I Didn’t Know

Day six and the end of Oahu. I have to admit I wasn’t sad to see Oahu go. I wasn’t sad for me go from it either if that makes sense. I think Kisa and I needed a break from the way things were starting to go. We had one last morning before an afternoon flight to Maui. In that short time we decided we would try to see Punchbowl cemetery and Tantalus. By far Punchbowl was my favorite part.
Where do I begin describing Punchbowl? I first heard of it, not from Maui Revealed by Andrew. but from Tara Bray Smith in her memoir about her mother, West of Then. The way Smith described the cemetery in a crater intrigued me. I’ll be upfront. I have a strange attraction to cemeteries so I was more than willing to spend my last Oahu day in one. As Natalie Merchant says, “Some think it’s so haunting to be drawn to the cemetery ground as we – there’s a stillness here thankful found.” So be it. The place is at once enormous and intimate. Energizing and quieting. The sense of loss is punctuated by hope. I can’t explain it.
Because I couldn’t decide on just one picture from Punchbowl, here are a few:in honor
I left my lei with this man because he didn’t die on the expected date of December 7, 1941. This was a maritime accident that was hushed up. A different kind of tragic.
flagged halo I loved the halos the trees formed. This picture is one of my favorites because of the flags.
we remember All the trees in little alcoves were decorated with leis and postcards and messages. They felt shrine-like.
I think part of the reason why I found Punchbowl so beautiful was the fact that I was more comfortable spending time with dead people I didn’t know than the living people I knew too well. It’s one place I would like to revisit.

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Categories: Confessional | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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