Thursday, October 9, 2014

Hawaii Postcard: Walking Up Hills

                    Old ghost ranges, sunken rivers, come again
                             stand by the wall and tell their tale,
                     walk the path, sit the rains,
                     grind the ink, wet the brushes, unroll the
                              broad white space:
                     lead out and tip
                     the moist black line.
                     Walking on walking,
                                              under foot          earth turns.
                     Streams and mountains never stay the same.    
                                                                      -- Gary Snyder, Endless Streams & Mountains

In a new landscape, the mind reaches for known landscapes. My body reads 'tropics' on the skin and in the air, and automatically conjures up paths it's stepped, breathed, been before. In the years since I took that first flight to Hawaii, I've been to many other lands, other islands. Driving through Honolulu this week, I'm recalling Mysore, India; Austin, TX; St. Croix, VI; and, seemingly pedestrianly, Sacramento, CA. All of thes places I've been, share heat, a certain stickiness, and similar foliage (and some birds, native and/or introduced).*
Walking up Diamond Head yesterday, hearing multiple languages as we switched back up the side of the crater, my mind scrambled with memories of walking the stairs of Chamundi Hill, in India; and  ascending the cable route of Half Dome; as wells as a low-slung mountain that the painter Cezanne was said to favor outside of Aix. 
I've read body turns over all of its cells every 7 years, but somewhere there's a file of miles walked within me, beyond it seems, even the cellular. The mystery of being glimpsed yet again.
The view from Diamond Head

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