Day Oh, Hula, Shannon, & The 7th Stream

Sunday, December 9, 2001
From the mountains of Big Bear to the Flatlands

Day-oh, da-aa-aay-oh. 

Daylight come an' I wan' go home,

We arose early -- in the dark -- to tune into CBS News: Sunday Morning with their man of the hour, Harry Belafonte, a raspy-voiced man who, as a janitor's assistant, once emptied garbage cans for a living.  

To think, The Banana Boat -- the mega-hit song that catapulted him to fame, fortune and activism -- was recorded as a filler song!

>> Sing-a-long

That man has major rhythm.  And at 74, in the spring of his winter years, he is still a looker. A babe still making lasting, positive differences in the music world.

A time to weep, 
and a time to laugh; 
a time to mourn, 
and a time to dance.

Today is hula practice day, and we left early to get down the hill in time to get over to Gylene's by 1pm.  

Gylene has gorgeously decked out her house for Christmas, providing the perfect ambience for "working" on Mele Kalikimaka and Tiny Bubbles (midi) for the holiday party in -- yikes -- a week and half.

I love to dance.  I love to hula. For two blessed hours, I danced with Gylene, Hannah, Beulah, and Hilda to music played over and over again until we "got" it by patient guitarist, Max.

While I dance I cannot judge, I cannot hate, 
I cannot separate myself from life.
 I can only be joyful and whole. 
That is why I dance.
~ Hans Bos

After dinner, we drove out to Yorba Linda to The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Birthplace, past our old stomping grounds, to watch Shannon, our friends' (Dave's and Amy's) daughter performing with the Celebration USA's Catch the Spirit Singers, lead by retired teacher, Paula Burton.

Dressed in red, white and blue, Shannon and her singing friends put on a rousing, endearing performance. Soon they'll be on the road to the Fiesta Bowl, and then later next year, to Washington, D.C. 

Afterward, we met Shannon, Dave and Amy in the lobby, as well as Shannon's aunts and uncle, neighbors, and friends.  We heaped Shannon with well-deserved accolades.

While there, we enjoyed the library's  display of holiday trees, including The Homeland Tree adorned with unique ornaments selected by each of the 50 Governors of the United States, expressing the unity of our nation, as well as a Hanukkah celebration of song, dance, and candle-lighting.

After a full day that started in the wee hours of the day and driving hither and yon, DH retired early.  

Sandwiched between O and Freddy B, energized by the hula dancing earlier in the day, I was wide awake.  Channel-surfing, I was immediately drawn into CBS's Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, The Seventh Stream, set in an Irish village in 1909 on the rugged seaside of Connemara. 

I am a sucker for foreign flicks

The movie is based on a Celtic tale involving seals called Selkies, who have the ability to shed their pelts and shape shift into humans. This happens twice each year, when a tide known as the seventh stream rolls in.

The acting is first-rate; the music, compellingly beautiful. The cry of a Selkie signaling a mystical transformation is hauntingly mournful.

The British actress who plays the shape-shifting Selkie with dignity and grace is Saffron Burrows. A delight to the eyes, hers is a beauty sublime, and I look forward to seeing more of her work.  

Played by appealingly craggy-faced Scott Glenn, the good-hearted fisherman character, Owen, is a solitary man with sensitivity and conviction, who, grief-stricken after his wife was lost at sea,  buries himself in the solace of  books.  A man after mine own heart.  

Long story short: fisherman rescues the lost-at-land Selkie from a dastard, and their platonic relationship matures into love. Charming.  Enchanting. Captivating. Sentimental, but not sappy. 

"I never expected to feel so much, to be so attached. I realize I've come too far in this life to go back," she says. "Even the things that hurt are good. 

There's so much to feel." 

A bittersweet romance.

Post-movie reflections:

  • Some may find the Selkie story to be improbable, quaint and fanciful -- full of blarney. For me, shape-shifting is shape-shifting, whether Hawaiian, native American, or Irish. As I watched, I thought of my personal and my family's 'aumakua (guardian spirits; ancestors), the honu (sea turtle), nâi`a (dolphin) and the owl (pueo).  

    Bless them all.

  • Weekends at our beach home, I grew up seaside, spending hours on end in the sea. These days, like the Selkie, I yearn for the sea. I sublimate that yearning with the long bathtub soaks, always sprinkled with Hawaiian pa`akai (salt).  Like the mermaid in the movie "Splash," my body literally drinks in the kai (sea water), and I am cleansed, refreshed and  invigorated.

  • The storekeeper-widow with eyes for the fisherman looked vaguely familiar, as she should.  Actress Fiona Shaw played nasty Aunt Petunia in the "Harry Potter" movie!

  • And I'm a sap for those holiday Hallmark commercials.  You know those commercials, those tear jerkers...

    The one that got me was of a father who on Christmas Eve trudges out into the darkness and snow to a special hilltop spot, just as he has done for years with his daughter behind him.  Except this year he is alone.  When he gets there, he pulls out and opens a Hallmark card from his daughter... and once more, they are together, but this time, in their thoughts and hearts.

    My heartstrings were tugged, and I sat there, sniffling, as I hugged O and Freddy B with tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat.

    I cried not for only myself, remembering Dad, but for the fathers and mothers whose children, grown or little, will not be with them this year...

"our tears are the waterfall of the soul 
and it is our right to experience and express sadness and other feelings through tears.

don't block tears.
when you feel that distinctive tingle behind your eyes, 
let the tears out.

your tears live inside of you and want to flow freely.
no more apologies for tears!"

~ Sark

Freddy B and O licked the tears off my face.


"Life is a Gift."

Author Unknown

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 "The only gift is a portion of thyself..."
Ralph Waldo Emerson


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September 29, 2001
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