CLICK HERE FOR BLOGGER TEMPLATES AND MYSPACE LAYOUTS »

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Ke Ao...


The Awakening...

Distancing...


We had just boarded an airplane in Okinawa or Japan. My father was notorious for making me go stand by women before taking my photo even though I was shy and often embarrassed. As you can see, this stewardess is very disinterested. This would be just one of many experiences with female rejection and disinterest.

Thus I remain an OG, an Original Gangster, of Social Distancing...

Monday, March 30, 2020

Absenteeism...


I think this was my last year in Law School. I don't know what I was thinking. I spent more time at the beach then in class. When we were graduating, I was awarded  the "Mr. Invisible" Certificate at our Hoss, or as it is more commonly known, Horse Elections...

Mother and Grandmother...


This is probably the earliest photo of my Beloved Mother I have ever seen. Here she is with my Beautiful Grandmother on Kaua'i. Shortly after this, my Mother's Father, my Grandfather, would drown in Moloa'a Bay and be pulled ashore, by my Grandmother and others, only to die on the beach, while my four-year old Mother watched in horror...

Treasure each person, each day, each moment in this short Ephemeral Life...

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Assessment...


When someone sneezes in the grocery store bakery section...

Kūlia i kō Aloha...


Exert your Love...

Welo...


Social Distancing Since 1893...

Saturday, March 28, 2020

OG...


Social Distancing since 3 years old. Like an OG...

Kia'i...


When I find my Life precarious again due to COVID-19 and underlying health issues, I take so much comfort in knowing that my Beautiful sister in Heaven, Nalani, is still an Angelic Guardian for me. I Love and miss her so very much. 

We both can't wait to see, and embrace, each other again. She says, however, that she can wait for many, many more years, despite her yearnings, so be Well and take my time...

Friday, March 27, 2020

Empathy...


Apparently, even our laundry is distressed at having to stay inside the house all day and night...

Beckoning Bacon...


I opened my refrigerator yesterday to take out yet more bacon to cook for the family. I immediately saw this face on the bacon package, staring off into the distance, somewhat perturbed, and giving disapproving looks and attitude.

I said, "Take it easy there. I know we have been eating too much bacon lately but as you are aware, we are under an Emergency Proclamation..."

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Ola...


Life...

Sorrow...


It is always alright to shed tears. To express sorrow. To express grief. To express sadness. For the loss of those transitioning into the Heavens. Loved ones. Strangers. It is a pure expression of Love. Lamenting their Journey's end here and the ease of staying connected while we share this Journey of Life. I let tears fall freely now as I am older and the machismo, bravado and insecurities of my youth wane.

Tears are Healing too. Evoked by sights, sounds, memories, news, songs, and all types of triggers and observations of our shared Human Condition. 

As the news flows in daily of so many doctors in Italy getting infected and dying while trying to save patients, even one doctor forgoing his own treatment to allow another person to have his bed and machines, and a chance to save their own life, is Heart Wrenching. The Ultimate Sacrifice for a stranger, out of Love. The standing ovation as his body was carried away is a Testament to the Beauty of his Soul.

I grieve, mourn and Honor all of these medical workers on the front lines, doctors, nurses, aides, technicians, first-responders, and everyone risking their own health, and lives, to save others. I let the tears flow freely, at each revelation, news account, story, and testimony, when my Heart reaches out to comfort those Loved Ones left behind, and to send the sacrificed onto their Next Journey with humble gratitude, reflection, and Love, for their collective gifts to Humanity.

As I said before, we often can't choose when we die, what we die of, where we die, or how we die, but we can choose why we die. Because we live Life to the fullest with unconditional Love for everyone and everything.

I know powerful lessons are playing out each day, for my own son, Elliott, who will be entering medical school in a year and a half. He is watching too. The whole World actually is being Enlightened about what is Truly Valuable in this short and ephemeral Life. Love, Kindness, Compassion and Relationships with family, with each other, and community.

So I remind myself, that for every fallen tear on Earth, every relentless sobbing, every sorrowful darkness that descends upon someone, when we lose another person, seemingly before their time, there is a balance and equal reaction in the Heavens. One of powerful family and ancestral reunions. One of pure Joy. Pure Happiness. Pure gratitude. To receive and lovingly Embrace another Soul at the end of this corporeal Journey. 

Rest Well Beautiful Souls in Eternal Love, Light and Everlasting Peace. Thank you for your Service. Thank you for your Sacrifice.

The falling Rains are not somber Tears cascading from the Heavens, but truly Tears of Happiness, Joy and Everlasting Love from the Reunions in that next Ascending Realm that we will all eventually reach...

Make the Most of your Journey Here...

Be Light. Be Hope. Be Love...

The Survival of Humanity depends upon it...

Heaven and Earth...


He Lani kō Luna...
He Honua kō Lalo...
Heaven Above...
Earth Below...

Monday, March 23, 2020

Savoring...


Savor each Sunrise...
Breathe in each Sunset...
For All Those Departed...
They Wouldn't Want it...
Any Other Way...
Living in Humble Gratitude...
Honors Death...
And Sacrifice...
Always...

'Alalā...


Yesterday morning, I was taking a shower, and reciting my daily morning Prayers. When I finished, I looked out the window and my Heart started racing. 

There was a massive 'Alala, or Endangered Hawaiian Crow, in the East, with beak open, and inside was a anthropomorphic figure, a human figure, laying on their side, almost in a fetal position, the most common way our Hawaiian Ancestors buried their dead.

I wasn't sure if they were sleeping, sick, dying or already dead. Still in disbelief, I quickly exited the shower and ran to the bedroom, soaking wet, butt naked, dripping water all over the place, to grab my camera. By the time I returned, it was already morphing and dissipating. 

This was all that was left...

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Remembering Happiness...


Ola...


Let the Life Giving Waters...
Of Kāne...
Wash Over You...
Releasing Fear...
Releasing Anxiety...
Releasing Sadness...
Anything that Doesn't Serve...
Your Best and Highest Purpose...
To Help Preserve Sacred Life...
To Help Preserve Humanity's Love...
To Preserve Beautiful You...

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Hula is Love...



Love...


His...
Powerful...
Unconditional...
Endless...
Love....

Friday, March 20, 2020

Love...


I like to reflect upon Life's encounters and lessons, and write them down as well. They allow me to look back and remember, and renew lessons, after the details have long faded. Some encounters seem altruistic and self-serving, but I do not share for self-aggrandizement, but simply to allow others to reaffirm, reflect, learn and otherwise take what they may from it, if anything at all. I know that I learn from so many others, and remain inspired as well. All to Ke Akua always.

Yesterday, The Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) was busy preparing for a majority of staff to work from home and implementing the technology to allow that to happen, without adversely impacting agency efficacy, which was a monumental task. 

I was so proud to see everyone working so hard to help each other and effectuate this need in a time of crisis, from leadership, to support services, all the way to frontline workers such as myself and beloved colleagues. Our overall community is being challenged, impacted and stressed to the limits, especially the Native Hawaiian community, whom we serve the most.

Like myself, kanaka suffer from inordinate rates of chronic disease like heart disease, diabetes, cancers and other life-threatening and life-shortening illnesses. This makes the remote possibility, or likely possibility, depending upon what news you believe, that contracting COVID-19, with such pre-existing and underlying health conditions and comorbidity factors, will become a likely death sentence for many of our people in fragile condition already, myself included.

In the organized chaos of effectively closing down our office, pursuant to mandatory directives, we continued our work the best we could while external factors and conditions seemed to change almost hourly.

We received multiple desperate phone calls, like several from an elderly beneficiary who I have known for over twenty-years. Always a strong fierce advocate for her community and people, as long a I have known her, she had fallen on hard times in the past few years and ended up living on the streets for a long time.

She finally was able to secure subsidized housing and stabilize somewhat. However, she had fallen behind on her rent for months and was in danger of being evicted Through our front desk receptionist fielding the calls, and then speaking with her, I was able to contact her case manager, and determine what the issue with rent was, and through the help of another Native Hawaiian serving agency, who received a grant from OHA, a commitment to cover four months of rent in arrears was obtained and fortunately she continues to have a roof over her head.

It was a portion of her Social Security that goes to rent and I had a long hard talk with her to prioritize her rent each month and budget the best she can, because she almost lost her shelter at a critical time in her life.

I had to tell her that having a place to stay, to shelter, to heal, is critical right now and it must come first in her spending habits which could be tightened up from what I was told. I shared with her that her life depends upon it, and sadly, people that she and I jointly knew, and Loved, may be losing their lives in this crisis. She sobered up quickly. One small crisis averted, out of countless for the day, based upon a small group of interconnected and caring people working together.  I celebrate the small wins.

After working on other kuleana, and attending meetings here and there to digest the latest organizational plans and implementation, I headed over to the Long's Drugs next to our office to grab some items before heading home.

The store was full of people milling around, searching high and low, for items they needed. There was quite a population of houseless individuals inside and outside of the store since the Institute for Human Services or IHS, which houses many homeless and houseless individuals was across the street.

The surrounding Iwilei area contains dozens and dozens of makeshift shelters out of tents, blue and grey tarps, shopping carts and wooden pallets. Segments of our community suffering and exposed to everything hazardous in life.

I quickly grabbed what I needed, a handful of bar soaps and body washes for home, and then got in line awaiting my turn.

I could see a disheveled local part-Hawaiian man with sunburnt skin, in his early 40s I would guess, furtively glancing back at me from time to time, as he stood a few people in front of me in line. He had a small rolling backpack which led me to believe he is living on the street. When our eyes met, I just smiled at him.

The next thing I knew, he slowly approached me and said softly, "You work for OHA?"

"Yes..." I responded realizing that I was wearing my OHA shirt with our logo and my identification badge around my neck as well.

He then said with a little more excitement and volume in his voice, "You're OHA?"

"Yes" I said while smiling again.

I actually braced myself for a barrage of insults, jokes, criticism or even angry jabs as I occasionally receive when out and about wearing my work clothes. Unfortunately, to some of our beneficiaries, OHA has become a four-letter word. 

I have said this in the past openly, and I know that we can be our own worst enemies at times through our own agency actions and sensational newspaper headlines. We gain trust, then tarnish it. Gain it, then tarnish it. I have seen the cycles over the past 15 years of working there and serving our people.

Our kuleana is vast however, as we are responsible for improving the lives of our Hawaiian people in the areas of Native Rights, Land, Culture, Health, Housing, Human Services, Education, Economic Development and Governance. Massive responsibilities. 

However, there is no other place I would rather work because I witness the Love, Passion and Caring, daily.

Surprisingly, there was no angry barrage. The man, still somewhat unsure and soft-spoken, stared down at the ground for a lingering moment, then looked back up at me, and asked, "So you work at OHA, can you buy one noodle package for me? Just pay for one. It is a dollar..." as he pointed to the conveyor belt where about seven packages of instant ramen sat in a mix-matched assortment of packages and bowls, probably the last he could find on the shelves.

My heart sunk.

I noticed he had opened up his hand clutched around a bunch of one-dollar bills and a few coins mixed in. The cashier was finishing up with the customer in front of us, while listening intently to our conversation as she glanced over from time-to-time. I could also feel the eyes and ears of other people behind us in line observingly intently.

"Of course brother" I responded, as I put my items on the conveyor belt. Thinking quickly about how much cash I had in my wallet, as both of my cards are maxed out, I quickly added up things in my head to make sure I had enough, and then told him, "Brother, I will cover all your items for you..."

He looked over at me again, somewhat astonished, and said, "Really? You would do that for me?"

"Of course..." I said. 

"Wow...thank you..." he then said as he extended his hand out to shake mine and asked, "What is your name?"

I looked at his outstretched hand and I could feel the tension from the cashier as she stood there staring at the both of us. I could feel people behind me as well still watching and quietly listening. Was this going to be the "handshake of death" for me?

Despite my initial reluctance, my Heart quickly said to grasp his hand, so I did. We shook heartedly while I said, "My name is Kai."

"Kai" he said, as he strained to look down at my hanging badge with my name and photo.

"Kai, my name is Joshua" he said, while I added, "Joshua, nice to meet you brother."

The cashier began scanning his ramen bowls and packages. I asked Joshua if he needed anything else. 

"Really?" he asked. 

"Yes, really..." I said. 

"Can I get a little shaker of pepper for my noodles? It is only about a dollar?" he asked.

"Of course..." I responded as he darted excitedly away to retrieve his noodle seasoning. While he was momentarily away, I walked a few steps to the anti-bacterial wipes at the front of the store which I had used to wipe my basket handle, and wiped both of my hands quickly and surreptitiously. When I turned around, the cashier gave me that "all-knowing" grin, and I returned it. 

Joshua then quickly returned and gave his little bottle to the cashier just in time for her to scan and ring up the total. I paid and made sure he had a paper bag too to hold his food. I then moved my soaps and items up for the cashier. 

Joshua, grabbed his bag, grabbed his rolling backpack, and then turned to me, smiling, and said, "Thank you so very much Kai... I am grateful brother..." as he prepared to depart the store.

I smiled back and said, "You are very welcome brother!" and then mouthed quietly to him, "Wait for me outside. I will be right there."

I paid for my items, put them in my bag, thanked the cashier, who thanked me simultaneously, with that all-knowing smile, as she glanced out the door at Joshua waiting outside. 

I then dug deep into my wallet where I had some emergency bills stashed, and pulled them out discreetly and then exited the store. Joshua was standing on the side of the entrance, as an older Security Guard stood not to far from him, eyeing him intently, up and down.

He had a smile from ear-to-ear and exclaimed, "Thank you. again so very much! Thank you!"

I then reached out my hand and opened my upturned palm with the bills in it. It was only a twenty and a ten because that is all I had. 

Joshua looked down, and his mouth was agape, and then he looked back up at me, and said, "Seriously. For me?"

"Yes brother..." I said, as he slowly reached over and gingerly took the bills into his hand. He then looked up at me, and I could see a slight welling up of tears in his eyes.

"I know it is hard now, but keep the faith..." I said, as I moved in and gave him a big hug. He squeezed me so hard, like he hadn't had a hug in years.

I then said, "Please use it for food. Necessities. Harder times are coming quickly."

He promised he would. 

I then parted and glanced back at Joshua, who was still standing there, smiling and waving at me. I said, "I love you brother...hang in there..."

He smiled at yelled loudly, "I love you too Kai!" as I was getting into my car. 

The security guard was still standing there, still watching, trying to make sense of what just transpired.

As I drove out, Joshua was still watching me, smiling and waving. I rolled down my window as I drove past him to get to the parking lot exit and paused, telling him through the window, "I will see you again Joshua. Hang in there brother. God Bless..."

"God Bless you brother Kai! I will see you again..." Joshua exclaimed excitedly, as a warm all-enveloping feeling embraced my entire body and endorphins released into my body like a Spiritual High. A quick Healing for me, just enough to keep me here and alive.

Sadly, I don't know if Joshua and I will ever seen each other again. So much uncertainty in this Life right now. But if not in this Life, we shall see each other in the Afterlife. This I Know and Believe.

If I quickly calculate how much money I have shared with others who are in need, or less fortunate, or who didn't qualify for agency emergency assistance over the years, it is easily somewhere between $18,000 to $20,000, in a quick estimate, because I honestly don't keep track of it. 

My family suffers for it. Only one car. Not a single trip to Disneyland, Vegas or anywhere on the continent for my wife and boys, ever, boys who are already adults. Lots of financial sacrifices. But that is how I roll in this Life. It is my choice. My cross to bear. I hope to make it up to them one day.

This is my Tithe, not for the church, but for the people. 

I know my human contact with Joshua was risky, especially in these uncertain, and even deadly times, especially with my underlying health challenges. I barely survived in 2012 on five Life-Support machines, including a ventilator, with my failing heart, kidneys and fluid-filled lungs. Elliott can still describe the machine that took my blood and oxygenated it, and pumped it back into my body, as he stood there with his younger brother, in horror, as I laid there in a coma.

But I also realized that Joshua needed a firm handshake. He needed a firm loving hug even more. As did I as well. 

We all will die one day. We usually can't decide where we will die. Or how we will die. Or what we will die of. 

But we can decide one thing, why we die. Because it is about how we Live. For Love. 

And my Hope is that OHA will continue to be a four-letter word for many of our people. But that word will soon be Pono. Hope. Love...

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Light...


When Darkness...
Descends...
Keep Your Eyes...
On the Light...
Born...
From Love...

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Spirit....


Take Healing Comfort...
In Knowing...
That Your Precious Soul...
Is Loved and Protected...
From Time Immemorial...
Into Eternity...
While You Experience Life...
And Learn the Profound Lessons...
That Brought Us Here...
All of Us...
Together...
Right Here...



Saturday, March 14, 2020

Ne'epapa...


In Unison...

True Happiness...


Reflection...


Nothing to Hoard...
Nowhere to Retreat...
Mai Poina...
Never Forget...
Be a Pu'u Honua...
A Person of Refuge...

Energy...


All kidding aside, never cook food when you are angry or arguing. The bad energy goes right into the food...

Remembering...













Friday, March 13, 2020

'Olu...


Grace...

Kāhea...


To call, cry out, invoke...

Hula...


Thursday, March 12, 2020

Love...


I entered my office the other morning and I found Precious little Hi'ileili'ili'i sunning herself in the morning light. I greet her every morning when I arrive as well as some other sentient Spirits in my office. She is mischievous, or kolohe, as we say. A kupua, or nature Spirit, she is also a Healer. 

I asked her to help Heal a Beautiful Friend recently. It was Poignant and Powerful, such that we both cried in humble gratitude. Now I need to take her out in the next big rainfall and place her on the ground so she is able to release the ma'i she extracted from my friend, into the ground, where it will be absorbed. That way she cleanses herself and is ready to help Heal again.

She watches over me so I keep her face pointed towards me as I sit at my desk and do my work.

I Love her. She Loves me. That is what Life is all about...

Journey...


Though Darkness...
Descends...
Fear Nothing...
Stay on Your Path...
Guided By...
Everlasting Light...
Into Eternity's...
Loving Embrace...

Pheasantry...


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Maka'ala...


The World is Watching...
As are the Heavens...

Happiness...


Savored...


Today...
I Savored...
The Retreating Sun...
Absorbing Each Detail...
To Last me into Eternity...
Just as I Captivatingly Beheld...
Each Curve of your Face...
The Softness of your Lips...
Flowing Rivulets of Hair...
And the Blinding Radiance...
Of Beautiful Precious Eternal...
You...

Epiphany...