Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’

Itelalai from Hualalai

September 26, 2015

In this picture we see Iwana Bananna’s backhoe.

Hualalai

In the background we see Hualalai volcano.

This picture was obtained at great personal peril by the haole blogger, Itelalai.

Hudunit legend says that in the year 2015 during the lunar eclipse Iwana will use his backhoe to dismantle the Hualalai volcano and dump its magnanimous lava into Kawili bay.

When this is accomplished, the cows of Bashan will come home to roost. They will discharge their guano blessings, parrot-fish-like, upon the god Bashir’s head.

Be prepared for that day. Anything could happen. Hudunit legend says that shortly after that time climate change will have run its full course and Bashir will arise from the muck and mire and reassemble Hualalai, then ascend to its peak and proclaim free lunch for everyone on the planet who volunteers to cease farting.

Reporting from Hualalai, this is Itelalai, I tell ya. I call ’em the ways I sees ’em, no ifs ands or butts.

Glass half-Full

The Sacred Place

September 26, 2015

This world is a wonderful place, but it’s also a terrible place. We are not in agreement here about a lot of things. The human family is all torn up as a result of our disagreements. So what else is new.

Well here’s something new for me, but it’s actually a reshaped experience of an old conundrum.

It started yesterday when my wife and daughter I, who are presently on the big island of Hawaii, took a drive in the rental car up onto the slopes of Mauna Kea volcano.

It was a large experience: there we went crawling, in a mid-sized automobile as any tourist would do, up the slope of this massive hunk of hardened magma, which had piled up 32,000 feet from the Pacific Ocean floor, to a peak 13,796 feet above sea level.

We didn’t go all the way to the top, because having no 4WD limited our ascent. Of course, as tourists, we wouldn’t be taking the time to hike the rest of the way to up, so we satisfied ourselves with what was available at the Visitors’ Center, as most “visitors” or tourists probably do.

We arrived at this little outpost/equipment store/educational display that is the the Visitor’s Center, and bailed out of the car to have a look around. It’s at about 9300 ft. above sea level. With some disappointment at not having reached the summit, I decided, as most tourists who stop here do, to check out the what was inside the small building.

I learned a lot up here, three quarters of the way up Mauna Kea. There were two information sources:

~the instructional video about the Mauna Kea volcano itself, its history, and the scientific station up on top with very high-tech telescopes.

~the vigilant We Are Mauna Kea representatives, across the road, who were protesting further developments on the summit.

The video inside was very impressive, and informative. You can probably find it online somewhere. For my purposes here, I’ll say merely that the big picture for the scientists seems to be exploring, visually through super-telescopes and scientifically through electromagnetic data collection, the outer regions of our solar system and beyond. I can appreciate this, find it interesting, but its pretty much beyond my down-to-earth curiosities.

The protesters across the road had set up a small Hale, a special shelter made of stones and leafy coverings. At its entrance was a stylized artistic rendering of Queen Liliuokalani with her fist raised high in the air. This was interesting to me. Having developed an interest in Hawaii’s last reigning monarch, I had read her biography during a previous trip to Oahu. Queen Liliuokalani’s life was so interesting to me that I had included parts of her story in my 2007 novel, Glass half-Full. But I always thought of her very regally, as a queen, not typically standing with her fist in the air. But that’s the position in which she was depicted at this protest site.

ProtestKea

A cheerful, young woman there explained to me that they especially want to prevent construction of a newly proposed 18-story high observatory. She handed me a printed page which was quite professional-looking and concise, with an explanation of their We Are Mauna Kea objectives. My reading of it later unearthed another objection of theirs– the disruption/excavation of 8 acres and 64,000 cubic yards of public lands. The basis of their protest is stated with several points listed. The first one is:

Mauna Kea is a Wao Akua, a holy realm, a sacred piko.

About an hour later, as we departed that place of instruction and confliction, my heart and mind were disagreeing with each other about the controversy between these two camps of human beings– the Sacred Place Savers who were protesting, and the Knowledge Gatherers who were erecting tall telescopes in order to learn more about the expanding universe.

This is a little bit like the ancient dilemma of mankind: choosing between the Tree of Life or the Tree of Knowledge.

Who is to say what place is sacred?

Who is to say what place is useful?

The protesters’ plaintive objections reminded me of a song I wrote and recorded many years ago. It’s a tuneful lament that touches on this great divide between two different people groups of mankind:

Sitting Bull’s Eyes

I wrote the song In 1978, which was about the same my time my life fell apart in a big way, and I turned to the Creator of the Universe for some help. I then returned to the faith of my fathers and mothers, which is Christ.

As my walk with the Lord through this life has progressed for lo, these many years since that time, I have from time to time studied the sacred places and beliefs of different people. In human history, we can find thousands of incidents of one trive desecrating the sacred places and beliefs of another tribe, or one religion destroying the sacred places of another religion. Rather than trying to cite them all, I’ll just mention one particular example, which is the one I know the most about.

In the history of my own faith heritage, for instance, I find:

~Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar desecrated the Jewish temple in Jerusalem

~Seleucid conquerer Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated that same temple

~Titus the Roman general/emperor destroyed that temple

~Muslims later occupied the sacred mountain in Jerusalem where the temple had stood

~Christians  took that site from the Muslims

~Muslims took it back

~In 1967, the Jewish people regained possession of their sacred temple mount in Jerusalem. But being sensitive to potential destructive forces of politics and religion, they wisely decided to maintain the Muslim ascendancy that had fallen upon that holy place, leaving their own people, the Jews, to pray at the sacred wall beneath.

~Here’s my spiritual attachment to that sacred site in Jerusalem. It started with a man named Paul in the first century AD. He was Jewish, but had a new vision, based on the work of Jesus the Christ. Paul was the primary expositor of the Christian faith (which I later accepted as my own). He traveled all around present-day Lebanon, Turkey, Macedonia, Greece and Rome preaching that the truly sacred place of the most High God is found not in the temples erected by  men, but in the souls of men and women who believe in Jesus the Christ.

Sacred is not found in a place or thing, but in the hearts of men and women who believe, and act in accordance with their faith.

So from my Christian perspective, or perhaps any other person whose values were influenced by being raised in the post-Christian Western culture, who cares about whether a place is sacred or not?

Well, there is a very important attribute of human relationships that I have come to admire when I see it in people: Respect.

Respect for others, and for their traditions. Respect others as you would want to be respected.

Meanwhile, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaiians of ancient heritage strive without success to prevent the high-tech wizards of our modern age from desecrating their sacred place. Who is going to win out here?

I think you know who will prevail in this Mauna Kea situation. It seems it has always been this way. The strong throw their weight around like bulls in a china shop and destroy all that is holy and sacred of what remains among the indigenous and weakened peoples.

Has it always been this way?

Yes. This is the history of the world as we know it.

Will it always be this way?

Who knows? Not me. But a wise Teacher wrote long ago:

“I again saw under the sun that the race is not to the swift and the battle is not to the warriors, and neither is bread to the wise nor wealth to the discerning nor favor to men of ability; for time and chance overtake them all.”

We shall see about that.

And the greatest Teacher of all said: “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

But who is a peacemaker anyway? Is it a person who lives peacefully. . . or a person who shuts down troublemakers by imposing peace on their violent schemes?

Whatever your answer to that question is, please consider this: Take it upon yourself as a sacred duty to do the best you can to respect others, and to obtain respect for those who are unable to retain it.

Glass half-Full

Life is grand on the strand

September 22, 2015

As I wander lonely on the strand

in sun and sky and surf and sand

I find a place I had not planned

to encounter in this island land.

RockSand

 

Now when we encounter something unplanned

which then becomes the matter at hand

and then it starts to make adverse demand

upon our life so carefully planned,

TreeCrag

 

surely then we must renew our plan,

so we won’t fall and be buried in the sand

and maybe fail again and again.

That’s just the way it is:

SunsetSea

 ain’t life grand?

 

Glass half-Full

What’s a vacation for?

July 2, 2014

Now that we finally got to July and being on vacation, I have at last gotten around to catching up on a few personal projects that I would like to have undertaken long ago.

One project is learning how to actually make best use of the Macbook Air that I’ve been blogging on for two years now. Two and a half years, actually. Micah gave me the laptop at Christmas 2011. I’ve been stumbling around on it ever since, managing every now and then to get a word or two that made some sense out on the ‘net for all the world to consider. haha.

On this vacation, my brother-in-law John, the Mac guy, has been very helpful in this personal proficiency-improvement project, especially with utilizing the pictures from iPhone that I’ve been snapping to elucidate our Costa Rica vacation.

In the midst of this steep learning curve, a picture popped up on one of the Mac files, a picture that I had forgotten about, thought I had trashed forever, except that lo and behold it is still rollin’ around in the Mac and so I managed to pull it out of the trash. Pat took the pic exactly two years ago on Maui, Hawaii, at the Sun Yat-Sen park, which is a small memorial to the founder of modern China, Sun Yat-Sen. Here is his statue, with me standing next to it because I think Mr. Sun was a great leader:

Sun Yat-Sen park

A little research I’ve done today uncovers the impressive fact that both the major factions of modern Chinese liberation–the Mao-led Communist party and the Chiang Kai-shek-led Kuomintang– claim Sun Yat-Sen as a major contributor to their initial movements to wrestle the governance of China from the dying Qing dynesty, because Mr. Sun led the revolution that knocked the Qing out of power in 1912.

Another reason I think he was a great leader relates to a quote from him that I discovered on this very same statue-base in Hawaii two years ago. The quote is carved into one face of the statue’s base:

 “Search into the nature of things, look into the boundaries of knowledge, make the purpose sincere, regulate the mind, cultivate personal virtue, rule the family, govern the state, pacify the world.”

This principle(s) have been bopping around in my mind for these last two years. When I saw the pic pop up in my Mac wanderings today, the profundity of this wisdom suddenly came back to me. So I spent a couple hours today trying to find the source of the quote, which turns out to be not Sun Yat-Sen himself, but rather Confucius, in an old classic called The Great Learning.

I learned this when a google search finally led me to a pdf from a biography of Sun Yat-sen by a Stanford scholar, Marie Clare Bergere. http://books.google.co.cr/books?id=vh7M1u4IGFkC&dq=sun+yat+sen+%2B+nature .

The idea of “searching into the nature of things” is one that Mr. Sun made a central part of his own way of relating to the world and trying to make it a better place. I like that strategy, and it is the essence of my writing projects, the blogging as well as the novels.

Here is another pic from that Hawaiian adventure two years ago, just to illustrate what I mean by looking into the nature of things. This pic reveals just how everything, including the earth itself is just kind of. . . stratified:

Red strata  copy

Glass half-Full

Mauka/Makai

July 10, 2013

Where earth has poured out its magma heart

onto ocean’s sphere, things begin to happen

differently.

Then stony solidity challenges watery

dominance,

and blocked kinesis thrusts

interference

patterns onto the wavy deep.

‘Tis then the great fluid finds its

fury,

and the waves their wobbly wanderings.

‘Tis then

the splashy sea find its unsettled voice,

lending boisterous mayhem to the world:

Islands become frontiers of landed life, and

continents become monuments of tectonic

discontent,

and mankind finds itself at home there.

This is a fair place to spend eternity,

if it were so,

but if not, there is a better world

to which we go.

Don’t ask me how I know;

it is the substance of things unseen

to which our faith doth flow.

Glass half-Full

Kai kai Kauai

July 10, 2013

Surfy shimmer late afternoon slant light

hath revealed glimmering

truth that midday overlooked,

as each wave topples in from aquamarine bliss

blasting gold and magic disappearish foam upon the beach.

Silvery rumpled water plane retreats back to sea

leaving sheen that descends into coarse brownsand,

mottled with micro rivulets crisscrossing intersecting

as multiple mini-sandstorms settle from their infinite mini-maelstroms

upon this shore,

racing, streaking wavelets o’er the smoothness of ancient speckled sands

where sandstonish texture takes over as crystalish water is disappearing

constantly and forever

and ever and amen

according to shapeshifting strand line as erratic as

a dowjones database

Jackie Paper will sail no more on this particular

day

but the sun sets down its golden splashes same as

it always has since

God only knows when.

 

Glass half-Full

Kauai kai

July 8, 2013

First is the sunshine, everywhere

bright on this deep Pacific blue; way out there

Puff blows up his silver-whites

and pushes them into distant cumulus piles

onto absolutely flat

horizon.

From there afar sapphire stretches at me

rolling into nearer aquamarine

then clearer azure.

The ocean surfs in, tossing frothy white

o’er brown-gold beach, sloshing

sparkles

everywhere, all the way up

into micro wavelets of universal energy;

they flatten

in sine shadow lines that skitter across the cosine sand.

Eons away from any continent

and far far far from any heckled world

in a land called Hanalei,

Hawaii and Thee

I see.

Glass half-Full

Lover Beach

June 27, 2012

The Ocean is tidy this morning.

the tide is half; the sun comes up

over the swells; Lanai and Molokai loom

across the choppy blue. Old Maui volcano sleeps,

cloudy and vast, heart of the island.

Come to the veranda; bright is the sky!

 

Always, from the breaking waves

where Pacific pelts this sun-kiss’d isle,

Listen! you hear the roaring power

of our planet that flings up watery wings

and pulls them down again on shifting sand.

Roar, and whisper, and roar again

with cyclical slumber to lose and win

a perpetual thrust of planetary din.

 

Poet Arnold felt it long ago

among the pebbles of Dover beach, summoning

the futile strands of faithlessness

and existential woe; I

find instead the inevitability of faith

called up to bloom upon this far-flung ocean isle.

 

The ocean of despair

so near and far in present past, to pound us down on human shores,

throws its tantrum of pointless angst, with cynic sand.

But now I only feel the wave of our resolve

upon a flagg’ed pole of hope,

advancing, in the sun-stirred air

of dawning day, o’er the bright edges of our vision,

as lilies of the field.

 

Ah, love, let us be true

to one another! for the world, which seems

to pound upon us like a surf of strife,

so relentless, so provocative, so hard,

has a terrible power all its own

that would dash our love and hope in forceful blight.

But we here on our sun-bathed isle,

caressed with waves of love and delight–

we subdue the heartless poundings of the night.

 

Glass half-Full

BodySurfer’s Intuitive Calcs

June 23, 2012

Ocean waves, generated by the interplay of lunar and earth gravity, travel very long distances across open water. When a wave reaches land, having no more water in which to move forward, it breaks upon the shore. How many millennia have humans been observing this? A long time.

Standing in shallow water very near the shoreline, we would see the hapless bodysurfer waiting to experience the thrill of catching a wave and riding it the short distance until he and the wave are tossed onto the sandy beach. If you happened to be at Ka’anapali beach, Maui, Hawaii, yesterday, that adventurous bodysurfer would have been, perhaps, me, or one of the other hundreds of free-floating small-time adventurers.

The body surfer is not a real surfer, you know. He’s just a  clueless vacation visitor, not really serious about investigating the larger potentials of the great swells on the north shores of these far-flung islands. He doesn’t have the board. He just has his own body, which he has trained to float. In my case, I learned to float at YMCA summer day camp in Jackson, Mississippi, long about 1956 or so.

Consider one wave coming in–the one that I’m going to jump into in just a few seconds here. How does this little dance between the wave and the bodysurfer work?

When the wave is still out in deep water where there is nothing to alter its somewhat ideal sine, orcosine, or bell-jar shape, it is a force of energy moving through the water, rearranging the shape of the water surface as it moves forward. It is moving the water somewhat, mostly up and down, at any chosen point of the ocean surface. Within the force of the wave there is kinetic energy moving those millions of molecules of H²0. But the wave is not really moving as much water, or anything else, as it actually has the physical power to do. So within the wave there is, along with the kinetic energy that is in constant use, potential energy.

So every wave that travels across the Pacific, approaching the beach, is a combination of both kinetic energy and potential energy. When the kinetic force of it hits the beach, the potential energy is suddenly converted to strong kinetic action and the wave totally expends itself on the sand. All that physical force erupts upon the shore and upon whatever happens to be there, be it a surprised snoozing sunbather, a sand castle, or a bodysurfer like me. Over long periods of time, this wave action churns rocks down into fine sand, and this is how we get our beaches. It also steals sunglasses and plastic cups and rubber rafts and other stuff that we consumers drag to the strand with us.

What the bodysurfer seeks to do is partake of that thrilling moment within the wave when its potential energy is instantaneously being converted to kinetic force, and thereby producing for him/her a few seconds of very fine sporting excitement. This occurs when the wave’s natural shape is being violently altered by its contentious encounter with the sandy bottom. Entering shallow water, that potential energy has nowhere to put all those water molecules that were formerly being moved up and down in such a gentle, rolling manner. Suddenly there is no more “down” available to the wave, because where there was deep water before there is now something solid that does not yield to the wave’s force.  In this case, the “something solid” is the edge of the island, i.e. the shore.

So the rambunctious wave tosses all those water molecules up into the air, in a kind of tantrum. Like a spoiled child that has grown accustomed to having its way all the time, the wave shouts with much sound and fury that signifieth nothing, if I can’t have my wavy way here, I’m going to throw all this liquid in the air!  Waugh!  Now it’s splash and crash time.

So suddenly the formerly tame motion becomes an eruption of spray through the air, and foam upon the sand. That noble wave that hath traveled afar all the way from Japan or wherever–it just gives up the ghost and dies right there on the coast of Hawaii.

But not before this thrill-seeking tourist can get in on a little super-planetary wave action, ha! I love it.

Glass Chimera

Planetary birth pangs

June 22, 2012

Out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, about three or four miles down below the water surface, our planetary home gave birth to Hawaii.

As Father in Heaven had sewn within Mother Earth’s deep crevices the seeds of creative planetary development, she cried out from the Deep in her anguish when the aweful time of delivery had come.  With wailings of hot magma and rumblings of steamy contraction,  Mama pushed out those volcanic islands-to-be. Spewing forth from her ocean floor, striving upward from her tectonic fissures,  the nascent super-hot lava tumbled and rolled skyward from beneath its tectonic birthplace, into cold Pacific waters.  Then,  after a few million years of childlike submersion under watery tutelage, these pubescent islands stuck their stony little heads out into air and proclaimed to the birds and the stars that they had at last arrived, ready to be transformed as the land of the living.

Yesterday, we were walking on some of those rocky island shoulders. We watched with fascination as vehement Pacific waves pounded her dark lava extremities with ceaseless planetary fury, casting high cascades of spray into the blue sky with airy veils of aquamarine and silver-white brilliance. The basaltic wasteland whereon we trod was sculpted with moonish alacrity, revealing with otherworldly starkness layers of black, grey, reddish brown– solid rock punctuated with massive boulders, cracky protrusions, some rounded by the rushing of the water and wind, others still sharp with the newness of elemental violence.

Then, there is was. A small carpet of vivid green something living, splayed upon the barren rock, growing as merrily as you please in the sunshine, with little orange-tipped teardrop succulent leaves spreading across the lithic void.

“That,” said the traveler to his nephews and nieces, is the beginning of dirty old life.

CR, with new novel, Smoke, in progress