The waves were terrific on Saturday. They destroyed our yoga studio. Where one there was a nice bed of sand about 10' square, surrounded by lava rocks (see below), there is now only boulders and a bit of sand exposed above water.
Not that a lesson needs to be sought or extracted from every single situation - but, what happened to our yoga studio has been a reminder to me to enjoy something - whether it be a person, a place, a breeze, a scent or a sunset - while it is. One is tempted to think one may have an opportunity to revisit the phenomenon - whatever it is - and this belief can lead to less than full enjoyment of the present. But the truth is that a phenomenon can never be revisited, because the moment will have passed. It must be enjoyed and savored now.
The sun was also fierce Saturday. It was by far the sunniest and hottest day we have experienced so far. I got a little burned on my face, so I started using the Amazing Maui Babe Browning Lotion that Mark had picked up.
I've mentioned before how tanned I used to get when I was little. My older sister Karen was the same way. She'd lay out all summer when she was in high school and get very dark. I think this is a trait she and I inherited from our dad, who tanned easily, and in turn from his father. My grandfather apparently used to make comments about the "Indian blood in him." I would have liked to have asked him about that. He's pictured above with my dad on his lap back in 1926 at the "home place" in Southern Illinois.
Grandpa's mother was dark-complected from pictures I've seen of her, as was her father, William Robertson, pictured below. There's a family legend about some Choctaw or something back on that line somewhere. Who knows? I'm supposed to have Cherokee ancestry on my mom's side of the family, too. I'd like to lay claim to these legends and this ancestry, even if I can't prove it.
I wrote this post yesterday morning while sitting on the beach. It was comparatively quiet. By 9:30, we were still - as Mark put it - the only fags on the beach. Actually, I was the only fag on the beach because Mark was out swimming a record number of laps at the time.
|All by ourselves|
The discussion above about impermanence which opens this post brings to mind some things that I have been processing the past few days. I referred in an earlier post to a little breakdown I had Friday evening on the beach. That was attributable in large part to expectations and anxiety about this trip.
As I wrote the other day, I was a little anxious about this trip for some time, partly because Mark had always come with his former partner. There was a part of me that was always wondering how the experience Mark is having with me compares to that which he had with him. Insecurity.
I was also anxious, I think, because we had been talking about this trip for months. Since I had never before been here, I conjured images in my mind based on what Mark told me. Once I got here, I felt a subtle but relentless pressure to enjoy it (which has not been difficult) and to mentally compare - albeit primarily subconsciously - my expectations with reality.
I also felt a self-imposed pressure to make the most of every day - to be "productive" even while on vacation. Routines: paddle ball, yoga, reading, writing, observing, making mental notes, etc., etc.
What I started to realize in the past few days - and I think our little jaunt to Pa'ia was the initial turning point - was that what I needed to do was just sink into the moment and let it be. I was, figuratively speaking, running around, trying to be "productive", looking for enlightenment and meaning in order to "make the most of this trip" - I suppose in no small part out of a desire to "justify" the trip in my mind. And if I were to allow myself to go further, which I have, I would say that I was also trying to justify myself - period - i.e., my existence, my gayness, everything.
I had to allow myself a couple of days to really process and "see" all of this that resulted from Friday night's "breakdown" (my therapist says that breakdowns precede breakthroughs). But I saw the effects of the "release" on Saturday. For example, when I had the "Aloha Spirit" moment Saturday morning, which I described in yesterday's post, and when I gave myself permission to go down Saturday afternoon and simply sit in the wet sand at water's edge, soaking up the sun and allowing the water to cool me off. It was glorious.
I am grateful that I have yet one more week to experience Maui through these new, more relaxed eyes.
On a lighter note, and speaking of impermanence, Mark and I were driving down the Pilani Highway the first week we were here, and I noticed a sign along the highway which actually consisted of two smaller signs. The top sign read "Recycling Center" and the bottom sign read "Redemption Center," each with arrows pointing to the right. This was the first time I had seen these signs, and a thought came to mind which made me burst out laughing.
"I guess the Buddhists go to the recycling center," I said to Mark, "and the Christians go to the redemption center."
I kept myself in stitches for a good five minutes.