha Kakou!!
Moki and Pete

Sunday, July 23, 2017

`Aha Update #3: In the flow at The Muliwai

 I baked up a pan of Blueberry Oatmeal Bars, Pete steeped up quarts of Nettle and Oatstraw infusions and on the morning of the New Moon in Leo we headed to The Muliwai.

 Our friends Angie Hart and Maria
 Many feathered ancestors
 The flowing outgo of the tide

 Hopi Fay and JC May sipped infusions in jars, and ate the yummy blueberry bars.

 We played in the tide, and released ... the fears, the no-longer neededs
Got into the flow
 And as the tide began her return, I took my stick and drew our wish and intention:
Safe Passage Vardo for Two and Pete and Moki

 and then, the old woman with the stick fell asleep for a little snooze.

 Mahalo nui loa. Thank you so much. We had so much fun, too! Amama ua noa. The prayer is released.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

`Aha Update #2: New Moon Beach Walk, Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday's tide is drawing out all morning long (until 11 am) Walk the long beach until then, playing with releasing the old and setting new intentions. Let the incoming tide bring in the new as the tide comes in, in, in until 10ish Sunday night.
"The new moon in Leo takes place early in the morning on July 23rd. The sun and moon are tightly conjunct Mars. This should fuel creativity.... Expect a push for innovation. This can take many forms. A person can push themselves but they can also push their children, their students or their employees.Leo is concerned with “play”. ... Something begun now could really take off like a rocket (Mars Uranus).This new moon looks like good clean fun to me but with natal Venus in Leo, I may have a bias. If you want to consider the potential negative manifestations, think in terms of an ego (Leo) fueled rage (Mars Uranus). Whatever happens; it’s likely to be dramatic, fresh and surprising.
We set intentions under the new moon.  I’d not skip this exercise this month. It’s like having a match, struck, lit and burning brightly.  What will you do with the fire?" Elsa (Click on the link to ElsaElsa for ideas about setting your intentions, if you know which House the Leo new moon will park in your astro chart. Need a little help with that? Leave a comment with your birth info/email me and I'll try to find that for you.)
The dream of building a safe and sturdy wagon, started when we drew a picture in the sand near Mendicino, CA in the fall of 2007. We were on our way to one of the first 'Tiny House Building Workshops' led by "Mr. Tiny House Jay Shafer" in Sebastapol. I had a diagnosis, "This illness will change your life. There's no 'cure' you'll have to avoid everything that makes you sick." What a game changer like they say.

Ten years later, 2017, we have been living in our beautiful golden rose of a wagon for 8 years. Our belief that it is now possible to return home to Hawaii with that wagon Vardo for Two is a perfect Leo New Moon intention. 
  • New Moon in the 7th house (Moki's) – Get out and have fun with your partner. Hunt love!
  • New Moon in the 11th house (Pete's)– Get your friends together. Fun in the sun!

So here's our NEW MOON INVITATION AND INTENTION to hunt love and have fun in the sun with our 'Aha 'Ohana

  • Join us if you can on the beach for a barefoot walk as the tide goes out
  • We will bring some morning refreshments to share 
  • Set your intention for the new moon cycle beginning in fixed Fire Sign Leo
  • Draw your future dream in the sand, share it with us or just send it out to the Sun and Moon
  • Walk, talk, be silent, enjoy the conjunction of Sun and Moon
  • Come as fragrance free as you can be, please

Where: Sunlight Beach (we call it The Muliwai) Public Access Parking Lot (If you aren't familiar with the access lot it's about half way down Sunlight Beach Road. Look for a barn red cottage ... one of the few smaller homes on the beach side, with the owners' name on a white lettered sign 'STOVERS' or 'STOWERS'. The parking is right next to that house).

When: Sunday, July 23, 2017

Time: We'll be there around 9 AM

What: We'll bring a few breakfast snacks to share and bring open hearts and listening ears to hear about your New Moon Intentions, too

See you under the New Moon, at The Muliwai. 

For older posts about our move:
Read "The Hinged Question"
Or, this for photos of our first Front Porch `Aha, July 8, 2017
And here, for "`Aha Update #1 ..."

Aloha nui xoxoxo,
Moki and Pete

Monday, July 17, 2017

Front Porch `Aha Update #1: A Blurrr, Breeze and Whistle

Pay attention to what you long for and what you fear to lose. Those conditions are uncomfortable, but they have a great deal to tell us about what will ultimately serve our best fortunes. Venus trine Jupiter is too much sweet excellence to waste. Figure out what is worth keeping and what stands in the way of full enjoyment. And for Venus-sake, lay off the latter.- Satori
A bit of Mokihana Ramble: It's been one week since our first Front Porch `Aha out at the South Whidbey Tilth. Wow! What can happen when you blast, launch new rockets from old places of settlement, and "dare to split your pants learning to skate (at 70, or whatever age/stage)." In this seven day stretch of time the `Aha -- the gathering of people, ancestors, intentions/dreams/wishes and place, is teaching us what it wants of us. The "Hinged Question" is truly a theme that connects.

First, there is that uncomfortable blur: no focus, what?, those colors don't look right; my fixed nature resists. Pete told me on our Sunday road trip yesterday, "I'm gonna but my meter on you?"

I snapped, I was a real snapping turtle yesterday. "What meter?"

He said from behind the wheel, "The one that tells me whether the mice have chewed through the wiring, or not. Is there a close loop of electrical current?"

The whole picture of that metering wasn't clear to me, but, I got it anyway. I was overwhelmed, and undergrateful (you won't find that word in a dictionary). I was stuck.

Somehow we both knew we needed to take this Sunday road trip though I had few spoons to spare, we did it. We needed to continue seeing and being with others, others who are are supporters our 'aha (the rope the measures). At West Beach we stopped to return the nutcrackers subbing as crab crackers that our friends Terri and Martin brought to the `Aha. Along with those nutcrackers they brought our first red envelope filled with currency ... greenbacks and heartfelt good wishes and faith in our dream.
We sat and chatted, I drank a cup of minty tea with honey, and we talked of dreams, scheming, and the quality of a loving community that is the essential ingredient.

We stayed just long enough to share time and space and more thoughts about solutions to our questions about getting us home to Hawaii. Before we left their deck we spotted the beauty of a setting olepau, the waning half-half moon leading up to the New Moon later this week. Reminder: no new projects or activities during the 'ole phases. Aw, yes. Giving thanks though, there is time for that, anytime yeah?!

Our road trip was not yet complete. One more stop a few miles further north to visit and support another pair of friends with a dream to pack up and move across those eight seas of Hawaii. Our friends Maurine and SR were having a vintage yard sale. We drove the distance to be their `aha, and Pete brought a fresh unopened jar of coconut oil. "You can never have enough coconut," SR said when she saw the jar.

"How do you guys use it?" She wondered.
"We eat it, cook with it. Use it in place of butter." And there is more ... Moki thought.
"Okay I'll put it on my toast." SR decided, smart lady.

By the time we headed south, before the grinding machines began their highway road work, we were tapped out and overwhelmed. The futon and covers in the vardo called my name, I took a shower and climbed in for a restoring nap. While I did that, Pete was struck -- a transformative Plan C ... a simpler version of Plan A and Plan B. It's a Plan California sort of plan that involves us becoming more and more mobile and driving south to Oakland where we drive our new to us truck hinged/hitched to Vardo for Two onto a barge headed for Hilo. There are details to come, but the hope of something we can manage (with help from our `aha) gave us new `ikaika strength and `ike understanding.

We are trying out this new Plan C and like the feel of it, and this morning a sweet and gentle breeze came through the woods as I sat on the front porch. Another Front Porch `Aha. The whistle is mine, the tune is George Kahamoku's the lyrics Larry Kimura's E Ku'u Morning Dew. Link here to hear Uncle George Kahamoku and Uncle Led Kaapana playing slack key and singing E Ku'u Morning Dew.


Mahalo nui to all our `aha, and our front porch. xoxo

Monday, July 10, 2017

"We are where we should be ..." Front Porch `Aha I

"Regardless of the feeling that something is missing NOW, we are where we should be. Otherwise we’d be somewhere else. Let that sink in and bring comfort. The Moon trines Mars and glides over Chiron. We’re learning. We are becoming emotionally wise. Somewhere, maybe underneath the waves that obscure." Satori
Mahalo nui loa. Thank you so much. To the land, this island Whidbey Island in the Salish Sea, the ancestors behind us and in front of us, and to those friends who came to be with Pete and me at our first Front Porch `Aha we put this post together with our sincerest aloha. We are envisioning and doing the hard work of creating Art, an art-form of our real lives; we envision ourselves and our Vardo for Two moving across the Salish Sea and Na Kai Ewalu (the eight seas of Hawaii). To do this we begin by remembering: to appreciate, have gratitude for those who have nurtured and supported our lives here. The photos and sketches that follow are the unfolding journey. Hover over the photos and sketches to see whether there are hidden descriptions waiting for you to discover:)

We start by bringing the la`i green ti leaves out to be woven into protective braids on each of the four corners of our golden wagon home Vardo for Two. The la`i was gathered several years ago by Kaliko Amona, our 'ohana from Pupukea, O`ahu. We keep the leaves frozen and use them when an occasion arises. Saturday's `Aha, and moving Vardo for Two onto the road for the first time in 8 years was just such an occasion.

And then ... the people gathered, and the chicken dinners, corn bread and more fed us and our friends 

After lively and informing conversations and introductions at the picnic tables, we carried our chairs to the grass in front of the porch of Vardo for Two in time for moon rise.

After our friends were comfortably seated in chairs, and bundled against the breeze that was blowing in clouds, and the Elementals, I called on our ancestors chanting the `oli Na `Aumakua. Click here to listen to the 'oli which is also called Pule Ho'ulu'ulu.

Pete and I had time to tell the story of "How come Vardo for Two?" :why we built it, how we did it and seated in the circle our friends could see for themselves the beauty and strength of a heaven-shaped roofed golden wagon. Before it got dark we opened the door to her and invited our company to climb the porch and peek in. It was truly a first for vardo, and our friends. We had cleared our golden wagon energetically and physically to make room for visitors. A shift took place. 
With Mahealani fully present in the sky behind us, we asked our friends if they had questions of us. They did. They had thoughts, and ideas for how they could help, and who they know with answers to our questions. Over time, we will assemble the questions, and answers that came from this first Front Porch `Aha. Financial questions and answers arise. We will pursue the possibilities: Go Fund Me, other crowd sourcing platforms, other ways. Our first red envelope with $120.00 from Terri and Martin helps float our boat to launch our adventure, and affirm the value of our intentions.  Mahalo nui, Terri and Martin. Terri and I have known each other since we were young women raising young sons. Her son will return from Singapore very soon. My son lives in Hawaii, and is one of the main reasons for us knowing we need to launch this dream.

Logistics ... the how and when issues are being explored right now. Prescott knows someone who has an air filtration system in his home similar to the one we would like to build/use; Kathleen knows someone who has connections to the Longshoremen(we need to talk with longshoremen on both sides of the water before loading Vardo for Two into a boat/barge); Madir reminded me of someone we know who is resourceful about flying between Washington and Hawaii, she also reminded me that we have a mutual friend who is actively involved in a successful Go Fund Me project; Gary knows a friend of a friend who knows a longshoreman; Jude knows someone who has created a no fee crowd founding project. We have new people to talk with now, a circle of supports who ARE our `Aha (our trusted rope), and a future `Aha to organize with our family on the islands in Hawaii. It will be different than this one at The Tilth but without doubt inspired by all the goodness of the evening. Seeds have been planted, and others are already sprouting.
After our first night's sleep in a new place for the first time in eight years, we woke to a very bright sunrise and the disassembly of our movable life.

 "The Hinged Question" is a theme to follow, sniffing at the potential and opportunity while also cautious that sometimes the elements like a strong wind will blow that question like a sudden slap across the back of your head. Tether that camel, tether that question on a slip knot you can manage with humor and a keen eye:) Line drawings and the simple wooden prop with hinges help to play with the idea with hearts that are young, flexible and curious.  Hinging both Hawaiian and English in these `Front Porch `Aha gatherings make room for all the ancestors and all those who hear in languages that might be either, or both or a combination of other that is available but not yet seen. We make room for it/them.

These Front Porch `Aha are being imagined as fish nets, or spider webs meant to be tossed out to gather tasty morsels of possibilities; a sweet tasting fish, an unexpected connection to a relation who knows something we don't; or a young person with talents and experiences that bring new perceptions to our quandary. We are grateful kupuna, old people/elders glad to be present for the journey.