Monday, April 6, 2009

Interwoven Destinies

Iʻm always thinking about what it is we are doing at The Whalesong Project. Especially when I find myself, and I always do, in the middle of some new unexpected experience each whale season. Here I am out at sea with my upright bass surrounded by cameras from France, Germany and New Zealand. What was I doing there? (I asked myself). Well, I was trying to catch up in the office last week - to keep my small company alive - but the enthusiasm of this international group, including musician/philosopher/author David Rothenberg, literally swept me out to sea. David again reminded us that it was the songs of the whales, "discovered" and published in the 1960ʻs, that largely created the awareness to support protecting the whales - or many species would arguably be extinct now.

The French Crew was following the adventures of Pierre Lavange, founder of the Shelltone Whale Project. Pierre is interested in saving the whales by sharing their songs, and he has also created an instrument to allow people to attempt to communicate with them.....a very interesting project. More on this later.

I seem to want to give exposure to our project, and to inspire people to care about the oceans....just about anyone who will listen. And part of our project seems to be recognizing the interwoven destinies of all of us who live on this beautiful planet. That interwovenness becomes apparent each whale season, as people who do care show up - and we interact in sometimes unpredictable ways. But the beauty is in the sharing, and the time we get to spend together doing whatever it is we are doing at the time....recognizing that we all depend on each other to create a good future for our children and grand children.

We at The Whalesong Project obviously seem to care about giving a voice to the natural world. We seem to be, strangely, the Sound Crew for the largest voice on the planet....and one that is rarely heard above the noise of modern civilization.

We are concerned about the future of the ocean, and want to inspire others to care. You could say that we have a commitment to care relentlessly. My dear friend and Kumu Hula, "Auntie" Gordean Leilehua Lee Baily (pictured above) composed a beautiful ʻoli and hula that describes a view of the world I like. She performed it with her hālau at the More Fishes Hawaiʻi Conference that we participated in on Saturday. A short version of "Aloha i ka ʻāina":

Aloha i ka ʻāina no nā kau a kau
(Love the ʻāina for all time -the ʻāina includes the land, water, ocean, creatures, people)
Mālama i ka ʻāina me ka manaʻo nō nā keiki
(Care for the 'āina thinking of the children)
Kiahi i ka ʻāina nō nā kau a kau
(Protect the ʻāina - be guardians - for all time)

The Ahapuaʻa System of ancient Hawaiʻi recognized the connection between the heavens and the highest mountain and the deep ocean. What we do above is reflected in what is seen below. A healthy ecosystem on land creates healthy reefs and healthy fish, and the necessities of a healthy life exist. What happens in France, New Zealand, Germany, and other far off places affects the health of the reefs and ecosystems here in the remote Pacific, in these modern times. Our interwoven destinies are converging, and we are working together to make a better world I think.

Wow, the sun is up. What am I doing? I better get to work.

With aloha, Dan

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