Saturday, January 30, 2010

Saturday Lark



Aloha Saturday

here in


click on photos, eh?
See the canoe full of paddlers?

"Live in the sunshine, swim the sea,
drink the wild air."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Chinese New Year is percolating throughout Honolulu.
Think of me breathlessly chasing the sound of ancient drums and gongs;
sniffing the tropic air for the smell of firecrackers, keeping my eyes peeled for gutters and sidewalks banked with tell-tale red paper.

Good luck is everywhere to be welcomed.
Here, feed the dancing lion this dollar.
Where else can you have so much fun
while courting good fortune to last all year?

Gung Hee Fat Choy, everybody!

<>< ><> ><> ><>

"Always speak politely to an enraged Dragon.
Steven Brust

Narcissus Queens Smile

“There is one spectacle grander than the sea,
that is the sky;

there is one spectacle grander than the sky,
that is the interior of the soul”

Victor Hugo


Dare to believe in your own grandeur;
move through your weekend
like a benevolent sovereign.
Not haughty,
but with love & protection for all.

Guard the throne room
of your sweetest heart
and greet the new year
as your friend. . .

ALOHA, cloudia

Friday, January 29, 2010

Welcome to Friday

click on the foliage to release the good luck
These are Friday fronds!


"All of us should strive for a newer and better self-

take our lives to the next level."
LL Cool J

Sea turtles like to hide on the bottom among the treasures of the deep.

"Why do we love the sea?
It is because it has some potent power
to make us think things we like to think."
Robert Henri

Chinatown Florist Cat

“There are two means of refuge
from the miseries of life:
music and cats."

Albert Schweitzer


They say that when you find what you were born to do
you will know it.

After many years of soul searching,
aspiring, succeeding, failing,
I think I now see my destiny clearly:

A recent study in Pediatric Anesthesia
reported that Medical Clowns
"significantly alleviate pre-operative anxiety
in children better than, or at least equal to,
pharmaceutical medication."

Medical Clowns?!

Sometimes called:
Clown Doctors
these professionals work in nations
around the world.

The Big Apple Circus, alone,
has participated in the training
and placement
of these funny healers
in more than 18 facilities
throughout the US.

There is something about
and the puncturing of pretense,
that touches the human heart
in any situation.

Let us take ourselves
less seriously,
shall we?

Let us bring lightness
wherever we go today.

Now let's all get into the tiny car together-

ALOHA, cloudia

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Home Town Hero

Aloha, Friend!
Welcome to Thursday

click on the photos to capture the rich juices
When we first moved to Hawaii
we enjoyed watching Sumo wrestling on TV.
Now it's pay-per-view (and I ain't paying) but it was very popular here, especially in the 90s because a few local boys made it to Yokozuna status. Perhaps the most popular was Konishiki,
since retired and returned to Oahu.
Above is a Honolulu restaurant that appeals to locals and Japanese visitors alike.

What comes to mind when you hear the term: "Professional Athlete?"
Here is a picture of the beloved sports hero at the height of his career.

Recently he appeared on morning TV (at left, above).
He has lost a lot of weight, now that his career doesn't require him
to shove other giants out of the circle.
Here is Bruddah IZ' tribute in song to the Hawaii Sumotri:

And here is a short video of a Sumo match:

ALOHA, Sports Fans!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Family Circus


Wednesday in Waikiki!

click on the photos-on parade
"Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses."

"Be not ashamed of mistakes, and thus make them crimes."

"It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop."
This, and quotes above it: Confucious

"You don't choose your family.
They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
Desmond Tutu

> ><> ><>

When I first moved to Hawaii, it was disconcerting when folks asked about my family.
Family, OHANA, is a most important part of our local culture, growing out of the Hawaiian
host culture, and the other cultures (Asian, Pacific Islander, Madeira Portuguese) that make up the fabric of our island society.

Western culture is much more individualistic, the mountain man, explorer, or cowboy, heads out to test himself against the frontier. Plus, I was always the odd man out in my family. My brother, a few years ago, told me that he realized that it was kinda the 3 of them vs me; it was the only family solidarity they knew!

So when local people asked me about my family, I felt confused and disregarded.
"I'm not a part of a family, I'm ME! Not the screw-up my parents abhorred, but a good person!"

My brother, one the other hand, lived very close my parents (after they followed their grandchildren to Hawaii) and they practically raised his 2 children, while backing him in the acquisition of credit and mortgages, and all the help represented by being part of a family.

Any planned attempts at family healing was "about me" and always devolved into hurtful re-plays of my childhood: me VS the "normal" people. If only I could confess whatever evil or shortcoming they hate!

But as in childhood, healthy self-preservation kicked in
and I withdrew or rebelled as always.
Yes, my parents gave me the tools, and role models, to work well with others! Looking back from today, I see how the chip on my shoulder (Don't you dare treat me as "less than!") was the defining feature of my interactions with others and society at large. No wonder I took up ministering to the untouchables and outcasts!
Only service turned down the self-loathing.
There. I said it.

I was Odysseus, out on my own for years.
Then my husband and I were in the boat together.
He taught me to trust another person; and
that I am lovable and good.

When my parents decided to move to Oahu (from the neighbor island) it was to find an easy maintenance apartment, and be close to health care and family (me and hubby!).

They also needed our good credit to buy that apartment.
We have lived modestly so as to always have freedom and options.
Now the folks who handicapped me emotionally (stop snivelling!) needed something rather major from us. I thought of the scorpion asking passage across the pond from the frog. But I also thought of the longed-for opportunity to get close to my parents, and for them to see me as a successful, loving, adult.

Old habits die hard.
My happiness and solicitousness seemed to annoy them as "phony" or maybe they felt. . . guilty about how they had always treated me?

I took every opportunity to show affection to them, especially my Dad who I now realize shaped my whole (messed up) outlook on life. Thing is, he didn't live by the rules he taught by example. My nemesis, who ALWAYS found much to criticize about anything I did, rather enjoyed life and was easy on himself. He was even charming to people outside the family! Any problems were someone else's fault (often mine) and were met with anger.
(I never sang for - or pleased my father. Boo Hoo)

My husband and friends noticed what I was up against.

When the newness wore off their son-in-law due to proximity, they started finding fault with him too (the guy who was helping them - "What an idiot, treating HER well!"). Mom told me I "spoil" him with affection. That made me feel like my marriage is on a good track; even if we don't carp and fight like my parents always did).

Dad called business that pertained to his apartment (which was in our names) and passed himself off as my husband, often starting fights or acting rude in the process!! On an Island, your name is your bond. The scorpion was stinging my husband (some thanks) and now treating him as rudely as they always had me.

Dad died last May, and I've realized a lot.
I'm happy that he felt my love, that I was able to help him instead of "getting even;" and in his defense, he wanted me to have a place to live someday, even if it will be after they are done with it - and he was protecting himself from medical impoverishment (PRESCIENT!).

"Your brother has a house;
I want you to have somewhere to live when you get older.
I helped him plenty."

My brothers expectations and hurt feelings about "his inheritance" bubbled over when Dad was dying. Bro and Mom trapped hubby and I into a wrenching argument over Dad's sick bed about putting my brother's name on the deed. Not the mortgage - just the deed. Did I mention that he has emigrated to Canada, now that my parents don't own a huge home he can live in?

"If you need ANY help with Mom & Dad:
Forget it!" He shouted at me over the phone.
As if his duty to be a human was contingent on Dad's (or my) acting in Bro's interests.
What a guy. No wonder Mom adores him and listens to his problems.
A shame she can't bail him out with checks like she always has.

Brother travelled here from Canada a couple of times as Dad lay dying. I'm glad he did, but I'm so shell-shocked by his anger, that I'm basically nervous whenever I think of him.

"Why is my Dad so angry?" my (adult) niece and nephew (his kids) asked me after witnessing a a scene or two of the drama.

So I got to show Dad my love.
Now I'm responsible for Mom's well-being too.
The daughter often is, and I've also noticed that sometimes the Black Sheep returns surprisingly, like the prodigal, and ushers the parents out of this life with devotion and love.
(My brother never read that part of the Bible I guess.)

I miss Dad,
and I'm glad to finally see through the illusions we shared.
I'm also grateful that he wanted to provide for his wayward daughter too. (Someday - but NICE!).

So when folks ask about my family, I understand that they are trying to get to know me, not bring up a painful reaction.

Funny how life turns around.
When I observe good parenting (and many of YOU blog friends who come here are exemplary parents!) it still makes me a little sad for the things that I was hungry for as a kid. But the grand anger has dissipated in the morning light of insight.

As Chinese New Year season ripens upon us, I realize how natural it is for us to worship our ancestors and feel their affection and help. I love my Dad for the tough upbringing that made me strong and independent.
The time for us to butt heads is long passed.
I like to feel that he is freed from his earthly illusions, and that I have been liberated by insight from the world he showed me.

Our Earth story is over now.

I send him my love.
And I miss him.
Strangely more than either Mom or Brother seem to.
It was he and I that had soul-ish business together, I think.

Someday hubby and I will live in the apartment that he provided
with our help.

Thanks Dad.

You can read a post about my Dad that became a guest column in the Honolulu Star Bulletin HERE.

ALOHA! cloudia

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Surfboy Solution

"God has cared for these trees,
saved them from drought, disease, avalanches,
and a thousand tempests and floods.
But he cannot save them from fools."
John Muir

"Just living is not enough.
One must have sunshine, freedom,
and a little flower."
Hans Christian Anderson

"As a white candle in a holy place.
So is the beauty of an aged face."
Joseph Campbell

"Gracefulness is an idea belonging to posture and motion.
In both these, to be graceful,
it is requisite that there be no appearance of difficulty."
Edmund Burke

><> ><> ><>

Next time you are having difficulty
making a decision,
you can try this.

Just ask yourself:
"If I was enlightened,
what would I do?"

The answer might just arise,
ready or not!

Thanks for visiting today!

Monday, January 25, 2010


Monday in Waikiki

click on photos!
"Conventional opinion is the ruin of our souls."


What can you lose if you have your own heart?


"I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air."
-Nathaniel Hawthorne

"A life of leisure and a life of laziness are two (different) things."
Ben Franklin

Many years ago
on the Boardwalk
at the New Jersey shore
a fortuneteller asked me
if I was an artist.
I answered.
"You will write the book,
don't worry."
And so I have,
scroll to the bottom of this page
then click on the book cover to find out more.

She further told me
that I would marry a
"kingly man"
younger than myself,
and live with him
in a foreign land.
And here we are
in Hawaii.

24 years ago
I met a man.
Older than me in years,
but eternally young
in his spirit.

All that time
we have been together.
He is kingly
and a delightful
little boy at once.

Happy Anniversary,

E Ku'u Sweetie
mele na Mälia Craver
leo na Kenneth Makuakäne
© 1991 Makuakäne Publishing Co.

He ha'upu keia no ka sweetie la
This is a remembrance for the sweetie
My warm beautiful pearl
Ku'u momi nani mehana la
One who is desired by many others
A lovely one, you are from the uplands
'I'ini na ipo la
He nohea 'oe i ka nahele

O my Sweetie, O my Sweetie
E ku'u sweetie, e ku'u sweetie The intimate companion of the mist
O, so, relaxed with the ferns
Ka pilina a lilinoe
The beautiful one I've met
E luana nei, me ka palai
I ka beauty a o huia e

Kahiko ka ua i Punalu'u la
The usual rain is at Punalu'u
Upon the many Lehua blossoms
I ka pua o ka lehua
Arched above is the hued rainbow
In space above the Ko'olau cliffs
Pi'o mai la ke anuenue la
I ka lewa o ke Ko'olau

Puana keia mele no sweetie la
I'll sing a song for the Sweetie
My warm beautiful pearl
Ku'u momi nani mehana
Indeed, with you, is my love
Your admired always will be
Me 'oe wale no ke aloha la
A kou lei ho'ohihi a mau loa

ALOHA and thanks SO much for visiting! cloudia

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Flagrant Flamingo

Sunday Aloha

click on the childhood idyl

"I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things. . . I play with leaves.

I skip down the street and run against the wind."

Leo Buscaglia

"God has given you one face, and you make yourself another."
William Shakespeare

Rambutan close up

><> <>< . ><> ><>

When I was very young
each day seemed a
strung on the string
of my life.

Smooth beads,
still-soft clay;
and some were
with the passions
and recriminations of

Perfectly round,
imperfectly rounded out,
one by one
each day-bead
is strung
on the narrative thread
of my life.

And now I replay them
passing the beads through my fingers
like a rosary of regret, satisfaction,
and sudden realization.

It seems that each day
one bead is contemplated,
and removed,
until I shall wear
the choker of age.

And then one day
the last burnished bead
will slip from my hands at last;
rolling along the floor of our being,
then disappearing down the wormhole
of another jeweled path

ALOHA, cloudia

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Big Artist


click on the clouds for glory

"Nothing can undo the movies we are led to in our youth,

or the skein of impressions that they leave."
Anthony Lane

"Make the most you can of the Indian Hemp seed and sow it everywhere."
George Washington, 1st US President

"For every person who has ever lived there will come, at last,
a Spring he will never see.
Glory then in the Springs that are yours."
Pam Brown

"A professional is someone who can do his best work
when he doesn't feel like it."
Alistair Cooke

The video above is not a hoax.
My research indicates that these elephants are taught some basics,
but they seem to enjoy what they are doing.

ALOHA, cloudia

Friday, January 22, 2010

Roo on da Beach

"Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find."
-William Wordsworth, 1806

click on the happy dog!


"Be a fountain,
not a drain."
Rex Hudler


"Beginning today
treat everyone you meet
as if they will be dead by midnight.
Extend them all the care,
kindness, and understanding
you can muster.
Your life will never be the same again."
Og Mandino


Ah, Friday.
Don't we love it!
They say that the "eagle flies on Friday"
the eagle on the US Dollar, that is:
Pay Day!

What does your pay consist of?

In many ways, we are raised to equate our value with money.
Our legal systems certainly compensate high earners
above home makers and artists
in any law suit;
Just my bad luck to be both at once!

"All men (humans) are created equal."
That's what our constitution says.
So why are a few humans considered to be worth
or even billions,
when hard working people
are valued at a few thousand dollars?

Why can some,
who have way more than "enough"
play ego games with wealth on a page,
while others lack basic dignity?

Are children then worth nothing?
Wait, that's right:
Many states are cutting basic services to children
right now:
medical, educational, school buses, lunches, programs.
That will teach them!

But before I get too gloomy,
let's remember that `twas ever thus.
It's an ongoing climb up the hill of truth;
Of simple justice.

But certain people come along
who show the nakedness,
the poverty, if you will,
of our usual thinking.

Sometimes the light in our heart goes on
and we know with a warm confidence
that God is love,
and all the material world but our theatrical props,
even if we have the freedom to act badly.

One standing with love, in what is right,
is a majority.
Don't ever forget that.
You and I are already wealthy beyond measure.
All the world's gold
cannot buy a drop of the sun's golden energy.

Standing here, sitting here,
right NOW,
you breathe, and move, and have your singular
There is no other YOU.

No one else can touch the lives
and make the choices
that come your singular way.

So spread the wealth.
You and me.
And our pets;
most important to recognize THEIR singular value
in our lives.

Speak up for what is right.
Do what you can.

Be a humble winner,
frolic like Miss Roo on your own beach:
snow covered field, or city street-scape.

You ARE a winner.

I hope coming here is one small reward,
because I value this relationship that we have.

ALOHA, cloudia

Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Ego Has Landed

Thursday in

click on the clouds for revelation

"A book (
or a blog?) is a mirror:
If an ape looks into it,
and apostle is unlikely to look out."
George Christoph Lichtenberg

The oldest part of Honolulu, with Punchbowl (Puowaina) presiding to the upper left.

"A man can't ride your back
unless it's bent."
Martin Luther King

"It's not what he's doing to you.

It's what you're not doing for yourself."
Bill Cosby


Love means to "let be."
My ministry
is to love the person in front of me
to meet them where they are
and any preaching I do
is to express appreciation
for all that person does.
God says:
"Thank You."
That's the message I've been given.

I realize this is very different
from those who tell victims
of a disaster
that it was meant as divine punishment.

I'm OK
with that.



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Welcome to "Hump Day" Wednesday

click on the visual glories

I Think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth's flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
Joyce Kilmer

"The cat is above all things, a dramatist"
Margaret Benson

"Cats are dangerous companions for writers
because cat watching is a near-perfect method
of writing avoidance."

Dan Greenburg


There's never any awkwardness;
I think I love Kitty's
most of all.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Tuesday Afternoon



Ever had a song stuck in your head?
This one has been with me for decades.
Click on the song, as we wander Tuesday together.

now click on the photos for visual enticement

"Recent findings prove the brain is more flexible than we used to think.

With practice, we can change our habits
and even our natural disposition."

Tal Ben-Shahar (Italics mine)

Hawaiian Spotted Eagle Ray

"The number one predictor for general well being is not money or prestige but the time we spend with those that are near and dear to us.
Enjoying close and intimate relationships with those who care about us
is an absolute prerequisite of happiness.
But it is precisely these relationships that suffer most
in our hectic modern life."

(I believe that our blogging relationships qualify!)

"We've all been trained to maximize every minute of our day.
But people who are able to focus on just one thing-
even for one or two hours a day-
are not only happier in their work,
they're also more productive and creative.
Less can be more."

Tal Ben-Shahar is the author of the books:

The Pursuit of Perfect

"Less can be more."

I like that.
How about


Monday, January 18, 2010

Narrative Emerging

Even Monday is Beautiful
here in

click on the golden beauty
Another Waikiki sunset

"There is no pleasure in having nothing to do;
the fun is in having lots to do
and not doing it."
May Wilson Little


I was interviewed by the very cool!
You can see it by clicking HERE.

This guy carries a spare (hand)!

"A criminal is a person with predatory instincts
who has not sufficient capital to form a corporation."
Howard Scott, economist

Two yellow trees converse

"Goodwill is the only asset
that competition cannot
undersell or destroy."
Marshall Field


We have come to the end of one narrative.
No one really knows
what the next storyline will be.
But there are some new themes
Elite panic plays in counterpoint
to the innate humanity, resourcefulness,
local knowledge
and skills
average people
(like you and me).

And you know what?

I'm sure that we have
what it takes!

Glad to share this moment in history with

ALOHA, cloudia

If you have the time check out an extraordinary blog post HERE