I am so full.
There is so much learned, so much to share, and still even more to reflect on. The week starting on Monday, has been such a blur of activity, it is hard to keep it all straight.
Our official title for this week was "Community Exploration and Placemaking" with our first two contribuitors, Kiara Nagel and Edgard Gouveia Jr.
Monday and Tuesday we were introduced to tools to begin understanding various ways to develop and move through a group vision and project. For me these tools were about asking and starting to understand within myself and others some of the following questions.
-How do I view my place and voice in the world and community?
-What are the tools that I bring to a group vision and project?
-How do I/we effectively hear and see each individual within a group process?
- What is the best way for me to regenerate so that I can continue to communicate and work in a healthy manner?
After various exercises, conversations and many dance breaks, we were then assigned a mission and let wild, literally screaming and skipping with excitement into the next 48 hours. Below is a lil story line that illustrates about a fraction of the sweat, tears, joy, laughter and other emotional breakthroughs that we wholeheartedly submitted too while learning to move together.
The Full Moon Challenge
The Dream (Challenge)
Create an enchanted YIP Hub w/ internet, an art studio and a co-working office, within 48 hours
one run down building, 20 Yippies and new found place making and Oasis tools.
Everything must be
FAST, FUN & FREE
Creating group visions
Creating The Art Studio
Cleaning The Kitchen
Photo by Lena Otte
Late night meetings & snacks
Early morning last minute touches
The Living Room
Small Kine Cinema
The Cozy Cuddle Spot
Some of US!
At the end of our 48 hours, we participated in what has so far been my two favourite excercises. I almost didn't participate because I was so drained and am incredibly thankful that Kalani convinced me to walk the 3 min across campus.
The first exercise consisted of two 5 min intervals of giving and receiving a massage to an individual that we had bumped heads with, or felt hurt by. The lights were thoughtfully dimmed, and we all moved across the room to find, That individual to share a few moments of softness with.
For the second excercise we formed a circle, with the lights on and were invited to at random name an individual in the circle and share a memory where they had given you a truly beautiful moment. The two catches were that, they could not have known they were giving that moment to you, and you had try to make them cry, while you were sharing their beauty with them.
I was so completely taken aback by how touched I was during this circle of open hearted giving. I could feel that everyone was coming forth from their deep rooted spaces of vulnerability. I cried for the first time since being at YIP, knowing that I've been given deep effective and powerful tools. If we can reach such places of intensity and still hold out our hands, I feel so entirely hopeful for many future possibilities.
For those of you that are interested at going a little more in depth into some of our curriculum, you can follow the link below to gain a little more insight into our week on Community Building.
We grew up listening to our mothers voice. Most nights she would read us to bed, wrapped in blankets and warm with tea. She does the best voices, and would often stay in character even after she had set the book down. My mother also taught me how to read and write. Along with music, reading and writing were the fundamental building blocks of my childhood and family.
I always knew my mom would write a book, because writing is what she does, what she has always done. When I close my eyes I can see her handwriting, filling notebooks. A kind of half cursive of rounded, connected letters. Sometimes she would share stories of her life, always uncensored snippets of memories that would leave us curled in laughter, or silent with eyes full of questions and sorrow. Other times, there were stories of her imagination with shocking twists and turns, that would leave me frightened and asking for more.
The first time she shared 'The Visitors' with us, I was maybe 12 or 13. She left my siblings and I on a hook, for the next 10 years because she really only had the few beginning chapters and then set it down. I've been haunted by the story since, always waiting, hoping that she would one day go back to it.
Last year, she picked it up again and determinedly saw it to it's end with a vengeance that is rare to see in any craft, let alone the isolating frustrations of writing.
So without further ado, it is with great pleasure that I announce the newly self published book, 'The Visitors' written by my beloved mother. I had the guilty satisfaction of reading it through twice, thats right, I finished it and turned it around for another cover to cover late night read, before it was fully edited and released to the public.
I also had the privilege of holding the first bound copies that arrived in the mail during my recent visit to LA. For being such a satisfyingly quick read, I was surprised when I felt the weight of the book in full. It is no small thing to write a book. It is days and months and hours and the cramp of writing and typing, and tired eyes from the repetition of reading and re-reading. It is a practice and dedication to no one but oneself.
So thank you Mama, for your craft.
I love your words.
To order a copy of 'The Visitors' today, and to gain access to more of my mama's short stories, check out her site here ---> http://www.cawittman.com
It is the year 1984. Sara Deureaux lives with her deeply religious, elderly parents in a rural area of Maui. Discouraged from building friendships in school, Sara leads a private and old-fashioned life. When the family receives an odd letter that announces the impending arrival of four mysterious, young cousins, Sara's life soon turns tumultuous. Trying to make sense of these peculiar children she forms a tenuous friendship with an unlikely pair: Jenny a newcomer to the island and Sunami, a tomboyish, local girl. As they uncover clues about the children, a chilling truth begins to take shape. An insidious terror is sweeping through the valley where the girls live, threatening the lives of the community. In a race to discover the truth about who Sara's cousins really are and the secrets of her dark past, the girls realize to their horror that time is running out.
My talented and beautiful mother.
LA is my humbling ground with all of it's sprawl and smog. Regardless, it has become a meeting place for my family. And with every visit it get harder and harder to leave them without the knowing of our next shared time.
Mekila cracking open his copy of 'The Visitors'.
It is a place of magic here. Still warm with the feeling of autumn on my heels.
Crisp and tart like the apples that litter the grounds. They are my forewarning these apples. So bright and bold upon first impression, they pucker my mouth at the first bite. I can't stop eating them.
I wake early to clouds that touch the ground. They completely swallow the light, and then slowly, slowly lift off, and then the sun is here. The sun makes everything look like a storybook drawing. I spend more time here in the sun then I do at home, because not only am I warned multiple times a day, but I can feel it. The winter of our physical and emotional world is on the horizon.
Today we hold eyes and smile, tagging names to faces and places. We skim surfaces with friendly questions, because this is brand new. I am brand new, you are brand new, nice to meet you.
Tomorrow we unravel. Until we break through the Spring ice with new skin.
This is the work.
I can feel it.
Until then, acrobatics between trees, and wonderment at this blessing of having found ourselves Here. Together.
This is my promise.
I will keep my palms open wide, and even if I do not agree, I will listen.
Across one Continent.
Two Oceans. Two Sunrises.
Yippies making their way home
In thought of tomorrow being my last Farmers Market on Maui for 9 months, I thought I'd share a few photos from a sweet little market my girlfriends Severn & Gloria brought me to in Seattle a few weeks ago.
Checking out farmers markets is by far my favourite way to travel. It really gives me an opportunity to feel out a place and check out the local fare. Since Kalani and I are still mainly buying and sourcing our groceries from our local market and our garden, it was such a treat to be able to sample goodies from Washington that we do not have on Maui.
Both of us are so curious to see what foods are grown and sourced from the area we will be living in, in Sweden. The most exciting being local dairy, and fresh milled flour! I am sure I will be gorging myself on homemade biscuits waaay to much ~
A few more clips from a week of Spectacular Seattle weather, best friends, great food and plenty of walking.
Maui Girls in the City...
Seattle, you are Majestic
I love how you rest at the Sea
By far the best overpriced tourist attraction I've indulged in. Ferris wheel over the city and Ocean while watching the full moon rise from behind the skyline.
* Needless to say, Sev and I held hands *
Some things never change
Blueberry picking for a homemade crisp!