Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Beyond Paradise Hawai'i

There are many people who spend all of their lives in Hawai’i, and I used to pity them, convinced that they just didn’t know any better…that these paradise islands somehow enthralled them to the point of blindness and ignorance. Imprisoned them, somewhat. Stunted their growth. “How could you love something so much and never want to leave, if it’s all you’ve ever known? If you haven’t experienced what the world has to offer?” Those were the questions that I asked. So despite my love of Hawai’i, despite the fact that I have roots there, I chose my wings. Chose to fly away. I was proud of my restlessness, my curiousity, my wanderlust.

Now that I am in my twenties, I wonder if this restlessness within me is in fact, a prison. I always found home in people—my momma, my da’s memories, my best friends—but never in a place. Despite setting down roots and having pieces of me in wherever place I live, I never really allowed these roots to embed deeper into the soil. I have yet to be a redwood or a koa. Never really left an intangible mark. Left my heart, yes, but never my soul. So maybe these people I used to pity? What if they are the lucky ones?

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We must never permit the voice of humanity
within us to be silenced. It is Man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him a Man.

--Albert Schweitzer

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

--Viktor E. Frankl