Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Capitol Walk

Aloha & Welcome to Honolulu

A special place like Hawaii,
 needs a special capitol building,
 or so they believed in the 1960's.

Our capitol is open to the elements,
and to the people. On one side of this
courtyard is the Senate Chamber.
On the other: the House Chamber.
Their outside walls are sloping stone 
representing the volcanoes that are the 
bedrock of these Islands.

Outside, the building is set among pools of water:
the ocean that surrounds us;
 out of which
pillars representing palm trees
 rise to support the roof.

That 'framed' tower is Honolulu Hale,
our City Hall.  It looks Spanish, but is actually
based on a fortified Italian castle.

"The Life of the Land is Perpetuated in Righteousness"
 our motto.

The Hawaiian Language is our official language along with
English.  Interpreters of many flavors
 make a good living here though,
as we continue to attract folks from all over Asia,
 the Pacific,
and the World!

The offices are upstairs.  Lobbyists, staff, citizens,
 all hang out here by the railings
 where a lot of the REAL business of government is done.

You can see the State Flag
 flying in front of the building
 from these "corridors of power."
And the sky is always looking on,
putting things into perspective.
(one hopes :)

Looking down at the ground level
 yields a nice view of this watery mosaic.

Behind the capitol building,
 is our original government building:
Iolani Palace,
 built by Kalakaua for some three hundred thousand
dollars in the 19th Century.

All Done Up for a Festive Event.
Link to a Royal past and a troubled political history.


A true tale is told (courtesy of the great Glen Grant)
of a government employee
who stayed late one evening
working at the new Capitol.

Her young daughter played in the halls just outside
as they waited for father to come
collect them for the ride home.

All the way home,
the little girl spoke excitedly about
playing with a nice lady
whose arms were draped in lei.

The mother had smelled flowers
& faint cigar smoke. She assumed it 
was a staffer or cleaner the girl spoke of.
Or perhaps it was childish imagination.

Weeks later, when the statue of
 Queen Liliuokalani 
between the two iconic 
buildings was unveiled,
Hawaiians present protested covering
Her neck piece (more HERE)
with lei, and so the statue's arms
were draped in dozens of flowery garlands.

"Mommy! That's the nice lady
who played with me!"
Squealed the little girl.

The Queen has been seen,
 the smell of flowers 
and her favored small cigars
left behind, many times since.

She is still looking out for Her
And besides:
who would really want to leave
this fragrant & magic land?

As yesterday was King Kalakaua's 174th birthday,
Hawaii National Guard Soldiers acting as ceremonial
Royal Guards stood sentry at the palace gates.

The past lives here!

“May the dreams of your past

 be the reality of your future.”


And may only benevolent airs
and spirits surround
this day. . . 

. . . and always.