The other day my sister Amelia and I spent our last morning of vacation exploring a small store in Kauai, which sold beautifully crafted jewelry and sarongs. Brilliant colors and patterns wafted in the temperate air, rivaling the nearby hibiscus. The store was called "Live a Little," ever a good motto for me.
We spoke with the owner, an enthusiastic and friendly man slightly younger than I. We exchanged first impressions of our home states and he told us a story of his first trip to the mainland in 1992.
He'd landed in L.A. during the Rodney King riots of 1992 and he described for us the empty freeways, the closed shopping plazas and the unsettling quiet.
I was both surprised by his candidness and embarrassed, hearing about this disturbing welcome to California.
Later on that day we were wandering through a small town when we suddenly heard a man's voice yodeling and looked up to see the same store owner waving to us with the shaka sign, a common greeting gesture in surfer culture. Surf boards were strapped to the top of his car, which was headed for the beach.
When I looked up this greeting, I learned that in Hawai'i, it expresses a spirit of friendship and understanding between the many cultures living in proximity there--in other words, the spirit of aloha.
I did some more looking and found that "aloha" not only means hello and goodbye--but also refers to a means of solving a problem, accomplishing a goal, or finding a meeting between mind and heart.
This seems like a gentle and ease-filled way to go about meeting my goals; bringing together my mind and heart, finding my way to my Source.
That's what I'm striving for this year. All too often, 'Mind' heads off in the direction of her choosing and 'Heart' sticks around wondering "What just happened here?!?" Or, vice versa.
The collage at the top of this post was made during my time away. I was thinking of the coming year and wanted to express my deep wish to spend as many hours as I can in the studio; making. I chose the hands of this older woman to signify the power that aging brings, the skillfulness brought to bear on materials and the absorption that is possible when you've given yourself over to your heart and mind's desire.