It is morning for you, though still night for me, here in Hawaii. I will post this later on today, though, because there is no wireless connection in the room. Can you believe it? : ) People do not walk around with laptops here. This is not New York!
Steve is sleeping, and we have a huge closet, so I have moved the chair into the closet and am typing there. You may wonder why we chose the Hilton on Hawaii. Well, Steve has enough Hilton credits that we have six nights here for free, so the choice was obvious and we have the perfect room for us. I have this closet for a quiet space, though, mainly I sit outside on a chair. We have plants and privacy in front of us, and the ocean beyond, and it is dark here. I love that it is not lit, only torches on the main paths, so my little section is dark, dreamy, private and warm. I sit outside in a light nightgown. I debated coming in to write, but, here I am, wanting to aloha with you.
The flight to Oahu was easy, though bumpy, and that was kind of fun. I like knowing I am on an airplane and going somewhere. We watched the movie Cars, which seemed to exactly follow the movie with Michael J. Fox on being a doctor trapped in a “hick” town, and we enjoyed it.
We caught a plane to Kona, rented a car, and, enchanted, drove the 20 miles to here, Waikoloa.
We were prepared for the lava flow on which the Kona, now I know Kailua airport is built. People arrange white rocks against the black for messages. There are flowers where people have died.
I felt my synovial fluid flow in the warmth of Oahu, and my joints and gait soften. Steve, too, felt the shift. I am realizing how cold it is where we live. It is warm here, inside and out. My shoulders are beginning to drop. Ah, I do have a neck. Hooray!
My first “hit” of the Hilton was that we were staying in Disneyland. We had a choice of a tram or a boat to get to our Palace Tower, and we chose a boat, but now, I walk, and enjoy seeing the boats, and I see that our tower is not really a tower at all. We also were shocked at the entry to our abode, and thought that maybe a friend of mine was right that the earthquake meant we could go to Las Vegas instead of here, and we wouldn’t know the difference, but, as I have taken time to stroll, I see that in some ways this place is built like a museum or temple. There are huge statues of the Buddha and Kwan Yin. Laughing Buddha is standing in front of the beach. There are tributes to all different cultures here, and I am appreciating the diversity that is represented. We can take a self-guided walking tour of the art. I am looking forward to that as I am enchanted with what I have seen so far.
Waiting for the plane, I read a review of a new book by Barry Lopez, who writes about nature. He was talking about how nature is all around us if we look. He was on Fourth Street in Berkeley and pointed out a bird’s nest above the architectural bookstore. I love that bookstore because they let you in to browse at eight AM, and they have great gifts and cards.
So, on being here - I am getting to know the individual plants, and I feel their acknowledgement as I walk by, and I nod to them, and they, to me. I sat next to the dolphin lagoon last night in the dark, which is early here. The dolphins put on quite a show at night when the people are not there, and the sun has passed. We will swim with them tomorrow. I signed us up for Dolphin Quest which is unbelievably highly recommended. It is a Super Wow, I am told.
The island of Hawaii is less than one million years old, and I feel it. I feel the surge of creativity and peace here. The land feels newly liquid, and, as though it is looking boldly for what is yet to come. I have seen pictures of images in the lava. How boldly this island molds and forms! It is odd to realize how newly inhabited it is. There is a cleanness here that fascinates me. I was concerned about feeling isolated in this landscape we have chosen or been chosen to inhabit, but it sings with life. As the sun sets, myna birds gather and sing in a raucous, and yet, harmonious way I have never heard before. I spoke with a Hawaiian woman about it, since I seemed to be the only one who noticed. She came out of her shop with me, and we listened and looked together. She said they cut down the trees hoping the birds would leave, but they come every evening and morning and sing. They stand all along the roof-tops and in the trees. It is amazing. How sacred is this place. The architecture is lovely, and, in some odd way, I am reminded of Thailand, even though this place is set up to be serene. I realize Thailand, also, is set up for serenity. I have just seen it in an active, hoping to be “modern,” bounce.
I was, at first, a little disappointed, that a “true” beach is three miles away, but the hotel runs a shuttle, and I am growing to appreciate the ruggedness of this landscape where the sea enters. I like it, and find my brain responding to the crevices and the ocean probe. The hotel has created a lagoon for us with ocean water in which to swim. I must admit it looked a bit hokey to me on first viewing, but after walking around in the evening light, I think it will be fun, and there are created waterfalls, and beautiful places to sit and think. Hammocks are strung about, and the people are friendly. Genuinely so, it seems. Hawaii is a friendly place. I like it.
I was thinking we would avoid the Ironman contest that is here this weekend, but Jeff tells me it is a big deal and we should reach into participation. I am enjoying that this place is not yet full, and is quiet, and I think the weekend will be a different scene. There are a few families with young children, and some conventioneers and us. It works for me. All is silent and serene. I showered last night and I’m dressed and ready to go. It is now after four AM here, and time to leave my closet and visit outside. I’ll send this when I can. The public areas are wireless, so I guess I could walk to one of those. Okay. Aloha! Sweet, kind, gentle breaths to you!!
Steve decides to get up and try and connect to the internet here in the room, but it is asleep, so, now, I am still here. I like sharing his awakeness.
We had the most wonderful rain yesterday, once in the car, and last night, soft drops settled down. I think this is heaven, and I see that my first impression of living at Disneyland was wrong. There is an attempt to honor all the gods, and I feel them here. My head feels the clearest it has felt since chemo, which isn’t to say so, so much, but it is lovely to feel it a little more cohere.
I read some of Reza Aslan’s book, No god but God on the plane on the way over. It is a wonderful understanding of how religions form, and the process through which they go. It is odd to read it and then be here in a place with such a celebration of the gods. I feel well-grounded in the spirituality in which we live.
I read more on this island of Hawaii, formed less than a million years ago. I think we need another month. I don’t know how to begin to choose. We came here to do “nothing,” and that is certainly possible in this glorious playpen in which we find ourselves. We can do a self-guided tour of the art that is here. There are petroglyphs nearby, and beaches, and history, and cafes. And, the volcanoes. Just that sounds amazing to explore. There are areas on this island that receive ten inches of rain a year and those that receive 240. Wow! And really what I love is just feeling the ground under my feet.
This is quite the honeymoon spot and yet Steve pointed out this morning, it is like a re-creation of what we experienced in Europe. When we were in Bruges in Belgium, we were standing on our tiny balcony kissing. A boatload of people went by and clapped. It is a town of little cafes, wonderful dining and little bridges, just like here. And yet this has an Asian influence and is created among the lava fields, and the youthful island still shakes to keep us awake. It does its own hula and tells a story with its breath. I am enchanted with Hawaii and wondering if we really can return in a week. I like being on a newly formed island in the middle of the sea. Hmmmm! I await the opening of the café at 6. A full tummy may help with the next step, which, for me, will be a swim in the lagoon at eight.
I look out and see stars, and know the sun is coming because the myna birds are beginning to sing. What a place! Hawaii speaks well to me!! Aloha and Mahalo!
I walk out to get coffee, and there, I am, facing the ocean. People line up for the tram at 6AM, when there is a walkway lined with art. Most strange. I am in every kind of heaven here, though internet access is not so good, so these postings may be sporadic til we figure it out.
I read in a book on Hawaii, The Big Island Revealed, that this place is meant to be a fantasy and so I am, happy to be in Fantasyland, supported by an underground network of 1200 employees. I am relaxed into being pampered and indulged. I suppose it is okay, once in awhile, and I am thrilled with the ocean, plants, dolphins, birds, and sky. I love this lava lift of land!!
I come outside to see if I can send from the public area which should have wi-fi, but perhaps I am not public enough. I am surrounded with the song of birds. Somehow everything seems tastily done in morning light. The fountain is being cleaned and readied for the day. Suitcases on wheels roll by. Tis quite the place. I wonder what the native peoples would think, though I realize now they, also, came here, and they were welcomed by the space, and, then, welcomed those who came, and they still do. There is space for all.
We have now had breakfast by a waterfall with tons of birds and carp. All is open so the birds fly in and out and our guests at breakfast. We love it. A myna bird is sitting outside, and is now looking for some food. Peek, poke, peek. He, she, looks all around.
It is only eight AM here, and yet friendly people abound to help us out. It feels like 11 to me though and I love all this light and fancy clouds.
It feels so friendly to be surrounded by all these gods. Ganesh looked over our shoulder at breakfast. Yet, Jesus and Mary aren't hanging around. I'm not quite sure what to think of that. When is the sacred, art, and when is it not? Hmmm! Well, I'm not going to think too much about it. The world awaits!!