Aloha (as in goodbye) to 2021
December 31, 2021
This photo was taken a year ago today (on a 12’ pintail shaped 35 years ago by Owl Chapman for his and my old friend & roommate Clay Talton, aka “The Cat”). At this moment in time (12/31/2020), as I lay into a 30-yard bottom turn at max hull speed on a glorious wave at Point Surf Makaha, there was no way I had any inclination of what lay ahead — both on this wave (which ultimately took me out on the infamous Bowl section a football field or more down the line) or in the not distant future. Suffice to say, this was a wild, crazy, heartbreaking year for me and, of course, many others. In the span of less than three months, I lost both my parents and my job. And I could have lost a lot more . . . including my mind.
With confidence and humility, I can say that it was probably the heaviest year of my life. The pain and confusion and sadness were overwhelming at times, almost paralyzing. Yet I also know I have so much to be grateful and live for — and I am trying my best to move forward with gratitude and some optimism with the understanding that we are all mortal, finite beings and that nothing or no one lasts for long. Everything, everyone in a constant state of flux. Time destroys it all sooner or later. Law of karma. There’s actually a certain bittersweet, sublime beauty to it all. We are but links in a chain of cause and effect that extends eternally and if time does in fact exist, it is a circle, it bends back upon and into itself, like a ring — or, perhaps better stated, a wheel. All things return eternally. I take solace in that fundamental truth of existence, knowing that even the gods (Akua) must envy us our courage and determination in the face of our fragility and inevitable demise. We will lose everything, everyone. Nobody is promised tomorrow (my great grandmother Hannah Healy said that). Rejoice in your finitude! Carpe diem! Cherish each moment, each day, every opportunity because they won’t come again (at least not in this lifetime). Amor Fati. Bon chance!
I am most thankful for the support of those of you who subscribe to Eternal Return. I apologize for slacking off somewhat since August (when my Mum died) and just as I was getting my head back in order my dear Father died. In any case, I have every intent of publishing more in the near future, continuing the “Kahiklani” series and other projects including essays on Paumalu underground legends Paul Gebauer, Roger Erickson, and Owl Chapman. And more. If you haven’t already, please also consider the $10 a month subscription as that will help me to continuing to do what I am aiming to accomplish. Mahalo Nui Loa and happy, healthy, prosperous 2022 ahead. Hana Hou!
Huelo Hale, Paumalu 2021