Hi, Friends. After a few days without my laptop (she got the flu) and a week spent in academic pursuits (sort of), I'm back, and I missed you.  I'm glad to report that with a little help from my friends my laptop  is back in business. Chee-hoo!

Last week's highlights:

- read voraciously
- spent QT with loved ones, on the phone and in person :)
- made a list of songs for Voice class final (in 2 weeks! ahh!)
- got Crispy M & M's from a far away land by snail mail
- attended the opening of the Surf Film Festival
- made churros from scratch with Natsuko
- started researching Japan/China as options to teach English for 2011
 (and subsequently looked at Spain, Brazil, Tahiti, and Indonesia, as well.)
- had dinner with two people who renewed my faith in marriage
- re-watched Contact... and loved it
- practiced harnessing ki
- started taking Vitamin D for lack of sunlight... and waves :P
- listened to a new song "Legs"

Most days it seems the summer has wings;  It's the middle of July, 2010 and and the days flip by ever faster.  "All we ever have is now,"  I told Dominique (please smile when you say it... it's French) on the ride home last night.   She is an intriguing creature and now I know why.  Instead of the typical path, Dominique traveled for 15 years and ticked off 40 things she wanted to do/see before she turned forty.  The list included jumping out of an airplane (sounds familiar), seeing the great barrier reef, swimming in the amazon, sailing across the caribbean, etc. -- and she went right down the list.  She chose to live at once, instead of living at last.

Hawai'i is this other world, apart and floating. I am afraid sometimes that I stand too still here -- like Dorian Gray but with palm trees.  The world is so  vast.  Dominique never had more than $2000 with her and no credit cards -- simply living by her wits and learning for a lifetime.  She inspires me to keep dreaming, and more so than that to act on those dreams.  

Another source of inspiration came from 25-year old film maker from San Diego, director of  'Lost Prophets.'  If you have a chance to see his film, I highly recommend it.  The soundtrack alone will enthrall  you, combine that with jaw-dropping, deep-barrel footage, perfect peeling Mexican waves and a couple of Aussie hippies and your golden.  It'll show again at the DorisJuly 20 at 1, 4, and 7:30 p.m.

In a way, last week I rekindled the part of myself that wants to "go for it," that believes there's hope and that life is crazy beautiful -- and sometimes the crazy is what makes it fun life is my anti-virus.

This week's talk story is to write your bucket list.  It can be as long or as short as you'd like and share it with me; I'd like to put as many of these up as I get.  Have fun, there is no limit but those you place on yourself.


"And when we come to think of it, goodness is uneventful.
It does not flash, it glows. It is deep, quiet, and very simple.
It passes not with oratory, it is commonly foreign to riches,
nor does it often sit in the places of the mighty:
but may be felt in the touch of a friendly hand or the look of a kindly eye." 

David Grayson

Not entirely sure when it was that I decided Maui would be the be all, end all of my Hawaiian escapade; perhaps,  it was when I took a quiz on Facebook that proclaimed "Maui is where you belong."  In all honesty, Maui was anti-climactic.  Don't get me wrong:  seeing Haleakala and Hana were two biggies to cross off the Hawaiian bucket list and spending quality time with my sister was priceless.  Pau Hana felt bittersweet: not quite the beginning, not quite the end.

Let me explain -- here in Hawai'i, Hana means work.  What on a map looks deceptively simple, no more taxing than a quick drive over the Pali to Kailua in O'ahu, ended up a 3 hour crawl.  But it wasn't without it's rewards -- we listened to amazing music, ate killer banana bread and "coconut crack" (razor thin sliced coconut pieces drenched in rock sugar) jumped into a crystal blue lagoon fed by a 20-foot waterfall and wiggled our toes in black and red sanded beaches.  

Why is it then, that the greatest satisfaction  I found in Maui was on Friday, our rest day?  After an awkwardly-executed detour through Lahaina (parking = bane of my existence) we arrived at a cinnamon sugar beach overlooking Molokai and I was at peace.  Nothing fancy, no bells, whistles or 4x4 trek, just a simple soft beach, each lap of the surf against the sand like perfume to my frazzled, stressed-from-driving psyche.  I don't even remember the name of that beach, just how content I felt napping in the sun.

Sticker on a car at (the wrong) red sand beach
Each mile marker freed space for a new dream; that's what was so bittersweet about it.   And without realizing it I haven't dreamt a new dream in a while.  

Jason Mraz has a song called "No Doubling Back" that goes: 

and i wonder, wonder which one of us
is gonna state the obvious
and i wonder if you already know
that i gotta let you go
i know this ain't the way i planned it
i guess i ain't the great romantic
and i'm not doubling back now
no doubling back
doubling back now...

When we reached Hana that's exactly what we did - we turned around and drove back the way we came.   If I had it to do over I would go the long southerly route back ... but If I ever do it again, it'll be in a car full of drivers. :)
It seems time to start thinking of new goals to accomplish, destinations to explore, dreams to pursue and fears to conquer.   Although I can't quite pinpoint the current source of dissatisfaction, each day is an opportunity for creation, love and excitement.  

This Wednesday begins my month long Summer Education.  I'll be taking voice (eek!) and have promised to call my sister and sing to her voicemail with what I learn as well as a substitute teaching certification course that will (hopefully) help me make my way to teaching English in Japan next year.  I guess we somehow make new goals for ourselves without knowing it.  I leave you with this quote by Anais Nin: "Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living. "  

Aloha ~