Thursday, January 17, 2019

Hail to Jots!

 Hey old friend... For you my friend Nearby the owl is crying The family is stricken Suddenly agitated are the pines  Here are the berries The dark purple berries to attract the robins Fly to the meadow Fly to the chicken coop Fly to the pines Fly  Here is the sweet grass the sweet grass  to attract the rabbits Run through the sword ferns Run through the narrow trails Run through the pines Run   We are wrapped in warm blankets Warmth that relaxes the rigors of earthly life Freedom! Freedom! The load is lifted! “Yet to come” say the pines.  -Ma Christopher Kawika Brown ... Mahalo nui loa a pau hiapo i k'ou pu'uwai
Hover over Jots to read the Mele Inoa written .for her.
"The Alaskan town of Talkeetna has a population of 900, so it doesn't require a complicated political structure to manage its needs. Still, it made a bold statement by electing a cat as its mayor for 15 years. Stubbs, a part-manx, won his first campaign as a write-in candidate, and his policies were so benign—no new taxes, no repressive laws—that he kept getting re-elected. What might be the equivalent of having a cat as your supreme leader for a while, Scorpio? From an astrological perspective, now would be a favorable time to implement that arrangement. This phase of your cycle calls for relaxed fun and amused mellowness and laissez-faire jauntiness." - Free Will Astrology

Three summers ago our supreme leader -- Jots, pictured above -- was taken by Coyote. For many years this joy-filled wild cat took us on many great hikes through narrow trails between ferns just beginning to unfurl and kept us, especially me, on those walks until Bracken was shoulder high.

She was all fun and a ferocious hunter; the two were not separate parts of her. Both made her whole and holy. Oh yes, Bird Clans lessened sharply during the decade when she kept watch from porch step of the small golden wagon. For that, I do feel sorrow.

But on this evening when Langley's leader sends out electronic mail to say "High Winds -- Again" and I listen to the roar of traffic because the wagon door gapes open as I write, I consider how much less a wholeness I feel without our cat as our supreme leader.

We could not have kept her very well out here on the prairie front. Coyote roam with such regularity, night after night. Where would she have slept? Surely not in the shared kitchen where human reciprocity is not acceptable according to the rules of this community.

Today Pete and I watched old episodes of Pie in the Sky starring Richard Griffiths (now in some restaurant in the sky, along with Jots). I felt a bug had tapped me of my energy; the old 1990's British detective series was just the amusement and entertainment to mellow us out and treat us to wonderful kitchen and cooking segments. If you've never watched this old series and you love a gentler version of detecting, we highly recommended Henry and Margaret Crabbe (the two main characters in Pie in the Sky).

The liminal space is midway between here and there, and so it helps to reckon the attitude that is much like suggested in the Free Will Astrology for me, this week. With Jots in charge, as our supreme leader, no new taxing policies or repressive laws begin now. For 15 years. That would take me well into my 80's. Okay, that would do it.

Hail to Jots! What do you think? Cast a vote for my beloved black cat. Why not.

Once upon a time I wrote stories about my friend "Girl Cat" and her friend Camelia. That story starts ...

"Sometimes I wish, and sometimes I hope." The two might mean different things I'm not sure. The girl was content to watch the sun warming up her cat. The cat was content to bathe with shadows. It had been too long since sun and shadows kept the two company. The day was quiet except for the ocassional small planes that buzzed the sky with their propelling noises.

"Once I thought that buzz was a bird too big to eat, so of course I figured it was big enough to eat me." Girl Cat was a funny but very practical sort and the thinking she thought out loud were usually the kind that made Camelia laugh or at least smile broadly.

The rest of the story is here, if you'd like to read them. To keep reading the story click on the titles found on the sidebar.

For a time it seems important to commit to the platform of doing nothing while leaving nothing undo. A very Daoist approach to life, and the Way. The Chinese dragons within me likes the sound and the feel of that. So, I do nothing.

And you?

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Liminality: Between

"In anthropology, liminality is the quality of ambiguity or disorientation that occurs in the middle stage of rites, when participants no longer hold their preritual status but have not yet begun the transition to the status they will hold when the rite is complete." Wikipedia

"... in the liminal space between "here" and "there." As myth, folklore, and fairy tales remind us, the space between any two things is a traditional place of enchantment: a bridge between two banks of a river, the silvery light between night and day, the elusive moment between dreaming and waking, the instant of change in shape-shifting transformation ... Terri Windling
The weather is such a keen indicator of what is, and what isn't. I woke this morning before sunrise, red rubber boots and a far too thin pair of socks on, and right away thought Ouch, my foot was protesting and achy. Stiff and cold, we my foot and my whole self made our way down the crunchy grass.
The sun is now risen, and the evidence of both frost and activity that is best done with the warmth of sun are present.

We, Pete and I, are in that between stage; still here, not quite, but not there yet, either. Our communications with people who care about our journey are the bread crumbs and markers dropped as we make our way. Things like these:

"I hope you know that I will help in whatever way I can. You and Pete are two of my precious, rare beings that I treasure."

Another friend reminds me of the multiplicity of Goats. " Goats eat blackberry bushes like caviar and love playing mountain on old boxes.. reality colored with whimsy."

A friend is asking her friends for ideas.
"how close/far from the city, what kind of neighbors they want, what kind of land they seek to be near. Are they self-contained, or do they need house access? Do they have crafts they continue to practice that might need additional space?"

What great questions, some of which we had not thought of ourselves. That's the thing about opening yourself up to being vulnerable. Risky business. There's the chance you get a piece of the magic of an enchanted next. Or, if your enemies attempt to use you for target practice? Well, there's always the Star Wars Last Jedi approach (which I personally loved) or/and the Wise Woman Tradition that as Susun Weed writes in Healing Wise is a combination of Jedi master and Herbal Green Witchery (which I REALLY love!).:

" Problems are not cured; they are not enemies to be eliminated.
In the Wise Woman tradition, we do not love our enemies. We make them our allies. In the Wise Woman tradition, we eliminate our enemies. We eliminate them by accepting all their gifts, by feasting on the nourishment they offer. In the Wise Woman tradition, we gain cooperation from our enemies by respecting their unique reality. They become our supporters. In the Wise Woman tradition we honor and cherish our enemies as benefactors of our health/wholeness/holiness; for our enemies force us, as few others will, to be strong and wise."
Another friend left a message on my long-standing 808 cellphone, the phone number that I've had since 2001 when I leapt into the world of new technology. That old flip top phone still carries the phone numbers of dearly loved ancestors who no longer need cellphones to leave me messages; they show up in dreams. Liminal space. I called her back and we chatted sharing those personal sagas of moving and not knowing where the next is yet. We share a common lineage with MCS and in so many ways the Wise Woman tradition approach to problems, cures, and feasting on the nourishment 'enemies' offer has made all the difference when the between space gets the spookiest. When is that? For me, it's the space where I wall myself off from all others and leave no room for discerning the benefactor factor.

Benefactor factor? Yeah, like our chat with friends last week. Pete and I arrived with gifts and gratitude for supportive conversation. Most of the two hours spent that morning was filled with Pete or me doing all the talking. Our friends listened. Asked few, but perceptive questions. And only in the final two minutes did they offer us an unexpected surprise. So surprising in fact, we won't yet reveal the offer for it simmers as magic, real magic, needs Mystery to bless the birthing.

In the meantime, a second pot of oats and nettles is feeding us. Pete plays games of Solitaire seated on the throw rug in the vardo with a warm bowl of porridge in his lap. A jar of almond butter sent to him from Minnesota will top his cereal. I'm writing with the sunshine brightening up the old sheet of a curtain in between spoonfuls of warmth with chunks of pears as sweet treats.

The element of collaboration is so much a part of the benefactor factor. In the years since we began living from the golden wagon of a vardo, we have had to let go off attitudes or experiences that wall us off from collaboration. Learning what the action, and the process of respectful give and take means beyond the theories ... that takes practice.

Like any practice it starts by showing up. Again and again. Melt down? Yes, they happen, too. Between practice sessions, and sometimes as the session.

Four examples of persisting and creatively expressing are inspiring me today. I leave this post with the last two examples. The first two are already part of this whole ramble (Terri Windling's post from Myth & Moor began this post; and Susun Weed, keeper of the Wise Woman Tradition informs my approach to wholeness/health with her approach with enemies).

The Lost Words, Book of Spells.  

We have the beautiful book The Lost Words, thanks to our local Sno-Isle Library System. And above, that's Pete reading and thumbing through the pages as we enjoyed an evening in the shared kitchen with our son, Christopher Kawika. (Sorry for the clipped ending to Pete's description. He was saying, "It (Raven) wasn't very high.")

The magic and the artistry of collaboration involved in the making of that book unfolded more, and more as I linked to this post by artist, writer, magic-maker Jackie Morris. Do follow the link to Jackie Morris's blog website. It will do something to you, I promise.

And last but so serendipitous is this connection with a farm, and a place near Sebastapol, CA. Sebastapol where in the fall of 2007, Pete and I arrived in our dear 'Scout' the Subaru after a pioneering road trip from Anacortes. I had discovered a person who was teaching a workshop (the first of his offerings it turns out) for people interested in building their own tiny house. I imagined a small, curved roof of a home to learn how to live with a mysterious illness.

Twelve years later, while I sit to write from another shared space where definitions and imagined connections tease me from a too-small or ill-equipped story, I found Sierra Seeds. The "Indigenous Seed Sovereignty" mission is described on the Sierra Seeds' website with these thoughts:

“Our foods are a part of our culture and way of life…Our seeds contain histories of our people and contain the security of future generations. In this generation we will ensure that our fish, root crops, buffalo, forests and other foods are retained for the generations yet to come. Food is a human right not to be purchased, or simply delivered in sacks and commodities, but to be grown and harvested in our communities and traditional territories.”
 All across Turtle Island (North America) we are seeing a great resurgence of tribes building healthy and resilient food systems as a cornerstone to cultural and ecological renewal programs, as well as a means to reclaim indigenous economies and true economic and political sovereignty. If a community is to be truly sovereign and free from colonizing forces, they must be able to feed and nourish themselves with culturally appropriate foods. Food and seed sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems. This is the true foundation for the healing from the violent disruption of culture and communities due to colonization and globalization. Removed from their lands and forced to assimilate into Western culture, many native people no longer live in their traditional territories nor do they eat their traditional foods. Many processed and introduced foods have become the staple, and nutritional-related diseases such as Type II diabetes and heart disease have become epidemics.
Through educational Indigenous Seed Keeper workshops, with an emphasis on traditional methods of seed stewardship, restoring traditional ecological knowledge and indigenous foodways, and finding creative and new ways of bringing these exquisite indigenous foods back into our daily diets, we are honoring that food is truly our best medicine.
The food sovereignty movement is the most innovative approach to restoration of culture and the long term goal of food security."

And the hands-on workshop I imagine being part of at Sierra Seeds? Is here.  We may not make this February 2, 2019 gathering, but some day! Let the collaborations be in our life. "We build a spirit of being fed."

Somethings ripen as the morning grows toward noon. My bowl of oats and nettles is empty, nourished am I with the simple wild foods that we afford easily and cook with kind regard. The traffic is heavy with cars and trucks, and all the seemingly disconnected bits of here and there make their way.

The seed of indigenous knowing within me has many memories. I wish for their lessons and am grateful to be awake to the clues and equally thankful for the odd ways messages make their way to me. Oh Goddess, soften me enough to be receptive to changes, and strong enough to weather and accept the process. Humor will help a lot.

A coyote-like man with Gemini quirkiness happened into my dreams, and the scheme of my life changed once upon a time. We could, neither of us, never have imagined the joy, the luck, the unexpected twists we'd take in our life together.

And for you, is the liminal space familiar territory? We'd love to hear about it.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Mulling, fetching water and getting down ... like old goats

Mull. to think things over; ruminate, to heat, sweeten and flavor with spices; a soft plain-weave fabric or cotton or silk, dyed in pastel shades; probably from muddle - The Free Dictionary

"When the Sun conjoins Pluto Friday morning (Today), the Moon sextiles both. Again, opportunity. Feel into what is presented as your range of options. Don’t be rushed. Mull them over, and FEEL what they mean to you. Will this leave you feeling more connected? Overpowered? Out of control? Take your time to really discern the impact on your quality of life."- more Satori
This is where we're at now: We have had a precious, meaningful conversation seated 'round a table with Ceremonial Red Hibiscus Flowers and the carved wooden limb of Guava which doubles as a lomi lomi stick and mighty fine reminder to take the talk seriously. And as well, we were fed a delicious soup and condiments and blessed we were good and plenty by the furry folk who tended those parts of ritual we may have missed.

Mahalo nui, thank you so much dear friends, you've offered something real, and, unexpected in its 'shape.'* More conversation will come soon.
The Friday Sun and Pluto conjunction coincides with the start of the four 'Ole Moons (Quarter Moon Phases/times to reconnoiter) prior to the next Full Moon. Pete and I are ruminating, raising the heat in our selves and our lives together; making room for the unexpected sweet flavor that comes when friends really see and hear us; a soft and plain-weave gathering for food and heart-speak has taken place. We muddle through the old habits and old beliefs about the shape of our Metaphoric Violin and give it to Ke Akua. She, the great creator, is a Wise Woman.

Our life as a spiral, expands, we embrace the process, incorporate the opportunities for a good and grounded connection at this age of our life. I am getting down like an old goat; carrying water (doing the basic everyday things) and  spending this time to discern the impact of our options for moving on the quality of our lives.

 And as I edited this post this bit of astrological mail came my way (ElsaElsa Free Newsletter; see the sidebar) to add validity to get down, and back to earth.
"With the Sun, Mercury, Saturn, and Pluto in Capricorn, it's safe to say there are people out there who aren't playin'.   This doesn't mean there is no fun to be had.
 There is fun to be had with Venus and Jupiter in Sagittarius. You just have to have your fun on your side of the boundary.  Stay within the rule of law and such. 
 There's a balance here if you can bring yourself to accept it. I understand how and why a person might resist this; I've done it myself. But sooner or later, reality intrudes. 
 Saturn and Capricorn represent reality. This energy will be emphasized now through all of 2020. 
 It's said that Saturn will bring you to your knees.  There is a good reason for this. It's because it's true.
 It's not that bad to be brought back to earth... a human being. After all, it's people, not gods who get to fall in love and stay that way. To support others and to be supported.
 You may be able to imagine something better, but eventually the veil drops and you find yourself standing there with nothing.  At that point, something real looks great, even when limited."
Go Goats! (Capricorn is the Goat, a Seagoat.)  

Are you feeling the presence of Saturn and Capricorn in your life?

Monday, January 7, 2019

The language of moving

"Standard English has just one word for feelings of longing for a particular place: 'homesick.' The word implies a polarity: you are at home or away, and suggests the simple solution of going home; it carries no sense of the process of adapting to a new place or of mixed or complex feelings. " - Alex Klaushofer

"We don't move from one phase of life to another as easily and clearly as stepping through a door; there is a time of transition, a liminal space between there and here to be moved through as we re-form into the person who is going to live in this new place. The length of time is different for each move, but the one thing I've learned after all these years is that the mythic journey through the threshold of change is shorter, gentler, and less overwhelming if we remain aware of the transitional process, and accept it. Better still, respect it." - Terri Windling

The New Moon felt like being hung-over after a binge. It's been a long long time since I've drank or drugged myself into being hung-over, but that doesn't mean emotions and binging on the realities of life don't leave an old woman without an after effect.

We have a move to make. Soon is a good enough answer to when. The transition is not easy but it is in the process. I'm awake, fed on nourishing herbal infusion (Comfrey this morning) and a bowl of oatmeal and nettles simmered and topped with a new-to-me apple named Jazz (and it is justly named ... wow!) Yesterday was the New Moon and all I could do was slog and sleep. We made it into town to find fresh stuff for a dinner, came home chopped and arranged a simple one dish cook-in-the-oven meal; then ate it.

Slept for seven hours and here I am. Fed, Morning Paged, and researched for a week of firing up a plan and feeling out the options. It helps me so much to start my day with self-care: writing three pages of long-hand dumps out the sh*t like an emotional chiropractic session adjusting me for any pretense (or most of them) before my internal editor is fully awake. Eating with care means I get some protein (oats and nettles) to refuel me first thing; and then I do my research (that's Scorpio Mercury me born to dig). The Internet is perfect for that part of me, and thanks to the help of our Expert Loved Ones you know who you are, we are upgraded and have support at the ready.

Support. Ready. That's key right there.

"...Mercury is moving into conjunction with Saturn all week. There’s plenty of time to consider, so don’t nail things down before you get all the angles covered. Even if pushed, ESPECIALLY if pushed.
The Capricorn Sun moves into conjunction with Pluto, exact early Friday. The order of the day intersects with an irresistable force. It can be just for the day, or it can set the course for a long time to come. Power imposes order on the individual somehow. It didn’t come about overnight, and it’s serious business. In cardinal earth, this change is happening, with or without you. You get to choose which..." - Satori
My notebook has handwritten notes to myself about this fresh week unfolding:

January, 2019

M 7 Firing up the plan; feel out options
T 8 (Ditto)
W 9 Self Care
Th 10 Timing, be gentle
Fri 11 Cap Sun conjuncts Pluto; Serious Business; act on personal time line; don't be forced/ or force; Feel what the options mean
Weekend of 'Ole (reconnoiter)

I've put these thoughts here to commit to our journey. The language of moving carries layers of meaning and we have baggage that needs sorting before we choose to carry it with us. If you are one of those folks we connect with or contact this week as we feel out options, I bless the conversations we are about to have. E Ho Mai, I ask for Ke Akua to lead the way with a broad and loving kindness as the main component to this new move. Help us determine what we need to know.

One last thing about this week. I'm working on a writing project that weaves old and new together. The old? Those are the stories and columns I wrote while Pete and I lived in Kuli'ou'ou in the home my brother David and I grew up in. Those stories are important. Tucked into the pages of an old newspaper those columns were read by an unknown audience for many years. This project I'm working on takes a couple dozens columns from then, and tacks on current life today. Have I moved ... forward or back?

Back to the future, or forward to the past. Either answer will do. What I worked on yesterday was a column written about my experience as a reader of the play "The Conversion of Ka'ahumanu." That play was written by my friend Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl in 1987. The column I wrote was in early 2000. Many years had passed between that first writing and the first reading of "The Conversion of Ka'ahumanu." Five characters, all women, tell the story of Hawaii's first experience with white missionaries. Three characters are Hawaiians. Two characters are Haole.

The conversion was that of a Hawaiian ali'i, the most powerful woman at the time in Hawaiian history making a decision to 1) eat with her son to break the ancient rules, the Kapu, and 2) convert to Christianity at a time when all peoples who were not White were thought of as 'less than human.' The theme of the play, and the reading of it was historic for my Ancestors, and myself personally.

As a factor in my current conditions preparing us to move, I fold in the lessons embedded in that project of writing; researching involved reading the clues and listening to this interview with Victoria Kneubuhl and consider the magic involved because ... these Internet connections are our kupuna saying, "Make the move. Adapt. Survive. Our stories are so worthwhile." I inhale the options. Exhale the potential. Wheww ....

Amama Ua Noa! ::paipai lima:: clap,clap:: The prayer is lifted!

Monday, December 31, 2018

Stuff you learn, and unlocking a metaphor

The 'Gifting Apple Tree' on the Prairie Front in December, 2018

We were at a party the other night. A dark and stormy night for a party, but this is the Pacific Northwest and rain is a usual and natural player when it comes to winter. I cooked up a big pot of rice and nettles sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds a little salt and more dried nettles. I carried the blue enamel pot and Pete carried the brand new stainless steel shovel he'd bought. The enamel pot joined a table of potluck, the shovel would be raffled off after dinner.

When we arrived on Whidbey Island almost nine years ago, joining folks in a house for a party was not a doable activity. MCS makes adjusting to the many fragrances, scents and products worn on people or used in a normal house a very tricky situation if you take on the challenge at all. Over the years my health and tolerance as well as my yearning to be with people has changed. I have learned to ask for what I need; learned that sometimes my requests are received with understanding and accommodation; and equally as often find people cannot or will not see the need to change and don't.

The holiday gathering had some history for us, we'd been to this house before and the hosts Marc and Anza accommodate my health needs by not burning a fire or candles for the occasion. Their choices are much appreciated, and truly we don't take those actions for granted.
"We built our Vardo for Two -- a safe bedroom with electricity, but no plumbing or cooking space -- to be part of an envisioned community where our way of life and our disabilities and sensitivities become understood and embraced; by befriending time, we have found how long it takes to give-and-take and create understanding and shared resources..."
We were in the company of the latest "envisioned community" who have allowed us to experiment with their culture. For the past year we have plugged into a power source for the golden wagon and use the kitchen and one of the two South Whidbey Tilth rest rooms. It has been a steep learning curve of thirteen months and just a few days ago we received a letter saying the present Volunteers-In-Resident agreement is not working out. The shared kitchen and bathroom has become a sore spot for some members. Change is afoot.

So that shared vision for our lives from a golden wagon began in 2008? It needs an upgrade. Pete and I have begun looking at our next moves. Here's something that has been tickling my imagination and sense of unfolding possibilities. It's this week's astrological navigation for Scorpio (that would be me) from Freewill Astrology by Rob Brezsny.

"The body of the violin has two f-shaped holes on either side of the strings. They enable the sound that resonates inside the instrument to be projected outwardly. A thousand years ago, the earliest ancestor of the modern violin had round holes. Later they became half-moons, then c-shaped, and finally evolved into the f-shape. Why the change? Scientific analysis reveals that the modern form allows more air to be pushed out from inside the instrument, thereby producing a more powerful sound. My analysis of your life in 2019 suggests it will be a time to make an upgrade from your metaphorical equivalent of the c-shaped holes to the f-shaped holes. A small shift like that will enable you to generate more power and resonance."
Do you see how Brezsny's analysis would tickle my imagination given the timing of recent events in our lives?

When we built Vardo for Two in 2008, the shape and the vision for a life was truly the earliest ancestor of 'a new kind of home' for us based on our understanding of how a mysterious illness would make our life different. Who I was before I became chemical sensitive changes over time, one day at a time one experience at a time, time and again. This was the violin with round holes experience.

Vardo for Two in the early stages, November, 2008

We have moved and lived with old friends. We have moved from that arrangement. Those friendships have changed and aren't the same since we moved into their settled cultures. I consider the Violin Metaphor and see the metaphor playing itself out, our Violin playing out through those half-moon holes. 'Ole Phase Moons. Folding in our growing familiarity with the Hawaiian Moon Calendar, the 'Ole Phases of the Moon (those that appear as near half moons) are times to reconnoiter: weeding a garden that needs to be tended, repair nets if you are fisherfolk, and considering the shape of our puka (holes) in the instrument that is ... our life.

At this point, as 2018 by the Gregorian Calendar closes down, and the Hawaiian Moon Calendar moves into a new malama or month, but already into the New Year, I see the shape of the sound- producing puka in need of the f-shaped holes. Two of them!

Back to the party ... one conversation I had brought up meaningful and thought-provoking exchanges. I'm just beginning to know this woman. She is relatively new to the South Whidbey Tilth community and a very active and participatory gal. I began the conversation by asking about her sister. She is on a trip. Australia. Visiting family there. "She travels a lot," she said about her sister.

"I used to travel a lot, too. But now I don't," that was enough to fuel more conversation. It eventually led to talk about my son, and her daughter.

"I never knew you had a son."

"He's forty-five," I said. He's actually forty-six, but close enough.

Her daughter is much younger and there was room for learning more stuff about a new-to-me acquaintance.

Eventually the subject of past careers came up and my former career of twenty years in the corporate world surprised her. She reads this blog, and it is far from being a corporate culture I describe here or anywhere I blog. When I made the change of career direction it was a Uranus-infused revolution of 'work'. It has not been quick, but it has been interesting and broadly transformative. An f-shape to a once circular life. A living example of the Violin Metaphor!

That conversation brought up unexpected tendrils of next options. Hearing myself tell that corporate life story again, one that I lived, fills me with excitement to know change has a very surprising shape to it. Being open to be surprised helps a lot. 

We have moved and lived with people we had never known, and stayed to learn a lot about MCS, shared space, willingness to change, and honing the quality of a kind and authentic life. Another astrologer, Elsa Panizzon poses a few questions to consider. I like the structure the questions as she frames it in the context of long-term plans, the planet Saturn and maturation.Saturn plays a big part in the way I ponder and plan.

"When Saturn transits natal Saturn, invariably a person feels pressured.  It’s a reality check. How are you doing in your life? More specifically, how are you maturing?
(Update 1/8/2019: I have removed those questions from the blog post as Pete and I answer them behind the scenes and will begin meeting with others to see what options show up.)

Combining the two pieces of astrological insight -- reality checks and unlocking a metaphor-- Pete and I have some mulling and considering to do as we fashion the new shape of our life. There's more to come, conversation has begun to explore our future F-shaped puka of power.

The next few weeks will be a time of continued change. Our vision and our actions are in process ... reshaping.  I'm following an impulse to gather open-minded collaborators for LUNCH @ the Safety Pin Cafe with folks who have thoughts and ideas for helping with those F-shaped holes.

P.S. I'm adding another astrological nudge from one of my favorite Star Sista, Satori, who had this to say for the week beginning today: 
 "Let a little magic simmer. Don’t be too quick to examine everything for flaws. Mercury moves into square with Chiron and trine to Uranus (exact Thursday night). Don’t rush to judgement on the details that jangle if they’re not a current problem. Don’t get bogged down in minutia. Brainstorm and communicate. Perhaps these details are ripe for rearrangement into something greater, something not yet considered"
I'm reading a great new book The Magicians by Lev Grossman which fuels this "let a little magic simmer". Every little bit counts. The magic, I mean! Oh I believe.

Any thoughts; would you like to join us for LUNCH? 

Happy New Adventurous Year 2019!

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

The Holy Moly Days, Molly

December 25th is a sweet day that began knowing our son was safely tucked under all the warm clothes and bedding we could gather. A friend has loaned us her cot and the kitchen heater works after four days of electrical power outage. Those amenities: the instant gratification of heat at the twist of a dial, and a place to sleep. Expectations. Oh how we do expect them.

Christopher is outside now puttering with his hunting gear, Pete is seated beside me playing with his new beard, and the bright sunshine and rousing acrobatics of Birds at high level morning excitement has moved the day ahead.

We chopped and baked and cooked up a delicious omelet of mushrooms, mizuna, leeks and lox. Slices of oven toast rosemary focaccia and thick slices of bacon were our Holy Moly Brunch. Our niece Molly sent us homemade marmalade and a tin of cookies. The marmalade made it all the way through the day, but the cookies?

Yesterday, we left the Island early and caught the 5:00 am ferry for a drive/ride to the airport to pick up our son. It was one of the smoothest sail and drive entry into the Holy Moly Days of this year coming to an end. The traffic was light, and the longest wait we had was in the Cellphone Lot at the airport as Christopher waited to pick up his bags. 

We stopped for breakfast at Easy Street in West Seattle and had a fine and funky time with the city folk who work and eat in this Record Store-Eatery that's been on the corner of California Ave since 1988. 

Once we'd filled up on food and stories, gossip and strategies we were off and back onto the freeway headed north for the ferry again. It was still early morning. The Hawaii traveler was out like our lights were after the big winds, Pete was our steady UBER driver, and the mom in the big red storm coat sighed huge sighs as the Holy of the Moly Days unfurled.

Once back on Whidbey we headed into Langley to stock up for that brunch we would eat, and on the way we trailed a couple goats on leashes. Usual company in a rural town. And stopped for some eye candy at the traders' shop Music for the Eyes. There are a billion things to see, touch and play with and rings are among the treasures you can find. Last week we were in Music for the Eyes to be entertained by the Altai Kai the throat singers from the Republic of Altai.

What a trip. What a treat that was. My throat chakra and my Mongol ancestry was definitely tuned up after the hour of throat massage packed into the cozy den with a full house of fans. It's amazing what can be done when the message and the media (throat singing in a tiny space) press on the holy and the joy that is more than constricted old scales of limitation.

For sunset we headed for Double Bluff for a very awesome beach walk, playing with the sticks climbing over logs, skipping stones and hefting heavy things (that would be the boys at play) and basically having a great and simple fun time with each other. Take a gander at this.

We have a few days to be together, the three of us, so we'll be making hay while the holy and the moly remind us these are the presents that matter.

When I get to frett'n
About things out of hand
I hope I'll remember
These holy
These moly
These holy, moly

Yes. A reason to keep these blog posts coming: a place to set down the present that matters.

 It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.
Krishna Murti

We survive and thrive and keep lusty even when rusty. Happy Holy Moly Days!

xoxo Moki and Pete

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Pockets, Patches and Pins

It is not uncommon for me to lose something ... my keys, the old fliptop cellphone -- in one of my pockets. I mostly wear things with pockets because I feel lost without them. On a cold day I could be wearing a pair of pants with two pockets; a hoodie with two more pockets; an extra jacket with two pockets; and a windbreaker with four pockets. 

If it is a usual day my busy mind and long-distance treks that take us from wagon to kitchen, or kitchen to cubby, or wagon to chicken coop easily forgets that I have tucked my key into one of those pockets. Like shifting your glasses onto your head and forgetting. The hunt for something safely stowed into a pocket can be material for a silly everyday comedy. Or, on one of the dark and dastardly days when rain turns pathways to streams, on days only a duck could love things lost in pockets could be a form of damnation. Oh woe. Oh no.

But I have been rescued from any sort of mash of guilt about stowing goods or keys in pockets: I have found Mrs. Noah's Pockets. The beautifull pictures and comforting words of this book are a gift of such delight, and hope.

Give a look, and listen to Jackie Morris tell and read part of her book.

I too aspire to be like Mrs. Noah.

It's a good thing there is room for needles, pins, threads and scraps of fabric in my life. Mrs. Noah knew about the importance of work women do, making spaces and places for those more troublesome creatures. Piecing together a pair of soft corduroy pants I bought the same year we began building our Vardofortwo but never wore because they didn't fit, this winter I pulled those pants out of the scrap bag. A long strip was missing from one of the legs. I'd cut that out to add to a vest that I had outgrown (grown too thick in the middle). The vest has since been handed down to Pete who does not need the extra girth. But now? Now I needed the soft and warm corduroy pants for those dark and dastardly cold and wet windy winter treks.

A length of wine-sort wide wale corduroy has patched many other good-enough-to-save pants. If you know me you might have noticed them covering knees or trimming the wallet Pete carries in his back pocket. Here it is again covering up the slice of leg on my right side.

The smaller pieces are whimsy. Small blocks off of a very old and favorite curtain that hung in our Manoa Valley cottage. Since then the cotton print has been cut down to be the window curtain over the golden wagon's French door window; cuffs of still another worn but still usable shirt are trimmed with memories of wavy lines and pieces of swimmers (fish) still making their way onto patchwork.

As I piece together this post my long-worn turquoise coat is held together at the front with a safety pin. The zipper no longer functions as it used to and I have chosen not to replace it for that is a major work of disassembly to replace it. Instead, my mother's fastener of choice works just fine. And, since I'm on a thread that leads to my Ma's bit of common magic it's fun to revisit the medicine and story that begins The Safety Pin Cafe.

"In letters like liquid copper I read The Safety Pin Cafe. Ravens black and shiny as if dipped in wet ink sat in the panes of the windows out-lined and sparkling with fairy lights. "Against the seasonal darkness, the trick is to tickle the light from its hiding places," that was coming from the woman on the other side of the window panes. I smiled as I recognized a Muse and reached for the crystal door knob and pushed the front door open. The smell of warm cinnamon toast and hot milk filled my nostrils."

I'm really on my way up the hill and into the golden wagon to another little writing space where I have begun to patch work a long story begun many years ago. I'm really telling myself this little tale and being fed on Mrs. Noah's Pocket so I can pull the troublesome and oddly beautiful stories that want to be stitched together. My cup of Irish Breakfast tea is cool now; the oatmeal mixed with nourishing pumpkin seeds and chunks of pear still warm enough to gift me smooth comfort.

I'm really warming up to the task priming the pump and the joy factor of the work of an artist-in-residence, tickling the fears out from hiding with gentle coaxing. My pockets are ever ready for filling with nonsense and passing thoughts that may get lost, or maybe not. Between here and there the patches make a story new and old, together. Safety pins? They show up when you least expect them and aren't we glad for their efficiency.

We're all artist-in-residence I think, don't you, too? I'd love to hear how you fill your pockets, patch your life or your still wearable masquerades over a cup of tea, while nibbling something delicious or sharing email conversation. Please leave a comment, tack on a message or send a note in a bottle or around the leg of a carrier pigeon. I do so love the company of your art!

xo Moki

P.S. They're calling for a big storm coming through: wind, and maybe rain. The rain is here so best I send this story out and tuck it into one of Mrs. Noah's pockets. ~~~💖