Archive for September, 2013

Day Two Melds into Day Three

Day Two: Evaluate and Assess…um NO!…

I awoke to darkness, a rooster crowing in the distance…over and over and over…. OH YEAH I’m in Hawaii…I suddenly remembered and rolled back over to try to sleep some more. But trying to force ones self to sleep doesn’t always work. So at 6am I FINALLY rolled over and got up. I had forgotten about the cacophony of bird songs that occurs early in the mornings here. WHAT a delight but not much on letting you sleep in, THAT’s for sure! So I made my coffee and got to work. By 8am I had already put in a couple hours of work time on the computer and not even walked out of the apt. Hmmm time for a walk on the beach. I only got to the bench at the entrance to my beach.

Today I felt the pain, grief and physical sickness I’ve been holding in check for weeks now. I am so amazed at how palpable grief can be. I could barely move a muscle that didn’t hurt the entire day. All I wanted to do was hide, not let anyone see me. My entire body was shutting down. I felt ugly, scared and timid. NOT a normal thing for me AT ALL!!! I read, napped off and on and hid inside the apartment almost the entire day not wanting to venture even the short distance back to the beach.

Later on around dusk, I did take myself down to the beach to watch the sunset. I sat right at the edge of the dry sand and water line and enjoyed a magnificent sunset. I know tomorrow will be better.



An incredibly strong scent of honey from the Beach Naupaka permeates my senses as I walk along the soft sandy shore towards a group of surfers catching any wave that they can this early in the morning. The sets are small but rideable. A light offshore breeze helps set the waves up for them. I am still dry on day three of this trip…NOT GOOD. Time to get wet.

Tentatively I entered the cool blue water. As I submerged something inside of me sighs. Relief… happiness, I can’t quite place the emotion but it was there. Once again a palpable experience but exactly opposite of yesterday. While I was submerged I had to fight to jump up and run back out of the water. My entire body fighting me to stay under, to relax, TO HEAL.

I knelt down and floated on my back for a bit allowing the waves to wash over me, washing away all the feelings I’ve been holding onto for so long. Washing away all the unhealthy thoughts. Washing away all the anger, the frustration and the fear…and finally all that grief. Everything began to just disappear. Swept away with each passing wave and ground into the sand…destroyed!

When I exited and put my pareo back on to continue my walk I felt renewed and for the first time in ages HAPPY. I laughed and danced a little jig as I continued my trek up the beach. You know that feeling you get when a headache FINALLY recedes and suddenly you notice your whole body is NO longer in pain? THAT’S the feeling I felt. RELIEF…FINALLY!

As I continue along the shoreline, once again my senses are flooded by the heady honey fragrance of the Naupaka along with a mixture of coconut from the surf boards wax and salt spray misting the air. I begin to recall the Hawaiian legend about the Beach Naupaka.  A princess was forbidden to marry her true love, a fisherman, because he was a commoner.  As they parted ways forever, she tore a flower in half, giving one half to him and keeping the other half for herself.  She then returned to the mountains where her family lived.  Stricken with grief, they both cried and planted their halves of the flower.  Each half grew and became the two forms of Naupaka – the Beach Naupaka and the Mountain Naupaka”




Today was the beginning of my healing in earnest. I feel so much calmer and so much more relaxed now… Ahhhh! I can begin to sigh.


Day one, mobilization:

It’s raining, ok…it stopped…started…stopped…started…the geckos are chirping, it’s HOT, humid and delightfully fragrant. I’m IN HAWAII!!! This morning I was pensive, ecstatic, excited, nervous, worried all the feeling I felt today as I headed to SFO on BART. A feeling of typical travel calm also though. Sometimes I’m over emotional when I travel…especially after long periods of NON-travelling. Do I have all the things I need, where is my boarding pass? Did I pack enough underwear? …all questions that pop into my head as I stand in line at the security gate. Will they search my bag and find the pesto I packed for the landlords? SHIT! Now THAT would be a tragedy. Honolulu airport was a breeze. My car is HUGE but Siri guides me to Haleiwa without a hitch. After one wrong turn, I find my adorable little place. No one is home upstairs. I load in, unpack and hit the beach! The trails to get to the beach are so cool and the beach…well locals only kine stuff which just totally blows my skirt up!!!! Groceries were twice what they are on the mainland but WHO the fuck cares!!! I’m IN HAWAII!!! I made myself a drink and hunkered in at the beach to watch the sunset…I had some time. I drank my drink I had made and watched the dogs romping around the beach chasing each other without a care in the world…hysterical!… I had to pee but I’m NOT departing. Not yet anyways. Gotta see the sunset and it’s not too far off. Surfers, their ladies and kids keep popping on and off the beach to hit the small surge coming in. Bit of an offshore breeze sets up the face quite nicely but still small waves. I gotta Pee…! Only and hour to go before the sun sets. SHIT I GOTTA PEE! I can hold it…I’ll meditate…helps a little. Can’t concentrate…dogs whizzing by, people chatting, laughter, it began to rain…MAN!…I GOTTA PEE…NOPE…not gonna,  gotta watch the sunset! Hold it…HOLD it…HOLD IT!!!!! FINALLY (honestly) the sun sets beautifully…MAN I could not walk home fast enough… I HAD TO PEE!… Phew!

August 3rd, 2008

a note to Jason….

Woke up quite early after a fairy restless night to take my girlfriend Rina to the airport on her way to see her boyfriend’s place in the Florida keys. I went home, had a fabulous conversation with a very handsome man…sorry babe, not you…;} . Shortly thereafter, I found myself deciding to either watch a movie or take myself to the beach to swim now that I have a car. Oh yeah forgot to tell you. Rina also chose to rent me her 2006 Honda CRV for a pittance a week. SO…back to the beach for goodness sakes. I found a great beach chair and hunkered in. Got wet and fell asleep. End of story…Fuck NO!!!

First off you honestly think I’d fall asleep before getting my swim in. Not on your life babe. Too much energy in this body these days. Again I digress. I started my swim…

Figured I could get about 1-1/5 miles in if I swam to a certain point. On the way back while fighting the current (OK HERE”S THE GOOD PART!!) I suddenly became a the center of a fairly large immature Jack fish school. There were about 3 large needlefish and 2 BIG Jacks lurking along the edge of them constantly trying to jet in and take a bite of one so they saw the opportunity as I swam by and used my body as a barrier.

As I swam nonchalantly along acting like I hadn’t noticed being surrounded by fishies and totally enjoying the experience, they began to infiltrate every available space with in millimeters of my skin. It was a rather unnerving to me initially. Then I began to enjoy it. Every move I’d make they’d copy. I’d dive, they’d dive, I’d roll over under water and they’d follow. I slowed, they slowed. I sped up and they’d follow suite. Kind of like when you see the big schools of fish swimming together in unison. I was literally engulfed by them. It was mind blowing!

We swam on like this for almost 45 minutes. I kept slowing or speeding up and they would stick like feathers to water, never moving too far away ever and usually with in touching distance. What an amazing feeling to become a part of a school of fish.

The Needlefish constantly doing flybys with little nips here and there. The Large Jacks running the school and picking out the stragglers. These fish were like the big flocks of blackberry birds in the Pacific Northwest that literally undulate across the sky in a switchback pattern. The Big Jacks were even taking pop shots at me. They would swim close and then suddenly swipe past my face or across my stomach just touching the skin.

As I neared a couple and their baby boy near shore the fish darted off to greet up with them and hide there in the waves. The little boy was squealing with sheer delight as they roared around his daddy’s legs. It was adorable. I finally got out of the water, my body all pruned but every nerve on edge. My body was covered in red welts from the Needlefish and larger Jacks who kept trying to get past me to get their dinner…lol I fell fast asleep on the beach chair exhausted from the experience.

I find myself constantly in touch with some creature of the water here. Barracudas off the coast of my house challenging me for territory, a school of Cuttle Fish and I in a Mexican standoff for hours, schools of fish using me as cover, a shark here and there. It’s a lot rougher waters here in West Bay and we get the majority of rain usually. I love being in this water. It challenges me, scares me and completes me.

August 24th, 2008

The sea has been dead flat the last 2 days, dead flat!! It’s amazing to wake up and see this here The Grand Cayman Islands are rarely calm. The wind is always blowing…or so I thought. Being on the water is an adventure in itself. The weather entertains me instead of the TV. Much funner to watch a lightening storm or water spout pass by than to sit and stare at a TV all day and night. Snorkeling outside the apartment is fabulous when you can get in the water. There are at least 5-6 dive spots about 1/4 mile off shore we swim to almost daily. There are 3 of us here in the apartment complex that go swimming together regularly.

Last night Sherri and I sat on the landing and watched the bio-luminescence flicker each time a wave hit the rocks. We dosed up on mosquito repellent. The night was silent. You could hear voices travelling across the water from miles away. There was one lone boat fishing on the reef in front of us. Illegal as all hell but who cares.

This is the Caribbean.

August 27th, 2008 Wednesday,

Today I’m sitting on the landing with Sherri, my downstairs neighbor. We just watched a great movie and decided to move outside and watch the storm clouds move in and the bio-luminescence in the water. The water is dead calm right now. The calm before Gustav I think… There is a slight breeze. Enough to rustle the dead palm fronds hanging from the trees. A small swell has started to lap at the coastline. Ever so slowly increasing in size till soon this lovely setting will be no more, replaced by an angry beast.

Sherri and I make out way out of the house and navigate the stairs and walkway to the 2 Adirondack chairs we have strategically placed to see both the night ski and the water below. The clouds are all around us. Stacked high in mighty columns ever growing, melding into one another, transforming into something completely new every few minutes.

But there still is a void in our bay and the sky is crystalline clear. . Directly above and in front of us Jupiter in all his glory blares out amongst the Sagittarius cluster. Running through Sagittarius across the sky from top to bottom of me a milky ribbon of iridescent beauty. The Milky Way like I’ve never seen her before. So clear and defined. Almost like a cloud in the stars.

I’ve watched northern lights off the coast of Iceland. I’ve sailed tropical storms in Hawaii and now I’m about to be a part of my first real hurricane with a name. All those nights were incredible and unique. All those nights I saw amazing things. Tonight the sky is clearer than I’ve seen her since I’ve been here. Lightening flashes behind us on the north side of the island. Planes in Georgetown 7 miles distant are landing and taking off at extraordinarily close intervals. Everyone is vacating the island for fear of the hurricane damage.

We laid out in our chairs long enough to watch the rotation of the earth. It’s amazing when you are still, long enough to actually tune into the slow moving things of this earth. It’s a sobering thing to experience. How magnificent is this place we live? This beautiful place we think is the center of the whole grand universe. And yet are we? Look up and you will have your answer. So amazing the very idea of there being someone else and yet not. I mean really, just look up.

Falling asleep in a lawn chair at the edge of a very rocky ocean on a cement landing is not a smart thing to do. One can wake up, sit up and take a step but oops no ground to land on. Can be a bit over stimulating. But since when have you ever done what you’re supposed to do ALL the time? Of course we both knocked out for a minute or two and well here I am now writing this lovely little moment to you. And Sherri is now most likely in bed.