Thursday, March 8, 2012

Turtles Goin' Holoholo

Mon Mar 5th

Turning left from Kalani's entrance, a 15 minute walk will take me to a clearing overlooking the ocean where the volcanic rocks are large and smooth enough to perch on and engage in the fine art of wave gazing.

As I walk I'm enveloped by the sounds of Hawaiian chants. There is no i-pod attached to my ears; no music playing in the hales I pass nor from any physical source as I make my way to the ocean. These chants in words I recognize but can't interpret are an echo of an ancient tone released from Hawaii herself. The spirit songs she has taught to the inhabitants over eons and which have been chanted back to her by many generations.

I was told that this point is a good vantage point from which to watch the turtles, so I settle in. It's quite a ways down to the surf that pounds the rocky shore with such force that, I swear, shakes the cliff edge upon which I'm sitting. This place is alive with past, present and future all melding together. I don't know if what I'm sensing is a physical reality or other, and really it doesn't matter in this magical place. Is it the waves force, the nature of the volcanic rock, or even the powerful energy of the land that vibrates through me? I have since been told that the very impact of the ocean against the lava rock provides great healing due to the release of negative ions. I drink it in.

Having assured myself that the rocks beneath me aren't about to give way and fall into the sea I eagerly search out the turtles. Just when I'm about to give up I notice a flat brownish disk in the water. Then a head pops up above the foamy surf and limbs become visible poking out from the shell. That the turtle's being carried by the waves is obvious yet there is definitely an intent behind the path he takes. How can he not be smashed to bits by the jagged shore. The counter swirls formed as the waves return to sea against those advancing must catch his shape and buoyant form and in effect lift him up. Add the incredible power of his legs and voila, the perfect requirements needed to survive and maneuver in the ocean's power. He and the other turtles who've joined him are "playing in the surf" exactly mimicking the ceramic tile turtle in Loren's shower room.
Tonight I went to the Hawaiian culture class offered in the Emax. We are taught some basics of the language. Hawaiian is a descriptive language centred around relationship to the speaker. My favourite words of the night are: holoholo and ahi.

Holoholo roughly, as I understand it, means "going around". The teacher says that if someone is going fishing you don't say, "Hi, going fishing?" cus if you did the person would pack up his gear and go home. For to say going fishing has the effect of cursing or jinxing the venture. Instead you use, "Hi, goin' holoholo?" because you both know he's going fishing so there's no need to state the obvious and mess up his luck. (Take note fishing friends and family on Vancouver Island).

Ahi means fire and a type of fish (and probably more than that). The teacher asked why ahi meant fish and some students answered because maybe they were red like fire, which I thought was a good guess. But, he said no. What happens when an ahi is on the line? They go deep into the water really, really quickly and with great force. You have to let the line out and let it play til the fish gets tired. In days gone by there were no elaborate fishing reels to let the line out, the line was held in one hands. So, the fire was the burn of ones hands if one held on too tight.

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