Tag Archives: Life has just begun

September 11, 2013

Today he is not afraid to say this is what happened. Today he wants to know more.
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.
Mo Maui 1
Mo Maui 2
Maui 1
September 11, 1973 Santiago, Chile: He was not born yet. But this is his birthplace. He will be born on Sept. 12th. One day after, 5 years later.Year 1982 Provo, Utah: I am 4 years old. My family move from La’ie, Hawai’i and arrive in Utah. Provo, Utah to be exact. We are here to begin a new life.Year 2000 Provo, Utah: He is 21 years old and leaves Santiago, Chile for the United States of America. Provo, Utah to be exact. He has grown up with Pinochet, Universidad de Chile, and Don Francisco. He arrives here with his sister, Daniela to learn English. They are here to begin a new life.
September 11, 2001 New York City: I was supposed to meet Joy downtown. I do not. I call her a few minutes before the 1st plane hits. Let’s meet another date and time. The clear blue sky is filled with black clouds for days. Thank goodness I am with Gabby. We pray and cry together.
Summer 2009 Provo & Moab, Utah: He meets a Tongan girl, me. He calls me his Tongana, mi amor, mi vida, mi cielo. I call him Maui, Baby, corazon. He teaches me Te amo. I teach him ‘Ofa atu.
September 27, 2009 Provo, Utah: We are married. We love each other. Our union creates Tonga Chile.
Winter 2009 Sandy, Utah: He is 32 years old when he will hear the words–Allende, Coup, CIA, Murder– for the first time, in our bed. We discuss war after we make love. We exchange history as well as kisses. He can not believe the black and white footage we watch together. He envies my brown eyes. He thinks his blue eyes can only see lies. He calls his father, Omar, former General in Pinochet’s army. Papa, is it true? His father tells him, “Pinochet is the best thing that happened to Chile.” I do not sleep that night. He holds me even tighter.
Summer 2010 NYC, NY: We move to NYC together. He wants to go to Ground Zero. We drive around NYC in his truck blasting Victor Jara. He is proud to be American–South American.Fall & Winter 2010: He moves to Manassas, Virginia. I file for a divorce. We do not see each other for 3 months. 3 months of breaking & crying a part. Separation becomes unbearable. We still love each other. I ride the Chinatown bus from NYC to Washington DC and back for 2 years every week. He drives around Washington DC & Virginia listening to Tiro de Gracia. He sees the Capitol Building, White house, and Washington Memorial for the first time.June 2011: I move to Manassas, Virginia so we can be together. I never thought I would leave my NYC. For him, I will. Let’s work things out. Let’s stay together. A South Pacific Islander and a South American in the South of the United States of America.Jan. 2013: We are separated again. I move back to NYC. For myself, I will. He moves back to Utah. I want the divorce finalized. He wants whatever I want. I don’t want him to want what I want. I want him to want what he wants. Loca y Loco. We both want visibility. We both want to be seen. We love each other but we are not together.June 1, 2013 Sandy, Utah: My father passes away. I live in Utah for 3 months to be with my family. I begin a new life. I still love him. I love myself.
Today September 11, 2013 Sandy, Utah: We are both back in Utah. We are friends who love each other. What does it mean to be together? Tonight we start celebrating his birthday. He will be 36 years old tomorrow. He will call his Father, Omar and brother, Claudio in Chile while we, here in Utah, drink Chile from a bottle of wine. He has not been back to Chile for 13 years. We still exchange ‘Ofa atu at the end of every phone call. I go back to NYC next week.
Feliz Cumpleanoz MSQP. Te amo para siempre. ‘Ofa lahi atu.
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‘Ofa lahi atu Papa & it’s My Birthday!!!

Long Beach, California June 2013

Long Beach, California
June 2012

What can I say?  What shall I write?  I have not written a post at all this year. Well, here is the 1st one.
There is so much more to say. But when? If not now, then when? Right?
First of all, I am devastated. I am extremely sad and torn. My heart has broken up into tiny little pieces and I am trying to s-l-o-w-l-y without confidence but with great determination and sorrow to put them together in a creative, artistic and moana love kind of way. My Father is gone and I feel like I am gone too. When folks ask me if I am okay or how I am doing, I want to SCREAM. I am not okay. I am feeling beyond blue. I am very, very, very, very, very, very sad.
I need time to be like this. I need time to be in this. I can’t just quickly smile, “He’s in a better place. He’s no longer suffering. Alright, everything is so happy!” I am definitely not happy. Really, I want you to go away.

Today I remember my Father and I want to speak of him and about him and share all who he was to me.  I absolutely LOVE my Father and the love he had for me and the whole entire world was and is SO INFINITE and DIVINE.  I have never met anyone who has the LOVE like my father has. What a great example. Did I say yet, that I miss my father????
Today is my Birthday and I’m saying, Happy Birthday Papa! You gave me your life, so that I can have the life I have now. I am so thankful and grateful to you and your life and who you are to me! Your LOVE is truly AMAZING and GREAT and AWESOME and….You’re AMAZING and GREAT and AWESOME, Papa!
I miss you.
I really, really miss you. Yes, I know you are with me in spirit and I feel your great presence. But dayum, I miss you in the physical world. I really, really do.
I hold my heart as I write this.
You were such a Great man and Father. I can’t wait to share all that I have learned from you!!! and to tell your story in my Art!!!
‘Ofa lahi atu.

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Happy Beautiful Birthday Beautiful Gab*Star!

dear world: today is an international holiday! today is Gabriella Callender’s Birfffday!!! yayyyyyy!
for real real, there would be no Me, no moana love, no vaimoana litia makakaufaki niumeitolu, if there was not Gabby present in my life!
I am so happy to share with you about Gabby! hip hop hooorayy yay yay: I have known Gabby for 11 years…I know we have known each other beyond this lifetime. Gabby is my best friend, my sister, my creative partner, my jokeStar, most favorite person in the whole entire world, for real real. I love you so much Gabby! Thank you for everything that you have given me and taught me and shared with me! I thank you for your friendship, your partnership, your truth, your beauty, your trust, your amazing food, your generosity, your warmth, your support, your encouragement, your humor, your pranks, your tricks, most importantly your LOVE! you have saved my life more than once. thank you, thank you, muchas gracias.
Everyone I know LOVES Gabby to bits and pieces and seashells and buttons…her whole life and life story is inspiring, courageous and freaking amazing. Born in Wingdale, New York and raised in Hollis, Queens, Gabby moved out of her home at the age of 16 years old. At her birth, she was taken from her biological mother and put into foster care. At age 4 she was adopted by a family in Hollis, Queens. She was sexually abused by her adopted brother for 11 years and she is not only a survivor but a SHERO! She taught herself how to play the guitar when she was 14 years old and has been playing ever since. Today she is the musical director and member of Mahina Movement, which we have performed on over 400 stages all over NYC and over the U.S. of A. In September 2012, we will be performing in Europe in 8 Cities, 5 countries in our “Souljourney Truth Tour.”
To you Gab*Star! Your presence is a gift to all of us! Thank you for making the world a better, happier, more peaceful and more beautiful place to live in! You make a difference for all of us,
with arroz con felicidades y arte, malo ‘aupito! ‘ofa atu my friend! To another year, 2012, we get what we want. yes, yes, axe, axe.

Gabby and the ocean

Gabby singing and performing at El Museo del Barrio, NYC

Gabby singing and performing at Occupy Wall Street, Sept. 2011

Gabby singing and performing at Occupy Wall Street, Sept. 2011

Gabby singing and performing at Occupy Wall Street, Oct. 2011

Listen to Gabby sing and play her song, “Sean Bell,” click here:

See and watch Gabby and Erica perform “Sugarland” in Union Square, NYC for hundreds of peeps:

Gabby performed in the moving, touching, inspiring, one of the best theater works I have seen in my whole life, “Secret Survivors”

Gabby was part of this project created by Amita Swadhin:

Gabby is featured in the documentary, “Anomaly.” It has been screened all over the world!

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day 16
today’s post is dedicated to mi gurls, mi hoooomeeeegurlz, La Chata aka E-LO and Gab*Star. Life has just begun…ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE, yo, a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. punto.

Here is to 11 YEARS in the MAKING!!!!!!!

are you ready? Let’s get it!

As the year 2011 ends later on this month, I have to say, its been one of the most eye y heart opening-soul shifting and revolutionary years of my life! Last year in May 2010, I announced to Mahina Movement, mi hermanaz y colleagues y mi partners in creativity, la musica y transformation, that it is time….it is time for our first tour! AND it is time for us to go to EUROPA! Gabby and Erica listened to my proposal carefully and with full attention. I told them why this tour is so needed not only for us but for the world. I told them, reminded them, how this has always been a dream of ours and that we need to realize this now! This is it. We only got this life now. Yes, now. We all got moved by who we are to each other. “We are each other’s body.” <<<FYI: Did you know that we all have 3 arms? And those arms are called: Gabby, Erica and Moana. Ask Gabby and Erica about their 3 arms.>>> They said, “Yes, it shall be done!” We started putting our intentions and year action-dreams fullfilled now-plan together. Our daily conversations were–and still are!–about this tour. Gabby sent Erica and I every single action that needed to be done in order for us to have successful tour. On our weekly calls, we tweeked it, edited it, changed it. We have been running–sometimes walking, only a few crawling, always being a TEAM–ever since that first enrollment and registration conversation. Our TEAM has not worked like how we are working now! All of us are feeling and being team, delicious partnership, and harmonizing through making this happen. Erica is super focused and intentional; she does bring the fire of amazing listening and getting actions done. Gabby is super organized and leadership all the way; she mos def bring the earth and groundedness to our group. I am super visionary and light and yes, i do bring the smack down–in a fun way peeps. I am the air/wind of our group which completes us as Earth, Wind and Fire. We didn’t announce our tour ’til this year in Aug 2010…how amazing, and yes, I can believe it (in the recent past, I would always say, “I can’t believe this! I can’t believe it!” when something amazing would occur, not I am so present to the reality, Yes, I can believe it. Is is fact. It’s happening.) that Eve Ensler is one of our presenters for our first tour, Souljourney Truth Tour. I can’t wait to meet her and say “THANK YOU. I LOVE YOUR WORK.” Stay tuned for our “other presenters” for they are in the works. I can’t wait to announce them…when they say, YES!

Summer of 2000

Our 1st Mahina Movement Benefit! Fall 2000. Brooklyn, NY

It was my senior year at New York University. The year was 2000. The new millenium. Everyone could feel it. I know I could! This was the year to give birth to a new century, a new time, a new life. I was feeling great and greatness. I wanted to give and be my best self. I wanted to give the world all of my passion, leadership, art, music, poetry, my stories, my rage and my anger and my sadness which underneath all of that was  ALL MY DELICIOUS GREATEST LOVE and most importantly, I wanted to give the world and universe my endless possibilities! I wanted to create, create, create everything I always dreamed of. I wanted to be able to say, when I was 80 years old, “Yes, yessssss, ‘lil ones, in the year 2000, the new millenium, I did this. I was here. And I was fierce. We were phenomenal.” I knew this was the time to do that, this was my year to make “something happen.” This was the year Mahina Movement was born, in the Summer of 2000. We started out with 6 women in Mahina Movement. Now there are 3. Gabby, Erica and I, we’s a trinity, I like to say. Erica likes to say we are the underground Destiny’s Child–cuz we started with 6 and now we’s a trio.
Now today, I am so proud to say, with great respect and honor and joy and luuuuuvvv and greatness and passion, that Mahina Movement is still alive and kicking it!!! Today we are 11 years old! cheeeeeeee huuuuuuuuuu! We are one of the few performance group/collectives which were born in 2000 and we are one of the few that have lasted, striving, building, building and building. Really, we have just begun…

Mahina Movement 2011

Tomorrow is our weekly conference call (we have 2 calls per week: one on Mondays, the other on Fridays) and there is still so much I need to get done. I love coming on our calls, saying, Yes, I completed all the actions I said I was going to do. However, over the years, we have exercised our Mahina Movement muscles of coming on the call to say the what’s so and not being attached to how we feel about it, especially if we did not do what we said we were going to do. So, I gotta mention that too: I love coming our calls and saying too, Peeps, I did not do x,y,z or I did not do anything I said I was going to do. Actually, you should try it sometime, it is really FREEEEING, to just saying the what’s so: what happened and what didn’t happen. its highly effective. From there, we work as a team to look at what needs to be put in place for it to ACTUALLY happen: is support needed? what kind of support do you need? For me, I really just have to look at the type of conversations I am having with myself. Is it empowering or is disempowering? I have learned that when I do not do something I said I was going to do I punish myself and put myself down. Yo, that takes a lot of energy and negative energy at that. No, thank you’s anymore to those conversations. Now I can see I do that. When I do it again, I acknowledge it, and I say, Ohhh, really, you want to stop me from being in action? I don’t think so. And then I go about my business taking care of my business. Yep, that’s how I do it.
That said my peeps, now I’m gonna go in real focused em-powerd and power-ful and power tool-let’s get things done and complete mode right now. I have communications to be had with folks all over Europe, in Italy, England, France, Spain and Ireland…we got a tour to work on people! Let’s get it!

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This is it. Press Start

deep breath.
here goes.

Dear World: What would my world, my community, my familia, my friendz, my arte, my poesia, my writing, my vida and the whole world look like if I played 100 percent on da daily?
Full Force. Full Love. Full Powerful Delicious 100 percent. Nothing less than that.
UNSTOPPABLE LOVE. Yes. Fulfillment for everyone. Food for everyone. People living their lives powerfully and with great happiness. Yes.

I gave myself the challenge to write everyday for 31 days, 750 words or more. To hold myself accountable, I know that I had to share this challenge and not keep it to myself so I shared this challenge with an amazing, sister Poet, Tania Romero. She said yes! and she suggested we put this out to others, to as many people as we can. And now, her son, Amaru is doing it and her Moms has committed to it too!
I pasted this on my FB and Twitter the following:
Hear ye, Hear ye, mi comunidad y mi el mundo: We, Tania Romero, y i gots a challenge for you (and we have given it to ourselves too!) starting TODAY for 31 days straight, we are to write at least 750 words per day or more, DAILY, on our blogs and share with each other. We would like you to join us! Let us know, right now… yeah, like right now…no time to waste…life starts right now, this is it, this moment….press start

Follow Tania Romero’s Blog: http://taniaromeropoetry.wordpress.com/

I, vaimoana litia makakaufaki niumeitolu, promise before you as my witness and to our universe, our world, I will write everyday for next 31 days, starting today, 750 words or more. I will write to see where I am going and to look back at where I started. I will write to document this journey of Dreams Fulfilled Now. I will write my experiences, findings, journeys, art y poetry to my utmost honesty and integrity. I promise to write, in sickness and in health, no matter how I’m feeling,  if I’m feeling, sad, mad, cheezy, or sneezy I will write. I will write even if I am super tired or if I don’t know what to write or how to write anymore. I will write and share things that I don’t really want to share. I will challenge myself as a writer, as a human being, as a growing artist. I promise I will practice and practice and practice in owning my voice, my words, my mind, my passion, my love, my dreams.  I will write and talk to you intimately even if I don’t see you or even if you are not listening, I will still write. I promise to write everyday for 31 days straight. Axe. Kiss both my elbows. Kissing the sky. Sealed with my paint, blood and my type pad.

Alright who is with me on this????
DREAMS FULFILLED NOW. (join me! share your dreams, fulfill on them,  have a whole community and village join you, support you, and make it a reality!)
By 12/12/2012, I want to have published my first book of poetry and art. It will be called FREE FOOD.

Life has just begun:
Tonight is the eve of Thanksgiving 2011, and I miss my family. No, I do not celebrate Columbus or Genocide, can I see a raise of hands who celebrates the 2? Thanksgiving for me has always equated to FOOD, FUN, FAMILY. I miss my created familia: Gabriella “Gab*Star Callender y Erica “E-Lo aka La Chata” DeLaRosa. One of my favorite Thanksgivings of all times was with Gab*Star, E-Lo, Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhran, ‘Amelia Niumeitolu and Siaki Mortenson in Fort Lee, New Jersey. For real, we did not leave the house for 3-4 days straight. All of us stayed in the house eating the goodness and glory of Gab*Star’s cooking: Soul Food Puerto Rican Polynesian (she added this just for me!) Thanksgiving. The best highlights: Ahimsa and Erica, or was it ‘Amz and Erica, doing their own re-make of Monica y Brandy’s “The Boy is Mine;” no one laughing at Siaki’s jokes except himself; slumber party non-stop, all our blankets laid out in the living room next to each and sleeping on the floor together, watching movies; and having UNO Championships. Yes, the Niumeitolu’s took the trophies; we mad competitive, we don’t play, we win.  On the 3rd/4th day, all of us had eaten everything in the whole entire house. So that is when ‘Amz and Siaki went to Burger King and brought home: 10 burgers, fries, and soda all inhaled in 1 hour or less. Yo, we can eaaaaaaat. They don’t call me a tongan gurl for nothing.
I miss my Mum and my Pops. I miss Fui, Loa, ‘Amz, David and all the lil ones we got: 9.
I send you all love. I will call you tomorrow. ‘Ofa lahi atuuuuuuuuu alwayz. I thank you for giving me my life I have today. paz. salaam.

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