Thursday, September 3, 2009


Ka’u is a dream, a memory, an intuition, an emptiness, a home. Ka’u is that rarest of things: a living place, a place where each person is part of the story, in which there is no movement which is not significant, no action that is not felt. Ka’u is a cradle of stories, a web of memories.

Ka’u is a failure, a loss, a place where people are poor, conditions have always been difficult. Ka’u is backwards, behind the times. Ka’u is intransigent. This is both a blessing and a weakness.

Ka’u is a geography of meaning. The names of places have dignity and are spoken of with fondness and reverence, as if they were people, very old and embattled by the winds of time.

Ka’u is a pebble of old memories stubbornly living on amidst the plastic glamour of the First World. Ka’u has roots in the forest.

Ka’u is the cradle of stories.

Once upon a time at the beach at Waikapuna lived a young girl. She lived in a rock-walled, thatched house with pebbles for a floor. Each pebble had been sought, picked up, and carried into the house. She ate fish and seaweed. She slept on woven mats on the floor. One night a man came to her as she slept and made love to her in the night, and left before light. He came to her for many nights. And very soon she was with child. The child she bore had green skin, and when in the sea he turned into a shark. The shark protected her and all her family. He was immortal and did not die even after she had died and all of her family had died or moved away. Under the waves of Waikapuna, a shark. As surely as men make love to women and as the sea is dark and seductive, stories are born here along with the children.

1 comment:

Haole Wolf said...

This spare piece of writing is so emotionally complex that it leaves me breathless. The tale of tales, the birth of fables, legends, archetypes, myths, dreams -- beyond sadness and happiness.

Each word is hypnotically perfect, both drained of meaning and filled with a dusty, crazy logic of loss and love.