Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Things I Will Miss...

I just washed my hair outside under a full moon in a warm shower by a stone wall.  Can you tell my ten year old student and I have been studying prepositions?  Prepositions and Julie of the Wolves--I love Julie of the Wolves. 

I am about to leave.  Conversations begin with "Have you got a ticket?" and I am eating more pineapple.  There are things I will miss about Hawaii.  Funny how things become instantly more valuable when they are about to disappear.  The way I usually fall madly in love with a book as soon as I leave it on a plane.  It is not that I did not appreciate outdoor showers and pikake and big bright full moons in deep black skies before.  I did.  But as I start to leave these things become numbered, last, few, and important.  The ocean always looks bluest at that particular, last bend in the road when you are driving to the airport.

I have always loved it here.  I have loved the unbroken family thread leading back to my childhood that is part of my every day in this place.  My brother flying off a rope swing into the Kalihiwai River, doing math in the sand with my dad at Pine Trees at sunset, my sister jumping off a cliff on a dare, riding bikes at night and looking for wood for a bonfire on the beach.  These things are current here.  People remember them.  All the ladies at Foodland ask when is my mother coming back and why aren't I buying more vegetables?

It was fun.  We moved in family packs.  Brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, we roamed from beach to house to beach to house in a sprawling, hungry, muddy, salty gang.   Smaller siblings got to ride on the handlebars.  It took eight friends to teach me to drive.  There is a rainbow on my license.  "Just us" meant my brother and sister and I.  "Everybody" meant twenty kids.  We spoke in plurals.  Parents were Aunties and Uncles.  Now we are Aunties and Uncles.  I love it.

I love the quiet, soft air, the night blooming jasmine and the heavy, warm rain.  I love taking my shoes off automatically before entering a house.  I love sunbaked sand under brown feet.  I love lizards on the ceiling, peacocks at the beach and chickens in the parking lot.  I love worrying that a coconut will fall on the car.  I love that a flower behind the left ear means that you are taken and behind the right means that you are not.  It is the left because that is the side of the heart.

It will all be here for me when I get back.  I will fall in love with wherever I go.  I will love red buses and bookstores and hot chocolate and woolly mittens.  But for right now, I will miss it here.    

24 comments:

  1. Hey Priya
    No hot chocolate and woolly mittens yet - London is sunny and hot! Not as hot as Hawaii, obvs but hopefully will ease your transition :)
    Lyndsey

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  2. oh good! i love london in the sun!

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  3. Oh Priya, I'm all choked up. I always loved your posts, but this one shines through with such love and longing, I got teary. I cannot wait to read more of your writing, can't wait to finalyl read your book! If you'll bring out emotions just as strongly as you do with your blog posts I know it will be an overwhelming read. But that is exactly how I love them :-)

    Say goodbye to Hawai but don't be sad, you'll be back soon, and until then you'll discover another corner of the world :-) Good luck!

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  4. oh stella, i am so happy my book is going out into the world to meet lovely, lovely people like you! that was just beautiful. thank you!!!!!!

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  5. A wonderful post - having moved recently I'm touched by remember all that I am missing.

    I'm so excited to read the book! Congratulations (one more time).

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  6. Oh Priya. Your gift for prose is such a pleasure. I know you'll wax poetic about London, if only in your own mind because you have the ability to see the magic in things. I certainly enjoyed it there and your tips played a part in that. I hated to leave. Thank goodness for the internet. I'll be able to check in with you and learn of your musings no matter where you are...

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  7. What a beautiful, evocative post.

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  8. mari, moving definitely brings all that we miss into sharp relief. the books left in your new home sound fascinating! i loved what you wrote!

    june g, you are so very very sweet. the magic in things is a beautiful phrase. so happy you will be able to keep in touch!

    lisa, i keep going back to all the links you shared. they are wonderful! have forwarded your information on to the publicity dept. i hope that is ok?

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  9. Priya, absolutely! I'm truly looking forward to the release of your novel, and I have such a gut intuition that it will be a huge success! I know you'll be overwhelmed with pr requests, etc, but whatever I can do to get the word out, I'd love to do. I guess this is a leap of faith, not having read the completed novel, but I have been reading your writing and I 'just know'! All the best...

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  10. lisa that is amazing! thank you!

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  11. anytime i read one of your posts evoking the feelings of living in hawaii... i want to move back!

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  12. move back! but to kauai this time... x

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  13. What a beautiful post. I just stumbled across your blog and became a follower after reading this bittersweet post. I never knew it was a flower in your left ear meant you were taken because it's closer to the heart. Very touching. Good luck to you and your new adventures. I look forward to hearing all about it.

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  14. Priya, it's a pretty neat trick, making a girl feel *this* wistful about a place she's never even seen - I am sighing like Madame Bovary over here!

    I do know just what you mean, yearning for home before it's even been left, and simultaneously yearning for everything that lies beyond... both states are profound in their way. Drink it all in.

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  15. Also, I agree with Lisa the Bibliophiliac. I was talking to my husband about your novel the other night - he loves the title too - and I really have a very strong gut feeling you won't need any help getting it flying off the shelves. It's going to be very exciting, both watching and participating with GUSTO!

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  16. brenna, welcome! i am so glad you found me!

    doctordi, could you be sweeter? no. i do not think so. you are the sweetest. thank you for your vote of confidence! it means so much coming from i writer i so respect!

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  17. How I miss Hawaii. Long sails on Kanehoe Bay, going to dinner at friends who had an apartment with a wonderful view of Diamond Head. Aloha Friday. The plumaria leis sold on the street corners. I hear you, Priya.

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  18. The bluest part of the ocean is very definitely just down that road to the left of the airport. Kauai like childhood is always fresh and alive. I loved the bit about warm heavy rain and automatically taking your slippers off when you go into a house. Your post made me think of family and how valuable and precious the blessing of family is. I look forward to reading your book.

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  19. I am so torn...London is my most favorite city in the world, I don't know why!! So I am so jealous about that part!!!

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  20. grad, i will miss those things too!

    jacob, jake is that you? if it is you, do you remember all that too? if it is not you i am sorry!

    book quoter, london is wonderful and when i leave there i will miss it just as much!

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  21. I don't remember the thing about the flower, but that's not surprising. I also remember the sand I'd leave in my hair so I could feel it on my fingers and scalp when I got back to the mainland. And the ag inspection tag that's still on my duffel.

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  22. ummm and the undeclared hawaiian flower i stuffed into your bag that got you pulled over by ag inspection and nearly made you miss your flight?

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  23. Yes, there was that. And somehow they didn't believe me when I told them I didn't take the flower. I said, "come one, do I look like the kind of guy who'd try and keep a flower?" And they just looked at me. That was right before I cut my hair real short.

    I am excited to read your book. I'm sure it will be wonderful.

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  24. Thanks for your recent visits and comments over at News From Italy/or My Book Reviews. With all our visitors now departed I am catching up on my Blog reading.

    Any news on European availability of your forthcoming book yet, that I may have missed?

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