Friday morning finds me in America, or at least, roaming its periphery during a long layover at the Seattle airport, enroute to Denver. After enduring five and half hours of extreme body positions that approached torture, I arrived, bleary-eyed and dazed, in darkness that slowly gave way to a low-hanging gray that has barely brightened in the two hours I’ve been watching it.
I’m on my way to visit my Mom, who has been in the hospital for a week and hopefully will be released today. Reading Ian Lind’s post yesterday made me wonder how many families are dealing with similar situations.
He offered his take on it all, and I can only agree:
Bottom line: Treasure the time you have. You never really know when it’s going to end.
I think that's the lesson.
At least his Dad is on-island and not thousands of miles away in what feels like — and is — such a different world, one of coats and boots and people who don’t make eye contact.
No bird song greeted me this morning, just the din of CNN blaring from a big screen TV mounted in every concourse and 40-year-old rock and roll songs blasting from a speaker in the restaurant where I was reacquainted with the jolting effects of coffee — yowza — and threw away bacon that otherwise would have been shared with Koko.
Professor Tse, the kung fu grand master who gives me acupuncture and splits his time between Honolulu and Kauai, said that Kauai folks are healthier because the island is so much quieter. It’s hard on the nervous system, he said, to be exposed to constant noise, to have no opportunity to enjoy the peace of simple quiet.
A handful of people were holding sign outside the Waipouli Bay resort yesterday, trying to remind folks that iwi kupuna buried there before construction started still aren’t resting in peace. Apparently many of the burials remain in a storage container, even though the resort’s been open for what, a couple years now?
My friend Kaimi, who came to stay at my house and watch Koko, said he’d heard reports of doors slamming at the resort and windows opening and closing on their own.
That reminded me of an interview I had with Doug Sears, general manager of the Hyatt, and he was telling me that Stella Burgess, the resort’s director of Hawaiian and community affairs, is called upon to do a blessing or clearing somewhere on the resort grounds at least once a month to quell some sort of “spiritual disturbance.”
At least he and Stella are aware of what’s going on, and how to deal with it. What about all the clueless people who have bought homes or timeshares on similarly disrupted properties, and have no idea why things don’t feel quite right?
That made me think of a comment, left recently on a Nov. 6 post, that most readers probably missed:
Regarding iwi on Kaua'i, I wish that more awareness was given to the massive Kukui'ula project. There are "sites of historical significance" that are blocked off with orange safety nets. These certain areas are off-limits to all individuals and contain iwi and critically endangered species. The orange fences are easily viewed on the new Western Bypass road, going South, at the intersection of the old site road (where the fruit stand was.)
Unfortunately, these sites are only feet from busy roads and have had thousands of cars and heavy equipment zoom by.
On a thousand-plus acre site, I wonder how many iwi were not contained in a small preservation area. There is no doubt that an expansive ahupua'a would have remains littered throughout the numerous lava tubes and rock formations. So, the rich billionaire Bennett Dorrance of Arizona has hired companies to scoop up the rocks, grind them into a huge machine and make little rocks to pave roads and change elevation.
SO, when you are driving on the Western Bypass and golfing at the new golf course, the remains of Native Hawaiians litter the path below.
And it struck me that throughout the Islands we’re driving over the remains of Native Hawaiians both literally and figuratively as we continue to build on burials, continue to overwhelm the indigenous culture, continue to disregard native people and traditional practices that get in the way of a Western notion of progress, continue to store iwi in storage rooms and cargo containers, continue to pretend that the past — and the people who lived it — really don't matter.