A photo taken at Waikiki Beach, Honolulu. My first trip to Hawaii. (Thank you, Mum, for the graduation present).
Two of my favorite memories of the trip are a little out of the ordinary, for sure. Perhaps they will even make me sound like a homeless person – but I hope not. (Feel free to comment if they did or didn’t). The first took place right on that park bench you see there if you look closely enough – it’s right at the base and to the left of the three pretty palm trees in the middle of the photo. I took this photo several days before the following moment took place, and was surprised to realize, after I uploaded the photo for this post, that the actual spot I was to mention would be in the photo! Who knew! … Perhaps, even, the very bird herself (I like to think of it as a her) is somewhere in the photo, too – nestled in the crook of the fronds of one of the palm trees; or tucked under an eave of that hut!
*to be continued later*
Later: I am planning on editing this some more at some point (it’s very rough right now; in fact, you’re rather seeing into my thought process, but I have nothing to hide); in the meantime, here is the prior journal entry I wrote while in a whimsical mood one night, and able to recall and marvel at – to the point of really being absorbed by the sublimity of the memory – one of my favorite moments while in Hawaii …
I was thinking just now of the pigeon in Honolulu – Ah! If I could only put into words the sublimity of the beauty I saw in that moment! I recall just melting into the sublimity; into the beauty and power of what I was seeing. There was this pigeon (I am ashamed that I don’t remember what affliction it had), which was pushed around by the rest of the flock: when I went out of my way to intentionally get the pieces of bread right to him/her – three or four pieces – it came back with such gusto! There was a pack of pigeons, clucking along in a cloud on the sidewalk. I sat on the park bench with bread ready. I noticed this feeble one (again, I don’t remember why – perhaps it was just plain timid, and otherwise was perfectly healthy; even, perhaps, a little prettier than the rest – yeah, I think that may have been it. My god; I don’t remember why this certain pigeon’s peculiarity or affliction, coupled with its change of spirits to come, affected me so much). I always do notice the feeble ones – e.g., with seagulls.
So I sought it out for the bread. I made sure to get it as much bread as I could. It took a couple tries, I think. I don’t remember if it fled from the bullying pack at first before I was able to get one to her, but I did achieve feeding it several pieces – at least 3 or 4, perhaps even more. Then I must have gone back to feeding the pack, or … maybe I moved benches, and the same pack followed; birds are like that. Or at least there was another pack, but I do know that that same pigeon whose hopes and spirits I had nurtured came back with such gusto, like I said. It was throwing itself right into the pack and quickly snatching up the bread with reckless abandon. It was quicker, because smaller and sleeker, and more agile, but it was also very reckless now in its instilled confidence. It’s so fascinating that I did that for that creature! And it was so easy. It took hardly any effort. I remember the rush of feelings sweeping over me, taking me away from that vacation-city beach, and its throngs of beautiful bikini clad women, and rich and probably suave guys constantly moving like the sloughs in high tide (this just made me realize how useful these nature analogies are – this is just one reason why it’s so advantageous to have a knowledge of one’s (local, perhaps especially) landscape and its “character” and characteristics) over the sidewalks, and lounging on the beach (describe the people more here). I became so sickened with all that vanity in the light of what I had just seen and experienced.
I felt like a steward to the animals, just as Adam had once been. I am lying here in Auburn, now, thinking back on that, and in the right frame of mind and soul to really appreciate the sublimity of that moment again. And I wonder: what is it about that scene that was so powerful? It was just a little pigeon – but it was the pigeon that made the whole moment. The great-big power of spirit that it showed. … that’s what it was. It came from the love (flbw) I showed it. It makes me wonder what kind of anguish and torment it had undergone throughout its life in that pack. (I do know the importance of extending this consideration to people, too; the magnitude of the beauty is equal in proportion when extended to a person – I think it’s just hard for us to process it when it’s another person we’re doing it for; whereas with an animal, we are completely, absolutely free to think and feel whatever we will – naturally!) (I could/should develop that point more because it’s an important topic, and an interesting insight – that it’s the processing of that sort of kindness which is a potentially main hang-up). At any rate, I wonder at the flood of endorphins that went thru that little bird when it perceived that it was being nurtured like I did, and, perhaps more importantly (more realistically, too; not so whimsical for myself) when it perceived that it had the power to get those pieces of food, just like any other bird.
I think I said somewhere above that there were two memories from Waikiki? (If not, I meant to; because I did want to share another one which is related – somewhat directly – to the pigeon memory. Perhaps the two are related in profound, uncanny ways that I don’t fully realize yet, and which writing out will help to understand. I often get that sense: that “there’s just something there …” – and those are the things that merit exploration. I hope, then, it’s not a case of making something out of nothing).
to be continued later
… The second memory I always wanted to write about involved walking the city streets just on the fringe of Waikiki Beach. It was my last day there, and it was actually a total bonus day. You see, the whole time I was in Hawaii, I was under the impression that my flight left in the morning, and that I had to be at the airport at 7 a.m. So, my last night there, I pull the ticket out to make sure, of course, and see that the flight actually was leaving at around 7:30 p.m. (When I saw that I was so appreciative that my mom had chosen for an evening departure time! What a great mom). So I had this bonus day – I figured on leaving for the airport at 5 p.m., the rest of the time was free. I don’t remember if the memory above was on this last day, too. I think it may have been (which is interesting that both of these profound moments happened on my last day. I’m sure it had something to do with the whimsical, romantical feeling for the place).