Barking Dogs, Friendly Sharks and Snugless Nights

Welcome Friends, to my very first official blog entry from Kauai!  Holy God, where do I even BEGIN?  Well… when in doubt, Athena Grace, begin with what is right in front of you.  Oh yeah.  A storm of abrasive dog voices.  Turns out that this is not an uncommon occurrence because the neighbors just beyond the thin skin that is my bedroom window raise hunting dogs.  Gazillions of them.  And every time a pin drops, or something happens that disturbs their K9 semblance of peace, they all raise their furious voices on high and tell it to the lush, jagged mountains and the stormy tropical skies.  Brad failed to mention that I would be graced with such raucous, irreverent neighbors.  Sigh… Oh, there they go again.  Yuck.  I had the thought that I could just be enlightened about it all… you know… generate neutrality around the matter… but my nervous system says otherwise.  My nervous system says, “Kindly shut the fuck up, ya dogs!”

But enough about the stinkin’ dogs… you’re probably wondering how my inaugural swim in the ocean was yesterday, right?  (Time out~ I needed a little snackie, so I went out on the side porch and plucked a little banana from a prolific bunch that supposedly came from our very own yard!!!!!!!!!!  And what?!?!?  I swear to God, it tastes like pineapple.  But it’s a little banana.  Amazing.  Time in…)  So after the airport, Brad took us to Payaya’s, the local health food store, so I could get a fresh coconut and he could get a smoothie.  At this point, I was in a rapturous daze.  My feet might have been on the ground… but I sure wasn’t… strange how that can work.  While I was in the store, I realized that as in Oakland, I am gonna hafta eat here on Kauai, so I might as well stock up on a few crucial staples like quinoa for example.  (Ohmigoddess, my skin feels so soft, you’d think you could spread me on toast!)  I wandered in aimless though ecstatic circles about the store for a while with a bulging sack of quinoa in my hands.  I couldn’t locate the ON switch for my decision making mechanism.  Brad told me to order his smoothie, “chai coconut yum”, while he procured me an appropriate coconut (which turned out to be bigger than his head).  The saucy fireball of a woman at the juice bar announced to me that I resembled “Sita Somebody or other” and finished with that she was sure people must tell me that often.  Puzzled I asked her who Sita was… She said a woman [of status] here on the island.  I told her the only Sita I knew was Ram’s devoted wife… and I didn’t know anyone on the island, as I just landed a smattering of moments ago.  She asked me if I needed a job.  I said I think so.  She said she’s been here for thirty-something years and is very connected.  She took down my phone number and said she’d be in touch.  Wow.  Brad says that’s a rare occurrence to be offered jobs, as there is much competition on the island in that regard these days.

Honestly, I don’t even know if I want a job… At least not a generic retail job… I came here to write.  And maybe teach yoga.  But it sure felt like the world was spreading her supple, generous legs wide open to me… and I like that.  It also had me realize that I need to get clear on my intentions, so that I can call in what I want, rather than just attracting a haphazard smorgasbord of pop corn opportunities.  Wednesday was the new moon… the perfect time to plant new seeds.  Get to sewin’ sistah! (That was me talking to myself.)

Then I went to pay for my coconut, quinoa, wheatgrass shots, smoothie… and I got to talking with the young checker.  I told him I’d just arrived on a one way ticket.  He said he did the same thing last January, coming from southern California.  He informed me that he was having a dance party tomorrow night (tonight now) and demanded I come.  Phew, everything was unfurling with such slippery immediacy.  I told him I’d “try”… but I really can be a hermit and it’s hard for me to get out of the house after dark.  He told me that he’d been working really hard on this party and there were gonna be great DJs…  And I’d BETTER come.  Wow… okay.  God, please help me get my ass to the dance party tonight.  I beg of you!  (One of my new housemates said she’d go with me and we could still come home and go to bed early, so now I have no excuse.)

Then Brad took me to a supposedly cheaper health food store, where I got more essentials (still in the same state of dazed, blinking overwhelm).  Then we stopped at the farmer’s market.  By this point, the reality that I was far from home and everything was different and I had no car and no job and one friend was really sinking in.  I felt tiny and wanted to run to mommy’s massive leg, wrap myself around it and hide in the folds of her dress.  No such luck.  Instead I had to muster the wherewithal to figure out what produce I needed.  Mostly all I had to choose from was tropical fruit, ginger, avocados the size of dinosaur eggs… but I found a few over-priced bunches of greens.  Oh and two beautiful eggplants that I intend to grill soon.

Uh-oh, I’m running out of word space.  What about the beach???  Okay, but first I have to tell you that I bought three Hawaiian papayas for two dollars!  (In Oakland they’re about three bucks a pop) I couldn’t wait.  I ripped into one immediately, devouring the whole tender, succulent pinky-orange beast.  YUM.  I name papaya the official fruit of Athena GraceLand.  (And the cardinal is the official bird.  Oh wait…  what about the hummingbird… and the swan?  Guess there are three official birds.)

We left the market and came home to my new vibrant, blue house, which is nestled in an immense jungle of a yard.  By this time, I was drowning in unfamiliarity and doubt.  Then I discovered the dogs.  I called Mykael and managed to hold back my tears for a longish span of conversation.  I could hear the familiar scratch of him carving stone in the background.  Familiar… never before had I been so quenched by that sound, which used to evoke feelings of jealousy and competition.  Now I drank it glutinously in the frequent pauses that came once I had run out of things to say, but didn’t want to get off the phone.  The tears finally came when it hit me that there would be no “snugs” tonight.  And no snugs the night after, or the night after that.  (Mykael used to come into my bed most nights and snuggle me to sleep.  Then he’d retreat to his room and carry on with such Mykael engagements as stone carving, internet surfing, movie watching and masturbation.  God bless ’im.)  Poor snuggless, teary Athena… But I knew it would pass.  We bid one another goodnight and I was alone once more in my new, unwieldy paradise.

By now the sky was all yawning twilight and Brad had disappeared into the folds of his bedroom.  I figured we had missed our beach window.  Fine.  I wanted to unpack my suitcase and nest.  But just as I settled into that reality, he scooped me up and dragged wide-eyed, blinking me out of the house.  Oops, I forgot my swimsuit.  Naked, I plunged into the dimming water and was surprised by its womb-like warmth.  Oh yeah… THIS is why I am here.  When I swim in warm tropical ocean I make contact with an essential part of my soul that otherwise goes tragically, imperceptibly missing in the urban monkey race.  Ahhhh, home at last…

But why was nobody else swimming?  What was wrong with people?  After a substantial swim session, Brad informed me that sharks come in close to shore to feed at night.  In a panic, I scrambled to shore.  But I was glad that he hadn’t told me this until after my sensuous dip.  Sharks.  I wish I was not so afraid of them.  People say that they have no interest in humans.  More people get attacked by DOGS each year.  God, help me release my fear of sharks and protect me always as I return home to myself again and again in the arms of Mother Ocean.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. souldipper
    Sep 10, 2010 @ 15:26:50

    Athena Grace, thanks for painting the picture of your new life. I know the detail is far, far, far from complete, but this is a promise that there will be plenty. Big bunches of love to you in this relocation of A Graceland.


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