Ghosts Next Door

Ghosts Next Door
by Lopaka Kapanui

Aug 4, 2022

Pana 2022

Awakened by the pulse and rhythm of the cadence of breathing, they stretched forth their hands and feet and tightened their muscles as much as they could bear without cramping.

Their faces distorted into a resounding yawning crescendo that nearly harmonized with the others were it not for the fact that some of them passed gas in the effort. Called upon by the beat which summons them, they went. Weary at the beginning yet excited by the prospect of visiting one of their own, one who is a young leaf from the branches and roots from which they came, they went. Riding upon the lift of the air, propelled by a telekinetic connection, an almost kind of calling, they went. Arriving at their location, they found the street leading up to the house to be overwhelmed with spirits like themselves, filling the garage, the walkway, and the porch. The living space is where others were lined up against the four walls while the rest piled on the furniture and the floor. In the middle sat the tattooist, the master of his art form, a priest of his craft. With him were his apprentices, stretching the skin of the man they'd come to work on. The master tapped the ink into the flesh of his recipient with his handmade tools made of particular kinds of wood and bone imbued with spiritual blessings and symbolism. The tattooist and the recipient were not men of unusual abilities; they were humble and self-effacing at times and full of mischievous humor. Yet, their spiritual ancestors heard the pulse of the tattooing tools tapping their rhythm along with the sound of the recipient's DNA accepting the magical ink that becomes the physical manifestation of their presence. The pulse permeated seven generations from their past and their seven generations coming. More than a tattoo, this was an acknowledgment of the unbreakable bond of family, of ohana. It was the bond of love. This same love called forth the spirits to gather and support the process. What else can you do as ohana when called upon to lend your presence but to manifest and make yourself known?

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