The final installment of Part I "The Covey" follows. The characters and threads of connectivity have laid a net between whirls that seep from dreams or pour from the lips of stardust. These are the sorts of activities that fill the gap between 'here' and 'there.' Always there is a bit of space in the zipper of reality, a place where interpretation allows parallel or intersecting NEXTS or NOWS.
Written by Mokihana Calizar
Please enjoy the tale for your own pleasure,
but do not reprint it or copy it for any other purpose without permission from the author.
Two parts the whole
Freeilll Noa found his brother surrounded by kin. In the middle of a good joke or a tall tale, Kaimalama Noa loved attention. My father waited till the laughter and con ended and approached his brother, “The day is bright, the sun warm and the winds seem to have returned to cool us again.” The rustle of palm fronds and the bend in the resilient trunk caught Kaimalama by surprise. “Makani?” My uncle recognized the feel of the wind that always accompanied the reef croppings. The two brothers fixed eyes and Kaimalama knew. “You have found the puka … the hole in the Cosmos?” “Yes.” “The fish, the polyps …” “All freed, returned and safe with family,” my father’s voice was even and without emotion. “You cannot know what it is like to keep secrets. How could you know how differently we grew when on the outside the covey saw nearly identical Grey? What grew so differently for me hides here.” Kaimalama Noa turned his back to his twin, raised his great wings and parted the feathers on his right side to reveal a ridge of calcified bone … a barnacle. “Grown since our warming, the barnacle replaces the right side of my filtration system. Where you breathe, ingest and release food, drink and grace I live with the additional need to hold tight … to grasp to survive.” Freeilll Noa wrestled with understanding and found it difficult. Kaimalama retained his bearing, though his breath was shallow and quick. “I live with conflict every moment of my life Freeill. A part of me must do what is completely wrong for the All. When we were younger the need was easy to ignore. It was easy to lie to myself, convincing my urges to be still. The urges have out-grown the promises I have made to them. They wait no longer. To survive I must collect and store things I value.”
Is it wrong to want? When does a personal desire for things of value tamper with the balance of All? What was the compromise and recipe for Reassemblage? How does a secret revealed change things? These questions and more tumbled through my father’s mind as he sought a solution.
“Am I the only one, beside Honu, who knows this about you?” “I believe so,” my uncle answered. “Leyla?” “She has no thought of my need to collect, to keep.” “Would she not have heart enough to make a difference offering you understanding and perhaps a compromise? Your mating doubles your destiny.” My uncle interrupted, “She is not a Grey Freeilll. Her grace is beauty and she maintains it without effort, and charms her way through the most impossible of predicaments.” My father thought of beautiful Leyla and remembered the countless episodes of joy she had brought to the covey. Her laughter … “Is your love not enough to fill the void that you feel?” “It is large, the love we share but it is not enough to make me something that I am not.”
Freeilll Noa considered another approach, “What is it you value brother?” Simple enough a question would you not think dear listeners, and yet it was precisely the question never asked of Kaimalama Noa. “What is it I value?” Staring long into my father’s eyes Kaimalama Noa considered the many wants he had hidden throughout his long life and weighed them as if on a scale to determine their value. My father recognized the depth of his question, sought no easy resolve and instead offered his brother this: “This is an answer that will affect many. This answer reassembles the link between beings and sets to right the destiny of small and large. Take as much time as you need dear brother. I am not your judge.” Story tells me that my father remained where he spoke and watched his brother walk to the ocean’s edge. Like my father Kaimalama was graced with the coil of Honu and in fact his name means “Caretaker of the Ocean.” As the gentle surf wrapped around Kaimalama’s body the transformation was quick, and the dive silent. The journey downward was taken without forethought. Kaimalama knew the Leviathan waited. He felt unexpectedly calm as he neared the ancient birthing place. Palaoa and Honu swam from the channel that led from the Pond of Ever and greeted their kin. “The day is bright, the water cool and it is a day of greatness. It is good to share this day with you Kaimalama Noa.” Palaoa was especially fond on this twin though in all the cycles of Kaimalama Noa’s life their bond was never clear. The ancient Leviathan Palaoa was honored and respected for her long memory embracing time in the oceans that mirrored the huge cavern of Palaoa’s brain and body. Yet there was something small and nearly intangible between them. Today, the small became grand as Kaimalama approached the great whale he said, “Kupuna nui … great ancestor, between us we share the tiny being Barnacle as coil. I wear it now behind me and until this moment I have lived with its value hidden, a secret. What value does the Barnacle give me when it must cling to me … to you, to something in order to survive? I am well passed a hundred cycles, no novice to the flow of being and yet the journey to satisfaction for my soul seems just begun.” Palaoa conned to Kaimalama, “Come to ride with me. There … a step for you at my side will allow you to ride my back. Another barnacle clings to my opposite side both will serve you as I travel. I will move slowly, alas what is slow to me may seem a comet or tidal wave. Hold sure, the barnacles will remain fast.”
My uncle did as he understood the great Leviathan wished. The barnacles were massive, old calcified filters that must have lived hundreds of cycles over attached to the side of the cetacean. Kaimalama stretched his legs and claws to grip as best he could, his claws found clipped access to the barnacles on either side. “Ready?” Palaoa asked. “As I can be.” Kaimalama conned unsure of his circumstance he simply called for faith. The great whale propelled herself with a graceful heave of her tail fin, the movement was powerful water moved past rider and whale as Palaoa began to sing. If you have been privileged to hear whale song you will understand the ancient calm that fills your soul when a whale sings for you. Resonance that began with the vibration of Palaoa’s first chords swam through the clinging Wood Crafter. The song was beyond reason and words will fall short of description. From the depths of the great ancient birthing place Palaoa crossed the ocean passing the magnificence of variation that is ocean-life. Everywhere Kaimalama looked a surface was covered or clung to; no empty place existed, and no place was left without companion or occupation. “EVERy thing serves another … any WHERE my eyes turn I see the shared benefit of a space once empty.” Palaoa continued ending the ride at the placid surface of the pond of Ever. “You are here,” the whale said. “You have always been complete, graced with the grand nature of Grey and as well you have served a tiny creature whose nature is no less valuable. In the warming what could have been symbiotic between small and large turned parasitic. Today is a perfect day for reassembling the beliefs of ones life. Begin anew all that is unnecessary must first be reassembled. Start again Kaimalama and care for your self as you would care for the ocean.” “Mahalo, great mother.” My uncle was weak from the exertion of the ride and yet, clearer of spirit than he had ever known. He rested in the shallow fresh water pond, floating as he gathered his experiences to a space of calm within him. Sunset completed the day, and still Kaimalama rested, slept and when the moon rose in the darkened sky the dreams came to him. Wants, old regrets and wishes never expressed or acted upon visited my uncle throughout the night. The pond embraced him without expectation, soothing erasures and replacing lost spaces. In the morning Kaimalama spread his wings for the journey south.
My father heard the splash and turned to see his twin. The brothers faced each other, touched foreheads in greeting. Kaimalama wasted no effort as he offered the lesson learned. “I have traveled with Palaoa, listened with my whole body the song that is as old as water. With barnacles as big as abalone for stirrups I straddled the old mother and found the answer to your question, “What do I value?” Freeilll knew his brother as a comedian and easy joker, often unable to speak without making light of a request. Today, a kind of mask felt from Kaimalama as he conned clearly and without apology, “I value the right of reserve.” My father cocked his head as if a different angle might aid in his understanding of the comment. “Reserve, you value the right to reserve what?” “I value the right to keep somethings private … not secretive exactly. I simply know that my life of clinging and believing that I must horde … keep more than my share, came from not being able to be different from you. Replication is not what Creators’ purpose was. It was diversity, variation. Somehow our covey and our kin focused on the large and visible ‘GRACE’ that doubles our worth. The small and less visible, the nearly invisible graces are left to scramble in darkness with no access to light. This … lifting his right wing to reveal the barnacle … is a part of me left to long in darkness. It has value, I give it worth. Small grace can make big differences, or at the very least it will do no harm. Denied though, the tiny grace can become,” Kaimalama rewound Palaoa’s song and remembered the word. “Denied, the tiny grace can become parasitic. That is what I have lived with these one hundred cycles.”
Freeilll Noa … twin whose birthright and grace is to free the ill-gotten from a space where nothing but the same can occur came to understand the riddle.
A very small creature … the barnacle attached to his twin
A promise broken … grace be nurtured and embraced
A secret kept … grace hidden becomes twisted and ill-gotten … parasitic?
“Where does that leave us Kaimalama? How does a reassembling begin to make things right for the Cosmos?” Kaimalama Noa had considered a solution that would maintain its value into time yet to come. The flight south from the pond of Ever gave him time and access to the stardust that trailed from stars north to stars south. The ride upon Palaoa’s huge back filled my uncle with a knowing that sustains his vision of the future. “I will not be the last to carry the spell of clinging to the point of drawing off more life than I return. There will be a race, a kin that will cling to EVERYthing they see as shiny and delightful, because they believe it the only way they will … Kaimalama struggled to find the right words or imagines to share with his brother.” From his na`au his gut Kaimalama heard Palaoa’s song … each serves the other and there is balance. “They will collect more than is needed to have a full life and a satisfied soul. Here is what I have decided. I will become an example. For as long as my destiny within this body persists, I will spend one half of my life as barnacle. I will tend to the Grace of clinging and view life as a filter dependent upon something bigger than I to survive, and yet I will do no harm during this. My kin as Wood Crafter will not recognize me as barnacle, and my kin as barnacle will not know me as Wood Crafter. The coil of Honu that remains true for both of us will serve as our common link regardless of my cycle.” My father was not sure he understood. His brother reassured him, “Yes that is exactly what I mean.”
My father conned his queries in his brother’s direction, “You will live half of each cycle as a barnacle and the other half as Wood Crafter?” “Yes.” “You will take nothing of your separate lives to the life as barnacle or Wood Crafter?” “Yes.” “And yet, the coil of Honu, the transformative nature that is our shared Grace will be yours both as barnacle and Wood Crafter.” “Yes. The reassembling is significant and sings forward for generations to come … perhaps sixteen generations to come. Wood Crafter covey and the kin of barnacle and creatures small will be affected by the coming of these spell-carrying beings. My example will teach me things I have no guess as to what. What I do know is that a secret shared makes things different.”
Greys among the coveys of the Cosmos changed from that morning forward into memory, when the twin Noa brothers of the