Thursday, April 30, 2009

Feathered Friends

Aloha! Welcome!
Click on photos to enlarge"Life is like getting dropped off in the middle of the woods, and then year by year, gradually walking home."
April Foiles

"We are rich only through what we give, and poor only through what we refuse."
Anne-Sophie Swetchine

"Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such." Henry Miller

"While we have the gift of life, it seems to me that only tragedy is to allow part of us to die - whether it is our spirit, our creativity, or our glorious uniqueness."
Gilda Radner

Today I will tell you an old legend of Waikiki: The War with the Owls.

A proud young Ali`i was walking one day near Waikiki and disturbed a nest of baby owls. The mother claimed her rights and demanded that the impetuous young chief apologize, but he refused and even insulted the mother owl. These were the days when humans were still a part of nature, and guardians of the `aina, the sacred land of Hawaii - especially the Ali`i!

This mother owl was righteous in her
indignation and took her offended righteousness to the
King of the Owls. "Hear me!" she implored. "Humans no longer respect us as cousins. We must act before they all become like this impudent young fool, chief or not!" The Owl king listened to her plea with the gravity of a high chief - then he spoke his decision: "Hear Me our
people! The time has come when our treaty of peace
with the humans has been abrogated. WAR!"

All the owls (and, some say,other birds nursing grievances against disrespectful humans) took to the air. From every part of the island of O`ahu, and perhaps Maui and
Molokai as well, vast clouds of angry birds circled higher and higher over Manoa. They darkened the tropic skies and filled the space under heaven with the voices of angry, righteous multitudes. It didn't take long for them to get to Waikiki, home of the foolish young chief. The carnage was ugly, frightening, and - um-messy.

"Why is this happening?" asked the chief of Waikiki,
father of a certain young fool. An unsettled young chief had to humble himself before his father and his people (and in front of Lani who he loved). His humiliation was eloquent, his bold stupidity was being repaid and everyone in his life knew it. finally his father's Kahuna
chanted apology and respect to the feathered cousins,
inviting them to a great feast at the ancient heiau (temple) on the slopes of Diamond Head. Peace was reestablished and has held to this day. You haven't been mugged by an owl, have you?
So the treaty holds!
A L O H A! Cloudia

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My 30 Years Younger Twin

Aloha - Welcome - Come Inside ;-)

Click on Photos to Enlarge! "I always bear in mind that my mission is to leave behind me the kind of impression that will make it easier for those who follow."

Marian Anderson

"I demand a life, not a lifestyle, for everyone!"

Cloudia *Blush*

Da Yellow Hibiscus of Honolulu

"Man (sic) is what he thinks about all day long."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

I remember the cold water flat. All mine. At end of day, I could repair to my stacks of books, terrarium and experiments in living.

This was many years before "The Secret" but I was lucky enough to stumble across Dr. Joseph Murphy's gem The Power of Your Subconscious Mind (Prentice-Hall, (c) 1963). I'm happy to see that he's back in print.

I was intrigued by his idea that what we plant in our subconscious, blossoms in our lives every day.

Last night, lying in my bunk as the spouting waters of Waikiki rocked me to sleep, my mind ran back to those old days of radiators, frozen toes, and untamed anxieties.

How, turning off the lamp, all those years ago; lying Dr. Murphy's book aside, I settled back and wondered about the power of

my subconscious.

As I tried to say affirmations back then

(purely as an experiment

in the privacy of the dark)

I found I could not simply state:

"I am beautiful. I am loved and liked. I have enough of what I need."

Even the experiment felt fraudulent.

A huge resistance welled up within


"You are beautiful?!" "You are liked?!" You are happy with your life?!"

That was my first lesson

in the power overwhelming of




Slowly I saw (don't look away!)

the fearful





back then


Last night I remembered

how I used to close my eyes

in that cold water flat in February,

and how assiduously I imagined

Hawaii and myself




I felt myself,

really felt it then

true in my subconscious:

lying in Waikiki

rocking to sleep

in the arms of the life I have made.

In that moment last night

I was both:

the adolescent in the walk-up,

cooking up another existence,

and now I'm the lady

living it.

We smiled across the gulf.

You GO girl

A L O H A! Cloudia

About Marian Anderson:
Joseph Murphy:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Specimen Suite

Aloha, Namaste, Welcome!
Click on photos to enlarge "A person isn't who they are during the last conversation you had with them - they're who they've been throughout your whole relationship."
Rainer Maria Rilke

"Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other."
Rainer Maria Rilke

Dina ( What does this say?"

"Perhaps all the dragons of our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave."

"Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants help from us."

"Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems."
Rainer Maria Rilke

A Poet is "a Maker."

Who builds a little machine;
Seasons with surprise
Bringing illumination
a tiny, repeatable form.

Bottled sunrise
Cultured yet direct
Words like precious pebbles
Surface planes and textures,
Angles perfect to the hand
like cherished memories.

This is the golden moment.
"Thank you"
bubbles up
like contentment soup.

This is the Golden
let us teach
each other
to live.
Inspired by the poetry of Joe Saling.
A L O H A! Cloudia

Monday, April 27, 2009

MTM: Shangrila Part 2

Aloha! Welcome to Shangrila!
Click on photos to enlargeWhat a view! Yes, that's Diamond Head on the right.

Don't YOU have a waterfall on your lawn?

No one swims here now.

Welcome back to Doris Duke's Hawaii home, Shangrila. It is a treasure chest of Islamic art and culture, now operated by the Honolulu Academy of Arts. You may visit the home if you visit us here in Honolulu. Check their website:
And if you haven't seen it, scroll down to Part 1 below.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Cookies at Shangrila

Aloha! Salaam! Welcome!
Click on photos to enlarge A modest entrance flanked by camels as one might see in Morocco

Is Camel Cigarettes a family brand?

The foyer boasts a cedar ceiling and stained glass by Rene` Martin.
A Jali (stone screen) lets in light & air while maintaining privacy. Photography is forbidden inside the home, so I cannot show you the "Turkish Room" at the foot of the stairs. It contains a historical Mihab, a tiled wall piece showing the direction of Mecca. It cost $100,000 in 1940. Museums couldn't afford it, Doris could. Being a decorative element, it is not aligned to it's religious purpose, as Miss Duke was not a practicing Muslim. (The mihab was de-installed, dismantled, and hidden underground after the Pearl Harbor attack till the end of WWII.)

Outside, one finds this extraordinary tile doorway!

Shangrila's "Play House" stands above a sea wall. Tomorrow: the pool, waterfall & ocean views!

How do you get to Shangrila?

You can't just drive there. Even if you knew the way, there's no parking outside the tall, anonymous iron gate. So us lucky few waited behind Diamond Head in the parking lot of Kapiolani Community College. There a friendly guard checked our names off of a clip board list and told us the bus would be along directly. A magical mystery tour-bus? The Cat Bus?

No, just a normal smallish tour bus.

We drove `round the venerable crater to the choice Makai (ocean) side, and turned into a normal looking street that I've driven past without a glance for twenty years. But that was before I knew that one of the most celebrated women of the 20th Century, Doris Duke, had created the jewel of her world-spanning collection of 5 mansions in this choicest of legendary locations.

Welcome to Shangrila!

Miss Duke, known to tabloid headlines from childhood as The Poor Little Rich Girl, had come by her zillion$ honestly; She was the only child of tobacco baron, James Duke (American Tobacco). Born in 1912, her life was one of unparalleled wealth and access. And during her lifetime she even quadrupled that vast fortune. It was a "pile" so significant that when she re-married with a foreign national during the 1940's (her second and last marriage) the United States government drew up their pre-nuptial agreement! When her husband saw the amounts involved he fainted.

Just before her beloved father died, he had told the 12 year old Doris to "trust no one." Such are the glories of great wealth. He meant well, no doubt. At 14 Doris was forced to sue her own mother over the sale of family assets. Forbidden to attend college, she was instead groomed and presented as a debutante, as the Great Depression gripped the world. The public was more fascinated than ever with the rich, most notably by Miss Duke herself. At 22 Doris married an older man. After their 2 year, world spanning honeymoon they built a home in sweet Hawaii. The year was 1939. They called it Shangrila. It was built with an Islamic aspect, and Miss Duke spent her life collecting art and objects from Muslim cultures to fill it with.

Shangrila is today a treasure box of fine art that is administered by the Honolulu Academy of Arts. We guests had come not only to admire this fine home and it's grounds, but to hear an esteemed scholar present her work about the women of early Islam.

The 1000 square foot living room had a glass wall that lowers into the ground! Quite advanced for 1939 - and it still works, they even showed us. Miss Duke liked it raised only to shoulder height so as to keep out the 20 or so large dogs she kept on the property!

This was always Miss Duke's favourite place - and she could go anywhere!

I was just blown away by the place and by it's very professional staff. Lucky we stay Hawaii.

Tomorrow, more of Shangrila!

A L O H A ! Cloudia

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Why Thank You

Aloha Welcome!
Click on photos to enlargeResidential Kapahulu
"I lift my eyes unto the hills"

Yellow Hibiscus, State Flower of Hawaii

"Famous are the flowers of Hawaii"

Look, I won an award!

“I feel that this award was not made to me as a man, (sic) but to my work -- a life's work in the agony and sweat of the human spirit, not for glory and least of all for profit, but to create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before. So this award is only mine in trust.”
William Faulkner

The lovely blogger, AKELAMALU of Everything and Nothing has granted me the award above!
Why thank you, Ake.
Though I am honestly rather scrappy, I'll play by the rules by posting ten things about me that you may not know. Then if you remain awake, you can visit my gal pal Ake at:

And now for our game,
10 things about me that you may not know:
  1. I worked overnight for years.
  2. Bad aloha wear can make me somewhat nauseated.
  3. Though I adore my home, Hawaii, I miss snow, blizzards, and ice storms, and can watch them on the weather channel for hours with the air conditioning on HIGH.
  4. As a Medical Reserve Corps volunteer, I will be tapped to assist in any major disaster or pandemic.
  5. I left home at age 14 to hitch hike around and experience life for a summer month or so. My parents weren't happy but acquiesced when I explained that I was a writer, and moreover could easily run away.
  6. I had an apartment, and a job, while attending secondary school at age 16.
  7. I was at Woodstock.
  8. My first drivers license (age 16 again) was for motorcycles; I only obtained a car endorsement years later.
  9. At first, I hated Hawaii and wanted to leave. 22 years ago.
  10. A "near death experience" in 1997 taught me things that influence my life to this day. I don't fear death. . . or life!

A L O H A! Cloudia

Friday, April 24, 2009

Pau Hana

Da Perfec` Time of Day!

“The primal duties shine aloft, like stars;
The charities that soothe, and heal, and bless
Are scattered at the feet of Man, like flowers.”
William Wordsworth

Cyril Pahinui & Aunty Mo`okini

“It is up to us to live up to the legacy that was left for us, and to leave a legacy that is worthy of our children and of future generations.”
Christine Gregoire

Ben Ka`ili

"We all grow up with the weight of history on us. Our ancestors dwell in the attics of our brains as they do in the spiraling chains of knowledge hidden in every cell of our bodies."
Shirley Abbott

Seniors dancing Hula

"It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons."
Johann Schiller

Pau Hana means "after work" time.

Today it mostly means "happy hour" but we still say: "I'll meet you pau hana" and another local person knows what we mean.

Yesterday sure was a day of work, even if most of the heavy lifting was emotional. My Dad was released from Queen's hospital to hospice-at-home care here in Waikiki. My job was to keep my mom from losing it, and to drive multiple errands at inconvenient times. Let's just say that it was hectic and leave it at that, OK?

Secretly, I hoped to make it to Cyril Pahinui's pau hana birthday gig at Kanikapila Grill at the Outrigger Reef Hotel. Gabby, or "Pops" as everyone called him, was Cyril's father and a giant of Hawaiian music. His ki ho`alu (slack key) guitar stylings, and his unique -but deeply Hawaiian- vocal style preserved and inspired to such a degree that it would be impossible to imagine our musical legacy without him. Cyril, a great artist in his own right, has a new Grammy nominated CD He`eia. I know there would be old timers, great music, and tons of authenticity if I could just make it there. I wasn't disappointed!

As the sky mellowed to dusk I happily found myself in a miraculous little remnant of sweeter times. It felt like a back yard jam, and all the Kupuna (seniors) were there; how I love their rare Hawaiian faces!

The Nahe Nahe (sweet, melodious, soft, gentle) sounds of guitar, ukulele, and beguiling lyrics in the Hawiian tongue worked the old healing magic on me as they always do. I was positively oozing well-being by the second song. Surely, this is what the angels listen to at home.

You no need be young or thin to dance Hula. And when da Kupuna get up to dance, everything crystallizes in an exquisite Manawa Kolu, an everlasting "Now" of perfection. Everything shines then with beautifully felt meaning, and gratitude surges like the eternal surf only steps away.

I knew that I was going to hear wonderful music, but discovered an unexpected vein of pure gold when Ben Ka`ili and Bruddah (Brother) Ocean got up to play and sing for the first time in Waikiki. They have a regular weekend gig at the Emerald Orchid on the Big Island and sure brought the "good stuff" here to da city with them! Their guitars rang out filling young and old with delight.

Ho! Good times!

There are links below to take you to a few selected videos of beloved Hawaiian songs and performers. Take a few minutes to just savor

the A L O H A! Cloudia

Dennis Pavao sings Holei about Kalapana on the Big Island of Hawaii. My niece was born there:

Gabby sings da classic Hi`ilawe:

Dennis Pavao sings Ka Manu ("the bird")

Cyril's Website:

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Defiant Green

Aloha, Welcome!
Click on photos to enlargeTubers
"The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues."
Elizabeth Taylor

Washington Place, Queen Emma's Home

till she died in 1917

“A beautiful lady is an accident of nature. A beautiful old lady is a work of art.”
Louis Nizer

Self Portrait with Fallen Lei

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in.”

Morrie Schwartz

I find small pleasures where I may. Today my finger nails are painted shiny, greenish, defiant gold.

When I was young and feckless

the mature couples I saw

sitting quietly in a restuarant

seemed sad

and lacking anything

to say.

Now I know

the pleasure

of simply be-ing


when nothing


be said.
A L O H A! Cloudia

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Play Ball

Aloha, Welcome!
click on photos to enlarge
Morning in Waikiki!

"Modern man thinks he loses something - time - when he does not do things quickly. Yet he does not know what to do with the time he gains except kill it."
Erich Fromm

This young man changed America

"If anyone can figure out a way for me to collect my royalties posthumously, I will hurry up and reincarnate."

Noel Coward

He grew into a leading citizen of his adopted home town

"In the end, people will act more on their personalities than on their politics." Chris Fox

The roots of baseball lie far to the east.
Its legends are enshrined in Cooperstown New York, but every year on April 17, true devotees of "America's pastime" make their way here to Honolulu.

Gathering at historic Oahu Cemetery before a handsome pinkish monument, they oft find baseballs, bats, lei, and even baseball cards, waiting there on the hallowed ground for them. For this is the grave of Alexander Joy Cartwright, the inventor of the game of baseball. This year marked the 189th anniversary of his birth.

He served as trustee of Queen Emma's estate, President of the Honolulu Chamber of Commerce, and was 40 years Chief of the Honolulu Fire Department, dying just a year before the overthrow of the Hawaiian Monarchy. These facts of his life describe the very coming-of-age of our city.

But it is what he accomplished before taking ship for Hawaii that assures his place among the immortals. In 1845 he and some friends founded the Knickerbocker Baseball Club in Hoboken New Jersey where they played at the aptly named Elysian Fields. It was during those Summer afternoons, that AJC formalized the new game's rules, differentiating it from English "Rounders" or any other game. His creation has been by called "The Perfect Game" for over a hundred years.

The influential Spalding family supported the myth that Abner Doubleday, a Civil War general, was the game's inventor. But the Hall of Fame, and scholars of the game agree: Alexander Joy Cartwright is the rightful father.

This year Alexander Joy Cartwright IV was here on the island with us. And his sincere pride was evident.

Not far from Waikiki, in the Makiki neighborhood, recreational leagues play the game at Cartwright Field, a Honolulu City Park. I bet lots of kids (and adults) never give the field's name a second thought. But fanatics of the game are lobbying for a AJC postal stamp, and there is talk of launching a web site. I wish them all the best.

As for why the gentleman made such a momentous move in those days of sailing ships around "The Horn?"
I just think of the crowded 19th century City of New York, and of the sweet smelling trade winds that refresh our town; I think of the lovely character of these islands and her people and one thing becomes abundantly clear.

With the middle name of "Joy" AJC evidently had much in common with the citizens of Honolulu, where joy will always have a home. . .

A L O H A! Cloudia

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

You Already Are

Aloha & Welcome!

Click on photos to enlarge

Another beauty by Ted Trimmer

"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn." Gore Vidal

Solemn Hawaiian Ceremonies

"Travelers, there is no path, the path is made by walking."

Antonio Machado

Ulu (breadfruit) leaf; a popular Hawaiian Quilt pattern!

"If you don't risk anything, you risk even more."

Erica Jong

My dad is being moved from the hospital to hospice-at-home care tomorrow.

They live around a mile from me, but despite my efforts and the support of the wonderful hospice folks, my mom will be alone with all of it.

Though I berate myself for my lack of finances that could make this all so much easier, and feel guilty for not doing more, nevertheless I'm exhausted from the "too little" I've already done!

But this blog, and all of you, are my somehow secret garden. Here I can repair and recreate among like-minded humans. The Grandpa has kindly sent me a published volume of his poems, A Matter of Mind;
and lovely Jenn Jilks has thrown me a lifeline in the form of her book, Living and Dying with Dignity - A Daughter's Journey Through Long-Term Care.

Let me share a few thoughts from my notebook:

Sometimes I ask myself: WWDLD? What would the Dali Lama do?

What you fear to be

that you already are

welcome it home

to see it's disguised beauty.

Aloha my friends! And forgive me for my lapses in commenting on your wonderful blogs. Just know that I'm lurking about the blogosphere in my stolen moments and take great pleasure in all of you.

You know who you are ;-)

A L O H A! Cloudia

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Town Monday: The Grand

Aloha, Welcome!
Click on photos to enlarge A Sweet Little Boutique Hotel

"It's not necessary to go far and wide. I mean, you can really find exciting and inspiring things within your hometown."

Daryl Hannah

Great View of DH from the Grand,
"Front Row Seat"

"As I get older, I get smaller. I see other parts of the world I didn't see before. Other points of view. I see outside myself more."

Neil Young

From Across da Street, Zoo parking, da Park, and Queen's Surf Beach.
"A stair not worn hollow by footsteps is, regarded from its own point of view, only a boring something made of wood."
Franz Kafka

Proposed Site of My Dotage!

Location Location LOCATION!

A favorite little "boutique" hotel of mine is the fortunately located Waikiki Grand Hotel (
at the corner of Kapahulu & Kalakaua.

Directly across the street from Kapiolani Park, the Honolulu Zoo, and steps from the Queen's Surf beach area, the Grand boasts Hula's Bar & Lei Stand, and Teddy's Bigger Burgers on site.

The Hustle & Bustle of Waikiki Beach meets the giant green park here. Check the epic view (close!) of Diamond Head from the Grand's tenth floor sun deck! Bonus: guests at the Grand often hear animal noises from the zoo close by.

Which brings us to: Rumor Alert! Credible sources whisper that Violet the orangutan was spotted wandering outside of her zoo enclosure after hours a while back. Incredibly strong and smart, the "forest people" will reportedly hide hand tools they find (or steal;-) and use them to escape. Maybe she just wanted a room upgrade to the Grand. Clever staff prevailed on Violet's mate Rusty to help lure her back. . .

Someday, the favorite husband and I would like to retire at the Grand. I could cross da street and visit the orangutans every day!
For more My Town Monday posts, click on:

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bi-Ped Captives of Duality

Aloha Welcome!
Click on photos to enlarge Sunday at da Beach

"You never find yourself until you face the truth."
Pearl Bailey

"Life is what happens while you are making other plans."
John Lennon

Reflected Palm

"A smile is the shortest distance between two people."
Victor Borge

Want a Schnack? Downtown Honolulu

"The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook."
William James

Definition from Hawaiian Dictionary by Pukui & Ebert; University of Hawaii Press:
"Aloha: Love, affection, compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity; greeting, salutation, regards; sweetheart, lover, loved one, beloved, loving, kind, compassionate, charitable, lovable; to love, be fond of, to show kindness, mercy, pity, charity, affection; to venerate; to remember with affection; to greet, hail. Greetings! Hello! Goodbye! Farewell! Alas!"

A L O H A to YOU! Cloudia

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Wong Ho Lane

Aloha Greetings! E Komo Mai, Come in!Waianae Valley, Oahu
"Just living is not enough. One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."
-Hans Christian Anderson

(Click on photos to enlarge!"

Farrington Highway, Makaha Bound
To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else."
Emily Dickinson

NOT Bruddah Israel Kamakawio`ole

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can."

Danny Kaye

Just a few idle Saturday thoughts today. . .

There are few things as innocently pleasant as a brief, no consequences conversation with a stranger in public.

To make the world "POP," to make the air sweeter, the skies bluer, just spend an hour visiting in a hospital room.

"What can I do?"

I can really believe in the value of every person I see, or interact with today. I can treat each one with consideration, even a small thing like slowing to let someone go first. When I feel Aloha for this person before me, they feel it without words. Today I can spread peace, warmth, and understanding.

Just for today

I can do something.

A L O H A! Cloudia

Friday, April 17, 2009

Tradition, Wonder & FUN!

Aloha! Welcome!
Click on photos to enlarge
King Kalakaua's coronation pavillion, Iolani Palace, Honolulu

"Hula is the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people."

King Kalakaua

Comfort Sprial's Cousin

“A love for tradition has never weakened a nation, indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril”
Winston Churchill quotes

Distant Cousin Swirl

“We learn simply by the exposure of living, and what we learn most natively is the tradition in which we live.”
David P. Gardner

Come on in, sit down and SHUSH.
Look, the Merrie Monarch is about to begin on TV!
The 46th year of Hula's annual party in Hilo Town, my 22nd watching.
This is the real stuff
the way we do it for ourselves.
To honor Kalakaua the Merrie Monarch
who saved Hula, Chant & so much more
as it trembled on the brink
of nonexistence.
He's still our King,
Some people say.
And the year turns on the weekend after Easter.
It has all led up to this.
The practice, fundraisers, laughter & tears
together in the Halau.
Auntie's gone all gray,
and Uncle George Naope is too frail to dance
while the judges tally on final night.
But I hope the Kumu, the teachers, the "source"
will all dance impromptu that night.
This is a family reunion, after all.
The goddess Pele,
sister Hi`iaka,
and the beloved royals all come
in the chants
and the adornments
red lehua blossoms,
fragrant maile from the uplands.
And when the young men dance
all the ladies squeal with delight
at their sheer manly beauty.
So sit by me
(via the link below)
and eat some kaki mochi.
Get planny grindz
and room fo' you
Brudah, Sistah
here on da floor
before da big screen.
Cause dis weekend
we ALL stay

Info, streaming video, Hula Terms Dictionary & MORE here:
A L O H A! Cloudia

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fallow Gal

Aloha Welcome!

Click on photos to enlarge

A biblical Hawaii sunset

“To seek approval is to have no resting place, no sanctuary. Like all judgment, approval encourages a constant striving. It makes us uncertain of who we are and of our true value. Approval cannot be trusted. It can be withdrawn at any time no matter what our track record has been. It is as nourishing of real growth as cotton candy. Yet many of us spend our lives pursuing it.”

Rachel Naomi Remen

Open roof above the central courtyard, Hawaii State Capitol

“Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business."
Tom Robbins

Fallen Pink Lehua Blossom.

“Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.”

Ah! Fertile downtime!

I'm fallow today

allowing subtle energies to trickle down,

to fill up all my empty places

I'm recalling mis-remembered faces

revisiting those inner spaces

until the new spring

burbles forth.


Long ago, about a mile or so from where we're sitting, there lived an old Hawaiian couple.

Every morning the husband would hike inland to hunt, while his wife took their calabash gourds to the fresh springs of Mo`ili`ili down towards the shoreline. There she filled them with the day's needed water, carrying them home as the sun reached mid-heaven.

One day the gourds felt particularly heavy.

"Wela i ka la" (Hot, the sun!) she said to herself.

"We are getting old." She told her husband that afternoon when he returned. We have no children. Who will help me carry the water as it grows heavier day by day?

Just then a visitor came by.

"E komo mai" (welcome) they called humbly. "Come into our hale and share our meal."

They didn't recognize Lono, the god of peace and increase. But Lono had heard their worries, and their simple piety had touched his heart.

Striking the dry, rocky soil close by their dwelling

he caused a fresh spring, a puna hou, to gush forth.

Now they could easily grow food close at hand

and water would flow

without labor.

The old couple lived for many more years

always welcoming their many guests

who brought them poi and fish to eat

with warm respect.

And the punahou never ran dry;
In fact it still murmurs today on the campus of the Punahou School; Alma Mater of President Barack Obama.

A L O H A, Cloudia