Saturday, September 18, 2010

Musings: Three Years Down/Up/Down

I’d been thinking that the anniversary of Kauai Eclectic was coming up, and when I went to check this afternoon, turns out it’s today. Yup, I launched this site three years and 868 posts ago, and to borrow lyrics from The Grateful Dead, “what a long, strange trip it’s been.”

Looking back at the first posts, I couldn’t help but note (with some satisfaction) that Hawaii Superferry has died, the Honolulu Advertiser has died and voters today are choosing a candidate who will ultimately replace Gov. Lingle.

Yet Koko and I are still here, and still walking.

I was totally naïve about the blogosphere when I started Kauai Eclectic. I was merely looking for a place to store some of my writing, including unpublished literary pieces, where I could direct editors and others seeking samples and clips. But then the Superferry sparked something and this blog did an immediate 180.

Since then, it’s continued to take its own direction, as truth be told, it kinda writes itself. Like most creative endeavors, I don’t know where some of this stuff comes from. I just let it through.

I’ve discovered that one of the best things about having a blog is the speed with which the muse can move from spirit to publication. I don’t have to find a buyer, wait for an editor, or subject it to the ruthless revisions and criticisms of my perfectionist nature. And I love that it’s endlessly dispersible. I’ve been amazed at some of the places where these blog posts turn up.

Not so fun has been the comments section, but then, that’s also the place where I’ve gotten strokes and appreciation (mahalo!), and where I’ve learned a lot about myself and other people. Some folks tell me they don’t read comments, so for their benefit, I’ll share one of my recent favorites:

"From the masses to the masses" the most / Revolutionary consciousness is to be found / Among the most ruthlessly exploited classes: / Animals, trees, water, air, grasses . . . 

--Gary Snyder, "Revolution in the Revolution in the Revolution"
September 16, 2010 4:00 AM

Yes! Someone who gets it!

Sometimes I’m asked questions in comments, and if they’re of a personal nature, or I sense the asker is more foe than friend, I tend not to answer. Frankly, it’s hard to trust in the underworld of anonymous. That’s why I didn’t respond when I was twice asked what I was like as a child by a reader(s) apparently seeking to gain some understanding of how I grew up to be “so ‘different’ (weird).”

But it did get me thinking, and so in the spirit of this blog’s very first post I’m posting an unpublished piece of personal writing. This one is about my first childhood memory, at about age 4:

I remember the barbed wire, or maybe it was razor wire, but at any rate, it was sharp wire, and it caught at my pants, creating a small tear that I knew would mean later trouble, though there was no helping that now as I attempted, and failed, to escape the confines of the air force base — Stead, it was called — in the dry, dusty, radioactive Nevada desert inhabited solely, it seemed, by blowing tumbleweeds that frightened me because they picked up and carried along everything they encountered and that might possibly include me, because I was smaller than most of them.

I had seen a rider on a horse gallop by on an unpaved road outside the base, followed by a gusting whirlwind of their own making, and I wanted nothing more than to join them, be pulled up on that saddle atop that heaving horse, its mane blowing like streamers in the ever-present, ever-gritty gray wind, occasionally tossing its head, yearning, I imagined, to go even faster.

I do not know if it was a man or a woman astride the horse, and it didn’t matter; I just wanted to be a part of the scene that I watched through a hole in the fence that I’d been unable to scramble over. They were riding away from me, and I thought surely, if I waited long enough, they would return and see me and take me with them, and so I did, I waited, with the sense of no time that’s a child’s, until an older sister found me and said come, you have to go home now.

Many thanks to all of you for indulging my muse these past three years by reading, commenting, remarking, forwarding and yes, even criticizing. it just wouldn't be the same without you.


Anonymous said...

Mahalo nui ia `oe!
Happy Anniversary Joan!
Keep on keepin' on.

Today I was cleaning out closets and found this in my share with you now...Isa

A Message from the Hopi Elders....

To my fellow swimmers...

...There is a river flowing now very fast.
It is so great and swift that there are
those who will be afraid.
They will try to
hold on to the shore.
They will feel that they are being
torn apart and will suffer greatly.

Know that the river
has its destination.

The elders say we must let go of the shore.
Push off into the
middle of the river,
keep our eyes open and our heads
above the water.

And I say,

See who is in there with you
and celebrate!
At this time in history,
we are to take
nothing personally.
Least of all ourselves.
For the moment that we do,
our spiritual
growth and journey
comes to a halt.

The time of the lone wolf is over.
Gather yourselves!

Banish the word "struggle"
from your
attitude and vocabulary.

All that we do now must be done in
a sacred manner and in celebration.

We are the ones we have been waiting for.

Oraibi, Arizona
Hopi Nation

Andrew Cooper said...

Sometimes writing can be a chore, sometimes the words just flow. I hope they continue to flow smoothly for you. I certainly enjoy reading yours!

Anonymous said...

cheers for the posts over the years and for what the SC acknowledged when recognizing your contributions to our community by raising awareness and defending the aina. it's been a great pleasure to get to know you. may your next 3 years be equally rewarding. i look forward to your return to our community radio as well.
mahalo and much aloha,.....jt

Anonymous said...

It's almost always the first thing i look at when i turn the computer on, usually leaving me smiling, or disturbed... mahalo nui for writing, youra gifted writer. Some success, lots more to work on. Wright on

Joan Conrow said...

Thanks for the kind words, folks. And Isa, fellow swimmer, I loved the message from the Hopi Elders. Thanks much for sharing.

Dawson said...

Congratulations on this anniversary, Joan -- and best wishes for many more!

Anonymous said...

We love you, Joan!

Anonymous said...

Nadine and Joann will raise the collective IQ of the Council. Hope Joann gets in touch with her early seventies perspective. Vote Kipukai! Gotta have another Hawaiian on the Council. Diane Labedz? I like her stance on environmental issues, but I wish someone half way electable ran against Bernard just to keep him on his toes. I hope he's not ethically challenged and capable of Kusakaesque moves. That woman was a horrible mayor and should have been indicted with Pflueger for what happened at Kaloko. I'm kind of sad about Kaipo. I know a lot of people are down on him but he did a lot to preserve the island and we should be grateful for what he's done. Grateful for you too, Joan!

irk said...

hauoli lahanau
kauai eclectic!
mahalo for the ponder fodder

Anonymous said...

Its always refreshing to read your blog posts that get to the heart of matters here and globally. Very few options for thoughtful and conscious readers who find local news media sorely lacking as well as most mainstream media networks.

E ho'o maika'i...congratulations Joan on a year of thought provoking and enjoyable readings. Hopefully for us there will be many more to come.

Aloha mai ia'oe