Tag Archives: Hawai’i

A fissure in the sky

honolulu kapiolani park

fissure in the sky (departed)

A fissure in the clouds, shape of a spermatazoa, dissipates in the wind before I have a chance to take a picture of it. (What is that layer called, by the way, where the clouds reside?)

The things we see in the clouds – animals, geography, Jesus Christ or the Alchemist – flee with the wind, absconding with our thoughts, leaving behind weary eyes and good intentions.

Ever been to a place three, four, fifteen, twenty times and basically had the same exact experience every time? Kapiolani / Queens Beach is like that. The circumstances may be vaguely different – why you’re in Honolulu, how long you’ll stay. But the weather and the old men in chairs are always more or less the same. The boys on the sand are never precisely the same ones as last time but they’re still the same nonetheless.

Man on Sand - Queens Beach, Kapiolani

Man on Sand – Queens Beach, Kapiolani


rain on me

Sometimes I wait for the fissure in the sky to burst open and rain newness. Today was that day. The fissure was erased by the wind then a layer of sheet metal grey clouds slipped in and spat rain. I dragged our things beneath the wide umbrella of a sea tree. The newness was rain: it never rains in Kapiolani Park. Everything else was essentially the same, though I noted that they put some nice container plants around the snack bar. Very nice. Regrettably, the bathroom is still disgusting.

Kapiolani towel in the grass 2011

Kapiolani towel in the grass 2011

Recursive structures: Tree in Kapiolani Park

Recursive structures: Tree in Kapiolani Park


and then there was…?

If nature is chaos and the universe is recursivity (the hallmark of structure) and the multiverse is a manifestation of recursive infinity – same universe, only slightly different circumstances – and if God is responsible for all of this then God is chaos and God is recursivity and God is multiverses and that tiny fissure in the sky that evaded my camera was a portal to infinity. Just a glimpse, mind you. A peek into awareness. Fleeting like a tease.

Picnic table, Kapiolani Park 2011

Picnic table, Kapiolani Park 2011


The Novelist’s Due – #6

The Confluence of Everything..

Everything has come to a head.

There is no aspect of life that has not undergone some sort of turmoil; had to be evaluated; had to be dealt with. The balls were all tossed into the sea and now they have to be guided back to shore.

Confluence (10/3/8 - hilo)

Confluence (10/3/8 – hilo)

A day and a half spent in Hawi, in the northwest corner of the big island, yielded a thorough and disheartening reading of Hugo. It’s not that the book is a mess; it’s just not “right”, and for a perfectionist that’s a painful discovery. There are matters of tone and personality that have to be addressed. Dropped topics. Disappearing characters. A small cocktail gathering of different narrators…

The latest rejection arrived after I returned from Hawi. Doug called on the day of my birthday party to read through my mail to me. I asked him the standard question: “Is there anything addressed to me, from me?” The answer was yes: DEARTH was rejected by Zoetrope. This one was my faithful hold-out. I thought for sure it was going to be a good match. (Let that be a lesson to all you optimists and dreamers.)

A few days after arriving back in SF, an email from my accountant yielded shrill news on the economic front: my tax bill for 2008 is equivalent to all the money I’ve earned this year. Funny; when income is low we call it ‘nothing’. When it’s a tax bill we call it ‘exorbitant’. Still, it’s hard to draw blood from a stone, so I’m going to have to get creative in order to figure out how to pay it.

..And nothing in particular

There’s this urge—and I can only speak for myself. It’s an urge to find in life a fundamental stillness that will counteract all the inevitable and inescapable noise. The search is complicated by ambition. It’s complicated by the bad habits we grew up with. The lack of training. Obligations. Struggling focus. Competing desires. Matters of faith and inhibition…

oak and broderick streets, sf

oak and broderick streets, sf

For me, Hawai’i is that stillness. Should be that stillness. But when there’s a daily stream of people working on the house—only 1 or 2 at a time, mind you, but hammers and questions and power tools that drain the battery bank; and when the house and garden project list grows and I don’t say no; when I break to swim when I should be writing for another hour or two; and when a client who wants to pay me a little money calls…All these things I appreciate and enjoy and don’t actually mind: when they come together as a steady flow of activity, though, their tiny distracting capabilities turn into a confluence of disruption.

There is a nothingness to writing that must be undisturbed and preserved at all cost. It’s the most difficult part of writing: trying to have a life while at the same time trying to write. It’s difficult to convey this to people. I suppose it’s hard for non-writers to understand that when the flow is broken it can take minutes, hours or days to recapture the motion. That tenuous, beloved rare confluence which comes from creating something out of nothing flees like a handful of fireflies and you’re lucky if you can re-capture at least one.

rain : ua

There’s lots of it, this being winter on the Big Island.

The rain in Puna comes in many forms:

  • Light moving rain – koʻiawe
  • Fine windblown rain – lelehuna
  • Chilly rain – ua ʻawa
  • Rain spray – ehu
  • Showery rain – ua nāulu
  • Rain with large drops – ua hekili
  • Slanting rain – ua hikiki’i
  • and many more

Night of ua hōʻeʻele(drenching rain)

The evening we arrived we had drenching downward sheets that suppressed all movement of air. The rain fell at a relentless pace all that night. It was so loud in the trees and on the roof that even the sounds of the coqui brigades in the jungle were drowned out.

We love the sound of the rain at night here at the house. Sitting up on this shelf of land at the edge of the jungle sometimes makes you feel exposed. But when the rain comes, especially if you’re in bed, it wraps the house and yard in a blanket of protection.

Rain is a welcome home.

he wai e ola (water for life)

Rain is nourishment and life and refreshment. Rain is water. It cleanses, it nurtures, and in the case of soil and housepaint it can erode. It is the antithesis of fire, which burns down the road in Pele’s belly, although rain could never extinguish that particular fire. Ultimately water is life. It is for this reason that scientists longingly search the universe for it.