Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Honey! I'm Home!

The fledgling nest never matches an old bird's memory.  A family of cowbirds has moved in. Or maybe the tree is gone and there's a tennis court or gas station in its place. Return to your childhood home and find it bears no resemblance to the place where you grew up. The houses in the hood are smaller; some of their roofs are sagging.  The neighbors have all moved or passed on. That safe, familiar suburb and the people who gave it its vibe are long gone. Even the smell is different. Only in your imagination, and in cyberspace, can you truly go home again.

That brings us here, to this blog. It's been neglected, and yet, no cowbirds have moved in. It's not been paved over. The roof is intact.

"I miss your writing," said the last, lonely commenter.  How can I stay away with encouragement like that?

Here's what's kept me occupied:

Moulding young minds (mwahahahaha) is time consuming, or rather, all-consuming, especially when you're new at it. Bits of spare time are filled playing the ukulele. Teaching, strumming and skiing, are my current obsessions.

The islands are still across the great blue pacific, percolating, smoldering.  Coffee on the rainforest plantation is thriving. I check on Pele's path or wrath daily to see if my favorite Thai restaurant in Pahoa Town will be there when I visit over the holidays.

The mountains are still here too, demanding my attention. A current season pass with a 10-year-old photo dangles from a new pair of skis leaning in a corner of this cabin. Those shiny new planks will likely get their inaugural scratches later this week.
The plan -- or rather, the delusion -- is to teach for 10 years, or longer if the current university or some other institution of higher learning will have me. I'll ski for as long as the legs and back will allow. Despite digits less nimble by the day, I'll work to become a respectable ukulele player. When I retire, I'll supplement my income playing ditties in bars and coffee shops for tips and sandwiches and beers, spinning a yarns and writing songs here and there, a little in Gunnison, a little in Hawaii. Call it a pipe dream, a fantasy no beginner with short, chubby fingers stumbling  across the fretboard should entertain.  However unaccomplished, however slow between chord changes and uncoordinated my fingerpicking, I find it impossible to be in a bad mood while playing the ukulele. It's an instrument of joy.  Happiness in hardwood.


Pipe dream: a saying inspired by the illusions experienced by opium smokers.

It's good to be home.