Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Hula Lesson

Always slowly
As you would tell a story
Slow and grateful

This woman in the song ––
Song from 1940’s ––
She is telling  the story

Of  how kindly she was welcomed
When she visited Kauai

A story that goes from the mind
to the Heart

(Heart gesture)

From the heart it flows into dance
Out from the heart

(Sharing gesture)

Call me Analou
I am a master teacher

If you call me Andrew
it means you knew me in high school

Call me Analou
it means our connection is hula

Story about how she was greeted
And treated
by the people of Kauai

Yes, Guest-friendship.
I know about that.

The hands the flowing arms
Soft and curving

Now with the feet, body
Sinuuous like letter S

Barefoot, he shows us the first
Rolling hips

We roll too
On the land and sea of the story
Up into the mountains, then

Kauai means beautiful
Kauai is the beautiful island

Yes I know that.
My beautiful friend lived there.
She danced there.

Now hands and arms and feet together
Telling the story
Four types of steps

And the house
(Make the roof with your hands)

And the land and the sea

Rolling waves

And the palm tree
(Sway the arm)

And the music!
And I’m trancing.


Like a current:
I feel it move through me

This has power
That makes me slightly

“Do you have anything for balance?” says Jim.

We’ve opened this class up to seniors
with Parkinsons, to the
the Parkinsons community

So the tradition
Spreads more widely

But balance
Is something we all need

No big steps
Only step as wide as your body

Step beneath your body
Not beyond it,
Building a firm foundation

Now with the hips
There should be a delay

You should be
For hips to roll

His are beautifully round.
Mesmerizing actually.
And he has a beautiful smile.

Going around the room
Putting hands on our waists
We sway, he sways behind

He has me put my hands on his
He sways  I sway behind

Like Baby in Dirty Dancing
Only there’s nothing dirty here,
In or out of quotations

We all need balance.
My friend found hers
On Kauai.

Like the woman in the song
She was greeted
And treated kindly.

She was a dancer.
She would have learned hula.

Hips don’t lie:
Hers never did.

In Florida her entire ceiling was covered
With paper and ceramic
Dangling from strings.

A feminine symbol:
Soul symbol.

She crossed country.

And the land and the sea

Came to California
Visited me

In Yosemite she climbed up
To Bridal Veil.

Her forced marriage,
Shame, illness and six-week coma
That ended on Thanksgiving Day
All distant memories.

In Yosemite she photographed a
Butterfly on the trail,
Patiently waiting, zoom
Extended, till wings
Erect, pressed together
Parted to reveal
Nature's dazzling design.

“I hope you lose your baby,”
her mother told her.
The next day she did.

“I’m glad there’s one nice girl left,”
her mother told me.
I didn’t want to be.

We all need balance,
Would you believe I suffer
From vertigo?

So I had to learn this for myself:
To build a firm

So you don’t fall
We don’t want any falls
In here

We climbed to Bridal Veil
Falls together.
I hoped she would stay,

My childhood friend
Since we were three.

But she went on to the beautiful island

Where hips don’t lie:
Hers never did.

So many lovers.
She was beautiful you see.

And the land and the sea

Rolling waves rolling hips

And up into the mountains

And the house
(make the roof with your hands)

At long last the little house
That still stood after the hurricane,

Little house that she shared with a friend.
Homeless, she took him under her roof.
Her house was warm and dry.

He was hungry and she gave him to eat
According to the laws of Guest-friendship:
Yes, she knew about that.

Little house that she shared,
First with a friend made homeless
By the storm,

And the house
(Make the roof with your hands)

Little house that she shared
With the man friend before
And after their wedding

Marriage not forced,
This time
Husband and lover
One and the same,
This time

And the land and the sea

Story comes to the heart
And we share it

(Heart gesture)

And rolling hips
like Baby
in Dirty Dancing,
only nothing is dirty,
This time.

(Sharing gesture)

With the hands
Make the gesture

And rolling hips
Swaying in rhythm

Because hips don’t lie:
Hers never did.

And the land and he sea
And the rolling waves

This poem is dedicated to Jeanne Warburton
                                      (August 30, 1949 – August 20. 2003)
                                      with abiding love and lasting admiration.

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