Thursday, June 05, 2008

Transforming Island of Hawaii

all night long
the sound of the waterfall
a remembered dream

--Jackie Hardy
from Haiku
Poetry Ancient and Modern

Of my six trips to Hawaii, this one has been the most transforming and transcendent. That is saying a lot, because my first trip to Hawaii with my brother in the 80s was itself a mind expanding experience, especially our brief visit to the Big Island of Hawaii and our stay at the Volcano House. There, I thought I would die from food poisoning, or was it from bacteria from Kilauea? Or was it my initiation from Pele? I have never gotten ill again visiting the Islands of Hawaii. Just the contrary.

The next visit with the Killians was simply to Oahu on our way to and from Australia. It was pure fun.

Maui Buddha
photo by Jack

The four stays in Hawaii with Darryl have included one visit to Maui, where we hiked into Haleakala, and thoroughly explored this aesthetic island. We even drove the road to Hana and stayed in a tree house there. Kaanapali Beach was our home base and as beautiful a beach as any I've seen.

Dar and Jack
Lava Flow
photo by Menard

Three times now Dar and I have been to Kalani and the Big Island, the first time traveling from Kona and the Kohala coast to Hilo and Volcanoes National Park as well as Zen Buddhist monk Su Nim's house near Hawi. The second time Starr came with us to celebrate her 50th birthday in the home of Pele and on the peak of Mauna Kea. And this third visit brought Darryl to the Big Island for 7 weeks of spiritual awakening, kindred spirits, and
confrontation with death itself. Our near drowning experience provided us both with baptism and rebirthing at the base of the waterfall we had listened to all night in our pagoda at friend Jane's Kulaniapia.

Kalani was the heart of our experience, especially Darryl's. Hiking to the flow of fire from Pele at dawn, swimming the black sand beach of the Waipio Valley, interacting with the world of people inhabiting Kalani was a religious epiphany. No exaggeration.

Finally, Cathy Hall and Marc Gilbert provided decompression and a soothing, relaxing reentry into the ordinary world. We visited art museums and had the charms of Waikiki and Honolulu to help us transition back to the mainland. My last night with Cathy included a visit to Rumfire, on the beach, near the Royal Hawaiian, the club Dar had discovered on an earlier trek to Oahu.

There are countless images that remain with me in addition to the 600 or more photos we took. Images such as the Thai truck selling fantastic garlic shrimp on the north shore of Oahu, or the ancient Roman painting in the Honolulu Academy of Art of Eros riding a Dolphin, Eros looking exactly like Darryl. A few future haiku might be appropriate. More links will continue to appear.

In the meantime, here are Photos from our journey to where East meets West:

Jun 4, 2008
Jun 4, 2008
(including many photos Dar took before my arrival)

Hawaii05 (114)
(with soul-mate Starr)
Jan 1, 2006

Hawaii 03/03
03.27.03 ( 56 photos )

Hawaii '03 and before


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