Saturday, November 26, 2016

Kalani Revisited

Thankful for the very existence of Kalani, where Dar and I have stayed many times. Today's post from Kalani:

"The outpouring of grief and increased outbreaks of hate crimes in the wake of the U.S. election reminds us that our work - championing individual freedom and equality, while protecting natural resources - is more important than ever. Here, at Kalani, we will continue to hold space for the complex dialogues that these times require, while respectfully engaging a wide diversity of individual points of view. Our community remains grounded in oneness and guided by love for self and other."

Kalani is located on the Big Island of Hawaii. We offer healing retreats and workshops that celebrate Hawaii, nature, culture, and wellness.

November 10, 2016, 5 a.m.
Awake. Cool wind and palms sway. Coquis and bullfrogs sing to the moon and rising sun.
Exhaustion knocks me out for a few hours, but the shocking upset of the presidential victory + the the Senate and House wins jolts me awake and now I’m up and writing, pre-dawn. The outcome of this election is both a wake up call and an American tragedy for climate change, women, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, affordable healthcare, queer folks, civil rights + basic human decency. Despite this...
The lava still flows into the ocean. Liquid rock sliding into the waves and the rhythmic hiss and steam of it all making new earth.
Here, on this part of the Red Road, we keep bees and grow a lot of our own food. Here, our WiFi comes and goes with the clouds and cell service is spotty. We beat drums in a circle and sing along to blue moons, new moons, black moons. Here, we are about finding deep joy through devotional practice. We hug a lot and organize cuddle puddles. We never mind what we don’t want and instead invite what we do want: to manifest grace + abundance. Here, on this part of the Red Road, we are cashless, naked and free.
This Eden and the few remaining like it are the polar ice caps of peace and freedom in a furious and fearful world. We are the stewards, the caretakers of this sacred place and more than ever, we cannot afford to remain insular. We’ve got work to do and important guests to prepare for.
Our “business” is the work of transforming, balancing, actualizing. This Eden that is Kalani Honua is sanctuary and recharge station for change makers and super heroes: artists and farmers, futurists and permaculturists, yogis and yoginis, psychics and mediums, queerdos and nasty women.
We are a place for slowing down and disconnecting, especially for you mainland progressive social justice soldiers, warrior artists and mad futurists. When the city chaos wears you down, come bury your hands in the cool of our magical dirt and lava rocks. Replace the media drone with bird song and the buzz of bees. Recharge by connecting to deep earth fire.
When the fight wears you down, restore + replenish here, with us.
Let us feed you good, nourishing food. Let us offer you a comfortable bed to catch up on much needed sleep. The jungle will heal you and make you stronger. This place of transformation, restoration, nature, and wellness is where revolutions begin.
Here, on the Red Road, Hawaiian Sovereignty still stands.
Here, on the Red Road, on the Big Island, Pele and a pantheon of Brown Gods rule.
Here. Where you belong.
Authored by: 
 Joel Barraquiel Tan, Kalani Honua Executive Director

Jack Miller When Darryl was a volunteer and we shared his cozy Kalani A-Frame.
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Jack Miller Darryl and Starr in our tree-house at Kalani on another stay there.
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Jack Miller The ever evolving lava flow creating new land.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


There is much for which I am thankful

the red and gold leaves of the crepe myrtle
dancing in the breeze beyond our window 
our cozy home my husband asleep upstairs
provider of eggs salmon biscuits and fig jam
home-made eggnog and apple-cranberry pie 
the seven Buddhas I can see from my table
all of our art from around the world crowded
on our walls and bookshelves filled with erudition
all the knowledge contained therein some of it
spilling into my mind each day with the sense
of history for which I am always thankful
thankful for music thankful for poetry
thankful for all the arts gracing  humankind
for Gustav Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde
for Jessye Norman singing Vier letzte Lieder
for Mozart Ravel Poulenc Kurt Weill Miles Davis
Sigur Ros Radiohead Nina Simone and Joni Mitchell
thankful  as well for exploring the planet
thankful for Seattle gardens and Mount Rainier
thankful for Japan's Nara Tokyo Mount Fuji
for Tōdai-ji Kasuga Taisha  and Ueno Park
thankful for  hot lava we saw flowing in Hawaii
thankful for the sunset from the peak of Mauna Kea
thankful for the calving glacier in Argentina
thankful for the wild kangaroo hopping up
to us in New South Wales for bread she took
to the shore to share with others sunning there
thankful for hiking in dozens of national parks
thankful for Zion's buffalo for Bryce Canyon's snow
thankful for the high Hopi villages we visited
thankful for all the archetypal bridges we crossed
thankful for sailing to Byzantium for 
the Blue Mosque and the interior of Hagia Sophia
thankful for the Pagan Pantheon and the Parthenon
thankful for the manifestation of archetypes
thankful for all the clear blue waters in which
we swam naked in the Mediterranean
thankful for Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum
whom Darryl encountered in ancient tombs in Egypt
thankful for the freedom of Amsterdam for the
grandeur of Paris and Rome for the theater worlds
of London and New York the vast museums
thankful for totem poles Vancouver to Alaska
thankful for climbing the ruins of Mexico
Monte Alban and Teotihuacan thankful
that sublimity does not require permanence 
that it is astonishing for its transient existence
thankful for the plenitude the fulfillment of love
of friendship from those alive those who have died 
thankful that I am not deluded with thoughts
of gods who whimsically bring suffering
thankful to know that all forms of government
lead inevitably to the extinction of humans 
thankful to be free of expectations of an after-life
thankful for my love of nature in all its diversity
thankful for dolphins elephants and Bonobos
thankful that our full consummations here 
in this odd life in D. H. Lawrence's words 
will not tarnish or pass  away just yet thankful
to have burst joy's grape against my palate fine
grateful for a long life of philosophy shared
learning and love in revelations of dialog rich
in the dialectic of forms and bold expressions
thankful for the Oracle of Delphi the life of Buddha
the acumen and the atheism of the existentialists
thankful for Oscar Wilde James Baldwin Iris Murdoch
Haruki Murakami and Gabriel García Márquez
thankful for humility over hubris thankful
that in the end I have no definitive answers none
thankful for a sense of humor for a sense of irony
thankful for having lived at Mercer's Moon River
wider than a mile thankful for the Moon
thankful for the sun planets stars clusters of
light to shine on long after all our races are done
and thankful for a relaxing hot bath in essential oils

Darryl and the Parthenon

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Keats and the Ode to Melancholy

No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist

Jack Miller What wisdom Keats had. The Ode tells us not only of love and nature, but of being. It applies to all the archetypes and enduring forms we seek and want so desperately to hold.There is no permanence, no more than this young poet had in his brief life. "Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave" is the only way to live beyond nihilism and cynicism. Best of all is to burst joy's grape. It will not last, nor will the golden age of Pericles, nor even humanity itself. The Ideal Forms of Plato, those on which we mistakenly base our lives, exist only in the imagination.


Friday, November 11, 2016


Old age: the crown of life, our play's last act.
 --Marcus Tullius Cicero

Tonight, walking along my path over Druid Hills, watching the big, waxing Moon, I let my tongue tease the hole where my left molar once was. There was a lovely gold crown there just weeks ago. I thought the crown would last, that my tooth was protected and would last a lifetime. It did not occur to me, even when the crown fell off in my mouth, that my tooth had been decaying for years, so much so that my dentist, after drilling and charging me over $400. told me there was not enough left worth saving, that it was best to go to a surgeon and have it removed ($800+ more). I had planned to keep that gold crown, but instead must have dropped it or left it somewhere, creating the pun that I lost the same tooth twice.

That is what happened in a more expansive way election night. I lost my faith, or what was left of it, in democracy and in humanity. There is a virtually unseen decay  that is happening generally to humanity, and in particular to democracy. It is a decay dark with greed and capitalism. I have felt the spirit of the Cynics before, Diogenes in particular. He saw clearly how dishonest people are, how hypocritical. He didn't fall for the traps most of us do. He had no illusions that things would get better, nor admiration for soldiers who did not lose their hope or perseverance even when they lost wars or saw their buddies killed. He did not console himself with the absurd view of hero gods or of a heaven the streets of which are paved with gold.

I continue to read it over and over. Trump will be booted in 4 years, or if not then, 8 years. Then the progressives, with an army of millennials, will return to rule the White House and the Halls of the Capitol. The golden age of Pericles will always return and there will always be a tooth to crown with gold. Only there won't. Trump is the mud dragon who will devour the planet and guarantee the extinction of the human race, of all the races, not just this one or that. The planet itself will finally heave and free itself of the blight we have become. We are the decay. Humanity is the rotten tooth and Earth will extract it, more quickly than many of us think.

Have faith in Democracy? Have faith in Humanity? Why? The only spirit I have faith in now is the spirit and the life of Nature. The Earth will survive Trump. The Earth will survive our destruction, our greed, our self-absorption, our lies and deceit, our wars. Trump will grab Earth's pussy, but Earth will strike back. That is where my faith remains. And in the meantime, for my final decade or so of life, living on Mother Earth, I shall relish the love I have yet, at least the love that has not decayed, love and friendship which, as Keats put it in Endymion, make up the crown which sits high on the forehead of humanity.


Farewell to Leonard Cohen

Fond memory of the concert at the Fox in 2009:
LC sings Famous Blue Raincoat: Cohen's performance at the Fox was transf...

Leonard Cohen has died aged 82. Here we round up tributes and reaction as they flood in for Canada’s cultural icon