"Let us be silent, that we may hear the whispers of the gods.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“It is a well-known fact that we always recognize our homeland when we are about to lose it.”
“The hero draws inspiration from the virtue of his ancestors.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
After a torrid childhood love affair with fiction, I got too busy and too grown-up to read all that merely "made up stuff." For years I didn't have time for it. I went whoring after information, thirsted after facts. But now, with the world's systems roiling, our parents passing, and age inexplicably encroaching even upon ourselves, I find once again that I am deeply fed by stories. . .Human stories. . . Yours. . . and Mine. . .
Our lives, I believe, are lifted and dignified when we remember the struggles of those who came before with gratitude, and when we awaken to the wonder of our own parading moments. . .
In her well received novel, House of Many Gods, Kiana Davenport (author of Song of the Exile) demonstrates "that living is a sacred act." My Hawaii novel, Aloha Where You Like Go? is the story of one who journeys to the Islands, learning about life & herself, through this uniquely rich setting. But Ms. Davenport (of Native Hawaiian & Anglo-American descent) writes from the Na'au, the bowels of this 'Aina (sacred land) itself, where the deepest truths of the Hawaiian people and their gods reside. . .
Opening these pages, we find ourselves among the very rocks and roots of the most Hawaiian of places, far from Honolulu city lights: Waianae Valley on O'ahu's Leeward Coast. This is a place and a way of life that few outsiders get to know beneath the hot, sunny surface. I had the privilege of conducting an after school group at Waianae High School for a few years and felt deeply touched to be even a small part of the lives of the children and families of "the coast." They taught me a lot. It is indeed a special place!
This story begins with all the commonplace cliches of the district: poverty, drugs, crime, the struggle for dignity, family dysfunction, and the cultural dislocation and dispossession of the Hawaiian people. But this is no political screed. Through dazzlingly arresting phrases & sentences, the author creates characters and scenes that come to life in your heart. Small kid times, extended families, homely joys, and keening rich pain, all coalesce into a whispering spell that draws a reader like an undertow of the mind. . . I really cared about Ana, and her family. Then a plot twist whisked me to a completely different setting; A land of moonlit birches, of unrelenting snow & cold. . . If you choose to read House of Many Gods, you will not be disappointed. Not only will you touch the ineffable (ah! literature!) but you will absorb a deeply soulful nourishment.
Oh! and you will absorb interesting "facts" and "information" in the truest way: through humanity and caring. Thanks for stopping by today.
A L O H A! Cloudia