Pahoa is an interesting little town. It reminds me vaguely of Santa Cruz, CA in that it’s populated by hippies, and outsiders. Well, maybe it’s more reminiscent of how Santa Cruz used to be, before the Techie industry claimed in for their own.
When I first ventured out into central Pahoa in early July, I was dismayed by the two block span of the town. I received many dirty looks from locals. I didn’t appreciate the vibe here, or the people.
Things have shifted for me. I’m finding that most residents are kind when I am. I especially noted this when I dropped my expectations of how I felt I should be treated.
Okay, there was one guy downtown who was too friendly. I think he was on drugs. He told me that he spends 90 percent of his time on fishing boats. Then he asked if I wanted to hook up later that evening. It was during the day when this happened, so I didn’t feel threatened. I must admit that I did feel grossed out.
Expectations are interesting. They can be problematic. I’ve noticed that when I’m occasionally able to drop them, I am surprised. When I hold onto them, and to my expectations of how I want things to work, I’m generally disappointed.
It’s my last week here and I want to see some of the sights that I’ve missed. I feel a renewed sense of excitement about being here. For the most part, I don’t care how I’m dealt with.
Today I walked into a store that I had not noticed before. The man at the register was speaking to his wife, and he had a fairly strong accent. I asked him if he was from Israel, and was correct in my assumption.
His wife was very kind. Ellie. Lived in Israel for four years. She told me she is Japanese by birth, and that the aggressive nature of the Israeli’s was difficult for her to take. She’d come home crying most days while living there.
She had an interesting perspective on Israel. She told me that you could feel the holiness of the place. She’s not Jewish, but reported this as being very tangible. She also said that the Israelis have to be tough, as they have to be diligent about protecting themselves. I know this won’t be popular for my readers, but she added that she believes the Israelis are protecting the world.
I’ve never been to Israel, but I do plan on going sometime in the next few years. I’m sure it will be everything but boring. My expectations will play into my experience of it’s inhabitants, I’m sure. Maybe, as in Hawaii, I will find it possible to release them. If I can do this I imagine that the experience there will be richer. That I will get a more honest view into the Israeli people.
It’s not so important where I visit next in this world. I’m more interested in my expectations and how they affect my view of people, and of places. Sometimes I see what I expect to see, and when I let go am able to see life and people as they really are.
Every time I write, I am working out thoughts and notions swimming around in my own head. I do hope that others find my work interesting, but that is not my sole purpose in writing. It’s more to remind myself of things that I already know to be true, that somehow I’ve forgotten. Isn’t it funny how much each of us truly knows at our depths, and how easily that knowing is forgotten?
Perhaps that could be a compelling topic to write about. Another subject for me to dig into. I think my writing will be successful if I can continue to retrieve those memories that are with me, but seem to be lost. So many caved in dark secret places to discover. And they are all within ourselves.