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“I found a nice, medium-sized wave, possibly the first of a set. I caught it, shaky with relief, then I managed to fall off. I popped up, annoyed, and found myself looking at a wall of water that seemed to have marched out of my worst nightmares. It was already pulling water from the shelf, pulling me toward it, and there was no chance at all that I would escape it. It was the biggest wave I had ever seen at Pequena, and it was already starting to break. I swam toward it hard and dove early, but it plucked me out of the depths and beat me until I screamed in hopeless protest. When I finally surfaced there was another one behind it, just as big, just as malignant. There seemed to be a bit more water on the shelf. I swam to the bottom and tried to get a grip on a rough slab of rock but was instantly ripped away. Another long, thorough beating. I tried to cover my head with my arms in case it dashed me against the bottom. It didn't. I eventually resurfaced. There was another one. It was bigger than the others, but the important thing about it was that it sucked all the water off the shelf. Boulders started surfacing in front of me, and then I was standing in a field of rocks in rushing, waist-deep water. I did not understand where I was. A field of rocks had risen out of the ocean, quite far from shore, at a break I thought I knew. In a lifetime of surfing, I had never seen anything like this. The wave mutated into a hideous, boiling, two-story wall of white water, almost without breaking. It had run out of water to draw from. I had a moment in which to decide what to do before it hit me. I picked a fissure in the wall and threw myself up and into it. The vague hope was that if I wriggled in deep enough the white water might swallow me rather than simply smash me to pieces on the rocks. Something like that occurred apparently. My feet were sliced up from the leap but I did not hit the bottom as I rag-dolled shoreward in the bowels of the wave, and when I next surfaced I was in deep water, in the channel East of Pequena, safe.”

William Finnegan
Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life

“Hawaiʻians have often struggled to maintain the spirit of aloha, ‘the face of breath’, from the ancient greeting of inclining close in greeting and sharing the air. That is the most famous part of their culture and mainlanders have come to expect that of them. But Hawaiʻians have another important concept, Ho’oponopono, ‘reconciling’, the making right of a bad situation. In the ancient days there were ceremonies to achieve it, to cleanse the minds of anger or selfishness and to come together earnestly and in good faith, to rectify and satisfy. Hawaiʻi deserves to have it made right.”

James L. Haley
Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii

“But Hawaiʻi's social ills, poverty that is demonstrably an after affect — still — of the Māhele more than a century and a half ago, youth crime and disaffection that come of having one's cultural heritage ripped apart and never mended, the restoration of native identity and the just desire for the return of some amount of autonomy which for decades was never accorded a status equal to that even of American Indians, the natural environment that was nearly obliterated in the worship of sugar, and more, need to be not just addressed but comprehensively, meaningfully, and probably expensively, addressed. But they are not addressed by nostalgia for the chiefly days. People who espouse reincarnation always fancy themselves to have been Henry VIII or Marie Antoinette. No one channels his past to some humble, downtrodden, medieval plowman. In old Hawaiʻi, 999 people in 1,000 were kanakas, digging taro, netting fish, trying to hide their one pig from the chief steward, being throttled on an altar if their shadow crossed an aliʻi. Modern cultural sensitivity obscures an important fact: Hawaiʻi never was a paradise.”

James L. Haley
Captive Paradise: A History of Hawaii