In an interview Kealiʻi Reichel, singer and poet of the Hawaiian heart, commented: “Every time my grandmother would come to a performance I would grab an opportunity to make her stand up in front of thousands of people. And she hated it. But I wanted people to see, through example, that this is what you do, traditionally, to honor someone. You write them a mele and you perform it in front of people in honor of the one for whom and about whom the mele was written. Chants and songs don’t have power until you actually put it out of your mouth, into the air, and into the ears of the listener. And having come into the ear it descends into the heart and that’s where it completes its journey.”
The “Heart” doesn’t mean the physical organ but that reality at our core where the soul lives, where we encounter the Divine and our own sacredness. The heart, in this sense, is where life and living find their meaning. The heart is the “why” for what we do. The heart is the source of the love of dark chocolate. And without the heart the head can find no meaning.
True story: Jeanne had died but, due to Alzheimer’s, Albert could not remember that. All he knew was that his heart told him that Jeanne was missing and that he had to find her, which he would regularly set off to do. Often he would be restrained or medicated by aides in order to prevent him from wandering away. One day four friends were visiting with him when, becoming agitated, he started saying, “Where’s Jeanne? She’s missing. Where is she?” As Albert headed for the door the aides moved in his direction but the friends convinced them to leave Albert in their care. The five of them set off across the back lawn as Albert called out, “Jeanne? Jeanne, where are you?” The friends, in their love for Albert, also began calling out, “Jeanne? Jeanne, where are you?” even though they knew that to onlookers they, too, seemed demented. And strangely, the sound of the others also looking for Jeanne seemed to soothe Albert, at least until he again felt impelled to search for the one whom he loved.
The heart still knows what the mind no longer can.