The Aloha Project: Words, Music and Compassion

IMG_0022.2
“Grow The Change” Work Day at “Ka Hale A Ke Ola” with “Rumi” and friends.

Aloha Folks,

Our overall intention is to establish a communication and resource network.

The campaign actually has three interlocking components. Firstly the Video Fest (which will be a weekly online broadcast) and will showcase diverse bands from around the world with Hawaiian Culture and music as it’s centerpiece thusly perpetuating the Spirit of Aloha and create a worldwide bond between socially and politically conscious bands from around the world. We will also be working with the “Music is the Medicine” Foundation. Musicians in the festival include representatives from Portugal, India, Germany, The Phillipines, the UK, and various and sundry other parts of the world, including Texas.

Secondly there is our fledgling publication Mauisalt Magazine, a quarterly publication which we hope to use as a vehicle to:

1. Promote Hawaiian Culture through its connection to the Ocean

2. Promote the Video Fest and…

3. Serve as an outreach for the many native people who have found themselves homeless on Maui and the Other Hawaiian Islands.

And thirdly, to help establish a warrior sanctuary for sufferers of PTSD (hopefully to be named the Queen Kaahumanu Center, given permission).

Indiegogo Link: http://www.indiegogo.com/project/preview/f38eceb8

Mauisalt Magazine:

Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Chapter 22 (Livy’s Perspective): A friend of mine told me it takes a leap of faith…

28Livy

Office in the sky. Too early for lunch, she thought, but it’s time somehow. Not entirely hungry, but it’s time. Business, busy-ness, the details. Livy got up from her desk, closed the drawers and turned to leave.

“Where you going Liv,” asked Ramie.

“Out, lunch I think.”

“You think?”

“Just out I guess. Maybe lunch.”

“You want company?”

“Thanks Rame, I’m going alone.”

At the elevator Livy felt it again but this time with the sense of something pulling and something impending at the same time. Impending like an audition, like it was time for the show. Inside the elevator she pushed the button for the ground floor. No one was in the elevator with her but she could smell oranges, ripe. Oranges in the dead of winter she thought. Where had she smelled them like this before?

At ground level the lobby was full of others scrambling for the elevators and the doors. The light from the glass doors at the front reflected off the floor and into her face. She looked up and beyond the doors and caught a glimpse of a sun-kissed head of hair close to the street. She smelled oranges again. Portugal, she thought, then no, it couldn’t be. The Continental for pastrami she thought now, I’m a little light-headed, need to eat.

She walked through the revolving door in the crush of others. She broke free a few feet from the sidewalk, moving slowly. She walked past him and toward the light of the sidewalk. She hadn’t seen him.

“Excuse me!” he said.

“It’s you,” she said, “it’s really you.” She smelled oranges again and saw Portugal in her mind. He’s grown up, she thought, looks almost knightly.

It became just the two of them, all else disappeared. It was a deep breath taken in as far as it could go, then the exhale and the tingling and the clarity and levity, the knowing and a fusion.

“I’ve been dreaming of this,” she whispered.

“Me too.”

Morgan stepped about five feet away, and before Livy could ask, he jumped toward her.

“What’re you doing?” she said.

“A friend of mine told me it takes a leap of faith.”

She looked at him and smiled.

“Let’s go somewhere,” he said, “anywhere.”

“Yeah,” she said, not knowing the sweetness of her own voice but feeling it all over.

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower…

dylan-thomasOne of my favorite poets and the man after whom I named my son:
Dylan Marlais Thomas, born October 27, 1914, in South Wales, was the archetypal Romantic poet of the popular American imagination—he was flamboyantly theatrical, a heavy drinker, engaged in roaring disputes in public, and read his work aloud with tremendous depth of feeling and a singing Welsh lilt.

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
by Dylan Thomas, 1914 – 1953

The force that through the green fuse drives the flower
Drives my green age; that blasts the roots of trees
Is my destroyer.
And I am dumb to tell the crooked rose
My youth is bent by the same wintry fever.

The force that drives the water through the rocks
Drives my red blood; that dries the mouthing streams
Turns mine to wax.
And I am dumb to mouth unto my veins
How at the mountain spring the same mouth sucks.

The hand that whirls the water in the pool
Stirs the quicksand; that ropes the blowing wind
Hauls my shroud sail.
And I am dumb to tell the hanging man
How of my clay is made the hangman’s lime.

The lips of time leech to the fountain head;
Love drips and gathers, but the fallen blood
Shall calm her sores.

And I am dumb to tell a weather’s wind
How time has ticked a heaven round the stars.

And I am dumb to tell the lover’s tomb
How at my sheet goes the same crooked worm.

Ticket To Ride, Book 2, Chapter 4: We don’t need no thought control…

oxford-library_1886228cWe don’t need no education,

we don’t need no thought control,

there’s lots of hazards in the classroom

teachers leave them kids alone.

– Pink Floyd, The Wall

Somerville College, founded 1879, in honor of Mary Somerville, 1780-1872, mathematician. Dedicated to the emancipation of women and equality of the sexes.

Thanks Mary she thought as she walked through the first quad; built in the style of 1690, hammer-dressed Bladon stone. Through the archway and heading west toward the second quad she came up against a wall, a factory-like wall,* that blocks an otherwise open view to the south, thinking tiredly, bloody figures, St. Aloysius keeping it all square and contained.

“This essay is brilliant Ms. Tinsley.”

“Thank you Professor Thornton, Livy replied.

“It’s so good really that I’m afraid for you.”

“Afraid?”

“Yes, afraid, you see, for a writer college can only do so much.”

“How do you mean?”

“What I mean is that you have an innate ability to see connections in things and to craft fine sentences without knowing much about parts of speech. It just comes natural for you.”

“Thank you.”

“So, you see, what I’m saying is that you have what you need in terms of the mechanics of things. What you don’t have yet is a great deal of life experience to draw from. If you stay at Oxford you run the risk of having the fire stomped out of you. For you, the classes here will become, very quickly, inane and droll.”

“But I love my history classes.”

“Then study it on your own. You’ll need a foundation in history, but everything else will become quite a yawn.”

“I have felt that I’m meant for more.”

“And you are. That’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to get you placed somewhere where you can grow.”

“Where then?”

“The New Yorker magazine love.”

“My God.”

“Yes, my God. It’s just an internship mind you, but it’s in the center of things.”

Livy hugged him and began to walk out.

Professor Thornton yelled after her,“You have a couple of weeks.”

Men can be good for something, Livy thought.

There were echoes running along the walls. A young woman’s voice, beyond Walton House and beyond the third arch, in the garden quad. Surrounded by red-brick, she sounded passionate, if not slightly neurotic. Livy continued on until she could see the woman. There was a small crowd around her and in the crowd was Livy’s friend Hermione whom she called “My” for short.

“Hey ya My.” Livy said into Hermione’s ear.

“Livy, this one’s on about it today love.”

“On about what My?”

“Just on and on really,” she said smiling.

The two turned to listen.

“So that just as. to assure elimination of economic classes requires the revolt of the underclass (the proletariat) and, in a -temporary dictatorship, their seizure of the means of production, so to assure the elimination of sexual classes requires the revolt of the underclass (women) and the seizure of control of reproduction: not only the full restoration to women of ownership of their own bodies, but also their (temporary) seizure of control of human fertility – the new population biology as well as all the social institutions of child-bearing and child-rearing. And just as the end goal of socialist revolution was not only the elimination of the economic class privilege but of the economic class distinction itself, so the end goal of feminist revolution must be, unlike that of the first feminist movement, not just the elimination of male privilege but of the sex distinction itself: genital differences between human beings would no longer matter culturally. (A reversion to an unobstructed pansexuality Freud’s ‘polymorphous perversity’ – would probably supersede hetero/homo/bi-sexuality.) The reproduction of the species by one sex for the benefit of both would be replaced by (at least the option of) artificial reproduction: children would be born to both sexes equally, or independently of. either, however one chooses to look at it; the dependence of the child on the mother (and vice versa) would give way to a greatly shortened dependence on a small group of others in general, and any remaining inferiority to adults in physical strength would be compensated for culturally. The division of labour would be ended by the elimination of labour altogether (through cybernetics). The tyranny of the biological family would be broken.”*

The speaker finished.

“That was something.” Livy said smiling.

“Something or other.” My returned, her green eyes alight with the levity of Livy’s presence.

“You know My, I think I’m done here.”

My furrowed her brow.

“But its only just a year.”

“I know but… well… I just don’t want to be institutionalized anymore. Professor Thornton suggested America.”

“America?”

“Yeah, doesn’t it sound cool lovey? America, John Wayne, hamburgers and freeways. Professor Thornton says he can get me an internship at the New Yorker. Bloody cool isn’t it?”

“You’ve got no degree love.”

“I’m not running for political office. I’m just gonna write. He thinks I can write and good if I work at it.”

She’d been here a lifetime she thought, everyday like a bigger yawn than the one before. A nuthouse full of pontificators espousing their “singular” and simplistic, shortsighted nonsense. She wanted to be in it, on it, of it. Inside of things, part of the current. Not cloistered behind stone walls.

She walked into the bare, shallow and unadorned space of the college chapel, not because she necessarily believed in the power of the place, but because, as of yet, she hadn’t ruled it out, and was feeling the need to connect to something.

Professor Thornton, Miss Brompton, two saviors, thank you God.

* from The Dialectic of Sex, Shulamith Firestone (1970)

Source: The Dialectic of Sex, publ. The Women’s Press, 1979. 

Just the first Chapter reproduced here.

Ticket To Ride, Chapter 16: Narcissistic hedonists existing on half-tuned terms…

300px-Surtidor_de_trenes_Sixteen 

Since I’d purchased my train ticket upon arrival in Lagos, and had loosely planned to make it to Algeciras in three days to make the crossing to Morocco, I passed on the ditch-digging job. Instead I took a train to the Spanish-Portuguese border where I crossed the Guadiana by ferry. Back in Spanish-land, Andalusia, entering through the village of Ayamonte, I was able to use my marginal college Spanish. I made my way to the nearest Tabac to pick up a pack of Fortunas, then headed into town seeking cheap accommodations; a place to read, and sleep.

“No tengo mucho dinero,” I’d say.

“Lo siento amigo.”

“Amigo. Shit.”

Over the red-tiled, dusty, cut-and-dried town, the sun set low in the sky casting its solemn, pinkish hue on the suddenly omnipresent world. For a moment the villager’s faces were transformed from a Gothic, gargoyle-grey to something saintly and almost sweet, like a mosaic in the St. Apollinare. But all seemed transformed into con-men when it came to bargaining for a bed.

The topic of money snuffed out this last flicker of godliness and I decided to move on, to hitch-hike to the next town, and a possible train headed south. Tired, hollow, dull-ache, sunset, where’s home from here?, mind.

I stalked heavy-footed on my tarmac path, a narrow, two-laned, “Mexican-One”-like highway where, at the edge of town stood the broken down, empty remains of an abandoned railway station which might once have served to carry me south. I have “all the time in the world,” I thought, but do I want it?

Hitch-hiking in Andalusia is not advisable if a ride is what you’re after.

The sun sank and I waited. Cars passed. The world turned, quite a revolution.

Situated alongside a fallow field and facing west, the dying light offered a little pioneer glory to my asphalt predicament. I ate some bread and cheese, smoked a few more Fortunas, drank the rest of a two-day-old soda, and when twilight arrived, I crossed the road to the Mari-Ro hostel and bargained for a bed. The manager was an arrogant bastard but I was too tired to argue.

“Diez mil pesetas.”

Just give me a room, I thought… “esta bien,” handing him the money, “las llaves por favor… gracias,” he gave me the keys.

In bed I read the last few pages of Kundera’s, The Joke which Norbert had given me, then fell into a disjointed sleep and dreams of lepers and whorehouse red. Sweet sleep that I long for.

Coined eyes

hands clam-cold

Morning… bright… clear… oppressive… waking… moaning… dream images… vertigo thoughts… mind.

In the morning I caught a bus in front of the hostel and headed into the fields and orchards of southern Spain and three days without sleep. The sky was grey and I’ve always had this thing about grey skies; sleepy, inward, ponderous. Cafe con leche at every stop was more than a feeble attempt to defy my mood and, mixed with a pack of cigarettes, kept me at least somewhat focused on something outside of my head.

In a cafe at the Huelva railway station I ate two ham sandwiches and went outside to read, but ended up writing a short poem.

blue fire lightning strikes desire in eyes

like red tide swells that fold & fall

then merge on the surface

feeding

flickering

wishing to be a flame

celta-sevilla-spainSevilla. Waiting hours between connections. San Jose Del Cabo, that’s what it looks like. But that was another time. Just a few years ago, but another time.

A few streets away from the station I came across two Brits playing broken riffs for Spanish coin. He played and she smiled with a tin can, collecting. They’d been in Sevilla for about three weeks and were making something like three thousand pesetas a day. They slept in a van parked on the edge of town. “Lovely here,” she said over and over. Nigel offered me a turn on the guitar, then helped me muddle through a few chords of “Sweet Jane.”

“Where’re you headed chief?” he asked with a broad Lancashire accent.

“Morocco… Marrakesh. I want to be in Algeciras in a couple of days to make the crossing.”

“Not exactly the right time for a yank to be in Morocco. With the Iranian thing and bloody Ramadan. It’s a bleedin’ sin to eat during the day. Allah humma laka sumna, wa ‘ala rizqika aftarna. A lot of ‘em get barmy on you… might better hold on to your fuckin’ head.”

“Fuck it, I just want to see Marrakesh.”

“The shops are opening up, would you like an ice cream.” said Nigel’s girlfriend.

“Sure,” I said.

Over ice cream they talked about strawberry season and how they’d done pretty well as pickers. I toyed for a moment with a Kerouacean notion of joining them, but didn’t.

After the ice cream I wished them luck and headed toward the train station. Some young Spanish girls were returning to their school which stood adjacent to the platform. As they passed, some smiled, their eyes like twilight. The ancestors of Mexican girls, embroidered in the Americas with Indian motifs. I smiled back innocently.

Their latin lovers followed the line of their gaze, then looked at me with contempt.

I was hungry again so I set off across the main square in search of food. After walking the perimeter of the square I ended up in a sort of cafe across the street from the station. I ate a sort of hamburger and drank a coke and was stared at by a few very old people. It was quiet and I suspected it would be until I left. They knew and I knew that I wouldn’t be there long and soon they would be free to talk amongst themselves and perhaps guess where the fair-haired young man had come from and where he might be going and where they themselves had been but never where they might go again.

As the sun set over the Guadalquivir, a group of excited students got on the train and sat in the seats around me. Some of the girls smiled and giggled as they discovered the foreigner in their midst. The boys smiled and giggled at them. They were traveling light.

“Adonde van?” I asked.

“On a day trip to Sevilla para Museo Principal de Bellas Artes,” said one of the boys, trying out his English. “Quiere ir?”  (Have you been)

“El año pasado pero… ahora voy a Morocco. Estoy en Sevilla solamente por el tren.”

“El museo es ‘brilliant,’” said one girl, “brilliant and lovely.” I found it charming how she fell into a sort of English accent when she used English words but found her overzealousness suffocating. The door had opened to continue talking to her but I went cold.

I managed to smile as I turned away and settled back in to my seat. In turning I noticed two very nice looking girls to my right. They smiled and I turned away. When I turned back toward them they were speaking between themselves, one looking into a compact and fixing her make-up. The door closed. Women felt forbidden to me. If not women, then what? Bread. Dry bread. I looked again, they were dragons. The world of the train car went away and again I was back in Anaya’s bathroom, tripping. Only this time, I was seeing Great Uncle Norman, Normy the fucking molester, and the fear that must have been on my father’s face when he was a boy and then my father yelling at me, calling me a pansy and a pussy.

The train began to move. I grabbed my notebook and wrote:

Narcissistic hedonists existing on half-tuned terms,

like germs in a culture,

like the vultures we’ve become.

We look into a mirror, not into the past, the present, nor the future, but at ourselves, fed by vanity, vanity and self-absorption.

I got up from my seat and went to the back of the car, I was on auto pilot now and not thinking just moving and only slightly interested in where I was being led. I’d made it to the back door, opened it and heard the noise of the wheels against the rails, and the wind, the wind in my face between train cars in the open, but I wanted it to be done, not all of me but a big part was ready to move on, to be done. The train was at full speed now.

Behind me the train conductor said in Spanish:

“If you jump you will most certainly die.”

Precise statement, pithy, decide.

I had to either jump or go home. At that point I wasn’t sure where home was.

I heard the words of U2’s “Into the Heart” coming from a cassette player inside the train:

“Into the heart of a child, I can stay a while, but I can’t go back.”

Ticket To Ride, Chapter 12: Travel is, at best, a metaphor for the inner journey…

ivy-league-school-brown-university-providence-riTwelve

Morgan turned eighteen shortly after Psalm’s death. Even though his mind felt locked in a vice, he’d decided, just after Psalm died to return to the mainland to attend college. Visions of brick buildings and autumn leaves fed his desire of becoming a modern-day Thoreau and thus, at least in his mind, he began his journey toward becoming an academic. His meetings with Miko were cut short after his argument with his father and his hunger for books pushed him to read into the small hours of the night. He wouldn’t get out of bed until near noon and was just biding his time because his mother, whom he spoke to when his father was at work, insisted on giving him some money from her trust. Her sister was arranging it on the mainland.

He worked at the store less and without being conscious of the change, matters of the spirit seemed to have died. He was “getting into his mind” and felt that this was a good thing. His experience with acid had darkened him. He had become detached, a skeleton of intellect.

“Take this money and the money you’ve saved and honey… and be a writer, go to school Morgan, be yourself.”

They hugged and promised each other they’d keep in touch.

Back on the mainland Morgan studied literature for two years, rarely looking up from his books to see the world around him. His retreat into this life of the mind was almost seamless. Almost, until one day, in a French literature class, the professor showed “Boudou Saved From Drowning” by Jean Renoir. Morgan could feel it coming from the pit of his stomach, burning. The professor was going on about how Boubou represented a sort of primal wildness and further, that his presence was a threat to French society. And in that moment, Morgan felt like college was nothing more than some long drawn-out form of masturbation that never quite finished the job. He raised his hand. The professor looked at him. The class looked to where the professor was looking. Morgan breathed and said,

“The middle class has no sense of humor, the lower class wants to be the middle or upper class and the upper class is populated by zombies. Western culture is suffering some kind of collective neurosis where everyone’s living in some kind of weird fear… This shit’s too much.” he finished, smiling.

The professor just stood there, expressionless.

His academic counselor, a pony-tailed and down-to-earth man only a little older than Morgan suggested that Morgan spend some time in Europe.

“It’d be good for you. All the great writers have gone on spiritual and intellectual sojourns.”

“I’m just having a hard time seeing what I’m accomplishing here.”

“Most of us go through this sort of thing. If nothing else, you’ll be collecting experiences for future writing.”

This spoke to Morgan’s literary self, his academic vanity, and to a much smaller extent, his sense of adventure, which had been all but snuffed out by his over-indulgence in vicarious journeys.

“But remember, ‘travel is, at best, a metaphor for the inner journey and, at worst, an avoidance of it.”

from Dead Poets Society – “What will your verse be?”

dead poets
Carpe Diem!

Great quotes from a Great Film

• We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer: that you are here; that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse; What will your verse be?

• When you read, don’t just consider what the author thinks, consider what you think.

• There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.

• Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bone.

• No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

• They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

• Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out! break out now is the time!

• I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately, I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, To put to rout all that was not life and not when I had come to die Discover that I had not lived. – Thoreau

Notes on The Julian Day – Like Who Cares Right? (Haha)

Gateway to Elysian Fields
Gateway to Elysian Fields

Midnight 12am: It’s that time of night when one can be convinced that his quiet, mindful wanderings might have some relevance to other wanderers of the Elysian Fields. Sleeping people don’t talk back and folks like me with grand delusions find this time suited to their wayward, wanderlusting minds.

For those of you wondering why we chose the name “The Julian Day.” To the best of our knowledge the “actual” julian day is the day inserted into the month of February every leap year. This is the day that balances the calendar and literally balances time. In a world where everyone and everything seems hell-bent on throwing us and the entire world out of sync:

“We like the idea of achieving balance and evening things out to create a harmonious wholeness.”

Even if achieving that means first, throwing everything out of whack. It’s only when we experience chaos that we define our truest foundations.

Our first EP is called Sohei.

Sohei in Japanese means literally “monk warriors” or enlightened soldiers. Lofty title right? We’re doing our best.

With Sohei we’ve created what we believe is a powerful musical document that underlines the struggle for a higher spiritual and emotional connection to humanity that is musically and thematically coherent. We’re not interested in singles. We want all of the songs to contribute to a homogenous, and sonically courageous whole; each song contributing to a unified statement. We’re hoping you all will enjoy it as much as we’ve enjoyed, and are enjoying creating it.

The new EP (if we ever finish it) will be called “A Place Called Everywhere.” 

It’s our belief that as the world grows smaller and smaller with each passing day through our interconnectedness via the internet, skype, cell phones, and all the other techno stuff, soon wherever we are will be a place called everywhere. What will that world be like? We’d like to explore that with this next round of songs.

Preview of “A Place Called Everywhere:” https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thejulianday/508010318?token=792d5193

From Pillow of Grass by Natsume Soseki, 1925

yin-yangFrom Pillow of Grass by Natsume Soseki

Going up a mountain track I fell to thinking. Approach everything rationally, and you become harsh. Pole along in the stream of emotions, and you will be swept away by the current. Give free rein to your desires, and you become uncomfortable confined.

When the unpleasantness increases, you want to draw yourself up to some place where life is easier. It is just at that point when you first realize that life will be no more agreeable no matter what heights you may attain, that a poem may be given birth, or a picture created.

The creation of this world is the work of neither God nor devil, but of the ordinary people around us; those who live opposite, and those next door, drifting here and there about their daily business. You may think this world created by ordinary people a horrible place in which to live, but where else is there? Even if there is somewhere else to go, it can only be a “non-human” realm, and who knows but that such a world may not be even more hateful than this?

Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys – First page

jea.rhys“They say when trouble comes, close ranks, and so the white people did.

But we were not in their ranks.” – Jean Rhys, 1966

In other words: when threatened, act stupid and blind and spiritually bankrupt. Whatever you need to do to protect the corporations of the world. To include: Fear of freedom, Fear of your citizens, and Fear of common sense.

This has been done time and time again throughout history. Nations fall, leaders fall and good sense dies because of it.

If the powers-that-be picked up a book every once in a while they’d know this. Once you become paralyzed by your fear of change, by wisdom, and by your own depravity, you have already lost everything to which we (normal people) describe as being human.

Your lust for power and money will, and most certainly always has, eventually lead to the demise of those who covet it.

To say America is anything more than a corporation is a sad lie that many tell themselves.

I think America’s country music probably describes the sad resignation of becoming mediocre the best. So put on some redneck music, grab a Schlitz and watch as Rome burns. We can only hope that from it’s ashes Common Sense will once again rise.

Save the country music party for after the work is done. Then, and  only then, can we relax in knowing that the celebration is well-deserved.