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Showing posts from March, 2009

Punana Leo

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We went to the Punana Leo Preschool fundraiser today-- I had seen the signs for it flapping around town. They are handpainted in bright primary colors, on squares of white fabric, inviting one and all for a full day of music and talk story. I've been thinking that the Hawaiian immersion preschool would be a good choice for my kid next year, and so I wanted to come and get a feel for the school community.
We got there and realized we drove the wrong vehicle. The parking lot of the war memorial hall was full of trucks-- and foolish us, we came in our dusty little sedan. But no matter. In we go, retrieve our kalua pig and cabbage bowls, and peer around at the crowd. It made me nostalgic for our life on the Big Island-- big uncles and grandpas cuddling sleeping babies and swatting at hyper toddlers, skinny portuguese grandmas with gold necklaces and their sensuous micronesian granddaughters in bright haltertops.
The lights flicked on and off and we moved into a beautiful theater. The li…

Pulling to Center

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I recently took a pottery class-- once a week for five weeks I got to spend an hour or so thwacking cold wet clay down onto a plaster slab, kneading it into a cyclone, and thumping it down onto a wheel. Elbow cocked to hip, setting it spinning, and then praying, bracing, holding the slick hard lumpy mound. It spins and throbs and pushes against my hands, but I have to hold still-- bracing against the hard mass of clay-- without shoving or jerking-- just holding. Try to find true north, try to float above the pull of gravity-- that's holding still against this thing. One hand pulls up slowly, one hand pushes down and out and after a few lip-biting climbs and descents-- suddenly the thing is centered.
Then I put one finger on the still piko of the mound-- and push down into that navel. The lump opens suddenly into a pot. And then draw the walls up, flare them out, pull them in. It becomes recognizable as a Thing. Every time is like a miracle. Even if they are all tiny and off-kilter!