Friday, August 14, 2009

It all begins with respect

As my Molokai date approaches, I feel like I've transitioned from "study-mode" to "all-out-CRAM-mode!" I am working my butt off to get things ready so that I can leave with what I need. My mele project that I've been working on is really coming along... And I should feel a great sense of accomplishment. I should feel that way... but I feel like I'm never going to have enough of it done before I go. I want to make Pops proud when he sees it.

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!


  1. thanks jason. i just did the dishes with my daughter and really enjoyed it because of your bloggy doggy.

  2. I sometimes forget to "Honor The Process" of most things I do, and it is good to be reminded from time to time! Thanks!

  3. Wishing you everything wonderful coming up in Halawa Valley. We too will be without electricity for the next couple weeks, but for us it's just camping at the beach in California.