He asked me yesterday, “Why does the U.S. want to bomb Syria?”
He listens to Tongan music and the Tongan Radio show in Utah every week. He says he wishes he spoke Tongan. He asks me how my Mum is.
Today he wants answers. Today he wants to know more.
“You’ve got to jump off cliffs all the time and build your wings on the way down.”
-Ray Bradbury, r.i.p.eace, power & perfection
On the day of his death (June 5, 2012), a friend, Lauren Over, shared with me as she was driving me to Orchard Academies in Bell, California (A city in Los Angeles county) Ray Bradbury’s (above) quote. It stuck with me since that day. This is my life. It was another day of painting a 14 wall mural 18′ x 354′ at Orchard Academies. This is my first (evaaa!) mural project that I am the Artistic Director and Lead Artist! That’s right, I had a lot to learn and am still learning. There has been a lot of stumbling and falling and tripping and climbing (I was on scaffolding on the daily, going up, coming down, going up, coming down. My hands had blisters and they were so use to climbing bars that after 24 hours off the scaffolding and on the other coast of the USA, my hands were still in the climbing bars position when I was sleeping.) I was in LA for 3 weeks and will return July 22, 2012 – August 19, 2012 to complete this mural which is called, RAICES MURALES.
for more pictures of RAICES MURALES, check out my album on facebook:
My life more than ever–choosing being Artist, choosing living life by my truth and art and owning it with my heart, mind, body and soul–is jumping off cliffs and learning how to fly. Like NOW. Not tomorrow or later in a few minutes. Now. (Thank you Lauren. Thank you Mr. Bradbury for sharing a beautiful life, imagination, commitment, and your truth on this planet. I remember reading your stories when I was a kid with my big brother, David. David loooovves your stories.) I was sharing with my mentor/comrade/coach/co-leader/friend, Ernest, that I am scared and nervous–I’m taking on a new adventure. I will definitely share with you about it later–and he told me, “Moana, remember, it’s context. That same energy can be excitement. Which context do you choose?” Dang sun, I choose excitement. I’m helllaaaaaa excited! Dang, sometimes I don’t know what to do with myself except just live my dreams on tha daily. LOL. palabra. Excitement it is and I’m excited in building my wings.
I am now in Manassas, Virginia (was in NYC for a day yesterday) and will be here for the next few weeks to get some much needed rest (When I was in LA, I was waking up at 5:00 am on that daily, started painting at 6:00 am and stopped painting at 9:00 pm, just to clean up and leave the Mural site at 9:30 pm sometimes 10 pm); PAINT, PAINT, PAINT (I absolutely love painting!!! I will be doing some new paintings!!! My goal is to do a painting everyday); doing some more production/prep work for RAICES MURALES (there is soooo much to get done before I return to LA later this month); launch my very first World Mural Tour kickstarter campaign–ahhhhhhhh, it’s happening! 1st confirmed wall is in DUBLIN, IRELAND with the Axis Arts Community Center in Ballymun, mi familia, I love this community. I will also continue working on the production and prep of Mahina Movement’s SOULJOURNEY TRUTH TOUR 2012, ohhh sookie sookie. Shameless plug: Listen to us on WBAI RADIO NYC 99.5 FM. We were live on the program, “First Voices Indigenous radio” hosted by our good friend and brother, Tiokasin Ghosthorse. Click on this link and look up First Voices Indigenous radio Thursday June 28, 2012 9:03 am http://www.wbai.org/server-archive.html. Mahina Movement is going to have our working weekend retreat next weekend and I’m so looking forward to some fun, hard work and lots and lots of gooooood food. That’s how we roll, peeps. Also, I’m catching up on some much needed journal writing time and meditation, dog walks, reading, reading and reading and spending countless hours on the phone talking to family/friendz all over the world…. And are there any cooool movies/documentaries/films you have seen lately? Send them my way and I will check it out. I luuuvvvv chilaxin’ watching some good flix before I go back out “into the work” and “into the wild.”
And tonight…Are you in NYC?
I’m sending a huge shout out to my best amazing friend, sister, fam bam, Gabriella Callender for her show tonight, “LANDING ON EARTH.” I am so proud of her and I am blessed to have this amazing musician, singer, song writer on my path. If you are Brooklyn tonight, stop by and give the rest of my fam bam some love.
Here is the info:
Tonight! Friday June 29, 2012 Come join us for Landing On Earth!
Gabriella Callender/ DJ Oja!
* Children friendly, bring the whole Family!
Opening the Set with Singer-Songwriter Kyra Gaunt w/ Tomas Doncker on guitar /vocals!
Projected Visuals by Vanissa Chan!
Visiting Organization: Friends of the Congo!
Landing on Earth: A Monthly Folk Fusion Experience
The Last Friday of Each Month @ Two Moon Art House and Cafe
315 4th, Brooklyn, NY
Performed by Gabriella Callender and DJ Oja!
$10.00 cover Drinks/Food for purchase
Next show: Friday, June 29th
Landing On Earth is a monthly celebration and inquiry of the human experience through the use of song.
On the last Friday of each month, in a cozy cafe in Brooklyn, Gabriella Callender and DJ Oja take you on a herstorical journey of the human experience from the dawn of time until the present.
In a musical conversation between the artists and the audience we dialogue about peace, war, patriarchy, domination, love, power and the human propensity to overcome the ego.
Folk music is the basic element we use to take this journey and it is fused with beats, sound, visual projections, and readings from herstorical texts.
We showcase independent visual artists, vendors and organizations.
Please come and join us for the next Landing On Earth show
P.S. Our intention of our Mahina Movement SOULJOURNEY TRUTH TOUR 2012 is to have each and every woman (the woman inside of every man, boy, girl, trans on the planet) own her voice. I shall begin with owning my own voice. I will be making more and more art. I’m unstoppable in my art making. Whether you like it or not, hate it or love it, that is not my job nor is that a part of my intention. The intention of my art making is to hold the integrity of my voice and it’s TRUTH. My job is to keep on making it, non-stop. Thank you for reading. Thank you for your listening. ‘Ofa atu.
Dearest Moana, I was about to wish that your every dream come true. That you find yourself surrounded by friends, laughter, and good times. I almost wished that your every cup runneth over financially, romantically, spiritually, and creatively. That good health be your faithful companion, peace your guarded ally, and love your perpetual guide. When suddenly, it dawned on me that as an infinite, powerful, fun-loving gladiator of the Universe, with eternity before you and the power of your thoughts to help shape it… it’s you Moana Niumeitolu, who will be granting wishes this year.
10… 9… 8… 7… 6…
This is it. This is what I was meant to do, this is what I was meant to be, this is what makes me happy:
Making love present everywhere I go, anywhere, all times, any time, every time. How am I going to bring the love, you ask? Through making BEAUTIFUL things–my painting, my poetry, my acting, my T-Shirts/clothing in re:spect, moana love bodega, creating, learning, digging and finding the BEAUTIFUL in everything around me –I just want to bring the beauty y’all!
The previous post I told you that I was going to create specific intentions and goals for the moana love blog, which obviously, had me be really, super duper clear, with my purpose in this life which is: Making Love in everything I do, see, feel, speak, conjure, ordain, create, disappear, let go, let in, reveal–all of it, will be with LOVE. I love that I will be making Love to my life! I will be swooning, hugging, kissing my every day(and afternoon y night) and my every challenge and accomplishment. Making Beautiful is how I will see myself and others, our world, in all my art, in all my relationships, how I interact, involve and evolve, focus, work and play. In other words, (I’m a poet and I also grew up in La’ie, Hawa’ii, where I loved speaking me some Hawa’iann pidgin, so I love saying it this way “making beautiful.” But for clarity’s sake), saying it another way, Bringing the Beautiful in Life itself, for the sake of nothing and no reason, just living my life to the most beautiful way possible/impossible/I’m possible because that is what makes me happy.
So, that said, this brings me to the intentions of the moana love blog for the Nueva Year 2012 and beyond:
1) Making Love and Making Beautiful: I will be bringing, showing and sharing all my LOVE in every post, every word and every picture on this blog. I will be bringing the “Beautiful” from where I find beauty: uhhh hemmmm, straight from my artist statement and I quote, “People’s daily lives of courage and strength inspires me and my art (my paintings, my poetry and my acting) is a reflection, pondering and sharing of that inspiration. I want my art to bring out the beauty and resilience of people’s lives that deal with circumstances–such as rape, disease, hunger, poverty, racism, drugs, incarceration, war and/or destitution.” I love to look at and bring out the beauty in not just surviving but striving in our lives.
2) I will be sharing and documenting my journey of being a <insert Moana clearing her throat> Business woman. Yes, a- my-Art-is-my-Business, let-me-make-it-your-Business, I-will-be-handeling-my-Business woman. I am the CEO, mi gente, of my own mi vida. Being an immigrant; coming from an immigrant family from Tonga; growing up in a trailer park in Provo, Utah; being a young woman of color; being a Dreamer, an Artist, a Visionary, an Activist, a Healer, a Community Builder and Organizer, a Grassroots Builder–all these things, that may not give me access or the mentality “to be successful in Business,” are only making me more determined and fierce in my art-businistic (Like that, I put artisitc and business together. Anything really is possible.) endeavors and path. I can have access to anything and everything. It’s all right there at my finger tips–I get this NOW. <start snapping> Don’t you know, I came to NYC at age 18 with only $1.76 in my pocket. I’m all over this. <insert Moana’s whut! whut! face and gesture; attach Brooklyn attitude with it> This means, I will be sharing everything I learn along the way with you. If I can do it, yoooooo, you best believe, you can do it too. We can do this together yo. I’m so tired of dwelling in my own “fears” of “I can’t do it, I don’t know how to create my own business from my art” or “Let me just do what I know for now, work at a job (which Iyanla Vanzant says,”a JOB is a Just Over Broke”) where I can get paid and do my art on the side.” I’m tired of being “broke” for a period of time and then having lots of money in another period of time. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired of not having financial freedom, financial independence and financial abundance with myself and within my community. I’m tired of hearing the words and phrases: “barely making it,” “we don’t got the money,” “that’s too much,” “we can’t afford that” which makes us “we’re not good enough.” These words and phrases have been haunting me my whole life. I no longer heed to them–I’m taking them to the street and I’m knocking ’em out <insert Moana in her pink boxing gloves> and I’m saying, No mo’, No mo’, I aint going down like that and neither is my community. Enough is Enough. There. Yeahhhh, that’s right. We want to be surrounded by Abundance? Yo, we got to bring the ABUNDANCE. We are enough. We have everything we need to get everything we want.
3) I will be sharing my KNOWLEDGE(is power) and EXPERIENCE(the best Teacher), and all RESOURCES in what I do best.
Here is what you can look out for and count on, in the year 2012, in the moana love blog:
***Making Art: look out for posts in making your own: (I will put this under DIY, which stands for Do It Yourself)
-silk screen frames/stretching nylon (we don’t use silk anymore, baby)
-canvas frames/stretching canvas
-silk screen prints for T-Shirts,paper, etc.
-cool unique gifts for your friends for any occasion, including: cards, gift wrap, body butters, clothing, notebooks,
I will also dedicate certain posts to:
-painting tips (and for the beginners, how to paint )
-drawing tips (and for the beginners, how to draw)
-how to use and choose the perfect “power tools” (do you dream of getting gift certificates to Home Depot? do you want to add to your collection of power and freedom?)
-how to book yourself/your performance company at various venues and Colleges/Universities
-how to create a general contract for yourself/your performance company
-what makes a great performance from a good performance
-how to create your own tour (I will be giving you first hand experience on this one, because Mahina Movement will be going on our first tour in Sept. 2012. As I learn the in’s-and-out’s-and-over’s, you will too!)
–how do you get started?
***Teaching or what I call, Edu-mama-cating:
-how do you become a Teaching Artist
-resources for art & social justice curriculum
-how to create your own curriculum for your self/your own organization
-lesson plans for art in math, art in english, art in science (Art is everywhere! Do you want your students/children to excel in math, english and/or science? Bring the Art!)
and yes, I dare say,
***Business: I will share every book, blog, I read and inspiring quote and conversation I have, in creating and having my own successful business. I know for myself, I asked myself the questions, “Well, where do I start?” “How do I start?” “What do I even look for?”
I will share…now…press start…Let’s begin
Truly, I think this is the Bible, Koran y/or Book of Mormon for allllllll Artists –I went to Art School, yo, Why didn’t they teach us from this book? Or even tell us about this book!!! Jackie Battenfield B-R-E-A-K-S IT DOWN. For Realz. I have read, re-read, continue to read this book, done the exercises, made copies for my friends (shhhhhh), I have been seen on the Subway reading this book with full focus, I have even missed many stops, a many a time. I first read about this book on Favianna’s blog last year when she first posted this (read more about her below under the blogs I suggest you follow and read) you can read it here at this link, click here: http://favianna.typepad.com/faviannacom_art_activism/2011/12/time-is-an-artists-most-valuable-asset-tips-for-artists-creatives.html
“Getting Things Done” by David Allen(Thank you to my gurl, Marie Varghese) In just reading the first 2 chapters, already I am stress-free and more productive. It makes practical, real sense. Let’s get it, yo. Let’s get things done.
BLOGS TO FOLLOW AND READ:
Seth Godin http://sethgodin.typepad.com/
Every post is gold. Like for real real. I have been reading every post of his for the past 3 years, is it, or it it 4? There is not one post I didn’t like. This is what I have to say on how he talks about business, in my own words, I quote, “This is the business I want as my business.” Here is one line from his post today: You don’t need a new plan for next year. You need a commitment. oooouuuuishhhhhhh. Yo, if Seth Godin was a spoken word Poet, people would be snapping all day for him.
Jasmine Star http://www.jasminestarblog.com/
She really is a super star and business woman in her own right. There is no surprise that she has 50,734 fans on Facebook (I am one of them). I learned so much from her already and I have already included her tips in my creating and sustaining my own business. If your not into the “wedding photography,” look past that and see that she brings her own personal style, her kindness and her super generosity. Plus her writing and personality is very entertaining–this gurlll is funnnnny. Her blog is super inspiring and she gives amazing tips in having your own business. She is the CEO of her own successful business and she just started about 7 years ago.
Promise Tangeman http://www.promisetangemanblog.com/
She is Jasmine Star’s graphic designer–enuf said, you can’t go wrong. Promise gives great tips, advice and new links all the time in having your own business. She is also the CEO of her own successful business. Her style is contagious and she’s just coooool and confident in being who she is and what she likes.
<<<I NEEDS to interject here…I will post about my meaning and definition of “success” in upcoming posts. What I have meant so far in using the word, “success”, is hard cold cash. No, for real. I meant hard cold results. These folks, get the results and therefore, get the cash, in a sustaining and stable way. I do not have these kinds of examples in my own community right now: I can not honestly say, yes, that person, is making $50,000.00 or more from their art. (Ohh, wait, I do have an example, but he is not a an artist but he has made his own business, which makes more than $100,000.00 a year) I know there are and must be, people of color, women of color, who are “sucessful” in having their art as their business and who are relatable and would love to share their expertise. There’s got to be…right? Do you know of any? And I don’t mean J-Lo aka Jenny from the Block, creating her empire by shaking her booty–‘memba, no hating here, I got love for her, she’s getting hers. I mean, Sisters who are doing good work, good for the community and making a difference through their voice, their vision, their intellect and their spirit. They are receiving and giving to the community, not by their looks but how they do “business” and getting paid. Please email me. This is important to mention because, speaking from where I come from and my communities, the scarcity conversation happens all the time–you can’t find money in abundance, but you can sure find scarcity in abundance. The abundance conversation and financial freedom conversation is “scarce” in our conversations and needs to be in “abundance.” Let’s talk about all day, financial freedom, financial independence. And also, I want to put out there too, we are being real, right people? That what comes up for me is, those are white people, they got the access, they got the network. Well, my friends of a darker melanin, that’s when we come in…let’s start our business networks, have non-stop convos of financial freedom and abundance. That said, a resource I definitely will mention again and again is Debtors Anyonymous http://debtorsanonymous.org/ They have meetings everywhere in the world, I believe, and you get to be in a community of support towards your FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE y FREEEEEEEDOM. I have been to 2 meetings like 3 years ago, and I shall return in the new year.>>>
alright back to the program…
Favianna Rodriguez http://www.favianna.com/
She is super inspiring and really is the “Full Time Artist of the Community and Century” to the infinite degree. She is working all the time, every where in the world and she has a huge commitment to our communities, social justice and yes, ABUNDANCE. She is the CEO of her Artistic Talents and Gifts–and her success seeps and inspires us all. I got to meet her for the first time this past Summer when I was doing an Artist Residency at San Francisco State. She is so Nice–she gave me a gift!? Really?–and a powerhouse. I love me some Favianna.
***and of course, I can’t hold this out,
Spirituality: my love, my beauty, my life is sourced from the Spirit, God, Goddess, Gods and Goddesses, the Universe, my ancestors. I began this post with a “note from the universe” (You wanna get a note from the universe too, everyday, Monday through Friday? Well, YOU CAN, subscribe here: http://www.tut.com/resources/notes/ Again, thank you to my gurrlllll, Marie Varghese, who put me on to these notes) because it was so inspiring and it’s not only for me, this note is for you too. Whatever you believe in and don’t believe in, no matter what religion you belong to and definitely don’t belong to, I hope by sharing my spirit and my fully blown expressed spirituality does not impose on you! Remember, I am a Poet, a Painter, an Actor, an Artist, and the work I do is spirit work. From Alicia Anabel Santos today: “The way you make love is the way God will be with you.” ~Rumi
-I will share things that inspire me, lift me up: I hope for it to inspire and lift you up too!
-I will share about how our “spirit” must be included in our community, activist and movement building work
-I will share and learn old and new spiritual practices in my life
…and many, many more TOPICS , DIYs, breakthroughs, breakdowns, personal stories, possibilities, favorites and more! I’m very excited for the new year! <start chanting, “moana love blog got it going on!”>
The questions I have for you are: How do you make Love to your own Life? Where do you see Beauty? What are the things that are Beautiful to you and bring you Joy?
***I dedicate this post to the Great Kibibi Dillon who was a Super*Star in Making Love and Making Beautiful with her life and those around her. She was super young to be gone so soon. She died in a car accident only 2 days ago. Kibibi was one of the FUNNIEST PEOPLE, for super reals, stomach stiching and aching, soul jumping, on the planet. She was a different kind of comedian; her humor was smart, ya know, what I’m saying, it had pure chutzpah. She brought joy and happiness all over the world, where ever she performed, walked, and lived. She was deeply determined and fearless (Yo, she did stand up again and again, from NYC to California, you gotta be Fearless!) in her craft and life as an Actor, a Performer, a Comedian, an Artist. AND she was one of the kindest people in the word; you just felt so good being around her. Her honesty, her fierceness, so down-to-earth and so reaaaaallllll. She inspires me to bring the love and beauty of HUMOR in all my life. Thank you Kibibi, for sharing all your talents and gifts to the world. For sharing your light for all of us to shine. For igniting flames of love and joy in all of us. We all miss you and we love you. If you are in NYC and met Kibibi and honor her name, check out the event for tomorrow: http://honoringthebeautifulkibibid.eventbrite.com/ I won’t be back in NYC ’till next week. I am there in spirit!In her own words and what she did best, Ladies and Gentlemen, give up a huge standing ovation for…drum roll, please, KIBIBI DILLON!!!
“Im an easy going sista who is in love with Art. I guess this means I’m in love with life. I am at peace when Im dwelling amongst other creators…I feel safe. I love the vibrations of rhythm born in my belly when Etta James belts buckets of blues. I stand humbled and amazed when a body lets the spirit take over while on stage.Im in love with the passion of all shades of RED and the humility of all shades of BLUE and if your heart beats to the rhythm of truth then part of me is in love with you too. Im funny by nature but im far from being a joke and Im not a Jamaican, but sometimes me smoke. I only love my mommas beans and rice but they are 3000 miles away so untill the holidays in my heart the longing will stay. I admit that sometimes Im wrong, but most times Im right and if I could do only one impossible thing… It would be out of sight! I’d love to breath in the world and laugh out what it taste like! hummmmm………….”
click on this link: http://vimeo.com/album/1726938/video/30924659
FREESTYLE ~ FREEEEEDOM, LIBERTAD
wrote this on dec. 13, 2011–posting it today, 5 days later, bear with me, while i catch up on my posts…
not the kale rhyming with sale
can’t sell this
tongan way, español too
cranberry y apple kisses
i’m learning from you
i have an idea
(christmas) light bulbs above our heads
i am embracing your confrontations
you confront my fears
we both wanted to be whole together
don’t work that way
we are both learning that we are whole on our own
gots to get it together
together we must give
what we never wanted to do in
too scary, too vulnerable, too tender
too hole lee and
we only got one life
if we are together, do we get 2 lives?
i’m learning how to construct
you are learning to be a contractor
what is our contract? what can we construct together?
Let us forgive, forgive, FOR GIVE, each other
free each other
i got these aches in these red rock caves
you can scratch on these walls
paint the places i can’t reach
we must share with each other
i want to swallow your fire over and over and over again
building a foundation
how did we attract each other?
how did we come together?