Change is inevitable, whether we welcome it - or vigorously oppose it. 'Iokepa and I have attempted for these past twenty years to actively surrender to those forces. We look for guidance, and try not to let our whims impede the larger purposes. It's not always easy. We're human and the temptation to impose our own will is so very...enticing. I smile as I write those words, because I'm reminded of an acquaintance on our most recent tour laughing: "I may not always be right, but I am always certain."
For ten years, 'Iokepa and I surrendered to the will of his ancestors. We lived on beaches, ate erratically, and deepened faith. I wrote about those years in GRANDMOTHER WHISPER: Ancient Voices...Timeless Wisdom...A Modern Love Story. The Grandmothers called those years: our grooming. When they finally ended - and they were powerfully challenging.- we had absolutely no idea what might come next.
Then the ancestors spoke, and we (penniless, homeless, and without a phone or computer) listened.
We were to take all that we'd learned in those years and share them; to speak the truth of Native Hawaiian culture across the United States. We were to never solicit invitations or charge for our work. We listened well. For half of each of these past ten years - winter and spring - we traveled the expansive continent and spoke where invited. I wrote about those years in THE RETURN VOYAGE: 95,000 Miles on the Paths of Our Ancestors. We lived for these years from a donation bowl and the goodness of human hearts.
Two weeks ago we returned from this most recent book and speaking tour. This time around: we spoke to audiences in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, North Carolina and Florida. Then we headed west to Oregon, Washington and California.
Throughout this winter and spring - and actually, in the months before, while I scheduled the Return Voyage gatherings - the Grandmothers' words resonated: this tour would be our last; it would never look like this again. Neither 'Iokepa nor I have a clue as to what that might mean - what comes next? Clearly our work isn't over - our energy has never been greater nor our purpose more sharply defined.
I expect these will be new means to the very same end: a Native Hawaiian cultural revival that awakens ancient wisdom, ritual and practice that dissipates anger, prevents violence, fosters harmony - and shares its profound implications for the 21st century.
I imagine that this will preclude neither our future travel nor the sharing of story. But I feel certain that this will look very different. We welcome the changes, as yet undefined. Ho'omanawanui - we wait in faith.
Until now we've spoken these Grandmothers' whispers only to one another. If this was to be the last tour as we've known it - we wanted to give it our all, and then some. We did just that.
I'm writing now, because we've agreed. It is important to let our friends, supporters and correspondents, now sprawled cross the planet, in on the secret. All of us have taken this ride together for a couple decades now. 'Iokepa and I look forward to sharing the future one with all of you, as well.