I grew up in Hawaii from the ages of 11 to 24. Now I’m a landlocked beach boy stuck in the middle of the United States. Today on a cold, rainy day here in St. Louis, I miss Hawaii even more than I normally do in the winter.
Today I went to the St. Louis Art Museum and saw the Atua: Sacred Gods of Polynesia exhibit. There were carved statues, ink drawings and totems from all over the Polynesian Triangle, which runs from New Zealand, to Rapa Nui (Easter Island), up to the northern tip of the triangle which stops at Hawaii.
The collection was amazing and I was able to share some Polynesian culture with my daughter. She feels a special connection with Hawaii even though she’s never been there. Her middle name is Kawai O’ka Lani, which means “Water from the heavens,” in Hawaiian and she’s obsessed with the ocean and shark attacks.
In Hawaii, Mano, is a shark and people often think of the shark as their aumakua or personal god. My very first tattoo was of a shark on my left shoulder and I felt like this tattoo would protect me when I was out bodyboarding or surfing. I usually would surf in the early morning, called “dawn patrolling,” or in the evening at sunset. I did this because there aren’t as many people out in the water at those times because most people believe that’s when sharks feed.
I have seen several sharks over the years, but I was never afraid of them because I felt like they were my auamkua. Even though I wasn’t Hawaiian, I felt like I had a special connection to sharks and was almost certain that I wouldn’t ever get bit. I always had an excited, electrified feeling every time that unmistakable fin would breech the water. I felt safe, but very aware that the Mano was present.
It’s hard to explain Atua or Aumakuas to someone not exposed to the Polynesian culture. But that’s what this exhibit was about, the connection that the Polynesians have to nature, their Atuas and their spiritually.
Here’s more on it from some of the artists: click here if you’re getting this in your inbox, otherwise see the video below.
I had this idea of a tribute poem to Von Dutch, Big Daddy Roth and Robert Williams in my head for over three years. They are the godfathers of hot rod culture. If it weren’t for them, there’s a good chance we wouldn’t have pinstripes, fiberglass cars and hot rod/ chopper shows on reality T.V.
I hope you enjoy it.
The person who uploaded called it Custom Culture, but it’s actually supposed to be called:
Kustom Kulture by Douglas Thomas Wallace: http://youtu.be/apvXTgpwQx8
I haven’t posted much since I’ve started my new job. In fact, it’s been five months since I’ve been able to sit down and write anything.
A couple of weeks ago I realized that we were halfway through the year and I haven’t accomplished most of my goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year with my New Year’s Resolution list. After I thought about this, I then wrote a post on Facebook that said, “We are halfway through the year. Make the rest count.”
The same day, I made a list of all the things I wanted to try to accomplish by the end of the year. Most of the things on the list were ideas or projects that I’ve had in my head for years and have never acted on.
The first project I wanted to finish was, a few years ago I wrote a poem about Robert Williams, Big Daddy Roth and Von Dutch. These men are the Godfathers of Hot Rod Culture. My idea was to take images of their art and lay down my poem on a track with their art popping up at different times during the poem as a tribute to them.
I had this idea for three years and finally took the steps this weekend to make it happen. I collected all the images I needed and then met with a video editing company. They should have the final product to me within a week.
This is just one of about ten projects that I want to finish by the end of the year. Others include: to continue to lose weight and eat healthier, learn to write graffiti letters and getting my book published—even if I have to do it myself.
There are several other personal goals like: staying out of debt, working on my relationship with my wife and friends and other art projects.
The bottom line is you can have a million good ideas, but if you don’t follow through, they are no good to anyone. You need to take action or these projects will be just another thing on you New Year’s Resolution list next year.
There is just less than six months until the end of the year. Why not start on your list now?
My purple plumeria unfolds
exposing her yellow center,
moisture drips down her petals
before she breaks free,
falling to the ground.
run through your
massaging your scalp
as they trickle down your cheek
and back up your jaw-line
leaving you feeling
like you’ve been sprinkled
with pixie dust.
Fingernails lightly caress your neck
and slide over the edge
of your shoulder
down your left arm
as goosebumps rise
like a million tiny suns,
a short sharp breath
followed by a sigh
leaves you melting
into the bed.
Spring rolls through and her warmth penetrates everything.
Summer is a hot-blooded lover that every man needs at least once in his lifetime.
Autumn is cool, calm and full of color.
But when icy winter rolls around, every man prays for spring.
These are two of my favorites.
When I first started dating my wife, there used to be a street performer named Baton Bob.
He was a bald black man who wore booty-shorts, usually with a matching vest, but sometimes shirtless. He usually had a top hat and almost always a baton.
Bob would march down the street in one of the busiest in St. Louis with his bedazzled outfit, spinning his baton and blowing a coaches whistle. Everyone’s head would turn.
He disappeared from St. Louis sometime ago. Now i know where he went.
I woke up for work an hour and thirty minutes before I had to leave today and was still thirty minutes late.
All I did was exercise for twenty-six minutes, then I marinated some chicken for a Hawaiian dish that I make about three times a year. I then took a shower and got ready to leave. As I was walking out the door, my daughter woke up, so I had to make her some chocolate milk and turn on the T.V. for her. I then kissed her goodbye.
More snow had fallen overnight, so I shoveled off the driveway so me and my wife could get in and out. Then people were driving especially slowly with all the snow on the ground…and the beat goes on.
I guess tomorrow I’ll need to get up two hours early