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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Rooster...


I love seeing all the wild chickens on Kaua'i. They are all over the place. Even walking about outside the supermarket selling fresh chicken. Hmmmm.... Come to think of it. My chicken katsu from the previous post was pretty darn fresh. This beautiful rooster kept strutting around me showing off his stuff. He was trying to tell me something. I think the message for me is to not be too cocky. Or I might end up as katsu...

More Kaua'i Grinds...



Sorry. Another indulgent meal. Brings tears to my eyes in vivid recollection...

Bulls...


I was drawn to these bulls. They stared at me for a long time. Something about the disparity in their horns. I'm not sure what the message is. Something about compassion for the less fortunate and disfigured ones in life. I think...

Respect...



I made sure I stopped by special places to say hello to my kupuna kahiko out of respect. To let them know I have come home and to ask for their guidance and love on my journey...

Kaua`i Grinds...



My accomplice and I ate too well on our trip. Too well for our own good...

Kupuna Mana'o...


I had an incredible day today. I went to Wai'anae to videotape a beautiful Hawaiian kupuna in a hospice at the request of her son. I've known this woman for about twelve years as she served on an island burial council helping to determine proper treatment of iwi kupuna as they were identified in various land development projects. When I first entered the facility, I felt a wave of emotion in the presence of so many kupuna of all ethnicities in the final stages of their life. But when I reunited with this particular kupuna, she looked better than I had expected and I felt relieved. 


We had a wonderful conversation of memories. At times she had vivid recollections. At times she drew a blank or lost her train of thought. Other times I felt her kupuna speaking through her in little precious gems of wisdom which blessed us with tiny epiphanies of revelation. At one point, she talked about the 'eha and kaumaha of seeing so many things Hawaiian disappearing or gone. We collectively broke down and weeped. A nurse walked in and seeing us, felt embarrassed for intruding on such a moment. We turned the camera off and regained our composure. We continued and it was such a joy. 

We asked her what message she wanted to tell her unborn mo'opuna who will see their great-great-great grandmother's message to them. She told them that the world is changing and they will have a hard life but she hopes that they won't be fighting the same fight we are. To save what little is left of our precious Hawai`i. That there will still be a special Hawai`i for them and they will need to persevere with the love and guidance of their kupuna and culture. Even she will be there for them. She said her biggest fear is when people stop caring about each other. Stop helping one another. When the fight and struggle over limited resources creates every man or woman for himself or herself. That is the end of Aloha. That will be the end of the world...

Shorelines...


People love to build their houses right up to the beach. This creates a host of problems with beach access since people have an expectation of privacy in their home and on their property. Fishing for recreation, or more importantly, subsistence, becomes more difficult with every new oceanfront development. With rising tide levels worldwide, serious erosion will begin to occur. This includes landslides. It will be a huge issue in the near future. Huge...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Missing You...


As I was waiting to catch my flight to Kaua'i early in the morning yesterday, I saw a little boy carrying his little suitcase. He was clutching a Chicken Little doll complete with glasses. And playing a Nintendo DS. From a distance, he looked like Elliott. I unexpectedly had tears well up in my eyes for moment as I thought about leaving him at home as he gave me a sleepy good morning hug and told me he loved me. The wave of emotion caught me off guard. I knew I would be gone for the whole day on another island. Separation can be a little uncomfortable not being right here should something have happened where he or Koa truly needed me right away. I try not to worry too much but it is amazing how much you can miss someone in such a short time. Love is so powerful. It can easily overpower me. Unless I continue to learn how to harness such power and use it for positive change in not only my life and the lives of my loved ones. But for Hawai`i and the rest of the world...

My Church...


I visited my 'ohana cemetery where the Ko`olau Church used to stand. One of my kupuna was a Reverend, a Kahu of the church that used to stand there. Today, some of us sit in our church pews and listen to other human beings deliver inspiring sermons about what Ke Akua wants us to do. And who we need to be in life. I find that sitting in this old pew outside, with the wind, the birds, the clouds, the trees, the grass, the bugs, the flowers, and listening to the only people around who truly know what Ke Akua wants and expects of us, the dead, because they are with Him now, is a better way to go to church and hear the message of the Creator. You just need to know how to listen to the natural world around you. Not with your ears. But with your heart...

My Friend Again...



I'm not sure if this is the same White Humped Shama I saw on O'ahu who instantly became my friend. This bird came down and visited me while I was visiting the ahupua'a of my ancestors and stopped on the side of the road to inspect some flowers. We watched each other for quite a long time. Sometimes it takes me awhile to understand the messages from my kupuna. I'm still pondering this encounter...

Tip Top Shape...


I couldn't resist the loco-moco at Tip Top Family Restaurant. Two eggs. One hamburger patty. Fried rice. Smothered in brown gravy. It helps me to keep my girlish figure...

Tiny Meaning...


Once again, like my visit to the Kalalau Valley lookout a couple of years ago. Across from the large scale scenic grandeur of the Menehune Fishpond lookout, I was drawn across the road to the hillside with little wildflowers. Distracted by tiny beauty. Like the ragged free spirited butterfly snared by the flower. Like my fluttering heart lured in by your satiating sweetness...

Kaua`i...


I had a most wonderful trip to Kaua`i for the day. My kulaiwi where the iwi of my kupuna, the bones of my ancestors, are buried. My 'ohana is from Moloa'a, Koloa and Kalihiwai among other places. I was named after Ka`iana 'Ahu'ula. The Prince of Kaua`i. This comes with a tremendous kuleana to continue to bring honor to his name. This trip reconnected me with my kupuna and Ke Akua. It was magical. There were so many spiritual messages and much guidance from beyond. I can not express my humble gratitude and love for my kupuna with words. Only actions...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Trick Candles...


These flowers remind me of the little burning candles in my heart. You have the ability to light them with ease. And everytime I blow them out or extinguish them. Like magic, they light up again in your presence. Trick candles drove me crazy as a young boy. Now as a man. They drive me insane...

Collective Persistence...


The little rain drops hurl from the heavens and slam into the asphalt only to explode in a spectacular finale. They may think their solitary life and exit made nary a difference in the larger scheme of things. But little do they know that collectively and en masse, they can truly shape and change the world. E holomua kakou e na poki'i...

Overwhelmed...


Everyone gets overwhelmed from time to time. As a great friend once told me, these moods and feelings are like black clouds that drift over you from time to time. And knowing that they are temporary conditions, that will pass and lift imminently, can help you persevere until the sunshine comes back. You just need to ride out the storm. And having a great friend to confide in makes the Sun reappear all the faster...

Deep Fry...




I don't know what it is about deep frying in boiling hot oil that makes food taste oh so good. Maybe it is a genetic predisposition for the taste of fats. Maybe it is the inherent thrilling danger of cooking in a hot splattering and combustive medium. Maybe just the subconscious sensuousness of hot oil. Or maybe even the daring roulette of artery clogging lipids. Whatever it is, I'm totally done over analyzing. Now it is time to eat and die a slow satiating death...

Ho'ailona...




My kupuna give me the answers even without me seeking them. In ancient Hawai`i. The banana was kapu, forbidden for women to eat. I bought an apple banana today for a snack. It turned out to be male on one side and female on the other. Like conjoined twins, but separate. Like Ku and Hina in the same banana. I got the message instantly. Not only did it fix my heart instantly. I got two bananas for the price of one. Mahalo no e na kupuna. That's why I love you so much...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Deeper...


You somehow manage to burrow deeper inside me everyday. I try my hardest to put up barriers but my defenses have been mortally weakened. My kupuna are awaiting my plea for intervention but they don't expect it. They know that heartache feeds my soul like no other addictive sustenance. I'm afraid they know me better than I know myself. Just knowing they are there for me when I need them. As I recklessly approach the edge of no return, gives me comfort. It also, unfortunately, encourages me to live more dangerously. I think I still have some important lessons to learn in my life. I just pray my heart is the only casualty. If there has to be one...

Choices...


At first glance, I smiled at this cute little baby. Then I realized that the unusual catatonic stare was coming from a doll. I figured that the student had to carry around her baby all the time to form an understanding of what it means to be responsible for a little life. This is a good lesson when all you really want to do is just go out and have fun doing whatever your heart desires. It is also a good lesson that one risky unplanned exciting feel good moment can change the course of your entire life forever. And the lives of many others around you. It is a great practical teaching method and I really hope to see some young men walking around with these babies too. Both sexes need to learn this important reality. Of course these young potential mothers and fathers really need to carry around a doll that cries, laughs, screams, poops, pees, barfs, hiccups, sweats, breaks out in rashes and hives, coughs, sneezes, sleeps, farts, eats, throws tantrums, gets itchy, gets stinky, needs a bath, giggles and not necessarily in that order....

Exactly...

Lazy Sunday...



It is overcast, rainy and windy outside. Looks like an indoor day. Also looks like a lazy Sunday at Volcano today. When the puppies are lethargic with lazy sleepy eye, you know the day will be long...

Directions...


Which way does your heart point? As for me. I'm not sure I really know anymore. And I have way to much to do right now. It will have to wait. Maybe forever...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Ho'olaulea...








20/20...


So far only Elliott needs glasses. I hope Koa's eyes stay strong. So far, they look pretty good. Sort of...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Another Incredible Day...


Today was insane. A last minute agenda for the Board of Land and Natural Resources was brought to my attention late yesterday by an alert staff member. One item on the agenda pertained to a long standing case our office had been working on, in various incarnations, for the past eighteen years. A massive marina being excavated into our sacred land. The historical legacy of our ancestors wiped clean from the surface of the earth to deny their very existence and pave the way for the rich to dock their yachts and pleasure craft. Untold contaminants to flow into our ocean and destroy the sacred limu, the seaweed that provides our people with food, medicine and religious sacraments. Out of pure fortune, the one Hawaiian I needed to be with me this morning as I prepared to battle the large developer's request to amend their conservation use permit, showed up this morning at our office purely by chance. He almost went to the University of Hawai`i but something told him to get off the bus and come to my office. I could have cried. Then another beautiful Hawaiian warrior from Moku o Keawe showed up at the hearing on another matter and ended up listening in on our matter and testifying as well. I had heard of him for years, and he said he had heard of me for years, but this was the first time we met. Between the three of us, with the help of Ke Akua, and in the presence of our ancestors, we spoke our hearts out. One more Hawaiian attorney with the group had his shoulder dislocated while sitting in a chair with us, from a simple turn of his body. He went to the hospital and is okay now with his arm in a sling. It was Hawaiian magic in the air for sure. The kupuna were in the room as the hair kept standing up on our arms and necks. It was electric. It was intense. It was supremely beautiful. We fought for ka hali'a aloha. The loving memory of our kupuna. And for a princess. A kupuna buried in the beach with two lei niho palaoa in her hand. Of the opu'u, or bud type which signifies the O'ahu line of chiefs. She surfaced of her own accord to give us a focal point and the resolve to stand up against the millions of dollars of political development will pushing this destructive juggernaut forward. We left the meeting victorious of one more step forward in the larger battle. But exhausted to the core. We left each other with renewed spirit and embraces of love and aloha. It took so much out of me that as I approached the end of the day, I hit saturation point and complete exhaustion with slight tremors in my extremities. I need to recoup. Recover. Sleep. Dream. And rise again tomorrow for yet another day in the battle to save our Hawai`i. To save our sacred land. To save our beloved people. To save our beautiful culture.  And to save Aloha and our connections to Ke Akua and our ancestors. To help save our dying and suffering world. Mahalo no e Ke Akua. Mahalo no e na kupuna. You are most powerful indeed. I am humbled yet again...

Jack Sparrow...



These black pearl peppers are a new ornamental cultivar. The black peppers mature into a bright red color. Beautiful glistening pearls in dark purple foliage. Nothing really to do with pirates. Unless you truly know the secrets of the real buried treasures in life. But I'm not telling. At least not for now...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Grandfather...


I don't remember playing ball with my grandfather. He passed away not too long after this photo. I don't remember this day. I don't even remember holding his hand. But I am so truly fortunate to have been given this photo by my father the other day. I wonder how he felt spending some time with his only grandson. Playing ball in the tall grass with the mo'opuna who carries on his name. I can feel his love in a solitary photograph of us together. And I know he is everything I could ever have wanted in a grandfather. I hope that I was, am, and continue to be, everything he could have ever wanted in his only grandson. I love you grandpa. And miss you terribly. I'm still here trying my best to catch that ball...

La...


The Sun. My giant hydrogen nuclear friend. You are incredibly amazing. So powerful. You give all of us life. Some of us death. So indiscriminate. So beautiful. A true star among mankind. E ala e...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Deja Vu...


Tonight I spent some one-on-one time with my six-year old, Koa. After an exhaustive tickle session, we cuddled in bed without the television or other distractions. I massaged his back and he rubbed my arm. We talked about little silly things. Then I used this opportunity of undivided attention to let him know how much I loved him. How proud I was of him. How he was such a thoughtful and loving person. He truly is. Then as we lay there. I started humming an impromptu lullabye I just made up as I continued to rub his back. He listened and our breath intermingled with each other. Time seemed to have stopped. Then suddenly I had a deja vu vision of my kupuna from a thousand years ago holding their child and humming the same song. A wave of emotions swept over me. Love can be so intense. And so very everlasting...

Reaching New Heights...




As I gazed up in wonderment at the high scaling window washers at a new condominium.  A flash of brilliant pink caught my eye. Sure enough. A woman was part of the high dangling team. I am always amazed at women who enter the traditional world of men dominated professions and who truly excel and rise to new heights. Literally. Like Dee, the tower crane operator and single mother, who has risen from book keeper to top notch tower crane operator, these women exemplify the true spirit of a warrior. And a beautiful warrior at that. Yes. They do windows. And so much more. You go girls. And the sky isn't even the limit...