26 Oct 2008, 7:05pm
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mind-changing and life-expanding

today i went to ecstatic dance at this retreat center near kehena. it happens every sunday morning and it’s kinda part rave, part hippie church. big ol’ wood-floored lodge overlooking the ocean, big sound system, lots of “punatics” (a very descriptive word i just learned today, haha–this corner of the big island is called puna) and a couple solid hours of dancing. talking is not allowed, but sound-making is. i danced so long and hard that the balls of my feet are slightly blistered. at one point there was a pause between songs due to technical difficulties, and everyone started clapping a rhythm, then altering the rhythm, etc etc, keeping it going. afterwards we got lunch and then went to kehena beach, which is apparently what pretty much everyone else does on sundays after ecstatic dance (drums! people! swimming!). kehena is, by the way, clothing-optional.

a week before i left portland i went to a sigur rós concert at an enormous concert hall (actually the second time i saw them there! both were excellent awesome shows!). when they performed “gobbledigook” they asked everyone to stand up and we all clapped along, this loud, strong beat and this beautiful melody and the lyrics i hear as “into the untamed earth” though i know they’re singing in icelandic (right? i would swear that’s what they’re singing, but google says the only song with english lyrics is “all alright”), kind of like i always hear “it’s you, it’s you” (etc) in “svefn-g-englar.” anyway the video for “gobbledigook” is amazing, all joyous naked young people running through woods in big packs and, you know, being joyful. you can watch it here. i remember being surrounded by this music and a whole concert hall full of people creating this huge powerful rhythm and thinking about the video and kinda dreaming that my trip in hawaii would feel like that video looks and that song sounds. i thought i was being ridiculous but… no. that’s pretty much what i feel like these days. into the untamed earth… into the new earth, which is also the old earth. into the untamed self, the new self which is the old self…

i know this all sounds cheesy but this place is so ripe for metaphor. the path down to kehena is steep and rocky, and you have to watch your feet to avoid slipping or stumbling. then suddenly you hit the sand and you look up and there’s people and music and the ocean. this summer was… steep and rocky. i withdrew into myself and put up all kinds of stupid reactive defenses. then i looked up and suddenly i am surrounded by (more crunchy granola hippie stuff–no apologies) all these healing influences. you know? this island itself is a fucking metaphor–so old and so new at the same time. i keep thinking about my life here this past week and a half and about the possibility for reinvention. but it’s not really reinvention when it’s so contingent on what came before. yes, there are a million possible lives. but this, too, is a kind of accumulation. (hey friends if the economy totally tanks maybe i should take my insurance settlement and buy some cheap land here in puna. you can come; we can live in bamboo huts and start a theatre school and intentional community. our lives will be beautiful and full of fruit and fruitful so long as we stay on pele’s good side. i dunno; maybe next week i will be so homesick for portland, cold rain and all, that i can barely stand it.)

i went swimming at kehena today. i don’t think i’d ever been swimming in ocean like that (ocean i was too scared to swim in last time i was there). more metaphor: first i practiced standing strong and sturdy against the crashing waves and the undertow, then i swam further out and let the waves carry me up and then down again. when do you do which…? in any case it was really exhilarating!

on friday night we had a bonfire to burn a bunch of cane grass. fire, guitars, s’mores even!

and then i stayed up ’til some completely ridiculous hour of the morning talking to someone about pretty much everything ever. and then in the morning i woke up at breakfast time per usual and was contentedly tired all day–still managed to spend half the afternoon dancing around the barn with the four-year-old girl who left today with her mom and sister (headed to another farm)–i miss her already! we also rescued this moth:

and she took this picture of me:

here, look at this:

starting tonight i’m sleeping here:

so named because:

!

(the mosquitoes don’t even bother me anymore. i think your body develops an immunity pretty fast. they still bite you but you just kind of stop reacting. damn, is that a metaphor too?? i dunno; i’m not sure i like that one.)

[...] the market we went to ecstatic dance at kalani (which i wrote about 2 weeks ago here). it is really the best thing to do on sunday morning ever, i think. on any morning. i felt so [...]

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