This is pertaining to my hānai son, Jason Poole. I call him Iakona. He's been with me for quite some time now. I've always admired this young man. I invited him to join me. I took him in as a son.
How did Pittsburgh-born, classically trained singer Jason Poole find himself knee-deep in mud, gutting fish on the remote island of Molokai?
Friday, February 21, 2014
When I need some inspiration to help me to create something new, I turn to music.
When I need some inspiration to get up and move, I turn to music.
When I need some inspiration to quiet down and turn inward, I turn to music.
Music is medicine to me. It reaches down inside me and touches me like nothing else can.
And I know I’m not alone in this.
So here’s my question for you: What music do YOU turn to for inspiration?
Not just Hawaiian music. Any music. What helps you/motivates you/inspires you?
I’d love to hear from you. Please leave your thoughts in a comment below.
Happy Aloha Friday, Gang!
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I woke up this morning with an image burned in my mind: A bright red human heart beating beneath the white snow.
(I know… I know… sounds kinda gross, right?)
Normally something like that would just pass though my mind and be forgotten by the time I’d finished brushing my teeth. Interesting, yes, but fleeting.
But this image would not let go. Dang! It stayed with me all morning, even through two cups of coffee.
So I took out my notebook and decided that I needed to explore it. I needed to see what was so important about it. What did it mean? My mind had created it and was demanding I pay attention.
Here are my “What-The-Heck-Does-This-Mean” notes:
The image of a heart beneath a blanket of snow and ice. The heart continues to beat—faintly. But as long as there is a heartbeat, there is the promise of warmth. The promise of heat.
That’s how it’s felt to be working on these projects: the stories, the essays, the songs. I’ve felt like I’m buried in an avalanche. Like somehow I’d been snowed in a cabin deep in the woods, high on a mountain. The snow continues to fall and accumulate. More snow on top of snow. And then it’s like WHAM! I’m snowed in. Stuck. Buried. Doomed. Done.
What does the ice represent in this image? Fear. Paralyzing fear. (Fear of what? Need to explore this further. Fear of failure as well as fear of success.)
What does the snow represent in this image? Doubt. Overwhelm. Fatigue.
But wait… The heart continues to beat. That’s my story. A courageous little heart that won’t give up. It can’t give up. And from that little spot of warmth, the snow and ice begin to melt. Slowly. So slowly.
With each break in the ice, with every snowflake that melts, it grows—this little hot spot. And then a clearing happens. And it grows and grows until there is finally enough space for the story to breathe.
And then spring comes. The warm golden sun replaces the garish, cold white light of winter. Green replaces the snowy white. And there, in the distance, is the story that everyone (that I?) thought had vanished and died. It’s still alive! Search parties had given up. No one was looking for it anymore. But there it is—walking down the mountainside! It leans on a cane for assistance, but with each step, it grows stronger and stronger. That’s how this feels.
Was the recent writing retreat a last ditch attempt at a search party?
No. It was the heartbeat of the story still pulsing and sounding out a faint but consistent S.O.S. signal. “I’m here! I’m still here!”
And I’m so thankful that it is.
Please stay tuned for more updates very soon. The heart is still beating.2 Comments
Saturday, February 1, 2014
A lot of folks find it hard to believe that I carry my ‘ukulele with me all the time.
Ah… the life of an urban strummer!
(Do you like the ʻukulele in the photo? Check out www.kamakahawaii.com for some of the best ʻukuleles on the planet!)0 Comments
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Aloha, gang! Earlier this week, I’d written about how a case of laryngitis had left me speechless–literally! (Mahalo for your kind comments and emails!) Well, I met with a great otolaryngologist (aka ENT) yesterday who gave me an extremely thorough exam. I even had the chance to watch the procedure on a screen while he did … Click here to read more…2 Comments
Monday, January 6, 2014
What does a crooner do when he has no voice with which to croon? A crooner with laryngitis makes for a frustrating day. It started this past weekend. A simple cold. A “bubbly” feeling in the throat. I was telling a story and noticed that my larynx felt strange, not smooth, grainy and raw. “Did … Click here to read more…5 Comments
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
HAUʻOLI MAKAHIKI HOU! HAPPY NEW YEAR! My favorite New Year’s Day tradition? Sounding the pū to welcome the New Year. Hālawa Valley-style in NYC. May 2014 be filled with Aloha. Right on. (You can see previous yearsʻ postings by clicking HERE and HERE and HERE.)0 Comments