Sally’s discourse on “fiu”

We have had more rain this week and suddenly began to feel quite fiu.
Fiu is a definitive Tahitian concept that can mean “I am fed up, tired, burned out, bored, weary” but also, can mean “I just wish to relax.” Basically, it might imply that you need to stop all activities, even if that means failing to show up for an appointment. You might not go to work because you are really fiu. It also means, hey, I accept with some degree of fatalism, the vagaries of existence but let’s just go with the flow. (Any of my Huahine friends are invited to add to this discussion as I am just a beginner where “fiu” is concerned.)

So any how, I was a bit “fiu” but then came the rainbow.

20130222-135100.jpg And then, Marilyn, always alert up in her atelier, took this lovely production still of me,

and clearly, I was “fiu” no more.
The rains came and went that day; the wind howled but we had images to make and baguettes to buy, and ukelele tunes to practice, and plans to make.

The next day, Marty, her daughter, Wendy, and Marty’s granddaughter, Tehau came for a swim in the late morning. We had a snack and sampled what we now call “Moorea G and Ts”-named for the local gin that I discovered at the Super Fare Nui. I am not sure what it exactly contains; certainly there are no juniper berries involved.


Tehau asked Marilyn if she could see her studio. After viewing some of Marilyn’s drawings, she exclaimed, “these are beeuuutiful. Beeuuutiful.”

20130222-135710.jpgMarty and Tehau.

Last visit Llyn did alot of the sweeping and raking. In fact she wrote a parody right after I arrived that went, “who’s going to sweep your lily white sand…” Well, finally, I did.


The ukelele lessons are coming to a close. Two more lessons. Today was Jimmy’s birthday and I sang him “happy birthday” on the uke with a little pata pata (def. solo) and Tahitian strum. He said that no one had ever done that for him before. Marilyn shot a few photos of the end of a very sweaty and difficult private lesson.


20130222-141934.jpg View from Jimmy’s studio.

After, we walked home and got ready for swim #1 of the day. Tonight we will go to a fest in town (it will feature a zumba performance, some Tahitian dancing, Jimmy singing and playing with a musician from Alaska, and other music.

My discussion of “fiu” will be continued later, with a treatise on how the head lei can ward off “fiu” and why we all must RELAX.


8 responses

  1. Hi Sally,

    So loved this post and Llyn’s comments above. Thank you for sharing this entire blog site with me, I’ve adored reading through it and seeing Huahine through your eyes. What an amazing place and experience for you both!

    Sending love to you and to Marilyn from the mountains!

  2. Even though I can’t pronounce it, I think fiu is universal. In fact, I have been experiencing something somewhat similar….although here it is called the mid-winter blahs! The rainbow, fresh tropical fruit, sunshine and local color is the perfect antidote. Store it up for your return. Can’t wait to see you both.
    Judith xoxo

  3. Who’s gonna rake your lily white sand?
    Who’s teach you to strum?
    How ya gonna tan your red ruby cheeks?
    When on back home you come?

  4. This is really a great series! Jimmy looks happy. Marty looks happy. You look happy. AND you have elicited some nice long comments (above) from people who have looked closely. My sense of the fiu for you is that you’ve really begun to live on Huahine. And really living a life means days of fiu and days of ecstasy. You have made stronger connections with varied people. You’ve produced some interesting work. You’ve moved from the vacation/entertainment mode to something far deeper. How wise you were not to bring along your entourage this time. Though I am eager to see you, I am so happy to see you’ve found the rainbow and know how to see it. Much love and anticipation.

  5. blue plastic bags contain riches of the land,
    wood and string bring rainbows through the rain
    and so much sweeping ~ ~ the winds carries
    treasures on this island of magic talking crabs
    wondering as they roam and moan for something
    different perhaps.

    but not the cold. i don’t like the cold
    of the land where i am, regardless of the red-
    winged black bird and robins calling me
    “it’s almost time for spring”
    i pull the cover up and sleep a bit more;
    this last bit of winter is such a bore.

    enjoy the rest of the warmth while you’re away
    on the island somewhere where you are.

  6. So rich, this entry. It makes me just a little bit fiu. I must have a nap at once. But first, I want to say that the view from Jimmy’s studio took me a very long time to parse. Possibly because I was already afflicted with fiu from a struggle with rocks (story later) and a great deal of rain, cold rain, remember that? Okay, now relax and breathe and look at that rainbow for awhile, say three hours. It will help.
    So, about the view from Jimmy’s studio, I looked at it for a long time before I read the title/description,and I thought someone had really nailed the craft of combining different materials to make a little wall sculpture, I thought maybe about one foot across and a little more than that from top to bottom. Or maybe about three inches in each direction. But i couldn’t for the life of me figure out what were those charming materials. Fiber? Pieces of plastic? What …? Beads? Seeds? But then, that little green tongue at the lower left corner, what IS that? Do you see it? Isn’t it charming? Thank you, Jimmy’s neighbors. I think you are market ladies.

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