I wasn’t sure if I imagined the rain I heard in the night, so deeply was I immersed in the world of dreams, but Koko and I found proof when we went out for our walk: sparkly raindrops on the poinsettia leaves, drenched grass and the dark brown of well-watered soil in the taro patch, where tiny majiro (white eyes) lighted gracefully on the leaves, hunting bugs.
Meanwhile, the neighbors on the mauka side continued at 6 a.m. the loud fight they’ve been having the past three nights, which they abruptly stop at about midnight and then pick up where they left off the next morning. As I told a friend, “I’m trying to send them some vibes of joy” and she said: “Yeah, that and a muzzle.”
Briefly perusing my other neighbor’s Garden Island, as Koko lunged, safely leashed, at the school buses that rumbled by, I noticed that the planning commission has ordered the planning department to conduct an investigation into the accuracy of the burial treatment plans prepared for the Naue property.
It will be interesting, as the county investigation unfolds and documents are presented in court, to see exactly what went down up there. It does seem, from what I’ve been able to determine, that some serious irregularities did occur.
When I interviewed Alan Murakami of the Native Hawaiian Legal Corp. for a story that will appear in the Honolulu Weekly today (but won’t be on line till next Wednesdays), he said that a full archaeological survey for the entire oceanfront subdivision at Naue had been required as early 1991 because it was likely to be an area of “high value” — meaning a heavy concentration of burials. (Update: I just heard from the editor that the Weekly is now posting without a lag, so the piece is up.)
But the survey didn’t begin until last year, after a number of houses had already been built, including one by Joe Brescia, where a burial was found. And then, of course, at least 30 were found on the parcel where he is now building a home, and state archaeologists predicted there could be three times that many on the site.
Are these kinds of delays due to a lack of departmental oversight caused by inadequate funding and staffing? Or can they be attributed to negligence and corruption? I don’t know the answer, but it’s quite clear the system as it’s now set up is not working.
These things are not supposed to have to come down to people protesting and crying and getting arrested and filing lawsuits and banging on the burial council and planning commission. There is a process, and the state — for whatever reason — is not properly implementing it.
Also addressing the burial issue today is Katy Rose, who over on her blog, published a post entitled “Screw Guilt- Get Angry,” in which she suggests “we get angry, furious, outraged” over the displacement and other indignities inflicted on Native peoples.
I remember listening to John Lydon of Public Image Limited angrily singing: “Anger is an energy” and I identified with that sentiment, and viscerally felt it, too. But I’ve learned, after a lifetime of hotheadedness, that it’s not an energy I want to put out there in the world, or into my own being. Hearing my neighbors’ harsh words morning and night confirms that.
Anger isn’t going to solve any of the problems that face us at Naue or aid us in resolving any of the other troubles in the world. Why? Because it’s a dead-end, reptilian, boomerang emotion. The most effective and admirable activists I’ve met — Nani Rogers, Henry Noa and Palikapu Dedman, to name but a few — have moved beyond anger and into a place where they come from the heart and just keep plodding ahead.
It’s easy to get angry. God knows there were times when if I’d had a gun, I would have happily and impulsively shot to kill — and, as the old saying goes, repented in leisure. It’s much more difficult, yet ultimately far more rewarding, to strive to remain in that space of loving peace.
So get educated, get involved, get conscious, get active. But no, don’t get angry. And if you need some inspiration, here are some lyrics from John Cruz: "Shine on, shine on, let your light fill up this world till dawn."