Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Surf (Exhibit's) UP!

Today we're going to the...

No. Not an every day outing
to Ala Moana Park. . . .

To the Museum!

This is our Bishop Museum,
a world class institution dedicated to the preservation, & study
of Polynesian/Pacific Cultures, Peoples & Environments.
Perhaps you've spotted it above the H-1 on your way in from
Honolulu Airport.

A closer look.

Charles Reed Bishop came from Boston as a young man.

He married a princess, founded our first bank, this museum,
and he is buried as royalty in sacred land among chiefs,
his beloved wife.

They were handsome people!

(See them

Recognize the site of the big party
in the final episodes of LOST?

"The past is our definition.
We may strive, with good reason, to escape it,
or to escape what is bad in it,
but we will escape it only by adding something better to it."

~Wendell Berry


"If we open a quarrel between past and present,

we shall find that we have lost the future."

Winston Churchill

Time to go back outside!
(Back to the present)


The Bishop Museum
has opened an exhibit of surf boards.

I can hear the amused, if politely suppressed giggles of cultural superiority: "Ah, what next? 'Beach Blankets Through the Ages'?

Well, smarty pants, it turns out that this is not an exhibit of Rad Boards with cool graphics but a historical retrospective of important chiefly artifacts associated with a sport
that a little something called "The World"
has adopted in recent decades.


Yes, the sport has a real history
and when you look at the huge (14 feet!) heavy (150 lbs!)
ancient boards
that carried Hawaiian Ali`i (chiefs & chiefesses) hundreds of years ago
a frisson rushes from them that few other artifacts elicit.

Here you can see Princess Ka`iulani's board, and one associated with Prince Kuhio too. Perhaps it is their names on our streets, buildings and holidays, or the immediacy of island life but we fondly consider the royals our ancestors,

we all do here in Hawaii, Hawaiian or not.

You see, today we are all chiefs,
or have the chance to think so of ourselves,
to behave, to bless, as such.

They called Kuhio "The Citizen Prince"
both royal prince, and territorial representative
to the US Congress.

We all enjoy the royal skies, the KAPU (sacred) waters, and welcoming our visitors
from all over that world out there...
as if we each owned this place.

So salute the royal surfers

and scryers of cloud information

(clouds in formation).

Thanks for being my guest today.

YOU are always most welcome!