Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tropic Halloween

A L O H A!
Halloween Saturday
in Honolulu
click on photos to be bewitched
The frost is on the coconut.
"Seasons in the Clouds"

"October is a symphony of permanence and change."
Bonaro W. Overstreet

Let's go for an aimless drive

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.

Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.

The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy,

while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

John Muir

Ah; The Seasonal Leaves! (Taro: poi on the hoof)

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."
Salvador Dali


The trade winds have returned!

The air is clear and sharp.

Diamond Head, the Ko`olau & the Waianae Mountains

are crisp.

Sleeping is serene.

If I wasn't going into a sealed room with many, many psychiatrists early tomorrow (Sunday!) morning, it would be a really nice weekend.

(see yesterday's post for the juicy back-story)

Ah, what the hey.

They'll all be hungover after Saturday Night Halloween Honolulu anyway.

Maybe I'll wear a costume to amuse them.

I'll disguise myself as a normal person.


And later this weekend, Saint Damien's relic (his hand) will be received at an interdenominational event at the Iolani Palace.

Then a procession will accompany it to it's resting place

at Our Lady of Peace Cathedral.

I heard an ancient local man telling someone:

"They sending his hand, because that's what he touched us with,

helped us."

Enjoy YOUR Day

Warmly, Cloudia

Friday, October 30, 2009

Spy in the House of Psychiatry

Welcome Back to Waikiki
photos, click on the-" Goin` up the country, got to get away. . . "
Country Joe Mcdonald

"Truth is not introduced into the individual from without,

but was within him (sic) all the time."


These ladies are public health outreach workers.
They bring help and information to those who need it the most.
They may have offices, but their real workplace is the streets,
and the heart.


One night many years ago, in a city far away, a much younger me was spontaneously initiated into front-line street outreach.

Returning from New York on the train late one night, I arrived at a dozing 30th Street Station in Philadelphia. (Go Phillies!)

This is the huge, echoing sepulcher that steals the key opening scenes of the film "Witness."

Who knows why we notice the previously un-noticed?

Who knows why our lives are marked and changed forever simply as a result of walking left, or right?

That night I noticed an old man and a young boy sitting on one of the hard, wooden benches under the spooky, extreme bas-relief that depicts the history of transportation where the Amish mom and child sat in the film.

Somehow I knew that they were not necessarily waiting for a train. You might laugh at me, but I think that sometimes angels whisper in our ears. Most of the time, I only realize it afterwards. But that night I felt a surge of impersonal decisiveness that propelled me across the vast space to the all-night McDonald's.

There were 14 desultory hamburgers and cheeseburgers under the orange heating lamp. They looked as listless and purposeless as the late shift counter-person in the empty, over lit, late night oasis.

"Please give me all of those hamburgers."

"Is that to go?"

"No, I'm gonna eat them here while you watch! Just put them in a bag please."

What happened next was an out-of-body experience.

As you can tell from the interchange above, I was an impatient jerk who didn't suffer "fools" wisely back then. Thinking about it now, I realize that THIS night I'm telling you about marked my embarkation on another path.

Walking across the giant space, I understood that there are people everywhere with nowhere to go, people who are hungry and cold. They had just been part of the city-scape before. Now I wondered why someone didn't just do some simple thing. It was SO obvious!

Approaching the old man and the boy, I instantly understood that this was not about me; this was bigger than me in a mysterious way. I was not to taint this with my personality or ideas. I was simply there to offer food simply.

"Want a hamburger?"

The old man looked at the warm bag, then at me.

"Who are you?!"

"No one, just take a sandwich.

They did.

That was the first time.

It was the time of Reagan, and there were more people on the streets. I could not shake the feeling, a feeling hard to describe, that this was what I wanted to do.

No bullshit. Just food.

So I bought bread, jelly and peanut butter from my meagre earnings, and made nightly forays through the streets and alleys of Philadelphia giving away the sandwiches that I made; doing it all as simply as possible. Matter of fact: "Here it is."

The only thing that I knew was the satisfaction of doing something worth-while. It was OBVIOUS: this is what you do. The only mistake as I saw it, was to do it "for the feeling."

All my self-doubt, confusion, and future-fear were quiet when I walked those streets. There was at least one reason for me to exist.

Well, long story short, I got involved with non-profit organizations. I saw how a good idea gets mired in "professionalism" and "boundaries" and "training" and measurable change, statistics and funders reports.

I noticed how the word "client" creates a judgement and a separation.

Anyway, the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatrists is meeting here in Waikiki. I used to provide medical education around issues of stigma and risk, and have been invited to speak to the shrinks about after school groups for at-risk Isle kids that I launched and facilitated a few years back. A study was published, and re-published, and so I will be the only mere BA to instruct the MD experts.

They will want to know about recruiting the participants, about the curriculum and structure of the sessions. They will enjoy the numerical data generated and published.

But what I want them to understand is that it's not all about professionalism and prescriptions. I want them to understand that it IS all about simply being there with the right attitude. It's really Aloha, unconditional positive regard, that made measurable, positive changes in the lives of the kids who participated. Mine too.

A psychiatrist or other professional is very full.

I have learned to serve others by being empty, by listening without agenda.

So I will be a spy in the house of psychiatry.

And though my presentations have always been well received, it's been a few years since I was really doing that work. I'm grateful that they asked, and hope that my information will help them serve kids better.

But I'll be glad when it's over.

A L O H A! Cloudia

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October Morn

Welcome to a Still Morning
Here in Waikiki

photos enlarge with a click!
Aloha, Kolea (Golden Plover)

"The ornaments of your house

will be the guests who frequent it."


I HAVE a spine! It's just pink, that's all!

“That old black magic has me in its spell,
That old black magic that you weave so well;
Icy fingers up and down my spine,
The same old witchcraft when your eyes meet mine”
Johnny Mercer

A`ole (No) Opala (Garbage)!

"Water and air,
the two essential fluids on which all life depends,
have become global garbage cans."
Jacques Yves Cousteau

Gentle Skies

"I heard the church bells hollowing out the sky
Deep beyond deep, like never-ending stars."

Sir John Betjeman

I Think We're Alone

"It's often just enough to be with someone.

I don't need to touch them. Not even talk.

A feeling passes between you both.

You're not alone."

Marilyn Monroe

This morning is hazy & still
with a tang of Autumnal chill in the air.
A gentle atmosphere pervades, as if the sky, sea and isle
were rendered in soft pastels.

The kolea,
thin from their trans-pacific flight,
settle in to the broad lawns of their winter territory.

The deep dawning present
expands like a deeply grateful breath.
Filling me with such NOW
that I have no room at all
for future worries or concerns..

Pele's vog wreathes us
hiding Oahu half in myth
like the legendary destination we are;
A living, glittering,
golden treasure
where the sheer intensity of beauty
charms us each away
from chronic ways of seeing,
and being.

Welcome to Waikiki in late October.
A quiet season
with ample time to wander
and waking-dream.

the freshening Trades will return
pushing winter along
whose clear blue skies
of amazing intensity,
whose hula-swaying palms,
will stir like mesmerized titans.

Mountains so sharp
they inscribe themselves,
incise themselves,
into the viewers heart.

Thanks to El Nino
it should be a cool,
subtropical winter.

Twain called it "eternal Summer"
in the "loveliest fleet of islands
anchored in any ocean."

So welcome to Waikiki
in late October.

ALOHA, Honored Guest! cloudia

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Knock Knock

AH- Loha
Waikiki Welcomes YOU Back. . .
click on photos-in-the-sand

"If you wish to travel far and fast, travel light.
Take off all your envies, jealousies, unforgiveness, selfishness and fears."

-- Glenn Clark

"Sometimes one likes foolish people for their folly, better than wise people for their wisdom."

Elizabeth Gaskell

"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you."
Maori Proverb

Scene: Me at my desk, here below decks,
on board my home/boat visiting blogs on-line.

Suddenly there is a "knock" against the hull.
Sounds like something is loose, and banging against the boat.

I go up on deck to look around.

It always amazes me that all of THAT HAWAII is just outside
while I swim across the surging bits & pixels of the Internet
down here.

I find: nothing.
Nothing swinging, nothing loose, nothing rolling across the deck.

Back at my laptop I hear it again: "Knock Knock."
Nothing hanging from the rigging.
Once more around the deck looking for the source.


But look at all that sky and beauty! I gotta go outside more!
Clicking on another blog. . . Knock!

Kitty was very tolerant as I stepped over her for the bazillionth time. Knock!

Looking over the side, I spot it:
A floating beer bottle, ballast-ed with water, is lurking.


Glad that it is not something I need to fix RIGHT NOW, I settle back at the keyboard.

MMMMMM? Is it too early for a libation?

Here's to YOU my bloggy friends! ALOHA, cloudia

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Aloha Uncle George

To YOU today!
Welcome to a Special Hawaiian Post

click on photos like a local!Uncle George Lanakilakekiahiali'i Naope
Born in Kalihi, Oahu in February 1928 - October 26, 2009

"I did all I wanted to do."

There's a feeling deep in my heart. . .

"Now we can call on him at any time.

A wheelchair can't come out on a rocky cliff or a crest.

Now we can call on him anywhere."

"I think what I always enjoyed most about seeing Uncle George is, whenever he went into a room, all eyes went on him. That energy, that responsibility he carried, he loved it. He loved that position, yet at the same time he had that mission, that responsibility to carry on the hula. It's really nice, this tiny little man could come in and the entire auditorium would stop. That says a lot about who he is."

Sig Zane,

Textile designer, Cultural Practitioner, and Kumu Hula.

In 2006, Uncle George was a National Endowment for the Arts fellow. He also received the Na Hoku Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts;

The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau and Hawaii Tourism Authority both honored Na'ope with lifetime achievement awards.

"Uncle shared hula with the world.

It was his desire that hula be danced everywhere, and many of our kumu hula today are enjoying the legacy he leaves for all of us. He was a consummate entertainer, and that's what he did for the world, with aloha."

Jacqueline "Skylark" Rosetti

"I felt the hula was becoming too modern and that we have to preserve it. [David] Kalakaua [king of Hawaii 1874-91, aka The Merrie Monarch] brought the hula back to Hawaii and made us realize how important it was for our people. There was nothing here in Hilo, so I decided to honor Kalakaua and have a festival with just hula.

I didn't realize that it was going to turn out to be one of the biggest things in our state."
Uncle George, NEA National Heritage Fellow 2006

"I tell the young people to learn the culture and learn it well, preserve it so their children and their children's children can continue with our culture and that our culture will live forever."

Uncle George

"In later years, Na'ope was known not just as a kumu hula, but as a raconteur, a dapper man decked out in bright clothes and huge rings. A fixture at the festival and its many auxiliary events, he was adored by hula-loving visitors, often seen in a huge peacock-style chair having his picture taken with visitors from Japan.

In latter years, when he crept up the ramp to the Merrie Monarch stage to perform a hula during the finale, the crowd would go wild.

He was called 'The Menehune,' for his small stature, or sometimes "Dandy," a reference to King Kalakaua's hula master Dandy Ioane, also a dapper dresser."

Gordon Y.K. Pang,
Honolulu Advertiser


When I lived in Kona in the 80's I used to see a dapper old fellow walking down the road. He was decked out in lei, with a flower in his hat, wearing many many Hawaiian bracelets & rings. "That's Uncle George," folks would say with a special tone in their voices.

The State of Hawaii declared him a "Living Golden Treasure" but needn't have. He was already beloved and appreciated in a way that is hard to express in this modern day and time.

He is one of the few slender bridges that brought the cultural treasures of Hawaii's past into the present. At the penultimate moment of the Merrie Monarch Festival (the "Olympics of hula") while the judges tally the results, the tension, exhaustion, and exultation are palpable - even when viewed on TV.

It was at just this moment that Uncle George would take the stage to dance. All eyes were on him, including all of the dancers and kumu waiting to hear their rankings.

There, in the spotlight, our foremost hula expert would begin to dance real Kolohe ("mischievous, naughty, prankster, rascal"). A bit funny, a bit naughty, he always brought a humanity and warmth that touched hearts throughout the world. He had something of the little kid in him.

I last saw Uncle George here in Honolulu in the Spring of 2006 when he was signing inaugural copies of "Humu Mo`olelo - Journal of the Hula Arts" of which he is considered the founder.

It was always permitted to treat him with warmth and familiarity, so I mentioned Kona days and we admired each others jewelry. He signed my journal: "Aloha Cloudia, Uncle George Naope."

Here it sits by my side. The privilege was all mine, Uncle.

Aloha `Oe to a dear & great human being!

And to each of YOU for joining us today. Dance on! cloudia

Here is the link to Burl Burlingame's Honolulu Star Bulletin article:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sports Roots

A L O H A!
Welcome to Waikiki, Sports Fans
don't be dodos - click on photos

“The royal road to a man's heart
is to talk to him about the things he treasures most.”
Dale Carnegie

"That deed which in our guilt we today call weakness,
will appear tomorrow as an essential link
in the complete chain of Man”
Kahlil Gibran

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy
is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.
Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself."
William Blake


When I was a kid, sports seemed like mass psychosis to me. Other kids, and ADULTS got so worked up about a game! Couldn't they just read a book or something?

Some ancient cultures used the outcome of games and competitions as oracles. Their gods literally chose sides and chose the victors. It is precisely the combination of talent, training, & skill plus a thousand and one variables that makes sports so compelling. And they provide a wonderful survival of magical thinking. Witness the rituals that athletes and even fans go through! If I remain standing, my team will score a basket, touchdown, home run or whatever. We make idols and demi-gods of our sports heroes because they are human-yet-excellent. We also like to live vicariously
through them.

This is not purely or even mostly a conscious thing either. When your school or town wins, spirits and testosterone rise!

We no longer build civic temples, but they survive as stadiums. Local teams are one common factor across all strata and conditions of society. Sports are, after all, a surviving, ancient form of mass behavior. Something primitive within each of us, and within our "civilization" still lusts to WIN. And when we DO win, it seems that heaven smiles on us promising to bless all of our endeavors. "What we plant will flourish!"

You might suspect that this post resonates with Monday Night Football here in the US.

It's all about baseball and the Phillies.
The team that frustrated grand dad (and an entire city for) decades. Last year I was watching the game with my dad when they won the world series.
Dad passed around 7 months later.

I'm glad we had that moment together before he got really sick and started to leave worldly things behind.
It still chokes me up when I remember him saying:
"I just wish I could drive my car again."

Yes, the mundane things of this world are more important than I realized as a grandiose, underage philosopher
all those sports-hating years ago.

Now the Phillies of my roots, complete with my Hawaii's slugger Shane Victorino, will play in the Big Game for a second year. And when they do, I'll be watching along with many ghosts.
Yes, and I'll be enjoying every mundane little thing about it including the junk food snacks.

All the precious, passing Earthly treasures!
'Cause in heaven
there aint no beer.

But all pets go to heaven - so there will be someone to play catch with!
SHOUT OUT: To Universty of Hawaii/Manoa Women's Volleyball Coach, Dave Shoji on his 1000th Victory last week.
Go Wahine!
A L O H A, Cloudia

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Carp, Curry, Leaves & Idols

A L O H A!
It's Sunday in Waikiki
and YOU are invited!
click on images to enhance "Tutu ("grandmother") give me a penny to throw."

"So say it loud and let it ring. We are all a part of everything.
The future, present and the past.
Fly on proud bird.
You're free at last."
Charlie Daniels

MMM! Chicken Katsu ("Cutlet") Curry Saimin... ONO! ("Yummy")

"Food, like a loving touch or a glimpse of divine power,
has that ability to comfort."
Norman Kolpas

"Lazy Laugh Hand Out"

"If there is magic on the planet, it is contained in the water."
Loren Eisley

From time immemorial

God was the mystery

beyond comprehension.

Not to be controlled or contained

by mere definition.

But once the church fathers

indulged lofty explanation

in the style and rhetoric


Greek philosophy

They unwittingly debased

the Most Magnificent Mystery

into a mere logic-compelling


But mysteries

are mysteriously "known"

not dissected.

And it is just this

"dissected god"

that has morphed into an


As the Cloud of Unknowing

drifts above on a


A L O H A :]


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Smell That?

A L O H A Friends
Welcome to
Saturday Waikiki
click on photos to make bigger Let's relax under the banyan tree

"I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through
the deepest snow
to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch,
or an old acquaintance among the pines."
Henry David Thoreau

My retinas are burning! That's PINK!

“Almost all words do have color and nothing is more pleasant than to utter a pink word and see someone's eyes light up and know it is a pink word for him or her too”
Gladys Taber

Ah! Noble Green Greetings.

"All theory, dear friend, is gray,

but the golden tree of life springs ever green."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Do you smell it? Have you guessed?

MMMMM! New computer smell!

After months of investigation and self doubt, I have obtained another DELL laptop. Dual core processor, Windows 7, and yummy ice blue case.

I'm stylin` baby!

Now I won't need that fail safe post I had all set to post if I couldn't get back on line for a while. If all goes as planned, you should find it just below this post.

But before you scroll there, please check out today's video of old friend Soupy Sales who died yesterday. In the black & white world of my childhood Soupy and his happy hipster irreverence opened a window on a world of joyous nonconformity that delighted me.

His TV world complemented the art of Dali and Magritte. Looking at his few videos available at You Tube made me laugh out loud again, and to remember early joys.

I hope it makes you laugh too.

Thank you kindly for your visit today.

And now, here's Mr. Sales:

A L O H A! Cloudia

If You Are Reading This...

Note: This sheduled post was set to publish if my computer blew up. Now that I have a new laptop I thought I'd share it merely for your pleasure. To recap: I will be posting as usual!
Don't worry!

I'm NOT dead. . . at least I don't think I am.

But my computer is so old ("How old is it?")
that it is STEAM powered.

It's operating system was written by a caveman.

It has taken some interesting contortions, tricks, and propitiations to keep the old Dell running.

But I do love my antique technology. . . .
Plus, I'm as thrifty as a grandmother.

I went through a time of asking every computer-savvy
person I met:
"Are you a Mac or a PC?"

I examined the option of using a Net Book.
Finally, I decided to stay an un-hip PC laptop.

Windows 7!
If I can just hold on until I can buy a box with Windows 7!

Thursday October 22 is the day that I can buy a computer with the newest operating system
(and put the old one into a museum!).

I'm really looking forward to it.
Visiting all of YOUR blogs has been an ordeal with the old OS; I'm really looking forward to visiting you more often!

But if you are reading this post, it means that I didn't make it.
The old lap top has finally passed on!
Thanks old pal; We graduated college, wrote a novel, and launched this blog together.

So if you, my Dear Bloggy Pals, are reading this: PLEASE be patient!
Please check back!

I will return, as Benjamin Franklin's gravestone says, "In a revised and improved edition."
Do check out posts you may have missed.
There's tons of stuff here that deserves to live beyond it's
one butterfly day.

In REAL Cloudia withdrawals (so modest!) you might consider clicking on the image of my little novel at the foot of this blog. That will take you to Amazon where you can buy the sweet little book that many folks seem to have enjoyed.

" I'll be BACK!!!

I WILL Find YOU! "

Until then, Warm Aloha to Each of YOU, my friends.
I'll be (in withdrawals and) missing YOU more. . . .Cloudia