Hawaiian Eye

By: Hawaiian Eye

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Friday, 9-Jan-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Dreaming of Beulah

Beulah in her black shorts on Hank's birthday
Ke'alaokamaile by Keali'i Reichel
This morning, T roused me from sleep to let me know:

"I saw Beulah sitting in a chair in a busy lobby with people coming and going. She was wearing black shorts as in one of our photos of her. In back of her was an entrance with light streaming in. It seemed that she knew each person walking by. She was her friendly Beulah self, smiling and waving to each person, saying, "Bye... Don't forget to give me your e-mail address... and then I woke up, collected myself and remembered the dream by telling myself, "I dreamt about Beulah!"


As I've mentioned before, Hawaiians believe that the departed visit us in our dreams. Although Beulah was born in San Francisco, raised in Southern California and ethnically Chinese, she adopted our culture and now on the other side of the veil perhaps she was adopting more Hawaiian ways.

I'll leave it up to the reader to interpret what the dream means to you. My read on it: "She was visiting! Beulah would like to stay in communication with us."

I shared with T my last moments with Beulah on the 30th at the hospital's ICU. Two crisis periods had passed in the morning, and in the afternoon her vital signs had stabilized. I happened to check in on her between successive waves of family and friends. We were alone.

I gently cradled her hand in mine and whispered in her ear: "Mi casa es su casa. My house is your house, Beulah. If ever you need to visit or experience something here, just jump in my body and go ahead and use it."

At the time, I was surprised that I said that, quickly wondering, "Where did that come from?"

I felt the faintest squeeze from her. So faint that I wondered if I indeed felt it.

I reiterated, "Any time, Beulah, come visit. I mean it. And should you get to Heaven before I do, say "Hi!" to God and Jesus for me when you them 'in person'."

In hindsight, I've made sense of what erupted from my mouth. To me, our souls/spirits are eternal; the body, just a shell or container. And it's that Hawaiian thinking peeking through. When departed folks want to visit, they momentarily "borrow" the body of hawk, turtle, dolphin, shark, and other Hawaiian animals -- their personal 'aumakua -- and make their presence known, sometimes protecting them and even rescuing their loved ones. Sometimes, they make a brief appearance just to let their loved ones know that they're thinking of them.

____
____


It's been a Beulah-On-Our-Minds kind of week.

One of the last handwritten requests Beulah made in ICU was that Pete play his steel guitar. Pete is more than happy to comply with her wish and he gathered his accompaniment. Sunday afternoon, Pete, Harry (and Jeannette), MikeT and T practiced long and hard and without breaks at our house. The tears kept welling up.

They are performing these three songs for Beulah this afternoon:
* Mai Poina `Oe Ia`u (Don't Forget Me)
* Aloha `Oe
* I'll Remember You

All this week, Gylene has been lovingly putting together picture boards of Beulah to be placed in the lobby, as well as arranging for a portrait to be placed with her urn. Another friend and Beulah's children are putting together a slide show. We've been busily exchanging Beulah pictures via e-mail and discs.

Hi T&D,

T, thank you for bringing the pictures and disc of Beulah. The pictures of her were beautiful. I'm using the one with Beulah and the lehua flower on one of the poster boards. It looks fabulous.

I also went to Pam T's home this afternoon to give the pictures and disc. She downloaded the disc on her Mac computer. She shared the DVD of Beulah which will be shown at the Memorial Service this Friday. It is wonderful, showing Beulah with her family and friends.

D, I sent your website: Saying goodbye to Beulah to Evelyn and Greg. They loved it. I told them to share it with Kristi, Doug, and Hank. I told Greg that his mom has touched so many lives.

Thanks again and see you on Friday. You are dear friends who just step up to the plate and help our angel Beulah and her family.

Love ya,
Gylene


_________________________
_________________________

This morning, I was listening to Keali'i's newest CD, Ke'alaokamaile. The last song on the CD is so appropriate for today's event, Goodbye My Friend. But I needed to keep it together today, so I instead I put my favorite cut of this CD on repeat: Ka Nohona Pili Kai. I listened to it over and over as I was getting ready for her memorial service.

I mention this because I think Beulah is communicating. Before the service began, Darleen who was asked specifically by Beulah to dance a hula today and I were speaking to each other. I asked her what song was she dancing to and then I quickly retracted my question, "Don't tell me. I want it to be a surprise."

TO MY SURPRISE, she danced to Ka Nohona Pili Kai!

Ok, what are the odds of that happening? Thousands of songs, hundreds of singers, and this from a CD that was JUST released -- one that I talked about here just yesterday? Beulah's way for letting us know that was the perfect song for Darleen's farewell hula? Whispered that choice into Darleen's ear? And then used my ears today...

I sat there in the last pew, smiling through my tears, KNOWING that this is so. Beulah will always be the ultimate communicator. I shouldn't at all be surprised. I should not have doubted her barely perceptible squeeze. And yes, mi casa es su casa, Beulah.


Thursday, 8-Jan-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
"A life so fragile, a life so pure..."

Ke'alaokamaile: The Fragrance of the Maile
If...
Gramma's house.
Aloha e Kalena,

Banish those body aches! Bundle up. Take a hot bath. Have a cup of tea with lemon and honey (Or a bowl of miso soup). Put on Keali'i's newest CD. And snuggle up to your honey. Chase that 'whatevahs' away! "God is your health. You can't be sick!"

Yes, I received those Instant Immersion Hawaiian language CDs about two months ago. They are VERY well done. A friend turned me on to them and asked what I thought of them. I am no language expert, just a student. I listened to all eight discs, and I was pleased to report back that this is a most efficient and effective mode to get introduced to Hawaiian. I wrote my thoughts about them then:

It is SUPERB!

Kaliko Tripp Beamer (the narrator) did a fabulous job. What a fantastic way to get introduced to learning Hawaiian. Well-organized, quickly paced (not for the slouch), and fun, too!

Kaliko is English, and yes, there is a bit of his English inflection. Just as we islanders have a pidgin inflection when we speak "good English." It is, however, not a distraction once I got used to it. This can't be helped and is compensated and far exceeded by its benefits.

I RECOMMEND it with pu`uwai piha (full heart), as I know it will further the language immeasurably. I am so pleased and proud of Kaliko's wonderful effort. What a special guy, who is also committed and proactive in perpetuating the language.


The price is right! What an unbelievable deal for so much content and quality.

Years ago, my 'ohana (Sue, Samara and Alana) knew Kaliko (Simon Trapp, now Kaliko Beamer Trapp) up in Northern California before he met Nona Beamer through their hula halau. Once he met Aunty Nona his passion for all things Polynesian was ignited, much as Keali'i ignited my own for my Hawaiian heritage and culture.

Kaliko welcomed the Hawaiian culture into his life with wide open arms and fervently embraced it; years later, he is now sharing it with countless others through these language CDs. I believe it is a true giving back to our culture. Our music and language brought joy and meaning to a haole boy from New Zealand. He became a Hawaiian at heart in the most literal way, as the heart --or should I say, na'au -- the guts -- of the Hawaiian culture lies in its words and the mana they hold.



Yes, I absolutely love the latest Keali'i Reichel CD, KE'ALAOKAMAILE. I am listening to it as I write, amazed at how the emotional depth of this CD moves me and others.

My hula teacher, Helene, who hides her soft, buttery heart with a tough exterior (that fools no one), called me as soon as she had given the CD a listen. Not only moved to tears, she was outright sobbing. Therein, lies Keali'i's talent. He doesn't just sing with a beautiful voice. Entrancingly, he sings with a reach that goes deep and touches the soul in its tenderest spots.

Well, besides singing, Keali'i does many things extraordinarily well -- this guy chants, dances the hula, and teaches both -- but singing to YOU, and seemingly to ONLY YOU, is what Keali'i does best.

The Aloha and Mahalo for his beloved grandmother, Kamaile Puhi Kane (1916-2000), now departed and to whom this CD is dedicated, are profound and most evident in its meaningful opening monologue and heart-stirring chant. Then through his lyrical music and with his incredibly clear and pure voice as an instrument, Keali'i spills his guts and honors her with songs that caress, soothe, and yes, heal at the deepest levels.

Each song is a facet that reflects a time in his life that was spent with his grandmother at her beachside home in Paia, Maui. And now almost four years after their sad parting, he generously and without self-consciousness shares with us their incredible grandmother-grandson relationship, one that now transcends time and space.

There can be no finer musical tribute for a grandmother by a grandson than this...she is immortalized with such deep Mahalo. Gramma must smile every time she hears someone playing her CD. Yes, in my mind's eye, I see her sitting in her chair, smiling her soft and gentle smile, nodding as she did.

This CD makes me smile a lot too. Keali'i's voice is a tension melter, a stress reliever. Pupu A'o Ewa was such a happy song that we sang as kids: "Pearly Shells, pearly shells from the ocean." And ahhh, the first time I heard Keali'i's joyous version in full HAWAIIAN -- not just the echo parts -- I couldn't believe how happy that childhood song could make me. For those moments, I AM that carefree, happy, coconut brown girl in rubbah slippahs, growing up in paradise in Pahoa, Puna, Moku Keawe. Now years later, in a foreign land, I am a soon-to-be god gramma in California, and I can't wait to teach this song to the little one one day, just as K sings it, as it was meant to be sung. Such is the power of K's music. It peels away the layers, the years, and goes deep to put one in touch with what is real and true in life.

The entire CD is easy on the ears. And the song selection and its variety make it the special and precious release that it is. Naturally, the Hawaiian songs enthrall me and gets me up out of this comfortable chair to dance my made-up hula. Like you, I like Ka Nohona Pili Mai best; the word pictures transport me right back to my blissful, sun-drenched childhood days at my family's Kapoho beach home. And Lahainaluna -- ahh, there I go, dancing my hula!

The English selections are deeply touching. I was riveted by Fields of Gold when I first heard Sting sing it and my tears welled up then, never thinking then that Keali'i would sing it one day. Shhh! Don't breathe a word to Sting, but Keali'i does it better. My tears spilled over...

I'm so proud of (and happy for) Keali'i and Puna. As poignantly shared in the CD's liner notes, life threw them more than their share of curved balls, and they went through so much during that interim between CDs, yet somehow -- I like to think with Gramma's help -- they managed to produce yet another all-time classic. Such is the power of Aloha and hearts filled with Mahalo.

Out of loss, grief, trials and tribulations, a masterpiece! And Gramma lives on...

E ola!

Clips of every song can be found here.

Okay, sorry Kalena, I sure bent your ear on this one. It turned into far more than "Like you, I love it." But when the Spirit moves me, my fingers fly across the keyboard. Thanks for listening.

My Aloha to you, Yoda, Amanda and Jessica.

Love,
D


Wednesday, 7-Jan-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
LOL!

 
I have a faithful friend up in Washington state named Kalena who has an uncanny way of providing me with a laugh, smile or a happy sigh when I seem to need it most. This morning, this arrived from her:

Today is International Day of The Very Good Looking, Beautiful and Darned Attractive People, so send this message to someone you think fits this description. Please do not send it back to me as I have already received over fifty thousand messages and my inbox is jammed.

!

My reply back to Kalena:

You fit the description and I am further jamming your inbox.

Aloha,
D


"A merry heart does good like a medicine". She Who Laughs, Lasts!


Tuesday, 6-Jan-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
TaroPatch post: Happy Birthday, Bill Tapia!

Bill Tapia
2004: 96 years young
Bill, his wife and daughter
View all 4 photos...
This was originally posted over at the TaroPatch. Wishing to gather and centralize my thoughts put to words in one spot, I repost them here with photos I took of Bill in 2002 and a precious one that I found of Bill and his family:

Hi Gang,

I'm a bit late in replying to this thread.

This man is absolutely inspirational. 96 well-lived years under his belt with full faculties, youthful dexterity and a kolohe sense of humor. His "local boy" gleam in his eyes still peeks through after all those years.

He epitomizes the saying, "It's never too late." With his 2002 release, he has made a comeback, performing at gigs in the Southland and Hawai`i. These days, he is featured and deservedly feted at 'ukulele and music festivals.

http://starbulletin.com/2002/11/15/features/story1.html

What a fantastic 'ukulele player he is! His 'Stars and Stripes Forever'is as rivetting now as "in the streets of Honolulu with the 'ukulele behind his head when he was about 10 years old."

Mr. Bill Tapia came into my awareness unexpectedly. I have been so much the richer since... I chronicled that day here: http://www.geocities.com/sptmbrmrn/051902.htm

There are some wonderful photos of him in his younger days with his family, as well as a few photos I took of him that day and later at a dinner honoring him.

Thanks for telling me about his birthday! Every day that Bill walks the Earth and plays his 'ukulele is a good day.

Hau'oli Makahiki Hou to all here,
Aunty D


Sunday, 4-Jan-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Dancing in the Light

Beautifully...
delicate...
Iceland poppies...
View all 4 photos...
Beautiful flowers
Kissed by a soft winter breeze
They dance in the light.


A celebration.

____

In the p.m., my friend Faith sent this touching story: Special Delivery. It brought a warm smile to me and maybe to you...

Mahalo to you, Faith.


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