Monday, November 24, 2014

Vardo first ... then the community Part 2

When market season ended, and harvest season began Pete and I began to dream again
... of community and a place to gather

Dreamers have a pre-disposition to see magic in the most unexpected places, or see the multiple universes potent in the everyday. Here we are day dreaming of a winter home for The Safety Pin Café. A space and place where Sensitives can gather to tell stories, sip hot teas and laugh at the unpredictably weird words that come from between the borders and out the cracks.
Our South Whidbey Tilth community has given us the nod, and is receptive to our vision to enclose the existing Pavilion (the space pictured above) as a fragrance-free and chemical-free space for us to continue to share the medicine of story! Using the years of experience we have gleaned from a life that we thought at first might do us in, we will grow the fairy tale and share what we have learned because we built a Vardo for Two. To read the process of collaborating to involve our local Tilth ...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Vardo first ... then the community

I juggle writing content between the three blogs The Safety Pin Café, Makua o'o and Vardo for Two like I walk between the three separate tiny houses that make up home; wake up in Vardo for Two, walk to the Quonset and have a cup of hot tea, walk to the Hale for a hot shower or wash the dishes. Not unlike walking from one end of a house, or through a hallway except that our hallway is the forest floor and our ceiling the canopies of pine and fir up a hundred feet tucked beneath Earth's sky, the stars, Hina and the Sun. Today, the Sun is just beginning his brighten through the trees. The Quonset's heater is working overtime to keep the kitchen-writing room-kitty space warm. What it will really need is for me to start cooking something to get the heat going. But. For now I munch at an apple crisp and cold from being stored in a box outside. It's probably in the high twenties now. Cold for a Hawaiian. The rest of this post will lead you to a piece of writing that expands upon this juggling experiment we began when we first dreamed up Vardo for Two. It is truly an experiment in living and deeply digging into the potential that so often appears as a knot or cluster of knots with no solution but to abandon the mess -- leave it for someone else to sort out, or cut the tangle and if you're lucky there's still enough left over to start again.

Kalei Nu'uhiwa one of my favorite Hawaiian scientists and teachers is fond of saying (well she's fond of saying quite a few things but for now ... ) "I don't know about you all but I love chaos." In this video, and presentation at the 2012 'Aha Wahine (Womens' Gathering) Kalei expounds on the process of creating sacred space. Specifically she describes the rituals and foundations for women's role in creating sacred space. We Hawaiian have a huge capacity for embracing multiplicity: we see the connectivity of seemingly dis-similar events. What Hawaiians, a people bred on making sense of life with what is (through keen observation and documentation) practice is a highly evolved sense of community. Nothing and no one is an orphan, what happens here will and does affect something there. Our creation story, the Kumulipo begins in darkness with the coral naming the seeds and the birthing from the seed polyps. From the sea, to the land. From darkness into light. From Po to Ao. Over time. Every thing is named. Every birth is recorded. From chaos comes order. From the knot of potential everything is possible.

From The Safety Pin Café ...
"Five years ago (2010) my husband Pete Little and I found the South Whidbey Island community. Our former life was being rebuilt; we had to dig deeper for people, place and values to thrive in spite of a medical diagnosis with one basic 'cure': "avoid almost everything!" That's a bit of a stretch but not much of one. The short story is I was diagnosed with MCS Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, or Environmental Illness in 2007, pesticides, chemicals and common products of the everyday 21st century are the primary sources of harsh and often debilitating reactions. My immune system was unable to cope, or restore health. A house or public spaces? For years those were "no-can-dos". In 2008 we learned what materials were less toxic and lessened the body's burden brought on by exposures; we experimented and tested how to build a tiny movable space to live in and regain wellness. Then began the journey to become part of a community.

Above: Pieces of cloth from an earlier time are being reworked,
and become something beautiful in a new life freshly in the making.
Below: The sign says it all. We learn to live with Peace in our loyal 'Scout' the Subarus and discover how much is enough while remembering who and what is really important
We lived from this faithful Subaru and from it, we learned how little was necessary, and how much could be had with what was at hand. The photo below is an early stage Vardo for Two porch when we were parked on a ledge in the woods
 in early summer, 2009.

In the summer of 2010 we found a place in the woods of Langley to park our Vardo for Two. Life began to re-fresh knowing we had a home. That same summer we found the South Whidbey Tilth and Farmers' Market. At first, it was the companionship and laid-back atmosphere that made us feel at home. Then, we discovered Tilth's history as a place unsprayed with pesticides for three decades. Our shoulders relaxed, my immune system calmed for the first time in three years, we began to root, volunteer, share what we have learned about fragrance-free and chemical free practices and become part of the community. Link here to read the full post, and see how the untangling of potential and the belief that everything is connected just keeps happening. Like the man said, "If you build it they will come."