More About the Author
Inette Miller 'Īmaikalani has been an international journalist and author her entire adult life. For many years she has taught a writing workshop.
She'd been a single mother for thirteen years, when on vacation from her family's home, she met 'Iokepa Hanalei 'Īmaikalani. Their destined meeting took place at an ancient heiau - a sacred ancestral gathering spot - on Kaua'i, at sunrise on Christmas morning, ten months after 'Iokepa abandoned every scrap of material wealth for his "Walk of faith."
She has written the story of her overwhelming immersion into the authentic kanaka maoli culture in the book: GRANDMOTHERS WHISPER: Ancient Wisdom - Timeless Wisdom - A Modern Love Story.
"I was a Jewish woman, living a wonderful, professional life in a progressive Northwestern city - Portland. I'd been rearing two bright and loving teenage sons since they'd been toddlers, alone. We lived in a fabulous glass-walled, hilltop home with views of the distant mountains by day, the shimmering city lights at night. I was a writer, a workshop teacher, a good friend, a responsible daughter. My home was filled with laughter, fine food, better books, and antiques I'd collected over thirty years. I wasn't looking to change my life. I knew I was blessed.
"I took an impromptu winter vacation to Hawai'i - a reward to myself for three years work on a just completed manuscript - and a rare break from the boys. I was looking for sun, respite, and solitude. I was led instead to 'Iokepa Hanalei 'Īmaikalani, a powerful, silver-haired, brown-skinned kanaka maoli (aboriginal Hawaiian) who spoke regularly with his long dead grandmothers - and in the blink of an eye, my life was transformed.
"A year later: I had no home, no books, no money, no career, and no friends nearby. I lived like the stranger I was in Hawai'i. I slept in tents on public beaches, often illegally. I owned and carried no more than would fit into an aging Toyota Camry. I often went hungry.
"When I left Portland, I left a trail of friends and family who feared I'd stepped off the deep edge of Middle Earth. They were not far from the mark.
"Their fears, I now know, weren't solely for my physical well-being. It was my dependence they grieved - my sacrifice of self for a powerful man's journey.
"I spent the next year fulfilling their worst fears. I went on vacation for a week and I stayed for a lifetime."
It has been for Inette, a faith-challenging rite of passage into Native Hawaiian culture. She has embraced it for the love of her husband, her belief in his people, and the certainty that every experience and gift of her own life and culture - were the destined preparation for what is asked of her now.