Saturday, December 13, 2008


This little red-haired Hawaiian girl in the pink dress is named Maleia. She is a hula student. She hula-ed her way through the entire song, Tiny Bubbles.

She was a treat. My mirror neurons went into a frenzy. I think that is what is supposed to happen when people watch hula. It's interpretive. There are certain moves that reflect certain ideas, just as with sign language. Seeing this little girl dance was the highlight for me of the whole luau. She had incredible grace, and a fierce kind of eye contact with the crowd, and when she danced, she projected meaning out all over the room.

All the dancing was "good" but much of it seemed routine. This... child was dancing in a way that seemed intense and projective. I could feel her, I could get what the dance was about, what the deeper level of meaning of the song was, or at least I felt I could in that moment. She made my eyes wet, and I do not think it was entirely the fault of the evening's second mytai, or that I was just being schmaltzy, or merely that she was as cute as a button. I don't think I'll ever feel jaded about that song Tiny Bubbles the way I had been, ever again. She was a novel stimulus who managed to help my brain thoroughly refresh its auditory and visual cortex.

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