October 31, 2006
All Hallows Eve
Antebellum Graveyard, near Springfield Mississippi
I felt the presence of old saints as I walked through this old Methodist churchyard nearly a year ago. Yankee bullet holes still festoon the exterior walls of the church, and one can vaugely hear with the minds ear the call to retreat as the Confederate troops moved down this valley towards Natchez then on to New Orleans where they were pounded into defeat... and while there are services held here they havent had a full time minister in years, so deserted is this area... full of old delapedated houses and trees hanging with Spanish Moss
Perfect place for such a night as this...
October 30, 2006
Losing Track Of Time
Fall Foliage on the Circle Bella Vista Arkansas
Its beautiful here in Northwest Arkansas... for those that ask "how could you leave Hawaii and come here?... they dont say that much just now for we are having the most beautiful changing leaves that many can remember. The colors are bight and brilliant, and so vivid, that they refect light and the white walls of our home shimmer with red yellow and orange hues. We had a good rain here while we were in California and rain just before the seasonal shift seems to bring out the colors more or so our friends in Ohio told us when we visited them in the fall of 2004. You can see those photos on my PhotoBlog My Wide Green Fields
I remember that trip and my true first contact with seasonal change. Now having lived with "seasons" for a year. I am fully aware of how time is divided and how the earth gives us this wonderful circle of change... You need a summer to appriciate winter, and viceversa, Spring and Autumn are two parts af a great whole. The seasons mark the passage of time in a kinder way than a calendar or a clock.
I feel that I am loosing track of time...my days sort of run together, and I dont like it. I want to grab ahold of every day and squeeze every drop of life out of it. But with my all consuming job, that crushes my creativity and forces me to spend my days shut away from the sun, I lose the days and cannot remember what time it is...
I am developing the "Bella Vista" Mind...sort of a joke around here in this neighborhood of retirees. "Seinor Moments" ect are a way of life. It matters mostly to the forgetful person and not to anyone else. Sometimes its beyond a small thing, like a man at church, who asked me to pray for him. He is losing his memory in chunks, it matters to him that he cannot remember his childrens names or other important details. But he is good hearted about it, and we all help and understand...
But "Fred" not his real name, is nearly 80, I am 44, and have noticed a growing list of things happening to me that were I older, it would be handled in a lighter manner, but its getting serious and I know that my life is changing as surely as the leaves are changing around me. I grow forgetful, and walk around in a daze, I sleep and get no rest and horror of horrors something that was bound to happen did happen this week at work....
I was caught asleep in front of my computer at my desk....at 9 in the morning. This happened on other occasions...remember this
This "dropping off" has gotten REALLY bad, I knew I had to do something so I was able to get an appointment with former Airforce Major Doctor Lee, remember him
we had ourselves quite an adventure last fall, and after we shook hands in his office last monday, he was surprised that I felt I had sleep apnea. Well, to his surprise, his examination clearly shows I have a congenital defect in my throat in that it is about 50 percent smaller than it should be and there is excess tissue creating more obstruction... "Add to that you are 125 or more pounds overwieght, Hoku please try to lose some weight for me?...it would likely mean no surgery...and possible neither surgery nor a CPAP machine is going to help, but weight loss has got to be part of this equasion..." (The Major is never one to mince words.. I like him for that) "I could cut some of that stuff out, but it would hurt like hell and like as not it would grow back and be worse... how could I have missed that when you were hear last year... I can hear the snore as you speak, the tissue vibrates slightly... You sing, right?..." and we go over my vocal career...
The good thing is that by my getting looked at, I wasnt written up for sleeping on the job, and I unofficially requested to get off of this account. I will be officially requesting this as soon as I can, so that the OT and Manditory saurday work will come to an end. I have got to get more rest and yes a strict diet is in order now. I know it. Death by Chocolate might just be a reality for me if I keep this up...
All of those symptoms are because I am not getting a good nights sleep. The phsycological issues, are compounded by this. The Major also informally restricted my driving to daylight and necessary only until we sort this out. Technically he could have pulled my licence, I am so glad he didnt. I will miss weekend drives in the country, but he is right, until I am sure I am not a menece to other drivers and their passengers.
I worked at getting more rest saturday night and sunday, and todays work day went a lot better. One of my co-workers offered to work any saturday that I needed off , for which I am grateful. I dont need to shoot myself in the foot by staying up too late, then stagger around at work...
I hope to be off this terrible cycle of weariness one day, but untill I can be I must be paitent with myself and know that I am what I am and be reconciled to that.
October 29, 2006
Psalm 27~The Lord is My Light
Tree Aflame Bella Vista ARThe Lord Is My Light and My Salvation
Psalm Of David.
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold* of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me
to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord
and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the Lord.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry aloud;
be gracious to me and answer me!
You have said, "Seek my face."
My heart says to you,
"Your face, Lord, do I seek."
Hide not your face from me.
Turn not your servant away in anger,
O you who have been my help.
Cast me not off; forsake me not,
O God of my salvation!
For my father and my mother have forsaken me,
but the Lord will take me in.
Teach me your way, O Lord,
and lead me on a level path
because of my enemies.
Give me not up to the will of my adversaries;
for false witnesses have risen against me,
and they breathe out violence.
I believe* that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living!
Wait for the Lord;
be strong, and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!
October 23, 2006
Season of Change
Glorious Leaves Bella Vista AR
post started Oct 9 2006
My life is filled with change right now. I "felt" better over all this past week about my mother's death and the seemingly endless drift in my personal life. I am still not "going anywhere fast" at "thisplace", and horror of horror, I was forced to move my desk again, from sitting next to the nicest person I have met there, to sitting next to a woman who, while well meaning,is crude rude and unprofessional. All day long there is a stream of outbursts, rauccous talk, banging her fists or a stapler on the desk we share. Since my back is turned to her, I am unprepared for the sudden outbursts so I nerviously jump... There is loud rap music blarring from her computer and scraping sounds as she drags something accross the surface of her desk... like nails on a chalk board. She acts like I am not there, and dont exsist..Its torture that borders on homocidal... I cant take it anymore...
I am also now seated right behind "bosslady". If you will remember back a few months ago, I was her "step and fetch it" and this resulted in my never getting my work done and frankly my nearly having a nervious breakdown over her yelling my name out to do this or that like a stupid child. There has been a conversation about that and she has been really good about not hounding me and I have been good about being willing to make her priorities mine and to allow her to " help me" cause I do need help weither I want to admit it or not.
October 17 2006
I wasnt able to finish at the time and actually have a half dozen posts half done. This is quite normal for a person dealing with the grief process the way that I seem to be. My already disorganized life has manified to the place where I feel that everything is out of order... for so it is...
I spoke to bosslady about my seat mate and the situation was delt with but I have also learned about her private griefs and the irritating mannerisms are a way for her to cope. I told her I was sorry that I was so fragile at this time myself and maybe we can put this aside and work things out and so we are trying and I feel good about that. She has stopped with the banging and has started to wear a set of headphones. I turned my music off compleatly and try to keep myself with in my space including my conversations. Lets face it seven women in a space smaller than the average bedroom is pretty tight.
Mr. Niceguy, my former seat mate won employee of the month for his handling of my desk as well as his during the time I was in California. Plus he is likely the best liked employee on our team. All I did was tell Bossman that one of my carriers had an email time stamped at Midinght one day... That was devotion...In honor of that I have tried to keep up on my work and mostly I have, but at a cost that is grinding me to powder...
Blogger was so unkind this week. When I have had the time to write the portal has not been working. I really need to write. I am going through a lot of messy feelings that I think would sort themselves out if I could just get them out. Its not so much my Mother's death, but that death to my past that unnerves me. I feel like I just take up space now, not a drop of creativity flowing out of me. I can hardly write...heck I dont cook even if it comes out of a can or box or better yet, frozen. I forget how to turn on the oven.
Depression is a dish always served cold....
I was reminded that this is a season only. That the seasons change and with them come different issues and situations. Paitence will win out and things will become more focused. My grief is so profound, and it has been over ten years since I have felt this way...That was the spring of 1996, when I found myself in a new and fatally flawed marriage, out of a job and cut off from my church, and to top it off, covered morning and night by unexplainable hives the size of dinner plates...I dont want to get that low. God willing. Help me, Lord to accept what you send and exspecally this season of change
October 22, 2006
Matthew 5:19-34 Where Is Your Heart?
autumn pathway near Holiday Island Ar
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust* destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light,but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.*
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear”For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
October 16, 2006
The Dream Shaken
Evening on the Kohalla Coast, Kawaihae, North Kohalla, West Hawaii
"Hoku, Hoku, you need to come and look at this..."
I walk into the TV room where Woody is sitting staring at the tube, while CNN is blaring..."6.6 Quake rocks the Big Island". I too sit down stunned at the implications of a quake that size.
The Island has been bombard by daily rain, and is geologically unstable. Often siesmic activity of this magnatude means that volcanic activity is on the way...When I saw the location of the epicenter of this swarm of earthquakes, I shuddered. That region is the location of the little known but perhaps the most dangerous Volcano on the Big Island, Hualalai
In the early 1800's this sleeping giant woke up and began errupting, spewing lava and large rocks on people. Where many of North Kona and South Kohalla's five star resorts stand once stood villages that were filled with people that had no way of escape the mountains's wrath, They died trying to escape the swiftly moving lava. It was the largest loss of life at the hands of nature ever experienced on the Big Island. Some estimate 10,000 souls were drowned or consumed by flames....
In the shadow of Hualalai is the Kohalla-Kona Gold Coast, a region that streaches from Hawi at the northern most tip of the Big Island to Kealakekua Bay, where the first white people, Captain James Cook and company landed, is heavily populated and built up. We should count ourselves very fortunate if all that happened were a few landslides and a rock wall or two falling down. The power can be restored, but how do you restore life...
I got an email from Claudia, now happily living in San Francisco, "Whew, we got out just in time..." Yes I have to agree. I can see the shambles my house would have been.... my store... But I never grow weary of thinking about the Big Island.I am concerned about friends I left behind...
I dreamt of the places I had seen on the news, dreams peopled by the voices I had heard on the CNN feed. Woody and I were glad to hear the voice of mayor Harry Kim, and some local officials that we knew by name. The familiar lilt of Local Kine Talk, which still colors our speach was evident in the news reports. People at work now say "Hey, we know where you got your accent now" and that is very true.
So many of the places that were shown on the news were very familiar including the roads where rock slides occured. Thank you, Lord, that this was on a sunday insted of a work day where commuters are driving from Hilo to Kona. How many nights did Woody leave at 3am to make the 3 hour drive to his security job... CNN labled the road over the Hamakua Coast, its narrow bridges and soaring clifs and gorges as one of the 10 most dangerous highways in America, now with the added attaction of falling bolders, and red dirt avalanches...
But the views of the Hamakua, The images of the gardens and gultches, delapidated single wall houses and bazillion dollar resorts, and the much missed sound of Hawaiian names and language was like a knife in my heart...
I wonder if I can ever go back without having to be dragged to the airplane...
For many, their Hawaiian Dream was shaken, visitors have demanded to be flown home, and Kama 'aina, residents like we were, may have huge repair bills as many do not have property insurance. Insurance, like everything else, is horrible expensive. Most do not have it unless there is a mortgage on the dwelling...We skipped it for six months, I sware I will not do so again as long as I can help it, given the horrendous year we have all seen courtesy of Mother Nature. I was sad for the losses that I saw on the news, but again so glad that no life was lost... that is a miracle... and to me shows God's protective hand on his island children.
The quiet Sea... The epicenter of the quake was just off this shore and to the south a mile or two. Taken near Puako, North Kohalla West Hawaii.
October 15, 2006
Pslam 121- My Hope Comes from You, Lord
Colorful Hills near Garfield AR
Psalm 121 A song for the ascent to Jerusalem. I look up to the mountains- does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord, who made the heavens and the earth!
He will not let you stumble and fall; the one who watches over you will not sleep.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you! The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not hurt you by day, nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all evil and preserves your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.
October 08, 2006
2 Peter 1:3-11~Growing in the Knowledge of God
Rose Garden Descanso Garden
As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.
So make every effort to apply the benefits of these promises to your life. Then your faith will produce a life of moral excellence. A life of moral excellence leads to knowing God better. Knowing God leads to self-control. Self-control leads to patient endurance, and patient endurance leads to godliness. Godliness leads to love for other Christians,* and finally you will grow to have genuine love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more you will become productive and useful in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But those who fail to develop these virtues are blind or, at least, very shortsighted. They have already forgotten that God has cleansed them from their old life of sin.
So, dear brothers and sisters,* work hard to prove that you really are among those God has called and chosen. Doing this, you will never stumble or fall away. And God will open wide the gates of heaven for you to enter into the eternal Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
October 04, 2006
Happy Birthday, Popokilani (heavensent kitties)
the birthday Kids Makoa and KaNani as mature five year olds
In the scramble of our lives and with my writing for 9-11, then my Mother's passing I almost forgot the most important post of the year...
The Kitty's Birthday Post!!!
Our Babies are now robust adults that are growing and changing as they adapt to our new enviroment. As we are making friends and having them in our home Mak and Nani are more and more curious of outsiders comming out to smell them, and accept pets from them, spreading their own "aloha"...
We have seen a clear change in that they are loving towords me but bonded at the hip to Woody these days. He has clearly spent more time with them since our arrival and is the go to guy for eats treats and litter box cleaning. I just brush their lovely fur out and say "I love you dear sweet little night time pests!"... Seriously When I was recovering from eye surgery this spring, or even when I am at home for a day off they are right there with me the dearest little friends we could have.
I remarked in my last post how vivdly I remember meeting them for the first time eight weeks old, orange ribbons around their necks. We were there at the Hilo Farmer's Market to see Nani, as we were wanting just a girl cat, but Makoa was not to be ignored and protested loudly that he needed a home and loving too. I am so glad we took them both. Clearly two cats are better than one.
So Happy happy my Hawaiian kitties, your aloha touches me every day and makes me smile...
Share the love!
October 03, 2006
Small Moments Of Silence
Art Captures Life Mural on the wall of the Brigham Young Banquet Hall, Polynesian Cultual Center Laie Oahu Hawaii
I remember seeing this mural as Woody and I were enjoying a really fine meal at the Polynesian Cultural Center. I was contemplating a new life far away from the culture of the islands, and it frightened me. Hawaii was all that I had ever wanted, a dream that grew in my heart like a seed grows in the earth. The tree that sprung from that seed was not unlike Jonahs gourd. It was pretty, it gave some shade and comfort, but was only tempororary. It would die, as all living things are bound to do at one time or another.
I promised myself in that opulent feasting hall that I would not forget. That I would take a small moment once in a while to remember the good things, the sound of the rain rolling in off the ocean, how it felt to hold Makoa for the first time as a tiny kitten, a welcome gift to my new home that has followed me to a newer home and a new life. To remember the sound of my own voice praising God in song in the empty shell of what would become the home of Azure Seas Jewelry, and the views of Mauna Kea gleaming in the sun swathed in clouds like a robe of majesty. The smell of plumeria,ginger and evergreens, that was the new smell of "Christmas"... The pride of saying to people..."yes this is my home... my island"...to remeber the language of Hawaii, the fragments that helped define a culture that I came to love and that the "life of the land is perpetuated in righteousnes"... Hawaii's state Motto now my own...
I need to apply this to my memories of my Mother and yes, also to memories of my life beyond Woody and the time we have shared together. One thing I have noticed in this past year and a half that Mom and I could no longer communicate, was a disconnect between me and the lifetime of memories I have, that I have no one to share them with,or that shares them with me... Its a form of being a orphan that I hadnt considered before this...Sadly, Woody feels at times, like others of my extended family, that I sugar coat what was a difficult and painful family life, discounting the fact that mentally ill people are often witty, warm and filled with creativity, and that my father was a gifted story teller with a reservoir of stories to pass on... filled with charecters like my Great Grandmother, Georgianna Beachfield-Smyth, Roberts,Lewis (or Lewiston, Im not sure ),Holland, Thrice married twice widowed in the Old Country she came to this country with the three small offspring of Cmd. RJ Roberts, Royal Navy, because she yearned for the stage and adventure. In America She was hired as a Ziegfield girl and shortly after, met and married stagehand and stevadore, John Holland, 20 years her junior, and they had a happy life in San Francisco. Mr. Holland was good to his step grandson, even when his beloved "Songbird" was dead and gone, and my father loved him dearly... and I have vauge memories of him sitting me on his bony lap when I was but three and his gruff voice making me laugh, as he called me his "little sparrow"....Dad told stories of his childhood in Marin County, his 18 months of life on the road when he ran away at 14 and lived in Salt Lake City as John Ramerez, using his mothers name. WWII Naval Service at 17, Two broken marriages and his carrer in Aerospace. He lived two lifetimes in 42 years and spent the next 23 telling us about it all. I dont want to forget any of that...
In the silence I can hear their voices...
My mother at the piano of an evening,we would sing she and I hymns mostly, we often had no TV, and read books for pastime, and there was homework...My father would listen to Mom or type letters, or term papers for us or students at our church... my father's typewriter...a manual that was well loved and used heartily (While in the Navy,he held the All Services Pacific Championship title as the fastest typist in the fleet from 1945-47 167 wpm... he wasnt that fast years later but he facinated me as I am a plodding typist) as he typed single spaced letters to friends and family. I still have a few of those "epistles" carefully kept.
Or after a long days work Mom would sit at the sewing machine, she made most of her clothes up untill she went into the nursing home. The only stab of pain regarding her posessions came when I realized that her clothing went to the Veterns Thrift store, a worthy cause and one we supported, but the thought ran through my head...Will they know that the suits and blouses so artfully made, were the product of skill and a real love of the craft? Likely not, But for the missing tags you wouldnt know these garments were home made, as she was very particular about the finishing of a garment...
When Woody and I went visiting in my old neighborhood, by meeting some of the people in my past, Woody heard some of the people of my past discuss old times and I think that was a good thing. It gives a bit of a frame to my story...
I am at a place where I am starting to really feel the loss of my Mom. Every day I try to live and feel as much as I can and if I can I listen for that small moment of silence where the past comes to life...
October 01, 2006
Isaiah 40~The Glory of the Lord Will Be Revealed
English Beauty Descanso Gardens
"Comfort, comfort my people," says your God.
"Speak tenderly to Jerusalem. Tell her that her sad days are gone and that her sins are pardoned. Yes, the Lord has punished her in full for all her sins."
Listen! I hear the voice of someone shouting, "Make a highway for the Lord through the wilderness. Make a straight, smooth road through the desert for our God.
Fill the valleys and level the hills. Straighten out the curves and smooth off the rough spots.
Then the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. The Lord has spoken!"
A voice said, "Shout!" I asked, "What should I shout?" "Shout that people are like the grass that dies away. Their beauty fades as quickly as the beauty of flowers in a field.
The grass withers, and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people.
The grass withers, and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever."
Messenger of good news, shout to Zion from the mountaintops! Shout louder to Jerusalem-do not be afraid. Tell the towns of Judah, "Your God is coming!"
Yes, the Sovereign Lord is coming in all his glorious power. He will rule with awesome strength. See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.
Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed out the mountains and the hills?
Who is able to advise the Spirit of the Lord? Who knows enough to be his teacher or counselor?
Has the Lord ever needed anyone's advice? Does he need instruction about what is good or what is best?
No, for all the nations of the world are nothing in comparison with him. They are but a drop in the bucket, dust on the scales. He picks up the islands as though they had no weight at all.
All Lebanon's forests do not contain sufficient fuel to consume a sacrifice large enough to honor him. All Lebanon's sacrificial animals would not make an offering worthy of our God.
The nations of the world are as nothing to him. In his eyes they are less than nothing-mere emptiness and froth.
To whom, then, can we compare God? What image might we find to resemble him?
Can he be compared to an idol formed in a mold, overlaid with gold, and decorated with silver chains?
Or is a poor person's wooden idol better? Can God be compared to an idol that must be placed on a stand so it won't fall down?
Have you never heard or understood? Are you deaf to the words of God-the words he gave before the world began? Are you so ignorant?
It is God who sits above the circle of the earth. The people below must seem to him like grasshoppers! He is the one who spreads out the heavens like a curtain and makes his tent from them.
He judges the great people of the world and brings them all to nothing.
They hardly get started, barely taking root, when he blows on them and their work withers. The wind carries them off like straw.
"To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?" asks the Holy One.
Look up into the heavens. Who created all the stars? He brings them out one after another, calling each by its name. And he counts them to see that none are lost or have strayed away.
O Israel, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case?
Have you never heard or understood? Don't you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak.
Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up.
But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.