We have been friends for many, many years, my dear – and will be forever I am sure.
I am sorry not to have been able personally to be at your memorial with the throngs who love you and I will be there in spirit and with words.
Over thirty years ago, we first met when you were doing massage in a little tower-like structure over your son’s house. I was part of your dream to build the place you now have as a healing retreat center. I contributed what I could financially and with shared ideas to what you were building. I have always felt a part of everything that has gone on there and have loved and shared your vision.
Several things jump out in my memory over time.
I remember your fierce focus on the need for Hawaiians to reclaim their bodies and for them and their bodies to be free and sovereign.
You would say – “Before the Christians came, we Hawaiians were never ashamed of our bodies. We were free. Our bodies were sacred and beautiful. The Christians taught us to be ashamed of our bodies like they were. The shame has not been good for us.” I, being a Cherokee, knew what you meant. There were good things about Christianity and instead of the missionaries thinking they had all the knowledge and information, how different the world would be today if the colonizers would have approached native people the world over seeing what they could learn from them instead of trying to make them like themselves.
You always knew clearly what Hawaiians have which is so important to teach to others.
You always murmured, “Love your body” as you worked on me over the years.
I remember one time, after you had been Lomi Lomi’ing my body and had me naked and defenseless on the table, you said to me rather sternly, “You did not tell me who you are. I didn’t know who you are.”
“What?” I replied. “How can you say that? You have been working on my naked body for over five years.”
“But you never told me that you are a famous author.”
She had been given one of my books by someone and I had been “outed.”
“Oh,” I said. That’s what I do. You know who I am.” And she did. I kept a low profile on Hawaii as I always came there to heal from white western culture and return to who I am. Hawaii, and especially Angeline, offered me the healing I desperately needed both personally and culturally at that time in my life. I had been “in the trenches” and spending time with Angeline and Hawaii was a turning point in my life. I came back to my true self with the help of Angeline and the Hawaiian culture.
- Also she took me to places that changed my life.
The first was she took me to the Big Island to do a cleanse with the great Kahuna Kapuna Auntie Margaret. This was the ancient version of the Hawaiian cleanse that Auntie Margaret had brought down to the people of our time. There were about ten or twelve of us there with her for the ten-day cleanse plus. Our clothes were loose and comfortable and draped around us as we draped around her small space and slept “wherever we could find a mattress.” I loved that time together and I learned so much. Whoever imagined that my favorite time of the day was when it was time for Auntie Margaret to “read the buckets.” Both my Mother and Great Grandmother were healers and I was more eager than others to stick my face into those buckets full of poop and debris and try to see what Auntie Margaret could see. She was the best “bucket reader” in the world! She would say things like “You had a long series of antibiotics when you were ten – what was the illness?” What was she seeing and how did she see it? I knew that I was in the presence of a Master and I not only wanted to “cleanse” myself, I wanted to learn.
I had been a pre-med and then the “Golden Girl” working at the local hospital every summer from the end of high school until I graduated from college and no one I worked with in the medical profession held a candle to Auntie Margaret and Angeline opened that door for me. Years later, when I went to the Mayo Clinic for a full check-up and had a colonoscopy, the MD and I were very impressed when we both viewed my beautiful colon on the screen on the wall. He kept ooing and awwing over my “beautiful colon.” Afterwards he told me that he had never seen such a beautiful colon and wondered how I did it. I smiled seraphically and said “I do a Hawaiian cleanse regularly.”
His smile turned to anger “What in the hell is a Hawaiian cleanse?” he snapped. “I have never heard of it.”
“I’m not surprised,” I said. “Do you want to learn about it?”
“Hurrrumph!” he responded. He, like others, did not want to learn about something he did not understand even when he could see the fantastic results. I was so glad that I had decided not to go to Med School. I want to work with healing that really works, which is what my Living in Process work is about – – – on all levels.
The other place that Auntie Angeline took me was to be her guest at an early Hawaiian Sovereignty meeting. I was honored to be one of the few, if not only, “haole” people there and loved every moment of it. The chosen “prime minister/leader/president” was a man named “Bumpy.” What kind of a leader could a “Bumpy” be anyway? I wondered. I found out – excellent.
The government was very simple and involved everyone.
I. The head of the government was Akua (God – Creator – Higher Power – whatever your term was – it was all the same).
II. The elders were the ones who would run the government. They were closer to Akua, had lived longer and learned more, and could see the bigger picture. They remembered a time with those who remembered another time. They would have the last word on everything even over Bumpy and his decisions.
III. Then there were the adults (makua). These people, advised by the elders, would do the work. They were the day-to-day workers and always had to defer to and consult with the elders and Akua.
IV. Then the keiki, the children, would be the legs. They would do the running, the fetch-and-carry.
Everyone had her/his place in the government and had a responsibility/role to play.
I loved it! How sensible.
Everything rolled along fairly smoothly and I watched and listened and learned.
Then, a conflict arose. Bumpy and his cabinet and the group could not work it out. When it became clear that we (the group) were “at a loss” two Kapuna (elders), a man and a woman (no sexism here in the way we functioned) stood up and ordered the rest of us out of the room stating that THEY needed some time to deal with this issue and they would let us know when they had worked out a solution. I would have died to be a fly on the wall and I was not a Kapuna then and I was a guest so I, too, left the room along with Bumpy and his cabinet.
For a while, we all wandered around aimlessly. Some slept, some played music, some cooked food for us all. That night everyone got a good rest (the days had been long). The next morning the rest of us were still “ousted.” Bumpy and his cabinet began to relate more to the others. Some went for a swim – lots and lots of good Hawaiian music and Hula – alone time – Ohana (family) time. Still no word from the Kapuna. No one seemed anxious – just a little lost.
I was sitting on a rock – looking out over the water – listening to the lapping – thoughtless when the word came that we could all come back.
People came back into the room in an almost reverent, prayerful fashion. It felt like church “should” feel and often doesn’t. There was no mumbling, grumbling, noise or chatter. We all treaded softly upon the sacred earth and “took our places” in the midst of it all. I felt almost like a child with open eyes, heart and mind approaching the sacred. Even the noisy children were quiet and respectful – open. I’ll never forget the whole experience as long as I live.
Then the two Kapuna “leaders” for this time, stood up and shared what all the Kapuna consensually had come up with as a solution to move us ahead.
I have no memory of what the issue was. It does not matter. What mattered was the process and the way it was handled.
The Kapuna, in their deliberation, had come up with a solution that none of us – even Bumpy and his cabinet – could have ever imagined! As I listened to what the Kapuna were sharing, tears came running down my cheek, as they are now. I could barely hold back the deep sobs of wonder and belief. THIS WAY OF DOING GOVERNMENT WORKED!! For EVERYONE.
I had just been a part of a miraculous event because my friend, Angeline had taken it upon herself to invite me.
Later, they asked me to speak and I did. I felt so humble and so grateful for this powerful experience. And with the state of our government today, I see how important the process of how we jointly make decisions is. And, again, the absolute necessity of having everyone involved with Akua and the WISE ELDERS (not all old people are wise in Western culture) having the last word and taking the time necessary to come up with the best solutions.
I. Unfortunately, in Western culture getting old does not necessarily mean elderhood.
II. The creator/God/Jesus whoever one needs to consult is not consulted. If anything is consulted it is our beliefs which CANNOT BE TRUSTED.
III. The running of the government cannot be left in the hands of the adult-age persons. They are not clear enough, have not learned enough and are too busy trying to find out who they are to run things.
So, Angeline, you opened doors for me that are the essential groundwork for who and what I am at 83-years-old (next month) to contribute what I can to the state of the world right now.
I take that responsibility very seriously and, thanks to you, my mind, body, and spirit are healthy and I have experienced “another way.”
I love you and know we are together and will meet in another time in another way.
My grief is cleansed by my gratitude.
Safe journey. Go in truth. Go in health. Go in love.
Aloha and Mahalo,
Dr. Anne Wilson Schaef
P.S. I still call the teenagers in our Living in Process international network “legs” when I need them to fetch something.