Past is Prologue

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Thursday gratefuls: Dentists. Teeth. Grocery stores. Cattle Egrets and Mynah Birds and Brazilian Cardinals. Painful hips and muscles. Getting the snow tires off in July. Rain. Cloudy mornings. Bird song. Those marshmallow and macadamia nut chocolate things that Seoah bought me. Catching up with Mary. Breakfast with Alan next week.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The wonder of the mundane. The joy of the quotidian.


Expecting Joe back from work any minute. He’s on 6 pm to 6 am during an exercise. Nights. Two weeks. He puts his head down, digs in, and does whatever comes next. I admire that. He’s developed a real taste for and expertise in geopolitics. His work is multicultural in a racially diverse setting. Sounds fun to me. Much of what he actually does is sorta geeky.

Arizona Memorial from the deck of the Big Mo

F-22’s roar and dip and bank over the houses of Ozinuka Village. Commercial jetliners rise off the runways of Inouye International. All visible from the concrete deck of Joe’s home. This is an aviation centric setting though few of the hangars built in the 30’s hold aircraft. Storage. Offices. Repurposed. Their art deco stucco facades though. The same.

Across the way, where the Pearl River breaks the shoreline of Oahu and penetrates far enough to become the protected harbor (Honolulu), Pearl Harbor, it’s ships. Gray ships with multiple decks, prickly with antenna and weapons and sharp edges. I’ve seen few sailors but they have to be here somewhere. Out there, too, are the tangible memories of December 7th. The Arizona. The Utah. The Big Mo with its Pacific war ending medallion on the surrender deck. Pearl Harbor itself.

On my walks I’ve gone past a small concrete building at the edge of the Pearl as it begins to widen into a harbor. It says, Magnetic Silencing. Huh? To Google. What did we do without google? Turns out submarines develop a specific, identifiable, and permanent magnetic signature. Makes them easier to detect. So. Degaussing. Yes, the same procedure used to wipe hard drives. Only for whole submarines. So, that’s what they do there. Huh.

The magnetic silencing facility is not far from the ruins of the giant coal loading area. Yes, remember? Before liquid fossil fuels, ships ran on boilers fueled with coal. Can you imagine getting coal to Hawai’i, offloading it, storing it, then moving it yet again into the holds of floating iron and steel ships? Geez. Nuclear reactors seem much more elegant, not to mention petite.

Early morningĀ  here features many joggers, one actual runner. Often women, using the cover of darkness. Later uniforms open doors, get in cars and fancy pickups, go to work. After that the women with kids and dogs get out of the house for air. Trampolines and back yard swimming pools come into use. Rhythms. Like a Wandavision sit com with a military theme.

Watched Midway with Joe and Mary the other night. I know so little about the Pacific war. Time to remedy that, too. Vietnam. These are the immediate martial predecessors of the work Joe and his buddies do right now. The focus has changed from Japan and dominoes to a resurgent China. And, the world itself has made an Asian pivot, turning its face away from the Cold War countries to the Tiger economies and their new political clout.

We forget the anarchic world of geopolitics, a quilt of agreements and past grudges, future ambitions, but someone has to work it. The U.N. never lived up to its promise. Sadly.

Yes, there’s NATO and Putin but they seem so tired. So yesterday. Still important of course, but far away from the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. The Spratlys. Hong Kong. Taiwan. Hawai’i is closer, a U.S. entrepot between mainland America and the ports of the Far East.

My time here has begun to wind down. Back in Colorado on the 22nd. Getting back to life on Shadow Mountain.


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