chasing shadows again











{May 27, 2007}   Sundays are also for the Makuu Market

if I had it
I would give you the world and all of the stars
nowhere else makes me feel beautiful
the careless smiles I get here
are not the same
as the triumphant leer of the men who buy me drinks
then try to take me to their beds
which I will leave in the morning with nothing more than what I came with
hollow and sad
as the walls which do not cradle homes
only furniture
walking through this market
feels like coming home
as if the colors and the gravel and the sky can cradle
what the shells of apartments and houses cannot
I can feel the leaves of orchids and rows of Thai silk
reach out to touch the bananas and the old books
who throw spiderwebs of their souls out to
jewelry and crepes and honey and soap
offering to hold the world
offering to hold me
though I know that the closest I will come to that promise
is the brush of fingers
as I pay for orchids and honey
the artwork and the silk and the jewels
that I wrap around me like a quilt to keep out the dark

Walking through the open air market always feels like coming home. This time before the market, we stopped at Sirius Coffee where the same man as last time made my coffee, and I swear that somehow he puts love in it. Or maybe that’s the extra chocolate. This time when I asked for a small mocha after contemplating, he negated that decision with a “how can more chocolate and more whipped cream be wrong?” He wins. I love that place. It has an internet cafe kinda thing, and one day I may go there to write to you, where I can have many mochas. If anyone reading this makes it to Pahoa and does not go in for coffee (and to read the many, many bits of paper and stickers on the counter) you are missing something you should have had. If you never make it to Pahoa, you are doing the same, but more understandably so. I understand that not everyone will fly to the islands, though much like Fuji, it is something I cannot imagine living without. There are some things, some places, that add a kind of richness to the world. I have cherished all of them I have found, though I have found few of them.

Today there were people to say hello to, people who are starting to know me. I was not going to buy honey, but my honey seller (there are two and I only buy from one – he charmed me and I think he may charm bees) had honey sticks! I still had honey for both the altar and the kitchen (and for my Ravyn, I so have to mail you your honey! Remind me!), but honey sticks! I could not say no. Anyway, he always makes me smile. And last time I was there I tasted both his new kinds of honey but didn’t buy any. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I need to make money so I can buy his honey and ship it all over the earth. People who tell me what flowers the bees were eating and show me the different tastes that makes and talk to me like I’m a person should get my money. I just have to have it first.

Again, the man who sells the used books out of his truck was there, and though I have books I still looked and brought home a book on Islamic art. There are other book sellers, but this one has the unusual things, and he talks to people. He does not talk as much to me, but many people he recommends books to. I suppose he has to learn what I like first. That is where I bought Snow Falling on Cedars which I loved for its peaceful kinda sleepy longing and truth. More people should be able to use darkness to show us light. I highly recommend that book to anyone.

I brought home an orchid, who I believe is named Ishmael. He is in my room now and I smile to look at him. Delilah, the night blooming jasmine I have planted in a pot to live with me (Lucien’s sister cutting!) is here too, on the corner of my desk. So is the lumpy lemon tree I planted from a seed, who needs a name. So anyone who knows what a lemon tree might be named should tell me here. Ishmael and the lemon (who I think is also a boy) are sharing a wire basket because Ishmael is too heavy on one side and topples over.

We have a coffee plant too now, and it seems to me that the coffee, the vanilla, and the cocoa plants should all live together. But then, I’m weird. We have a few more cocoa bean I should start. I want to make a shade thing for the cuttings with some mesh, so they will not fry. I need to sort through my books and decide which will be boxed (until I have shelves, at least). And I need a table. I kinda want to make one. Then I can build in boxes to hold pens and plants!

I have to finish my resume and stuff (and do secrets!) and organize and…I’m just full of things to do. But I will leave you with quotes from the two beautiful cards I got at the market today.

“We often confuse spiritual knowledge with spiritual attainment. Spirituality is not a matter of knowing scriptures and engaging in philosophical discussions. It is a matter of heart culture, of immeasurable strength. Fearlessness is the first requisite of spirituality. Cowards can never be moral.” ~ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

“What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. And justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.” ~ Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Aloha.

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You are, as ever, incredibly evocative and completely, unabashedly endearing, love.

–Jer



fox says:

Mmmmmm…Portland is one of those places you know. Not because you’re in it (though so you win a place in the people who make the world worth it catagory) – but I realized I would love Portland forever standing outside the bookstore trying not to put weight on one foot, panting because it was a bit hot AND I was in far more pain than I wanted to be, and that girl came up and asked me where the sex shop was, and then apologized with that delightful, awkward smile and said I looked like I should know where a sex shop was (and immediately, I was in love). And then we tried to figure it out, and I almost decided that pain or no pain that I wanted to go exploring (but sanity prevailed over amusement and lust, or at least exhaustion did – amazing considering there was fishnet involved!). But that was when I knew. I will love your city forever.



Molli says:

I will leave in the morning with nothing more than what I came with
hollow and sad
as the walls which do not cradle homes
only furniture

I love these lines and I’ve also fallen in love with your market and your coffee making man who insists there’s no such thing as too much whipped cream! ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, with regard to coffee, cocoa and vanilla being planted together – well, of course! I can’t imagine a better combination. Those are smells of home to me. You know, once you’ve got enough to harvest, you could make your own mocha coffee mixtures to sell at that market. You have all of the ingredients there plus the lashings of love to make it perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

You write the most beautiful posts. They always make me happy ๐Ÿ™‚



fox says:

I’m glad you liked the little thrown together poem, which I just wrote because words existed. (If I can go back to that, so can you!)

Mmmmmmm…it is (as I understand) very difficult to process cocoa beans into chocolate. Something about special industrial ovens and ages of work. I was all excited about the idea of making chocolate before I was told I couldn’t do it. The coffee and vanilla though, I’ll be able to work with. Although, I’m about mostly asleep, and read this “the lashings of love to make it perfect ” first time totally wrong, and was wondering why I would be whipping the chocolates.

I am also in love with that coffeeshop! I should go there again soon!

I am glad my posts make you happy. If people didn’t enjoy reading this, I could write it all in the journal in my desk drawer.



Molli says:

Oh, no, no, no! You can’t be hiding in your desk drawer! Keeping yourself a secret would be akin to barricading Pahoa from the rest of the world. Some things are much too beautiful to be kept a secret – you’re one of them!



I concur with Molli. But then, you already knew that, Love.

–Jer



fox says:

Thank you Molli!
*nips a Byrdy* Alien!



rax says:

my fingers tingled when you described this:
I can feel the leaves of orchids and rows of Thai silk
reach out to touch the bananas and the old books

then a familiar warmth at the last line:
that I wrap around me like a quilt to keep out the dark

wonderful!



fox says:

Thank you, Rax! ๐Ÿ™‚



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