bring on the hollydaze...

officially it's official today!!! I am with Masters Degree. What I have been through to achieve this... well it's been so educational in so many ways. It's just all so good. Nothing out of the ordinary from an outward glance, but I know it, and my pocketbook surely knows it...

It feels a bit anti-climatic honestly as work continues, small kine car annoyances persist, and I'm fighting some bug that decided to settle down and try to set up house during my festivities celebration. No matter though,  I'm going to bust it up tomorrow morning in yoga giving thanks in the form of 108 sun salutations in honor of the imminent solstice.

To my delight the weather has been complying w/my need for dressing in layers- at least a few days out of the year. It was in the low 60's the past few mornings. It also helps to not have a driver side window when driving to work @ 6:30 am so I get to bundle up regardless- ahaha! It's also fun when it's raining- which is pretty consistently always on the northeast shore so I can sorta maneuver the tarp to form a window of sorts, or I can just wear my raincoat to keep the rain off while driving. My chariot is seriously amusing. The windshield is cracked just about all the way through and now took a turn north about 2 weeks ago... I guess all the cops recognize my truck from job sites so know better than to ticket moi! Heh heh. Let's see, the rear passenger tire just blew out yesterday, or I should say the tread came off the tire. Was hoping to avoid fixing it until after the holidays when the island calmed down again & would not have to deal w/crazy shoppers but no such luck. I was forced to watch consumerism in full swing for almost 2 hours while I got 2 new tires (sadly the other one had wires showing as well- and throw in an oil change and I think I don't have to deal w/anymore of this maintenance for a while.

Car problems surely make a girl freak and piss & moan & just all kinda crazy talk. I met some interesting sorts though during the process. The island is so small  & sweet in this way. So all these detours to detract from my shining glory of conquering academia. Yea, I'm the same as I ever was alright, just poorer...

ok bring on the hollydaze-
oh yea, I believe Santa is coming through for me...


Da Gargoyles

adventurer girls

stepping out girls
working girls

Da Gargoyles had their first band practice tonight! Yes right in Katie-girl's kitchen! Katie on guitar & myself on tenor uke. We're getting our first song down: Blue Moon of Kentucky- lovely little ditty. My fingers are raw. The uke a bit difficult for tuning w/AECG as don't quite have the ear but the electronic tuner helps. It was a hoot & my fingers are raw. Feels like my index fingertip has no fingerprint anymore... Freedom from school- I like it so far. I even passed up an evening w/a man tonight (the man I spoke of  in my last post- strangely enough). What was I thinking? Well, in due time & I'm not one to break previous commitments w/da gf's... We'll see if he makes an appearance at the Kit Kat Cabaret theatre tomorrow evening. Yes the intrepid explorer in myself is basking in the glory that is referred to as free time: "sun is shining, weather is sweet", sing it Bob.


commendable behavior- I command it

Closing in on the bewitching hour & I'm in fine form.  I am in my official last week of grad school for my masters degree! I turned in my final draft last week  & it seriously feels indescribable at this point, almost to the point of void.  Rather anti-climatic perhaps even. Maybe just dreamlike  I think it's a dream so don't want to count on waking up & it's not reality. Pinch me- this is really happening. As I was running through the eucalyptus forest tonight I thought to myself that I have changed. Not overtly but something inside of me- something is different. If anything I am more sensitive now- towards myself & towards others. I am more demanding of commendable behavior- mostly from myself. In fact, I command it.

Just having free time seems an insane luxury: beach, yoga, surf, running, clubbing, parties & all around cheerful behavior. Now if only that one man I've been putting off until after school is over... if only he should call me w/that offer for coffee, chat & surf again... I'd surely be up for the cause... lol. If not, well then my loss I suppose but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do to get 'er done right? There was no time for distractions this semester. And BTW if you're reading, I wanna snowboard Mauna Loa this winter okay...

Speaking of commendable behavior, I've finally seen the light on other matters. You know, I'm not really one to have skewed intuition so it is odd when I start to doubt myself. Could I really have it in myself to possess non-commendable behavior where another human being is concerned? I ran into some hard evidence this past week while checking out the surf to verify this question ... I kind of wanted to duck away, but the encounter was inevitable. In the end it was good & I'm glad it happened because it never sits well- silence. I understand his view now as I've been recently put in the same shoes. He just wanted answers- simple answers to simple questions that I wasn't prepared to answer, or even felt the need to answer. My fault entirely. I have felt lame for so long over that one (4 years...), and continue to do so, but being confronted was good, yet I still feel ashamed somewhat over my cowardly actions. I hope never to repeat these. I won't soon forget this episode; the look on his beautiful face, the sick feeling in my stomach- non commendable behavior in its finest hour.

So karma has revisited me & now I see some insights into what is commendable behavior & what is not. Ultimately I've decided I was not so far off in being so bold. If one wants something in life, they must ask for it, and ask precisely. Might not get an answer but at least intent was there- commendable behavior. There is usually a reason why no answer is given, and it generally tends to reflect back to why the question was originally asked... heh heh! In the islands we say that is their kuleana. I am an anthropologist- I love this stuff. I am gathering my own data. I'd like to think I've repaid my karma debt.

So through school, yoga & life's teachings I learn that one can never have all the answers. I still continue to ask questions though. Commendable behavior & I command it.

Well into the bewitching hour now & I've set my sights on my beautiful ukulele. Most excellent-


Rambling on as I sing my song...

Aloha po oukou: (a good late night to all of you)

Late night = early morning = exciting. So much more blood pumping through my veins since last Sunday evening when I turned in my paper to my professor. It was like a big spiritual dump & I am cleaned out & empty & need to fill up again. Sometimes it is so simple as, "think & you shall receive"!

It all started last Sunday evening: I could barely re-read my paper for the small kine errors- you know, the ones that read as "as" but are supposed to be "an" and the spellcheck no check em for these errors. Somehow I had the luck to text my boss & tell her I was to be a no-show at work Monday as had to much to do. It ended up I slept from 7:30 pm until 1:30 am & woke up and woke the computer up that was sleeping next to me (now that school is pau am happy to report that a ukulele sleeps next to me). Again pounding the keyboard for a few hours & last revisions, it was over; 2 years of incredible academic stress imposed on a body who likes to be stress-free jungle/beach/mountain mistress, 2 years of zombie-like behavior balancing school & work & little else, 2 years of another type of high adventure of mine that I thrive on. It's all good- the entire path as it just leads to a slight ponderence at the upcoming fork in the road, and then a decision & fly with it.

Fly I did- Monday morning early dawn patrol got me to Peahi, otherwise known as "Jaws" where the sport of tow-in-surfing flourishes on those occasional perfect conditions & people suddenly blow onto island as suddenly as the swell arrives with the winds & ride these mountains of waves with up to 40ft. faces this past week! It is a mountain of water moving towards the shoreline and us spectators sitting atop a ocean cliff composed of decomposing basalt from episodes of volcanic activity that is characteristic of a non-continental land mass...

Back to the story- It is thrilling to watch. I had the good fortune to run into a friend who was supposed to be out in the line-up but an injury prevented him so received coconut wireless instantaneously! It was an afternoon of a line-up of guys in the water taking turns on the sets steaming in on a fairly consistent continual basis with no long waits between sets. In between sets all of us in the crowd,  maybe quite a few hundred brave enough to take on the very narrow dirt road down through the pineapple fields down to the cliffs. Unfortunately they graded the dirt road so no more car-sized divits to maneuver around so rental cars thought they could make it down. I stay akamai though and parked on the Highway and found the biggest local boy driving the biggest monster truck and hopped in the back for the ride down- no one was going to get in the way of this truck- seriously!

The energy was apparent everywhere. It's infectious. We all had smiles in appreciation of the amazement we were witnessing. You know, it was just a super great start to end end of a chapter for me. It's strange to live in a place where there is so much natural beauty still preserved and want to be out in the elements all the time but cannot because work/school takes up all daylight hours... Needless to say it was sensory overload & overstimulation watching the men who ride mountains. Now I'm thinking about Iz Kamakawiwole & wanna learn to play that song on my ukulele.

Oh yes, the ukulele. Some explanation must be necessary as it has replaced the computer for sleeping on the bed privileges next to me. It's definitely a step up from doing school work and falling asleep at the computer in bed. And Adrienne, bless her heart, has found me a teacher already. I'm feeling the love from everyone these days! I just feel lighter w/less obligations! I don't have to put myself on time out anymore! YIPPEE! It's been a consistent lightening of the load since Thanksgiving Day and so much pomp & circumstance of sorts to validate: first there was the `awa ceremony on T-Day, then the sweatlodge on the property, then full moon on my birthday (YES!!!), then thesis turned in, then monster waves, Indian christmas party & meteor showers last night and today, a simple Saturday, yoga class & straight to the beach ALL DAY! Gosh I deserve this. Reading a book on the beach all day- a pleasure book mind you- I finished Kon- Tiki and just started "South: The Endurance Expedition" about the 1914 Sir Ernest Shackleton Antarctic traversing.

Work is even letting up a bit. More background history research on projects and report writing lately and this is always a good thing. Fieldwork is spicing up a bit as well and I think something big is coming our way soon!

As I lay here in the darkness I reflect and realize that I'm pretty lucky. I'm pretty happy with all that I do. It's a constant learning process. I'm not proud of everything, but I try to look deeper into my mistakes and make amends, or at least commitments to avoid making the same mistake twice- although sometimes avoidable. A friend today was telling me on the beach of her latest exploits with the male species and I looked at her strange and she just looked up at me and said, "Don't give me shit!" and that was that- lol! We both laughed as we both know how each other is. Funny as we ran into each other last night pau hana & back on the North Shore in Paia and she was frustrated with the nightlife scene and venting & I had just come from this fantastic Indian food christmas party w/my yoga peeps at a sweet old (renovated) plantation house up in Skill Village- like the kind of super sweet Hawaiian plantation house you visualize when you think of South Sea Islands- w/a bit of a contemporary feel though but still rustic... Oh, and the Samoa connection still goes on as the party was at Tane's house (Samoan yoga teacher). YEs I am still being drawn to American Samoa in the strangest of ways. I think I'm ready to get back to that professor & see about these potential jobs.

Anyway,  so she & I met up off Baldwin Avenue heading up to Makawao.  She was ahead of me so I saw her parked off the road in some open field amongst the cane fields and we just sat under the stars outside our cars for a long time chatting it up & watching for meteors and at one point in time I thought we should just get our beach chairs out and sit down & be more comfortable for our social visit! It was just so sweet, just so country. Some dogs barking in the distance, some roosters crowing or whatever it is that they do, some monster trucks driving by w/Hawaiian music blaring out and stops to see if we are ok or need a ride. Such a story in itself those moments.

Speaking of 'those moments', someone recently wished me an excellent life and, although under the most bittersweet of circumstances, it reminded me that we are all just humans. Expectations can be ego busters, deal breakers, etc. We make mistakes & we either learn from them right away, or we struggle over them a bit more. It is difficult when you want to express yourself and you feel you have no outlet in which to do so. Sometimes the anthropologist in me just wonders if we are evolving or devolving as a species. Why is something as basic as a need for communication is so difficult for many? Why do we have instinct to hiding our feelings? I understand true romance and for these reasons I cannot think about it. It's supposed to just happen so it's always a letdown when you think something interesting is brewing and then it fizzles. It's those first moments of longing, when you want something but it's not within your reach at the moment & you are ok with it because you are confident that if something is meant to be, it just happens effortlessly. Sucks when it doesn't happen effortlessly. But wounds heal all time right?!

I have rambled... sunrising... need sleep...


The Unbearable Rightness of Being

Sunday morning in the jungle still underneath the silk sheets and Canadian goose-down comforter! Strangely enough it gets cold at night. The shack is all windows & besides, who would want to close off all those intoxicating night bloomers from reaching their nostrils while in a hypnopompic sleep? An unbearable rightness of being as I call it.

This full moon phase was amazing. What good fortune to have the full moon fall on the celebration of  my birth- unbearable rightness of being indeed! I was in various spots on the northeast shore to gaze intently at it during sunrise, watching the moon gain momentum and fall into the oceanic depths, as well as the moonrise coming over the ocean from the east as in this picture above from my friend's property down country Tuesday evening. I was driving to work Wednesday early morning & this is what I viewed:

The sight blew me away. What a sweet morning surf those guys had out in the water. Nuts indeed!

Speaking of nuts...                                                              COCONUTS!!! Cocos nuciferas  

... and lots of them. A big harvest wend down on the property this week. So beautiful & full of goodness. Who can resist. I love to hold them up to my lips and drink and feel all that fabulous liquid spilling down. One can't help but smile when watching people drink coconut water. It is amazing to eat and drink from plants that need no help or intervention from humanity- how rare is that? VERY. Another unbearable rightness of being... le gran sigh...

This morning finds the property abuzz as well. It is a celebration of Sagittarians as well as the return of some previous home dwellers that journeyed afar- and then found themselves back on Maui again! How often does this happen? OFTEN. Something about this place; it's hard to leave, it's easy to return to. Bittersweet island home...

So the land has been tended to & manicured into a brilliant display of humanity learning to live to the pulse of the jungle. The caretaker of the land is leading an inipi, or sweat lodge, ceremony this morning to mark the occasions.

... Ok, 5 hours & a loss of 5 lb. of water weight later... Wow! That was intense. Four luscious rounds of sweating, or more like purifying. There was probably 14 of us in total. I intended to only stay for 2 rounds as I wanted to finish my schoolwork but within the last few weeks this monster has taken up residence underneath my left scapula (shoulder blade), and it seemed to be dissipating a bit while in the inipi so I decided to stay. I had never been to a lodge where we didn't come outside after each round and the door was open so wasn't sure if I was going to handle it well, but amazingly so I did.

I have purified myself. I have purged myself. I went through something in there. I always do. It was like being outside my body in a sense and watching the layers of sludge being sloughed off and realizing a shiny new armor was awaiting my return so I gleefully just popped back in! I had time to think about people that were close to me that have left this world & went onto/into another plane of existence. At one point I envisioned my father, my brother, and my kitty kat all next to me just observing me (I giggle that I am still so scientific while experiencing something so abstract & esoteric!).

The rest of the day went smoothly as we came out of the lodge nearly 3pm. We just all slumped onto our towels on the grass atop the knoll overlooking the valleys below and the ocean in the distance. The swell is increasing in size so much that the ocean currents carried their nutrients through the air. The fire was still going strong, and as the skies were overcast (no rain- Yay!) it felt fantastic to have the warmth hit my still slowly quivering body. Yes I must say that I feel ripe with good intentions and a sense of balance after so much stress from the semester. It slowly continued to dissipate the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.

I rehydrated, I ate a meal of quinoa w/pan-fried pecans (delicious), green beans and roasted red bell peppers as I had a voracious appetite to contend with (always...), and slept into early evening. I awoke to a revitalized sense of purpose & turned the computer on and started a last, reflective, paper for another class of mine that I haven't been concentrating on as much as I would have liked all semester. Four hours later I decided to abort that for the time being and attack my other paper... Yes the one due tomorrow evening. I had one last check I wanted to do before pushing send and something was stopping me from doing so the night before. Whatever it was, fear, pride, uneasiness, afraid to let go of all the stress that this caused me- whatever, I was able to proof one last time, insert the headers/footers and off it went! POOF* my work is done here.  Buh-bye. Game over. It was an excellent head trip & I am all the better for it. Let the decompression begin... not quite yet though. Still another week of classes, 1 last paper due, 1 last teaching session and class discussion so... I'm not quite ready to take myself deep into the jungle of Hana & backside Kaupo and just scream until the foliage absorbs it, me- takes me into its arms & caresses me until its time to spit me out & I re-introduce myself into society as a normal person who has time on their side...

It is nearing 5 a.m. & it's time to get some shut eye. I hear the rumble of the waves hitting the cliffs down the gulch 1 mile away. It excites me. During all the excitement of the day I was able to remember to text my boss & let her know I would not be coming into work Monday a.m. as I plan on sleeping in late (7 a.m?) and heading to Jaws to partake in the festivities of watching the men who ride mountains. Yes I'm taking 60' faces supposed to be hitting the Islands- well, just about now actually so I bid you all a good night because I'm ready to have my mind blown on the cliffs of Peahi in a few short hours. If no one has experienced this, I assure you it is THRILLING, mind-blowing and just the beauty of the movement of seeing something conquer- no,not conquer- seeing somebody with such intent & will & love get towed into a developing wave and let go of the towrope and ride down the face of a monster wave with such grace and intensity... that is some good energy and I want to be around to feel it. Not to mention that the scenery is certainly easy on the eyes both on the cliffs & in the water!!!