Tonight I was working on doing some translations. I'm thrilled to have the "new process" in places, but it's time consuming. I am taking the songs, word-by-word, and translating. And not just in the context of the song. I'm using the Hawaiian dictionary, internet resources, liner notes, reference books, maps--pretty much anything I can get my hands on to make sense of it all. Instead of a singing from a place of "well, I kind of know what this phrase means," I want to sing from a place of KNOWING. And to do that takes time.
I found myself tempted to take short cuts. To write quick synonyms for the words that I thought I was familiar with. How sad to cheat myself of this experience! While I'm really happy that things are making more and more sense as I go along, I want to really do this RIGHT. I want to give these mele the respect they deserve. I want to give the language the respect it deserves. I want to give Pops the respect he deserves. And lastly, I want to respect myself--to really give myself over to this process. To take as much time as it needs to do it and do it right.
I found myself repeating the words "Honor the process" and "It all begins with respect" while I worked--especially when it felt like I was moving through glue. From my studies, I've learned that the cornerstone in Hawaiian culture is RESPECT. If you really honor the process, you are respecting those that came before you and you are respecting YOURSELF.
Mele studies get deeper and deeper every day. Feeling blessed to be on this wild journey.
Happy Aloha Friday!