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  • Writer's pictureCassie Stockamp

In unison we raised our hands...

So Hawaii... what beauty!

The friend that I came to visit is living on the property of Abbie who is a talented artist that relocated here from Connecticut. My friend is committed to rebuilding his life on this corner of the island as it supports the easy lifestyle he loves. And Abbie, the artist, came to Pahoa the first time over 10 years ago at the suggestion of a friend she met at massage school (Lexie is the friends name and her real profession was fire eating) to attend a juggling convention in Pahoa! Abbie didn’t juggle, but the people she met and the ideas they shared changed the course of her life. That’s how things work though, isn’t it...?

Abbie’s boyfriend shared a story that on the surface doesn’t some seem to fit in this blog, but I’m dropping it in here any way because it was one of those stories that brought goose bumps, and I think you might agree that it in fact does fit... Over dinner one night we were sharing unusual synchronicities of events that have happened in our lives. Chris told a story that I won’t soon forget... When he relocated to Hawaii for a new job, he was unloading his civil engineering books and noticed an astronomy book from high school in the box of books. He randomly opened the book which landed on the page entitled “Astronomy in Hawaii.” In the margin he noticed some hand written sentences. He peered closer and realized it was his writing - that said, “Very cool! I will work there someday.” The sentences were scribbled next to a picture of the Keck Observatory in Hawaii.The same observatory that was home to his new career...

“Life can only be understood backward; but it must be lived forward.” Soren Kierkegaard

Fast forward to 2019... I was invited by my new artists friend to attend a weekly Sunday evening pot luck which, I learned, has been going on for over 30 years. This pot luck takes place at an intentional community that was created by street performers - buskers! I sat in awe listening and asking questions about their unique life stories.

The man across from me was playing a mandolin shaped ukulele that he balanced on his nose which made both of us giggle. Stevie G was his name and he told a fantastical story of working on an oil rig in the middle of Oklahoma to save enough money which took him to Amsterdam where he honed his juggling skills.The lady next to him is a professional juggler (aka, more fire!) and unicycle rider. They met over 30 years ago performing on the streets he had worked so hard to save money to visit - Amsterdam.

Today they both are part of this intentional community in Pahoa. I asked Aileen how she developed her craft and why. She said she grew up in Edinburgh (birth place of the Fringe Festival) where she watched performers all of her young life. She was intrigued with the freedom and world travels of the performers and decided she wanted that kind of lifestyle. Every one of the people said they failed miserably at their first attempts of performing, but were motivated by the love of freedom and travel to try again and again... It was through practice and a combination of trial and error performances that allowed them to hone in on their signature “thing.”

I was surrounded by people that make a living performing on the street. They were all incredibly well spoken, bright and obviously creative people!

They return at various points throughout the year to this intentional community in Hawaii from various destination around the world where they look out for each other and live a simple life. We started the meal by forming a circle and holding hands. Newcomers were greeted, travel plans were shared, food recipes and disclosure of vegetarian and non-vegetarian ingredients were disclosed.

In unison we raised our hands and greeted the dinner with “Aloha!”

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