MNN Column May 2008

I got home from the road and crashed. I crashed flat and hard, like a cartoon. I’d traveled back East several times in one month. I finished a new CD of music, and then drove up to Colorado to have it mastered. (The final cut, “Goin’ Home” features our one and only: Julian B! Mvto Julian! He can sing. He has that deep cut Mvskoke soul.) I’ve learned how to teeter on the edge of exhaustion, and then resurrect myself with eating right, lots of water, and taking time. This time, for energy, I downed a half a bag of crunchy cheese crisps. This junk overload took me over. My body gave in to a sickness that was floating nearby, looking for a place to land. It couldn’t handle the crush of trash. The cheap energy did not come for free. Now, like a cartoon, I’m unrolling myself from the steamroller and standing up. Whew!
Have the food shortage scares hit Oklahoma yet? Out here in Hawaii we’re in between Asia, the Mainland U.S., the rest of Polynesia and Alaska so we get the pulse from several directions. The word went out recently that because of the strange weather at work all around the world there are and will be real food shortages. Costco and Sam’s had to limit the number of bags of rice per person. Yesterday, my friend Candyce from Alaska said that there’s a run on food up there, too. Everyone’s buying up those big bags of rice and flour. She’s been talking to the old ones who predict famine. The consensus is, there will be one long winter, first. In Eagle River, where Candyce lives, the sky just dumped several feet of snow, and it’s almost May. We need to pay attention.
And finally, in my flattened state, I tagged along with a couple of videographers on a short trip to Kauai last week. They are telling the story of a Hawaiian men’s warrior society. Hawaiian men who have lost their place in a colonized world find it again here. As members of the pa, they are learning to control their anger, take care of their families and their communities. There’s ripple effect in the community. Ua, the brother of the leader of the society, Nakulu, told me as we drove to lunch, that these warriors from his brother’s pa have been cleaning up the local beaches of drug dealers. Nakulu tells them they cannot hurt anyone. There are strict rules. The warriors wrap their weapons and aren’t allowed more than five hits per person. The beaches are now opening up for community use. People have been coming up to the young men, thanking them for their assistance. It’s truly beautiful to see a group of about 150 men radiating self-confidence and pride as they meet, and work together. Because I was crashed out at the cottage, I missed the sham battle, where the men line up on two sides and practice different formations. I also missed the ha’a (the Maori’s call it the haka) the pre-war ritual to put fear into the enemy. It’s a very powerful. All of this has empowered the men, and has made them better husbands and fathers. They have taken their place.
Please feel free to email me with any comments, questions, or column ideas at nativesax@mac.com.

No comments: