Monday, August 31, 2009

Monday Monday

A L O H A!
Here is a Hawaiian Sky Just for YOU



click on photos for ahhhh-gasm


"You ask me why I dwell in the green mountain;
I smile and make no reply for my heart is free of care.
As the peach-blossom flows down stream
and is gone into the unknown,
I have a world apart that is not among men."

Li Bai

"You find a flower half-buried in leaves,
And in your eye its very fate resides.
Loving beauty, you caress the bloom;
Soon enough, you'll sweep petals from the floor.
Terrible to love the lovely so,
To count your own years, to say "I'm old,"
To see a flower half-buried in leaves
And come face to face with what you are."
Han Shan
Translated by Peter Stambler




"No one ever told me I was pretty when I was a little girl.
All little girls should be told they are pretty, even if they aren't."
Marilyn Monroe





“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us.
To live is to be slowly born.”
Antoine de Saint-Exupery




“The difference between what the most and the least learned people know
is inexpressibly trivial in relation to that which is unknown.”
Albert Einstein

>-+-<
Today, I am at the medical center having a colonoscopy.
This post is like those slides the TV stations used to show:
Please Forgive The Inconvenience.
Until our normal programming is continued.



Blogging is not about gem-like posts
so perfect and boring,
it is about being real.



Can't get real-er than a colonoscopy!
Your well-wishes are understood
but no less appreciated,
and no less desired.



Yes, you may leave smirky, jokey comments
at my expense.



I'll be too busy stuffing my face when I read them
to care!



So enjoy the day,
and especially the fact that it is not YOUR
colonoscopy!



Glad to be of service!
A L O H A HA HA HA!
Cloudia :-0

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Day of Rest

A L O H A!
Welcome to a Quiet Sunday Here in Hawaii
click on photos to ahhhhh!
A Nice Day to Rest at Home

“Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave,
and grow old wanting to get back to”
John Ed Pearce

The Animals Were There
“A smile is a window on your face to show your heart is at home.”
Unknown



“His Labor is a Chant -- his Idleness -- a Tune -- oh, for a Bee's experience of Clovers, and of Noon!”
Emily Dickinson



“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend - or a meaningful day.”
Dalai Lama

The sabbath has been smudged by too many fingers.


Our manufacturer recommends

a rest,

a fallow day.

But it's been turned into just another obligation,

a chore, a union rule.







Just as the magical MANNA

nourished for just one day,

the Here & Now

is fresh every moment.





We try to plan it,

to fit it all in
which means we live wrapped

in illusions.




Attempt to stay in the present

and the ego will rebel

in ten thousand ways.



But your sweet

original

soul
will thank you,

and flourish,

as you spend time

and attention with it.




When you just

sit & be

you learn how deep

the river really is.





You begin to intuit

how much of life's richness

passes by unnoticed.




Dare to believe

that it is easy,

that you are surrounded by

love.




Then you will understand

how steady

and deep

the current runs.



That it's

riding us home

without fail.












A L O H A! Cloudia

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Manoa Chinese Cemetery

Aloha & Nihau!
Welcome to Misty Manoa Valley
Here on Oahu



To forget one's ancestor's is to be a brook without a source, a tree without root.”
Chinese Proverb






Stories

"There were many such stories




he understood how important



they were



A life without stories



would be



no life at all



And stories bound us



did they not



one to another



the living to the dead



people to animals



people to the land."



Alexander McCall Smith






“One generation plants the trees, and another gets the shade”
Chinese Proverb



"A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark."

Chinese Proverb






“Pleasure for one hour, a bottle of wine. Pleasure for one year a marriage;

but pleasure for a lifetime, a garden.”
Chinese Proverb







“He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves:

one for his enemy and one for himself”
Chinese Proverb



"The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water,



but to walk on the earth."



Chinese Proverb









"I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day."



Elwyn Brooks White




"Here is the test to find whether your mission on earth is finished. If you're alive, it isn't."



Richard Bach







Manoa Chinese Cemetery is the largest Chinese cemetery in Hawai'i, and her oldest.



In 1852, a Chinese immigrant named Lum Ching hiked Manoa Valley with a friend all the way to Akaka Peak at the back. There they turned to enjoy the beautiful view to Waikiki and the sea below. Lum was a practicioner of the traditional astronomy/geology-based discipline called "kuni yee hok" (Feng Shui). Performing calculations using his mirror and compass, he exclaimed to his friend, "We are at an extraordinary spot. It is the pulse of the watchful dragon of the valley. People from all directions will come from across the seas and gather here to pay homage. Birds, too, will come to sing and roost. It is a haven suitable for the living as well as the dead. The Chinese people must buy this area and keep it as sacred ground."



On May 11, 1889, a petition was filed for a perpetual Charter of Incorporation under the name of Lin Yee Chung. On June 7, 1889, the organization was granted its charter by the Kingdom of Hawaii's Minister of Interior. Lin Yee Chung means "We are buried together here with pride."






Honolulu's United Chinese Society was formed in 1884. One of the organization's main purposes was to be the management of the cemetery.






One especially touching section of the cemetery is located near its entrance. All the graves here belong to children ranging in age from new-born to six years old. Chinese people bury their infants and young children close together so that their spirits may play together in perpetuity. Some folks claim to hear the voices of the children here at night, and even leave candy for them.

I had only a stick of gum, but left it atop the red stone, after taking the picture above.





Today, the cemetery encompasses thirty-four acres of Manoa Valley. It's one of my favorite places on the island. Generations of our neighbors rest here, including Honolulu Police Department veteran, Chang Apana, who was the real life inspiration for detective Charlie Chan.


Thanks for visiting today.


A L O H A! Cloudia













References:
Bouslog, C., Chung, K. and the Manoa Valley Residents. (1998). Manoa, The Story of a Valley. Honolulu: Mutual Publishing.





Thom, W. C. (1985). The Story of Manoa Chinese Cemetery with a Discussion of Ancestor Worship. Honolulu: Lin Yee Chung Association.








Condos, Candy. The Dragon's Pulse. Student Paper, Kapiolani Community College. Honolulu




(Instructor: Carl Hefner, Ph.D. Anthropology 200)












Friday, August 28, 2009

Passing Scene

A L O H A!
Welcome to Friday!
click on photos
" If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich."
John Kennedy, Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1961


"And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country."
John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, Jan 20, 1961


"The work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dreams shall never die."
Ted Kennedy, Democratic National Convention, August 1980.
"My brother need not be idealised or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life, to be remembered as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it"
Ted Kennedy, eulogy for brother Robert Kennedy, June 1968.







“This disaster reminds us that we are all part of the American family and we have a responsibility to help members of that family when they are in need,”
Ted Kennedy





“I think about my brothers every day,”
Ted Kennedy




"Trials never end, of course. Unhappiness and misfortune are bound to occur as long as people live, but there is a feeling now, that wasn't there before, and isn't just on the surface of things, but penetrates all the way through, that says: we've won this. Things are going to get better now.
You can sort of tell these things."
Robert M. Pirsig,
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance





PSSST! Change is afoot;
Pass it on
with
A L O H A, Cloudia


















Thursday, August 27, 2009

Towers

A L O H A!
C I A O!
Eh! Click-a on the photos! Venezia

“A well-ordered life is like climbing a tower; the view halfway up is better than the view from the base, and it steadily becomes finer as the horizon expands.”
William Lyon Phelps





“I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;

A palace and a prison on each hand.”
Lord Byron




“This was Venice, the flattering and suspect beauty - this city, half fairy tale and half tourist trap, in whose insalubrious air the arts once rankly and voluptuously blossomed, where composers have been inspired to lulling tones of somniferous eroticism."
Annonymous



Venice was built in a lagoon,

a special place of power,
where culture, history, energy lines,
and geographic paths meet fortuitously.




The Venetians have always loved & celebrated this place.
Her fairy constructions
are their lovely thoughts made visible.



Arriving in Venice, even today,
we see her famous tilting towers.
Their marshy bases love to sink uneven,
seeming to swirl
like slow motion wands
casting spells among the clouds.



What towers have you built
that have danced
and warped
with time?


Would you trade them for
a pyramid?


For a server farm?
A warehouse store?


Would you trade your dear whimsy
for a strait cinder block shelter?



I much prefer
your folly,
reaching
daring
sinking.





I like your tiles
and crenelations;
I love the colors
and texture
of your
thinking.




A L O H A! Cloudia










Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Floating Out the Back Door

A L O H A!
click on photos to see & smell the sea!" It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument."
William G. McAdoo

"Explanation separates us from astonishment, which is the only gateway to the incomprehensible."
Eugene Ionesco



"One day the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful."
Sigmond Freud





"Violence is the diplomacy of the incompetent."
Isaac Asimov





"Today my spirit is going to school while my body stays in bed."
Bill Watterson

" The writer is the engineer of the human soul"
Joseph Stalin





Well, as I sagely predicted, my happy side has bobbed to the top again.




It never ceases to amaze and delight me,




I finally possess a magical talisman or something!




I've confessed my crabby past, and you lovely, bloggy friends came visiting with tasty cupcakes, perfectly ripe fruit, and a crop of rosy comments!




You uplift and you humble me




in a most pleasant fashion.







Being a person among other people (blogger among bloggers?) is really very nice; when those others are like






Y O U !






Having my faithful kayak tied just outside the hatch






(you call it a "door")






just at the top of that companionway (ladder) over there,






two paces from where I write this,






doesn't hurt my prospects for a paradisaical afternoon either.







One minute my eyes are living through this silicon screen,






the next I'm pushing off,






and skimming out into the channel
behind my home-boat.






Water flows (I'm reminded)






like the web, touching every shore,






but it is wet, and fragrant and intimately close
when you glide upon it low,
with a wet bottom.






Normally I enter from the land, down the dock, and into my home via the Port hatch. It's such a delightsome, kid-like whimsy to slip out the other side (Starboard) and traverse a completely different venue.
I'm like the character in a surrealist nursery rhyme, exiting my chimney to float above the town
in the basket of a jolly red balloon.
Wind in the willows, wind in my hair. . . . Deedle DEE!






That's how the singing begins.








My senses open with the skies.






From out here on the water
sky and heart are unobstructed.






Settling into my own physical rhythms,






heart synchronizes with the sway of the waves.






Lungs exalt to be filled and under load once more.







Soon I begin to hear the piano concerto sky.






Sweeping passages of cloud and color
interlace with arpeggios of torn cumulus notes






that glissando into every shade of emotion,






settling, finally






into exultation.












And each passing piece of flotsam,






is a tiki from the sea,






bumping my canoe with it's brusque little blessing,






bobbling away with satisfaction,






in the winged sweep of my wake.







Out here






Floating flowers decorate the grocery bags.






And nets of radiant modulation






cast broad






evolve like a web of tiny ridges






across the bulging tidal surge.




Today






a sneaky, confident little Autumn






is laying her clues everywhere.






These trade winds carry the scent of Northern Cooling






and keep the hurricane






away






to the south.



















The Canada Geese of my heart






begin to flutter






and to






Honk.






























All this treasure






for the plunder!






I will be bold
as a pirate






and fill my






fairy boots






with black






pearls.






A L O H A! Cloudia

















Tuesday, August 25, 2009

One of Those Days

A l o h a !
click on photos to muse dreamily The Sky is so Vast!



My Heart is so Tiny- but the Love it Contains
Reaches to the Skies.



We each paddle our skin canoe.
Conditions change day to day, minute to minute.
Will there be a paradise cove, surrounded by a loving reef, containing sweet water? Unseen, a Helper paddles behind us. The waters around us are tipped with the gold of Spirit. But life's brine brings on a mighty thirst; so paddle, paddle. . . rest and paddle some more!






Sometimes I just don't want to get out of bed.
Recent research indicates that, yes, children can suffer from depression.
When I was a kid, being sad and withdrawn was considered to be bad behavior, a stage, something to be jolly-ed or threatened out of. A character flaw.
So, being a depressed kid, I was on my own.
Unfortunately, that can lead to a self-reinforcing downward loop: one feels sad, shy and anxious; other people respond negatively,and so a gulf with a moat and a wall coalesce around one.
All the stimulation feels overwhelming, so one withdraws.
But children need relationships in order to develop.
When relationships are painful, the child develops into a hermit.
Solitude becomes the only solace.
Reading, nature, pets are one's reliable companions.





But since "life" is all about being among others, one is severely handicapped. It's impossible to do everything for oneself - but you can try if you have to.
This sort of pressure-cooker produces some diamonds.
Perhaps music or mathematics becomes your opiate?
Or philosophy, or observation and paying attention.





The Cloudia you meet here, is the result of decades of searching, experimenting, surviving & yearning.
Being sad and overwhelmed is a powerful impetus to inquiry.
I have discovered a few things.
And I am grateful and genuinely happy most of the time.
But some mornings I awake with a start.
Life is slipping by and I have achieved nothing commensurate with my potential.





Others who perceived less complexity, or who had easier temperaments and social graces, have single mindedly achieved careers. It's easy!
What's wrong with me?
The mountains I have climbed
are on the other side of the moon.
Or long forgotten.





I meet old colleagues who are still in the same field
and can't believe they are still living
in what for me has become a former life.
I've lived a dozen incarnations since then!
But the floor needs vacuming again,
a million and one little chores need to be accomplished
in order to simply go
nowhere.




Entropy swallows every day's post from the Comfort Spiral.





Perhaps I should delete all this and just run some pictures and some cool quotes;
But now you can see my achievement:
"From Survival to Satisfaction."
Indeed.





My emotional set-point
supposedly immutable
is no longer stuck on this fearsome emotional muck
(as it once was).
Like that clown punching-bag
somehow I return upright
to peace and beauty every time.
(Eventually)
Then I'll be embarrassed by this post.
But perhaps there is important truth here.
You are not alone.
Sometimes it just takes a little while to feel good again,
to stop focussing on all the "issues"
(mine and the world's)
and to notice the eternal thrum of loving truth
underlying all,
so that "all" is revealed an illusion.
And today's lack of
achievement
is really so very small.





I need to rest a while,
to dream,
to stare,
to hide away.





Wise people say that everything we touch, everything we produce, carries the "energy" with which we produce it.
If we act out of fear, or greed, we are spreading that energy to others. Some days I want to quarentine my existential angst at home.
But today I dare
(Dare I?!)
to show the trembling weakling behind the curtain.
Isn't that how friends are made? By being yourself?
So here's this lump of coal
in the stocking of my gift to you.
Go be human today!
If it is a day of heart and new beginnings: I salute you!
If you are hiding at home like me,
I want you to know that you are not alone.
Life is made of circles, of seasons, of weather-
inside weather and out.
Let's ride the Comfort Spiral
together.
Please, if you have the time,
leave me a comment,
a piece of fruit,
a flower,
or a word.
We are all hungry - but we all get fed.
We are blessed to feed each other.
Don't look away
for I am you,
and to love my yearning
is to heal your own
and the world's.
A L O H A Cloudia

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gates of Prison or Joy

A L O H A!
Glad to See YOU again
Here at Waikiki
click on photos, see BIG
Lingering Moments



“The primary sign of a well-ordered mind is a man's ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company”
Seneca


Psychedelic Fish


"A fish may love a bird, but where would they live?"
Drew Barrymore

"Assure a man that he has a soul and then frighten him with old wives' tales as to what is to become of him afterward, and you have hooked a fish, a mental slave."

Theodore Dreiser



Where There are Fish,
There is the Heron to Catch and Eat Them.



"Last year I went fishing with Salvador Dali. He was using a dotted line. He caught every other fish."
Steven Wright

Old and New:
Traditional-Style Polynesian Tattooing & Cell Phone

"Every man is a quotation from all his ancestors"

Ralph Waldo Emerson






Modern physics and western medicine

have discovered the mind/body connection.

Some even call it

bodymind.

As the mind believes

the body percieves

and reacts.

According to Huna,

the ancient beliefs of the Hawaiians,

the world is what you think it is:

Filled with God's glory,

or empty nihilism;

You decide - You experience.

We are at the gates

of

Joy.






Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Hate Poetry

A Different View of Diamond Head

"The shepherd drives the wolf from the sheep's throat, for which the sheep thanks the shepherd as his liberator, while the wolf denounces him for the same act, as the destroyer of liberty. Plainly the sheep and the wolf are not agreed upon a definition of the word liberty; and precisely the same difference prevails today among human creatures."

Lincoln



A Working Artist Making People Happy in Waikiki
(see his wheels?)

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

Einstein




That's "Haute" Dog!

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self."

Aldous Huxley


"When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us."

Alexander Graham Bell




Actually I revere poetry.
But not the way it's presented in snooty publications that I otherwise enjoy, like the NEW YORKER.
They run only "challenging," good-for-you stuff that demands a thesaurus and a masters degree in the current, insular, expert-driven jargon to "get."
The enjoyment it conveys to its devotees must be the shallow, acid satisfaction of exclusion.
Makes your heart sing, doesn't it?



How nice for "them."



But the rest of us, we need to re-read Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Rilke, Whitman, Basho, or Richard Wilbur to get our fix of words dancing with deceptively weighty import.
They make it simple and welcoming,
so you may go deeper as you grow
yet still resonate to the
simple,


the true.





Well a tough little weed of authentic beauty is attracting attention to the vacant lots, gunshots in the night, and strangely proud despair of once-mighty Detroit.





There at the epi-center of "whats gone wrong with America" is a prime example of what is best in our country: a craftsman with nicotine stained fingers, a retired mechanic who can fix cars as well as conundrums, a fiercely honest, yet compellingly stark-gentle soul who produces Real Poetry, proving that this miraculous species, yet thumbs it's nose at the hot-house imprisonment attempted by academe.






Words, those impish little gods, will find a mouthpiece, one who has been made ready by a life at the working-edge of grass roots, in da street, a democratic genius presenting a scornful, sage appraisal of the
"way things are going."


This is no hot house flower.
This is the guy you want to have a shot, and a smoke, and a convo with at 3am as the sirens wail:
Meet Mark Durfee
AKA "The Walking Man"
on his coffee stained, eponymous blog:





This grizzled wanderer/biker/war veteran/no-bullshit workman has recently produced something like 100 straight days of Real Poetry at his blog!
The rythmn and gravity of his words are the exposed beams of a meaning that had been torturing your abilities to express it; Then Mark dashes it off and posts it for us to read,
in a form that is spare, and rich, and usually inspiring.





I feel that I have made a friend, hell, I know that I have.
This poetic voice has my vote:
Mark, you may speak the keen truths that knife through our coats, and walls,
for me, for millions.



We remember comon sense, responsibility, and governing based on more than "say anything" power games, and spoils for the rapacious.
We remember a trust and a solidity that has decayed:
just like Detroit it's perfect emblem.
So visit The Walking Man.
Obtain there his slender new volume, beautifully named:
"STINK
Poetry and Prose of Detroit"





If I know you as well as I think I might, you'll taste something fresh, yet beautifully familiar: your own
despair & unquenchable hope
dancing cheek to cheek, down the broken sidewalks
of Detroit
at close to midnight.
For reals!
A L O H A cloudia