“Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself. I am large. I contain multitudes.”
That’s what Walt Whitman said…
…and I’m sure the wizened poet is floating around up there, wishing he could smack me upside the head with his gnarly old cane, every time I say head-up-the-arse stuff like:
“WOW! It’ll be so great to have a Safeway within walking distance! I mean it’s SUCH a hassle to drive all the way to Kahului when I need, like, one thing at the market.”
“Oh, Long’s is almost open! I can pick up a bottle of wine when I’m on my run!”
“A TARGET? How exciting!”
These are things I’ve actually said before.
And that Long’s Drugs? It’s been open for almost a year and I’ve yet to plod down Wai’ale Road, sweat-soaked, red-faced with a bottle of Ghost Pines Pinot under my arm.
I am not happy about it at all, it turns out. Joni MItchell told us: “Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?”
Don’t it? Don’t it?
When did we stop listening to Joni? When did we tune her out, like an old transistor radio?
Is it too late to close my eyes and make it all stop? And if I feel this deep, deep sadness and regret, how does the Hub deal with it? He never complains.
How did everyone–everyone who lived here before all this– deal with the loss as they watched those hotels go up, one-by-one-by-one-by-one? Their favorite, secret beaches teeming with moi and o’ama, their reward at the end of bumpy, pot-holed dirt roads, all-but-disappear, obscured by manicured, stuccoed luxury?
A visitor on one of those beaches scolded my son when, at ten, he dove waaaaaay down and pulled up his first tako all by himself, with only a net. So proud and excited to bring it home to show his father, brine it, freeze it and eat it, as his dad and grandpa did. Only to come in, empty-handed, tears in his eyes.
“That man out there told me to let it go. He said I was hurting it.”
I had to wash the irony off with the sand and salt before getting in the car.
Where will we draw the line? Can we cut through the careful conditioning that makes us believe convenience and material crap can makes us happier? It doesn’t. It makes us lazier and heavier. When will we all realize we ALL need less, not more, more, MORE!!
I uttered that absurd line about our new neighborhood Mega-Safeway in the car a few months ago. Then I caught myself and tried to have a teachable moment with Jackson:
“I sound so spoiled. There are places in the world, like in African countries, where people have to walk for miles every morning just to get their daily jug of water.”
He, of course, saw my teachable moment and raised me a “pull your head out”:
“Well, maybe that’s how it’s been for thousands of years–that’s how they’ve always lived–and maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be.”