Shopping Cart Voyagers

On our October 2010 trip to Waikīkī, as Mom and I drove to the Savannah Airport my little Toyota Echo was packed to bulging with luggage: my 3 suitcases and briefcase with laptop, Mom’s 3 suitcases, her carry-on and her large purse.  The real fun began when we parked in the garage at the airport and it dawned on me that I was going to have to struggle with all of that luggage by myself!  I piled bag upon bag, the carry-on over one shoulder, my briefcase on the other arm.  I’d get ten feet and the wheels on one of the suitcases would wobble the wrong way and suitcases would go scattering.  By the time we got to the Delta counter I had a stress migraine trying to bloom!

CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGEOnce we landed in Hawaiʻi Dan met us in the baggage area, my double-tuberose lei in hand as well as a folding portable cart onto which we piled what we couldn’t carry.  When we pulled up to the Ilikai Hotel and got out of the car a porter appeared and wouldn’t hear of us dragging the stuff in ourselves.  With practiced skill he piled everything onto a cart and he and the bags disappeared.  I have never been so happy to see something go away as I was those bags!

I could never make it as a hoarder!  I know because I know a few and I have seen what “the stuff” does.  One couple used to eat dinner together every evening.  Now there is so much clutter that there is no longer a cleared space large enough for both of them at the same time and so they each eat separately… she at her computer, he on their bed, in two separate rooms.  Hoarding is an act of desperation, a fortress built around the self  to guard against any further losses, CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGEor against others getting too close to cause us further pain.  “The stuff” is not the real problem.  The problem is the hurting heart that erects the barrier around itself.  It is entirely possible that some of us who have clean and tidy homes are actually hoarders of bad memories, hurt feelings, resentments… as if we were gathering evidence to present at the trial of the other.  The real problem with hoarding… either material or emotional… is that when we lock others out then we also lock ourselves in.

As I have mentioned previously in these blogs, there are many homeless in Hawaiʻi but there is a group of homeless with which I find myself intrigued.  We’ve all seen them… the shopping cart people, the homeless version of a Winnebago, all of their possessions carted around with four tiny wheels.  But some carts are stuffed with only one thing – plastic bags or aluminum cans.  Can anyone illuminate me as to what either of those precious cargoes warrants its own cart?  I have even seen one person who was simultaneously pushing one cart while pulling another… a one-man caravan!  At the Savannah Airport the morning of our departure I would have killed for one of those carts!

Kahuna-pule Kimo

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