Out in the world when nearly everyone is asleep, darkness broken by points of ancient light, promise of a new day behind massing storm clouds, I am washed with chicken skin in recalling a vivid dream I had last night.
In this dream, people were pouring out of their homes and gathering in the loi, on the beaches, along the stream banks, in a spontaneous swelling of support for kanaka maoli. There were no signs, no costumes, no shouts, no slogans, no leader, so far as I could tell, save for the propelling guide of conscience stirring in countless hearts.
As I stand looking up at the stars, flesh puckering, my own heart stirring in the transitioning time between dark and light, I see, as clearly as the seven-starred constellation of Makalii, that overthrow and occupation are the fundamental hewa that must be corrected in Hawaii. Colonization is the the grave injustice upon which so many other wrongs have been perpetrated.
Why are we surprised that a nation that would, by force, dominate and enslave another, also allow the soil to be paved, the rivers to be poisoned, the iwi to be desecrated, the political system to be corrupted, the indigenous people impoverished, imprisoned for petty crimes?
Why do we rail against the symptoms, while failing to address the disease?
I think of Kamehameha, who waged war, and then returned to the loi, and my friend Kaimi, a true maka'ainana, who once told me that every kalo plant is a kanaka, a warrior in waiting. The necessary correction, he said, will occur not in the voting booth or offices of government, but through connection: opening loi, clearing auwai, working together to get kanaka back on their 'aina, the life-producing land.
When the deluge passes, leaving the clouds pale pink, the mountains misty, the ground soft and yielding, I step into my own taro patch and begin pulling weeds, discovering dozens of keiki beneath the overgrowth, ready to thrive.
As the weed pile expands, I reflect on a conversation I had yesterday with another young kanaka, who told me, I have become increasingly aware that politics is an outmoded and inefficient vehicle for positive change. As an empowered individual, I think I can accomplish more without the constraints of an inherited political system.