Friday, October 30, 2009
Life is imperfect, and yet there are examples of enjoyment among all the challenges. We find the richness of our life together in something as simple and distracting as listening to the World Series (Baseball) Game on a radio. A radio that works right from this Bend, Oregon hay field. For two nights now, in the comfort of this wee home we have been transported from this field to the baseball field at Yankee Stadium where pitchers throw curve balls, change-ups and 90 mph fast balls. Baseball players with names familiar and comforting ... especially that Maui-born center fielder Shane Victorino who reminds me of my cousin Patrick, soothe me away from the reality of life in a field in Bend. The announcers are good at their art and they know the game and we are there!
Building an MCS-safe tiny home community may have to be a dream set to rest. Our tiny home has come a long way from the dream of origin born more than two years ago. It takes a lot of energy to live this life, let alone try to build a home for someone else or grow a community of folks who live with this illness. This winter, we need to settle in, cozy up and attract some comfort wherever we can find it.
Wish us luck.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Months ago I received an email request from a stranger ... a visitor to the blog and a vardo builder. The visitor was in search of the sun and moon and sky pattern in my old blanket. At the time I was unable to load pictures to the blog. The visitor said time was not an issue ... waiting was okay.
So, here is that picture of the blanket, Vardo builder. I'm sorry I have lot your email during our travels so I hope you visit us and find this.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
The four nights and days of the 'Ole cycle according the Hawaiian Moon Calendar are pau, and they have been a very important time of review, restoration, rest and weeding our symbolic and real lives. Astrologically, things are happening for all (the collective) on the planet; and personally Pete and I have important issues to review and access from our physical place on the earth ... specifically, our position here in the field with Rescue Horses, barbed wire and our micro-home called VardoForTwo. Our choices, our relationships and the process of creating the life (individually and as a couple) we have is based on the years of choosing, the years of our interactions, and the process of getting ourselves into a very tiny home now parked in a field in Central Oregon. What we are doing is hard stuff, there is nothing (nothing!) easy about it. The four nights and days of the 'Ole cycle have been perfect times to do two important pieces of homework. The reasons for doing them boil down to this:
At the end of October (in two and a half days) Saturn (the planet of discipline, and control) will move into the Cardinal (down to basics) sign of Libra (balance, partnerships) from Virgo. Pluto (planet of birth and re-birth) is already in Capricorn (a cardinal sign). Uranus will shift into Aries (another cardinal sign). Cardinal signs mean we must focus on the things that the cardinal signs mean to humans and human "success" (in whatever form).
Four important questions need to be answered during this time between Saturn's move into Libra:
- WHO ARE YOU? (How do you present yourself to the world?) Astrologically 1st House
- WHO IS YOUR TRIBE/CLAN? (How do you define your tribe/family/clan?) Astrologically 4th House
- WHO IS YOUR PARTNER(S)? (Who is your romantic partners and who is your solid partner as it relates to the foundations of your life?) Astrologically 7th House
- WHAT IS YOUR JOB? Astrologically 10th House
Personally, the answers I have come up with to the 4 questions are (The short version):
Who am I? I am an old woman.
Who is my tribe/family/clan? My clan is my son, my husband Pete and my Island heritage and roots.
Who is my partner/partners? Pete is my partner and outside of him my solid partners are those friends who value me and my husband and will support us emotionally and physically with our needs as we age and require specific accommodations relating to the disease of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities. My partners must be people who see healthy boundaries and boundary making as an important value; and we work together to set boundaries and respect them in ourselves and in our relationships.
What is my job? I am a storyteller, a publisher and blog author of life-lessons learned the hard way -- through real life. I am a digger and I will probably make you uncomfortable, confused or inspired with the cracks I discover.
The second piece of homework that I committed to during the past four days was a review and reflection on the past 7 years. Again, Elsa P. is the expert and astrologer who has much more convincing reasons for doing this 7 year review.
Link to the posts below for that information:
Pete and I are parked in a field with a dream of building community (11th house stuff astrologically) seriously dissolving into a reality check. Specifically, the check is ... can that dream be done from this field and with this arrangement? Also, before we get any further along (time wise ... winter is here, the passes are more difficult to cross or criss-cross) we need to look at what we have done and how we have done it and with whom have we done these things.
Before we can make progress, we have got to re-check our climbing equipment and look for any cracks in the foundations. There are cracks, so we needed to do the review with careful attention to details. (Virgo things). I spent the entire day yesterday, some of the evening last night reviewing the gains and details of our life(lives) over the past 7 years. The process and the patterns were revealing and then Pete and I went through it together ... more and more was revealed.
We are taking a break from the review as I write. Pete is playing a little solitaire, and then we'll pick up the review again. As I wrote in the beginning of this post, what we are doing is not easy. The past 7 years have been gut-wrenching and the losses have been heavy. Individually and as a couple these two old people have been through hell and back many times. I come to these blog pages and put (some) of these stories on the page. Two people who believe the best option for there life is to build and live in the world from a two-wheeled wagon and ask for 1) clean air 2) chemical free and fragrance free surroundings/and empathetic partnerships 3) physical accommodations that allow and embrace our life(style) require a lot from the world as it exists today.
This 7 year history review has revealed the cracks in our foundations. Like this:
1. Where have I been self-serving in my relationships (selfish and mean) over and over again? If that is a pattern and continues to escalate because now I am sick with this environmental illness, I see it as a crack in my foundation. I have got to do some changing with my relationships. The disease is difficult; but I am seeing that my ability to communicate through the difficulties of the disease/exposures are a vital shoring up process for me going forward.
Saturn is my chart ruler. With Saturn moving into Libra my relationships will be a key work, and it's my job, or Saturn will simply make it more difficult and the struggles will be even more.
Throughout the homework I did I reviewed and reflected on the 7 years with a focus on the areas of life as depicted in Elsa's suggestion to break down the 28 year cycle of Saturn into quadrants (7 years at a time). Link to that post for a visual of the quadrants.
In a nutshell, I reviewed the 7 years with the idea of looking for patterns of
1) effort relative to my family
3) hard work and service
I coupled it with the 4 questions from above. The research and review was legend and like I say Pete and I will pick it up again after I finish this post. Multiple Chemical Sensitivities is gaining in attention especially during the past two years. Bloggers and social networks provide incredible service to those of us who live with this disease. Diagnosing the disease is difficult and yet that is becoming more and more the 'norm' for more and more people who have not understood their experiences of loss/mental debilitation and emotional-social loss. Supportive community through the internet is now providing a different and new level of knowing and care. That is critical because any who live with this illness know, face-to-face support comes with its inherent risks ... even when a person has the best of intentions to support you, an exposure and a set-back is always probable.
What I attempt to do here with VardoForTwo is to offer a different sort of support through our experiences and include the navigational tools I find useful on our journey. Astrology is a concrete cosmic science, and for me, I use it because it offers a broad view. I am grateful to know that at this stage and age, I am able to use astrology as a tool. It is not simple, yet I have found a teacher and a community where I can hybrid my experiences and come up with something useful. All through the years (7 years in particular) of history-making, our personalities have been hard at work for good or ill. That's the thing about living with disease-illness that is chronic and not cured with pill-injection-surgery ... my personality is always part of the recovery, discovery and my choices are affected by the illness and my native personality.
Creating a safe haven community for people with MCS is a difficult goal. Who would know (for sure) until you try. At this point, Pete and I need to reevaluate and try to keep the communication process open while maintaining flexible and real boundaries. Navigation is difficult when the charts don't exist ... and so, I look to the stars and planets for charts that do exist. We made this expedition to Bend, site unseen. It's not the first time, but maybe we have learned something new this time and can look to our history to shore us with the confidence we need to keep believing in the journey. The goals may need changing but that is not a bad thing, especially if the goal has a crack in it.
Saturn moves into Libra at the end of the month. Do you know where the cracks are in your foundation?
Saturday, October 24, 2009
New readers may like to learn more about the Hawaiian Moon Calendar ... visit the sidebar for two useful links.
A hui hou,
Mokihana and Pete
Friday, October 23, 2009
If you look closely at the abodes in the background, you will see evidence of tiny home community growing ... the dandelion wagon, a tall pointed roof line to the left (Leslie and Tony's large tiny home arrived last evening); and the chicken coop now empty of any chickens is the red home closest to Dusty and Fancy.
In relation to the home and garage of our land-lady ...
"Tiny" is different and relative
We met one of the friendliest people the other day. He was dressed in a red polo shirt and red baseball cap, and through the top half of the door I saw him chatting with Pete across the field. After a bit he started heading toward the vardo. This was a first ... a visitor! I opened the door and called out (with a raspy voice) "Hi, I'm Mokihana." "I'm Ed. This is a really cute little thing. Really cute up close. Did he build this?" "Yup, he did." This was a man with an appreciate eye and a very kind disposition. By this time Pete could see this was a person who would enjoy a good bit of the brag, and within minutes the two guys were looking at the detail of our tiny home construction. This was just the kind of praise these old vardoers needed, I gotta tell you.
Ed turns out to be Ed Bartz, one of the creators of BARR Blissful Acres Rescue Reserve, here in Bend, Oregon. From the BARR Website, I found this information about the volunteer organization that cares for large animals like "Dusty" and his mom "Fancy." These two rescued ponies are our field mates, and thanks to the friendly visit with Ed Bartz we know something very special about our field mates and the folks who care for abandoned animals. Here is a snip from the BARR website with a link to the site below.
Here at Blissful Acres Rescue Reserve, we rescue abandoned, abused, and neglected large animals. BARR provides long term care & housing, with an added goal to educate the public about responsible animal stewardship. Will you partner with us to meet these goals?This post has taken on a life of its own. First, I wrote the story of meeting the man with the red polo shirt, red baseball hat and kind disposition. His name is Ed. We met Ed in the field where we are encamped. Ed was in the field to tend to and check on the ponies.
Formed in 2004 by Chamber members Linda Ayling and Ed Bartz, BARR is located on 10 acres just west of the
. As of Winter 2009 we have 21 horses, 4 goats, 4 rabbits, 3 dogs and 2 cats. (this site shows current and past). Bend Municipal Airport
"Many have forgotten this truth, but you must not forget it. You remain responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."
Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince
One thing has led to another on this blog page, and a short while ago I found a page of the BARR website entitled "Gone but not forgotten." Rescued horses who have since passed on are pictured there. Stirred by my curiosity and slowed by this cold/virus/achy body, I looked at the horses and then noticed the tiny print at the very top of the "Gone but not forgotten" page. The quote from the book (a novella actually) The Little Prince written by French aviator Antoine de Saint-Expury is written across that page. The quote touched me at such a deep place. Like medicine not found in a jar or a salve.
I know of this novella, and might have read it long, long ago. But, I must have been an adult when I last read it because it did not reach me like it is today. Something important is happening here ...
I have linked a site that includes the chapters to this very special book here: The Little Prince. There is certainly reason for us being parked here in the field with two Rescued Ponies. Meeting Ed Bartz was our first clue that there was more to this than barbed wire fencing. I have just begun to read The Little Prince. Thank you ponies!
Have you read The Little Prince? Are you an adult?
Monday, October 19, 2009
That's me today. A dry tickle in my throat has turned to a cough and a cold. Plenty of re-grooving going on inside and outside of the teeny vardo. Adjusting to a new place, getting the lay of the land and the scheme of people and place; a cold is sometimes just the slack I need to give myself 'permission' to stop for awhile. Did I attract the cold bug or did my body just wear down?
How do you give yourself permission to stop?
The tale WOOD CRAFTING, a story begun during our season on the ledge in the woods has a new home. Link here to go to that new home where you can read all installments of Part 1 "The Covey" and also read the 5 installments shared thus far, of Part 2 "The Ledge."
All future installments of WOOD CRAFTING will appear on that new space rather than here on VardoForTwo. See you there ~
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
I'm rambling to the point I hope will come soon and to get me there I'm linking to two posts written by my friend Leslie from the Oko Box. They are timely medicine for me, and such an affirmation: "We believe in the quality of nurturing our homes and our selves." On the night of a New Moon the potential to attract the energy you wish to grow in your life, is most potent when the moon appears darkest. A void (darkness) attracts light.
Here are the links to Leslie's two recent posts ... posts that inspire me to get this post on the walls.
Girl in a (nature)bubble
Both of Leslie's posts ring with a voice of strength that is the other-side of her usually zany and light-hearted creative, elf self. Creative solutions will come from a combination of complex thinking and complexity comes from being able and willing to express a wide and deep understanding of the issues of being human and being human with environmentally induced illness. I celebrate your voice, Leslie. Celebrate your complexity (Libra and all!)
This afternoon Pete and I spent the day with our friends. We headed for a town called Sisters in the Oregon Cascades. Our goals were first, to meet a land owner who might be open to us gathering our three tiny MCS homes on a portion of her land ... to take the next step necessary to grow good community; and second, we were there in that pine forest to hike the land. It has been a very long time since Pete and I have gone on a long hike in clean air and new to us territory. I was prepared with my organic cotton and carbon filter insert mask. I hiked for two hours without it. The experience of being with scent-free friends, talking and imagining all manner of positive community while getting exercise and free high altitude (4,000 ft) air was totally different. The difference was so wonderful both Pete and I admitted tonight, we are afraid of it. Too long has it been since we have had two hours of blissful company and positive experiences. Is that a weird circumstance? To be so far from the experience of happiness that one becomes afraid of it? Fearing the shoe will drop/the rug pulled out.
Our life from VardoForTwo has been such a long string of struggles, the possibility for change is what we seek and yet the familiarity of struggle can wear too deep a rut and we fall too quickly into it. So, this post is a call to the void of Mahina (the moon) during this phase of darkness to commit to the lightness of positivity and possibilities. Teaming up/collaborating with friends who are equally and different motivated and intelligently focused on new solutions spreads the burden of a sustaining effort. Like I commented on Leslie's post on the Oko Box, teaming up allows for the reality that when one of us is down from an exposure or weakened spiritually from the effort, one of us will be less down or even up enough to take the next step or help shoulder the burden.
VardoForTwo is a tiny wagon parked now in a field surrounded by barbed wire. I wrote about that the other day. Metaphorically, the image has a 'concentration camp' vibe that I have just realized I don't like. I'm writing my way through that realization so I can enlist the support of the celestial bodies and maybe make enough sense to those who may read this. We are in this field because there was no other place to go ... for now. There are shortcomings to this arrangement, and yet this is not the final step. Like so many parts of this journey to a satisfied soul, the process is slow. We get tired, discouraged, sad, angry and add to that the looks of judgment that we get because we look different: brown not white, round not thin, dressed warmly not fashionable, and the grief could really start to stack up.
NASA sent United States rockets to the moon earlier this week, in search of water. Earth was a planet with water that could have been enough for all the right reasons and for season after season. Tonight, as the New Moon continues to affect Earth with her tidal magnetism, I leave this rambling post like a prayer flag saying, "This tiny wagon is enough to make a big difference. We are enough, just as we are. Bless us with what we need to make it so. Mahalo Ke Akua. Mahalo Mahina."
Good night, Moon.
Friday, October 16, 2009
Every window view I see from the vardo includes a fence-line and at the moment each of those fences includes barbed wire. A strange yet real example of boundaries. The temporary gate that allowed us to enter the field upon which we park is a make-shift contraption not easily managed. The barbs are brittle and easily mangle hands and shirts, especially if you go in and out at night.
This is day five of our life in the field, and we no longer use that gate to come and go. An easier arrangement with a solid railed gate opens easily and then we close it shut (to keep the horses in) with a length of rope and a bungee cord.
For now, this arrangement satisfies the owner of this field and we take the time to walk to the railed gate, empty our hands of water jugs, parcels of food and miscellaneous chattels, undo the rope and re-do the rope.
Our basic needs are being met:
- we have electricity run the heater, air purifier and cooking appliances
- we have a space to park our vardo
- the vardo can be sealed tight against environmental exposure
- there is relatively clean air with minimal wood smoke on most nights
- the woman who rents us this space is aware of my sensitivities to chemicals and wood smoke
- Pete has work that he can do; and the potential to do more/interesting work in the future
- the volatile organic compounds found in trees like juniper, and pine; and the sage brush are part of the nature of things here. I have called my NAET practitioner in Seattle and she has given me a few tips to help me adjust to the sensitivity of these trees/brush.
- I'm taking time inside the vardo by myself to rest and refuel.
- cellphone service is excellent here in the field; it allows me to be of service to dear friends(who call for support) and I can call them. It's an important self-care thing that has not been available for more than 6 months.
- when I am feeling stronger, I can drive to our friends' home to soak in their deep tub and prepare some good food in their kitchen
Today, I take the time to recognize boundaries and set them for myself. I have heard this bit of wisdom recently and believe it is probably good food for living well:
Here is the beautiful dandelion wagon in the newest encampment on Earth. The view of the Oregon mountains in the distance is the sight we are blessed with from the torii-shaped windows.
The evidence of folks living from the tiny golden wagon.
Adjusting to our field life has been a daily and sometimes moment to moment thing ... our three step porch was left behind, back on the Ledge. There was no room to tote it in Bernadette. Instead, the collapsible plastic ladder first acquired in Manoa Valley back home on O'ahu serves as transition.
The basket hanging off the front porch is filled with tiny fairy lights, a string of them give off just enough illumination at night and mark our little home as we listen to the coyote calls near-by.
Ah ... fortunately grand stores of humor were not left behind as I watched my dear Pete turning the explosive sizzle of our old and trusty single burner hotplate into a spontaneous sort of swing reminiscent of his days as an altar boy dousing the church aisle with frankincense ...
Our very mini version of a kitchen works from the outlet just outside the door producing hot water for tea and toasted bread with coconut butter a nice way to break the fast.
Always have a back-up hotplate for times like this. We had one already purchased this summer, it was out-gassed and ready to replace the sizzled one, for hot tea is a pleasure to be taken with seriousness.
Pete is readying himself for a day of work on Leslie's tiny house. I'm to spend some time alone, recuperating a bit more from an over-dose of exposure to too much Ponderosa Pine. Bend is a very different clim and the natural environment will test my body's ability to be with it.
The pines, the sage and the juniper are all highly volatile in essential oils. With some good luck, rest and timely treatments using NAET I hope to make the adjustments necessary to live with this place.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
There's a difference between thinking about problems and having problems. "Where experts are thinking about problems, the people who have the problems are usually absent, are not even well represented. The only way out of this is for the teacher, the person of learning, the researcher, the intellectual, the artist, the scientist, to make common cause with a community. They must commit themselves to a community in such a way that they share the fate of that community--participate in its losses and trials and griefs and hardships and pleasures and joys and satisfactions, so that they don't have this ridiculous immunity that they now have in their specializations and careers. Then they'd begin to learn something. New knowledge would come from that, and it would be better than "information."
- Wendell Berry from "Field Observations" ... an interview written by Jordan Fisher-Smith
Click to read the entire interview
Bend, Oregon is part of the high mountain desert of the country. For a water native like me, the adjustments necessary when ever we find ourselves some where new take time. The comfort of familiar things, a culture based on longevity and regularity is different for Travellers for it seems inherent to wanderers to keep culture fluid and intact within.
We are encamped for this while, in a field. Flat, sage brush smelling and as different from the Ledge in the Woods as could be imagined.
In the dark of the night the new dreams were interrupted. The wind was moving in from the east, and the two rescued horses who are living in the field for the next few weeks had come to explore our chattels. They were after the grains that are housed in the tall (clean) can filled with our dry goods. There are oats in there, and the horses were after them.
The kind woman who is renting us a space in her field had said repeatedly, "If those horses get bothersome you let me know." I for one have very little working knowledge of the tall hoofed ones. Sharing an open field with us is a curious thing for those beings, and why would they believe our chattels were not open-market?
Our tiny wheeled home is so different from any other mobile home that has parked in this field. We wave to the neighbors as they drive in and out of their long driveways, and they wave back. A new place has a culture established, and each time we arrive, our chemical and fragrance free culture will be different for the culture that exists.
Just before I settled into bed last night, I was reading an interview with Wendell Berry. Our vision for creating a community of tiny home safe havens has not yet been done. I seek inspiration for creating good community and here in this field where I have no history with the desert, Berry's ideas are seeding me with thoughts that just might be strong and good to take into this next chapter from VardoForTwo. Perhaps, the journey that includes arriving in a wee wheelie wagon, one which Pete and I call 'home' offers a chance for new knowledge to come. I am stirred from my old formula of separating this community of tiny home safe havens from the world, even while I know it is important to be some WHERE that is a pesticide and mcs-safe zone. The Economy Wee is more than a simplification of life it may need to be a hybrid of complex thoughts and acceptance of the equally complicated nature of being human ... more than 'we' ... it is 'wee.'
The storm has eased up. Jots has been fed, and I hear Pete tinkering with bowls of oatmeal ... those same oats which tempted the tall hoofed ones. It is time to break the fast, and learn something new today.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
It's been so long since I've been able to post pictures ... so I was playing with the capacity to do just that.
Our camera is tucked away, and the rechargeable batteries for operation are adjusting to the cold, too.
From this state of emptiness, the Dodge became a fully loaded mover of chattels just this past Sunday.
A moveable life takes practice. We seem to be living that destiny with our practices.
Jots' protests (for she did so love the Ledge and woods that surrounded her) calmed after the first hour, as she slowly mellowed into the rhythm of the road.
The fall colors were brilliant all the way south and then we were blessed with the incredible shift in scenery through the passes that climb around Mt. Hood in Oregon. At it's steepest, the elevation was 4,000. Bernadette earned her reputation for a working truck. The old Dodge attracted as many attentive and admiring truck coos as the curious looks Kolea Nani received.
The gods of travel and wandering were with us getting us over the steep climb before last nights snow and the icy rain that we woke to this morning. We are settled in a field with two friendly Rescue Horses and a pair of twin kitties who love to hunt mice. In the near while, we hope to have a few pictures of the new and very different place where we live. The blog looks different now, for this life is surely a chapter yet to be written. More changes to the blog will evolve as we settle into our new encampment of living in tandem with other tiny home haven folks.
New and compassionate friends have made our journey to a winter encampment possible. Leslie and Tony and their Janie are the welcome party and positive attraction fueling a dream of MCS-safe tiny haven community. There will be more about this dream of community to come from Vardo For Two. For now it is simply grand to note of the Wall of Dreams ... "Yes! A kind and reassembled reality is possible."
One of the miracles that we enjoyed last night was a sumptuous and lovingly prepared dinner of organic greens, beets, yams, rice and mahi mahi. We all helped with parts of the cooking in the straw bale home of our new friends. In a chemical and fragrance free home the invisible yet all encompassing vigilance that we who live with MCS carry was left on pegs, and for the first time in such a long time we enjoyed relaxed and real conversation and support. No excuses or distancing physical maneuvers (avoiDANCING) were necessary for that whole evening. A real kitchen, modifications that an MCSers noticed and breathes easily with, all made for a first meal in Bend, Oregon a great treat.
We laughed, enjoyed the new revelations and development of knowing that comes from making new friends with common and focused attention to a reassembled view of life on Planet Earth. Fun!
We'll be back with more from Vardo For Two in the while.
A hui hou,
Mokihana and Pete
Thursday, October 8, 2009
It is too late to sign a petition to protest the insanity of that decision, what will it take to stop the actions of power mongers with no sense of the original seed of Grace? What I did find is an article that includes both the idiocy and the rationale for the bombing; and a statement, a collection of prayers that I have snipped and posted below.
The moon, Mahina is the feminine signature the balance to Sun-driven rage that is gone way over the edge. The Universe watches, the celestial bodies will take note and prayers for the Moon are necessary to balance the hewa (wrong-doing) about to be committed by the United States. It matters that the mortals who care for the seed of Grace and balance act in the Moon's behalf.
Here is the message for all who care for the Moon, and the Grace of balance, that appeared on The Register on October 7, 2009. I will be soothing the moon, and sending prayers tomorrow. Send your prayers conned or outloud to Mahina. She is not a celestial bull's eye, she is the guardian of nurturance and she is at risk.
We must soothe the Moon, we bandage her. We implore other celestial bodies and entities to aid her. We will not let her endure this crime or its grim aftermath alone.
We need to communicate to the Moon. Talk to her in our dreams, trances, or meditations, and prepare her for this shock and wound as best we can. Hold her, send out imaginative protection to her, and put our dream bodies out there in front of the bomb. Collectively, we can sabotage the bombing or by imagining all manner of things going wrong, or encouraging the Moon to increase her own magnetic shields. Sing to her. Give her back just a tiny portion of all that she has done for us. We are all created from Moon dust.
Link to read the entire article: Stop NASA from bombing the moon:
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Tomorrow the three nights of 'ole begin and no new planting, projects, or moves happen. We are wrapping things up here, the medicine from the ledge in all its forms ... seen and unseen have been gathered. There will be time during the 'ole days and nights which start tomorrow (Thursday the 8th), to review, reflect and renew the commitment to Malama Aina (care for the place) and rid ourselves of the illusions.
Believing without seeing is the theme of the installment that follows. The fairy tale and myth-making that lives through Wood Crafting is a perfect reinforcement for Pete and me. We are taking steps to move to a place sight unseen...we have done that before in our journeys across Earth. It's easy to forget how faith-driven our life has been, blogging and putting the tale onto the cyberwalls leaves a tangible token.
We may not post for a bit of the while since our hitching up time will come after the 'ole moons have passed. Until next time,
Can you believe without seeing?
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.
Believing without Seeing
Joshua Tree loved the land and trees that filled the deeply angled slopes surrounding the pond of Ever. Familiar to him since he was a boy, Josh knew everything about his trees. He worked in town and had little time on the trails for clearing downed limbs and rotted trees but his attentive eyes were always keen to the conditions on the glen. The sound of voices and laughter filled The Family’s mansion. Calliope and T.F. had promised to meet in the river bed mid-way between the lake and the pond of Ever. The river bed, now dry of run-off carved a shallow trail just below Josh and Anna’s porch. “Do you think he’s ever seen us?” Calliope asked as he slithered over the lichen-covered rock bed. “He’s a fully grown man with a love of the Tall Ones and yet he has reserved a connection between us that says something about his Grace. Is it easier you think, for some mortals to remain above water even when the pond of Ever draws everything and any being to the deepest parts?” The orange one was quite a philosopher with interests that always made Traveling Frog chuckle with delight. “Calliope, you of all beings ought to appreciate the changeable nature of a being.
The Swallows return to the glen just as Frogs and Salamanders make their seasonal journey to the lake. A pair of the long-winged split tail ancestors of Wood Crafters was engaged in acrobatics high above T.F. and his companion. What caught Traveling Frog’s eye was the shiny object trailing from one of the sky-divers. The object was large, big enough to weigh down the normally agile birds. The sun was near setting, but the slightest bit of brightness lit up the potential nest-building material. Too heavy even for the tenacious swallow, the shiny ring fell within an inch of Calliope. “I knew it would be too much to carry, but oh how I love a challenge,” Shelela of the Swallows flittered in the sky above then followed her treasure to the ground below. Never a ground-feeder or lover of things on the ground Shelela was nevertheless driven by the pursuit of shiny things. Traveling Frog recognized Shelela of the Swallows by the white markings outlining her lower eyelids. Shelela’s focus shifted and her eyes spied the purple caped and violet capped Lord of the Gypsies. Shelela lit on a slender branch of wild cherry. Breathless the swallow sang to Traveling Frog, “Well, Lord of the Gypsies, you are a sight for my own wandering eyes. Am I glad my precious shiny ring did not damage your fine violet cap?” Shelela answered her own question and bobbed a gleeful reply. Calliope had reached the ring, silver wrought and pink of stone and set about exploring it with his under-belly. “I’ll be thanking you for not leaving your glimmer of slime on my treasure there. Far too pretty a thing to be covered with Salamander goop.” In times past the swallow’s insults would have made the spots on Calliope’s back rise as if the words were steam enough to change the Salamander’s temperament. But cycles had passed between the two and this evening Calliope simply continued to coil around the ring and using his body’s scent glands exclaimed as truth, “This is a gift from the Bird, the Bird from The Ledge.” Shelela looked puzzled, a look quite common to the young Wood Crafter. “A gift from the Bird?” she asked. Her curiosity stirred, Shelela circled the sky above the two travelers and within a heart beat she had traversed the expanse of sky between river bed and the sloping terrain of The Ledge. The soft tan dome of the vardo was subtle yet unmistakably new to the land. Satisfied that there was some connection of truth in Calliope’s exclamation, Shelela returned to the limb of the cherry tree. “I found that beauty caught in the wet marshes of cattails just off the lake’s edge. Until this moment, I knew nothing of a Bird who brought gifts. Now I see there is a new …” Shelela was not sure she had the vocabulary for what she saw in her aerial survey. Traveling Frog supplied the words. “The Bird is a mortal, a woman and she has arrived in a wheeled wagon much like my own though much larger. She is a Bird called Lokea and in the litany of song she would be part of your lineage, your coil Shelela of the Swallows. That silvery ring with stone of pink quartz would be a gift meant for you.”
Shelela of the Swallows was barely forty and five cycles old. Her experiences were young and yet her warming had included the history of her ancestors Shenia and Shelela Wood. Yes, young Shelela of the Swallows is my own kin, distant as the
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
My spiritual life has always been rich, and my imagination broad. Life on the Ledge took hold of me and truly began to reassemble my hold on what is important. This next installment describe the character Lokea Bird come to rest on the ledge in the woods.
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.
Weariness wore her like wet wool, shoulders rounded into her full chest, Lokea was tired. The years of wandering had filled her with sights and sounds from dozens of places on the Great Planet. It was her destiny to seek and find the many ways in which mortal kind had used, or abused the treasures of Grace. The slightly sadistic humor of The Creators, as I view mortal destiny, lies in the erasures to coil memory The Creators leave when humans are born. Unlike the eggs and hatchlings of covey and warren where newly birthed Wood Crafters arrive fully aware and with total memory of their warming and their grace, human coil is braided with a miniscule space … a missing link. I have been taught to remember the space as an erasure and a place where mortal will resides. Remember Geoff the Grand? He was a Grey, a blend of mortal and more. His story of reassembling hints at the adventures to come for Lokea Bird during her days and nights on The Ledge.
A great sigh of relief dropped from Lokea’s heart. “Made it.”Lokea exclaimed. She held tight to her friend Briscoe and both did a jig of celebration on the hard driveway between The Ledge and The Family’s mansion. Briscoe and her mate Baines were part of the mini-caravan following the dandelion wagon from the city to the woods. Briscoe and Baines, like Anna and Joshua were friends of a life-time. These were loyal and unwavering friends who took Lokea and Pat into their homes when no safe harbor existed. Without question and with open-hearts Briscoe, Baines, Anna and Joshua embraced without judgment. The Creators and the Fairy Folk watch episodes such as this. Lokea hung back on The Ledge after Baines and Pat had secured the vardo into place. Tears filled her old eyes, still vibrant though less brilliant. “Thank you Ke Akua and all the residents of this place,” her prayers were silent, conned as she had been taught she filled the space with her acknowledgment.
Tutu and Traveling Frog listened. Traveling Frog turned to look into the sky, searching for Tutu’s face. He saw in the lines of the ancient fir a smile of recollection. He saw the prayers enter the deep crevices of the ancient fir’s thick skin as she absorbed the appreciation. “Ah,” T.F. sighed to himself. “Family.” A round brocade purse with a zipper for an enclosure held the small collection of jewels Lokea still called her own. A heavy circle of yellow metal, a bracelet, lengths of colored beads and several shiny stones hung from golden filigree. The narrow pathway cleared around the vardo did not disturb the seedlings that sprouted below Tutu. From the brocade purse Lokea drew four pieces. Two shiny orange stones dangling from gold filigree were hung from the tiny limbs of a seedling hemlock. Along with the stones Lokea hung a silver ring with an oval of pink quartz. “Hope you like them!” She said, this time using voice. Two other jewels, these long thin ovals made of mother of pearl were hung on the branches of a small pine. Other treasures, sea shells from her ocean home were offered as indicators of the places from which she had lived before. “To let you know my lineage,” she said continuing her ceremony. That done, Lokea Bird raised her arms with conscious memory of her linkage to All, flapped her outstretched arms and spun in circles before nearly losing her balance. “Almost too old and worn to do that,” she said to no one in particular, felt a grin bubble across her face and satisfied with her offering went to the celebration beginning inside the mansion.
Monday, October 5, 2009
Pete is in high motion as he must be and has for all the time we have been together in the fall. PReparing for a move, he is focused on systematic progress. I count on his process and move through my own forms of preparation. Yesterday evening I took time with the 'AINA here ... the space that nurtures us. I said my prayers of thanks, and did my hula of appreciation, acknowledging all the beings for making space for us. Where Pete is in motion, I emote the full body of feelings that come each time it's time to say good-bye. For a wanderer, I am not easy with good-byes.
The fairy tale WOOD CRAFTING was written with my fingers and the mind of the Muse from the Ledge. She has helped me author the tale you read. Place is a sacred source of connection and I have always known it matters how place is treated. The installment that follows is more about connection between time and place and beings.
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.
So the spring of this great cycle had indeed begun with new beginnings and continuing destiny. Traveling Frog and Calliope Salamander were greeted on the trail-head beneath The Ledge with a cacophony of questions and the steel-blank stare of Traveling Frog’s Queen, Bernadette. “What ruckus stirred from The Ledge? Who camps there? Are more trees to be felled, warrens crumbled and more mansions raised?” The clans were filled with curiosity and though always a hospitable lot, they were not without a healthy sense of reserve considering the memories of Diaspora the wee folk lived with caution. “Come to the wagon for food and conversation tonight, just after the sun’s light is dimmed. Calliope and I will answer all your questions and then it will be time to prepare for the migration.” Lord Traveling Frog saved private conversation for his partner the Queen who watched and listened from the open hatch of the split front door of their home.
Bernadette’s steely eyes softened as Traveling Frog hopped to the porch of the lavender painted vardo that was indeed a near duplicate to the wheeled home now perched on The Ledge over looking the pond of Ever. Traveling Frog slipped off his outer footwear and hung them neatly on the tiny hooks pegged on the front wall before opening the door to step inside. He reached for his mate of destiny and embraced her with the same warmth he’d felt as a Rook. “It’s a fine evening, darlin’ a grand time for welcoming new family to the glen and to The Ledge.” Bernadette helped Traveling Frog with his cape and cap, hung both on the corner stand and sat at the table she had already laid out for tea. “What do you make of it my dear Froggie? Such large folk tucked into a wee wheelie home, and from the snips of gossip flying through the glen, these mortals are past the period of sapling and more aged than young. Family you say. Just what is it you know that secures you to that choice of word … family?” “Let me have a sip of that delicious tea you’ve been a brew’n bonnie bonnie Bernadette, and a taste of …?” Traveling Frog sniffed at the warmth of scone piled onto a platter in front of him, “It could only be the sweet young pine flour scone.” The sharply brewed dandelion tea and sweet pine flour scone flecked with dried huckleberries were a perfect contrast of tastes and to see his satisfaction with the late afternoon snack softened Bernadette’s impatience. She sat back, more at ease herself, and poured her froggie a second cup of dandelion tea. “The mortals on The Ledge are no strangers to the whole story of Ever my dear. These are the old ones we have been waiting for all these many cycles. Who among the many could or would find the small space on The Ledge a fit place to call ‘home?” Who among the many could or would at their stage of living mortal on the Great Planet choose to Reassemble in this fashion?” Traveling Frog gestured with a sweep of his arms and both his wings to amplify the significance of his description. “Wife oh wife of my own, the female come to live on the sloping space above is a Bird …” Traveling Frog’s eyes widened and his head rocked and again his wings lifted him off his seat and this time he spun in coiling circles that left a track of stardust lingering in the space beneath the arched roof. “This is the girl now grown nearly full-age, with the memory of Covey seeded deep in the braid of her now loosening coil.”
Traveling Frog lifted a shiny orange stone from the floor beneath the table. It took all his strength to bring it to the table. The stone dangled from a filigree of gold. “She has begun to leave gifts along the footpath they have made around their wee home. The woman called Bird comes with the memory of kin and kind and knows that in falling a part she makes room for us to join in. She is callin’ for the dreams, and brought with her a panther to help her through the in’s and out’s.” The talk about the glen already warned of a sleek black cat new to the land. “Heard you have already beckoned to the panther and made a promise of loyalty and protection.” The Queen’s talent for gleaning the sounds of her world, and beyond, was her grace. She had honed listening to an art. Bernadette reached for the shiny smooth stone and looked from Froggie to the stone with greatly softened eyes. She moved her fingers slowly over the stone and seemed to caress the little gem that was no bigger than a rain drop … but, it was very, very heavy. “She left gifts of shiny stones did she?” Traveling Frog nodded, “Yes, the Bird has left gifts of shiny stones.” “Did she leave a pair of shiny orange stones?” Bernadette turned to Froggie, knowing full well what the answer would be. Traveling Frog smiled, hopped to the stand where his cape hung and reached into the hidden pocket sewn on the under-side. The twin to the first shiny orange stone filled his hand.
Photo Credit: Carnelians from Wiki Commons
Sunday, October 4, 2009
i am feeling a bit of the tatter
no matter Shenia the whole is a whirl
soft is the color of fall coming quickly
the ledge is appearing to disappear
when will the froggie go in for the winter?
soon when the frost is thick
am i so long in the tooth to forget ?
no not so long, not so long
count backward instead
Last evening tide, just before the sun set Pete and I took a short drive to make a cellphone call. A roadside spot five miles from the ledge, where a single straight grown fir rising so too do the bar of cellphone service rise. We were calling some pals letting them know we are preparing to venture south and east. These same pals were one of the first stops along the route of friends who had our backs when MCS was disassembling our old whirls. The pals weren't at home when we call, so we left a message.
In place of chatting with those friends we were blessed with a sun set and a moon rise of Harvest Luck. Last night's Harvest Moon was fully present, though not yet in her full illumination because at the same time in the west the sun was electrifying the sky. A very busy and bristly common brown squirrel bounced on the branches of a wild huckleberry outside Scout's window. The squirrel was oblivious to us, with much more important things to do for sure. What Pete and I count as a lucky break is the dual kick of moon and sun as a celebration blessing for all the hard work we have invested in the journey to create a life from Kolea Nani.
Jupiter has been brilliant in the night sky for weeks. This is the planet of expansion, luck and also considered the champion of dreams. Our home on two wheels was born from dreams. Jupiter plays prominently in my natal astrology with the planet of dreams parked at birth in my 11th house, the house where hopes and dreams, visions and connection live... this is a double whammy of dreaming as a source of knowing for me. I posted the article about the difference between learning and knowing yesterday. It was a way for me to put thoughts on the wall that I know ... a faith-based activity. The gift of a sunset and moonrise simultaneously are Jupiter and sun and moon together an indicator of dreams coming true.
We are packing up Kolea Nani and heading for the pass. We are going to Oregon to join our MCS friends in the next stage of community building. It's been a process of back and forth, ups and downs just like that common brown squirrel, we have been preparing for winter!
It's a 9 out of 10 win-win situation:
1. It's sunny. (light is important for Island people!)
2. We're being welcomed. (thank you!)
3. Our friends 'get' what MCS is about. (one of them lives with MCS)
4. It's dry.
5. There's electrical hook-ups for both pairs.
6. The air is clean.
7. There's work for us to do there. (our friends build tiny safe homes!)
8. It's affordable. (we can share resources)
9. We help our friends build the shared kitchen and bathroom we both need for winter.
What's missing? Heat, so Pete will have to wear socks and maybe something more than shorts. The ocean. ( just three hours away).
We started this search in July, and we're new to this kind of search. It is kinda new because we know more than when we were trying to outrun the environment. We know MCS exists and we know what things/experiences/chemicals/actions cause it. That makes the search a conscious one. The astrology of our search does include the influences of ancient wisdom that goes beyond learning and that's the influence I like to call "Earth Sourcery and Cosmic Wisdom." This life of our from Kolea Nani is all about learning and knowing. My Hawaiian tradition led me to remember that the practice of such earth sourcery and cosmic wisdom was passed along with 9 life tools. I'll end this post with those tools and give thanks to my ancestors for passing them to me.
We have our friends here who have shared their ledge with us to thank for their willingness to and generosity. It has counted for much, and we hope we have shared equally in the process.
What are the basic life tools of Makua O`o?
- Keep a keen sense of observation … NOTICE
- Listen … with your whole body … LISTEN RESPECTFULLY
- Do your best in all things … BELIEVE YOUR BEST IS ENOUGH.
- Know that wisdom is found in many places … SOFTEN THE GROUND OF YOUR BEING
- Question for clarity when making decisions … ASK
- Practice patience and endurance … TIMING IS DIVINE
- Engage in good health practices …
- Feel the heartbeat of the culture … SENSE YOUR PLACE
- Believe in Ke Akua, for this higher power makes all life possible … WE
Where is Jupiter in your chart? Do you count yourself lucky?
Saturday, October 3, 2009
If there was ever a time for me to be more fully me, it's now. With Libra's balanced skill of negotiating approach so fully in the sky it will help me and all the collective to get through this Full Harvest Moon in the sign of Aries, the Ram(tonight). It's important to keep that hot temper of the Ram from inciting me and loosing focus/balance at this precious time.
Safe Haven and wintering over are keening on our minds here on the Ledge, the night temperatures are quivering at 40 and the wetness makes the cold feel colder. It's only our second winter back on this continent after 15 winters back on the islands of my birth (Hawaiian Islands, for any who might not know). The adjustment period is still in the works, and to what degree there can actually be comfort ... that is debatable.
"I am usually home by November," I said to myself as I stepped outside to pee early this morning. I thought I'd be able to grow old, and older on the Islands and then real life happened and I am preparing for a winter with snow (probably) and temperatures far from tropical.
Still, the energy of the season and the skies is fueling us. It's Libra energy I'm talking about and specially youthful Libran energy that offers these two old vardo dears inspiration and insight, and hope. Here's something that has continued to provide Pete and me with hope and flexibility. It's an ancient knowing.
"The way to learn is to assimilate.
The way to know is to forget."
The conditions we find ourselves in as we navigate this Gypsy-type life offer us both opportunities: first the door to 'learning' and the second to 'knowing.' They are not the same and that's where my exposure to youthful knowing inspires my Jupiter-nature (that sense of knowing and exploring, and also, PUBLISHING). The years of learning to understand the new normal of life with MCS pushed my research buttons (Scorpio and Mercury hanging together in the 10th House where my role in society is highlighted) and finding a name for this 'thing' that just kept eluding me. "Could I really be allergic to the world?" The answers I was getting from others and from myself were "Well ... maybe." In the early stages of learning, our answers were to keep moving looking or the perfect space/place that would no longer make me sick. We were still firmly in the place of believing in a rigid architecture of place/house/community/environment. That stage of learning lasted more than ten years, miles of travel, and many mistakes (an intimate part of the process of learning).
What changed after the 10 years? How is the journey different?
Two years ago and especially during the last year, I finally had a name to the symptoms and it was MCS. Brought to our knees and to the wall we began to know ... through forgetting. Hmmm...odd, and funny for the answer seems to be MCS with all it's new answers to normal is teaching me to forget nearly ever thing I learned as an adult. (Pluto in Sag)
Here is where the inspiration of youth and Libra have offered us such gifts.
- My son the Libra Sun.
This summer my son traveled to France to teach the Hawaiian healing practices of Lomi-lomi. This is the young man born in the Pacific Northwest to an Aries Sun Father and a Scorpio Sun Mother. Through this youthful and blood-related example I see that some of my dreams (of sharing culture, healing and communication) will not be mine to experience. Instead, the dream will be passed into the hands of another with assistance from his roots (me). I have invested in a dream and it is my son's hands that carry the work forward.
- Leslie over at the Oko Box.
This Southern wahine is part of the MCS community who began to nurture me when Pete and I arrived in Seattle in May of 2008. Through the keys and connections of the internet I read her blog, and began to know a young spritely energy who was having fun. Ha, how can she? Her quirky and sassy attitude jumped off the screen. At first, I didn't know what to make of it.
Her artistic background was being redirected with her diagnosis of MCS and she was making her personality and her Libra sun very happy, balancing the scales in a unique and engaging way. I followed her consistently, and slowly began to comment and join the commentary.
It was her call for help to put her on a donkey that really lit the fuse for me. This gal was living her talk, and she was gonna get a donkey to get from here to there, because she cannot ride in cars no more. (Click on this to read her story). Ever since that Donkey Dream post I have known how much my old beliefs and mode of operation (MO) were losing their grip on me. They just don't fit. Leslie was just doing it ... buying a donkey, and yesterday she was preparing to put up fence posts to keep JuJuBean safe and stalled.
- Rima Staines at The Hermitage Blog
Rima Staines is a mistress (as "He is a master") of drawing beautiful images, and authors a fabulous blog called The Hermitage. During one of the dark winter times while we worked through the building of Kolea Nani, an anonymous tip came from a visitor to VardoForTwo. I think I was asking, "Where do you go when you are down or empty?" The anonymous tip was a link to Rima Staines website and blog.
If you have not visited yet, it may suit you at some point. I have been an appreciative fan of Rima's art, and more than that she and her mate and dear friend Tui are also wheelie folk who live in their Bedford van on the Isles across the Atlantic. For nearly a year I have visited, viewed and enjoyed the visual and lyrical verses this young woman shares through her blog. Through our visiting, we share the realities and the uncommon knowing of life from a microcosm called a vardo. There is kindred spirit between us now and we are better for it.
Rima celebrated her entry into her third decade recently, a Libra. She shared her birthday on her blog and there we who visited were gifted with her self-portrait and a look at her home-made birthday cake (mailed through the post by her mum!) Ah, this woman of course, could easily be my own daughter. My son is 37 so they are contemporaries.
It was Rima who commented on our blog a while back on my angst with cruel and insensitive views of our lifestyle. This is what Rima said:
Hello Mokihana and Pete, I felt to comment here as I know how horrible it is when you read criticisms of what you are doing! Really, do not worry about it.. we often say to each other how it makes our hearts soar to see an "encampment" with all the goods and chattels that surround a wheeled house. We too are concerned about our visual impact in the land and tuck things away under the truck obsessively! But isn't there something lovely about evidence of folks living outside?
Beyond that, people should be less critical of others doing such creative things and let them get on with it.
Hugs to you both from us here in an approaching English autumn,
- A final youthful inspiration comes from Amestress (I don't know her astrology) who blogs over at Life The Final Attempt (Not Really!). I recently found this young woman and am reading her views, experiences and ideas and am regularly entertained with her dancing. It's fun! Rather than try to summarize or paraphrase the latest post to hit me where I live, I'll leave a link to her post TEN GOOD THINGS ABOUT HAVING MCS.
From the VardoForTwo, this old dear knows something good is happening with Libra and youth. Just for today ... why not!
Is there a difference between learning and knowing?
The photo credit for the Hands in this post goes to a wonderful site called Hands Art Lesson Ideas