Sunday, June 05, 2005

Sharing some musings

Sunday, June 5, 2005

You, dear reader, came here to read about whaat is going on with my life in Hawaii, but instead, I am about to share with you what is going on in my mind, in my thought life. You are about to become my unsuspecting forum, my platform for self expression. I hope you enjoy these, but if not, I hope they make you think.

This poem was written to express the wonder and the terror of the sea, in light of the recent tsunami that devasted parts of Asia. Living in Ewa Beach, where the heart of the worldwide tsunami warning system is located, there should be a measure of comfort that we, at least, would be saved from a major tsunami. However, we live on the tidal plains, and with the housing glut here, the only access road out of the plains, Fort Weaver Road, is choked with traffic every day. In the event of an evacuation, the road would be impassable. Unless we can outrun a tsunami, or leave on our bikes, we would become a casualty. Here it is.


The Ocean does not know your name.
Lapping gently at your feet,
Weaving intricate foam tapestries,
Singing to the water within you,
It beckons you as if it were your friend.

Its throws the overflow from its bounty on the shore,
But hides the very best in its belly
Enticing you to leave the safety of the shore,
And entrust yourself and your tiny boat to its mercy.

But, the Ocean does not know your name,
Does not know where or with whom you sleep,
Or who is your first-born child,
Does not care that his lungs are not amphibious.

The Ocean imitates the eternal,
Unfazed by the gut-wrenching cries of humanity,
It clears the slate and starts again with nothing,
Leaving mortals to sort through the anguish and deprivation.

The Ocean does not know your name,
Nor any name of the millions of souls it has swallowed,
It is life-giving, life-taking, unfathomable,
And you, mere mortal, do not know its name.

This poem was written to honor my mother on Mothers Day and to confess to my childish ignorance of all that she sacrificed for her children. Some of you may have already read this because I emailed it to my wonderful husband and he printed it out and took it to my mother in time to make her day special, but here it is again My mother, next week, will leave the comfort of her home, hook herself up to an airplane's oxygen supply, and travel across the ocean to see me. My mother is a pioneer.


My childish eyes never saw
That you were working miracles every day.
Like the loaves and fishes,
A pound of hamburger fed the multitude,
Your crowded, threadbare home became a castle
With the simple magic of fresh bread baking.
And I, fed on heavenly manna everyday,
Longed for the leeks and onions I had never known.

Because miracles were commonplace,
I was not amazed to see
A bolt of clearance-table cloth transformed,
Into eight beautiful dresses.
Or new pajamas that appeared before my slumber party.
I did not see the stitches and the sleepless nights
That went into my many-colored coat.
I longed for the golden cloth of Egypt.

I never thought to wonder about the source.
Everything I needed just appeared and I,
Consumed with childhood,
Never knew the high price you paid for your miracles.
With only two hands at your service,
You deprived yourself to supply our needs,
Depleted your health so we would thrive.

Yet you still had strength to demonstrate
That all people possessed the breath of God,
That no situation could overcome faith and hard work,
That understanding extinguishes the fire of anger,
That loving God and humanity is our highest calling.
You did not try to be my friend, only my Mother.
You sacrificed your popularity to save,
This ungrateful child from wandering,
And helped me cross over into Canaan.

This poem was written to commemorate all the people who give of themselves, literally, when they donate all or part of an organ to someone they love, or sometimes to a total stranger. to save or prolong a life. This particular person is a tall, beautiful, Samoan woman who donated part of her liver to save her child. She has a large cross-shaped scar on her chest as a constant reminder of what it cost her. This is not a poem I would share with Leilani because the recognition would embarrass her. Her husband wanted her to tell this story at church for Mothers Day, but she chose instead to honor her grandmother, who took early retirement and did all she could to raise Leilani and her brothers. Her grandmothers seeds bore fruit in Leilani. Her name means "Flower of Heaven" and when you meet her you can, indeed, smell the sweet fragrance of heaven.


Sweet flower from heaven,
Your Tutu taught you well
The art of selflessness.
Not content with ordinary sacrifice,
You went a step beyond.

While Christ,
His goal eternal life for all,
Received a cross upon his back.
To lengthen your child's life,
You bore one on your chest.
The greatest love,
Above the laying down of life,
Is living through the agony to give again.
Your scar bears witness to your love.


Blogger Jenni said...

Those were so precious auntie, thank you for sharing. I love you and wish so much that I was going this weekend to see you all and especially my sister. I miss her soooo much!

6:18 AM  
Anonymous SisterJudi said...

Sister mine, I love so much reading your poetry, but the one about Mom, and the one about Leilani never fail to make me cry. I was so happy to meet her and Fecho (probably didn't spell that right) and their little girl, they are such a special family as are many of your church family that I was privileged to meet! Love, Judi

3:05 PM  

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