Thursday, May 22, 2008

chuckanut housesit

purple luminescent sunset painting
the hills of evergreens
to my right
the bay
(the sound of puget)
reflecting the sun,
and my camera can't pick up the pinks
or the hues that the clouds give
to the sky
and to my eyes.
my fingers hold guitar strings
and remember how to move quicker
and quicker, how to press solid
on the neck
between frets
mahogany touching the tips
of my hands
i've been doing this for 10 years
singing some lady's songs
and rarely my own;
how well could my voice withstand
it's own words?
how easy would it be to sing,

my body is stiff,
ready to unfold
and settle
into fascia, muscles, bones
--the sun speaks silently
to us now,
and illumines rice paddies
and duck feet
and standing water
and a pink lotus
where i once walked,
on the other side.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

there and back again.

we came, we saw, we came back, we're seeing. after lots of anticipation and trepidition, melissa and i are safe and sound back in bellingham washington. we have been up and down in a plane 21 times since we left, for a total of over 60 hours of in the air time...which might allow us to qualify for a flying permit. probably not really. somehow with more times going up and down we have become even more terrified every flight of little bumps that are naturally occuring--air turbulence. on the last leg of our journey returning from oahu to seattle we clutched each others hands tightly in a sort of "is this it" way as we bumped through the air over the pacific ocean. i tell myself to trust and believe that the captain knows what he/she is doing, and yet every time i fly now it seems like we're going down in a blaze of glory! but luckily as sure as we take off, we land, and all is well now. we have no more plane tickets in the waiting..we have no more train tickets. we are entering a new phase, something that we haven't done in a long time...staying put. melissa and i are renting a small octagon space that used to be a meditation space from a woman named serene in her front yard. it will mark the first time that we will have our own space since we subletted in portland 18 months ago. we get to choose what to fill up the space with (mind you it's no more than 100 square feet) and what not to fill it up with. it is very novel for us! it is a month to month deal, just perfect.

and now we begin. hitting the floor running we are going to be taking on something that we have both wanted to do for a long time. something to challenge and push and test our limits in some ways even more than travelling might have. from start to finish we are going to create an epic book about our journey. our adventure. our one of a kind experience that happened and will never happen again quite the same. we are creating a book that will be based from our 'page a day' ventures, our thousands of pictures, this blog, emails, poetry, typewriting, free-writes and on and on. it will showcase the style in which we explored, a way of being open to all possibilities, authentic sharing about what the trip was like for us internally...who we were when we started the trip and who we are now. it will be an extra-ordinary book, every page a jewel. something to inspire. something really fun :) we'll be working on it this summer as a part of each day... in addition to that we are both going to be playing lots of music, i am taking up the mandolin and melissa is fine tuning her guitar skills.. camping and hiking, seeing friends and family, practicing yoga and getting our bodies into shape, learning spanish, and working part time jobs as well to supplement all of the things we love to do. in short we are bringing our trip home with us and making it a practice to bring all of the favorite things we discovered that we love to do into each and every day! i hope that everyone is doing great, please feel free to email and be in touch.. carsonandmelissa(at)gmail(dot)com or moonsoleil(at)comcast(dot)net for melissa and carsonmead(at)gmail(dot)com for me.
aloha and mahalo for everything. :)


Saturday, May 10, 2008

finding aloha

hawaii...where we have been for nearly two weeks now, though it feels like ages longer. 5 days/4 nights on Oahu, at jeff and alycia's beautiful garden setting of a home in waimanolo, sleeping on their heavenly double-layer automatic pump up air mattress, floating off to sleep every night after bowls of salmon curry with vegetables and quinoa and homemade chocolate chip cookies, being enamoured by the waldorf school education training that alycia is undertaking and watching the bright children perform traditional hawaiian hula dances for may day....

the big island has been a different story.

whereas oahu flowed and was easy and comfortable the whole time, this place has been a mixed bag. i think that is what it is (or can be) for everyone. i am growing to love it every day. there's been many times i wanted to leave (such as the four nights we camped on our friend abram's jungle floor, tent hodgepodged in between roots, pieces of lava rocks, an ant's nest (which we saw after we took the tent up four days later), a hovering army of bloodthirsty mosquitoes ready to attack at any moment, pelting rain all night on the roof of our tent, dampness, and a chorus of invader frog species that have been multiplying out of control ever since they hitched a ride on a home depot plant shipment a couple years ago. we felt ourselves being overtaken by the jungle, vines growing around us slowly in that little tent, sleep deprived by the rain and chirping frogs, and wary of the mosquitoes around every turn. it was a blessing though to spend so much time with veda and aubri, abram's baby and partner, and help entertain veda with little books and her walking cart (she's nearly standing on her own!) she's a beautiful healthy baby who eats lots of poi (hawaiian taro root paste) bananas, fresh coconuts and papayas. on sunday we went to the weekly pahoa/puna area estatic dance, where over a hundred people rock out and move their bodies amidst a stunning jungle/ocean setting that looks out over the sea. we took the rest of that afternoon to walk for 5 miles down the coast and back up to our jungle haven, enjoying the wild surf against black lava rocks and the trees and a good chocolate bar and the smattering of rain and running into my oldtime bellingham friend megan who lives on the island too.

on monday...we got a car! our little home on wheels, a white chevy cobalt that is our new best friend and our ticket to freedom. it's taken us everywhere on this varied island, up the east side hilo coast to our campground of the past four nights, kalopa state park (a great spot for anyone traveling to the island, three tent sites up this long hill in a state forest reserve, quiet and clean and maintained by a great guy named beau). our accomodations weren't that much improved there, though we did have a shelter for our tent, but the shelter consisted of a concrete floor that our thin traveling yoga mats did little well to pad. we slept for two nights on that, and then the last two in our reclining seats in the parking lot of the campground, trying to get comfortable. (don't ever try to sleep squished with knees bent to chest in the back seat; i did that for half the first night and my knees still hurt sporadically!) but it was a great place to stay and we met some nice people, including a man from NYC who is a botanist studying a species of eggplant, and is on a 6-Hawaiian island tour researching his specimens.

the big island is varied and incredible. take for example yesterday, when we drove down to the west side coast and went swimming at an absolutely picture perfect beach at the currently-remodel-phase resort of mauna kea....swimming in pristine aqua blue waters at 85 degrees, picnicking on the beach and tasting the salty water on our lips, sweating and getting kissed by the sun....driving up the hill back to waimea (our hometown the past few days) and the temperature dropping 20 degrees, then winding back down to the saddle road, a road that goes between the big island's two biggest volcanoes, mauna kea and mauna loa, and watching the landscape transform from grassy fertile hills to dry grass with brush and jackaranda trees (brilliant purple) to desert like nothingness and a military training area up the hill to the visitor's center of mauna kea, through a sudden onset of mist making the black lava field look incredibly creepy, ascending the road seeing nothing, until we emerge into blue again at mauna kea, resting at nearly 10,000 feet, 42 degrees, chilly to the bone, cinder cones and lava rock crunching beneath our feet, watching the sun set over the underlaying clouds and shine into our faces, wind whipping our bodies, taking pictures of each other on the edge, clouds illuminated, sacred hawaiian site, looking up to the summit above (at over 13,000 feet, the tallest mountain in the world if you count it's height below sea level!) we attended a constellation tour and watched the stars and constellations come out into the night sky, looking through amazing telescopes at saturn (so cute with it's ring encircling it!) and the moon and orion's belt and other star clusters. we drove down at 10pm through mist again, emerging into pouring rain at hilo, back up the coast to our quiet little haven and slept in the car again.

we enjoy the north side of the island a lot....the drive from waimea to hawi and the north tip of the island is stunning, seeing haleakala peak of maui in the distance, a charming little town, and a valley at the end of the road that holds endless long waterfalls if you dare to climb down into it. we have driven through rainbows, watched the weather shift in an instant several times, swam in the ocean, and are enjoying a container a day of the most delicious lime/sugar cane/coconut drink that we also had on maui, made fresh on the big island! at abram's we ate at least one fresh coconut a day, water and all (he's a great coconut tree climber). today we splurged on a rustic classic charming hotel room with a shared bathroom at an old standby hotel in honaunau that my friend green recommended, and this afternoon we checked in and took a nap IN A REAL BeD! wow, it must be heaven! we have not slept in a real bed in so long, and have not slept well in so long, really the whole time we've been on the big island!

we have a library card, and have been enjoying the CD selection that the hawaii library system has to offer us, as well as an hour of internet every day if you like. we are off to explore some places by the coast that our friends blake and may recommended. tomorrow we are going to volcanoes national park to explore the active still forming side of the island!

we're heading back to the mainland on thursday after a few more days on oahu starting monday....hope every one is doing well!
much love,
m & c

Sunday, May 4, 2008

big island

the big island....
rough, tumbled, rainy, tent camping on the jungle floor, mosquitoes biting our ankles, fresh coconuts to drink, lava rock, no car, hitchhiking, living with a beautiful bright little baby, poi, bananas, going to sleep at 7pm with the sun, finding our way, car rental?, what are we doing here, 2 minutes left on the internet, lava flow, walking for miles, papaya farms, chocolate, finding our way here, looking for the sun!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

for those who don't know, we're in hawai'i!

aloha friends!

hope that everyone is well. after a couple weeks of seeing friends and family and experiencing the ups and downs of being back, we are gone again! we found a flight way back when in january for 300 roundtrip to honolulu from seattle (they still have them by the way!) and departed for this tropical destination on sunday. the night before we left we had a great night visiting friends in bellingham at jason's birthday party. we were there for 5 hours talking, connecting, playing music, having a blast. we left around 1 AM, went back to the house and packed until 2, slept for an hour and 20 minutes, then woke up and began our travel day adventure. we were dropped off at the airport by melissa's lovely parents, on an airporter bus down to seattle with two very friendly bus drivers ruth and carla, who showed off their southern hospitality at every stop by telling us exactly of what we were doing and how long we'd be stopped and what was coming up next. melissa and i laughed at the extreme difference between that experience and thailand..which would leave us completely out of the loop as to what was happening with anything at all. we got there 3 hours early, and had 2 + hours to shiver and wait in the frigid airport until our flight took off. vrrrooooommmm! airplane flights seem short now in comparison to our 13 hour/24 hour travel day returning from bali. 6 hours later we were walking off the plane and feeling that tropical breeze whip around our bodies. ahhhh hawaii. we were picked up by jeff, who melissa knew from back in bellingham when she was younger. he's a great man, with an easy laugh and a big heart. he brought us lei's (we were lei'd) and shared about where we'll be living for the next few days. we traveled over to the east side of the island and went straight for the beach. the sand was white, the water blue/green, and we jumped in and spent the next hour body surfing and playing in the water. blake and may (who live here too) and ani and adam (who are visiting from seattle) showed up and we all hung out on the beautiful beach eating ahi poke and making nori wraps, drinking a couple beers. blake and jeff and adam are all great drummers and they set up on the beach playing african drums in their own amazing rhythms and style. it was very idyllic, and one of my favorite drum experiences i've ever had! we came home, had some great food, and hung out with jeff and alycia (another bellinghammer) who are married and live in this great studio on beautiful landscaped property. the next day (2 days ago) we took a trip up to the north shore of oahu and enjoyed the scenery and company along the way, stopping at a fruit stand to enjoy fresh coconuts, mango, banana (i had a friend banana too) and avocado's. oahu has a seemingly unlimited supply of beaches and the one we finally chose to stay at was a crescent moon white sand beach with crystal clear water. it was calm and smooth and we spent the whole day playing in the water and relaxing on the beach. in the winter this same beach is home to some of the worlds most adventurous surfing with some waves reaching over 20 feet. that day was just smooth and nice. we found a great food stand and all enjoyed and ate quickly tons of delicious food. ahi wraps, chili hand cut fries, falaffels. we grabbed a six pack of beer and watched what was to become one of my favorite sunsets ever, fully appreciating the layers of the clouds, the colors, the full spectrum, the sun dropping behind the ocean, from start to finish over an hour of bliss.

the next day alycia, who had worked non-stop decided to take a day off and spend some showing us around. so the three of us embarked on what was to be a day of experiencing her and jeff's favorite spots on the island. we took a hike up a ridge that overlooks the east side beaches that would allow us to see moloka'i on a clear day..but there is an excessive amount of vog right now (big island eruption lava fog) so visiblility is spotty at times. melissa discovered the macro foliage setting on our camera and went wild yesterday, snapping off 150 pictures of all of this islands best it has to offer. we found some crazy foliage on that first hike and it's all documented! we stopped by the store afterwards and picked up lunch to be which included a pound of ahi poke, an avocado, nori, and sunflower sprouts, and 2 bags of kettle chips. then headed up the mountain for another hike which included bamboo forests that punctuated at old ruins that are home to the largest luau ever, over 10,000 people. plus a small waterfall hike. melissa kept dissapearing at all points in time to keep up her photography. less than ten minutes after we left that oasis we were dropping into honolulu. it was amazing to be so remote (it's where they film parts of LOST tv show) and then to be in the big city so quickly. we just scooted around the edge of the city towards an area called 'the wall'. a little neighborhood spot that has lava flow style rocks that have been smoothed by all of the pounding waves over the millions of years since it formed. we saw some big waves there, some people surfing and boogie boarding and tide pools and a big green sea turtle floating out and about. we went to alycia's waldorf school that she is training at to be a teacher and were amazing and impressed with what they've created there. we went to a kona brewing, enjoyed some delicious beer samplers, then drove home along the east side of the island! we came back to the house, met up with jeff here and made some salmon curry with vegetables over quinoa, while the girls put together cookie batter. after eating we all did some art with cool new watercolor crayons and pencils, talked for awhile, and then passed out hard! it's amazing all that you can fit into some days! over one 12 hour period we were at a party in bellingham, then on a plane, and then to the beach in a hawaii. and then there's days like today where by 1:30 we still haven't left the house and have no plans other than to go for a walk. tomorrow we leave for the big island to stay with our friend abram and camp on the property he's taking care of. when i told jeff i was excited about being there he said without hesitation "it'll change your life". i'm excited to be there...i know it'll be a big opening for me :) much love to everyone, we have 2 weeks on the big island and then we're back after that....probably. :)