I have so many new stories to share, but the old ones are cueing up and I've got to log them in before I can share any of the new ones. I'm going to try to share some of my Hawaii/Maui writing and pictures before they're too out of date. Here are some more of the stories that one of the massage therapists at the hotel shared with me.
This is a shot I took of our beach, the beach that is just steps away from our rooms. I love this beach so much and no matter how much time I get to spend here, it's never enough. The skies cleared up long enough to take this picture but you can still see the wind in the palm trees. The water looks really good but it's still full of particles. It was all brown yesterday but luckily the tides are strong and pull a lot of it away from the shore fairly quickly.
Raw sewage spill largest in 20 years.
Man dies from sewage spill, seals, fish and turtles at risk.
The weather has been insane here, rain every day, rain, thunder, and sometimes lightning, but the rain here, ever when it comes down hard, is somehow gentle and warm. It feels good to be out in the rain. This is supposedly the worst series of storms they've had here since the late fifties. The sad thing about these storms, the storms of the last five weeks, is that they have been so persistent and heavy that they are carrying toxic runoff from upcountry and dumping this poisonous sludge into the ocean. I don't know why farmers are allowed to use dangerous pesticides that can end up in the waters, but it seems that they are, and this muddy brown runoff that courses into the ocean is loaded with it. I feel sorry for the turtles, dolphins, fish and sea creatures who will be affected by this. We can get out of or stay away from the water but they can't. I also feel sorry for people who spend years saving up in order to be able to come here for the first time, for just a few days, and find themselves unable to do some of the many things that make Maui so spectacular.
Everything here revolves around the sea and it really sucks when you can't snorkel because you can't even see your hands in front of your face. It also makes it just a wee bit scary out there because you don't know what's swimming around you. I've seen sea snakes and eels up close but never a shark. As unlikely as this is, I wouldn't want to bump into any of these creatures by mistake.
The worst news by far is the sewage spill in Waikiki. I don't understand how they could have allowed this to happen when they knew they needed to repair their main sewage line over two years ago and had set aside one hundred and forty million dollars to do it. The beaches were officially closed on Oahu but no one has bothered to tell the tourists and some of them are still swimming in the water. That is so wrong, criminally reprehensible really, as people could get super sick from swimming with all of that bacteria.
Oh nooooo, I just found this link when I was hunting around looking for links to share with you. Beau, Scott, and I have all had headaches and sinus infections. Mine started before I got to Hawaii but even with antibiotics it hasn't gone away. Now it's hitting me like a brick that, duh, we were swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, skim boarding, and surfing in that super dirty run off water, not the poop water in Oahu, but it was definitely brown in Maui. Oh crap. Literally.
These pictures weren't taken at the same time as the writing so they'll be a little out of order and context. I took this picture later in the trip when it was sunnier. These little girls were so cute in their pastel play clothes that I just had to take pictures of them to share with you, but I did feel a little bit like a stalker.
I'm trying to remember some of the other stories my friendly massage therapist told me. Oh yeah, there was a great story about Pele's sister she recounted; this is a super condensed version as all of these wonderful ancient Hawaiian stories are loaded with complex mythology. First of all, I LOVE Pele stories. She has just got to be one of the sexiest, wildest, naughtiest, nastiest, most powerful fire goddesses around. Which reminds me I need to get some gin for her, seriously.
Anyway, Pele had a favorite little sister. Her sister's name was Hi'iaka and she is the goddess of the hula and also takes care of the sacred Lehua trees and ferns. She has groves of them on the big island that she looks after. Pele had a Hawaiian dream lover, (Pele's had lots of lovers, that why I like her, she's hot, literally, Beau just asked me if Pele is bisexual, too funny, where does he get this from?), a handsome chief named Lohi'au, that she had fallen in love with in a dream trance. Worried about the length of time Pele had been sleeping her sister called her spirit back to her body. When she awoke she missed her lover and wanted him back, so she asked Hi'iaka to go out, find him, and bring him back to her.
Hi'iaka didn't want to leave her beloved Lehua groves but Pele promised to take care of them, so she mounted an expedition and went out in search of this man. It took her ages to find him, she had to fight all kinds of monsters, and go on all sorts of adventures. She was gone for a long time and Pele grew impatient waiting. Finally Hi'iaka found the man on Kauai but he was dead so she had to bring him back to life. She forced his spirit back into his body through his toes and when he came back to life Hi'iaka told him that her sister wanted him back.
Hi'iaka was very beautiful and naturally he was attracted to her. Hi'iaka wasn't interested in him she just wanted to get back to her beloved Lehua groves. So Lohi'au got into her canoe and came back with her, but when they approached the big island they could see from a distance that Pele, having waited so long for her sister to bring her lover back to her, had lost her temper and erupted lava was flowing down the mountain side and had burnt poor Hi'iaka's Lehua groves. Seeing this Hi'iaka decided that she would get even with her sister, so she seduced the man and made love to him right there in the open on the boat so that everyone could see she had taken her sisters lover. Then brought him to the shore, and left him for Pele.
These are the kind of legends a gal like me can get behind; powerful, sexual women doing whatever they like with men. Nothing against men, God knows I love them, but it's just nice when the women get to be the warriors in charge for a change.
This is the birthday card that Beau made for me. I love it so much! I kept it on my dresser and looked at it everyday wishing that we really did have a house in Maui.
There were two more stories she told me that were interesting; (I'm telling you, if you don't ask people for their stories, you're really missing out, I just recently asked a security guard what the weirdest thing he'd ever seen anyone try to bring in to a court through the metal x-ray scanner was and he said, "A snake,") when she was a younger woman and her children were babies she lived for a long time on Oahu near one of the bloodiest and most sacred Heiaus. A Heiau was like a temple or a church to the ancient Hawaiians and these were dedicated to various gods. There were Heiau devoted to all types of things like war, birthing, agriculture, fishing, etc. Heiau's were tied in to the Hawaiian Kapu system and it was common for many people to be sacrificed at some of these sites. Chiefs would round up groups of people and have them buried alive. The Heiau that my massage therapist lived near was famous and well known for having been devoted to war.
One night, shortly after she had moved in to her new house, as she was sitting in bed -- I think I recall her saying that she was pregnant -- she suddenly felt a presence in the room. The presence manifested itself in ways that she could feel but not see. It poked and prodded her and the strong and clear feeling that she got from it, or from them, was that she didn't need to be afraid and that "they" were just checking her out. They told her telepathically that, "If she was cool then she could stay."
When these spirits stopped touching her she got out of bed and went to check the house. When she got to the living room she saw three balls of light or orbs. They were about the size of a flashlight beam, but they were completely round -- not made by a flashlight -- they moved around the room for a while and then suddenly disappeared.
Another cute little birdie walking by.
Now you might wonder about this story if you're not as open to Obake or talking story as I am -- I've been collecting stories forever, all kinds, and I know what to look for in the person who is telling them. I won't recount stories told be people who I think are fabricating them, or if they're really interesting I'll make a note that they seemed embellished or faked. But this woman was massaging my naked body while she was telling me these stories, I could feel her energy, her earnest centeredness, and she was over sixty years old, with four grown children. I had to coach these stories out of her, I'm lucky in that this is just one of the gifts I've been blessed with, the ability to get people to open up, to tell me the stories they might be too shy to tell other people, and I believed her.
Beau and I went out and took pictures of the sunset. We took so many pictures of this canoe or kayak going by.
I know I'm supposed to be relaxing while I get a massage, some therapists prefer that you remain quiet, but connecting and communicating with people is relaxing for me. Whenever I travel, or whenever I have a chance to meet someone new, I ask lots of questions because there is always so much to learn. Beau once saw a wild, crazy-colored, poisonous centipede when we were in Maui. I wish I'd seen it and have been curious about them ever since so I asked this nice woman if she'd ever seen one and she told me that she'd actually been bit by one; she was sleeping in her bed at night when she suddenly felt something on her mouth. She felt this burning feeling on her lip and when she reached up to touch her mouth she felt the centipede.
She said she knew what it was immediately and flung it across the bed. There was blood all over her mouth and her lips began to swell. She called the hospital and they said that she would be in pain for a few days but that unless she was allergic to them, the way someone might be allergic to a bee-sting, that she should be okay. They told her to call and come in if she had trouble breathing, basically if she started to go into anaphylactic shock, great.
She looked in her bed, found the centipede and flushed it down the toilet. I'm so nuts about all living creatures, even scary poisonous ones, that if I'd been the one bitten, despite the pain and fear, I would have caught it, taken it outside and let it go, somewhere away from people and pets. Anyway her lips swelled so badly that she thought they would pop and she was in terrible pain, but after a few days the swelling went down and she got better.
Here's a funny story about a guy getting bit several times on the crotch by one of these critters, he's kind of anti-Hawaii in a cowardly white guy sort of way, but it's still a funny story.
And here's a link to a cool bug identification website, this link is for the centipedes but you can just remove the centipede stuff off of the end of the url if you want to see the whole site.
Here's another shot of the sunset. The sunsets are so spectacular here but I'm usually so busy that I forget to take pictures of them.