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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Love...


How I Fell For You...

'Ōhelo Beauty...


Ha'aha'a...


Humility...

Gorgeous...


I really wanted to Kiss her on the Lips...
But I didn't have her Permission...
But then again, I never even Asked...

Hanohano Kaua'i...


Concert...


At Home, Quietly enjoying the real "Mars" Concert...

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Safe Harbor...


Desperately Searching...
For the Safe Harbor...
Of Love...
Landing Safely...
In Your Arms...
Forevermore...

Pheasantry Pageantry...


Strike a Pose...

Incomparable...


As Beautiful...
As Soft...
As Alluring...
As Fiery...
As Passionate...
As Delicate...
As Magical...
As Sublime...
Still Simply...
Incomparable...
To Sacred Incredible...
You...

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Friends...


Meet Happy Old Man Pulu of the Deep Rainforest and his Sheepdog Hulupalupalu...

Heaven...


As I Walked...
Alone...
I Closed My Eyes...
And There You Were...
And Into Heaven...
I Lovingly Went...

Renewal...


With the Cleansing...
Rains...
Arrived Hope...
Renewal...
And Life...

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Life...


I spent a good portion of this day traveling to Maui, conducting an investigative site visit, attending a meeting and then flying back home to O'ahu. While on Maui, Hawai'i Island was also on my mind for various reasons. The Spiritual connections and bonds historically between the two islands is unmistakeable, and palpable.

I found myself trying to absorb as much visual information as I could on my site visit, all the while standing in the undeniable presence of the Ancestors. Trying to constantly discern their messages and guidance, and translate it to the words I uttered to landowner representatives and government agency decision makers as well.

Sadly, an overwhelming feeling of Deja vu seemed to overcome me. I was easily transported back to Maui almost 25 years ago, standing not too far from similar areas, and seemingly addressing almost the exact same issues, asking the same questions, and feeling the same overwhelming grief and sadness. Albeit, a lot more wiser I hope, with a lot more experiences under my belt to deal with the issues better, and determine the best course of action. However, it was also sadly surreal. 

So much has changed about our Beloved Hawai'i. Much of it not for the better. And the things we so want to change, for the better, seem to be mired in the same tragic seemingly hopeless situation.

It made me ponder, with so many friends transitioning lately, over the past few years. How do they view their Legacy now that they have joined the Ancestors. Their finished and unfinished business. Were they able to hold their head up high and greet the Spirit World knowing that they tried to be the Best Human they could, learning important lessons, and doing what they could to make a better Future for Earth and Humanity? Or did they regret that everything they planned and aspired to be, never really came to fruition, as they suddenly were called Home and ran out of precious fleeting time. 

How much was left unsaid? How much left undone?

Today's situation involving ongoing burial site discoveries and impacts reminded me, among hundreds of cases involving thousands of ancestors, of another salient case on Hawai'i Island about 20 years ago. Developer. Subdivision. Family burials dispersed throughout. Digging. Bulldozing. Selling lots. Lawyers. Denied access. Ineffective Bureaucracy. Anger. Tears. Lamentation. 

I remember a kupuna sharing her memory of a burial site that had some surface marker still present, a rock mound. She actually named the two people buried there. Tragically, the "possible burial site" was archaeologically tested, and no "osteological" material was observed. No skeletal parts. So it was deemed not a burial, despite the testimony of 'ohana. A private landowner, who bought the lot, placed and paved their car port over the burial site. 

Today I thought about how you just erase someone like that. Not just one person, but two. All they lived through. Laughed. Loved. Cried. Sacrificed. Struggled through. Their Earthly remains. Their final place of Rest. The focal point for Future descendants to locate and reconnect with their named ancestors. No longer there. Simply erased.

If we excavated all the graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl, I am sure that many graves would no longer contain identifiable "osteological material", especially the older ones. Could we then just remove their name and bury someone else there? That is not Humanity. That is not who we Are.

I remember having to stay at the Keauhou Beach Hotel once during those years for work on another large South Kona development and burial case. A Beautiful Aunty who was 'ohana to the two people who were erased, came up to me when she saw me checking in. She hugged me. She held my face in between her Beautiful soft warm wrinkled hands, cradling it, and looked me straight in the eyes. Teary eyed, she said, "Thank you so much Kai for helping our 'ohana. I love you!"

I hugged her so tight and just Breathed her in. After we parted, I had never felt so unworthy of that statement. So guilty for really having not accomplished anything. Despite the meetings. Despite the carefully drafted letters. Despite the threats of litigation. Despite the many burial council meetings and sorrowful testimony. Despite all the laws and rules. I hung my head as I walked to my hotel room.

So again, today I thought to myself, what has changed in the last almost thirty years since such seemingly powerful laws and rules were enacted to give protection to predominately unmarked ancestral kanaka 'oiwi burial sites. It doesn't seem like very much. An illusion at best.

But despite this grim prognosis and assessment, we shall never give up. We, as a Lāhui, are so overwhelmed with so many ongoing and emergent crises, that it seems we have somehow forsaken what Mary Kawena Pukui defined as "our most cherished possession", the sacred iwi, the bones, the cherished remains of our Beloved Ancestors.

One day I shall leave this place. And I know that one day I shall see these two Beautiful Precious kūpuna who were erased. And I shall apologize to them for not having protected them better. And I know they will forgive me. They will Love me despite this. That's why I will continue to tell their story.

And I wish I could honestly say that I did my best. But deep down, in the dark places of my Heart where I rarely dare to tread because it is too frightening. Too painful. I know that I didn't do my best. And right now, I honestly don't even know what would have been my best. 

Times this by thousands of ancestors. Those that were, and those that continue to be destroyed. Crushed. Excavated. Dismembered. Exposed. Or Conveniently Simply Erased.

Welcome to my World. Our World. A Painful World. Yet, Still a Hopeful World. With Lessons to Last an Eternity. Love and Forgiveness. Let Us Do Our Best. Truly. Our Best...

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Refuge...


After four and a half months out of the office working on my Health, it was truly nice to return to work, and especially to my office, my Pu'uhonua, my Place of Refuge. I missed my Spiritual hoa Aloha in there. Some whom I have had by my side Guiding and Protecting me for my entire Life. Humbly grateful...

Love...


"Mālama Kō Aloha..."
"Keep Your Love..."

Chiefess Manono
Battle at Kuamo'o
1819

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Hula...


Friday, October 26, 2018

Ola Hiwahiwa...


Precious Life...

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Huhū...


Angry...

Oli...



Chant...

Refuge...


Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Ahi...


The Smoldering Embers of Kū...

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Nutmeg Mannikin...


Just Dance...


Ola...










It was interesting to see these Native 'Apapane birds foraging on the highly invasive and noxious Glory Weed, or Tibouchina, that has formed impenetrable thickets in the Volcano area of Hawai'i Island.  The 'Apapane would land on the blossoms and eat little caterpillars residing there. Hopefully caterpillars from an equally invasive moth. Adapt. Survive. Thrive. Life will Always Find a Way...

Monday, October 22, 2018

Experiences...


They say in Life, you should spend money on Experiences, and less on acquiring and accumulating Possessions. When you are at the End of Life, you will value Treasured Memories of Time spent with Loved Ones, experiencing moments, rather than looking at material possessions or any accumulation of so called Wealth. 

With that in mind, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to attend the Def Leppard concert and bring along my two sons. My oldest son, Elliott, enjoys rock music and plays the guitar. He is starting to learn the electric guitar as well so I knew that he would enjoy his first concert ever. His younger brother, Koa, wasn't as enthused. He rather stay home and play computer strategy games with his friends. I made him go however. He had never been to a concert either. 

My wife bowed out, unless Journey was going to play as well as they and Def Leppard did a joint tour on the continent. Journey opted out of Hawai'i this time. So I brought my good friend, John, who I have known for three decades and who always has been my drummer when I played rock music.

I, myself, hadn't been to a concert in three decades. I wanted to have an experience with my two sons that they would remember for the rest of their lives. As would I.

It was Awesome. Deafening loud. Just as I remembered from the many concerts I attended while in college. It brought back so many memories. 

I felt a little foolish when I first walked into the arena with my bright orange ear plugs sticking out of my ears as we tried to find our seats. I felt even more foolish when I struck up a conversation with the couple next to me and we couldn't hear each other because the man, about my age, was wearing ear plugs too. We both had a good laugh.

I eventually pulled my earplugs out to enjoy the decibel onslaught.

Every emotion and memory I could muster cycled through my Head, and Heart, as the band erupted onto the stage and song after song rocked the arena. Not much changed in 30 years. There seemed to be more security now, and police officers walking back and forth watching the crowd. 

One fight broke out down in front of us but was short lived. Another fight broke out way above us in the nosebleed section. Other than that, it seemed like everyone was in good Spirits.

I knew my sons enjoyed the Shock and Awe of it all. The music. The Star power. The lights and lasers. The smoke. The pounding drums. The distorted guitars. The bass guitar rattling your viscera as you sat there. The raucous combined voices of thousands of people screaming in unison. It was everything I had ever hoped for their first concert. 

They both wanted t-shirts after, even Koa. That's when I knew that I had won him over.

I remember I used to drink alcohol with my best rocker friends before we went to the concerts in college. So many big name bands. Me always dreaming about one day being up on the stage. 

I remember one concert, maybe Motley Crue, where I had worn my blue jeans which were bleached white. Glo-sticks were relatively new, and one broke and spilled all over my pants. My pants were then glowing. So I broke the rest of my glo-sticks and poured them all over my clothes. 

I ran around the arena walkway, dancing, from end to end, back and forth, as the glowing man. I don't remember security or police being there, or anyone making me sit back down in my seat. This all from the guy who was so debilitatingly shy and self-conscious, that I couldn't strike up a simple conversation with a girl in college without my Heart trying to break out of my chest and losing my breath. Liquid courage at its finest.

Another time, I was headed to another concert, leather jacket, spikes and all. My good friend stopped in the middle of throngs of people walking on the grass and sidewalk to the arena, and pulled me on the side. He then lifted the back of his jacket and shirt, and I could see that he had a gun in his waistband. Loaded as I later found out. 

We went to the concert and rocked out fortunately without incident. I felt extra secure that night as the fear of getting into a fight, or getting mobbed after the concert was always a concern. Truly the inane recklessness of a young delusional mind filled with bravado and a yearning for danger and excitement. I have learned, in my maturity now, to celebrate and seek the ordinary and mundane. Too much to lose in Life. Including Life itself.

We will be headed into Halawa and Waiawa Correctional Facilities in November for the observance of Makahiki Ceremonies with the inmates. I pass no Judgment. I understand the scourge of mind altering substances. The bad decisions that we all can make, of which fate turns the wheel, of which some of us emerge unscathed, while others end up forfeiting their Freedom and forever changing the Lives of everyone they ever Loved.

So in the end, my two boys had an Experience of their Lifetime. I was so Blessed to have Experienced it with them. My drummer friend John and I relived powerful Memories and revisited a time in our Lives that seemed like another Life and a distant past. A formative past however. I share true stories of my past with my sons, not so they emulate it, but they understand the important lessons I learned, hopefully to save them from making similar bad decisions.

One of the last songs the pre-show DJ blasted out of the speaker system before Def Leppard came onto the stage, was "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode, sung by Marilyn Manson. When I heard the refrain blasting, tears filled my eyes. I looked at my son Elliott, and mouthed the words, "What a ho'ailona..." I was thinking about my encounter with Freddie the other day. And my own Journey in Life.

And I was once again reminded that there aren't only Good and Bad people in the World. That each of us can be good, as we can be bad as well. There are thousands of choices in adolescence to be made on that precarious and formative Journey. I can only Pray that my two boys will continue to choose well. That is all I humbly ask for. They are my Life. They are my Redemption...

As we were driving home, I heard Koa in the backseat ask his brother, Elliott, quietly, "What was that last song they played before Def Leppard came on stage?" Elliott responded, "Personal Jesus." Then Koa punched it into his phone and saved it.

Rock On...