It has grown especially strong these last few days–an inner pining wanting to express, connect, to create something out of the invisible soup brewing in my chest. So here we are! I decided to start once-a-month newsletters, to blow on this yellow ember a bit more that misses pouring my heart out. In this post you will find: Recent Events, What I Am Working On, Current Offerings, What I Am Reading, and at the very end, a glimpse into my Inner World.
The cherry blossoms have said their quick hello’s and are now retreating, as I see less and less of the powder tufts of baby-powder-pink petals on the streets and grass and all over my car–(I intentionally try to park under the trees when I can–such delight to see my car covered in a blanket of pink). The roses are about to be in full bloom everywhere, and so I am already marking calendar days to set aside time for wandering and sticking my face into the cool and velvet petals of reds, sherbert oranges, yellows, violets, pinks. That all being said, I’ve been outside more, whether it’s wandering through my neighborhood, plopping a seat in the grass, or jogs at sun-up or sun-down. Third year in the PNW and still wondering if the waiting-for-warmth is a good fit for me, or maybe I just need to make a way for frequent trips south between November-March.
Abby and I drove down to the coast this last weekend, for a friend’s birthday. We saw our first sand dollars, and people collecting clams from under the clay-like, fine brown sand. It felt incredibly calming to walk beside the water. Even the hour and a half ride there–in the passenger seat, gazing up at the tower of pines against the robin-egg blue sky, felt soothing. A much needed little get-away for the both of us.
My mother’s memorial was the first weekend of May, and it coincided with the May Day celebration and performance of the halau I am now dancing with. I have returned to dancing hula, after a 2-decade long hiatus.
I am currently embracing the memories that have returned, the way my body’s muscle memory has taken me by surprise, the warmth of being surrounded by hula sisters, along with the way each song’s story sends me into a calm alertness. It is all so deserving of it’s own post, poetry, stories.. For now I will just say that I am deeply and eternally grateful for hula, for my kumu Uncle Wayne, my current kumus, for my former and current hula sisters. Uncle Wayne passed 2 weeks after my mother passed, this last January.
While in Colorado for my mother’s memorial, we were unboxing old letters sent by my mother to my grandma and aunty, and one of them was of me performing in May Day in the third grade. My grandmother sewed a Mexican skirt for me (I don’t know the traditional name for this–but there is a lot of material and it is of striped vibrant colors) and I thought it was a serendipitous discovery to stumble upon that particular May Day weekend.
Side-note: in the photo I included here of the skirt my grandmother made for me, the little aloe bottle beside it, (which I didn’t notice until after having taken the photo), is relevant and fitting, as a pink-nosed whitey in a sea of golden-brown skin growing up :p Also pictured bottom left is Uncle Wayne, my former kumu hula. He lived with us for a few months when I was a teen, and this is before he cut his hair and wanted us to take a picture for him.
What I Am Working On
I am currently editing a fiction manuscript that is quite juicy to read–the characters, the events that take place, the themes that are embedded. This is a spring and summer project, and as it comes to completion I will reveal more details per the author’s say on the matter. I am finding a lot of joy and satisfaction editing, and hope to take on more full-length manuscripts, however I am still open to smaller projects as well. (More on this in the next section!)
Last fall I committed to doing illustrations for a book being written by someone I met in Portland. Without foreseeing the events that would take place between November-January, we were both hoping the project would be ready for a spring debut, but alas, she is still writing, and I am now two scenes away from being finished. There will be a total of 7 images and a few smaller ones for the corners, bottoms and center of certain pages. It is my first illustrating experience as a novice to watercolor and illustrating, so while it has been arduous at times, overall I am proud of myself. I will reveal them, and her story when it is complete!
The 2 songs I’ve been slanging around town, ‘Deep Dive’ and ‘Her Song’ are complete, and I am sitting on 4 others that long to be accompanied by the warm nylon strings of my classical. I give a lot of tenderness to the process song-conjuring requires. In getting to know my classical guitar I have been going into trances before bed–running my fingers along the strings in picking patterns to the chords I know. “Practice” and “play” feel especially synonymous when it comes to music..
I am writing more poetry again! Something inside of me feels relief–really my home-base. I will be attending a few seminars and workshops this summer where I hope to have my work picked to pieces by poets I respect.
Abby and I have come across a wave of woodworking and artistic ideas–mirrors, serving and charcuterie boards with my pyrography & watercolor accents, journals and other items made from locally sourced fallen trees. I am continually enamored by her creations and it is a joy to co-create with her. We are looking into creating an Etsy shop and other ways to showcase what we make and have made, so I will share that as well as it comes along!
Editing–I am currently charging a flat-rate of $35/hour for ALL editing work. My services are outlined here. How it works: Contact me for a free 20-minute consultation, then I do a sample edit of 3 pages, (or an agreed-upon portion of your work depending on type of writing) in order to ensure we are a good fit! I have done: short bios for websites and platforms, content writing, manuscript proof-reading and copy-editing, ghost writing, resumes, and letters as well as essays for getting into programs and universities.
Healing Services–I offer: Meditation guidance, teaching and personalized guided meditations based on your current needs/circumstance; Tarot readings which also include a guided meditation at the end, based on your reading and needs; Distance Reiki which is via zoom or phone call. $50/hour for all Healing Services.
Pyrography Natal Charts–for your newborn, a best friend, a lover, or yourself! I will attach a couple that I have done here. Prices vary depending on desired size, what details you want, and when you need it by, but they range from $100-$200.
What I Am Reading
There is a Little Neighborhood Library on my street that I always stop to peer into, most of the time not finding anything that looks appealing, but I saw this book “Let’s Go Swimming On Doomsday” by Natalie C. Anderson and felt the urge to dive in. It reminds me a lot of the books I would read as a kid through my teen years. I have always loved learning about history, events, and places through characters in books. It has been a long time since I have read anything a) fiction, then b) a reeeaaally long time since I’ve read anything in the Young Adult genre. As I read through the manuscript I am editing, and as I start this novel, I am remembering how much I adore good stories. I’ll let you know how I like it at the end! Maybe I’ll start writing book reviews–who knows, really? :p
So speaking of non-fiction, as I exit my Saturn Return, the aftermath seems to keep rolling (does it ever STOP rolling?) into all things self-esteem building, and how to basically be a functioning and healthy adult in the world we live in. So here is my latest gem, which has brought me to a LOT of reality check-points since diving in. Truth be told, one day in Barnes & Noble, January 4th to be exact–my last day in Colorado after the passing of my mother, this book “The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem” by Nathanial Branden, called out to me from the shelves. I was so disheveled that dreary day. I waited for the shop to open as I wondered if I lost feeling in my toes–purple-cold, skin dried out, and holding in tears that could fill a river bed 10 miles wide. I read the first 70 pages of this book that day, then didn’t buy it until March. On two occasions in my mother’s life I asked her “Since you are my mother, and you know me and see me in a way no one else does, if you could tell me, or teach me, or relay to me just ONE thing–ONE thing–what would it be?” And both times she told me not to doubt myself. Working on it mom, and I like to think there is steady growth.
I deactivated my main social media accounts, and have been off of them for going on 3 months, which has been good for me. All of the voices– perceptions, claims, announcements, then my bids for connection, affection, praise, the onslaught of advertisements, and the exquisite creations to compare my own to–my mind became a noisy place to live in, and I missed feeling clear and being in my body enough to tend to my needs. I was not in the right head space to be scrolling through the sea of what algorithms I manufactured. I can still feel anxiousness at the thought of logging back in. My main goal for unplugging is to nurture and cultivate real connections and relationships, and so far it has been working to be disengaged from the virtual world. I may even write an article about this!
Taking the place of the moments spent scrolling, I have been communicating more with my inner circle–long text messages and 2-3 hour facetime sessions, more “just because” kind of calls. Then I have been sending monthly letters/stickers/temporary tattoos to my niece and nephew–they are 6 and 11–such magical ages to experience life on this planet. I remember receiving letters in the mail from my grandma –it always felt so special and exciting, and I hope it feels the same for them.
A lot of inner overhauls are taking place for me, and I am finding it easier to submit and surrender to the longing for silence and simplicity, rather than judge myself and push myself into inauthentic expressions. I am a sleeping lion, for now, and that is alright. Sleep is where receptivity happens, where the reigns belong to the gods, where bears become so close I can touch them, where muscles grow..