For over twenty years this right here has been the core of our long conversations, the roots of our committed friendship; Nā Wai ‘Ehā, the Sovereign Nation, how to mobilize our peers, and how to educate people, especially the detractors. Now, to see this image, to see how far we have evolved as individuals, to see how far the movement has evolved! To be celebrating Lā Ho‘i Ho‘i Ea today in the wake of witnessing 20 arrests of our brothers and sisters who put their bodies on the line for aloha ‘āina, the first action of its kind on Maui in our lifetimes and there we are! Here we are! In the middle of the dream we've been dreaming for decades! Dreamtime manifest!
Here you are in your strength, maka ‘ala, protecting everyone, protecting me. Like you've always done. While proudly escorting me to big offices with big wigs in Honolulu who were asking my 24-year old self to run for office. Keeping a straight face when I make clear to them that I'll run, so long as they know that the State of Hawai‘i is illegitimate and if elected I will not cease advocating for sovereignty. When people come up to ask you about "that crazy anarchist chick" and your response was "Yeah, she's my best friend and you can't handle her." The biathlon, the adventures, the critics, and on, and on.
For much of our adult lives, we bobbed and weaved in and out of one another's lives like a frustratingly cliché romantic comedy. Different schools, different continents, different people, different places. We literally weathered 100-year storms in foreign lands together, laughing all the while, and still somehow managed not to take the universal romantic hint. The audience surely thought us both the fool.
So, about this picture. It's just perfect. Yeah, we aren't dolled up for camera. Yeah we aren't in dramatic embrace lovingly gazing into one another's eyes. Sure, I see imperfections in myself like most any female human would when a high flash image isn't doctored with some forgiving filter. But it's real. It. Is. So. Real. It's us. Unfiltered. And that is what makes it so amazing. It's who we have wanted to become since small kid time and look! there we are, actualizing all the daydreams of a lifetime. All of them. All the alls.
With profound mutual respect, vigilance, time, consistency, true compassion, patience, a sprinkle of activism, a dash of jumping cliff, (that you've bulked up handsomely from our gangly high school days surely helps), kindness, honesty, honesty, honesty, genuine unconditional love--selfless love without conditions because all you want to see is your best friend happy--with all that, I must say that dreams really do come true.
Standing in love and in solidarity for aloha ‘āina with you, Kainoa is that dream. The dream we've been dreaming. At last. Cheeeeeeehooo! ❤
Photo Credit: Bryan Berkowitz