Monthly Archives: October 2011

Maui Wowie

When Dave and Jenny asked me to film their wed­ding in Maui, there was no way I could say refuse. Soon1 I found myself in the only place in the world where Koa grows, and every tree I passed made me won­der if it would even­tu­ally be made into a ukulele or gui­tar. I was only there for two days, but it was worth every moment in the delight­ful weather, spend­ing time with some of the nicest peo­ple I’ve ever met.

The entire wed­ding group gath­ered for din­ner at Mala restau­rant, over­look­ing the Pacific Ocean and the islands of Lanai and Kaho‘olawe. At this time of year, the Maui sun­set passes in the blink of an eye.

I learned that there are only twelve let­ters in the Hawaiian alpha­bet (which is why so many of the words look the same to me), and the lan­guage uses Spanish vow­els. Each vowel is usu­ally pro­nounced by itself (Wailea is said “Why-lay-ah”). I was sur­prised to see most signs in both English and Japanese; it turns out there used to be a sig­nif­i­cant Japanese com­mu­nity in Hawaii, although most of the Japanese tourists go to see Pearl Harbor instead.

All the locals are super nice, per­haps due to the fact that tourism is one of the only indus­tries left in Maui2; it seems like most peo­ple liv­ing there are in the ser­vice indus­try in some form or another3.

Continue read­ing “Maui Wowie”…

  1. Soon” being a rel­a­tive term when com­pared to the lim­it­less of time, as it took me roughly a full day and three planes to get there, from Ottawa to Chicago to Honolulu to Kahalui. []
  2. The other being agri­cul­ture that’s mostly been over­shad­owed by com­pe­ti­tion from Philippines. []
  3. As opposed to those from Honolulu, who have jobs related to the mil­i­tary in some way. []

leave the bottle

I needed to feel a dif­fer­ent pain. I needed to reassert myself. I needed to change my body from the one he knew.

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I’ve been killing it. Nights that bleed into morn­ing, pots of cof­fee, retail ther­apy, English ales that drink like meals. The blood doesn’t faze me any­more. Instead of slowly slip­ping down the spi­ral, I’ve decided to fall all the way so I can climb back up.

Sometimes you have to tear your­self down before you can start rebuilding.

the things we carry

I can’t fig­ure out why I’m so moody lately. Maybe it’s been too long since I smelled the wood of my gui­tar. Maybe it’s the fresh Autumn colours that tend to mag­nify my emo­tions. Maybe I’m feel­ing over­worked, over­stim­u­lated, and too rarely under­stood. Maybe it’s because I haven’t had a moment to myself in what feels like weeks, with so many feel­ings of lone­li­ness amongst so many people.

Autumn stream

 

I always think of exile in times like this, and in par­tic­u­lar, a stanza from Yevgeniy Onegin:

From all that to the heart is dear
then did I tear my heart away;
to every­one a stranger, tied by noth­ing,
I thought; lib­erty and peace
would serve instead of happiness.

Luckily, I’ve been read­ing The Poisonwood Bible, which reminds me that the only prob­lems I have are first-world prob­lems, and that I’m rich in ways many will never be.

I find it amaz­ing, the immen­sity of it, how any sin­gle per­son can be respon­si­ble for a tome of such rich sto­ry­telling, obser­va­tion, and wit. It’s the only book I’ve picked up in years, and I only started read­ing to get into her head as much as pos­si­ble (and piqued by my curios­ity on how she could describe a story of the Belgian Congo as sexy). Unsurprisingly, her favourite char­ac­ter is the strong, faith­ful, war­rior daugh­ter. Mine is like me too; the dark, brood­ing, intel­lec­tual child, dizy­gotic twin to hers. It makes me won­der if lik­ing one char­ac­ter over all oth­ers is too often an exer­cise in vanity.

In the end, Onegin real­izes he was wrong about exile, that he couldn’t fill him­self with empti­ness to replace the sad­ness, some­thing he only fig­ures out when he finds some­one worth lov­ing. That’s what’s pulling me back too, keep­ing me grounded amongst those dark moments of untem­pered emo­tion. I carry the image of her smile with me, the only thing as dis­tin­guished on her face as her Spanish eyes, and the rea­son I call her Cheeks from the way the flesh pulls up to round her face. I’ve stud­ied this smile for so long that I can see it every time I close my eyes, and with that, I carry a strength of my own too.