October 20th, 2006

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Aloha!

I am awake, after sleeping a long, deep night.

I consider the following comment as I sit with the disparities in the land of Hawaii.

This is from a column by Keith Olbermann.

'Beginning of the end of America'

"For, on this first full day that the Military Commissions Act is in force, we now face what our ancestors faced, at other times of exaggerated crisis and melodramatic fear-mongering: A government more dangerous to our liberty, than is the enemy it claims to protect us from."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15321167/from/ET/

Ah, and so it is to digest.    There is no way to escape, and there shouldn't be.   The news is here.   The roads are lined with political signs, and NPR is asking for money in an original way with a beautifully toned British voice. 

Yesterday, I slid down the waterslide with the children and, was pounded by the waterfall, and then, settled, with Steve, into a private cabana for two to get out of the sun.  I hopped in and out of the lagoon, and enjoyed swimming, and managed with enough sun-block, clothing, and cabana to not get burnt.   I must say, though, I do feel the sun, and we came in at 11 before it peaked.   I was in the water with two tortoises, one of them especially huge.  They really do float slowly, and yet, they get around, and they have such welcoming smiles.  They are amazing.   I also enjoyed a very friendly puffer fish, and two large fish whose names I don't know, and a bunch of little guys.

After lunch, we took a drive toward Waimea, and then, out to Hawi.  We went up over 3000 feet, still with an ocean view, and the change in landscape is astounding.  It is so beautiful here, absolutely all of it, and the clouds are a huge part of it.  There were flash flood warnings, and urgings on Maui to get to higher ground.  It seems they had three inches in an hour in one place.  It is odd to look across at Maui and hear all of this.  We were supposed to get wet, also, but seemed, simply to be visited by fantastic black clouds.

  Where we are is lava that has been transformed in places that matter and charge.  The rest is rock, but as you go north and in, it is green and a lovely array of plants and scenes.  We passed cows and horses, and all was intriguing and serene.

The town of Hawi is much different than here, and I say that with no judgment as to meaning, only to note that there is the area of the time shares, and hotels, and there are other areas.  I read that someone from Japan bought up a huge area of the land in 1988 with plans to build a huge resort, but has not done so.  That leaves it more natural and a haven for artists.  I am grateful for that.   We just drove yesterday, but the history is there.  Perhaps, I just needed to sit and absorb the majesty of the landscape and not follow my guide book.   I read it when I got home, and then, saw what we passed through. 

Each person we meet who was here during the earthquake has a story.   They were terrified, and do seem to feel they suffered and sacrificed.  I realize when Steve called to ask the hotel if all was right to come, they might have been biased in saying yes.  Not that we have suffered.  We are not bothered that there is only one tram running and fewer boats.  It is all we know, and we don't use them anyway, but I see that for some, this is hard, and they would like some monetary acknowledgement of that, but the hotel says, "It is an act of God," which, I am sure is what there insurance company is telling them, and so there is nothing to be done.  It does open conversation, though, as that is everyone's first question.  "Were you here for the earthquake," and then, they launch.  I saw a little boy with a t-shirt saying he survived it.   We learn that 37 homes were destroyed.  It seems odd since news in SF was that all was fine.  The Hawaiian tourist board is strong.  The construction workers are busy repairing the roads.   When lava is piled up on the side of the road, it falls easily in chunks.  It is also easy to fix, since they just haul the chunks and dump them. by the side of the road.  There is nothing to interfere.  I continue to find the place fascinating.  We are slowly exploring the art, and I am avoiding the sun as much as possible, while still swimming as much as possible, since, that, too, I love.

Today, we swim with the dolphins.  I am excited about that, and another day in Hawaii, and I also miss home.   All is so!!   Happy Friday to you!!
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Morning -

Life rises early here, and when I walk out to get coffee a little after six, many are up and bustling, especially the birds.  I could be in a tropical jungle.   Sometimes it is disconcerting.   The ocean is here, and continually waving, and then, there is the air-conditioned inside, and then, the walk-ways lined with different styles of art.  If I turn right, I pass walls lined with western art.  If I go left, it is Eastern.   This morning a western man was playing a ukelele beneath paintings of hunters on horseback in red coats and white pants.  What an amazingly funny and precious world it is.  I am alight with joy, and in that, the definition of joy as happiness that also holds pain. 

The lovely woman who sent me the Keith Olbermann link apologized for intruding on my Hawaiian stay, but, if anything, it is more apparent here.  There are suites in this place that cost $6000.00 a night, and this is not one of the most expensive places to stay.  I am very aware of money more easily made illegally in this country thanks to the corrupt policies of Bush.

There is a wonderful Forum, in, if you can believe it, USA Today.  Jonathon Turley points out that if we need to get rid of pages because our congress people cannot resist the temptation of our children prancing about, maybe we need to get rid of lobbyists, too, since they certainly and obviously can't ignore that tempation.

The people of Hawaii have not been treated well.  I try and honor that knowing while I am here.

Jonathon Turley says we have a president who has taken control and has no desire to honor the constitution.  Once, we lose our civil rights they cannot easily be restored.   Civil rights are not something that bounce back and re-level like left and right, and, the a bird just sang out so loud, I could hear him through the glass.  I am happily ensconced in all worlds.  I can read the news and savor this Hawaiian soil and rock.  I will soon swim with tortoises, fish, and dolphins.  I immerse in all worlds, and I feel the deep honoring and fragility of life.

I had another dream last night that someone was trying to kill me.  I think my body is beginning to feel the threat that was there.  That knowledge is coming to consciousness, even as that particular threat has been eliminated, and I have an awareness of cycles now that I did not have before.  I honor the place I am as I look at the banyan trees here, and how they expand and root.   For today, I am a banyan tree, complex and in love with the ground and air.  

I have read the reviews of the Clint Eastwood movie, Flags of Our Fathers.  It sounds like a must-see.  He presents "our" side, and will next present the Japanese view of events.  He is taking a political stance.  Support the stance by seeing the movie, violent as it must be.  There is a place for war and defense, and that need has been warped and distorted in these last few years.   Despite that, may we all find a way, when it is our time, to rest in peace.

I realize now it is odd to be here, so near to Pearl Harbor, as this movie comes out.  There is a place near here, where people were sacrificed.  Even the book I have, Hawaii revealed, says most people feel the heebie-jeebies there.    Today, though, I look out on a gentle place of peace.  May the lives of all the people be so.  One woman did not make it to work today because of a landslide.  Today, I honor the ups and downs, and prepare for the sacred rite of touching a dolphin.  Oh, My!!
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Earthquake damage -

It seems the reports are coming in now.   It seems that Kealakekua Bay and the Captain Cook monument area are closed.  That is okay.   We continue to explore our hotel, and Steve just said we need to lie in a hammock.  In the moment, it is raining, and pre-rain, a rainbow.   What more does one need than to lounge on hammocks like rainbows and walk around and explore.?  It seems there are more slides, water slides, not landslides, to explore, though I suppose we can do both.  Happy Friday to You!!
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breathing -

I feel myself breathing in and out like the sea.  It is amazing.   See if you can do the same.   Be an anemone today.