This week I am actually seeing Auntie Darlene Ahuna live. It's the best way to spend a Friday night.
Darlene Ahuna is one of my all time favorite singers. She sang at Hilo High while I was there - she performs in town and is just so much fun to watch - because she's just so damn good. She's got this classic Hawaiian Style falsetto that just kills it live. One of her most requested songs (maybe I'm making this up) is Akaka Falls. I love the song because a) I grew up in Honomu and b) I played at Akaka Falls a lot.
The legend of Akaka Falls tells the story of a young warrior chief named Akaka. He was married to a lovely lady but had two sweethearts on the side named Lehua and Maile. While his wife was away visiting her parents in Hilo Akaka would stray. One sweetheart lived on the north side of the gulch and the other sweetheart lived on the south side of the gulch. While he was perched up high in the gulch looking longingly at his two sweethearts huts his wife returned home unexpectedly and he fled back to his own hut. He was very remorseful, and full of shame, so he ran away from home with his faithful little dog. He stood at the top of the bluff and gave one last look to his sweethearts huts and then flew himself off the top of the bluff towards the ocean. His little dog hesitated and became a jagged rock at the top of the bluff. His wife was quick on his heels and followed him to tell him that it was alright and she forgave him but was too late. She sobbed uncontrollably for him while calling his name and turned to stone at the top of the bluff while her tears created a waterfall. Further down the gulch his sweethearts heard of his demise and they cried and cried for him two creating two more waterfalls.
I love that in this video Darlene gives a shoutout to the village of Honomu.
clearly, someones home video but great nonetheless.
To Joy! To Life!
It's the seventh day of the new year. Sweet Sixteen.
What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't talk about how I plan to move forward this year?
I'm currently sitting on my couch, with my feet on the ottoman. The upstairs is rented out on Airbnb and I'm living downstairs. The guests woke up at 4am and tromped all around making breakfast before leaving the house for what I'm assuming was some kind of sunrise tour. My house is pretty messy but, it's also clean thanks to my friend Danielle. I've got big boxes of crap to go through. Whatever. I've worked out 9 days in a row - which is like nothing - but I'm super irritated I haven't lost any weight. I've done nothing of consequence today. I've puttered around the house and dabbled in this and that. I just started painting the legs for this desk that I want to put together. Two out of four are painted on the lanai the other two are laying in my hallway. I don't have a menu plan for the week but the fridge is full of food. My little dining room table is covered in paperwork but seriously, whatever.
All this? It's how I plan to move forward.
I don't have goals right now. Not real ones. Not tangible ones with action plans. I don't have one little word to focus on.
This is life. Find the joy.
in case you're wondering about those Ani lyrics you can listen the song Joyful Girl here. It's an oldie but a goodie.
I'm taking a break from all of the feelings. Let's talk about Podcasts.
It's been awhile since I've given an update on what I'm listening to - and as always I'd LOVE to know what you're listening to.
Let's start with a confession. I recommended the podcast Limetown. I was seriously into it. I also actually thought it was real for two whole episodes. Pretty embarrassing. It reminded me of when I was a little girl and a preview came on the television for the movie Men in Black while I was on vacation with my Dad. I freaked out. I really thought that our atmosphere was being breached and wanted to call my Mom to check on her. Anyone who knows my Dad knows he thought this was hilarious....and totally egged me on hyping up the drama...I think it finally broke away from their promotional newscast format (which is what had me really convinced) and I figured out I'd been going nuts for nothing. My Dad was just about beside himself with the hilarity of it all. What I'm trying to say is clearly I'm a little gullible in regards to newscasts....so Limetown had me hook line and sinker. It's still very cool and very well done....but friends, it's a fictional story.
Let's move forward, shall we?
The Being Boss podcast is one I've been listening to for quite awhile. I always have these secret dreams of becoming a creative entrepreneur. I love the subjects they cover - I love how they're applicable to me now even though I'm not a creative entrepreneur. I love how candid they are and how they keep things real. It's a good listen.
Here's the truth: I'm officially subscribing to more Podcasts than I can actually listen to. I definitely get caught up at work on long sea watches but, in the day to day, not so much. I listen when I'm in the kitchen, I listen when I'm exercising, I listen if i'm on a longer car ride. I have my favorite shows that I don't like to miss and then I have my so so shows where I tune in if the show notes interest me. I also have frustration when a favorite show goes on hiatus and I don't have any 'must listens' but hey, such is life.
I'd LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to know what shows you don't like to miss!
(and yes, I know Serial is back....I'm tuning in and forming opinions...)
you can read my previous recommendations here.
I just want to take a moment to say, 'I'm really not sad - or in a bad place'. The blog posts really might sound like it because maybe when I wrote the mini essays I kind of was. The thing about shipping (and life, right?) is that intermingled with all the bad is all the good! Sometimes, when I'm posting photos of ice and dolphins I feel irresponsible for not sharing the other stuff. The stuff that makes it hard. While you're reading please just know that I'm an incredibly lucky human who knows it.
Thanks for leaving me such kind notes.
It’s hard to say if I’d change anything about my path.
I wanted desperately to go to Waiakea High School and didn’t get a district exemption - so I had to go to my intended school - Hilo High School. I had gone to Waiakea Elementary and Intermediate. Thirteen year old Megan was devastated.
Hilo High School turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me.
I found a really cool group of girlfriends. Friends that are my family today.
I started surfing in the mornings before school and fell in love with the water. To be clear I was always a water baby but the morning surf sessions made me think: I want to do this always.
I found the canoe Makali’i. It enraptured me. I feel in love with navigation. With the stars. With the magic of the ocean and more importantly with the magic of getting from point A to point B on the ocean.
I went to Maine Maritime Academy - only because I didn’t know about California Maritime Academy. Thank God. I wouldn’t trade my time in Maine for anything.
I got out of school and couldn’t find a job, so I sailed AB (able bodied seaman). On a tanker in Alaska. I learned how to work hard. How to not complain about being cold because the evidence is in: everyone is cold. I look back on those days as ‘baby Megan goes to sea’. They’re precious. I’m lucky I didn’t get a Third Mate’s gig right away. Those AB days molded me.
I sailed tankers and reached a breaking point. I knew I couldn’t go back. I decided not to return without another gig lined up. I ended up Chief Mate on a heavy lift. Hallelujah. I learned how to learn. How to learn fast. How to trust my shipmates. How to motivate my shipmates. How to let people be who they’re going to be. I learned how to float. I mean really, Hallelujah.
That ship got laid up and I was distraught. Then I learned what it was like to really not have a job. It was terrifying. It built a sense of empathy that I had never even remotely possessed for the unemployed.
With 300 bucks in my bank account and a mortgage payment due in 2 weeks - I reached out to friends. I drove two days straight - walked into a brand new union hall and got a ship. I was flipped. Totally flipped. Except, I had a safe place to sleep, my brakes got fixed by people who care, I found a job. I learned that your people are your people. Forever.
I sailed out of the union hall for awhile. It was okay. I learned that being a nomad isn’t always all that it’s cracked up to be. I also learned that it’s not as cheap as you’d imagine. I had fun. I travelled to new places. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat but, it’s also nice to know exactly where your garlic press is.
I decided to drive to Seattle and try my luck there. The union hall was deader than a door nail in California. Seattle wasn’t looking promising. I was worried.
After a year of ‘being nomad’ and shipping straight out of the union hall I was drained. On a whim I sent my resume in to a tug and barge company.
Three days later I had an interview and four days after the interview I was flying to Japan to meet my first tug boat.
I wouldn’t have chosen any of that but, I’m absurdly grateful for it all. I’m just going to hold my empty bowl and work on filling it up. It feels good. I’m going with: feeling good = healing. For all intensive purposes I’m thriving.
After reading Cheryl Strayed's book Brave Enough I wrote responses to the quotes that resonated with me. You can read more about why here.