"i would love to, but i am expected for dinner."
i didn't realize that i was expected for dinner right next door. i left the cottage we were staying in thinking i would easily find the yamashita's house, but many of the homes started to look the same to me. i circled back and went a couple of blocks out of my way to avoid passing the friendly neighbor lady again. i am uncomfortable admitting i might be lost.
i got the address and headed out again. as it turned out, i was expected for dinner right next door to the friendly lady having beer in her garden.
"heya, didn't you just come dis way? i thought you were goin to dinner. maybe you jus no like beer in my garden."
"yes, i got lost," i laughed. "it turns out i am having dinner right next door."
she laughed loudly, too. "oh, you a friend of fran and randy's?"
"i am a new friend of fran and randy's, but i am having dinner with the yamashitas."
"oh yeah yeah, the yamashitas eh. well, have fun."
"thank you..." as i walked up the drive to the yamashitas, i got a good look at her garden and called over my shoulder, "your garden is lovely..." it was a lovely garden, though in hawaii a lovely garden is no miracle-- the conditions are such that almost anything can grow nicely here. but she had strung an impressive number of old-school chunky bulbed christmas lights this way and that over her plot where she grows corn and greens and squash, and the trees, i think they grow themselves: mango, banana, coconut, avocado, guava.
i have been here less then 48 hours, and a neighbor has already invited me to sit in her garden and share a laugh. my traveling companion summarizes aloha: do you like to eat and drink, and what shall we call you? simple, easy. hospitality.
i am relaxed here in a way that i never am in california. a low-grade layer of anxiety and dis-ease is removed when you look and feel like you are home. this is an important thing to observe. what if i wasn't busy managing that anxiety all the time, i would have so much more energy to just be myself, to be in service to my heart, and not in service to my Otherness....what kind of creative potential exists when one is freed from all that nonsense?
how much energy do my brothers and sisters waste positioning themselves in a way that is appealing or at the very least, non-threatening, to the larger culture? i understood this intellectually on some level, but to actually experience the shedding of those stupid neuroses...a complete exhalation, to relax into the pose and shade of my life completely...my medicine man reminds me that we are not these bodies, but it's them who need reminding the most, not me.
i am not carrying on the work of my people. i am not a farmer or a cleaning lady, or a tailor. i do not make lace. but i do know how to move west. my people move west. and i am thinking of moving our story west still.
(this is as far west as i can go without ending up back east.)