You Called Kali Ma: The Depth of My Trust.
We left our home preemptively yesterday before being stuck in a potentially dangerous situation.
The path of volcanic eruptions is headed straight towards our property, and the earth around it cracking and caving.
We are lucky we had time to prepare and, essentially, have been preparing all along. Two years ago, we put our entire lives into the back of a pickup truck and said goodbye to what couldn’t fit. We just did it again. We are practiced in letting go, in knowing what is important, and I am grateful to have that experience to aid us now.
I am proud of my children, who, without complaint or despair, left with only a couple of small bags.
The truth is, since I set foot on this island, nothing has ever been mine. The land that I live on is much more the volcano’s than ever could be my own. It is Pele’s, and it is Hawaiian, and I have not, for a moment, felt otherwise.
Even the home we have built feels not mine. At times this has made me sad, wanting to feel as though I belong, wanting to feel at rest, but I can only honor what it is. And I hope that I have done that well.
We do not know where the path of lava will go, the next few days should tell, but I want you to know that I am okay, whatever happens. Truly.
I cannot express the depth of my trust. I am not devastated or sad or frightened by what is happening. The earth has shifted beneath me and my life has shifted around me, but this is what life is, never as solid as you think.
My time here in Hawaii has been incredibly challenging. I think I understand now that Pele’s curse is also her grace. I am witnessing that unfold.
The night before we left, I blessed her path with water from Amma. Not to plead with her, not to ask her to spare our house or the land or to beg for mercy, only to bless her journey. When I looked up from my prayer, my shadow was an angel, giant wings stretched out from both sides.
My heart goes out to those who were wrenched from their homes without preparation. If there is anything I can do to serve you, please let me know.
I am in awe of the power I have witnessed, in awe of the earth and its forces, in awe of Pele and the grace with which she has allowed everyone time to evacuate safely and given much warning for her coming.
I bow deeply to her, to this land, and to Life.
Here is a poem I wrote, lost for months, and then found as the lava began to erupt around me:
You thought you were calling something beautiful — a goddess with sex-tossed hair and skin that glowed like the moon.
But you called La Loba. You called Baba Yaga. You called Kali Ma. You called Inanna. You called Pele. You called Hecate. You called the Crone.
You called the Dark Goddess to you.
She is the One who walks with sword and flame. Her face and hands are stained with blood and dirt. The earth shakes when she moves. The ocean swells.
You thought she would set you free. You thought she would give you power. You thought she would help you find something of yourself you lost.
Perhaps you did not know that first she would turn you to ash. First she would have to destroy everything that you think you are.
And when she arrives, most who called her forth will run away in fear, they will take back their prayers and wish they had never seen her face.
Only a few will stop, turn towards her, and in that secret place of their heart, whisper,