|Love & Light and everything bright...|
23 Jan 2011
Updated Aug 13, 2009, adds Sex in the Gulch....
Belly-dancing in Paia; Messages from Goddess Pele?
Elizabeth wins "Most Expressive" award for her performance
FROM HAIKU, MAUI (HAWAII)
Belly-dancing in Paia
Elizabeth wins "Most Expressive" award for her performance
HAIKU, Maui, Aug 1 - Elizabeth has been taking belly-dancing classes once a week at our yoga studio for about two months now. And yesterday, Friday July 31, it was show time... her first ever public performance. She and some of her classmates joined their instructor on stage at the Moana Cafe in Paia, a town which is a popular tourist destination on the north shore of Maui. And they delighted the crowd with their dance.
But Elizabeth's preparations for this show started long before. And not just in terms of dance moves. Elizabeth had designed and actually MADE her own costume (see above). It took many trips into Kahului, Makawao and various other neighboring towns where she scoured the art and specialty stores for beads, scarves and other trinkets that she used in decorating her costume. And she had spent hours (!) sewing it by hand.
So when she started to get cold feet a few days ago and said, "I am not sure if I will go through with it," I replied, "you can't quit now after all of the effort you have already put into it."
"I'll kick your butt onto the stage, if that's what it takes," I added. :-)
It did not. Elizabeth said she was a little nervous, but that's normal for a first-ever public belly-dance. What probably helped is that she had two rehearsals at home, including this "dress rehearsal" last night, before we left for Paia.
So by the time we got to the Moana Cafe in Paia, Elizabeth was ready to rock and roll and kick butt herself... (right).
Meanwhile, the audience had to last first through five or six dances by a rather large instructor (above).
Now with this as a preamble, check out a video clip I have made about the event...
And that's all she wrote this weekend from the Rainbow Shower...
Where art blends and blossoms in harmony with nature
HAIKU, Maui, Aug 6 - When we stopped by the Turnbull Gallery a month ago during our drive around West Maui, we found its doors closed (Fourth of July; Circling West Maui, July 2009). It turns out they are only open Mon-Fri 9-5. Family life with three small children seems to be the main reason this talented artistic family keeps regular "office hours," unlike the many commercial art galleries in Lahaina and elsewhere in touristy parts of Maui.
The place is pretty hard to get to, partly due to a twisty one-lane road, but it is well worth a short drive from Kahului. The artwork is beautiful as is the scenery. The Turnbull's have managed to weave seamlessly their art into nature and vice versa. Today, we met all of them... father, mother, the three kids and even some other family who stopped by for a visit just as we were leaving. Great people, wonderful art...
Meanwhile, back home, we are getting ready for this weekend's celebration of the 50th anniversary of Hawaii's statehood, as you can see by the two new flags which we were trying out on our lanai. The actual anniversary is Aug 21. But we will be attending a special anniversary concert in Kahului this weekend (Aug 8).
Two nearly identical signs emerge after two different fires at Rainbow Shower; the Hana connection
HAIKU, Maui, Aug 6 - She showed up at my astral rebirth on 2/22/2009, a triple Master's (#11) day, along with King Kamehameha's spirit, to light a path to Maui for me. "She" was Pele, the much feared and admired Hawaiian Goddess of fire, volcanoes, dance and lightening. And she showed up again this weekend at the Rainbow Shower, leaving nearly identical messages for me - twice (!) - after two different fires in two different places, on two different days. Or three? Take a look...
Yesterday, I found the bigger of the two cinders at the bottom of my Apucheto fire pit, down in the gulch at the Lower Rainbow Shower. I set a fire on Friday (Aug 7), for the first time since Fourth of July, to celebrate the greening over of the gulch and the Uaca (left). Never before had I found any cinders of any kind, only ashes.
I almost threw the piece of wood away before something made me take a closer look. There was a nearly perfect black circle carved in it, roughly where one would expect to see an eye in a human or animal profile (middle left). And when I say perfect, I mean perfect; the kind that only divine artists can create.
Back up at the Upper Rainbow Shower, I showed the piece of wood to Elizabeth. "Looks like a (letter) 'P' to me," she said.
"P for Puma," was my first reaction (Puma is one of the four sacred animals in the Inca cosmology). Then I realized that the "P" could also be for Pele (middle right). I have been calling on Pele, as well as Lono (Hawaiian God of the land), every time I did shamanic ceremonies. And now, it appears she has responded for the first time. And not just once...
When I cleaned out the tray back at the house in which I burned Palo Santo, Frankincense and Myrrh during a Sunday ceremony, I threw away the cinders. As one of them was flying into the trash can, it caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. I fished it out of the trash. It had a shape very similar to that "P" cinder I had found down in the gulch (right shot).
As if these "coincidences" weren't enough, I realized while I was writing this story that this was NOT the first time Pele had communicated with me. But first, you take a minute to learn a few things about her from the Hawaiian mythology...
You can see Goddess Pele above in various artist depictions. Beautiful artwork, by the way, wouldn't you say?
Anyway, according to Hawaiian mythology, Pele came to Hawaii from Tahiti, pursued by her furious sister, the water-Goddess Namaka, whose husband Pele had seduced. The two sisters fought on every island on which Pele had landed, creating volcano homes for herself, only to see them flooded out by her elder sister. The epic sibling battle ended near Hana, Maui, where Pele was torn apart by her sister. Legend says her bones still remain there as a hill called Ka-iwi-o-Pele.
Intrigued by the Hana, Maui connection to the Pele legend, I decided to try to find out where exactly this Ka-iwi-o-Pele hill is. The moment I saw the leftmost photo taken by Sharon Mau, a local artist, at the Koki Beach, just south of Hana, I felt goose bumps and chills down my spine.
"I've been there!" I realized. And I took a nearly identical shot of that beach back in June (middle left). Even the weather and the light seemed the same.
Off to the right, you can see the little hill that supposedly represents Pele's final resting point (two right shots). No wonder there was a heiau there, too (heiau - Hawaiian for a sacred burial ground). And I recall seeing big black birds circling high over the Koki beach and the Ka-iwi-o-Pele hill. They looked like ravens, but had sort of V-shaped wings, like giant bats which made the place feel spooky. I remember telling Elizabeth about it (click here to see more pictures).
At the time, I thought we ended up on this beach completely by chance. Now I know better. I was lured there by Pele. It was an eerie realization. I was both pleased and stunned at the subtle way in which the Goddess appeared several times now in our life here on Maui. I called on her in my prayers and she responded in her own inimitable way. She has been said also to incarnate in human form. So nothing would surprise me after these three likely Pele encounters.
Greening Over by Heavenly Sprinkler System
And it wasn't just Pele that responded so cunningly to my prayers. Whoever the Creator's heavenly landscaper is has also blessed us with incredibly favorable weather conditions ever since our Green Day at the Gulch (July 17). Before that day, all we have been hearing about from various local landscapers and neighbors were complaints about the summertime droughts around here. Well, ever since July 17, we've had rains every day - several times every day, in short and gentle bursts. So the Creator had been turning on the sprinklers for us supplementing the ones we had had installed before the hydromulching took place. And here's the result...
The tallest grass was actually inside my Uaca and around the Apucheto. That's where I had seeded the grass manually and fertilized it by prayers. And you can see what happened. After just three weeks, the grass was knee-high there. I had to trim it last Friday using a weed-eater.
So you can see above what the grass looked like AFTER its first haircut. It was a very bad one. I really botched it up. I told Elizabeth later that I'd never make a barber, not even in the army. :-) So I prayed to God to forgive my klutziness and correct my mistakes.
And today (Tue, Aug 11), He/She opened up the heavens like never before. But it's not heavy rain, such as in Arizona. It feels more like we are living in clouds (left), with gentle mist soaking into everything. I suspect that's a remnant of a "hurricane" that everybody has been talking about? But there is very little wind, and the gentle rain is perfect for a renewal of my badly shorn Apucheto grass. Thank you, Creator!
Or is this the work of Namaka, Pele's jealous elder sister, the water-Goddess, who decide to show up the day after Pele had done the same, emerging from the two fires? Maybe the two sisters are continuing their duel at the Rainbow Shower?
A divine presence was also evident by occasional rainbows this morning. Morning rainbows are very rare around here. I've only seen one before. Yet one showed up in the western sky before the mist brushed it away (right).
The misty rain was also a perfect balm for the new grass on the steep grade of the road to the gulch (left), as well as the three new trees I planted there this weekend, just before the rains came (two right shots).
Back up closer to our home at the Upper Rainbow Shower, guava trees are overflowing with fruit these days (left). And Elizabeth is cooking up a storm in the kitchen, making dozens of jars of delicious guava and passion fruit jam, juice and sorbets. Every day now, I bring her from the gulch 5-6 pounds of guavas and dozens of lilikoi, Hawaiian for passion fruit. And every day, she comes up with some new recipes and creations.
In gratitude, while she cooks, with heavenly scents spreading throughout the house like a fruity incense, I play piano for her so she can add a song and dance to her culinary creations.
At the same time, I also create. I rarely play from sheet music anymore. And even if I do, it's only a starting point. I play what I hear in my head... or soul, or wherever it is that music comes from. I don't choose the tunes. They come from a celestial iTunes library. Sometimes, I don't even know what the songs are, as you have seen from my concerts. I just play them the way I hear them, creating my own arrangements along the way.
For example, I've just added another segment to Tico-Tico, which I will rerecord in due course. It was inspired by two South American classical guitar masters (Carlos Barbosa-Lima of Brazil & Berta Rojas of Paraguay), whose two-guitar version of the Brazilian tune I loved. So I am trying to emulate two guitars on my piano.
And so it goes... The preceding seems to be our daily routine at the Rainbow Shower during these days of abundant fruit crops. The sun also smiles at us at the end of most days, such as in that top right photo, taken from our lanai (deck).
Once in a while, we do go out, as we did on Saturday night, when we went to an outdoor concert of the America group in Kahului. We found the music disappointing (too noisy and "hard rock"), but the setting enchanting. So it was a pleasant evening after all.
And that's all she wrote for now on this wet double Master's (#11) day at the Rainbow Shower.
HAIKU, Maui, Aug 13 - By now, you know that Goddess Pele has been able to incarnate in human form, according to Hawaiian legends. Perhaps you also remember how promiscuous she was while on this earth, before she ascended into a divine form as Goddess of fire, volcanoes and dance. Some old-time readers may also recall the "Sex on the Mountain" story from last year's climb of Camelback Mtn in Arizona (May 2008).
Well, keep these three notions in mind as you check out this short story titled "Sex in the Gulch"...
I went down to the gulch yesterday morning to examine the state of the Lower Rainbow Shower after the longest and the hardest 24-hour rain period we've had in the five months that we have lived here. Everything looked good. The drainage system worked. The grass was green. The weeds were doing great. All around, it was a happy, tranquil gulch scene.
I did not realize just how happy it was until I stepped into my Uaca (Heiau in Hawaiian - a sacred place - left). Right around the Apucheto, there was a brown rock embedded in the deep grass.
"Hm... probably something that rolled down in the rain from the top of the Apucheto," I thought.
I gently kicked the rock with my foot, just to confirm it didn't just grow out of the holy ground overnight. The rock jumped. Not far, maybe two or three inches, but enough to startle the heck out of me.
Them I realized what it was. It wasn't a rock. It was well camouflaged frog that took on the color and the shape of a rock.
"Shoo," I said as I stomped on the ground around the frog, expecting it to hop away in a hurry. The frogs aren't exactly keen on being kicked or yelled it.
The frog did not move. "Weird," I thought. "Wonder if it is sick or dying?"
Then I looked more closely and realized it was just the opposite. The frog was busy creating life and it did not want to be disturbed.
It turns out there wasn't just one frog at my Apucheto. There was a female underneath the well camouflaged male enjoying this "morning after" with its mate (right). At least I hope it was (a female).
"I am so sorry," I said. "I didn't mean to disturb you two. Just carry on..."
I went on about my business of pulling out weeds and collecting lilikoi (passion fruit in Hawaiian) which Elizabeth turns into delicious jam.
Five or 10 minutes later, I heard her calling my name. She had also come down to join me in the gulch.
"Let me show you something," I said, leading her to the Apucheto. The two frogs were still engaged in their sex act but had moved a couple of yards from the spot where I last saw them. That's when I took the above picture with my cell phone camera.
"See, my Apucheto is now officially a place of love," I said.
Not far from where we stood, on the other side of the Apucheto, there was a single young frog jumping around.
"Look at that horny buck," I said. "He is probably looking for a mate inside the Apucheto." I had no idea I'd be creating a mating ground when I built this Uaca/Apucheto. But then, why shoul I be surprised. It was a fusion of male and female energies of two big rocks that led me to it in the first place (see "Battle of the Gulch Is Over," May). And then I discovered a small baby rock between them, which is now a cornerstone of the Apucheto. And that's exactly the spot where this young frog was jumping around.
Then as I turned around to walk toward the creek bed at the bottom of the gulch, I saw two more frogs enjoying "sex in the sun"...
"Oh my God," I said to Elizabeth. "Look, there is another frog couple making it over here. My Uaca is turning into a whorehouse," I joked.
I recalled a reaction by some of my readers to that Sex on the Mountain" Arizona story. One reader said I had invented an entire new genre - "lizard porn." Guess the genre has just expanded to include "frog porn." :-)
Elizabeth laughed again.
When we returned back up to the Upper Rainbow Shower, I saw the biggest pink hibiscus flower right under our kitchen window. Elizabeth said she had seen it as well earlier this morning.
Well, looks like love is blossoming everywhere... high and low at the Rainbow Shower.