Hawai’i and Pele – What’s Happening and Why You Should be Paying Attention

This image is the property of USGS

Volcano goddess Pele, or “She Who Shapes The-Sacred-Land,” art by Herb Kawainui KaneÂ

If you haven’t heard, lava – otherwise known as the goddess Pele – that has been flowing out of Pu’u O’o on the Big Island of Hawaii, has suddenly taking a sharp turn in it’s course and is heading Northeast with considerable speed and volume. This recent event has caused alarm within the Pahoa community and Puna district, where many residents have expressed their concern about the lava flowing over the highway that connects many peoples home’s to the rest of the island. Some have even more to worry about. Pele could potentially flow right into their homes, destroying them for good.

This concern amongst residents has sparked a very fascinating difference of perspective and cultural beliefs. I encourage everyone to tune in on what’s happening to gain insight into the unfolding of this story.

I myself am not entirely comfortable telling the story, nor representing the beliefs of the Hawaiian people. I recognize they are not my own, but I also recognize the deep lessons we (those not born into or raised in the the Hawaiian culture) can learn from this perspective. Thus, I feel compelled to share.

There is is talk by some who wish to divert the flow of lava so that it does not come in harms way of any people and their homes. The Hawaiian community has voiced outwardly that this should not happen in any way. The reason why is the lesson worth learning and sharing.

(see footage from a Pahoa community meeting) http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2014/09/05/video-hawaiians-rebuke-lava-diversion-talk/

To divert the lava is to go up directly against Pele. To go up directly against Pele is to place the value of human life above and beyond everything else. To place the value of human life above everything else (nature), is to separate the human species from the natural world. It is this grave mistake which has caused so much of the violence and destruction of people and environments around the world.

As Pele has done in the past, over and over again, her presence in Puna could very well last a long time – years, decades. Back in November 2013, Pu’u O’o had been flowing south for nearly 30 years. There is nothing to say she won’t do the same in Puna.

The fact that here in Hawaii there is an overwhelming opinion saying, “you’ll notice they’re aren’t a lot of Hawaiians at this meeting, that’s because they are all at home preparing for a visit from Pele ” is the expression of a culture that stands strong amongst a world where indigenous cultures are going extinct – where ethno genocide continues to shower down on the face of this planet like acid rain biting into the skin of all who watch it happen.

Here in Hawaii, although it certainly carries its own traumatic history of intentional cultural destruction, there is an ancient way – practices and relationships to this land that run deep, hundreds if not thousands of years of building knowledge and understanding of this dynamic and ever-changing land that anyone outside of that culture can only begin to understand. We all should pay attention. Pele has flowed through peoples homes before. she will do it again. This is her home, we are her guests.

Here are some resources

http://www.bigislandvideonews.com/2014/09/05/video-hawaiians-rebuke-lava-diversion-talk/

http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/maps/

http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/multimedia/index.php?display=default

Run like Animals

Originally posted on Running Wild:

How often do you watch your dog as he lays in content and wonder what he must be thinking? Soon, you realize your pet is not experiencing a thought at all and is instead basking in a glorifying moment of nothingness, that is, a moment of full immersion into the sensual pleasure of the environment surrounding him; the colors, sounds, temperature, light, breeze.

And how often do you then become a little envious? Here you sit in front of your pet, representing the most sophisticated animal on the planet, if not the most intelligent, yet you are entirely incapable yourself of performing the single most basic and simple task of releasing into the absolute present moment. Your dim-witted dog, however, seems to be a master of this practice.

How often do you then wish you could just lay in content without a worry or flicker of thought intruding on this…

View original 911 more words

Gateway Into the Wild

Many years ago, when my imagination ran wild, our family went to visit the beautiful home of our grandparents in Greenbay, Wisconsin. We would venture here once a year, zigzagging across the Midwest. I always looked forward to these trips out east. I don’t think I knew it then, but leaving the city was a feeling of great joy.

It was very hot in Wisconsin during the summer months, steadily becoming so throughout the day, lasting long into the night. Our grandparents had a pool, where we spent most of our days playing. But, when we grew tired of the splashing and chlorine, my sister and I ventured out to explore what was beyond the pool, beyond our grandparent’s property. Our grandparents lived out in the county; ranch land, where my grandfather raises horses.

I can remember hearing cicadas during the heat of the day, and frogs and toads chirping and croaking as evening settled into the night. My sister and I knew of a nearby creek, but never went to investigate. One day, an especially hot day, we snuck away from the eyes of our lounging parents to see if we could catch some toads by the creek.

We had to cross the main road, and hike down a steep slope before we could get to the creek. My sister and I liked to adventure together. We came for the toads, finding them almost immediately. We could catch them, look at them, throw them, and catch them again. The cruel hands of a curious child.

We soon grew tired of the toads, they could only offer so much to us with their slimy skin and blank stares. The sun grew high, and was beating down on us heavily. I motioned to my sister to start heading back to the house, but it looked like she had other plans of her own. The creek was shallow, with barely a current. We were standing on either end, trying to avoid getting our shoes wet. My sister however, started to take her shoes off. I watched her with curiosity, and asked her what she was doing. She told me she was getting in the creek, and asked if I was coming. I wasn’t sure. The water was dark, murky, and mysterious. My sister slipped her feet in and called out with exhilaration, “oh you have to try this, it feels really good!”

I soon found myself envying her joy, and without hesitation, flung off my shoes and followed her into the muddy creek. She was right , it did feel good, distracting me from the heat of the sun.

My sister was more of an adventure seeker than I was, and probably still is today. Her excitement over stepping into muddy water amped her up, and she began to move  up the stream. I followed behind, trying to keep up.
“Lets see how far up the creek we can go,” she dared. At first, I was just relieved to be out of the sweltering heat, for now we entered an understory  shade covering us all around. I looked behind us, and could barely make out the little chute we came down from the road. I hesitated and looked back. I could still hear the traffic not far behind. My sister continued on, looking back to see if I was still following. Her glance was like a command to follow. The creek grew deeper as we inched along. I was holding my shoes in my hands, and tried to keep my shorts from touching the water. As the creek grew deeper, so it broadened.

By now the sound of birds singing and insects buzzing drowned at any sign of cars. Before I knew it, we had left civilization behind, and were knee deep in the messy, mucky wild. I felt thrilled, pushing forward alongside my sister. It felt like hours had gone by. Maybe they had. The creek kept going and going. We had forgotten about where we had come from, only focused on what lay ahead. It felt as if we may have been  the first ones to ever explore this creek. We would seek out the farthest point we could see and trudge along, evermore curious about what may be around the corner. Where would this creek take us?

We naturally started to act the role of explorers on a dangerous safari into the unknown. I suppose this was not too far from the truth, except that the only equipment we had were the shoes on our hands. We had escaped from the world we once knew, and now existed somewhere magical. There was no turning back now. The farther we went, the wilder we became, the more we crouched, the wider our eyes grew, the more our ears perked up. Our breathing was heavy, as we helped each other over slippery snags and under protruding alder branches. We were adapting to our new environment. The adrenaline of a new and unfamiliar place had settled into our coursing bodies. I was no longer thinking, just acting through patterned motions, step by step, branch by branch.

Suddenly, my sister stopped, stooping low. She beckoned me to be silent. I stopped momentarily; holding my breath, then slowly waded over to her. She was listening, so I listened too. There were voices coming from ahead. Human voices. My hearted started to race. I sensed danger. I was swept back into reality. Where were we? How far had we come? Were we on someone’s property? Were we intruding? As we grew used to the voices, dim and muffled, I broke the silence by asking what we should do. Which could have been translated as, should we keep going? Neither of us wished to turn around, after making it so far. We wanted to find the end of the creek, or at least some sort of end, or change, or conclusion.

My sister crept forward, signaling me to follow. She whispered for me to go slowly and cautiously. I wadded alongside her as sneakily as possible. The voices were getting louder and clearer. It sounded like they were coming and going. Pulsing. Moving. I grew excited. What would be the result of this? Would we encounter others in the creek? Would we come up to someone’s home? Was there an opening? This whole time we had been in the thick alder brush, scratches across our bodies to prove it. We brushed away a few more branches and revealed in front of us was a bridge, a small bridge, with people walking across. Families walked across. My sister and I looked at each other, puzzled, and then looked back at the bridge. We clambered up the side, out of the creek for the first time since we entered. I noticed how muddy I was, but not caring too much. Where were we? The bridge looked familiar and as we made it up to the path, I realized we were standing in the park near my grandparent’s house. I had been here before! My sister realized it too, and we became excited together. We had found our destination, without knowing what it was, or where it was.

With shoes in hand, and mud up to my thighs, my sister and I walked back down to the familiar wetness and coolness of the shaded creek, our new way home.

To The Men In My Life

Men play such an important role in the lives of up and coming young adult males.The relationship is sacred, as the father figure initiates the rite of passage of boy into manhood. Throughout my life, I have encountered and come to know various men who have taught me a great deal about myself and what it means to be a man in this world. I’d like to dedicate a few words to these men; to the impact they have had on my life. This is to the men in my life.

To my father, who taught me to love the world, and it will always love me back.

To my step-father, who taught me to look at things for what they are, and to choose my words carefully.

To Hans, who taught me to be efficient with my time and effort – to challenge myself to do everything better than the time before.

To Greg, who taught me the zen of farming, and that every event in life is a lesson worth learning.

To Matt, who taught me to be grounded and firm, yet light and flexible, like the bamboo. Who taught me to always follow my heart.

To Scot, who taught me to be playful, for this is the best preparation for the future.

To Stan, who taught me the nature of writing, and in turn my own nature.

To Gene, who taught me the passion of learning, loving, and acting with nature and community.

To Nathan, Who taught me about ambition, and just how deep our connection to place can go.

The Nature of Photography

Photography is a statement. There’s no way to deny it. However, photography, like a painting, it’s beauty and message are in the eye of the beholder.  Words and language persuade, twist, and turn people’s thoughts and understanding, while a mere picture only offers a different view unto something – take it or leave it, but look at it, and see for yourself.  I offer my photography as a search into the truth and beauty. I strive to discover how people truly feel, to reveal and revitalize an ancient language, a keystone of what it means to be human.

PEOPLE AND NATURE

People and Nature

PEOPLE AND CITIES

people and cities

NATURE

Nature

FOREST IN MOTION

Forest in Motion

FAMILY AND FRIENDS

Family and Friends

Gallery

People and Nature

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Photography and Art Photography is a statement. It is a perspective, there’s no way to deny it. Yet, it is a way for others to view one person’s perspective in a very pure form. Words and language persuade, twist, and turn people’s thoughts and understanding, while a mere picture only offers a different view unto … Continue reading

Gallery

People and Cities

Photography and Art Humans lived in many environments, an incredibly adaptive species with the ability to move across vast distances, endure the harshness of nature, and master the rhythms of place. Only recently, in the grand scheme of things, did humans begin building our own environments: civilization. With this human development came the rest of … Continue reading