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"CRANIAL ROCK" near Pagosa Springs, Colorado
It has been some time since I felt like sitting here to purge, release, and evacuate this ever active cranial cavity.   Our New Tech World,  satiated with an overabundance of  information,  seems to have created a new span of attention .. short.  With this newly acquired feature/enhancement,  developed in our minds as a direct response to the technological age,  and assisting even the staunchest "plodders" to actually retain much of the "techfo" that constantly swirls about us as progress "happens"  ..  I am happy to report I have had a revelation.  Out of all the processing and progressing of the last few years .. the stimulation of my synapse junctions and the syncopation of my gray matter with overwhelming amounts of  "stuff" I never expected to know .. I now share with you my greatest discovery.   

The more I learn & absorb from our New Tech World
The more I realize 
how little I know


This bit of information is the most precious I have ever embraced.  Having shared this with you, I'm gonna kiss my computer and go to bed ... secure and at peace with the knowledge I will never know much ... and smiling,  because my computer will never feel  ......  anything.
Remember Humanity

from Kauai to Paris ... and all places between

Aloha et Au revoir,

Bill







 
 
January, February, and March ... these are the three months rain is most likely on the Garden Island.  I am a fan of January, February and March.  How wonderful it is to step outside and feel rain on your face with seventy five degree temperatures.  Short sleeve shirts in the rain .. really, what could be better ...  and what have I done to celebrate this special season .. ?

This blog hasn't had a posting in 15 days.  Oh my, what sort of dereliction to duty have I committed?  Is it possible I will sink into the depths of depression and sulk the days away as I bemoan my "writer's block" to anyone who will listen?  Shall I grow a scruffy beard, stare at my unkempt image in the mirror and inwardly scream to a higher power for strength in the face of adversity?    
Hell no !!
I fully intend to continue smiling at anyone who will look, saying "Aloha" to anyone who can hear, and enjoying the complete freedom I have to write whatever and whenever I damn well feel like it.  Of course, it is the season of January, February, and March ... so if I get tired of smilin',  talkin',  and tryin' to write  ..  well, screw it ......
I'm gonna blame it on the rain!

from Kauai to Paris ... and all places between


Mahalo et Merci for standing a moment in the rain with me,
Bill

 
 
When I wanted to exercise my right to be alone in a public place with wonderful people who understood my need for quiet contemplation,  Pomodoro was there.

Sundried tomato basil pesto linguini with a liberal amount of piñón .. this was Mother's Milk on days that had stretched my limits and left me in a state of somberness that only time alone, amongst friends, could remedy.  I only needed to walk up a few steps  to feel the comforting embrace of a place bound together by the warmest staff of true "givers" any patron could expect .. 
and it's gone.
Like the natural progression of everything else in life, this place which provided so many rich moments  is now empty space,  perfectly garnished  with total silence and  a topping of   joyful memories,  special moments,  and those incredible hosts.  A rare flower that gave its beauty then dissipated with time.   

I'm certain in the future I will reach for the phone to make that call, similar to the times I want to speak with people who no longer reside on this plane of existence, and I'll catch myself with the same thought I now conjure up for those people .. "damn, it's not there anymore".  I will then sit  in sadness .. torn at the loss of an old friend, a place of comfort, a place of peacefulness, a home away from home.  
Gerry, Antonio, Rosario,  and the entire Staff ..

"Mahalo Nui Loa" 

You were Spectacular for 30 years and more

You were World Class
&
We mourn Pomodoro with Heavy Heart ... 


from Kauai to Paris ... and all places between

"Ciao e vai con dio" !

Bill

 
 
I rented a car today and life was transformed.  What had been a plan for future travel is now  reality and anticipation of the highest order.   This action of selecting a "chariot"  that will be collected on the end of  my next flight, and beginning of my new adventure, is a defining moment .. that moment of decisiveness every traveler must exercise as the prelude to wanderlust. 

Once our stage is set and this first  act performed,   we are thrust into the play of travel, suddenly awed  by the enormity of the stage itself.  The time between now and then is filled with  fantastic thoughts,  dreams,  and imaginations which  transcend  mundane existence.  This simple deed of procuring an automobile triggers sensations that are not only emotionally pleasing .. but like the effect of an inspiring piece of music or  a sunset that  is ethereally enchanted beyond description, the action is physically invigorating. 

Once I've solidified my decision and made that declaration to the point of no return, it's as if I'm born anew .. every single time .. and with this rebirth there are gifts of hope, energy,  and overwhelming surges of happiness as I look forward to the presence of friends there who constantly reside in my thoughts here.

The act itself is nothing special .. a few clicks of the mouse .. what the act represents, I don't believe we fully realize.  We suddenly know we are going .. instantly stimulated in positive ways we will never fully comprehend.  Our mind, our entire psyche, moves to an elevated level that is no doubt supported by a continually light flow of  adrenaline we stimulate through excitement for the upcoming trip.

I felt compelled to share this with you .. my head was spinning with thought and I've come from bed to my computer at 2:15 in the morning because I simply couldn't sleep.  I know it's not a big deal, but it did inspire me to get out of bed and come share with you that ...
I rented a car today

and I highly recommend it as an uplifting activity for each of you ...


from Kauai to Paris ... and all places between



vroom vroom !

Bill
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MY LAST "CHARIOT" .. RESTING IN PROVENCE
 
 
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HOTEL NOVOTEL - CHARLES de GAULLE AIRPORT
Leaving places I love is always difficult.  Leaving  people I love, even more difficult.  Becoming attached inherently invites melancholy, pain, and deep bouts of sadness when separation occurs .. voluntarily or involuntarily  there is angst.  This is the nature of life.   The closer we attach ourselves to one another, or that special place,  the more traumatic "bidding adieu" inevitably becomes .. equal parts pain for equal parts joy .. a very real portion of the human experience.   

Of course we all realize the pain of separation is momentary and actually serves the higher purpose of enhancing our next encounter .. but the immediate pain is real, and "until we meet again" is the heartbroken refrain of departure we should never suffer to experience.  This is the pain I felt while standing outside my hotel at Charles de Gaulle airport, on a beautiful summer evening, at the end of my most recent  visit to France. 

The photograph above is sadness and loneliness epitomized.  Void of any friend's face or any hope for a "great day" tomorrow .. that stark scene says it all.  Three o'clock in the morning and silent, except for the occasional roar of jet engines .. a not so subtle reminder that I fly away in just hours.

My thoughts are mine ... and I know you have your thoughts when this situation appears.  It smothers us  like a  black cloud and envelopes every memory of happiness, frivolity, and joy  cherished from the past weeks or months in this place we adore .. this place we cannot bear leaving in the early morning.  There seems to be no remedy .. nothing to save us from the overwhelming fog of despair.  We are mentally severed, like a small child being pulled away screaming from his favorite pastime before he is completely "filled" by the experience.

Oh my,  look what I've done!  I've managed to paint a negatively poignant picture, void of any hope or preview of positivity to come. 
"Get over it" !
You know damn well everything's  gonna' be all right.  You know the minute your plane lifts off  you are already thinking about all the good stuff on the other end of this flight .. you are already excited about planning the next flight .. you are already reliving the joys of the last flight .. you are already looking forward to new food on the other end, and  you are already looking forward to sharing  stories with people you love, about people you love,  and those special places where you love them.  So ...
"Get over it" !
Smile, dear reader, Smile .. You are an Ambassador.  You are carrying the hope of our world with you.  With every personal sadness at departure .. smile .. in the knowledge   your pain is a direct indication of the  love and good will you  created and left behind  with those people you adore .. and it will be there next time, better because of your actions this time.

I love you, Travelers.  You are the future of mankind .. spreading the truth of humanity far and wide .. cultivating the hearts of men, women, and children the world over.  You realize the importance and obligation of worldwide interaction .. and I'm certain deep within your souls is implanted the intense fire of hope.  I'm also certain anyone who questions the expenditure of your last resource on a plane ticket, or the decision to take off on a whim when your heart says "Go" is most assuredly going to hear a laughingly,   lovingly stated ... 
"Get over it" !

from Kauai to Paris ... and all places between

________________

Happy Trails et Bon Voyage,
Bill


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FROM MY ROOM AT SHERATON GATEWAY LAX - HEADED TO KAUAI FROM PARIS .. WITH A SMILE
 
 
Tonight I visited a restaurant and bid "Aloha" to a dear friend who returns to his home in Germany tomorrow.  The place was busy when I arrived .. every table occupied.  My friends waved me over the moment I entered  ...
and the rest of the evening was  magic.
When it happens, nothing compares.  It is unmistakable and the rarest of occasions in life.  That "conversation" we have below the surface and above the words .. based on primal knowledge inherent to our species .. a beautiful mix of intelligence, intuition, and basic instinct.  Verbalization becomes the "filler" .. unnecessary to the process when we  are communicating with more advanced sensory perception than our vocal chords could ever achieve.  Of course we speak and listen to recognize and honor one another, but it is the unspoken which reverberates and binds us on a uniquely higher level ...
this is connecting.

I typically shoot photos at these noteworthy events so there will be pictures to share with you .. not tonight .. one must reserve some experiences to the confines of privacy and the exhilaration of special memories .. held in common only by the participants themselves.  They, after all,  are the only beings who will ever recall the impact of the moment and give it future value. 

I happily share these photos of two restaurants I enjoyed many times in St. Cecile les Vigne  of the wonderful Vaucluse region  in France .. two places I photographed before friends, families, and lovers took their place around the tables to experience one another in their versions of our intricate human dance ..  floating their souls gently  and passionately toward intended recipients ..
bringing life to the tables and chairs ...

from Kauai to Paris ... and all places between

 
 
I drove to Kukuiolono Golf Course for a meeting two days ago .. what a beautiful place it is.  Perfectly manicured and mown .. peaceful beyond belief, and  views that must be among the best Kauai has to offer.  From the moment one enters through the lovely stone gate,  you know immediately you are in a special place.   

When I pulled into the parking lot outside the golf course restaurant, right before my eyes was the idyllic scenario you see in the photo above.  Two retired couples surrounded by nature's perfection.  I had to jump out and take the shot .. even took a moment to say "Aloha" to these folks and show them their photo.  They then departed  in their motorized carts .. I walked to the restaurant to talk about a business deal.

The entire experience was excellent.  Just picture it .. here I am on the most beautiful island on earth,  having a business meeting in February with an Aloha shirt as "winter wear",  with views that enveloped me in a visually stimulating environment so rich it verges on surrealism.  People talk about going to Disneyland and I laugh inside ... Kauai is the enhanced version with Aloha & Soul.  A grownup's paradise for every day existence .. special every single minute of the year.

It goes without saying that golf courses are pricey little amusement centers.  I recall when Chris Hemmeter developed the Westin Hotel back in the 80's, the initial cost was 880 million dollars .. that was 1 million dollars per acre and a good part of the cost was dedicated to a golf course that still blows minds under the Marriott flag.  I'm certain Kukuiolono didn't cost that much to develop, but you can bet it wasn't cheap.  Year after year the beat goes on .. all the courses on beautiful Kauai and the other islands are maintained and beautified, and all the grown ups  continue to have these incredible places to "play".

It was a great meeting with a great person and I felt invigorated when we arose from the table, walked to our cars, and said "Aloha" to one another.  I headed home.

On the way to my house, not so far from Kukuiolono, I remembered I hadn't picked up the mail so I cruised on down to the Post Office.  Clearly attached to the Post Office wall is the "NO SKATEBOARDING" sign .. rather unfriendly looking in my opinion.  And everyday I've collected the mail for the last year or two, the boys are there with their boards ... because it's the only place they have in Kalaheo to "ride".  They also come down and treat me to jumps at the office,  another of the "only places available" to them.  No beautiful views, plenty of cars to dodge, and more than their share of dirty looks to deal with as they practice those awesome jumps and intricate moves only known to their generation.

What the hell are we thinking?  I'm awake and vow to never, ever exhibit, feel, or say "Move over, kid .. I need MY place to play".  Maybe we "Big Kids" have some growing up to do .. realizing our young people need us to provide for them, based on changing times.  I'll bet you one thing ... if we do ignore that need, it will be unbelievably expensive,  much more than any golf course ...   
from Kauai to Paris ... and all places between

ride on, boys, ride on !

 
 
Every time I walk to the post office I pass by an inscription on the sidewalk about half a block from our house .. 1956.  Every time I walk by that inscription I want to know each and every detail of the moment ... and I will never know anything about that moment.  1956 etched on the sidewalk of Pe'e Road in Kalaheo, Kauai will remain a mystery for me .. forever.  That place, that action, that entity of concrete and specific indentation is, and always will be a source of wonder and fantasy and "what it might have been".  No matter what my mind creates or conjures up,  it is what it was, and what it was is not for me to know.  No amount of intellect nor any manner of imagination can cause me to know what occurred on one day by one person in 1956.  This knowledge is not frustrating to me, though one might think it could be, but has instead become a source of unique emotional stimulation .. providing pleasant and poignant thoughts as I walk to and return from "checking the mail".

I know Charles de Gaulle said "Great circumstances bring forth great men" in 1956, and I know Elvis Presley made his first television appearance in 1956 on the Dorsey Brothers TV show .. causing a very conservative Ed Sullivan to state he was "unfit for a family audience".  Sullivan, later in the year, hired Presley for an unprecedented $50,000.00 for three shows, but only allowed him to be shown on camera from the waist up.  Was Sullivan the pure definition of a greedy man or a world class hypocrite .. or both?

I know these things because they are recorded, written down, filmed, captured forever since they were deemed "news worthy".

Behind our ReMax office in Kalaheo is another old piece of concrete.  This concrete is hidden from view unless you walk out the back door and onto the lawn for a breath of fresh air and some peace away from the computer screens and screaming telephones.  It was there I had another "concrete epiphany" and recorded the following photo which captures another moment in time that will forever remain a mystery.

I used to think it was cool to declare "I don't give a rat's ass" ... I won't be saying that anymore.   I've learned that everything past is now precious ..

Everything ...


from Kauai to Paris ... and all places between

Aloha et Au revoir,

Bill


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everything past is now precious ... everything
 
 
A couple of days ago I met with good friends at our favorite outside gathering place in Poipu.  We congregated late in the afternoon as the frenetic beach energy of  daytime activity was softening.  Everyone was vacating the warm waters to enjoy a refreshment or snack before the Kama'aina went to their homes and the visitors made their way to  hotel rooms or condos.  This time of day is absolutely breathtaking.  Soft evening light combined with the soothing sound of gentle waves brushing across the sand,  all the while being gently caressed by warm trade winds .. this is the hypnotic, compelling, and unmistakable allure of Kauai at her very best.  This is the time for contemplation and peace within oneself .. perfection in nature personified. 

Because  evenings and sunsets are so incredibly beautiful on Kauai .. there is always a time of complete awe and silence among human witnesses to the event.  As I sit here attempting to come up with some parallel experience or anything synonymous to sunset on Kauai .. I simply cannot .. it is breathtaking.  The evening shown in my photos was no exception.  The crowds were still, the sun was slowly departing the scene,  Tiki Torches were lighted ... and we waited for the magic of darkness and stars and dreams of legends and magical happenings long, long ago.

It was still light when the first scream of joy emitted from a couple not so far away from where we were sitting.  Then others joined the chorus, and before many seconds could tick away, the energy was instantly transposed from that soft and quiet time of magic to a new and joyful outburst of elation.  The whales were visiting.

Nothing sparks the imagination more than watching a huge leviathan gracefully slide through the water .. slowly and with more dignity and peacefulness than any other creature on earth .. nothing compares ...

We all watched, every single one of us, and each of us had our own thoughts attached to the event.  The yelps and exclamations gave way to an even more meaningful silence than what had preceded this appearance.  Our "collective awe" immediately became a bond amongst us, and when the beautiful behemoths were mysteriously vanished from our sight,  we looked into one another's eyes with a shared experience,  enhanced by  a greater reverence for all living beings. 

Every time I see a whale it is beyond absolutely wondrous.  Their energy is so gentle and powerful .. their presence so wisdom filled.   They are indisputable  Masters of their domain,  yet they leave no footprint and display no malice.  They are perfectly balanced  with the  pure nature of  planet Earth,  as are their fellow creatures ... except for one. 
Humans would all be wise to go Whale Watching ...

from Kauai to Paris ... and all places between


 
 
My Craftsman lawn mower resides in it's designated spot until nature works her magic and the yard cries out for aesthetic renewal.  I realize it may sound somewhat hokey, but pushing that little red machine .. that diminutive "whirling dervish" .. out of my carport, then pulling the start cord and listening as the engine "whirs" to life,  is the beginning of a wonderful afternoon for this man .. every single time.   I am happy and alive from the moment I realize there is time in my day to go out and mow the yard.  

Once the "dance" begins, I am transported away from all problems and cares .. clearly focused on the grass before me and the task at hand.  I don't believe I've altered the original mowing pattern since the first day I pushed my little red mower around the yard in 2006 .. it was "right" then and it is "right" now.  Every single nuance of the act is positive;   I receive the gift of non-thinking for a couple of hours .. sweat pours from my body in a cooling flood of cleansing .. the sunshine kisses me .. I  receive instant gratification as me and my machine slowly trudge along the newly manicured path provided by  blades below,  constantly accompanied by the sure and steady  soothing hum of a trustworthy engine.  For a few short and special hours every two weeks or so, my dull red Craftsman and me .. we are the "whirling dervish" .. bound together in a thoughtless and impassioned ritual which consistently  produces the desirable entities of rejuvenation and beauty. 

Yeah, the act of mowing my yard is good stuff .. but I didn't sit down to write about pushing the mower.  This post was inspired by that "after" thing .. that soft afternoon glow which magically appears as golden dusk .. the complete silence immediately after the engine ends and before frightened birds and Kauai chickens return to fill the air with their sounds and songs, once again trusting they are in no danger.   A unique and comforting sensation overcomes me at that moment in time,  the marriage of many emotions;  satisfaction of completing the task .. joy of feeling the newly created ethereal beauty which surrounds me .. security and pride attached to the knowledge "this is my place .. my refuge", and pleasure in knowing the yard is now very pleasing to anyone who may walk or drive by and glance in this direction.  This time immediately after mowing purges every negative thought from my being.
The dance is over,  the dervish in repose,  and I occupy my favorite lawn chair with a plethora of thoughts, no doubt stimulated by the immediate clarity and pure joy of the moment.  I am at peace .. Je suis très content ...

Tomorrow morning, as the sun awakens and shadows are still long and soft,  I will walk the yard and be touched by yet another unique sensation .. the crisp and clean look of  newly cut grass,  crowned by morning dew ... and then .. it is over.  

Once the morning is gone there is nothing but anticipation.   Craftsman and I watch the grass grow and anxiously await another dance ... while our  yard Angel quietly contemplates the beauty of a Rose. 
C'est la vie ...

from Kauai to Paris ... and all places between