Big Island wanderings

Lately I have acted unlike myself though I am sure that is not unusual under the circumstances.  I spent Labor Day weekend on Big Island, mostly diving, snorkeling and meeting up with some friends.  Though I couldn’t for the life of me commit to any particular action.  Nothing felt quite right. In each instant, I would change my mind and decide that, yes, I should go do this or that instead.  Or wait, maybe not.  Maybe I should do this other thing.

I started the 2-hour drive toward a friend’s house from Kona, though ended up stopping to snorkel for a while and then later ended up at a black sand beach.  As I drove by a Bed & Breakfast I contemplated staying the night there.  But wait, I was supposed to stay at my friends house on the other side of the island.  So I drove on.  When I arrived, I wasn’t sure what to do with myself and decided going to bed was the best option.

The next day, I planned go to a birthday party and camp on the volcano but instead took off in my rental car and drove to the other side of the island without knowing where I was going or where I was staying.  It eventually became dark and I figured I needed to sleep somewhere.  I ended up Continue reading

Baggage

When I walk into my bedroom, there staring at me are three unpacked suitcases.  With stuff piled around them.  I find it somewhat unbelievable that I still haven’t fully unpacked from my trip to Mozambique which I returned from 2 months ago.  Summer school took priority I suppose.  Then there is the suitcase from my last trip to California.  It’s been less than 2 weeks so I’m giving myself a break on that one.

I can’t help but wonder a little bit as to why I’ve waited so long and if it correlates with my state of mind.  I haven’t had much time at all to process my time in Mozambique which would help explain that one.

As far as the other suitcase, there is no explanation really needed.  How long will it stay unpacked?  I feel almost afraid to empty its contents.  Will I just stare at it for months to come?

I was going to skip class today to clean up my bedroom and unpack those suitcases.  But I came to class instead.

Unexpected and amazing relapse into a (recent) former life.

My mind has been swirling with all sorts of thoughts that I can’t seem to sort out.  I haven’t had time to think much about the past month in Mozambique, I’ve been so busy and I only just left a few days ago.  Not being able to talk closely to anyone and my lack of Portuguese language skills also took a toll:  I feel pent up and anxious but unable to talk about it.  I got used to just not talking at all about my thoughts or feelings: the most complex of things to express in English, let alone in a foreign language.  And where does one start when so much has happened?

It’s great to be back, but the malaise of the mundane has shown itself again and it’s only been a few days.  After overwhelmingly constant stimulation the world seems so still, yet busy at the same time.  Everyone is running around doing life.  Though the slow pace of Mozambique was at times maddening, it was comforting.  If it didn’t get done today, there was always tomorrow; and if not tomorrow, the following day and so on.  Or at times, not at all.

fishermen in Pemba, Mozambique

When I close my eyes, I imagine the bright sun reflecting off the sea with the fisherman slowly drifting by. I spent most of my free hours Continue reading

Snorkeling Song

From last week…

Pemba, Mozambique

Pemba

What a beautiful day outside, though it has been beautiful most days. Some say Hawaii is paradise and I agree, but this is my version of paradise. I’m not necessarily living in reality right now, though in the moment, it’s a great place to be. I spent the last few hours snorkeling in the area in front of the house. I had heard you could snorkel out front, but I wasn’t sure what to expect.

At first it was just sea grass. Lots of it. I was swimming deeper and deeper and still nothing. Not one fish or coral. So I decided to move south, parallel along the shore and finally found a sweet spot. The visibility was decent. In regards to sea life, it wasn’t spectacular but it was beautiful; a lot of very interesting star fish and corals. I saw several eels and a wide variety of colorful fish. Large bright red and beige starfish seemed to be everywhere with these little nubby things on them. On a few occasions I spotted huge odd looking starfish with up to 15 fingers: they were green with 1-2 inch purple spikes all over them. They frightened me a bit, they were so weird. Then there were the awesome big bright blue star fish with long fingers.

I love watching the coral growths sway in the water like hair and observing the little fish that like to hide in them. There were bright green fuzzy looking corals that almost look like moss from afar but when you go closer they have tentacles all over them in circular shapes. Brilliant! But what was most amazing to me was Continue reading

Home is not a place.

Being in DC has been great, it feels like a warm bath: comfortable.  Seeing friends has been wonderful and the familiarity is refreshing.  Soothing even.   Yet the inevitable has begun – forgetting street names, getting lost, noticing all the new bars, stores and restaurants that have popped up since I left.  It’s happened everywhere I’ve lived, but after almost 10 years of my adult life here and having left less than a year ago I am a little bit surprised.  I believe the brain can only retain so much information.  I barely remember any street names in the town where I grew up, though I could get to my parents house with my eyes closed.

I am having a hard time coming to terms that I’ve left at all.  This is where I have some of the deepest connections, yet I’ve chosen to leave. And I don’t see myself coming back here.  So it feels like a home I’ll never return to.  Leaving California to come here was difficult, but this feels different.  I was in my early 20’s and hadn’t Continue reading

Wanting to wander, hoping to be found

Ganges River in Rishikesh, northern India

How is it that I’ve only been in Hawaii 6 months and I’m daydreaming about being somewhere else?  I love Hawaii and I am happy to be here – there is really no place I’d rather be – but I find myself fantasizing about  being in India or perhaps Indonesia (Camilla!!!).  I suppose it’s a form of escapism, and I don’t have a problem with it, unless it prohibits me from enjoying where I currently reside. Hawaii has so much to offer and I have been very intentional to both enjoy it and be thankful.

One of my favorite quotes is by Tolkien (from Lord of the Rings) and includes the phrase, “Not all who wander are lost”.  I used to have a bumper sticker on my old car in college with the phrase.  Do I resign to being a wanderer?  Or always looking for something else?  I’ve been this way for as long as I can remember.  Working this semester in addition to coursework I’m sure has contributed to the wanderlust.  When my level of responsibility arises, I often feel the urge to take off and be free.  Yet, without stability and some level of obligation, I become Continue reading