Wednesday, October 21, 2020

from Lily Diamond - Part One.


I think every Hawaii bound traveler should read it before stepping off the plane. “AN OPEN LETTER to malahini (visitors) arriving in Hawaiʻi in the wake, and midst, of the pandemic: A few requests as the state opens up today. Pass it on to a traveler near you. Aloha nā malahini (hello visitors),
I imagine you may read this as a gentle, humid breeze kisses your cheek, the scent of salt and plumeria mellowing the stale plane air you’ve been breathing for hours. I imagine you arriving with that open-hearted excitement born of travel, for even if you’ve been to these islands before, they’ve been closed to visitors for most of 2020.

“Social dancers think that despair suggests we are in total control and 
know what is coming. We don't surrender to events with hope.”

Like many of you in this era of converging crises, many people in Hawaiʻi have been in a state of pragmatic and spiritual unknown, of freefall, a time of total and complete redefinition. Obviously, I cannot write about the land or the people of Hawaiʻi as a monolith—to do so would be absurd, especially as a settler here. Though I have lived here for most of my life since the age of 2, I am keenly aware that I live on illegally occupied land.  Yet part of the mandate I take seriously as a citizen of Hawaiʻi, as a steward of this land, necessitates that I speak up in order to protect that land. After all, Hawaiʻi's state motto is ua mau ke ea o ka ʻāina i ka pono:

"The Music Of Hawaii" by Melveen Leed

"May the life of the ʻāina (land) be perpetuated in righteousness." It is up to us, all of us, to ensure that this ʻāina—and its people, its kūpuna (ancestors), its kānaka maoli (native Hawaiians)—are protected, revered, and honored. And so, over the past six months, Hawaiʻi has wondered if there might be a new way forward, a way to reimagine an industry that has become fundamentally extractive and exploitative, an industry built on imperialism, essentialism, and appropriation, an industry that serves the consumer while desecrating the consumed. Yes, I’m talking about tourism. Hawaiʻi’s economy is severely dependent on tourism, which means our time in COVID lockdown  left the state with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Many businesses shuttered. Families suffered. Homelessness skyrocketed. If we don’t return to tourism—one expression of the abusive relationship the state has been in with its colonizer for over two centuries—the economy as we know it is doomed.

A fellow malahini on our one earth”

Tuesday, October 6, 2020


Our modern culture on Oahu in this century had restricted itself somewhat. Perhaps because of our addiction to technology and some types of recreation. Touch and face time conversations were at a low level. We have now been realizing that social dance can bring with it a gem of an opportunity to "socialize." Having a dance partner or dancing in a group allows for communication and shared passions which in turn have resulted in rewarding relationships.

"Social dancers inhale hope with every breath."

Regrettably, our politics is affecting our social life too. We have been polarized by the Trump Pandemic. Signified by testing, masks and social distance. The Trumpanzees do not believe in testing, masks or have any respect for social distance. They are more likely to be infected than our regular residents and there is the clash. We do not want them around us and we do not want to be around them. For us it is matter of life and death. They don't give a damn.

"Waikiki" by Amy Hanaialii 
New permission, Wuhan, China. Dancing in the Street.

Testing is a must, we have to find out, yes or no. Simple to make the proper follow up. It is accepted world wide that masks are 96%, 97% effective against the Pandemic. Not perfect but way ahead of zero per cent. Social distance of six feet is 99% effective. Again, not perfect but way ahead of zero per cent effective. The entire world is adjusting and perhaps the time will come when we will dance again.

“At present we may be on the outside of the world,
the wrong side of the door."