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