Just a Poor, Wayfaring Stranger

Beltane and the Shadow Mountain Moon

Saturday gratefuls:  Heat. Plenty. Here, there, everywhere. Yet another North Shore. Hale’iwa. The Banzai Pipeline. Sweet talks with my boy. 1917. the movie. Seoah and corndogs. Ceviche and Jarritos. Murdoch sleeping with me last night. A photo of Kepler from Emily. Tincture of time.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: The wide Ocean. Sandy Beaches. Hot Sun.

Juneteenth. New to white folk. Coming to the American holiday calendar at the same moment it’s being written out of the text books in its state of origin, Texas. Whatever is irony enhanced by cupidity, white privilege, and outright racism, that’s this. The holiday and its point will, I think, outlast the stupidity of cupidity, the leverage of privilege, and the fascism of racism. Not without our help. But we’re gonna help, right?

Got Joe some extra time off from the exercise he’s participating in right now. We used it to head up to Oahu’s North Shore. This is the surfing big leagues, not in Kau, but later in the year in Ho’oilo. Winter storms in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska send big Waves pulsing down through the Pacific to crash onto Oahu’s Northern Shoreline.

This day. Calm. Hot. Overrun with self-worshipping suntanners. Cars parked on both sides of the two lane stretch of Kamehameha Highway. Hard bodies in bikinis and dude shorts, Dad bodies grasping the hands of young children, looking for a break in the traffic. Old folks like me dazed by the traffic, the parking congestion, the thought of lying in the sand to create later day pain.

Joe knew a spot where there’s no swimming. Just above the *Banzai Pipeline. We got out, crossed the highway with little trouble. A wide stretch of Beach with reefs reaching far out into the Ocean. An unimpeded stretch of the Pacific for outtakes from Alaska’s greatest storms. Add surf boards. And those who ride them.

No evidence of drama on a Kau day. Bright Sun, few Clouds, and calm Waters lapping at the detritus of ground up Shells, glass, and Volcanic Rock. This white bodied burn ready guy went after Joe and Mary as they walked out to the Water. The Rock and the reefs were among the reasons for the swimming prohibition. Banzai Pipeline beyond the Rock.

Upscale housing sits between the highway and the Ocean, often one house, then the Beach. Gates with bronze reef fish, Koi Wood leis, Ocean scenes done in tile. The square, modernist style often repeated. A few with Asian rooflines, wooden exteriors. In the millions. But. This day, a Friday, saw the highway behind their homes lined on both sides with parked cars. Folks of all ages and stages wandering through or past their properties to get to the water. Not my idea of a getaway. My idea of a place to getaway from.

Afterward we drove into Hale’iwa town, the Oahu North Shore’s Grand Marais. Looked a lot like Morrison, Colorado. Narrow roads, pedestrians wandering into the busy, but slow moving highway traffic. Shops and restaurants ready to trade memories or food for cash. Or, a Mountain town like Evergreen. Way too busy though.

Jorge’s gave us Fish tacos, ceviche, chips and salsa. Jarritos and Coke. Then back to Hickam and Ozinuka Village.

Later on Joe and I watched 1917. A movie by Sam Mendes about the Great War. I’d put this in the category of Bergman’s Seventh Seal. Stark, yet filmed in a smooth, seemingly continuous shot 1917 follows two British infantrymen. They have to deliver an order to delay an attack that would kill 1600 men of the 2nd Devonshire regiment.

The movie follows them through British trenches, a break in the barbed wire barrier, into a no man’s land of dead bodies, cavities created by heavy shelling, Mud and Water. Helping a downed German pilot one of pair two gets stabbed and dies, leaving his buddy, Schofield to make the remainder of his journey alone. Disgust, heroism, bravery, fear, tenderness (in a moment with a baby to whom Schofield sings they went to sea in a sieve.), and abject terror all seen through one man’s eyes, a young man.

It’s a chess game with death, Max Von Sydow’s knight replaced here by an innocent boy helping a friend and following an order to save lives. If you haven’t seen it, worth it.

Contacted Tara about my ride back from the airport on Tuesday am. She’s ready. Wonder if I am? No, not really. It’s time to go home, resume adult, non quasi-vacation life. Something lies beyond the Ocean’s horizon, a ship that will carry me somewhere. Just have to wait until it docks near my front door.

*The Banzai Pipeline, or simply Pipeline or Pipe, is a surf reef break located in Hawaii, off Ehukai Beach Park in Pupukea on O’ahu‘s North Shore. A reef break is an area in the ocean where waves start to break once they reach the shallows of a reef. Pipeline is known for huge waves that break in shallow water just above a sharp and cavernous reef, forming large, hollow, thick curls of water that surfers can tube ride

This entry was posted in Cinema and Television, Family, Hawai'i, Politics, Shadow Mountain, Third Phase, Travel, US History. Bookmark the permalink.

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