A Day of Sighs

Thursday, November 1, 2001

Greetings,

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 gassed.  

<sigh of relief!>

Life has changed.  

 6 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.  

Tomorrow, key  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.   

Bated breath, 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.

 

 

Whaaaaat is this?  

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 God.

<sigh of gratitude>

 


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 (professional) newscasters.  

< exasperated sigh>

 

"...there are still some things that seem dear and simple... the sun, poetry and the love of friends."
~May Sarton

 

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 two schoolmates.  

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.  Me.  

This was news to me. I blushed. I had just been profoundly complimented, albeit belatedly.  

<nostalgic sigh>

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, (photo)  ancestral grounds of our  long-lived kupuna (elder), Kuali`i, with the  majestic Ko`olau mountains as our backdrop and the sweet scent of plumeria permeating the breeze. 

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 broken heart. 

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. 

<bittersweet sigh with a little sniff>

They have 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 both dearly.

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 meeting Lopaka.    

 

"The 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. 

Smart, smart 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.

<proud sigh>

 

"The company is promising us a two-bedroom apartment, " she said.  
"So please come and visit!"
~Kamela

Synchronistically, 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 every turn.

We'll see if I can separate myself from O & Freddy...

"Edelweiss,edelweiss
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
Edelweiss, edelweiss
Bless my homeland forever... "

<joyful sigh!>



"Life is a Gift."

Sincerely,
Author Unknown

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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This web journal was created on a September Morn, 
September 29, 2001
.
September Morn 2001