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Saturday, June 30, 2018

You...


You Simply...
Stand Out...
Beautiful and Bright...
You...

'Onipa'a...


Love...


That I Love You...
And You Know...
Satiates My Heart...
For an Eternity...

Laulima...


Cooperation, joint action; group of people working together; community food patch; to work together, cooperate. Literally "many hands..."

Kindness...


This kind and thoughtful Cardinal offered me some of his Hala fruit. I politely declined saying, "I am very humbled and honored, but no thank you buddy...it is all yours."

Hula...


Friday, June 29, 2018

Hala...


Hala and the Seven Layers of Heaven...

'Olu...


Mamo...


Hula...


Thursday, June 28, 2018

Maka...


Ka Wai Ola a Kāne...


Still Life...


Hula...


Ola...


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Uali'ili'i...


The Light Rain...

Kūlia...




Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Maoli...


To Find...
To Know...
God...

Ne'epapa...


Hula at Kapalua...


Kūpuna...


Monday, June 25, 2018

No'ono'o at Hālawa...


Reflection at Hālawa...

Perception...


I was reflecting tonight about last week. I was sitting in my car one morning in the parking lot of a grocery store. I watched a Beautiful white blossom fall out of a tree and land smack dab in the middle of the windshield of the car parked right in front of, and facing me. Despite the wind blowing, the flower, about three inches across, stayed right where it landed, face down upon the glass. 

I watched for what was probably ten to fifteen seconds in disbelief that it hadn't blown away or moved in the wind, then to my surprise, it lifted up and off of the windshield, turned around, and the plopped right back down, now facing me with the Beautiful blossom petals. Again, not moving in the wind anymore, still in the center of the windshield, and slightly rocking back and forth a little now that the conical back of the blossom was against the glass.

I immediately knew this was not natural as it went against the law of physics and was some kind of supernatural event that I was witnessing. I sat there, debating whether I should dig my cellphone out of my pocket while strapped in my seatbelt, which can be an arduous undertaking, to take a bad photo of the blossom through my own windshield to document the experience. Just then, I saw something dark on the flower appear, then disappear. I looked even more intensely at the flower, and saw a Beautiful bee emerge from the flower, crawling all around. I was even more stunned. That the bee was in the flower that descended, that stayed still in the wind, that flipped over to face me, then crawled out and around this flower, was surreal. 

As I dug in my pocket to pull out my cellphone, the bee immediately flew off. The flower then was picked up by the wind and flew up and away and out of sight. Both were gone. I sat there savoring the inexplicable moment that I just bore witness to. I quietly thanked the Universe for such a Beautiful sign. To pay attention. To discern. I would usually just sit there with my head buried in my phone scrolling through email and Facebook and miss much.

The next day, I ended up in the same grocery store parking lot and instead of burying my face in my phone, I just sat there quietly looking around. It wasn't long before I saw a woman walking through the parking lot. I quietly watched and observed her through my windshield, then my passenger side window, then my passenger side mirror and then my rearview mirror as she slowly traversed the length of the parking lot. 

There were other people walking around but she somehow caught my attention. She didn't look too disheveled, but carried a large plastic shopping bag in one hand filled to the brim. Her hooded jacket partially concealed her face, but I could see some dirty blonde hair protruding out. She stopped at times, kicking and examining some indiscernible thing on the asphalt with her foot while looking down, then proceeded to walk again. 

In my mind's eye, I saw her suffering, maybe bitter and unsociable, and wanting to be left alone. She went to some trashcans and lifted the lids, poking around. I thought she was looking for plastic recyclables as I see many people do as they go through trashcans around town. She kind of reminded me of my bee the other day as she went about her busy business.

I was just about to stop watching her and check a text that had just arrived on my phone, when something nudged me to look for her again. I moved my rearview mirror over and saw her again, just as she had opened another trashcan. This time, however,  I witnessed her pull out a styrofoam plate lunch box and open it up to look inside. She poked her finger around a little and then put it back in the trash. 

My heart and stomach sank right there. I knew much more about her situation from that little glimpse of her actions then the entire time I had observed her. I knew she was hungry and looking for food. Despite being glued to my car seat and weighed down from weakened leg muscles right now, I dug a twenty out of my wallet and opened my car door to get out. 

It took me awhile to get up and out of the car with some effort as my groin area was swollen and sore. I glanced over and she had sat down on a table in the outdoor eating area of the store. I was glad that she was still there and I started walking towards her. 

My mind was racing as I looked down at the parking lot with each step, thinking about what I was going to say to her. I am somewhat leery of giving money to homeless women after one bad experience where an older asian woman didn't take my gift but yelled at the top of her lungs at me, making people all around gawk at the evil man, me. I later realized that this woman, aside from exhibiting signs of mental distress, having observed her for several weeks prior on my daily route, may have thought I was propositioning her for sex with my money and reacted accordingly. 

I knew from my time spent with another dear homeless woman, Meredith, that men would come late at night and proposition her for sex. It made me angry and disgusted.

So as I walked towards this woman, I figured I would just smile and hand her the bill and quickly say, "Please get something to eat." That sounded like a plan. I ran the scenario through my head several times as I got closer to where she was.

However, when I looked back up to where she had been sitting, she wasn't there. I quickly panicked and looked all around only to see her walking across the parking lot and gaining quite a bit of distance already between us. I had taken too long to walk to her and was too busy looking down and thinking about what I was going to say. Now I had blown the opportunity. 

The only way I could catch up, as I couldn't walk much faster, was to yell out, "Excuse me!" to try and get her attention. The thought of that made my stomach churn as well as I didn't want to make a scene. I also thought that yelling surely wasn't a good approach if she truly was angry, hungry, unsociable, or didn't want to be bothered. I still hadn't gotten a good look at her face but I pictured a sunburned caucasian face weathered by exhaustion and the elements. 

It was my last chance however, as she was gaining distance. Without thinking, and in desperation, I just blurted out, "Excuse me!"

To my astonishment, she turned and looked at me, and when she saw that I was talking to her specifically, she actually stopped and turned around, and slowly began approaching me. 

I hobbled towards her, and extended my hand out holding the twenty-dollar bill in front of me as I continued to walk, and smiled as well. 

To my astonishment, as she came closer, her face was not the worn-out weathered bitter face I had surely thought I had seen earlier. Her face was so young, smooth and Beautiful as she broke into such an Angelic and warm smile. I was stunned.

I handed her the bill and she grasped it, as I said, "This is for you. Please get something to eat." She just stood there with a look of astonishment, smiling, looking down at the bill and then back up at me. I was still somewhat stunned at how kind she looked. She actually reminded me of my late sister Nalani in many ways. 

She said, "Thank you so much. God Bless you" as she broke out into an even bigger more Beautiful smile.

I started backing up, and smiled back and said, "You are very welcome, God Bless you too." I started to turn to walk towards my car, not wanting her to think I wanted anything else, or to engage her any further, lest I make her feel uncomfortable. I glanced back and she was still standing there, looking at me, still smiling. I smiled and waved to her. She waved and said, "Thank you again. God Bless you."

I smiled and said, "God Bless you too." I was still a little stunned at the whole encounter. When I got to my car, I looked back for her and saw that she had proceeded out of the parking lot and was walking down the sidewalk continuing on her journey.

I got back into my car, elated that it had all turned out so well. Then to my surprise, I then burst into tears. I just let it all flow out in the privacy of my car. Just overwhelmed by the sadness of it all. 

I thanked Ke Akua for that sacred opportunity. For that encounter. For allowing me to notice something that I easily could have been blissfully unaware buried in the isolating technology of the modern day. But for having noticed, and for having had Divine assistance to help me see my intended vision to fruition, it was a Beautiful surprise to see such an Angelic woman where I had only initially seen a hardened bitter Soul. 

When I close my eyes, I can still see her Beautiful Gentle Smile. I pray for her well-being now. And as Always, Grateful for the Lesson. Where we think we are often providing the Blessing and Gift to another. It is truly we, who end up Beautifully Blessed and Poignantly Gifted...

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Hula...


Staring Contest...


Friday, June 22, 2018

Obituaries...


Tonight, amidst all of the things that I wanted and needed to do, I found myself reflecting upon all of the obituaries in my Life. Not the death notices of others, but my own. Many of them as I look back on my Life. I survived my birth. I wasn't aborted or stillborn. Mr. and Mrs. Markell mourn the death of their infant son who they lovingly named Ka'iana, and whom they affectionately call Kai.

I survived as a toddler standing up in the back of a VW Beetle and later a VW Bus. My Beautiful little cousin wasn't strapped in any car seat, as was common back then, and was catapulted through the front windshield of her family car. She died. Three-year old Kai Markell was killed today in a tragic car accident when he was ejected from the vehicle he was riding in.

When I was five, my father packed me on the back of his 10-speed bicycle and my right leg accidentally went into the back spokes and it snapped my ankle. Several weeks into my hospital stay, my bone wasn't setting or healing right and the doctor had to re-break my ankle. I remember my Father was so furious at the doctor in the hospital. Five-year old Kai Markell passed away today from blood sepsis from an ankle infection. 

When I was seven years old, my father used to let me sit on his lap and steer our car down the curvy backroads of Okinawa dangerously close to the edge of cliffs and dodging water buffalo on the road. Today, Mr. Markell was seriously injured in a vehicle accident when the car his son was steering went over a cliff. Tragically, his only son, Kai, didn't survive.

At the same age, I used to run around the bushes of Okinawa looking for lizards, turtles and snakes with my friends. Today, seven year old Kai Markell of Honolulu, Hawai'i was bitten by a venomous pit viper, the notorious Okinawan Habu snake, and died shortly thereafter.

At age 10, I found my Father's .22 caliber revolver and his USMC .45 acp 1911 semi-automatic pistol and ammo. I was fascinated by them. Today, tragically, ten-year old Kai Markell was killed in a gun accident at his family home in Makakilo. 

When I received my driver's license at age 16, I started five-years of wreck-less driving with wanton disregard for my own safety and the safety of others. So many close calls and dangerous incidents. Today, Kai Markell was tragically killed in a single vehicle accident two days before he was to graduate from the Kamehameha Schools. 

After my first year of college, a best friend and I hung out during that whole Summer. We identified ourselves as hopeless losers. One night, he stole his grandfather's .22 rifle and we went out driving and shooting road signs along a deserted coast on O'ahu. Two nights later, he took rifle and shot himself in the head. He died when he was taken off of Life-support. It devastated me to my core. I had access to friend's firearms too. Last night, recent Kamehameha graduate Kai Markell was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. It came two-weeks after the similar death of his best friend and classmate. Friends and family said it was so unexpected. Services pending.

In college, I ended up hanging around some friends caught up in serious criminality and others who were part of their circle. I can recall some truly frightening and dangerous situations that make my heart race even today. Kai Markell, a UH Mānoa student was killed today during a raid on a house by the Drug Enforcement Administration when he was struck during a gunfire incident. His mother died shortly thereafter from a broken heart.

I used to frequent the Night scene of Waikīkī and Ke'eaumoku bars with a gang of friends. One Beautiful Samoan friend, 6 foot 5, a gentle giant, was always our muscle. He was tragically stabbed in the heart one night working as a security guard by a group of teenage punks. He died there. Kai Markell was tragically stabbed to death outside of a bar on Ke'eaumoku at the age of 22 after a confrontation with another group of youths.

I remember standing one night outside the bathroom at Sandy's beach park at about midnight under the full moon. I was in such an intense situation and a life or death conversation. I wholly expected someone to sneak up behind me and cap me in the back of my head right there. Tonight, a man's body was found at Sandy's beach park, shot execution style in the head. He has been identified as UH student Kai Markell who had just been accepted to the William S. Richardson School of Law. Police are investigating. 

Law School itself was so intense and taxing. There were times I found myself at the darkest bottomless pit. UH Law School student Kai Markell was found hanging in the Hale Wainani dormitory this afternoon. Friends and family were shocked. Services pending. 

While working after Law School at the Burial Sites Program, I found myself stressed, overweight, and in bad health as well as participating in many arduous and physically taxing site visits and inspections, and long hikes as part of my work. I remember many close-call incidents, including several deep in claustrophobic unstable lava tubes where I found myself stuck and pinned in narrow passages under loose ceilings, or close to falling while climbing with no real help around in case of a serious accident or injury. Today, a DLNR Burial Sites Program staffer was found unresponsive with head injuries deep inside a South Kona lava tube and died enroute to the hospital. The deceased has been identified as Kai Markell of Pawa'a, O'ahu. He is survived by his wife and two young sons.

In 2005, after starting work at OHA the year before, I suffered my first bout of pancreatitis. That same month, another 'ohana member and OHA co-worker was hospitalized on Kaua'i with pancreatic cancer. I emerged from my hospital stay. She sadly did not. Today, Kai Markell of OHA's Native Rights, Land and Culture died from an aggressive form of pancreatic cancer. I know now that even pancreatitis can be just as deadly. 

In 2012, I suffered my second and almost terminal case of pancreatitis ending up on Life Support in the ICU of Queen's Hospital. Kai Markell, a Native Rights attorney at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs died this evening of massive organ failure. He leaves behind a wife and two young sons. 

In 2014, before I had emergency heart surgery, my cardiologist told me I was a walking time-bomb with a 90% blockage in a main heart artery. I was walking to work and back home and suffering serious cases of angina pectoris which felt like heart attacks, causing me to have to stop and sit until the pain subsided. I didn't realize how precarious it was until my cardiologist saw the results of my stress-test and scheduled me for heart surgery two days later. He forbade me to walk to and from work anymore. Today, Kai Markell was found dead on the sidewalk on King Street after suffering a massive heart attack. Services pending.

The point of this exercise, is just to recall how precious and precarious Life truly is. There are many more times than these salient events listed where Death could have easily arrived for me to take me home. In reflecting upon all the obituaries that I could have had over my Life to date, how could I not be so humbly grateful at the Gift of Life? The Gift of Today and the Gift of Tonight? The Promise of Tomorrow? So many were denied these moments. I learned so much from each experience as I reflect back, and each has contributed to my mental, emotional and spiritual growth, and now, even my physical growth with a serious change in my dietary habits and easing back into exercise again as I await yet another surgery.

The biggest lesson for me, in looking back, is that Life truly isn't about dying. About how you die. About when you die. It really is about living. How you Live. Making the most of each precious moment. Filling each moment with Love, Light and Life. And realizing just how fleeting and ephemeral each of these moments are so we don't waste any of them on the things that really don't matter at the end of your Life, regardless of how long or short that will be. When you are given months, weeks, days, hours, or even moments left to Live. What flashes through your mind...and your Heart. That is simply what is truly important...

Po'o Kanaka...



I was investigating a report of damage to a heiau luakini about ten years ago. As I walked the perimeter through the bushes, I stumbled upon this pōhaku. The heiau, or temple, had a history of human sacrifice as shared with me by descendants to the area who still protected the heiau. Heiau luakini, were also known as "Po'o Kanaka" class heiau. Human head heiau. I hope he is still there and I long to see him again...

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Stillness...


In the Silent Stillness...
And Quiet Calm...
Nothing Stirs...
Except my Heart...
For You...

Ola...


Life...

Hō'ihi...



Respect...

Remembering...


Remembering when the boys met Kikaida and Ban Daisuke...

Kū i ka Pono...


Pele's Ashen Breath...


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

La'a...


Sacred, Holy, Devoted, Consecrated, Set apart or reserved as for sacred purposes, dedicated...

Hula...


Hula continues in the Spirit World...

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

A Healing Touch...


Huaka'i...


Monday, June 18, 2018

Ho'omākaukau...


Sunday, June 17, 2018

Night...


The Night...
Is as Beautiful...
And Mysterious...
As You...

Happy Father's Day...


This is my great-great-grandfather, Isaac Williams, who was a physician and served in the 144th Regiment out of New York State in the Civil War. He is with his second wife, Carrie. He was discharged from service while in Hilton Head, South Carolina, in 1865, where 133 men were killed, dying from wounds or disease. Great-Great Grandfather survived. I can imagine the horror he witnessed as a physician in the war.  I have humbly asked him to guide his great-great-great-grandson, my son, Elliott, on his own journey to be a medical doctor to save Precious Life...

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Sacred Divinity...


Remembering...


The Journey...


Remembering The Journey...
Of the Soul...
In its Human Form...
Experiencing...
Learning...
Perfecting...
Love...

Presence...


In the Vast Expanse...
Of Time and Space...
Mahina and Venus...
Divine Female Companionship...

Love's Soft Descent...


Friday, June 15, 2018

Glimpse...


Just a Glimpse...
Of Her Ravishing....
Beauty...
Intoxicates Me...
Forever...