Incongruities and a Gift

I don’t appear to fit anywhere neatly under this sun. My life is woven with incongruities.

I am a wanderer with (almost) two homes, a sociable loner, a poet, a female saxophone player, (private) singer of Mvskoke songs when males are the singers, a jazz player who doesn’t play jazz, an Indian who doesn’t look “Indian”, a poet who occupies an endowed position at a university who doesn’t act like the typical professor poet, a speaker who is most often silent, a performer, a dreamer. Maybe that moniker fits best: a dreamer. Dreaming is the one place in which the incongruities snap into a continuous, mindful grid. The distinctions don’t matter. They all fit. I am able to fly beyond time, beyond the biting rulers of the kingdoms of human societies. My spirit occupies the spirit world without the dressings of shame, criticism and awkwardness that have characterized my emerging life. The dream world appears closer to the real world. There are no lies. Here is the source of poetry; this is where songs open their mouths to sing.

With this I walk out onto the island, after flying more than a few thousand miles to come home for an anniversary weekend. I’m barefoot, still smelling of dream residue. ”I’m home,” I say to the mynah couple who perch every morning on the telephone pole. I wonder where the cardinals are who sing around the house and yard here. One of their relatives was just assisting me in that other place. I acknowledge the mango tree so bushy and lush with a golden crop. The banana trees have a tightly woven society. They are healthy. The papaya trees should have been planted elsewhere. One thrives anyway; the other is a bit of a runt. The young coconut tree is close to my heart. A bluish lizard is doing pushups on a branch.

The sun has called me out. The earth has called me here. We are surrounded by ocean, by a cool breeze off the Ko’olau’s carrying good luck. Here in this morning light none of the incongruities matter. I am a spirit who is made of the same stuff as all of this life. I greet the morning, offer tobacco and I am greeted in return. This morning I am given an unexpected gift. The sun is bright with a blue star in the middle. The blue turns to turquoise then back to gold. These colors are woven into ribbons of energy. They spiral through time and touch the earth. The earth responds with green strands of energy; they mix. We are in communion, all of us out here in the morning--even the cat who’s been meeting her boyfriends under the house for parties has stopped in awe. We are all part of this gift.

August 27, 2005 Honolulu

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