AND ANOTHER THING-- wait, I mean, moving on.

So a long time ago, when I first moved to Kaua'i, I took my tiny adorable little 18 month old baby to the library. The automatic doors slid open, we smelled a blast of air conditioning and book mustiness, and my baby gasped, "YAY, BOOKS!"
The librarian, David, stage-hissed, "If she can't be quiet, she's going to have to leave."
I was so offended. I didn't want to ever go back.

But I realized something. This was MY library. I could walk there. There wasn't another one-- I had to get over it.

So I trained my kids to be terrified of the librarian, to be SILENT in the library, to gather as many books as we could and get OUT OUT OUT GO GO GO under his unflinching sniper eyes. And now... DAVID the MEAN LIBRARIAN.... he likes me. We are allies in a moldy, sandy, short-attention span, book-hating world. My kids are perfect library patrons for him. He gives me book recommendations. He will help me, with that hyper-vigilance, find obscure texts. I brought my 7-12th grade students there every three weeks last school year, and he gave me piles of resources and scurried around helping my students find what they need. We are united in our bibliophilia.

So, there's some lesson there. For me. Which I still haven't learned. But which I can sense hovering on the edge of my vision. I suspect the specter of that lesson won't go away until I've learned it. Like a poltergeist. I have to figure out the puzzle before it will go back to hell where it belongs. Or, FINE, until it's been integrated into my adult interactions.

How do I move on from galling interactions? It's so easy to get miserable or demoralized. But this community is too small. I can't write my generous coworker off because she holds bizarre opinions. I can't afford to end relationships with that family because the auntie said, "You're okay for a haole." I've had parents call me and scream at me, threaten me-- and I still have to work with them the next day, and see them at the beach, and get their help for field trips. I can't walk away or wall myself in with a phalanx of people who are just like me, who won't offend me.

I guess... I just show up. I try and be more nalu-- more wavelike, skimming the surface, going with the flow. Try and cultivate that Hawaiian-style mind-- not completely derailed by cognitive dissonance. Try and hear the dissonance as harmony.


  1. You are so m any kinds of awesome. If you don't write books it will make Writer Jesus cry.


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