Showing posts from 2012

Locked Gate Day

We just got back from a lovely midmorning stroll around the station. I was painting up some panels for my classroom (because what I should be doing is actually PLANNING my day-to-day instruction for the next 5 months but, nope. Acrylics. Boards. Single words. GOLD PAINT) and Rosie became hammering at door--- "Letʻs go! Letʻs go for a walk!"

Big sister dressed herself and little sister-- both with matted hair and long dresses. Rosie has a giant plastic jewel tied on itchy-looking white yarn around her throat, and another length of string around her waist. She tucked her yellow plastic bow and arrows into her belt, and a dangerous-looking plastic tent stake. Maybe for cyborg vampires...? Maile was armed too-- a piece of tinkertoy construction with a snappy hinge. "Itʻs my bad-guy eater!" she said.

She is into bad guys lately. Saying that she fights them! or that she IS a bad guy, especially if we are watching a scary show and she wants to keep her eyes open. "I …

ʻUhane: Ghost. Warning: dark and disturbing.

Just now Maile, 2,  turned to me, waved her pink magic wand at me, and said, "Bing! I bing you into a ghost."

I hammed it up with a spooky: "Ooooohh!" But then my imagination clicked and hissed alive like a gas flame. Suddenly, to be bodiless. Ghost neurons firing along invisible electric paths through the compact air. The growing dread-- the permanence of your own corpse paling, cooling, coagulating. The urgency to somehow take it back, to undo the few tiny microseconds that clipped the umbilical chord between soul and body: the connection that can never be reknit.

Not a fantasy. An inevitability. If something of me exists out of, in spite of, beyond my body, then that moment will happen. Bodies die. If there are souls, they don't. That knock-the-wind out of you shock, the splash into glacier water, the flayed shocked of conscious experience of death? If there are souls, that will happen. Maybe it will just be the last flickering spasms of cells climaxing with…

Black and White and Red All Over: Some Thoughts about Hawaii and Ambiguity

On the first day of classes, I took roll. I imagined it would be a straightforward "what is your name?", check the box, school lunch? And next? But the process became increasingly comical as I tried to match official names with Hawaiian names with nicknames. These kids exist as one person on their standardized test forms and birth certificates--Julies and Jaylyns and Isaiahs-- and appear embodied in my classroom with entirely different names: Kuuleimoani, Kamailekuponoaloha, Heleolanimainamaikai. And then the kids call each other clipped syllables: Tutu! OliBee!

So every morning when I mark attendance I have to know that a Jason Smith is actually Kuuleialoha Williams who I know as Kuu but who his grandmother calls Jay-boy. He's taken his mother's maiden name after the step-father left and shortened his middle name for school and is something else on the playground and here he is thirteen and juggling more identities than most people have until after their third caree…


The day started out at 2:45 am. I borrowed the man's truck, shoving aside a box of tools, empty iced tea bottles and a giant orange box labeled "vet supplies" to settled onto the seat, then unlocked the gate, and drove in the empty late-night street out across the island. We gathered at about 4:45 am. I couldn't make out anyone's faces-- the brightest thing at the beach park was venus which throbbed overhead. We murmured greetings to each other, introductions for the few of us who hadn't met: "Aloha kakahiaka, pehea kaua?"I strung every one of my Hawaiian words together several times, and then stood and listened to the flow of words around me, like rocks shifting under waves. Nana i ke kumu: just look to the source, and shut your mouth. I shut my mouth and kept my eyes open.

We gathered in a circle in the gloaming. Kaina, who only speaks Hawaiian, all the time, told us what was happening-- I followed the Hawaiian language like lights flickering behi…

Long Time

So sometimes there is so much to say that all you can do is shrug. Then years later you can't remember what you did, in say, 2012, because your life was too complex and intense and confusing and delightful for you to ever get it down in words.

That's me, right now, with this post.

I'm tempted to just shrug off the last 6 months, and just blog about-- I donno-- maybe snails.

A move, a move back, some critical decisions, a new job...Yeah, I'll go with snails.

**** So the other day the girls and I were walking around the farm in the pre-dinner witching hour: too early to put them in bed, too late to go anywhere or start anything. We walked all the way out to the wild guavas and picked enough to fill my skirt and RJ's skirt full of the yellow ping pongs. You have to eat them in one bite, don't look inside, and just leave the spiny top. Swallow the seeds and any little worms there may be inside and roll the tangy stuff around in your mouth.

RJ found a snail-- a big …