Down the road from Darrell’s gallery and studio in Holualoa is the Kona Hotel. My first sight of it was one of utter shock: It is painted a bright Pepto-Bismol pink! What, I have often wondered, led them to choose that color? Each day presents us with choices: what to do, who we want to be, how to get to where we want to go. Those choices are dependent upon what matters to us, our values, but how we go about making those choices is sometimes as important for us as what we choose.
I have been in love with Hawaiʻi long enough now to not take a romanticized view of it and its people, and it is clear to me that some Hawaiians are angry. Very angry! And rightly so! Over a century ago the Hawaiian people were mugged and robbed by those obsessed with money above all else. The relationship between monarchy and people was taken away. Hawaiian culture was deemed immature and its people were forbidden to use their language or express the art of the hula. But anger, especially long-term anger such as I see now in Hawaiʻi can be as corrosive as acid and eventually destroys the vessel that contains it… unless it is transformed into a gentle but steely determination.
Choices are important in that they take us somewhere. They take us into a future which we will all eventually depart from, then leaving behind either the treasures we have chosen or the detritus of our misguided choices. Those choices are determined by how we go about the choosing. If we go to poach an egg and drop the yolk and the white into a pot of furiously boiling water, the ferocity of the water will tear the egg apart. If, on the other hand, we drop the egg into gently simmering water, the controlled heat will accomplish its purpose and poach the egg perfectly!
Sometimes when doing artwork I listen to Olelonet tv shows on the computer. I am heartened to hear some Hawaiians talking about Hawaiian issues with a determination no less intense than those who are angry; and yet, their determination seems to me, to be finely channeled and manifests a clear vision of where the Hawaiian people need to go and what they need to do, as differentiated from the incoherence and blind lashing out of a volcanic anger. As the days go forward I will be very interested in seeing how Hawaiʻi goes about poaching its choices!