Waking Up

It’s the morning after a long journey by plane, and post 9-11 and heightened insecurity. L and I decide to eat at the local diner, Kenny’s, in Kamehameha Shopping Center. The menu is a mix of American and local Asian and Hawaiian. So are the customers. There are no haoles in sight. I usually know someone. Once it was a career military man I met in LAX. We were both traveling with saxophones. We got into a conversation and started a friendship and even jammed together at his place in Kapolei with a funk bass player friend of his who I almost hired for a gig. He was Funky. Once I ran into him while he was having a big breakfast with his family. We’ve lost track of each other. I look for him.

We order simply though I’m tempted to get saimin. It’s my favorite menu item. I’m still blurred; I’m not quite here and I’m no longer there. When I fly I notice that it takes a day or so for my spirit to fit itself into a different time or place. The farther the flying distance, the more adjustment. My spirit loves to fly, and though an airplane is a huge, bulky, mechanical hulk of brilliant human engineering, it’s still flying. It’s in the touching down we accumulate stories. Flying takes us beyond story.

As we wait for our order and begin to plan out the day and week I see the end of a dream, the dissolve between one dream and another. I sense the dream state we are in together and see this life as a dream cloud and watch it disappear. It will be just like that, one day. Our conscious lives aren’t internally constructed by days, or sequential time, like New Year. There’s eternal order. It’s difficult to catch or know as it passes, though poetry, music and art are able to hold it, a little. It’s one of those dreams you are inside and then you are bumped “awake” by a voice, a siren, a child or the phone and the dream shivers and it disappears. You try to catch it, and it’s gone. You retain a taste, a smell, a knowing. Then it’s gone.

The friendly Filipino waitress delivers our breakfast, and we gratefully eat. The house needs cleaning. I need to unpack. I need to call my brother in ICU. He survived a suicide attempt. We have company coming. The Ko’olau’s are greener than when I left, from all the rain. We make a grocery list…

May you wake up this New Year
May you remember that every day is New Year
Thank you, for the compassion that has constructed us


Anonymous said...

Every day I hope to wake up free from worry, and hope that Joy, gratitude and peace lead my way. I wanted to write to you on this first day of 2009. I wanted to let you know that I don't have to look for you because we have met a couple of times and this is all I needed. Of course I want more. My soul is attracted to beauty. I have Sam Cook's song in my heart these past few weeks: "Its been a long time coming..but a change is going to come." Happy New Year Joy. I am here holding that glimpse of absoulte perfection. I pray for you and your brother. I have hope that I begin my flight in 2009 and fly with all the saints and angels that I fly with all the trees and mountains.

afiori said...

"May you remember that every day is New Year" - I love this.

I hope your brother will be okay.


Ojibway Migisi Bineshii said...

I feel the same way when I travel. I love flying and I love traveling. It does take a day or so for me to ground when I have landed after flying in a plane. Even after I have landed I feel like I am still flying! Sometimes on long road trips it is the same as flying.

Prayer for your brother!


megan said...

can you say it-- without saying it?

megan said...

Hi Joy--

I wrote the last comment. after I sent it, I thought that perhaps my words lose value because they are not nurturing enough...

I only meant that I know what it is to survive. To be close to death. To want it. To have a brother- yes- whose daily practice is dying.

Of course you must express yourself. It is your purpose.

When I read your last post, I could not help but wonder at your brother's private horror- his desperate reach for change- made public. While your travelmate, L, remains a mystery without gender and without story, other than the one written on the page.

So I ask. Because I know you can.


Susan said...

Joy, just wishing you, your brother and all there well. susan

river said...

dear Joy. . have continued to think and send prayers to your brother. . . . in the late eighties i went through a spell where all the darkness from the ancient past was screaming non viable. . hit bottom with the realization the life force within was stronger than the layers of unexpressed collective deathings from lineage history that compacted in the DNA. . .With the realization i had to live by a strength of force i did not understand. . .there arose one question. How am i going to live?

Does he know that all he is feeling is not his personal nightmare, but rather a promise he made to take it on and heal it for something greater than the small self? I pray he comes to realize that for there is great life in remembering that promise. . .

May we all be wrapped in the promise. .

Joy said...

I don't feel as if I invaded my brother's privacy. No name.
As for L. and others--the blog is a kind of storytelling place. I do not want to bare everything. It is important to keep space, though a blog is somewhat personal, and this one is.
I write to share my revelations, what I think might be useful information...
And I'm not perfect.
Thanks for your concern.