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Pelé

One of my published story from the Chicken Skin: True Spooky Stories of Hawaii, Compiled by Rick Carrolle7bc3b71-ce8c-4ffd-85c8-5087f40fdbbf

The day was bright; the sky was full of vog washing the sky gray. The air smelled thick and had a sense of foreboding to it. Birds were unusually absent and there wasn’t a wisp of wind. Towering Palm trees stood like sentinels watching over the sparse landscape, protecting it, holding it against the ferocious winds that can whip across the land at times. The sea glistened a brilliant turquoise contrasting against the gray sky.
I found myself walking down a rock path towards a village. As I walked along the sky began to darken ahead of me. Nearing the village I came upon an old woman sitting along the side of the road. She was bent and decrepit with stringy white hair. Wearing dirty rags, she looked like a beggar. There was something about her that gave me chills up the back of my neck. When I got closer she looked up at me asked for a drink and a cigarette. Her eyes were the color of coal. I told her I didn’t have anything on me, but that if she accompanied me to the near village that we could get her some water and probably find her a cigarette. She thanked me, I helped her up, she put her arm in mine we began a slow walk to the village.
Nearing the village we began encountering people. The old woman asked each one she passed for a drink and a cigarette. She was met with derisive comments, pushed aside and laughed at. Each time she put her head down and muttered something under her breath. Then she’d turn back to me, take my arm and we’d continue on towards the village.
Once inside the village we headed towards the well in the center of the square. The farther into the village we went the more villagers stared, laughed and made rude comments towards the old woman. I felt angry and embarrassed for her. Once I tried to protect her. She reached out, took hold of my arm and told me to keep my voice, that soon she would have her day. When we reached the well, I got a drink of water for her first. As soon as she drank I turned to get one for myself. As I drank a hush fell around the square. I turned and suddenly the old woman was gone and in her place was a tall beautiful woman with fire in her eyes, coal black wavy hair and a foreboding frown on her face. I knew this must be Pele. But how? What happened to the old woman? She looked down at me, smiled, and touched my cheek knowing my wonder. Then she turned towards the villagers and her voice sounded like thunder, “You ignored me and laughed at me. For that you will be pay” The villagers suddenly realizing that she was Pele the goddess of Fire rushed forward to kneel and beg forgiveness.
Ignoring them she turned back to me and said, “Leave here quickly and never look back. There is a rocky knoll a short distance down the trail from here. Go there and wait. You will be safe there. DO NOT look back to this village as you leave or you will suffer the same as they do.” With that she vanished. puu-oo1
The people in the square began crying and wailing in panic, suddenly they were running everywhere, trying to flee before Pele took her revenge. I left quickly. As I was leaving a loud rumbling began behind me, It grew louder and the ground began to shake violently. It sounded like thousands of freight trains rumbling towards me. I wanted to turn and look, but remembered her warning and began to run. I could feel intense heat behind me and knew Pele was exacting her revenge with fire. I saw the rocky knoll and headed for it. As soon I reached the knoll, lava suddenly was all around me. I started to cry afraid I would be dead within seconds. I raised my arms, closed my eyes and pleaded to Pele to spare my life. Suddenly I was calm, I felt protected and knew I was safe and would live to see the sunset that day. I don’t know how long I stood with my arms outstretched. 517203228
When I opened my eyes, I looked around and found I was alone in a sea of black lava. Everything was gone, the village, the people, trees, there was no sign of any life around me. Everything was wiped clean. It had become deathly quiet. Life had ceased to exist on this small spot of the world. Not even the wind dared raise his voice to the anger of Pele. The sun began to set and the sky became a glowing orange-red. Watching the day end I was suddenly at peace. Something amazing had happened and somehow I was a part of it.
I watched the sun turn to cinders as it slipped over the horizon. I lost track of time and lay down to rest. I must have slept because suddenly I felt something wet and cold across my face. I opened my eyes, wiped my hand across my wet face and looked up at a huge black dog standing over me. Around his neck was a golden flask. He licked me again as I sat up. The eyes of this dog were sea green and sparkled with flecks of gold that glinted in the light. It was as though you could fall into the depths of his eyes when you looked deep enough. This was the largest dog I’d ever seen, towering over me by feet. When I got up he nudged me and rubbed his neck against me. I untied the flask, opened it and smelled the contents. A sweet fragrance came to my nose. I knew it was safe. When I began to drink a voice came to me. “For your generosity and kindness I repay you with my drink. I have spared you and sent my devoted dog to aid you in your journey home. He is faithful and will lead you to safety. Heed him well for he is my favorite. Thank you for all you’ve done and will do. You are in my favor” I drained the flask and felt refreshed. As I looked at the dog his eyes began to glow and he looked towards the horizon where the sun had set. I suddenly knew how to get home. 18751_315346905820_108801_n
I stepped from the knoll to walk in the direction he had gazed. When I turned to see if he was following me he was gone. I was alone once again, but I knew where I needed to be. As I started on my journey home the horizon started to glow purple from dawn approaching.
I rolled over and woke up. I was sweating and my hair was matted against the back of my neck. Whew! What a dream!!!
Later that day I discussed this dream with Auntie Dalina. She hugged me long and smiled. “You have been blessed Pua, use it for the lesson it is and remember, You are now Hawaii’s child”.
Pua Lilia DuFour
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I thought about it

I wrote this years ago (2003) and just discovered it…
walking-on-a-path
I thought about it and there is only one way to realize the value of your dreams. To see them through no matter how painful that can be. Where you can take yourself is a matter of when and what you’re willing to do. How far are you willing to step out of your comfort zone? Our comfort zones are relative to how we relate to life. How we adjust and conform.

Sometimes I wonder what it is I need to do to make it work. I know the answers are all there. Sometimes I think I’m too afraid to see the actual reality of my life. I have such a specific reason to be here and I need to hear the voices. I need to remember the answers. They’re there, right in front of my eyes.

I’m a talented, amazingly beautiful woman who isn’t afraid to speak her mind. Who’s not afraid to see the truth for what it is and who needs to move into her true being. I see a girl crying because she so desperately wants to and doesn’t know the path. I see a girl standing on a road that she has been on all her life. She just didn’t know it. Where it leads only she will tell. The outcome is up to her if only she has the courage to take the steps.
the right path
Why at times do I feel the need to find such a huge comfort zone. I search for help, I yearn for the past, I anguish over lost feelings. I am so angry right now. I can’t seem to let go. I’m afraid to move forward. I see things well and know where this will eventually take me. I regress to a place I don’t want to be. I know I shouldn’t be here. I know where I need to be and the path I need to take to get there. So why is it so hard right now? I think some is the chemicals running through my body. I need to remember to focus and relax. I need to be comfortable in my life before I can be with anyone. I need to be strong in who I am before I can feel the love of another.

Of what is it we are all looking for?

Why do we search?
Why do we yearn?
Paths
imagesA path is an avenue we choose to follow for a period of time in our lives. Throughout that path there are a series of side paths we have opportunities to take. These are choices in destinies. Some are good and some aren’t. It seems that when the fates chose our placement in the tapestry of living life they gave us the opportunity to choose where we wove our threads. It is inevitable that our thread is a certain length and there is no lengthening of it. It can however be cut short by the paths we choose to take. Why do we choose our paths? It seems we are influenced by others. They give us several opportunities to follow them or not. We do have the complete and unalienable right to choose whatever path we walk. It seems though that as a species we have this wonderful trait called passing the buck. We don’t want to take responsibility for anything. We blame others for our plight in life. We get angry for what has happened to us. What’s the problem here? We all make our own beds. We all make our own choices. We all decide for ourselves. No one has power over us unless we choose to give it to them.

Day Two Melds into Day Three

Day Two: Evaluate and Assess…um NO!…

I awoke to darkness, a rooster crowing in the distance…over and over and over…. OH YEAH I’m in Hawaii…I suddenly remembered and rolled back over to try to sleep some more. But trying to force ones self to sleep doesn’t always work. So at 6am I FINALLY rolled over and got up. I had forgotten about the cacophony of bird songs that occurs early in the mornings here. WHAT a delight but not much on letting you sleep in, THAT’s for sure! So I made my coffee and got to work. By 8am I had already put in a couple hours of work time on the computer and not even walked out of the apt. Hmmm time for a walk on the beach. I only got to the bench at the entrance to my beach.

Today I felt the pain, grief and physical sickness I’ve been holding in check for weeks now. I am so amazed at how palpable grief can be. I could barely move a muscle that didn’t hurt the entire day. All I wanted to do was hide, not let anyone see me. My entire body was shutting down. I felt ugly, scared and timid. NOT a normal thing for me AT ALL!!! I read, napped off and on and hid inside the apartment almost the entire day not wanting to venture even the short distance back to the beach.

Later on around dusk, I did take myself down to the beach to watch the sunset. I sat right at the edge of the dry sand and water line and enjoyed a magnificent sunset. I know tomorrow will be better.

 

Day Three: AWAKE FINALLY….

An incredibly strong scent of honey from the Beach Naupaka permeates my senses as I walk along the soft sandy shore towards a group of surfers catching any wave that they can this early in the morning. The sets are small but rideable. A light offshore breeze helps set the waves up for them. I am still dry on day three of this trip…NOT GOOD. Time to get wet.

Tentatively I entered the cool blue water. As I submerged something inside of me sighs. Relief… happiness, I can’t quite place the emotion but it was there. Once again a palpable experience but exactly opposite of yesterday. While I was submerged I had to fight to jump up and run back out of the water. My entire body fighting me to stay under, to relax, TO HEAL.

I knelt down and floated on my back for a bit allowing the waves to wash over me, washing away all the feelings I’ve been holding onto for so long. Washing away all the unhealthy thoughts. Washing away all the anger, the frustration and the fear…and finally all that grief. Everything began to just disappear. Swept away with each passing wave and ground into the sand…destroyed!

When I exited and put my pareo back on to continue my walk I felt renewed and for the first time in ages HAPPY. I laughed and danced a little jig as I continued my trek up the beach. You know that feeling you get when a headache FINALLY recedes and suddenly you notice your whole body is NO longer in pain? THAT’S the feeling I felt. RELIEF…FINALLY!

As I continue along the shoreline, once again my senses are flooded by the heady honey fragrance of the Naupaka along with a mixture of coconut from the surf boards wax and salt spray misting the air. I begin to recall the Hawaiian legend about the Beach Naupaka.  A princess was forbidden to marry her true love, a fisherman, because he was a commoner.  As they parted ways forever, she tore a flower in half, giving one half to him and keeping the other half for herself.  She then returned to the mountains where her family lived.  Stricken with grief, they both cried and planted their halves of the flower.  Each half grew and became the two forms of Naupaka – the Beach Naupaka and the Mountain Naupaka”

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Today was the beginning of my healing in earnest. I feel so much calmer and so much more relaxed now… Ahhhh! I can begin to sigh.

Day one, mobilization:

It’s raining, ok…it stopped…started…stopped…started…the geckos are chirping, it’s HOT, humid and delightfully fragrant. I’m IN HAWAII!!! This morning I was pensive, ecstatic, excited, nervous, worried all the feeling I felt today as I headed to SFO on BART. A feeling of typical travel calm also though. Sometimes I’m over emotional when I travel…especially after long periods of NON-travelling. Do I have all the things I need, where is my boarding pass? Did I pack enough underwear? …all questions that pop into my head as I stand in line at the security gate. Will they search my bag and find the pesto I packed for the landlords? SHIT! Now THAT would be a tragedy. Honolulu airport was a breeze. My car is HUGE but Siri guides me to Haleiwa without a hitch. After one wrong turn, I find my adorable little place. No one is home upstairs. I load in, unpack and hit the beach! The trails to get to the beach are so cool and the beach…well locals only kine stuff which just totally blows my skirt up!!!! Groceries were twice what they are on the mainland but WHO the fuck cares!!! I’m IN HAWAII!!! I made myself a drink and hunkered in at the beach to watch the sunset…I had some time. I drank my drink I had made and watched the dogs romping around the beach chasing each other without a care in the world…hysterical!… I had to pee but I’m NOT departing. Not yet anyways. Gotta see the sunset and it’s not too far off. Surfers, their ladies and kids keep popping on and off the beach to hit the small surge coming in. Bit of an offshore breeze sets up the face quite nicely but still small waves. I gotta Pee…! Only and hour to go before the sun sets. SHIT I GOTTA PEE! I can hold it…I’ll meditate…helps a little. Can’t concentrate…dogs whizzing by, people chatting, laughter, it began to rain…MAN!…I GOTTA PEE…NOPE…not gonna,  gotta watch the sunset! Hold it…HOLD it…HOLD IT!!!!! FINALLY (honestly) the sun sets beautifully…MAN I could not walk home fast enough… I HAD TO PEE!… Phew!

August 3rd, 2008

a note to Jason….

Woke up quite early after a fairy restless night to take my girlfriend Rina to the airport on her way to see her boyfriend’s place in the Florida keys. I went home, had a fabulous conversation with a very handsome man…sorry babe, not you…;} . Shortly thereafter, I found myself deciding to either watch a movie or take myself to the beach to swim now that I have a car. Oh yeah forgot to tell you. Rina also chose to rent me her 2006 Honda CRV for a pittance a week. SO…back to the beach for goodness sakes. I found a great beach chair and hunkered in. Got wet and fell asleep. End of story…Fuck NO!!!

First off you honestly think I’d fall asleep before getting my swim in. Not on your life babe. Too much energy in this body these days. Again I digress. I started my swim…

Figured I could get about 1-1/5 miles in if I swam to a certain point. On the way back while fighting the current (OK HERE”S THE GOOD PART!!) I suddenly became a the center of a fairly large immature Jack fish school. There were about 3 large needlefish and 2 BIG Jacks lurking along the edge of them constantly trying to jet in and take a bite of one so they saw the opportunity as I swam by and used my body as a barrier.

As I swam nonchalantly along acting like I hadn’t noticed being surrounded by fishies and totally enjoying the experience, they began to infiltrate every available space with in millimeters of my skin. It was a rather unnerving to me initially. Then I began to enjoy it. Every move I’d make they’d copy. I’d dive, they’d dive, I’d roll over under water and they’d follow. I slowed, they slowed. I sped up and they’d follow suite. Kind of like when you see the big schools of fish swimming together in unison. I was literally engulfed by them. It was mind blowing!

We swam on like this for almost 45 minutes. I kept slowing or speeding up and they would stick like feathers to water, never moving too far away ever and usually with in touching distance. What an amazing feeling to become a part of a school of fish.

The Needlefish constantly doing flybys with little nips here and there. The Large Jacks running the school and picking out the stragglers. These fish were like the big flocks of blackberry birds in the Pacific Northwest that literally undulate across the sky in a switchback pattern. The Big Jacks were even taking pop shots at me. They would swim close and then suddenly swipe past my face or across my stomach just touching the skin.

As I neared a couple and their baby boy near shore the fish darted off to greet up with them and hide there in the waves. The little boy was squealing with sheer delight as they roared around his daddy’s legs. It was adorable. I finally got out of the water, my body all pruned but every nerve on edge. My body was covered in red welts from the Needlefish and larger Jacks who kept trying to get past me to get their dinner…lol I fell fast asleep on the beach chair exhausted from the experience.

I find myself constantly in touch with some creature of the water here. Barracudas off the coast of my house challenging me for territory, a school of Cuttle Fish and I in a Mexican standoff for hours, schools of fish using me as cover, a shark here and there. It’s a lot rougher waters here in West Bay and we get the majority of rain usually. I love being in this water. It challenges me, scares me and completes me.

August 24th, 2008

The sea has been dead flat the last 2 days, dead flat!! It’s amazing to wake up and see this here The Grand Cayman Islands are rarely calm. The wind is always blowing…or so I thought. Being on the water is an adventure in itself. The weather entertains me instead of the TV. Much funner to watch a lightening storm or water spout pass by than to sit and stare at a TV all day and night. Snorkeling outside the apartment is fabulous when you can get in the water. There are at least 5-6 dive spots about 1/4 mile off shore we swim to almost daily. There are 3 of us here in the apartment complex that go swimming together regularly.

Last night Sherri and I sat on the landing and watched the bio-luminescence flicker each time a wave hit the rocks. We dosed up on mosquito repellent. The night was silent. You could hear voices travelling across the water from miles away. There was one lone boat fishing on the reef in front of us. Illegal as all hell but who cares.

This is the Caribbean.

August 27th, 2008 Wednesday,

Today I’m sitting on the landing with Sherri, my downstairs neighbor. We just watched a great movie and decided to move outside and watch the storm clouds move in and the bio-luminescence in the water. The water is dead calm right now. The calm before Gustav I think… There is a slight breeze. Enough to rustle the dead palm fronds hanging from the trees. A small swell has started to lap at the coastline. Ever so slowly increasing in size till soon this lovely setting will be no more, replaced by an angry beast.

Sherri and I make out way out of the house and navigate the stairs and walkway to the 2 Adirondack chairs we have strategically placed to see both the night ski and the water below. The clouds are all around us. Stacked high in mighty columns ever growing, melding into one another, transforming into something completely new every few minutes.

But there still is a void in our bay and the sky is crystalline clear. . Directly above and in front of us Jupiter in all his glory blares out amongst the Sagittarius cluster. Running through Sagittarius across the sky from top to bottom of me a milky ribbon of iridescent beauty. The Milky Way like I’ve never seen her before. So clear and defined. Almost like a cloud in the stars.

I’ve watched northern lights off the coast of Iceland. I’ve sailed tropical storms in Hawaii and now I’m about to be a part of my first real hurricane with a name. All those nights were incredible and unique. All those nights I saw amazing things. Tonight the sky is clearer than I’ve seen her since I’ve been here. Lightening flashes behind us on the north side of the island. Planes in Georgetown 7 miles distant are landing and taking off at extraordinarily close intervals. Everyone is vacating the island for fear of the hurricane damage.

We laid out in our chairs long enough to watch the rotation of the earth. It’s amazing when you are still, long enough to actually tune into the slow moving things of this earth. It’s a sobering thing to experience. How magnificent is this place we live? This beautiful place we think is the center of the whole grand universe. And yet are we? Look up and you will have your answer. So amazing the very idea of there being someone else and yet not. I mean really, just look up.

Falling asleep in a lawn chair at the edge of a very rocky ocean on a cement landing is not a smart thing to do. One can wake up, sit up and take a step but oops no ground to land on. Can be a bit over stimulating. But since when have you ever done what you’re supposed to do ALL the time? Of course we both knocked out for a minute or two and well here I am now writing this lovely little moment to you. And Sherri is now most likely in bed.