He Wahī Paʻakai: A Package of Salt

adding flavor and texture to your world through story

Wake Up!



You can’t see the stars like that, girl, not when you’ve got sleepiness in your eyes. Rub them. Wake up! ‘Eleu. I don’t have time to wait for you. We don’t have time to wait for you. Too many generations. Too many have been slept away. Now look.

Yes, it’s dark; it’s cold. But this was never going to be easy. You knew that. And my job is not to soften things for you. We have too much to lose for softening. Maybe that’s why you preferred to sleep all these years. When you ignore the presence of the stars, when they are blocked by the ceiling of your mind, you can rest peacefully. Oh, but I won’t let that happen. Wake up, girl. It’s time.

I’m doing you a favour. I know it doesn’t seem like that now. But, I am. I wish someone had done this for me. I spent years sleeping. Now I can’t escape the stars. I search for them even when they are drowned out by city lights. I long for them even when the sun is shining. You’ll never be able to ignore them again, not when you really learn to see them. And you shouldn’t.

Wake up. Look up. Imagine yourself out there, among them, part of them. You know you aren’t really separate from them, right? Every space, every single space, is filled with memory. So it connects. Never divides.

Now what do you think? No, I don’t want to hear what you’ve read. Forget that now. What do you think? Don’t just recite, girl, ignite. When you give me memorized words with no meaning, that’s when you’ve begun to lose. Ignite that na‘au, that gut-feeling. Tell me what it feels like.

I’m not trying to be mean. I push you because that is aloha. Forget that tourist rubbish. My aloha means that I care enough about you to not let you sleep for another generation. So wake up, girl. We’ll stay here until you can give me something of depth, even if it means we have to stay here until the sun rises. In fact, maybe that’s what you need. When you can’t see them anymore, that’s when you’ll feel them and know they’re always there.

Ua moku ka pawa. The darkness has broken. We’ve been here all night. You didn’t sleep. But there’s no use being awake if you can’t react, and can’t be moved to act. Act. Wake up!

What’s that? You have something to say? Tell me.

That’s true. I was never really speaking to you, girl. I was speaking to that part of you inside that is old, that is so much older than both of us. That’s the part of you that had to be awakened. You know you’ll never be able to put that back to sleep. And you shouldn’t. That’s what will guide you. That’s the part of you that will always seek the stars, searching for the spaces of the universe filled with memory. Let it ignite you. Too many generations. Too many have been slept away.

Now look. It’s time.


Author: emalani

I write, read, dance, and study stories that span the Pacific. From my island home in Hawaiʻi, to the shores of Tahiti, to the mountains of Aotearoa, I travel over ancient pathways, sharing stories along the way.

12 thoughts on “Wake Up!

  1. Such beautiful words! I love the idea of not being able to see the stars because of the ceiling of a mind.

    • Mahalo nui! Part of this was inspired by living in Wellington, actually. I love it here. But, there are so many nights when I can’t see the stars. It’s the “ceiling” that the city creates: whether of lights or buildings. That’s when I realized it’s really a mental thing 🙂

  2. Gorgeous writing and thoughts. I will send this to my daughter.

    • Thank you Angeline. I appreciate your comment. I wrote this because it was something that I needed to hear myself. 🙂 But I think it’s also a good reminder for so many of us.

  3. This is awesome. “Don’t just recite, girl, ignite.” Love it!

    • Ignite, girl!!! We can recite all the lines we want, and we can even recite them perfectly. But if they don’t ignite anything inside us, then what are they for?! Just something I’ve been pondering lately. 🙂

      • That ignition is what i feel burning inside me when i speak or just think of the pu`u and the forest. I guess your true passion swirls your internal fuel that sets the motion in aciton, thus pulling you forward and allowing you to fully release and spark!

  4. Love the image you’ve articulated. Humbling and inspirational. Mahalo for this, and mahalo for sharing.

    • Mahalo nui e Hoku. 🙂 I’m inspired and humbled just knowing that people read the blog. You folks push me to keep writing. So, I should really be saying “mahalo” to you!

  5. Wow Ema. This resonated with me so much!! I feel like this is my reaction every time I read your stuff, but seriously, this one really hit me! xoxo.

    • Mahalo e ke hoa! It was truthfully something that I needed to write to myself (as strange as that sounds). So I decided to share it hoping that it would touch others as much as the experience of writing it touched me 🙂

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