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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Magic Island...


I took my boys to Magic Island last year. We got there late and met twilight in all her mystical beauty. It truly was magic...

Perplexed...


I can't figure it out. Last year we went to Costco and I bought my boys every little kids dream, two giant chocolate covered ice cream bars. What went wrong?

Think Small...


I've been teaching my boys, if you really want to impress the girls in Kindergarten, notice the overlooked. Study the subtle...

Spellbinding Death Machines...


Young and old were wowed by the incredible skilled aeronautic feats and technical prowess of the Air Force Thunderbirds. I was impressed at the training and skill needed for such intricate and precise maneuvers. The sad thing is that these impressive aircraft, the F-16C, were made by Lockheed Martin, for one purpose and one purpose only. It has nothing to do with entertainment. It has everything to do with military superiority and destroying human life, in the most efficient awe-inducing manner possible. As my kids ran from room to room screaming in a mixture of fear and excitement, when the jets unleashed their sonic power, I held my breath for a moment, for all the innocent children in the world who disintegrated in a fountain of incinerated blood and tissue after hearing the "awesome" thunder of the F-16...

Thunderbirds...


The Thunderbirds lived up to their name. Scared my kids when they flew over our  building...

Colorful Marketing...


Although I didn't purchase anything from this zoo kiosk, it still had the ability to make me and my boys happy...

Backyard Bliss...


Common plant in my backyard. Often overlooked by many, including me. I see Ku in the kane, I see Hina in the wahine...

Ki`i Pohaku in Wai`anae...


Three men and a baby...dog...

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Aloha no e Apollo...


I took this picture about a month before Apollo was euthanized at the Honolulu Zoo. He was sleeping in the shade and I waited for quite a while, with Elliott yearning to go to the next exhibit, to see if Apollo would wake up. He did momentarily, looked my way, and then went back to sleep. He had a long life in captivity, about seven years longer than the average lion in the wild. I'm sure he was well taken care of, but I still believe he would have chosen a free life, even if shorter in span. I thank you Apollo for serving your life behind bars, and thrilling so many of our beloved children of Hawai`i with awe and wonderment. Now you are free to once again charge across the grassy plains. Your thunderous bellowing roar striking fear in man and beast alike, only second to the thunderclaps of Ke Akua, in the darkened African sky. As the Lion King musical makes its run in Hawai`i, your run comes to an end. Moe me ka maluhia my friend, ua hala...

Cheer Up...


No need say nothing, bruddah. Been there, done that. I know exactly how you feel...

Dragon...


Koa was born in the Year of the Dragon. This mo`o dreams of being a dragon...

Tiger...


Elliott was born in the Year of the Tiger. They are truly magnificent creatures. Both of them...

Peacock...


It is interesting that many birds have colorful and ornate males, and relatively plain and drab females. The peacock and peahen are no exception. Here the peacock extends his gorgeous fanned display to attract the fancy of his female companions during courtship. Funny how human beings developed the concept of female beauty to attract the rather plain human male. Hairstyling perms, highlighting and sophisticated cuts, waxing, tweezing, legs, armpits, facial hair, foundation, mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, Merle Norman transformations, etc. Now metrosexual guys are going for the beauty treatments too. What happened to natural beauty? Most women radiate al naturale. The media is heavily to blame. Even the women on the tv show Lost still have lipstick, eyeliner, etc. after how long on a deserted island. Can't even let them look natural. With two older sisters and no brothers, I grew up thumbing through their copies of Cosmopolitan and Self. No wonder I never made it on the football team. Too much Hina, not enough Ku...

Splendid Bird...


God must have gotten an A+ in Visual Art and Design...

Gharial...


I heard that the muscles which close an alligator or crocodile's mouth are tremendously strong, but the muscles to open their jaws, are much weaker. This allows you to hold their mouth shut while wrestling them. It looks like the Gharial would be easy to wrestle because you could hold his jaws closed with one hand and tickle his underside with your other hand, until he surrendered from sheer exhaustion. This, of course, is just an unproven theory, until I get the nerve to jump into the Gharial exhibit...

Auku`u...


I used to throw bread in the water at Moanalua Gardens and the tilapia would come frenzy around the bread, and the Auku`u (Night Heron) would come to the water's edge, and grab and gulp down the fish who were distracted by the bread, to his heart's content. Now I saw a news story where an Auku`u in Ko Olina actually grabs the bread off the grass and drops it in the water as bait and then eats the fish. Fishing. Pretty cool...

Mo`o Hunt...


I hunt Mo'o around my building and yard, with a camera of course. I remember growing up when we only had brown geckos, skinks and green anoles (false chameleons) and now we have Jackson's chameleons, bright green day geckos, giant Madagascar geckos, Iguanas, and these brown lizards which I first noticed about seven years ago. This guy was cruising around my building. With my luck, he'll turn out to be a baby Komodo Dragon...

Nice Catch...


I've told Koa many times that in order to be a great receiver, you need to actually try to catch the ball. It also helps if you keep your eyes open...

Elliott, Koa and Neighbor...


Such a small grass area to play in, but the boys make the most of it with their Nerf football. Elliott learned his catching technique from Koa. Late grab, eyes closed. Golf anyone?

Elliott...

Chinatown Fruit Stand...


I love bananas...

On The Line...


My good friend Jesse used to monitor heavy machinery, especially in areas where iwi kupuna were likely to be found. He used to get right in the trench and literally put his life in the hands of the machine operator and the kupuna themselves. One whack from the bucket, and that could be it. Truly caring about my ancestors, you have earned my respect...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Hapu`u...


Unfurl your new life into tender and fragile beauty. As I shall unfurl mine...

Molokai Nui a Hina...


Aloha no e na kanaka hui 'oiwi o Molokai Nui a Hina. You paddle young and strong, in the path of your kupuna, in the path of mine. Do not tire, do not give up. Paddle with all your strength and being, as if headed towards the battlefront, carrying the sacred akua who would decide the victorious in blood stained malo. Paddle with all your strength, against the currents of irreparable change and the tides of greed, as if headed towards the battlefront in which the last decisive blows will fall. The survival of Ka Pae `Aina o Hawai`i Nei depends upon your speed, your determination, your will to survive. In the name of our Father, in ka hali`a aloha of our kupuna, we pray for your voyage, we pray for Hawai`i, as we unsheath Ke Akua in battle...

Wedding Day...


This small natural bouquet patiently awaits a recipient after marrying earth and sky, Papa and Wakea...

Panda...


My son Koa loves to eat Panda chinese food. I don't know exactly what is in it. As a father, I really should...

Tiny Reminder...


So my son Elliott wanted a pet a few years ago but my building won't allow cats or dogs. Only a fishtank or other small cold blooded creatures which aren't very fun to hug. I took my son to Moanalua Gardens. We waded in the stream and caught a tadpole. In my excitement of the hunt, and trying not to disappoint my son, I rushed to snag the perfect specimen. I forgot to ask permission. I forgot to pule first. I forgot the extreme sacredness of where I was, and my foot slipped on a small rock and cut my ankle open. The small round cut turned into a dark round scar on my ankle. It remains there to this day, a constant reminder to me that I could have suffered worse, or unimaginable to me, my son could have been hurt. The tiny tadpole turned into a tiny frog, small enough to sit on my thumbnail. My kupuna are forgiving, and just gave me a small reminder this time, because some wahi kapu are not as forgiving...

Kalaupapa Chief...


When I first visited Kalaupapa, there were faces in just about every rock I looked at. It was kind of surreal. With 8000 souls buried there after so much tragic heartache and pain, the air is truly thick with kaumaha and the entire peninsula feels like a wahi kapu. I walked past a rather large black boulder, a sentinel who has witnessed the ravages of time. And in a tiny little pool of rain water in the boulder, I saw the profile of a kupuna ali`i, with mahiole, braided hair necklace, and a face disfigured by an unmerciful disease. There was no palaoa however, hanging down as the symbol of divine authority. This was no longer a place of ali`i, of gods who walked among men. With its unfathomable despair, and supreme sacrifices in the name of unconditional love, it was now only a place of God...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Kiss...


Tiny and tender love hidden amongst the grass of Molokai. Stealing a kiss when no one is watching. Promise me you will never abandon me, and I promise to love you to the endless depth of my soul. And I pray you'll never discover my secret. That even if you choose to abandon me, I will still love you. To the endless depth of my soul...

Rhino...


I like the Honolulu Zoo even despite the seemingly endless construction, sometimes dilapidated exhibits and mysteriously missing animals in some areas. I was elated when the Rhino lumbered out and posed for me. They are supposed to be near sighted so he probably couldn't see me, but I felt that he knew I was there. We shared a few minutes of mutual contemplation. If I had to choose a beast to ride into battle to my death, I choose you my friend...

He Inoa No Pauahi...


We honor our ali`i and kupuna with ho`okupu at Mauna `Ala. When our school is under attack, we gather in unison for marching, singing, chanting and prayer. This is a good way to honor our ali`i, our kupuna. An even better way to honor our ali`i, our kupuna, is by living everyday of our lives with aloha and pono...

Siren's Song...


I hear you Aglaope Chicken, Pisinoe Salad, and Thelxiepi Rice. Singing your tempting song which has lured me to the shores of your dark gravy sea one too many times at Ala Moana Foodcourt. I have asked my kupuna to plug my ears because your sweet satiating song brings death to my people...

Bruddah Iz...


Aloha no e Kanaka...I miss you Hawaiian. Your voice soothes my children. Your aloha soothes my soul...

Raven...


This raven in Juneau, Alaska, was strong, proud and healthy. The Tlingit Raven Clan honors him in traditional prayer. I often wished that we could bring the Raven to mate with our last few `Alala Crows. They are in the last throes of survival. I would much rather have a mixed breed `Alala then no `Alala at all. Without the mixing of my kupuna's blood, I wouldn't be here...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Ghostly children...


My boys enjoyed my artistic license with my camera. Silly bedroom antics destined to become a macabre dance of spirits and apparitions. My silly boys. How I love your kino. How I truly love your 'uhane...

Salad, my friend...


Hello my good friend salad. You give me the natural sustenance and wholesome nutrition loved by humans and rabbits alike. You give me the promise to be around for my children as they encounter trying times in their not too distant future. For this, I am eternally grateful. I salute you delicious salad. You actually are starting to taste better than chicken katsu, because you offer me life...

Uncommon Beauty...


I stopped by Star Market with my boys to forage for food and noticed a parking lot and grass area full of pigeons and doves. As I framed the picture of this dove, she asked me why I was taking her picture. I said "Because you are beautiful." She said, "But surely there are many, many, other birds more colorful and beautiful than I." I said "I find you very beautiful with your subtle tones and exquisite patterns of delicate feathers." She said, "But why me? There are millions of doves of equal or greater beauty?" I said, "If I told you that you were the most beautiful dove that I ever laid eyes on, would you love me?" She said, "I most certainly would love you." I said, "Then now you are the most beautiful dove I've ever laid eyes on. Because you love me...."

Mr. Inchworm...


So Elliott is terribly frightened of bugs. It may stem from the occasional bee which wanders into our 25th floor apartment and wreaks havoc in the household. It may also stem from the giant B52 bomber roach which somehow made it up to our apartment from an outside unscreened window, and in all the screaming and panic, flew onto my back, which even made me, big brave dad, momentarily caught up in the hysteria. While in the park across the street, Mr. Inchworm landed on my arm and after much apprehensive observation and fatherly assurances, I carefully transferred him to Elliott's arm. He actually enjoyed the comical tickling transport method of Mr. Inchworm and wanted to keep him as a pet. I told him we had to let him go and Elliott said that he was worried a bird would eat our new friend. I said he had to continue on his journey, even with an uncertain fate, because I'm sure he would rather live five days free then thirty days in a jar...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sacred Sands...


So our Hawaiian people lived all along the coastlines, close to the ocean resources for subsistence, religious and transit purposes. Now people from all over the world come to Hawaii and want to live at the beach for the salty breezes, cool refreshing waters and beautiful Mai-Tai sunsets. As they dig their oversized mansion foundations and excavate their chlorinated pools, they often come across our kupuna kahiko. Some are respectfully acknowledged as human beings of God's creation, and others are disrespected and dehumanized as pieces of unwanted obstructionist trash. Sure, many of our po`e kahiko built houses upon their deceased ancestors, for their mutual respect was built on aloha pono, and the resultant proximity fostered a continued relationship. Something tells me that this relationship is lost in Kahala. I think the kupuna are still reaching out to share their ethereal wisdom, but the movers and shakers of the economic games are unwilling to listen. When the lights begin to dim in your eyes, the sounds around you start to fade away, and the cadent pahu beat of your heart begins its slow descent into nothingness, you may truly wish you had listened, but it may be too late...

Bluff called...


So Mr. Will Turner shows up at Wendy's after concealing himself on his voyage in the pant pocket of my youngest son. He grabs a french fry and threatens us for safe passage in his quest for his true love, Elizabeth Swann. I call his bluff...and put him in my pocket, now headed towards an uncertain fate. I knew he wouldn't throw the fry. I correctly called his bluff. Jack Sparrow surely would have thrown it, but not Turner. Sure, Jack would have thrown it and scuttled away to dive and disappear into the Frosty Machine, but he would have thrown it nonetheless. Ms. Swann should have followed her heart...

Eternal optimism...


In looking at this photo, I am reminded of a story shared by a blind kupuna, Ka`anoi, about the time he was standing in front of his School for the Blind, with a dark cloud over his head leading him down the dim angry corridor of self-pity. He heard a schoolbus approaching and the vibrant sound of children's excited voices filled the air above the din of the downshifting and squealing brakes. The excitement of the field trip filled the children with the promise of new discoveries, shared memories and plain old fun. It was only after the bus stopped, and Kupuna Ka`anoi was introduced to one of the youngsters, that he was surprised to learn that the children were all blind as well. As the child and kupuna exchanged greetings and took turns feeling each other's assistance canes, his being big and rough, and the child's small and smooth, and like a little candy cane, as kupuna would later describe it, Kupuna Ka`anoi was struck by the lesson of never letting the child in you die. And so it is, with my beautiful son Elliott. Though I fear for the future, and the life which lay ahead of you in this turbulent political and natural world, I remain humbled by the grace of God in your eyes and smile...

Tight squeeze...


So the developer would puncture lava tubes when bulldozing and we would have to go ensure that the archaeologists hired by the developer were checking the tubes for cultural materials or burials in order to protect those portions of the tube system not identified yet.  The tubes were pitch black, we crawled for hours. Here the flash from the camera caught my co-worker, Kana`i, squeezing through a tight space. I couldn't fit so he went into that section alone and came back out after about a half-hour. It was lonely waiting in the dark, cool, quiet tube by myself with only my labored breathing and pounding heart to keep me company. It did become, however, an opportune time to reflect on what I truly value in my life...

Jah sitteth on Mount Zion...


I've told my son Koa, over and over again...that Bob Marley didn't have dimples or a bad case of the giggles...he needs to be much more serious...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pao'o...


Kupuna Isaacs and I shared the day. Memories of love and lore, of tales of bravery, betrayal and the red and yellow feathered akua destined to clash with the Kingdom of God. He spoke of his oath to perpetuate Kupuna Solomon's legacy in protecting the wahi kapu of Paiea, of Kamehameha. The mo`okuauhau of the land, intertwined in the deeds of the kanaka, from the large, looming and famous, to the small, quiet and humble. You are giving your life to protect this legacy for your mo'opuna, and for mine. As you stumble across the land in quiet contemplation of a world often disinterested in your passionate ramblings, you are giving your life. In my appreciation and love for you, I shall give mine...

Zippy's Spaghetti...


Koa loves to eat. When he is hungry, try not to put your fingers anywhere near his food or mouth. Some people eat with joyful and wanton abandon. Some eat with primal and intense instinct...

Industrious Feathered Friend...


My little feathered friend in Juneau showed me that collecting quality home building materials can be both fun and satisfying...

Living Ki`i...

In Juneau, Alaska, the Tlingit carve their ki`i right into living trees.  Pretty amazing...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Conflict Resolution...


I was walking on the sidewalk in front of my building when I noticed this mo'o, lizard, giving me stink-eye and making "big body." I stopped and we stared at each other for awhile. He puffed out his chest and I puffed out my chest. The tension in the air was palpable. I slowly moved away and he slowly de-puffed his chest. We made an unspoken pact...I wouldn't try to grab him off the tree and he wouldn't fling himself onto my head. It was live and let live...and the world could learn a lot from me and my new friend...

Unsolved Mysteries...


My six year old brought home his Gingerbread man that he made in school. I noticed his foot was missing. Nobody confessed to this unfortunate act of consumptive disfigurement. I determined that it wasn't intentional, but probably compulsory and let it go....for now...

Cycle of Life...


These daisies carpeted the road median in Juneau, Alaska. They are simple flowers, but full of beauty, not only in their vibrant golden fragility, but also in their simple reminder to us all of our fleeting ephemeral life...