Redemption – Ep. 02

The cool Waikiki night area, a slight breeze, a hint of rain drops here and there embraced us as we talked.

“I was hoping this was where we were going!”

It was almost five years ago to the day that my friend Vince and I had reconnected not far from where we spoke.   Back then it had been a few years since we’d seen each other and it was on this night we were saying Aloha once more as he was making the move to Kyoto, Japan the next day.

“I remember seeing you, but it was around the time you injured your leg.”

Yes, I’d torn my calf, had been writing about how the year before I was emotionally, but because I lived through that and became all the better for it, I knew that I would endure being torn physically.

“I saw you and was like, ‘Is that Jay?’ but you were walking with the stick.’

Hobbling is more accurate.  Like an old, man, staying the course.  I’d never been in so much physical pain in my life, each step, slow, each movement causing me to wince.  It didn’t help that this was pre-Obamacare and I didn’t have medical.

After I wrapped up camp beneath The Tree, I took more shifts with him at the hank’s haute dogs in IMP.  I helped build that location, just as I’d been the first employee at the original location.  Vince, he and come and gone many times before.  Hank, Henry, a mentor, a friend, an Uncle, and a father figure to us both.

It’s funny how your spiritual family manifests and weaves itself together, isn’t it? Even more fascinating are the parallels in out lives that it brings.

We began our weekly ritual the night we started working more together, from the end of 2011 throughout 2012 tapping into a part of 2013.  This ritual?  To ascend to the highest point we could and watch the world around us.  In this case, our mountain top was a parking structure, sitting adjacent to the famous International Market Place.  Our peace pipe?  A few cold beers.

“Damn Vince, why do you drink so much? My friends asked me in Japan. I told them it’s ‘Pau Hana,’ and you do it at the end of every shift back home.”

As I thought about what best to do in wishing him off, it seemed only fitting that we share one last pau hana atop that mountain, before he went into the unknown of his next chapter, and I walked into mine.

Mirrors. Reflections. Fragments of who we are can be seen in the shadows that dance all around us.  If you listen close, you’ll also find the echoes of their movements as they do their dance.

I’m not going to cry, I said.  There was some Truth here.  Much of that is because my tears have ran freely as I deal with the ending of a near 4 year relationship and the experiences that come with such a happening.

“That’s not the ground level is it?”

My Buddy asked as we stared out at the new monstrosity that is the new International Market Place.

I recounted all my memories of Waikiki, from being born just down the road in the old Kaiser Hospital, where the Hawaii Prince now stands, chasing older paddler chicks with my cousin at a regatta while we were kids, to watching movies in the now, long gone IMAX Theatre.  He recalled his own first memory, that took him to this parking structure and that same IMAX.

“That was so much fun.”

It was.  For the rest of my life, I’ll think of us as the Tag Team Champions of the World, defending the title aka when working our Saturday shifts, giving the best customer service out there whilst not taking a bit of crap from anyone.

“I’m going to miss you, Bro.”

I’ll miss you too but I know you’re going to do great because you’ve been one of the greatest teachers in my Life.  Though much younger, if I’ve been able to share anything of my mishaps to assist, the fact that you exist and exude such a great Light, has made my Life so much more rewarding.  As much as I may have inspired you, you don’t know how much you inspire me.

That is the way I feel towards so many.

Even those in the most pain.  In the case of my friend here, I’ve seen him at his worse, sad, shocked, hurting, and I’ve seen him at his best, carefree, full of life.  As we finished up our pint cans of Sapporo, I cherished every sip, my heart both lifted and grew heavy, knowing this experience was coming to a close.

New chapters.  I’m so grateful to have encountered such great spirits like this in my life. Though we’re not going to be so close physically to hang out, it’s the memories we made, the memory of just being present one last time in our old stomping grounds, and the prospect of memories to come that mean so much

I love you, Bro.  Enjoy every step on this Journey.  And never let anyone make you doubt that you do not deserve to.


Redemption – Ep. 01

I remember the first time it occurred to me that my hurt, my pain, though real for me, with the challenges that came with it, didn’t mean others were hurting, possibly far worse.

I see that moment in blurs, though I can still feel the room, cast in the shade of an Autumn day. On my knees.

I was in a condo that I was subletting, which overlooked the beautiful Diamond Head and Kahala area of the island, mired in my pain.  The phone call had just ended.  I had walked and she had put me down gently in the weeks before, but that last conversation, it was filled with fire.  She clearly stated the resentment she felt towards me.

I don’t what it was, why it was, but I at last understood and the veil fell.  This person, who at the time I had expressed wanting to share my life with, she was angry, she was pissed, and she had good reason.  I remember writing later, trying to keep the lines of communication open because I had finally stopped to look at my role.  I recall the realization as it set. While she had her own contributions (as do all) to the relationship, it was the withdrawal that spoke the loudest.

It makes sense. After all, it wasn’t her.

It was me.

She was confident in who she was.

I wasn’t.

She embraced the fact that she was an imperfect being and working on things.

I couldn’t do that.

Her view was different because she had been brought down to Earth through the pain that had unfolded in her life.  In rewinding the tape, I saw that.  It was my judgments, as I sat on my high horse, so blind to the fact that my fear, my insecurities, my pain, the things I said and the way I acted when I lashed out because I didn’t love myself nor could feel love, all of the above, that is what kept that from growing.

So as it was, I had killed the tree.

I smothered the fire.

I couldn’t adapt.

I knelt there, the pain finally hit.  It really was me, all along.

I projected all my own bullshit on another person, a person, I said I love.

And that’s when I finally stood up and started to move forward in forgiving myself and quieting the Rage.  I stopped my hiding behind falsehoods and fantasy love.

I strived to live from a real, honest Love.

I finally realized that right & wrong are two sides of the same coin and what mattered most was healthy.  You can argue right & wrong but you can’t argue whether or not something is healthy.

And if you do, well, it is what is it.


Untitled, As Is – 16.16.04

The outlet, it fuels, it feeds, it gives power.  An overload of it will blow a circuit.  A spark from that can start a fire.  A fire burns.  Burning can destroy.  Destroy what takes so long to build up.

But burning down to build anew is the cycle of the Phoenix, is it not?

Born again, with new youth and energy, the Phoenix flies once more.  It soars the skies, its beauty for all to see, until that day, when once more, it is time to repeat the cycle.  Repeat it as though it’s brand new.

Explosions are not always precise.  When they burst, they may or may not hit their target. But no matter the intended result, there is always an impact.  The impact of collateral damage.

Damage damned damning while destroying what might not even have been the intended target. But nonetheless, we destroy because it’s how we are.  It’s who we are.  Why can’t I just accept it?

Humanity is filled with violent tendencies and is set on taking that out on all others to create the cycle.  To relive the flight of the miserable Phoenix.  A wounded bird, it’s wounds on display for all the world to see.  The smoke trail behind, the ash raining down that it brings.

Why can’t I just accept it?  Why can’t I just love it and take it?  I see the bird, for I am that bird too.  It’s our collective burden.  If patience is a virtue, then the virtuous have left.  Left us long ago.

Cycle of rebirth, the rebirth of hurt, a cycle of pain perpetuated until we rally, we combine to combat that and not one another.

Pipe dream.  It’s a pipe dream.  That’s all it is.  Another silly dream.  Words that are meant to ponder.  Words that don’t want to give up but don’t see any other way.

When you lose hope, what then do you have left?  To accept.  Acceptance, accepting the answer to the question ‘How is this sustainable?’ is that:

It’s not.

Unless change occurs, at whatever pace that takes, we will destroy ourselves.  Nature will not judge.  Nature will persevere but if that’s the case why can’t we see that Nature within us and how it’s so clear.

“Release the shackles of inhibition that binds…”  Or is it ‘Release the shackles of inhibition that keeps us blind…’

I don’t know.  IDK.  WTF?  What the fuck?

I don’t have the answers.  I merely share.  Share what I observe. Documenting how I feel in the event that it might serve.  If it serves, if only just one other, than I did a great service and all this disservice I’ve experienced was worth it.

Untitled, As Is – 16.16.03 aka #TheFeels

Sadness is the first feeling that I feels, it’s just after Love, which is so true & so real, Sadness takes me, its mask betrays me, my Ego slays me, Sadness is the first of #TheFeels.

Anger takes the baton from Sadness, with heat, with fire, its burns off the past until at last no Sadness can be sensed as fast, but lie beneath the surface, it does with the past.  Anger will carry, it can triumph too, but when it dies out, there comes something new…

Despair rolls on up, bring with it Shame, & Rage.  If you don’t catch a hold, they’ll burst out into Hate from their cage.  This cocktail of feelings is more like a buffet, depends on #TheFeels and how you fill your plate.

So what will your order be? So many choices, isn’t it great?

Untitled, As Is – 16.16.02

The fingers of loss brush lightly across my cheek

Yet ‘Tis Disappointment That shall linger longer than any such pain

For I’ve been here before, I’ve lost far greater

Now again the Loss feels so much more

Still left am I to ponder why and when?

Why have I fallen short yet again?

And when shall I succeed?

Not much time have I to reflect for an If will find my knees.

Help, God Please.

Untitled, As Is – 16.16.01

Imagine if you will, having set sail, a vessel soaring mightily cross the waves, gently crashing against the bow

The sunset painting the skies and oceanic reflections in an embrace all around

Picture a love, like a thunderous storm, its torrential affection a downpour, flooding the decks & holds below

This love is a cannonball tearing through the heart of the ship, opening it up for light to pour into its depths, causing the sea to fill and bare its soul

Perhaps this is chaos. Small chance this is Truth

Whatever it may be, dare I wish this upon you…

For the loved vessel, shall never quite be the same as it was the day love tore its hull open to a new

Prospect of voyage, of which nothing else is as true


J. Wading Through the Stream – Ep. 08

“So I got stoned, forgot that I knew you, and thought, wow, this writing really speaks to me…”

My friend shared these thoughts as we shared a pitcher of Asahi Super Dry at the Ala Moana Shopping Center’s Japan Village Walk and reflected on the work of Japanese Author Haruki Murakami.

“The way Murakami sees the world, the duality, that’s what you do.  And I realized how what you share, speaks, when I don’t feel like I know.”

Reminds me of the old saying (Luke 4:24) by The Jesus:

Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown.

When I rewind and look at the interactions I’ve had with so many strangers who are shocked with the words I use, the lessons I’ve learned, and the realizations that the Journey is still going and more is to be gleaned as an unfolding of the Spirit, I wonder, why is it that so often we get boxed into compartments by those who know us.  And why is it that I do that too?  Why can’t be suspend bias and just appreciate?

What is it about connecting with others, that the all too human manifests daily while the Truth that is Spirit, often gets pushed deep beneath the surface?

“That’s what’s cool about you, when you get a notion to do something important to your journey, you follow through. Go across the country? You did it.”

I did, twice, and in pockets since.

“Write a book?  You did it.”

I have, eight of them.

“Go to Tokyo to get lost without plans, and especially, right now, at this point in time, with everything else going? You did it. Something knew that the Universe was hatching something and it gave you what you needed.”

That’s entirely true.

“It’s like you know when it’s the right time to act and do.”

My teacher has often said:

“Everything in Divine Timing.” and “It will appear when you ready, you just have to walk into it.”

It is funny that I have arrived at that connection to my intuition.  For a long while, I struggled with allowing that part to pull and guide. To others, it appears, I lack follow-through because I don’t act deliberately as soon as a thought floats in.

There is, however, a difference between impulse and intuition. Impulse seems to have some fear weaved in where intuition is more connected to the threads of Universal Love.

Doesn’t make it easy but the best of times in this Flow are where I consciously sit back in the Upper Deck with my Inner Conscientious Observer to watch the play of my life, as both Actor and Spectator.

This Journey along Life’s Road is a fascinating tale.  I just wonder what exactly it is, trying to tell.

Guess I just have to keep wading through the Stream…