At midnight, a rumble shook the bed as a thunderclap exploded overhead, and then for the next two-and-a-half hours it was Koko’s trembling that shook the bed as the sky flashed and roared and the rain came pouring down.
Finally, the storm calmed, as did Koko’s nerves, and we resumed our formerly peaceful slumber.
The topic of peace, and the decidedly Hawaiian approach to it through the practice of ho`oponopono, is the topic of an article I wrote for Honolulu Weekly that can now be viewed on-line.
It features the teachings of the Rev. Kaleo Patterson, who has been instrumental in infusing non-violence into many Hawaiian issues, including sovereignty. I like his story because it’s a good example of how people can engage in effective direct action without having hatred in their hearts or resorting to violence.
And I like the ho`oponopono aspect of it because it demonstrates how the Hawaiian culture has responded to what Kaleo terms the holocaust of Western contact.
I was thinking the other day of how the Hawaiian culture is continually co-opted and exploited for all sorts of dubious purposes. The most recent example is the strange amalgamation of park-and-ride, commercial nursery and miniature golf course that is on its way to being built along the highway in Kilauea. According to The Garden Island:
The course will have a Hawaiian heritage theme, showcasing the history of the islands and its flora. Placards numbering the holes will provide descriptions of the Hawaiian Islands, from its volcanic origins, to Polynesian discovery, to the missionary movement, Pearl Harbor, statehood, and on up to the present, the report states. The history of Kaua‘i, particularly Kilauea’s plantation heritage, will also be included.
Unless I’m mistaken, this is the first project to merge Hawaiian heritage with the decidedly un-Hawaiian game of miniature golf. I mean, why not tell the history of the islands around the loi and canoe hale and other things that were actually part of the culture? And exactly what version of the history does it plan to tell? Which hole will the overthrow be on?
Anyway, the project is being promoted as a gathering place for the community, much like the new 56,000-square-foot Safeway “lifestyle” store, which the Planning Commission approved Tuesday.
It’s not just a big Safeway, either, but essentially another whole new mall — with an astounding 1,028 parking stalls — on 23 acres near Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School. I can’t imagine that we actually need another shopping mall in the Kukui Grove area, but when it comes to consumerism, it’s all about wants, not needs. And besides, the developer is promising us “a range of stores at Hokulei Village that are not now represented in the retail mix on Kaua‘i.”
Oh, joy. Aren’t we lucky.
As I inched through that heavily congested area yesterday, trying to make a 4 p.m. meeting at KCC, I wondered how it could really handle any more traffic. But perhaps it won’t attract any new motorists. Maybe the regular commuters who are already clogging the highway there will inch their way into Safeway and commune with their neighbors over the hot food take-out section before inching back onto the highway and onward to home.
The most amusing part of the project is that it’s based on the assumption that DOT will finish widening Kaumualii Highway to four lanes at just about the same time it’s supposed to open, in approximately two years. That's a good one.
Finally, in comments left on previous posts, some readers continue to assert that Hawaiians do not own the so-called “ceded lands,” claiming that they were handed over to the state in the Admissions Act.
I don’t imagine they necessarily want to be educated on the subject, but those who do may want to read a piece I wrote for the Honolulu Weekly that looks specifically at the issue of who owns the “ceded lands.”
Here’s an excerpt:
The truth is that the lands in question, while often referred to as ‘ceded,’ were actually seized from the Kingdom of Hawai’i during the 1893 overthrow of the monarchy. One hundred years later, the U.S. Congress deemed that action unlawful when it approved the ‘Apology Resolution.’
‘Our land was taken at the point of a gun and now the Hawaiians are begging and suing day in and day out to get what is rightfully ours,’ said Naliko Markel, a minister with the Reinstated Hawaiian Kingdom.
In 1898, the Republic of Hawai’i — led by those who masterminded the coup — ‘ceded’ control of 1.8 million acres of Kingdom lands to the U.S. government and sold the rest to private parties.
‘Ceded lands are stolen lands and therefore they have to be returned to their rightful owners,’ [Kekuni] Blaisdell said. ‘And the rightful owners are not the federal government, the state or OHA. It’s the people who are descendants of the subjects of the Hawaiian queen.’
I wonder if the miniature golf course is planning a restoration of sovereignty hole.