Kalani Honua Blog

Friday, January 25, 2008

Kalani `Ohana

Bell BurningOn the evening of January 1, 2008, in a brilliant display, the Wishing Bell - Burning Basket of New Beginning, met it's final conclusion through fire. The hanging bell was woven with locally gathered natural materials, and filled with the written intentions that were placed inside. All of the heartfelt messages, inside and out, were released through the sparks and flames that drifted up into the starry night sky.

This collaborative woven basket sculpture, at Kalani Oceanside Retreat, Big Island, Hawaii, was the 10th in a series of similar community interactive art projects facilitated my Mavis Muller, Homer Alaska, and due in part to funding from the Black Rock Arts Foundation, San Francisco, CA.

Mavis Muller

Art facilitator Mavis Muller added the finishing touches to the large woven basket sculpture before it is ignited. The origami paper whales were created by elementary students in Homer, Alaska, and sent to Hawaii as a gift to be placed on this burning basket sculpture with wishes for a safe journey for the humpback whales that migrate from Alaska to Hawaii.

Thanks to all who contributed unique efforts and talents toward the ambiance of the evening, including fire spinning artists Maxwell and Julia, traditional Hawaiian chanting by Kimo, drummers, and hand-painted luminaria by Shola.

Julia firespinningMaxwell firespinning










May the warmth of the memories we shared keep us illuminated and connected.

Something has ended.
Something has begun.

Learn more about the Burning Basket Project at www.mavismullerart.com

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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Reid Manchester

It changes you.

Build your walls as high as you want. Make them 6 feet thick. Use the hardest stone. Eventually your walls will be worn down.

Sure, you can fight it. Hold people at arms length, cling to your bad habits, defence mechanisms, wit, charm, sarcasm, humor, fear. Hide behind shyness, a quiet disposition, 9 thin layers or three thick ones. It doesn’t matter.

You’ll start to care about people. Eventually. Because they care about you.

DriftwoodYou’ll stop seeing faults and start seeing strengths. You’ll stop criticizing and start encouraging. You’ll BE one of those strange people that walks around hugging people you just saw an hour ago. Give it enough time and you’ll hug strangers, regardless of their asinine concept of personal space.

Those notions you have about gender and sexual preference will fade. Soon it won’t matter. Soon you won’t care what they’re wearing, or if they’re wearing anything at all.

All that fear you’ve lived with your whole life? Fears about who you are, what you do, how you do it, what you look like, what others think, what your life means. Don’t worry, that blanket of fear will unravel. You’ll be free of it soon.

Welcome to Kalani.

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Lorien McClenaghan

palmInvocation for The Angel of Kalani

We are grateful
to the angel of Kalani
for overlooking the spirit
of this community
from its inception
until now.

We join
to formally invoke
the presence
of the angel of Kalani

May she continue to guide this community
to grow as an ever deepening place of love,
personal freedom,
fun,
inner peace
and spiritual understanding.

And so it is.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lorien McClenaghan - Volunteer, Oct. 2007 - Jan. 2008

Lorien

There is a secret at Kalani,
and ... 'most everybody knows it!

flowerWhen you come here, you change.
You release the past of stress and inhibition.

And release the YOU...
The you so deeply yearning to be free.

Free ... free to express in each moment,
whatever comes, whatever feels, whatever is
the essence of your true Self in that moment in time.

The old timers,
they just watch and wait ...
To see the newcomer bite on the Kalani bait.

And after the seed is planted,
the essential flower grows,
unfurls its delirious petals of many colors,
and sticks out its tongue in delight!

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Kalani `Ohana

Winter SolsticeUnder the direction of Mavis Muller, an Artist-in-Residence from Alaska, a team of volunteers collaborated in the weaving of a large 'wishing bell' basket which was installed in the Buddha Grove.

After a dedication ceremony in the afternoon, with poems, chants and story weaving, Mavis and volunteers created a spiral luminaria, each beautifully adorned with an original bamboo painting by Shola.

After the nearly-full moon rose on the Winter Solstice, volunteers danced in a rhythmic procession through the lighted spiral to celebrate the Solstice and the new installation.

May the warmth of the memories we shared keep us illuminated and connected. May the energy generated that night spiral ever outward with the spirit of aloha!

Wishing Bell Invitation

Wishing BellAll are invited to interact with this woven 'wishing bell'
in your own personal way.

Decorate the outside with found objects from nature.

Use the materials provided in this box, leaves and markers.
(Please close it again when you are finished.)

Write down your wishes.

Write your sentiments on a leaf, or paper fold it up and tuck it inside the basket in the theme of:

  • manifestation for the upcoming year;

  • wishes for wellness for yourself, loved ones, for all of creation;

  • things you are grateful for;

  • anything that you would like to release, to make way for new beginnings, etc.....

On January 1, 7:30 pm, at this location, the Buddha Grove,
the 'wishing bell' basket will meet it's conclusion through fire.
The basket will burn, respectfully releasing all of your heartfelt messages.

Something has ended. Something has begun.

This interactive art project is facilitated by Mavis Muller, Homer, Alaska, and is the tenth in a series. mavismullerart.com

Invocation
by Mavis Muller

Corn,
symbol of abundance,
food for the present,
seeds for the future.
With the corn rattle,
we lift and scatter,
to all the directions,
the needs and desires,
of all humanity,
and all of creation,
we do this with trust,
knowing in our hearts,
that we will be provided for.

Gourd,
symbol of gratitude,
opening hearts,
expanding compassion.
With the gourd rattle,
we lift and scatter,
to all the directions,
our joyful gratitude,
for the blessings in our lives,
the beauty of our purpose,
the bounty of the Earth.
we do this with love,
our ultimate treasure.

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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Kalani `Ohana

Just because we live in a yoga retreat in the jungle on the slopes of a volcano in the middle of the Pacific Ocean doesn't mean we lack the amenities of culture!

Kalani art showKalani's Art Show on December 14th was a feast for the senses. Organized by Ben Ellis and Tiff Manchester, and supported by local residents and volunteers, there was art, music, food, wine, poetry, dance, and a fashion show.

Our current Artist-in-Residence, Mavis Muller of Homer, Alaska, directed a basket weaving project that produced wonderful works of art from local plants. Her work can be seen at www.mavismullerart.com.

Pictures of the Art show are up in a new gallery on Kalani's website. Click HERE or on the picture for the gallery. We hope you can be at the next one!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Mike Bailey

Mike Bailey I voted for George W. Bush. Not once, but twice. I’m from a conservative Christian town in the mountains of Virginia. The monotony of my life was overwhelming. The same cup of coffee, the same bagel, the same shirt and tie. I didn’t smile enough. I needed a change.

I felt common. But, Kalani was uncommon, and I feared I would never fit in. I was afraid of people I thought I would never understand. I was afraid to be open. I was insecure and defensive, and I judged you before I knew you. At times my wall wouldn’t let you in. I was afraid to put my foot on the EMAX dance floor. I feared I would look silly. My soul heard the music and longed to explode into feverish dance. My brain talked me out of it. I envied those who were braver than I. I was surrounded, but felt alone. I was afraid of what you might think of me. Real men don’t cry. I’m a coward.

Risks are never easy, and change doesn’t always come fast. But, I remembered how I was as a child. I remembered how I dance when no one is looking. I remembered the joy of Christmas morning, and innocence of youth. I felt like letting go of all the burdens the world told me carry on my back. I wanted ignore the voices that said I wasn’t good enough. I wanted to tell you what you meant to me. I wanted to love with reckless abandon. It scared me to know you could see right through me. I wanted to be more like you. I wanted to be me.

You and I became friends. Sometimes you couldn’t tell if I was joking, or being serious. Sometimes I couldn’t tell. You and I went to the mountain top, saw the sun set, allowed the rain to fall onto our skin. Each conversation, each hug, each soft kiss, removed a brick from my wall. You were real. This was not a dream. I have the power to change. I have the privilege to change what I can. Change is my responsibility. Love changes hearts. I must remember you.

Three months passed. You were a part of it all. Even if I didn’t know you well, you were a part of it. An internal revolution occurred. A war between the dreamer and the cynic. The cynic looks pretty beat up. The dreamer has had a second wind.

I danced my last ecstatic dance. You saw me smile and you smiled back. No words necessary I read your mind. I wanted to dance so hard my feet would hurt. I wanted to remember why my feet hurt. I danced with fire. Sometimes the flame came from the staff, sometimes it came from inside. They both burned so bright.

I hugged you goodbye. You managed to squeeze a final smile from my lips. We were strangers to start, but friends as we part. I am sad to go, but am happy to have met you. I realize what you really mean to me when I know you won’t be in my life every day.

I waived goodbye from the car window and honked my horn as I drove from Kalani. I cried in my car, and cried all the way to the airport. Real men can cry. I have 16 hours on a plane. I dread being alone with my thoughts for that long. I wish you were with me to talk to. It’s so quiet without you. The world I return to feels black and white. Kalani gave me a paint brush. The colors are brilliant. Time to start painting. The pages of tomorrow are blank. I have a pen. Time to start writing. Will you take my hand?

It was never about fitting into Kalani. It was about fitting Kalani into me.

The following is the poem I shared at the `Ohana night. I hope you enjoy it!


Michael’s Poem

From Virginia to Kalani, what would I find? A place I could really be me, body and mind?
A frames of ants, ecstatic dance, kirtan chants, hold onto your pants.
I had found a place of open hearts, open eyes, and open doors. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore.
Surrounded by nudity and gay men I thought I was in trouble.
I just wanted to go home to my safe, conservative, Christian bubble.
But, all bubbles burst and worlds collide and this time I decided I’m not going to hide.
Because you can’t live life like a game of hide and seek.
So hours became days, and days into weeks.
My mind began to open like a flag unfurled. I was experiencing all of this strange new world.
Capoeira moves, hip hop grooves, nature walks, opening circle talks
I witnessed people being true and free. I witnessed what sometimes the eyes don’t see.
Although there were many moments from August to November, surely it is you I will
Always remember.
A full lunar eclipse, volunteer trips, hula moving hips, songs from Kimo’s lips.
Perhaps it was Gerard in the café, going to Hilo bay, or watching Charlie’s DVD’s on a rainy day.
I saw human tenderness between Kathy and Kasi, and got dressed like a woman with a little help from Bree.
Or what about talking story late on the lanai, or the crystal clearness of the night sky.
I saw rainbows and moonbows, went ecstatic at EMAX, and saw the passing of the torch when we said goodbye to THE Max (Fathom).
Hemi Sync and mystic thought, I even got little naked. Who would have thought?
But not all days was I happy and glad. I’m know I made mistakes that made you mad or sad.
And although there were storms in our spiritual weather, my only regret is you….that I didn’t know you better.
It’s only now I truly understand.
I have gay friends, straight friends, friends from far away lands.
So now I pray for you to God above.
And I bid you farewell, Aloha, from Michael with love.

Love,
Michael

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Beverly Mendoza

Beverly Mendoza“It sure as hell doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving,” Todd said today as we were driving down the Red Road, windows down, Al Green playing in the background, eighty-something degrees, sun just roasting our skin, typical day off, doing errands in Pahoa.

We’re both from Chicago and Thanksgiving in Chicago is more like: driving your car through crowded streets, shoppers everywhere getting their Thanksgiving Sale on, Christmas music ad nauseum spilling out of every store and restaurant, scarf weather, boots weather. Not a bad scene either, we reminisced.

So this is my first tropical Thanksgiving with this new group of kids and I couldn’t be more happy and thankful for all that has happened this year. For all the lessons, for all the tragedies, for all the moments of redemption, for all the people I’ve met, for the embrace of this beautiful island and I couldn’t imagine celebrating this holiday elsewhere.

tropical jungleWe’re all away from our families this holiday. And as one of my great friends, Marco, said today to me, “because we’re in the jungle and so far away from the mainland and our families, holidays like this bring us so much closer to each other, we cling on.”

There’s something about surrogate families. The family we create outside our bloodline. The people we choose to love and surround ourselves with are truly reflections of who we really are. They are our mirrors, they become our foundations, they become the fire within us to live the best and most compassionate lives we can. They come from all over the world (especially at a place like Kalani which seems to just be magnet for super cool folks) and imagine all the stories and fates and destinies that have to line up to get us all here at this time, in this moment. From a fated conversation to a lost job to a random article read in the New York Times – whatever the catalyst was that sparked the idea to come to Kalani, it is all connected to this larger and more profound web that is constantly being spun, that is constantly connecting us.

Todd is going to cook some turkey on the grill tomorrow which he helped build for Kalani years ago when he was here last. His name as well as this Japanese kid’s name, Ichiban, is carved into the cement. We bought the wine and the beer from town today and we’re pretty set. We’re going to set up Thanksgiving games on his lawn and have it be an all day affair. Corn hole (aka bean bags), football, Frisbee, dodgeball… you name it, we’re going to play it.

I’m also going to take this filmmaker, Alli, a guest here, who is doing a film on Kalani volunteers, on a real estate tour of A-Frame land tomorrow. We’re going right after breakfast and I’ll be playing host. My TV days have begun, apparently. As my friend Claire Cooey (aka Cooooooooeeey) says, “who am I?” It’s her signature motto when we wake up every morning and have our “morning meetings” about the day before and always there is a story which makes us both wonder “who are we?”

I took a guest from the Gaia group on a real-estate tour yesterday of A-frame land. She was just walking across the lawn and wanted to take a peek. So we A-frame hopped. She owns a healing center in Australia. She’s angelic --- long blonde hair, deep blue eyes, a flowing white sundress on, she practically walks as if she was levitating. She asked me what brought me here.

“Magic,” I said. “I got a random email from who knows who on the day I was laid off from my job. I went into my office and wondered what the hell I was going to do next and there in my inbox was an email about Kalani’s Volunteer Program. I still don’t know to this day who sent it to me, to my work email of all places. It was so illogical, it was so random, I knew it was the next adventure. “

buddhaShe asked if this was enough for me. If I was happy. That day (yesterday) I spent the whole day hopping from the sauna, to the pool, to the hot tub with my friend Marco and Chris Angel. We soaked up the sun, we made English Breakfast tea, we drank lots of water and I swam around the pool with my snorklers under water for hours pulling Marco around in his round float with just one finger linked to his. I did back strokes away from the reclining six-ton Buddha in our meditation garden existing between these beautiful bamboo trees. I’ve had the most wonderful conversations all day. I was told that this gorgeous man named Reese, a master of martial arts, covered in tattoos, with the lightest bluest eyes you just want to dive in and never surface, his friend told me in the sauna, “I’m not supposed to say anything to you, but my friend over there has been admiring your beauty all morning. He thinks you’re so beautiful.” I’ve gotten and given at least thirty kisses all day and who knows how many warm hugs. I live in a great lil’ a-frame. I love people so much that it hurts sometimes, but it’s worth it. Yeah, I think this is enough for me. Yeah, I think I’m happy.

“What did you used to do in your past life,” she asked.

“I was an editor for three magazines in Chicago,” I answered.

“Life was insane. And now I am here,” I said, as I opened my arms in the middle of the jungle encompassing “here” while Tangerine (our resident orange cat in our neighborhood) meowed at us as if confirming that yes, life is good, there is plenty to be grateful for. “Word.”

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Wherever you are, I hope you are surrounded by wonderful people, lots of laughter, and love.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Beverly Mendoza

Beverly MendozaThe WE (Women's Entertainment) Network flew through Kalani this week and filmed our retreat for their Great Escapes show. They took shots of the sunrise, of Kehena Beach, of our food spread on the lawn, of our beautiful rain forest, of our weekly hula class with Kimo and Richard, and interviewed a few folks.

There was such a buzz that morning. Not only were the kitchen staff clad in Kalani shirts and looking extra-peppy in the morning, but the Gaia group brought in a lot of great energy with them as well, especially the fairies (the women with wings and fairy giggles that hug and kiss everyone they pass). The giddiness was so contagious that day.

Kalani poolI had a great morning relaxing by the pool and swimming and catching up with some girls at the pool, where small talk is simply impossible. We just dive on in. That’s one of the greatest things about Kalani and the people that come through, the conversation always just cuts through the surface within the first minute. I’ve never had more interesting and honest conversation in my life. We recharged in the sun and talked about future plans and always recognizing how lucky we are to be where we are with the people we are with. We spoke of freedom and happiness and living in the moment and love. Wonderful poolside revelations.

My interview took place right after lunch. We set up a chair on the lawn with people frolicking in the background by the pool. As I was hooked up to the microphone and got situated it started raining (the first time that day as it was as clear and sunny all morning). We then had to pack up and move on to the tree house and filmed there.

Chris and Mike, the film crew from Maui, are cousins and couldn’t be any more Chicago. Big burly guys, down-to-earth with a Midwestern teddy bear quality about them. Chris actually lived where I grew up in Chicago and even went to the same art school as me. Such coincidences at Kalani no longer surprise me because we chance upon such connections all the time here. Just a few weeks ago, the family of our resident surfer and artist, Roy Ruiz, was visiting from Canada. I was talking to his father over lunch and we just happened to realize that the one person he knows in Chicago (the ONE PERSON!) his cousin, is my godfather and father’s best friend. Ana Lisa, our resident fashionista extraordinaire from Oakland, California, we share so many mutual friends, it’s so weird that we’ve never met before Kalani. Everyone here is connected not by six degrees of separation but more like two degrees of separation.

The set-up took awhile. We had to wait for the helicopters to stop flying over Kalani. They had to get the lighting perfect. I sat in front of light for awhile, I felt a bit like chick incubating under the hot lights. We were talking story the entire time and I couldn’t have felt more comfortable. But once the camera lights went on and the countdown began… 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and Nathan, our Marketing Manager, started in on the question and morphed into Matt Lauer, the butterflies began to revolt inside my stomach, my brain, my throat.

“You’re just talking to a piece of equipment,” Mike said.

“And my mother,” I responded.

I got through it. I don’t remember what came out of my mouth, but it was a fun experience. We talked about what 'ohana means to me and about the volunteer experience. It’s going to be so funny watching this on TV.

We had a wrap party afterwards at Todd’s house. Todd is one of our chefs, also a Chicagoan. The film crew came. A few guests joined us and some volunteers and it was a great evening. Chris and Mike looked like they felt at home immediately.

I don’t know if cameras can ever capture the magic that is Kalani. You have to just be here. You have to just sit by the pool and soak up the sun and look into people’s eyes and have a laugh. Then you may begin to get it.

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Thursday, November 8, 2007

Beverly Mendoza

Beverly MendozaFor Frank:

How can one of the worst days of my life be followed by one of the best days of my life? You’d think such days would be rationed out better by the Universal Council. Before I dive into it let’s rewind to two weeks ago during my daily meditation at the secret beach.

I sneak away there in the mornings to be alone and figure things out – be it a story, be it real life and I do so as I watch the waves crash against the rocks, watch the tide pools fill up. I’ve seen a Hawaiian woman begin the birthing process there with her midwife. I left promptly for it seemed too sacred for an audience. I’ve seen two teenagers roll around playing kissyface without a care in the world there. I’ve seen a battered old woman with long white hair stroll the sand with her mangy dog. And I remember thinking when she looked at me, that’s Pele.

It was that day that I saw her and her dog when I saw the heart in the sky. It’s my belief that all the knowledge we need in this lifetime already exists all around us, in every moment, especially in nature. In the elements. In the molecules and electrons that float around waiting for us to perceive and make them real, make them meaningful and therefore learn.

I was just bellyaching to a friend how my life since I’ve gotten back from Chicago has been so boring. I was writing, it was quiet. Life was still. And I realized that I should be grateful for that and as I decided on the beach that I was going to be grateful, how I was going to use this time and space well, I opened my eyes and above me was a cloud shaped into a perfect heart. It was hallow and deeply blue inside. And as this slow thick wind blew, it expanded and kept on expanding until it was no longer a heart but two separate long strands of clouds. It down-poured for about five minutes. I put my dress back on. And then a rainbow poured right into the ocean in front of me. An omen, in hindsight. A storm and then a rainbow

Coconut BeachThe storm: I got word shortly after that a great friend in Chicago passed away. He was 34. He was a force to be reckoned with in this life. A dynamic, handsome, talented man. We were roommates during the most bohemian period of my life in Chicago – the art school days. We’ve spent many late nights talking about ideal realities, about our dreams and everything else under the sun. We talked plenty about love. An Frank loved a lot. The news of his death hit me like a freight train

I once saw this documentary on PBS about a tribe of monkeys. When one monkey is sick and dying, the other monkeys from their tribe gather around him and form an unbreakable circle. They turn their backs from him and face the abysmal forest. And they stand there until the monkey recovers or passes away. Sometimes this lasts weeks. They do not eat, nor sleep as they stand guard.

As I have been grieving Frank’s death, my tribe here at Kalani stood around me and stared down the forces in the rainforest for me until I was better. It was overwhelming at times – the love that was shown. From energy work, to an incredible Watsu session, to laughter, to laying with me, to embraces, to the deep silences – it was such profound love. It was humbling and something I will never forget.

RainbowThe rainbow: The next day after I heard the news, I woke up heartbroken. Literally, this ache in my chest was climbing up my throat. *C, an angel, the woman with a white star tattooed on the side of her face, swept in and took me on a road trip to the City of Refuge on the other side of the island. Motion was the key to my survival that day, the destination was simply the cherry on top.

We stopped at the market to pick up food for our picnic. I stayed in the car. And Frank came to me. He sat in the driver’s seat and held my hand and told me this with his wily look, the type of look he gets when he’s meeting a beautiful young lady for the first time (I’ve seen it plenty of times during our late nights romping around Chicago):

This is it, he said. This is the ride. Enjoy it. I’m okay, I was ready. And he laughed and shook his head. I did all the talking and crying and laughing after that. Frank joined us for the rest of the road trip. Sitting in the back seat, driving around the Big Island with two women – I mean c’mon, he couldn’t have been more stoked. Even *C felt his presence. And I talked story about him all day. Glimpses of anything scarlet or red or orange caught my eye all day, for Frank was a red head. I fed red mohawked birds during our picnic and named the one that flirted with people the most, Frank. I saw red lights on the horizon from a cruise ship perhaps and figured Frank was on it having a cocktail or two causing a ruckus. I saw an orange and red sunset descend into the night. He was everywhere, even in the eyes of the dogs and people I encountered that day.

We arrived at Two Step and we snorkeled. *C swam with a sting ray that looked like an eagle. She told me to swim towards the horizon, until the ocean simply drops and maybe I’d see him. I took off, with my split fins, just cruising towards the horizon. I never saw the sting ray, but swimming towards the abyss was such a profound experience for me. All day, I felt as light as a napkin in the wind. When we stopped to get gas and fill up my tires with air, I had to hold on to my car, because as I stepped out, I felt like I would just be blown away. I don’t know why. But as I swam over the coral reefs, I felt like I was flying over hills and mountains. Totally invincible and weightless. And I realized something about perspective. Why is it, I wondered, that sometimes I feel like I’m simply drifting on a raft and floating on land and when I’m in the water I feel like I’m flying. It was as if the world flipped over. And it’s all about perspective. This breakdown that I was bracing myself for, what I thought I had no control over, well it’s all perspective I realized. When it is all paired down – the grief, the heartache, the loss – it all comes down to love. And love is a beautiful experience, a liberating feeling inside to go that deep with your emotions. Frank loved a lot. And I loved him so much. And we lived life so intensely, so deeply, so artfully and I will always be so grateful that I had him in my life and for those moments we shared.

It was a multifaceted road trip. For that same day, my friends in Chicago were driving four hours to Terra Haute, Indiana for the visitation. Being so far away from Chicago and my friends made me feel so unanchored, but during this drive, as *C careened down these snake-like roads cutting through the rainforest, I was transported to the flatlands of Mid-America. And I shit you not, I was in that car with my friends at one point. Staring at the half-moon, looking at all of their bright faces, feeling their pain, hearing their laughter --- it was so profound, I don’t even know how to write about it.

This road trip is also a first I took with *C, a friend I hold so close to my heart. Creating intense moments with this great friend, while at the same time reminiscing and grieving about the moments I had with Frank --- it just had so many layers to it. *C and I stopped a lot on our road trip. To buy fruit, to get coffee, to meet awesome dogs, to picnic, to watch the sunset, to stretch our legs and ask for directions, to talk a lil’ bit of story with some locals – it was a road trip after all. Each stop was filled with endless possibilities of experience, of epiphanies, of natural wonder. Motion was the key to my survival that day, to instill in me that life keeps moving. That dogs keep barking, fruit keeps growing, that the sun always sets, and the moon always shines, and love even when it hurts, always expands our hearts and the cloudy shapes in the sky always dissolve as the wind continues to blow.

At the end of this very long day, we stopped at my family’s house in Hilo for a bon voyage party. We ate such awesome food, it’s ridiculous – chicken papaya, mechado, pansit (Filipino staples) and even beer bread with lilikoi butter smothered on top. My cousin just arrived back from Chile and met his son for the first time. They were gathered around the table in the kitchen looking at photographs of our little Pablo in Chile. Kids were running around everywhere. I must have looked so haggard, so stretched out (I certainly felt like I had just been skinned alive), but I never felt so peaceful in my whole life, I don’t think.

The next day was Frank’s funeral. I worked a double in the kitchen at Kalani. My friends Claire and Nate took me on another road trip the next day. We walked through Lava Tree Park after spending an afternoon at the secret beach. We danced down the winding paths and they just kept me laughing all day. We set on the fault line, the “shelf” of the world and this man named Burp jumped out of a van filled with some Puna-style Merry Pranksters with balloon animals on their heads (I shit you not). And Burp was clad in a trenchcoat a la Hunter S. Thompson. He looked like he just landed from a journey from Mars. He had this beautiful red necklace on with a giant wooden tribal hook dangling on his chest. It’s been passed down from his Hawaiian ancestors. He spoke to us about the Universe, about God, about the Children of Mu --- about all sorts of things --- his outlaw nature reminded me of Frank too. He very much sounded like Frank, a man of many words who can talk endlessly about any topic the dart hits.

And why the hell not? It’s all perspective . We create our own realities, we color our own stories. Frank is everywhere now to me. I have proclaimed him my guru for love. And he shall lead me and laugh at me and be one of those monkeys in my circle and I for him.

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