Kalani Honua Blog - Volunteer Reflections

Monday, December 5, 2011

Max Fathom


A few weeks ago the Kalani 'Ohana was blessed with "I Witness", a beautiful poem by Poet, Performance Artist, and return Kalani volunteer Max Fathom (pictured).

May it bring as much light and joy into your day as it did ours :)

* * *

The Witness

I witnessed life unfolding as the sun rose up to kiss a flower snowflake that had fallen from a tree
I witnessed the witness watching this creation and everything expanded in me
I witnessed what humans can do when they are safe and sound
I witnessed inspiration rise up… and I watched her fall back down
I watched the lessons leave their marks on an island made of fire
And I felt my spirit lift as the io flew higher and higher
I saw how love can grow when she has solid ground
And I saw the challenges transformed when they had snuck back around
I watched myself come home to me in a place where no orphans be
And I watched the mystery rise up and return again to the sea
I watched the gift unwrap itself with fingers made of light
And I saw the darkness do a dance to music made of night
I watched some go thru the wringer and come out soaking wet
With tears from a place they hadn’t forgiven quite yet
And then I watched them drip dry in complete inspiration
Dazzled and in awe of the transfiguration
I saw courage grow in me I saw a love that would accept no bribe
I saw mothers who were fathers
Sons who were daughters
I watched rocks come alive
I watched a bird inform a turtle on the ways of the air
And when that turtle flew I couldn’t help but stare
I watched life jump up and live again and again and again
I saw day turn into night
And as my head kissed my pillow I knew
That everything would be alright.

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Riss Winstanley

Ah my Ohana. What to say?

During my last breakfast at Kalani the gorgeous little Shola was behind me. She gave me a big hug and said "So what did you get out of this place? What did you find?"

And I replied " I found me."

And what else can you ask for? I cannot remember the last time I felt so loved, so appreciated and so valued. And I cannot remember the last time I genuinely believed everyone that told me so.

So thank you. All of your compliments will stay with me for the rest of my life.

I felt so at ease, and so appreciative and have realized that's exactly how I want my life to be.

And whenever I get to that point where I feel stressed, sad, insecure, angry or overwhelmed, all I do is picture all of your beautiful faces and those feelings literally wash off me and I am left with an open chest and heart and a very nice feeling of contentment.

My first Yogi Tea lucky dip told me an attitude of gratitude brings happiness.

I am so grateful for what you all have taught me.

I have learnt how to appreciate all the simple things.

I have learnt how to breathe.

I have learnt how to love, and to let people into my life.

I have learnt how to listen more, how to be more patient and how to accept everyone just as everyone accepts me.

I have been reminded how to live in the present, and how to not worry so much about EVERYTHING.

You are all such beautiful people, with such amazing lights of your own and I am so proud of all of you, and so proud of myself for finding such a rewarding experience.

And my parting words?

Enjoy yourself. No worries. Laugh. Dance. Recycle.

So thank you for being you, and for allowing me to be me. The greatest gift anyone could ask for.

Some of you I will see again, some of you I won't. But I will carry you all in my heart and you will all coach me throughout the rest of my life.

I love you all.

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

Mahalo.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Molly Rikkers

Camping at Kalani Big Island Hawaii

We've long wondered how to convey the beautiful experience that is 'Camping at Kalani'.

With lush tropical jungle surrounds to inspire you by day and a blanket of stars to cover you at night, it's hard to encapsulate what campers receive in our campgrounds experientially (physically and emotionally) in just a few simple words.

Thankfully one of our long-term volunteers, Molly Rikkers, has done it for us in the beautiful poem below.

Molly camped at Kalani for ten months (she and her tent are pictured).

Whether you're considering camping in Hawaii at Kalani or simply reading the Kalani blog for pleasure, .my jungle tent. makes for an inspiring read.

***

.my jungle tent.


my home breathes with the jungle.

the walls are transparent and billow like sails in the wind.

i have to unzip the windows to let air in, unzip the door to let myself in.

tiny droplets of water splash onto my pillow when it rains.

lilikoi vines wrap around the foundation and climb towards the sky.

if i don't weed every few days, the jungle will swallow me.

and i love it.

i'm safe on my wooden platform, under my teal-streaked tarp, behind my see-through walls.

i sleep in a sea of green.

i lie in my bed and watch shooting stars from my window.

i can rub a gecko's belly and give it mini high-fives with my fingertip as it hunts for dinner on my rooftop.

the coqui frog orchestra serenades me to sleep and the blue-eyed doves remind me that it's time to wake up.

i have everything i need in here with me, in this 13 by 9 foot space.

and it's the most perfect home i've ever lived in.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tina Eastoe

Tina during her volunteer stay at Kalani

If you are reading this you may be thinking about coming to Kalani as a volunteer.

The search for ‘something’ (maybe you're not exactly sure what yet) has brought you to this website, and now you're curious about this place called 'Kalani' on the Big Island of Hawaii.

That’s how it happened to me, anyway. As I sat reading through other blog posts six months ago, my heart beat a little faster. Why? Because each post provided a glimpse of what life was like at this special place, and what I heard resonated deep inside. I wanted what I was reading about. My soul needed it, and I'm guessing that yours might too.

For this reason I want to share a little about my own experience at Kalani in the hope that it will encourage you to have your own personal experience with, what I call, 'The Kalani Effect'.

As soon as I arrived I could tell that my time at Kalani would be life-changing.

The Big Island, with its lush jungle, volcano, powerful ocean and endless canopy of stars in the night sky couldn’t have been more different from my life in a small English town, a 'nine to five' office job, and live-for-the-weekend lifestyle.

Tina at The PointDuring my stay at Kalani I danced, laughed and laughed, ate well and tried all sorts of different classes, diving into everything that was on offer. I can't tell you how good it felt to be interested in new things again.

I swam in the pool almost every day, wove bracelets that I’ll keep forever, watched moonlight on the waves, smelled the most wonderful fragrances from flowers in the night air, helped make a community drum, sketched and painted, dressed up, had blissful massages, swam with sea turtles and colourful fish, made amazing friendships, had one of the most memorable birthdays ever in my 37 years, opened my heart, remembered what it was like to experience joy every day, and more and more and more…

Oh, I also cleaned some bathrooms and made quite a lot of beds! But even during my volunteer work hours at Kalani, there was still time to think, to reflect and to listen to myself.

One of the best bits about this place (because there are many best bits) is the people. The fellow volunteers and staff are fun, loving, supportive, mindful, interesting, entertaining, engaging and most of all being themselves. And they stay in your heart even once you’ve left.

Not a single day passed when I didn’t at some point think "I can’t believe I’m in Hawaii, I’m so lucky!"

And once I departed, my life was suddenly full of possibilities again. I was more confident that I could create the life I wanted rather than reacting to life around me. I was happier. I felt excited again.

Three months on, that same feeling of confidence and happiness - 'The Kalani Effect' - is still strong within me. My stay at Kalani has changed my life permanently.

So, if you do come to Kalani, at the very least you’ll have fun and catch some sun, and at the very best it will be a life-enhancing and life loving experience!

Kalani is a place where you have nothing to lose and everything to gain, so do whatever you need to do make your visit happen. If that means saving money, arranging vacation time, or taking care of other practical details, do it. If it means facing some fears and anxieties, so be it. Once you get to Kalani you’ll realise you don't need to hang onto fear and anxiety anymore. You'll have the time and space you need to get to know yourself. You'll learn to create and live the life you've always wanted for yourself.

In the end, my own experience of living and volunteering with this community – the Kalani 'ohana (family) – was truly more than I could have hoped for.

I hope you too will take the leap and honor whatever it is that is calling you to go.

* * *

Click here to read more about Kalani's Volunteer and Sabbatical programs.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Chris Roufs

Fireworks at Kalani

Every Monday a Kalani 'Ohana member is invited to inspire those present at our weekly community meeting with a speech, poem, song, quote, meditation or anything else of their choice.

Resident volunteer and filmmaker Chris Roufs shared an inspiration and ensuing video project so spectacular that we couldn't wait to put it on the Kalani blog.

Read the speech Chris gave to us about finding his inner firework at Kalani, and scroll down to view his video at the end of this post.

***
FIREWORKS AT KALANI

You don’t have to feel like a waste of space,
You’re original, cannot be replaced.
If you only knew what the future holds,
After a hurricane, comes a rainbow.

Maybe your reason why all the doors are closed,
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road.
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it’s time you’ll know.

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine.
Just own the night like the Fourth of July.

Cause baby you’re a firework!
Come on show em what you’re worth!
Make em go, oh, oh, oh.
As you shoot across the sky-y-y!


If you haven’t already figured it out, these are lyrics from a Katy Perry song called 'Firework'.

I had heard this song many times before I came to Kalani this time (my third visit as a volunteer), but I had never really listened to the lyrics very closely.

When I arrived at Kalani again and life slowed down (as it always does when I’m here)  the song’s lyrics were pointed out to me by one of my 'Ohana. I took the time to realize that they had some deeper meaning.

That’s one thing I think is so wonderful about this place.  Being here slows things down.  Knowing that you are a part of this 'Ohana and feeling love and the beauty of nature all around you, allows you the opportunity to go a bit deeper within yourself. To discover your Firework, so to speak.

Shortly after I arrived back home this time I went to Open Mic and I saw the plethora of talents here at Kalani. I remember thinking to myself, “I wish I had something to offer.”  I wanted to get up and sing a song, or play an instrument, or recite some poetry, but that didn’t really feel right.  Just thinking about it seemed forced.  It felt wrong for some reason.

It was shortly after this that I heard Katy’s song again… and I really took the time to listen to the lyrics and then (like Katy sings)… something started to ignite inside.   But I also realized that I didn’t need to DO anything to be special or be appreciated, all I needed to do was to search for that Firework in me, that Firework in all of us.

The ONLY thing any of us ever have to BE is ourselves.  To try and find that DEEPEST PUREST sense of SELF, the part of us that is PERFECT, with no EGO, no JUDGEMENT, no preconceived BELIEFS.  That part of us that is pure JOY!

So one morning while walking toward Kehena beach, with Katy’s song stuck in my head, I turned to two of my 'Ohana and said, "I think I’m gonna make a video to a Katy Perry song."  I was going to do it so that everyone could show off their firework, their joy.  And I wanted people outside of this place to see how Kalani helps to bring that joy out in each member of its 'Ohana!

I’ve always heard that when you find a project or an idea that you truly believe in, the work you do in order to complete that task feels effortless, that time means nothing while working on something that you love, and that you fall into a kind of zone.  That is what this video project was like for me.  I think I briefly tapped into my Firework, my pure joy.  And I’m ever so grateful to all of my 'Ohana (especially Janice, Stephen and Alissa) for helping me to experience that.

For those of you reading and watching this that have never been to Kalani, I hope you catch a glimpse of the JOY that you too can hopefully find here.  I hope you make the journey very soon, and I hope I get to meet you here in paradise.

Mahalo Nui Loa 'Ohana!  May this little video always make you smile and warm your heart as it does mine.

Chris Roufs

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ruth Tremato

Ruth - Kalani Volunteer in HawaiiWhen a friend of mine first invited me to spend time at Kalani, I tried to figure out what Kalani was all about. I couldn’t figure it out, but I liked the website and what my friend was saying.  Besides, what can be not great about Hawaii?  So I arranged my work life as my husband’s office manager and committed to 2 months in the volunteer program.

Now, after my 2-month stay, if I had to describe Kalani to someone, I would say:

Imagine living in a natural storybook Hawaiian jungle with all the amenities we are accustomed to but none of the stressors.

Imagine playing in a huge non-chlorinated pool, hiking as much or as little as you like, and luxuriating in a hot tub.

Imagine working in a greedless apolitical environment where you simply get to focus on the task at hand and on having a pleasant experience.

Imagine eating three luscious balanced nutrient-rich life-promoting meals a day without a thought given to grocery shopping, prepping, cooking, calories, blood sugars, or food combining.

Imagine that the biggest decision you have to make in your day is choosing an inspiring class/seminar/interactive group that you would like to attend.

Imagine instantly being a part of a supportive community. Accepted for who you are, on the path to discovering who you really are.

I once overheard a volunteer coordinator say “you are just going to be yourself when you come here.”  I am not sure what context he said it in, but what could be more empowering than that? 

You come to Kalani to be yourself - your true self.  You come to a place where you have no responsibilities to hide behind and no stressors to cloud your thinking.  You come to a place where you are surrounded by awesomely beautiful life-affirming nature, and where you are immersed in a culture of love and support. 

You come to a place where you are reminded of who you really are and you understand your true heart’s desire better than ever before.  You come to a place where paradigm shifts are the norm and where magic, for a lack of a better term, can happen.

Thank you, Kalani, for a hearty dose of love, clarity and sanity!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Noelani Rodriguez

Is Kalani a "Power Spot" or Vortex?

When it comes to "sacred geography," Hawaii often gets lost amongst the more famous locations such as Sedona, Machu Picchu, and the Egyptian pyramids.

Yet visitors to Kalani on the Big Island of Hawaii love to express their amazement at the power of this magical land. There's good reason why Shiva Rea calls Kalani "one of the most potent and nurturing retreat centers on Earth."

Consider the following:

Pele's Power - Kalani is just 10 miles from the foot of Kilauea volcano, a volcano filled with molten magnetic iron ore. Known in Hawai'i as the home of volcano goddess Pele, Hawaiians for centuries have celebrated the destructive and regenerative power of the volcano in chant and dances.

Author William Chiles writes, "Pele's lava is a powerful symbol, and the foundation of new beginnings. It acts as a field for the piezoelectric 'armature of you,' amplifying what you're all about." Chiles suggests that Pele magnetizes your desires and brings them to the surface. Visitors and residents at Kalani regularly share stories about finding new, positive directions here. Some people experience sudden, unexpected torrents of emotion, only to find they transform into the sunny skies of new visions and understanding. Guests and locals alike report finding a positive new direction here.

Ley lines and Vortexes - There are the long-held beliefs surrounding the "ley lines" around the Earth, which form an energetic grid around the planet. Vortexes are crossing points on the ley lines. In the book Secrets and Mysteries of Hawaii, one passage talks about the Big Island being connected in a planetary grid, showing precise interconnectedness with sacred spots around the planet like the pyramids of Egypt, Machu Picchu, Uluru in Australia, and the Big Island's Kilauea volcano.

The ley line coming into the South Point of the Big Island, not far from Kalani, is considered be one of the most powerful to hit land mass. Author William "Pila" Chiles talks about the South Point as a "doorway" where "the density of three dimensional reality seems to be very thin" and the energy is "very unusual."

The Big Island as a "Pyramid" - Given that many pyramids around the planet are built on ley lines, it may come as no surprise that the Hawaiian translation for the word "volcano" and the word "pyramid" are identical. It could be that the Mauna Loa and Kilauea volcanoes that are near to Kalani are actually the biggest pyramids of all!

Prophecy about the Big Island - White Eagle Medicine Woman, a frequent visitor to Kalani, a teacher and channel, spoke to a large Kalani audience about how she felt guided to build a community drum at Kalani. White Eagle refers to Hawaii as the heart chakra, or heart center, for the planet. She refers to Alaska as the crown and Macchu Piccu in Peru as the root. White Eagle's prophecy is that Kalani and the Big Island have a bigger role in shifting mass consciousness for change, setting the energy of intention through a powerful global grid.

The Big Island of Hawaii may not be as famous for "sacred geography" as Sedona, Giza, or Machu Picchu - but clearly it has a powerful spot to hold amongst its well-known cousins. Either way, there is no doubt that those who visit again and again will confidently declare Kalani as a "power spot" for finding direction and creating new dreams.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Noelani Rodriguez with Wailana Simcock

"Supernature" a site specific work at "The Point" by Wai Company Dance Theater

Interview with Artistic Director Wailana Simcock

Many people at Kalani Retreat Center love "The Point."

The Point is known as a powerful site where you have an 180 degree view of the ocean and also of the lava flow in the distance.

The Point - Kalani Retreat Center - Spiritual and Yoga RetreatsMost people here at Kalani have stories about The Point being a symbolic place for them--sometimes they've invited all their friends there for a party, sometimes they've used it for an individual ritual like prayer or meditation. The Point is definitely a special place, and on Saturday March 19th, 5:30pm there will be a performance out at The Point with dancers and actors from both the Puna community and Kalani. This performance called "Supernature," is inspired by the Point itself and the epic story of Hi'iakaikapoliopele.  It will be performed by the grass roots troupe, Wai Company with founder and Artistic Director Wailana Simcock, who is also part of the Kalani staff.

Here is an interview with Wailana about performing at The Point.

NR: People that visit Kalani love "The Point." So you're doing a performance at The Point called "site-specific." Sounds like fun, can you explain "site-specific" for us?

Wailana: Site-specific simply implies that the actual site of the work being performed is pertinent to the piece/art.  I have worked with choreographers who have taken this idea to the hilt.  Like when I danced with Pearl Ubungen in San Francisco 1993, we danced at a pit where once stood a building, The I-Hotel, which housed the first wave of Filipino Immigrants to the US and where in 1973 they were cruelly displaced.  A human barricade that was 5 man deep awaited the cops at 5 am in the morning of their wrongful eviction.  The site sat empty for 20 years.  On the 20th anniversary of the eviction, Pearl decided to perform right there, so we had the corner of Kearny and Jackson street shut down for our 3 night performances.  It was amazing!

Also, Anna Halprin was a great inspiration for not only Pearl and I, but for the whole of Modern Dance.  She is a well known Choreographer and Activist.  She had a performance on a Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County, California where the community re-enacted these rapes that had ravaged her community. The re-enactment was a way to "reclaim" the mountain that was seen as spiritual symbol for them.  It was a way to "take the mountain back," also expressing grief, uniting the community around the tragedies.

Coincidentally, a week after this performance, a tip came in and the perpetrator was caught. Whether it was due to the performance or not does not really matter.  The fact that the community was able to heal and take back the mountain was powerful and meaningful enough.  Him being captured was just extra!

NR: Many people at Kalani love The Point, a magical place where you can see 180 degree views of the ocean, hear it roar, and do rituals or celebrations. Many visitors to Kalani have stories about special occasions or soulful moments. I know someone that had a birthday party on The Point, someone else that reclaimed her body after 5 years of being in pain due to an accident by doing Qi Gong on The Point.

Can you tell us why you chose The Point?

Wailana Simcock - Choreographer - Kalani Retreat CenterWailana: The Point was just the most logical place to go outside while here at Kalani. Thus it is a celebration of nature really, more than reclaiming anything or making a poltical statement.  It is to honor the 'aina (land) and to recall the story of Hi'iaka and Pele where they live here in Puna.  It is so inspiring to live where their myths and legends are lived out.  And, as you know, the Point is so symbolic.  To me it is  like where time stands still, a portal to the gods and the sea,  a symbol of union where the sea meets the sky.  Supernature is a nod to the super nature found here and to the supernatural gods and goddesses of Hawaii.

NR: One well known Goddess of Hawaiian myth is Pele...

Wailana: Pele has chosen to live here next to us, with her "clan," right here at Kileaua.  We are right next to her, we feel her everyday. We can't do a dance outside without talking about Pele. I want to pay homage to this wahi pana (storied place) of Puna that have been told for hundreds of years.

NR: What will you be doing for the performance?

Wailana: It's very eclectic and all over the place.  Some acting, spoken word. Some oli (chanting). We're going to be doing some Aerial work too on the tissue, ring, and straps, hanging from the trees there. We're going to have a Nina Simone song I am excited to work on in the aerial straps, a pas de deux to "Wild is the Wind" by my favorite, Nina Simone.

We'll have some different influences, like some kitschy camp 70s music (Supernature by Cerrone), some original hula and oli, songs about Pele.

NR: How can we come see you in this unique performance?

The performance is Saturday March 19th, 5:30pm at The Point. We are accepting love donations of any kind!  We are a very young company and are very ambitious. We are premiering Wai Company, our name, our mission and and our website -  waicompany.com.  We are stoked to be this unique dance theater company based out of Puna. We are faced with lots of challenges here but we make them into opportunities.  You have to to survive. You gotta be creative. I never would of thought I would start a dance company here. But I am so glad I did.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

by Thomas Tunsch

Thomas TunschWhen I drove down the highway towards Kalapana on September 6th, it was not the first time that I looked forward to spending a vacation in Kalani. But this time was different, and that became clear as soon as I spotted the plume of Puhio-o-kalaikini where Pele is fighting with her sister Nāmaka. Never before, since my first visit to Puna in 1993, was the ocean entry of a lava flow so close to Kalapana, and it made me wonder what surprises I could expect during the next month.

While entering the Red Road I felt like I was coming home. At the same time I saw the differences: there were only a few Lehua blossoms to spot. Well, my last visit in 2006 was during the Merry Monarch Festival, and I had been told already that the islands had been suffering from a serious drought for a long time. But soon I reached Kehena where the dark green tunnel over the road covered the signs of water shortage. Then I was surprised, because Hale Aloha right at the ocean front of Kalani wasn't there 4 years ago. How would the larger Kalani be different from the smaller community that I had experienced during several visits as a guest since 1998?

Soon I would know, because this time I would be a “Sabbatical Volunteer” – volunteering for two days every week and enjoying all the guests’ amenities for the remaining days. But even as a guest I would have the privileges like a regular volunteer with free classes and the choice to spend my time with other guests or in the ʻohana. Checking in at the “Guest Services” brought me back into the relaxed atmosphere of the place again – the friendly welcome, familiar faces and voices, and I'd live at “Ocean Vista” in the house which I knew from my last stay in 2006 already.

The following days were filled with friendly “welcome back” memories, introducing myself to new volunteers and the soothing rhythm of life between sunrise and sunset. My idea to work on Wednesdays and Thursdays was accepted by Barcus, the manager of the agriculture department, and so the next Wednesday I started my volunteer work. After breakfast I joined my soon-to-be coworkers on the truck to the nursery where we started with a short meeting. I introduced myself to the others, and was welcomed by the small crew of the day. I learned that my choice of working Wednesdays and Thursdays would be perfect, because these days are reserved for projects mostly.

During the four weeks I stayed in Kalani we worked on a new path for guests and staff along the road. For me this project evolved into a very satisfying experience. Combined with the botanical tour given by Barcus, I learned a lot about the plants on the property and their traditional use by Hawaiians. Joining the Lauhala weaving classes with Lynda Tuʻa and the Hula classes with Jonathan Kaleikaukeha Lopez every Tuesday completed my adventures in Hawaiian culture and nature in a beautiful way.

Thomas and agriculture crewAll these wonderful classes and the work in the agriculture department were also connected by the inspiring teachers as well as the tradition in Kalani to start every activity with the “E ho mai” chant written by Edith Kanakaʻole. When I look back on the year 2010 now, these four weeks as a sabbatical volunteer in Kalani were not only a cultural and educational experience, but nurturing for body and soul at the same time.

I'm very grateful for the time that I could spend with the wonderful people in Kalani and for their affection. And therefore stronger then during my earlier visits I felt the prophetic meaning of the Hawaiian farewell “a hui hou” – until we meet again.

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Friday, October 8, 2010

Eva Neuhaus

thank you pele
for embracing me with open arms
for teaching me what it isEva Neuhaus
to create myself anew
over and over and over again
putting that which no longer serves
into the fire of transformation;
birthing new land
from fire,
a place to stand.

thank you
for giving me the time i needed
to let the running around
run itself out
for slowing me down
to see
how out of stillness,
movement emerges organically.

for heart-to-hearts with lizards
the heady scent of night jasmine, asking:
does the harvest of your life sustain you?
and the seeds you plant each day--
will they grow to nourish you, in time?
answer this question:
what's really important?
over and over and over again.

they say it takes a village
to raise a child,
but many of us
didn't grow up that way.
thank you for filling in some pieces
of my puzzle
becoming sister,
brother,
crazy uncle.

living as family
with people you just met
brings the concept
of interdependence
close enough to touch
the favor you do for me
in the morning
returned by another
in the afternoon.

thank you
everyone
for being everywhere
all the time
especially the person
i didn't want to see
holding a mirror to my face,
insistently.

thank you
for teaching me
to love in the moment
and then let go.
for safe haven
to let myself be known;
for remembering that everyone
is soft underneath
before other stuff gets in the way.

thank you
to the goddess of the freebox,
whose abundance is legendary
providing costumes for us
to wear every day.
for men who let me do their hair
dress them up
and send them down the runway
in silver leggings
butterfly wings
and a bikini top.
(work it, girl!)
for all the fags
a hag could ever ask for.

thank you
for giving me
a positive
high school experience
the second time around.
for dancing on top of
washing machines
and dryers
first thing in the morning;
for late-night conversations
in the laundry shed;
for rambutans taped
to the top
of my saved dinner.

thank you
for the anonymous gifts
left in mailboxes.
for creative expression everywhere,
and all the hidden talents
that everyone seems to have.
for chandeliers and flat screen tvs
in a-frames--
who knew
that a shack
in the jungle
could have so much potential?

thank you for the generosity
of this land
for the abundance of spirit
that lives here
for so many rainbows,
double rainbows,
moonbows. for cats that smell like flowers
for lilikoi, lychees, coconuts,
guavas, starfruit, soursop
nourishment
grows on trees here,
grows all around.
for the blessing of being
in a place
where nature is alive
and speaking all the time
for grace
for living aloha
i am so grateful.

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