Sunday, June 28, 2009

Seeing Centipedes, Stuffing Faces with Cake, Saying Goodbye, Singing, Snorkeling, Spam, Screaming

Today is some special Paia day, with live music and art and food and stuff. We woke to the sound of windchimes as someone set up a booth selling them about five feet from our front door. Fun.

Here's my last week or so:
  • I went camping again, this time with Jeanie and two of our coworkers, Sunny and Amanda. We went to Laperouse, a natural reserve with idyllic bays beyond lava fields that look like the surface of the moon. We camped on a rocky beach far from any civilization, this time in tents to stay safe from the centipedes and cockroaches (which we saw plenty of).
  • Thursday was Jeanie's birthday. We went out for breakfast and then went back to Laperouse to do some more hiking and exploring. Then we ate half a Coldstone ice cream cake (my mom told me later those things have like 5,000 calories. So no desserts for the rest of week). It was good to hang out with her, since recently it seems like we only see each other while we're cleaning or puttering around the house, not while we're out having fun.
  • My parents left Friday :( We hung out Thursday night, which was awesome. It was SO good to have them here, especially as I dealt with some new and crappy emotions. I'll see them again in six months, at Christmas, which doesn't seem like a long time, but I've never gone that long without seeing them.
  • I wrote a song, lyrics and chords. It's short and not good at all, but I'm still proud of myself.
  • Went snorkeling yesterday with Isaac and Micah at Honolua Bay (well, actually, the one next to it, and then we swam around to Honolua and got out there). It's supposed to be one of the best places on the island for snorkeling, and it was pretty beautiful! We had dinner at Da Kitchen, where Sarah works, and ate yummy food.... I'm really starting to enjoy the Hawaiian local/Asian-influence food. I even crave Spam musubi sometimes, which is a mound of white rice tied with seaweed to a slab of fried Spam. Spam totally grossed me out for my entire life, but it's actually good when you eat it with other stuff.
  • Last night we watched Quarantine. It was terrifying, mostly because it's a plausable plot and it was filmed as if it was a documentary. I think it was the first movie during which I've full-out screamed.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Camping illegally with mice

The last 24 hours have been fabulous! I went camping with Sarah, Isaac, Josh, and this other guy Jason on a beach on the west side. We didn't actually set up tents, just stuck fishing poles in the sand (because if you're technically camping, you have to have a permit; if you're fishing, they'll let you stay without one) and slept in the beds of Isaac and Josh's trucks (because the beach was plagued by mice). Then this morning we hiked in the mountains; it was crazy hot and dry, and I got really burned without even realizing it. I have yet to admit to myself that I am white. I ignore sunscreen and think I'll come away as tan as my Asian and Hawaiian friends.

Instead of writing poetry recently, I've been focusing on short observational pieces so I can capture as much detail of life in Maui as possible without stressing about making it pretty. Here's one from last night (not because I think it's great, just because it might add some variety to my usual blogging style):

We are finally camping, at the second turnout past the tunnel on the way to Lahaina, close to the road, so we still have traffic, headlights breaking in our darkness and making the vivid stars fade into the sky. Isaac, Josh, and Jason stand around the truck, laughing, trying to attach glowsticks to their shorts before bodyboarding in the black surf. Sarah and I lie on our boards under the silver kiawe trees, journaling in companionable silence by lantern light. The fire smoulders and our late night dinner is scattered around--marshmallows, cookies, animal crackers. I can hardly wait for those few moments between waking and sleeping, when I can stare at the moonless sky, listening to the waves, resting in the presence of friends. Tonight I asked them where they'd live if they could choose one place and were never able to leave. "Go with your gut," I said, stopping myself from analyzing the corners of the world I've explored. I went with mine, and to my surprise I chose Maui.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Absence of Brakes

I hope people are still reading this, because no one is commenting anymore.

Man, I've been so busy lately...but I don't know what I've been filling my time with. It's not busyness like in college, where every hour of every day was scheduled into classes, meetings, work, coffee dates, etc. Instead, it's a relaxed busyness, where I never look ahead or behind me to figure out what will take up or what has taken up my time. All I know is that I've had barely any chance to edit, write, practice guitar, or exercise, all of which I really, really want to do. I also want to spend hours hanging out in coffee shops with Isaac and Sarah, now that I know they both love sitting and reading/writing in comfortable silence, taking breaks for good conversations.... They've spent a ton of time at SBC the last few days, as usual, and it's been so frustrating just wanting to keep talking with but having to get back to work. We are planning to go camping Thursday, so that should be AWESOME. I know I keep saying stuff like this, but it's such an overwhelming blessing to know them, especially now that I'm realizing they want to spend time with me (almost) as much as I do with them. It's a beautiful thing to discover lifelong friends. The church they go to (I still think of it as "their" church, even though I guess I'm a part of it) has been crazy welcoming, too.

Our big news of the week is that our brakes stopped working. Jeanie was driving me to work Sunday, and she started pulling over to pick up Jose Zee on the side of the road when she realized she was pushing the pedal all the way to the floor and we were barely slowing down. We coasted along (thankfully there was little traffic), and luckily once we were going really slow, they kicked in. Our E-brake doesn't seem to work much, so that wouldn't have been a help. I had the worst day of work ever, worrying about poor Jeanie having to take care of the car stuff on her own, while I got scolded a million times by my supervisor for not following all these detailed procedures for making drinks and ringing up customers--she is stressed because the corporate office is putting a lot of pressure on her...don't get me started on how fed up I am with following stupid rules like "you HAVE to suggest that the customer get a large size." I'm such a bad salesperson, I firmly believe that if people don't want or need something, I'm certainly not going to push it on them. And they'll probably be happier for it, too. Anyway, Jeanie got an assessment at Sears, and they said the brakes would be $500 to fix...more than half the price of our car............. And then, HUGE relief, Retha's husband Jeff offered to fix them for free, if we bought the parts. How INCREDIBLE to be taken care of like that!!!! So we spent $60 and have a beautifully working car. I still can't get over it.

Tonight this customer (yes, a middle-aged man) told me I had really large pupils (which I've actually been told before...I hate that it's obvious when I'm full of nervous energy because of that and because I blush, too). I'm not sure if he was hitting on me or wondering if I was on drugs. Or just making an observation.

Oh my word, I have a confession to make. I just realized that I spelled "brakes" wrong ("breaks") through this entire post. I must be really tired. I'm so embarrassed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A few beautiful pictures

Click the photo to see some pretty scenery and some friends:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Ah, I finally feel like I am surfacing from darkness and it is so good to be free and happy again, after a solid two or three months of dealing with this thing (which I realize I've been super vague about) nearly constantly. It's freeness and happiness in a much deeper way than I've felt before, and I've learned SO much that I know I'm not even the same person.

The last few days have been full of...experience. I'm going to try not to get too philosophical and emotional, I'll just say that a new level of life is opening up on Maui, maybe because of how I've changed, maybe because I'm truly finding a sense of belonging and connection to people, maybe because I'm learning a new culture (and I love new cultures!). Life has so many layers, which often require a painful peeling back in order to find new beauty beneath.

So anyway. Been hanging out with people pretty much all the time lately, which is good (relationships are good), but hard (I like to be alone sometimes). This is SUCH a community-oriented society, maybe because there is a lot of Asian cultural influence. I’ll try to summarize:

-We went on another amazing hike, this one requiring us to climb up fairly high, slippery waterfalls, some with ropes, and then jump down them on the way back. Intense.

-We visited our friend Josh's "bungalow," which is a tent illegally hidden in a macadamia nut field (I SO want to do it too).

-We went night swimming again under a full moon, and the water was so clear you could see the shadows playing across your feet.

-I chilled all day Sunday—hung out with Micah, had lunch with his parents (who are super cool!), got asked out TWICE at Border’s by that NASTY 60-year old man (who wanted me to go take pictures with him at night…………………….I DON’T get it; it’s not like I’m at all even nice to him, what in the WORLD could he POSSIBLY be thinking??????????), and “communicated” with Jose Zee (who wanted to see if he could learn anything from me—or my soul?—by staring into my eyes. It was SUPER awkward and I think he was disappointed. Apparently my soul doesn’t want to open up to him).

-I’ve started going to the church where “Brook guys” go (OK, so I’m not trying to be annoying and elitist by using Hawaii jargon or anything, this is just a term that makes so much sense to me and simplifies things. Instead of listing people’s names or saying “so-and-so and his friends,” you just say the name of the person you mainly associate with a place or group, in this case the first person I met, and then say “guys”). It meets in a carpet warehouse and pretty much everyone is around my age.

-We explored Wailuku, this town that somehow reminds me of Mombasa, with Isaac, who lives there. Walked around, ate at a bakery, climbed some trees, sat in a park, chilled in this sweet coffee shop and did some writing. I’m excited to have friends who not only meet me but surpass me on a creative level. Isaac is a poet and an incredibly deep thinker, and we’ve had some amazing conversations and points of connection. Later, he brought Jeanie and me to his grandma’s farm, which was so beautiful I can’t even express it. Tangles of banana plants, palms, pamello trees; a rocky stream; three old wooden houses built into a hill; a stunning view of the West Maui Mountains almost within reach on one side and the volcano in the distance on the other. I wanted nothing more than to be a kid again and grow up there.

Phew, I guess those are the most exciting things from the past few days. Getting deeper insight into other’s experiences has sparked this intense need for me to write, for some reason. It’s like I want to take a tiny piece of the fullness and richness of other people’s lives and somehow fit it into my own.

Oh, one more thing—David is leaving on Friday for almost a month, going back to Colorado. Things have been pretty hard for him here, without a steady job and with some plans that aren’t working out, and he’s actually not sure he’ll come back. He and Jeanie are my family, and it’s impossible to think about losing either of them. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned, too, that Micah is going to school in California in the fall, and Isaac is planning to move to Seattle (or Africa, or the Middle East). It makes me a little sick to anticipate the absence of those I’m getting closest to. That’s Maui life—that restlessness and transience is what bonds us all as well as separates us.

Oh, I lied, ONE more thing: I got a compliment from awkward Evan today, too. He told me "Oh, those are interesting earrings! Yeah, they're really...."

Monday, June 1, 2009

I can surf!

I'm trying to settle into a new routine here, still feeling like I need some change in my life. I'm still having a hard time dealing with painful emotional stuff, insecurities, anxieties. :( We said a sad goodbye to Lola and Julia last week, then promptly came home and rearranged our living room. It felt good.

And I did some really fun things last weekend! Let's see...Thursday night there was a concert put on to raise money for a couple sweet nonprofits, and a couple of our friends played in it. Then Saturday, my dad rented a motorcycle and took me all the way around the west side of the island, along the West Maui Mountains. It was GORGEOUS, and super thrilling to experience it from the freedom of a motorcycle. It's cool to hear from people who've grown up here that the beauty of Maui doesn't stop amazing them even after so many years. I can't get over it and I don't want to.

Saturday night Micah came over and then Isaac joined us and we all went night swimming in Paia bay. Somehow the dark makes it less scary when the waves come crashing down at you. It was peaceful and beautiful with a nice little hint of adventure.

And then yesterday we went surfing! David, who we took surfing lessons from way back when, let us borrow boards from his shop, and Micah, Isaac, Sarah, and a few others took us to Launiupoko, where the good little longboard waves are. Surfing is interesting. It's intimidating because there were TONS of people out there, and all these unspoken surfing rules, like if someone catches a wave further out, you're not supposed to catch it later on. And there's so much waiting involved, just chilling on your board and chatting with people as you wait for the sets to come in. And it was awesome because I stood! Many times, in fact. I can now surf!!! So much fun :)

Did I mention that it's finally summer here? It's HOT and almost always sunny except for when the vog (volcano fog) rolls in, and then it's gray and muggy and traps a funny smell. The sugar cane factory lets off this ghastly smell that can reach pretty far if the wind is right.

One quick story and then I'm done: There's this awkward yet somehow charming guy in his 20's named Evan who spends all of his time at Border's (our manager says he's high and homeless). He's kind of fun to talk to because he's just SO awkward. Sometimes we talk about books we're reading, and sometimes he'll just smile and duck his head when I say hi. The other day he told Jeanie that he liked her hair, then followed it up with the best line ever, in his completely serious way: "It's really...different."