It's the day after Halloween,
and I am happy to report America is intact. No mass
destruction. No poisoned children. Malls haven't been
Life has changed.
O'Clock Bad News is on every day. Such is the
harsh reality of these emotionally
turbulent times. Last
night, the country fretted over the possibiity of malevolent Halloween
shenanigans. This evening, I
learn that we still can't breathe easy.
suspension bridges in the western states may be blown up during
rush hour by the terrorists.
"We're a target-rich area," says our police chief.
Nearby, the green and dramatic Vincent
Thomas Bridge in San Pedro is being protected by land
and sea, as is the Golden
Gate in San Francisco.
alternated with sighs of relief, is becoming the breathing
norm. I get back to basics:
Step 1. Breathe in.
Step 2. Breathe out.
Step 3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2.
Am I in a world play
about human fears, what we do not understand, and how do we react
to fear? If it is, let it be known that I refuse
to play the role of The
Executive Monkey. I will limit my sense of responsibility to those areas over
which I have authority.
"What can I do to live a more successful life even though
the world situation is not cooperating with my pursuit of happiness?"
I leave the rest to
I am grateful for my
job. Its busy-ness precludes news saturation. No
radio or TV. No bad news. Knowing less, I struggle less in gaining
composure in a chaotic world.
Occasionally, in the
course of the day, my clients will update me. Thank
goodness, none deliver the news with the urgency and dramatics of
are still some things that seem dear and simple... the sun, poetry
and the love of friends."
Koni stopped by today,
and as always, we had a heart-to-heart visit. Before we
got down to business, we watched the video of our five minutes of
fame, when we were on the Oprah show together. This is
turning into a pleasantly nostalgic fall tradition.
I've known Koni since
we were kids. I was 14 when I visited his Hawaiian island with
the school choir; he was 11 and the adorable younger brother of my
Years later, when he
was referred to me by one of his clients, our paths crossed
again. He didn't have a clue that it was me. In the
meantime, I had married DH, sporting a new surname. His name, of course, was unchanged, and I was delighted to see his
name on the day's schedule and anticipated Koni's visit with excitement.
When we old and grey, Koni
and I will continue to laugh over his totally surprised, mouth agape
expression when he realized that it was me. It was a JOYOUS reunion, and we hugged and hugged, like the long-lost
friends that we were.
Neither of us knew
that the other had left the shores of Hawai`i to earn our
degrees, then seek our fortunes on the West Coast, 2000 miles away,
at about the same time. The Fates determined that we were
meant to be together, and via his client, reunited us across the
sea, after many years apart.
We reminisced over our
initial meeting, and he told me about his school boy crush. At
11, he had fallen head-over-in-love with an older woman.
This was news to
me. I blushed. I had just been profoundly complimented, albeit
We remembered our
sweet yesterdays. The following year, Koni joined
his sisters on O`ahu, and for one year, we were schoolmates.
He was a high school freshman, and I, a senior. Back
then, I was a whole head taller than Koni. When we met
years later at his sister's wedding, he was a whole head taller than
me. We danced immersed in the mana -- the sacred
energies --of Kualoa,
ancestral grounds of our long-lived kupuna (elder), Kuali`i, with the majestic Ko`olau mountains
our backdrop and the sweet scent of plumeria permeating the
Over the years,
visiting each other on a regular basis, we have experienced the
human condition together. We've returned to our cultural
roots together, me, with the language, and Koni, with
hula. We returned to Hawai`i often to care for and tend our
ailing parents, then buried and scattered them, grieving
deeply with sorrow-filled hearts over their passings. We've lost beloved dog-kids
to the ravages of old age, and again we band-aided each other's
We are in the
helping professions, and we hold similar values. We value
integrity. We care for the whole person. We have a
strong sense of purpose. We uphold our oaths.
We dislike paperwork
and commiserate over it.
We live one city
apart, within five minutes by freeway, and we have places in
the mountains, across the lake from each other.
Koni and his partner,
Palani, became dear couple-friends. They
recently went their separate ways.
sigh with a little sniff>
remained friends, for the sake of themselves, their respective
families, especially the nieces and nephews, who adopted each as
Uncles, and their friends, like us. Thank goodness, as we love
Today, Koni told me
about his new amour, who he'd met at a tennis
match. My curiosity is peaked, and I am so looking forward to
world laughs in flowers."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Just last month,
on campus, Kamela bopped into DH's office and showed him a
modernesque chair that she had made herself out of corrugaged
cardboard. She designed it well, as it handily supported DH's
weight. So when Kamela and Keki came by
the office today, and Kamela told me that she had dropped out of
school, I was surprised.
My eyes must have
nearly popped out of my sockets, because she popped them
right back in with her quick explanation.
She is dropping out
for the best of reasons: a bright adventure! She and her
husband, a software executive, are seizing the (work) opportunity to
live in Zurich, Switzerland for two years.
gal. College can wait. To live abroad for two years,
what a dream experience. In the heart of Europe. And
in a neutral country, possibly the safest place on Earth. And in the
mountains. The Alps. The real Alps.
I congratulated her on
keeping her priorities straight.
company is promising us a two-bedroom apartment, " she
"So please come and visit!"
last weekend, DH had mentioned that the college's club was
considering a trip to Floriade
2002, a celebration of flowers and fun, in the
Netherlands. It happens only once every decade. We
were there in 1992, and were consumed by its horticultural beauty at
We'll see if I can
separate myself from O & Freddy...
Every morning you greet me
Small and white clean and bright
You look happy to meet me
Blossom of snow
may you bloom and grow
Bloom and grow forever
Bless my homeland forever... "
"Life is a Gift."
P.S. If you would
like to share a portion of yourself with words, in response to
this journal entry, you may do it here.
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