Lucky We Live Hawaii, Do I Think So?

it’s a quiet evening and the light is still out.
the sun doesn’t set until much later. It is only 5:59pm.
the neighborhood dogs bark at cackling chickens

and a pattern develops
as each neighbor’s dog sounds off
like the ticking down of the minute hand
around the radius of a clock’s face

i wait for sunset, the darkness to come
comforting me into sleep, and deep into the midnight of
my thoughts

I have nothing nice to say about living here most times, but that’s the depression talking. The state has a saying, “Lucky you (we) live Hawaii.” But the concept is such hype.

On one perspective, there is a sense of ethnic, cultural pride, which in its own way can be a type of reverse racism. Then however, the tourist trap crap that boosts state-wide economics can get very exploitative and caters to pure capitalism and commercialism that harms the state more than it helps.

Did you know that the island of Oahu ranked #1 in the nation for worst traffic? Where the f*ck are we going on this little island? Nowhere. What normally takes a 30-minute commute can take over an hour for about a 25 mile drive. Congestion.

We fell to second place last year, next to Los Angeles. If you’re interested you can read about it here. Woah, it surprises me to acknowledge the “we” in my identification with the state, but I guess, yeah, it’s a we. And in some ways, I have cultural pride invested in this place. I do, after all, need to belong somewhere.

I was reading yet another article about depression and educators, but. . . it depressed me so I stopped and just listened to my surroundings. I didn’t think it was  healthy for me to dwell upon another educator self-help article, so I stopped. I caught myself, patted myself on a good decision to put it down, which made me smile.

Briefly, the article dealt with teacher relationships and how they can overcome depression and strife, especially in the work place. It provided suggestions to build relationships. Theoretically it sounds good, and its the kind of bonding activities you’ll find in a ropes course or team-building exercise administration will have the faculty do to “help” build community. This is the article, if you’re interested.

My mind freely wandered as I listened and typed:

the sound of a skill saw blares
and a little child’s voice asks inquisitive questions
the pitch in his voice tells of a little toddler asking daddy what he’s making?

in its midst
i hear the shower running somewhere
the beeping of a microwave dinner
the Rocky theme embedded in a commercial
more pounding of a distant jack hammer
and the yelps of the watchdog welcoming someone home to dinner

i’m wondering, “What the hell is everyone doing outdoors?”
a plane’s engine echoes several miles high above the rooftops
and a rooster crows

the mynah birds head home into a lychee tree
the ghost of my grandfather, gently holding my 5-year-old hand, as he points into the sunset
watch they sky, he tells me
i hear squawking settling into the night

After another day of work, I reflect on “Lucky I live Hawaii.”  I suppose… I do count my blessings.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
– Matthew 6:34

Whom I kidding? I am blessed.

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