Wednesday, October 23, 2013


(Yu Sum and Denn, at their house, 2013)

I've lost count at the amount of times I have been asked why my parents moved to Hawai'i.  The most common answer I reply with is, spoken cooly: Why not?.

I have never tried to properly articulate the answer, nor had I really proposed the question to myself.  It just made sense that they moved there, or rather my mother's desire to be there.  There is no way to properly answer that question, at least not without saying, "Long story short...".  But there is no long story short, just long story.

The ocean has always been a significant place in my life.  From as far as I can remember I always found comfort in its presence.  I always wanted to live by it, it was always something that I had been reaching for.  Retracing my past it was always a destination.  When my family lived in Toronto, we would venture down south to Florida to stay by the Atlantic, when we lived in New Mexico it was California and the Pacific, in Texas it was either Galveston, South Padre, or Penescola for the Gulf.  The end of a journey was always marked by the arrival to the ocean and for my parents now they have finally arrived.

If one were seeking out the presence of the ocean their entire life what better place than a remote island.  There are few places in Hawai'i, especially Maui one can not know of the ocean's presence, let alone its sight.  It is so ubiquitous that there is a reversed proportioning of land to sea: where as on the mainland there is the ocean as a shoreline and opposite is a land that continues far greater than one can see to the horizon over the ocean.  In Hawai'i, the land rarely forms a horizon.  And when land does it is often a neighboring island in the horizon, to which one can always see how dwarfed it is by its scale in a vast infinite sea which surrounds its edges.

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