My hips move with the ocean. Move with the ship. Move with the swells. Rocking and gyrating. I’m out on the big blue. Kauai is now in clear sight, gleaming pale light from the afternoon sun. Our crew has settled in on the Kahana, our first full day nearing the last hours of the day.
We slept on the boat last night and awoke to the busy as ever city of Honolulu, the sun rising over the Koʻo Lau mountains, piercing the thousand mirrored skyscrapers and scattering that bright morning light unto our freighter. It took only about an hour or two before we left the calm protected waters of O’ahu and out in towards the channel between Kauai. drowsed up on sea sick meds, I clambering around from deck level to level, trying to find a balance between the giddy excitement of our embarkation, and the sultry sleep of my drug-induced haze coursing through my blood stream.
For me, this return trip to Kure Atoll is met by some clear questions to explore:
How have I changed? What am I able to internalize from my experience?
The first time, I was mesmerized by the new experience, often the novelty of it was enough of an overload. But now, I know what to expect. I know what’s out there. I know what awaits, and all of it I look forward to. But I am oh so slightly different since two years ago when I sat on this boat wondering if I’d have the rude experience of sea-sickness, wondering what I was really getting myself into. I don’t yet know what is different, and I can only point to the subtleties.
If I were to be honest, I’d have to admit that this time around I am profoundly exhausted. But I welcome the exhaustion as a kind of affirmation of my preparation for the voyage. It’s an indication that I have done everything I am supposed to, that I didn’t leave anything out. I know the exhaustion is not just physical, for although our days leading up to our departure were long and generously full of things do – (shopping and packing for 6 months, can you imagine!), I was quietly behind the scenes unraveling a multifaceted deepening of consciousness. That is to say – I was opening up to a glimpse of a mythic maturation.*
As this exhaustion I carry comes with content, so does my journey come with a couple other newcomers. Pele and Hi’iaka. This time around, I am bringing with the story and journey of Hi’aka, little sister to Pele, the story of the one who comes into their own, who reaches a gnostic revival: an awakening of divinity.*
As we approach Kauai on the Kahana, the story of Hi’iaka i ka poli o Pele comes to life. As I head towards Kauai I cannot help but think of Hiʻiaka heading to Lohiʻau. I also cannot help but think of how I am moving past Kauai. That my journey goes further back in time, to when Pele first arrived to Hawaiʻi, to Peleʻs mother Haumea and her marriage with Wākea…. It is all still new to me. But this is my newness. This is the difference between the then and now. Now I am attempting to bring the meaning of my journey alive, in whatever capacity I am able to. To shine awareness on my experience to a level I can only sense but cannot yet see clearly.
I will see what I can interpret, and how I can internalize the signs of my experience, and the words and language of an ancient story that mirror our personal and collective journeyʻs to and fro in life.
And so I stand on this metal noisy waʻa and sink my procreative center, ʻaihaʻa, into the ocean and dance the swells, allowing komohoaliʻi, Peleʻs brother to guide us towards the certainty of shore, allowing myself to be consumed by the kāʻao, the myth of these sacred places, of our awakening consciousness…
I ka ʻāina a mākou i ʻike ʻole ai ma lalo aku nei
ʻAʻe mākou me kuʻu mau pōkiʻi, kau i ka waʻa
Noʻiau ka hoe a Kamohoaliʻi
ʻAʻeʻaʻe, kau i ka nalu, he nalu haki kākala
He nalu e ʻimi ana i ka ʻāina e hiki aku ai
I with my siblings stand to journey forth
To an environment below the horizon of consciousness
We rise together unto the vessel for voyage
Trusting the paddle of Kamohoaliʻi
We rise unto the crest of the wave, dashing wildly
A wave sure to find shore.
(Taupōri Tangarōʻs translation, Lele Kawa p. 3)
*anything starred are the concepts and original ideas of Taupōri Tangarō