Why Hawaii Means AAAH
(written the day before the tsunami scare)
To all you urban dwellers—let alone northeast urban dwellers: why, at this time of year, when people say ”I’m going to Hawaii” do you all think “AAH! If only…?”
I’m on a plane back from Hawaii and I think I know something now that I’d like to share.
“AAH” isn’t about the weather- (although that helps). It’s about being able to see the horizon…
Just think. In our urban environment, what we look at daily is verticality. Our urban landscape is in a continuous active battle —with gravity. What we see is an energized landscape, forever fighting to stay upright. Sure, we don’t think about it consciously. That’s for the architects and contractors and city overseers to worry about. But implicit in what we look at every day is a death-defying fight. We accept it but it affects us deeply, since we too are fighting that same overwhelming force daily, throughout our lives. So we’re not only doing it, we’re surrounded by it. And we’re doing it in throngs — people and buildings.—full to bursting with it. How exhausting!
Now —Hawaii. What does one see there? Not only spaces where the world is at rest. But no one and nothing is fighting anything. The landscape and the ocean are simply there. And the horizon? It lays there- peacefully, simply marking the end of the sea we can see. It’s horizontal—far off but so definite and reassuring. It’s just laying there, giving us the gift of the ocean and its waves. Letting them roll onto the shore. Letting us experience its power, but so gently. And – no effort. The moon does it all. No work, no struggle. Just rhythmic. Even. Regular. Dependable.
What great words to say to any city dweller. Contrast our lives with those words. That landscape. All you need to do in Hawaii is sit. Watch. And breathe… There’s the AAH.