This is the 14th Friday of my Day of Venus Posts, where I let wash up what is present in the undercurrents of my mind, heart and spirit. I am honored and deeply grateful for your readership as I cultivate my writer voice blindfolded—vertebrae by vertebrae, all chrysalis and soil.
In my hips is the storage of what is to come, what has been soaking, what is. Now is the only thing that is real and I carefully select the visions I allow to repeat themselves in my mind. I know my body is also a brain. I know my body is both a highly intelligent master and an obedient servant. My voice exposes the waves that I’ve allowed to break, the prayers I’ve whispered, the justice I crave, the love that I’ve given, and all of the moments spent alone and unseen and burning.
I walk onto a stage where the lights in my face keep me from seeing anyone’s faces. I adjust the microphone and learn to be slow and steady and inside of me more than outside of me. I do it again and again and again until I die. –A decision my whole body agrees to.
This week I sang at an open mic and learned about myself. The songs of others moved me to tears. The room itself almost made me cry–disco ball in the center and sunlight after it had been gray and cold all day sitting itself on the linen covered cushions all over the ground around the stage, shiny and life-giving people placing their beautiful instruments along the pretty wood of the walls, the window beside the stage showing the tops of trees and a sky changing from yellow to purple to black as the night played on. Hearing my voice sound out through the room, singing lines I conjured in moments of being in-between worlds, put a new color into my palette of existence. I felt naked, seen, exposed, both elegant and awkward, angelic and childlike.
Things that are soul spotlights: money, power, influence, microphones, speakers. They reveal what is collecting in corners, what is underneath, what has been beneath a tarp, the photographs and letters you keep in your shoebox. And I love the exposure. I reach into my throat and all that is nested learns how to fly.
I am singing at vineyards, among dahlias and tulips. I sing on benches under the sun and on top of mountains for the greens and ambers. I sing to children and they sing with me, back to me, for me. “Ms. A, I made a song–do you want to hear it?” and I listen close and close my eyes to listen like it is the most precious thing I have ever heard and I say “Please keep singing ok? Never ever stop singing.” “Ms. Alix I sang the song to my grandma?” “Ms. Alix I brought my piano book to school–look!” And I give and I give and I give, and I receive and I receive and I receive. I am singing in rose gardens and you stop mid-sentence to allow yourself to feel. I sing for lovers, and fighters and for people searching for a resting place to retreat to. I sing with harps and violins and drums that will you to dance. I close my eyes and am just as taken aback as you are by what flows through me. I am not even it itself, but the vessel the “it” dives into and out of. I choose to be more instrument than human. I know that a prolonged state of connection and mystery, of deep peace, and a joy so giving it hurts, is not a myth or impossibility. It is something in me so real and true and inviting. I give in more and more each day. It is for me. It is for me. It is for me because it is in me and always has been. So natural and so easy to surrender to. I create a place for this by both surrendering and redirecting my body, by accepting the call and staying on the line, by showing up as `I am and speaking, singing, moving from the inside out. I allow my love to bewilder if it must. I allow my love to be felt. I allow my love. I have nothing to fear, nothing to hide, nothing to be nervous about. Nothing Is Lost. All of the time spent wondering if this could be true… “Could this really be for me?” Every time I’ve attracted and stumbled into the dwellings of musicians and poets and painters and those with affection gleaming from their eyes–not by chance or mere coincidence, but by the sound living in me leading me to harmonization, equilibrium. All stiffness in me dissolves into a pool of water. My antennas receive and I transmit what creates a stillness, a revitalization, a state of bliss.
This week I felt many times both a drowning and a winning in the fight to keep my light alive and burning. I am still unable to pin down the cause, but I do have leads. My nose and my mouth were barely above the surface, yet above the surface–my hand above the water clenching the love letters of my light for the sun to hold for me while I figured out how to float. I felt like a slimy hatched chick, all awkward and gooey eyed, slumped and heavy and knowing nothing except that the sunlight feels good. I suppose this a great starting place–from nothing, from limited senses, from only the ability to know I am a thing that exists. I kept throwing up what I once thought of as me, and every time I saw it on the floor outside of me a tantrum took place, an exasperated voice said “What then? What now? What do I have that is worth anything?” and passing winged shadows beneath the sun’s light said “this, this, this right here and just this.”
There is an oldness in me that I have felt my whole life–old enough to know the pointlessness of competition, the meaninglessness of cuffed jeans and white shoes in photographs. Bored by teams, my attention never held in conversations with invisible score-boards. A keen knowing and understanding of when something is said from a place of rivalry vs. from a place of building connection. The noise of what our man-made systems have deemed as note-worthy, popular, standard and “the best” becomes a background static hum I check out of, and I nod my head and say “mmhm” and try to find a clever escape without becoming a rival. I have often pretended to not know, or have chosen to give praise and accolades in order to dodge a part in someone’s play. Action-packed movies have always put me to sleep, and then a film about the life of a single petal has me on the edge of my seat enraptured. It is an oldness that takes refuge in what is not asking to be seen. An oldness that easily deletes all traces of who I claim to be in the world, satisfied with only being where I am at. You met the queen and made 10 grand and I got the same surge of satisfaction from the conversation I had at the busstop with a 19-year old who bought her best friend a gift at the mall. ~
I write a lot about busstops and I guess that is because of how much I learned about myself and the world, and who `I am in the world, during the formative years of my life as a writer, taking poetry classes, attending slams on Queen street and in nooks and crannies of Chinatown, and immersing myself in literature without knowing how on earth anything I was doing with my scholarship, my time and my place in college was going to make me money in the world. I just kind of always followed breadcrumbs that felt good or were interesting to me at the time. This was before social media had such a strong presence in our lives. I had a facebook account I’d get caught up in scrolling, writing, expressing myself, but also kept careful watch of my data usage, using it mainly for the bus app or for academic emails and assignments, then sometimes the games like Words-With-Friends, Tetris and then a My Cafe game where you had to bus tables and take orders as fast as you can (why I played this stressful game while also working at such places I have no idea). At busstops and on busses I befriended all walks of life–the houseless, children, elders, criminals, the lonely, the popular, the forgotten, the tourists, healers (I met my dear friend Sylvia who later became my Reiki Master at a busstop in Honolulu), mothers, and people who never learned and never cared to learn English and so spoke to me in poetry and spoke to me via humor and loving mannerisms and gestures. So naturally my subconscious pulls from and I even have dreams of various bus stations where I spent a lot of time. I especially learned that I was an elder in a young girl’s body during those years. Observant and soft-spoken and journal-scribbling and attentive. I pretended to care about things peers my age and then society in general cared about, but at heart I never invested time or was curious enough to watch the shows, pay attention to the celebrities, understand what is socially acceptable and not socially acceptable.
I also have always had great surges of flight, a rush of emotion I couldn’t make sense of or name, and this happens all the time still to today, but `I get better and better at knowing what to do in those times. I remember once when it happened I was in the parking lot of the Polynesian Culture Center, about 16, and it was after all of the tourist busses left the lot one by one, back to the hotels, to Waikiki, to the resorts on the westside. It was about 11-midnight. I will always remember this particular surge because of how overwhelming and unexplainable it was, and how the people around me looked at me like I was crazy, another person, like I had flew off the handle and was possessed. And the truth is, I felt possessed, and during these moments that come I do feel a certain beast in me. I often wonder if I could go back in time with the understandings and awareness I have now, if I could pinpoint what triggered or caused it. What had been sitting and building up? What provoked the desire to run? I was with 3-4 people, one of them being my first relationship of my life, whom I had lived with in high school and crushed on beginning in the 5th grade. We were scheming to venture somewhere, do something, hangout somewhere–probably deciding on who to call for a ride or where we would be at for the night–whose house, whose yard, whose town to roam in. All of a sudden I felt like running, and I was angry and wanted to fight. I didn’t want to fight anyone around me–I just wanted to use my body in a way that now `I would translate as needing to push and pull heavy weight, or literally go for a run, or put music on loud and shake and dance my body through the air until the beast in me is satiated. So I remember saying things that caught everyone completely off guard, and I cannot remember what I said. I remember they were not words that hurt their feelings or served as demolitions to anyone’s spirit, just words and sentences I felt gushing out of me–maybe about my surroundings, myself, my “self”, our “selves”, the sky, the waves? I wish I could replay and witness and hear. And so I darted off running across the empty parking lot, passed my house just across the McDonalds I worked at which was across the street next to PCC, through the yard with pokey sharp blades of Japanese grass that grew in round tufts and bundles, onto the sand, blue Portuguese man o’ wars under the moonlight with tails I dodged over and around. I sat in a concave part of the tree roots of a yard where an artist lived, my body breathing rapidly and heavily after the maddening sprint. I never saw the artist or met the person who lived in that house, but my mom had. In their window facing the ocean were two manikins clothed and drinking tea. Their outfits often changed. In the yard there were statues, shapes of bright colors hanging from tree branches, gnomes and trolls and figurines that were moved, replaced or gone from time to time. And I instinctually knew that this spot was my hiding place. Everywhere we lived `I had a hiding place to run to, and it was during the years of my poetry classes and English major happenings that I realized this. I can sit and recall every hiding place I ever ran to. We moved about 5-8 times between the ages of, (well, probably birth, but when it comes to Hawai’i recollections), 4-17. I have lived in Waialua, Haleiwa, Mokuleia beach in a tent, Sunset (across the street from V-land, where they eventually built a bunch of celebrity’s houses and a big gate/fence everyone has to walk around now to get to the beach), then on the “Big Island” or the island of Hawai’i where my mom was a caretaker of a property in exchange for housing, then Hau’ula, Ka’a’awa, Punalu’u, Laie. And for every single place we lived I can recall the colors of the rocks and creatures that inhabited my hiding places. I sat and pet snails, touched water with my feet, leaned my back against roots, imagined I was a menehune and used the leaves as blankets. I spoke to God and acted out scenarios in my mind. I held bugs between my fingers and looked at their faces close-up until I scared myself and threw the bugs into the air away from me.
Anyway, nobody ever mentioned that night and nobody ever mentioned any time I ever darted off and away. It’s just always been something I’ve done. I don’t even remember walking home that night or the events that followed, but because of the intensity of the surge in me, and the look on the faces staring back at me before I took off, it has always been a particular moment I reflect on with curiosity.
I feel like for me, solitude and reclusivity breeds authenticity and helps me go back into myself when I get too caught up in another person’s, or other people’s version of the world. I take comfort in periods of no contact with the outside world because it helps me be a better listener, translator and friend to myself. It also helps me get more clear on what I am wanting, and the clearer I am about what I want, the more rapidly it can come to me.
My only real desire, my ultimate goal, is to cultivate more joy. Through joy comes creation. Joy is the highest intelligence of the universe, and it lives with or without the knowledge of or a need to understand it’s mechanisms. There is no language that could ever bottle it up enough for consumption.
Joy is not the lack of or dismissal of sadness–joy is what allows great sadness to be filtered, to be moved. Being guided by joy is not to be a stranger to the dark–but to be able to fly through it, like a bird at dusk and dawn, close enough to the dark to know better than to be consumed, and so welcoming of the light that it becomes your daughter.
I am in the middle of training myself, once again, to cultivate and allow joy to become my being. Dr. Dispenza says “your personality creates your personal reality” and it is a reminder to me. I am training myself to wake up and dwell on the beautiful visions in my heart. I am training myself to take my life into my hands be responsible for myself. I am training my “self” to participate in what brings melody to my life and allows it to come out of me.
I speak life into. I surround myself with others who speak life into. I give energy to what I want to see grow.
With every passing moment I become more loose. My hips remember an expanding, like it is in the blood I am made of and the blood that came before. It is older than grandfather time. It is a memory in my body that my mind doesn’t know as well. I interrupt and redirect the lineage into song, dance, spell, invocation. There are stories to be told now. And my grandmothers know and they cry tears of liberation. “Rest. Play. Sing. Dance.” To see that I am free now is to be free now.