Author Archives: Susan L Hart

Birthing

How did humanity
arrive at this place?
Almost overnight,
viral war torn,
scarred, skeptical,
frazzled, frightened,
lonely isolation,
madly missing
the joy of life.

Humanity’s vitality
slowly but surely
leaking away,
drained by a
lurking thieving
shadow beast,
gluttonous gorger
swallowing whole
all who yield.

But the wheel of
fortune ever turns,
the black jar of
Pandora’s woes
morphs to womb
of fathomless
mother goddess
of a Golden Age,
a new humanity.

It’s time to birth
transformation
from destruction;
swimming upwards
to shimmering light,
gulping great drafts
of rarefied air,
reclaiming life and
eager to live it.

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Photos courtesy Bencha Ouss and Rachel Carpentier, Pexels

Birthing © Susan L Hart 2020

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Hawaiian Sovereignty

Hawaii is one of the major tourist spots in the world and if you spend all of your time in Honolulu and Waikiki, a tourist experience is exactly what you will have. Waikiki Beach is just one and one-half miles long and this small strip of sand attracts over five million visitors each year.

However, when you travel outside of the blatantly tourist areas, you begin to discover another Hawaii. You find islands of breathtaking tropical beauty, a slower speed of living, a quiet grace, and inevitably you are introduced to the spirit of “aloha”. If you dig even deeper beneath the surface, you also learn of an issue that runs deep in the hearts of the Hawaiian people. This is the issue of sovereignty and freedom.

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First, it is important to understand the concept of aloha. At a very basic level aloha means hello and goodbye, however this one simple word runs much deeper than these superficial meanings. In the Hawaiian culture, words have mana (pronounced: mah’ nah, meaning spiritual or divine power), and aloha is among the most sacred. Aloha is a divine word and it is a greeting of love when expressed with sincerity.

To introduce you to the basic background of the sovereignty issue in Hawaii, here is a quote from an article called “Hawaiian Sovereignty and the Native Hawaiian Vote”. Ppkp Laenui, who at the time was Director of the Institute for the Advancement of Hawaiian Affairs, wrote this in October of 1996:

“There is another side to the picture postcard of the hula girl swaying in her grass skirt under the coconut tree with the American flag in the background. It is the picture of a proud, hard working, intelligent, and honest Hawaiian people whose ancestors crisscrossed the Pacific ocean long before Columbus came upon the Americas, whose literacy rate was at one time the highest in the world, whose nation had almost a hundred diplomatic and counselor posts around the world, whose leaders signed treaties and conventions with a multitude of states of the world, and whose King was the first Head of State to circle the globe traveling to America, Asia, and Europe before returning to Hawai’i.

“In five quick years, Hawai’i moved from independent nation/state to a colony of the United States of America. Following an armed invasion in 1893, by 1898, the U.S. claimed Hawai’i, without the consent of its constitutional monarchy or the Hawaiian nationals. For a time, Hawai’i was lost from the arena of international presence other than as a historical footnote.

“In 1946, the General Assembly of the United Nations through Resolution 66(I) noted Hawai’i as one of seven territories over which the United States was to administer pursuant to Article 73 of the U.N. Charter. By 1959, Hawai’i was removed from that status and considered a State of the U.S. The process under which this changed status happened is now under serious scrutiny for its failure to meet basic standards of self-determination.”

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In that same fateful year, on May 20, 1959, a baby called Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (nicknamed “IZ”) was born on the small island of Oahu, Hawaii. He was raised with the knowledge of his Polynesian heritage, found the music inside, and eventually wrote songs that lamented the destruction of the land and the loss of sovereignty among the Hawaiian people. He gave voice to a desire to take back the land that was stolen from the Hawaiians. So say some of the words from IZ’s song “Hawaii ’78”:

Cry for the gods, cry for the people
Cry for the land that was taken away
And then yet you’ll find, Hawai’i.

Sadly, IZ passed away on June 26, 1997, while his star was still on the rise. However, the words of this musical icon had already captured the admiration and imagination of thousands of followers, as it continues to do even today.

The issue of sovereignty in some ways seems complicated and yet it is simple. It is has now existed in Hawaii for over one hundred years and many people here debate whether the land will ever be returned to the native Polynesian people. No matter what the future holds, however, a love for the land will always be held in the hearts of the Polynesian people, as well as anyone else that settles here and understands and lives the spirit of aloha.

The music of IZ is haunting and compelling. He speaks to the souls of not only the Hawaiian people who had their land stolen, but at a deeper level to anyone who has felt the bite of injustice and control. (That would probably be most of us, at some time and in some way in each of our lives). The music of IZ cries out for a return to the principle of aloha, so that we all may connect to the beautiful spirit of the land living deep within the soul of each of us.

My other blog post today: Sun-kissed | Gratitude

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Cover photo courtesy Errin Casano, Pexels

Quotation from “Hawaiian Sovereignty and the Native Hawaiian
Vote”, October 1996, by Ppkp Laenui.

Quotation from “Hawaii ’78” on “Facing Future” album, by Israel
Kamakawiwo’ole, 1993 BigBoy Record Company

“Hawaiian Sovereignty” (previously published as “The Spirit of Aloha”) © Susan L Hart. All rights reserved.

It’s Time for Real Change

We see increasing pressure in society right now to conform to certain points of view. When I see shaming being used as a tool to force people to conform, personally I immediately lose respect for the shamer, as well as my willingness to listen. It speaks volumes about the low integrity of the person or group doing the shaming.

Shaming is a very low energy method of trying to control others. It is akin to taking one’s boot and kicking the “opposition”, trying to grind them into the dirt and eliminate them, rather than making a case for the merits of one’s own point of view, and then allow others the free will to make up their own minds.

That type of behavior is not going to help us build a better society. It is not a model for a more spiritual approach to life, or a cooperative lifting up of our fellow human beings. It is a form of bullying, and when we see a lot of that going on, as we do now, it is an indicator that our society is regressing, not progressing.

I am all for “voices for change”. There are many voices wanting to be heard right now. Our world and societies are in extreme flux. This is actually a positive thing, as I do believe it is causing more people to look inward and evaluate with their own moral compasses and value systems.

Respect for other points of view, and cooperation as well, are essential for us to get “from here to there”. It is essential that humanity lift itself up to a higher place of social behavior in order to create true change in the world.

Otherwise, we will once again simply find some temporary satisfaction in a “change” that is not real change. We will just keep circling around (as we have, many times throughout history) to find ourselves confronted once again with essentially the same set of conflicts, just in a different packaging.

Are we not ready, finally, for real change?

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Photos courtesy Andre Furtado and Tobias Bjørkli, Pexels

It’s Time for Real Change © Susan L Hart 2020

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We’re In It Together

In a system that feels
heartless and remote,
now more than ever
we must reach out to
others in kindness,
in a personal way,
human-to-human.

The problems of
all of humanity
are now breaching
our own backyards;
it’s no longer possible
to turn a blind eye,
we’re in this together.

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Photos courtesy Min An and Nattaphat Phau, Pexels

We’re In It Together © Susan L Hart 2020

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