“Where the world comes together in a cup”

“Jazz to me is a living music. It’s a music that since its beginning has expressed the feelings, the dreams, hopes, of the people”

Dexter Gordon

Sometimes you just have to ask yourself: how did this happen??

Well, sit back and I’ll tell you.

It started with a cup of coffee. A cup of coffee and the phrase “where the world comes together in a cup”. Thank you Honolulu Cafe for foreshadowing the events to come.

My ears began to twitch when I heard smooth licks coming from the plaza. Smiling spirits of past jazz greats joined me under Honolulu‘s high noon sun. Scales as words, a local guitar duo began their story.

Let me introduce Mike Barques (Jazz Monsters, Latin Jazz Combo) and Nando Suan. Both are a part of a local Guitar Institute/Music Shop known as Harry’s Music. They began teaching jazz music when it wasn’t even on the island.

“I play jazz. I come from a family of musicians and studied with Wes Montgomery,” replied Nando when asked of his musical background.

Hawaiian music is the best in the world. But we’ve devoted our lives to jazz so we play jazz.” Mike spoke of the Hawaiian music scene. “We do this for love.”

And you will love them. They play in the plaza outside of the Makai Tower at least once a month. Go there. Have a bite to eat on your lunch break and let their music tell stories of the Roaring 20’s. Of flapper dresses and bob haircuts. Of an age where anyone’s dreams could come true.

If they had the guts to chase them.

After our brief interview, I walked away with a spring in my step. Three guys, distanced by several generations and until recently, an ocean, had just been brought together over, or perhaps in, a cup.

A cup of coffee and a shared love. I knew I would be back to listen to them again, I just didn’t know when.

Mike would have a better idea though. The next day I got a call inviting me to listen to him play with a full band at a place called Indigo . . .

But that’s another story.

The Way of Tao

Yin and yang blue

Image via Wikipedia

“The tao that can be told
is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named
is not the eternal Name.”

-Lao-Tzu

To reflect on Taoism, I thought it would be fitting to return to the beginning. In the beginning, we learn that Tao called Tao, is not Tao. It seems this is the case because the Tao is everything, so any one thing that is called Tao could only be a part of Tao. This makes sense because Tao isn’t a point or destination, but the way.

Moving further along the way, we learn that names can name no lasting name. I like this because it hints at the potential for continued growth. A baby is born, becomes a child, then an adolescent, an adult, and finally an elder. Context changes the name.

Nameless: The origin of Heaven and Earth. This context reveals what I believe to be the original yin yang. It existed before naming. Through naming: the mother of ten thousand things, we distance ourselves from Heaven and Earth, becoming ten thousand splinters of Heaven and earth—still part of the same whole, just with spaces between.

When we empty ourselves of desire, we perceive mystery because we have no desire to know. When we never know what to expect of these mysteries, we are kept in a state of ziran. When we are filled with desire, we perceive manifestations. Dynamic desires produce mysterious manifestations, also keeping us in a state of ziran. Perhaps this is why they are deep and again deep—our desires, or lack thereof, are the gateway to mystery. We always perceive, it is just a question of what we will perceive.

That we will never know.

By being in tune with nature, we all walk our own way. Each way is important because it returns ten thousand splinters to the wholeness of Heaven and Earth.

We are Tao.

Touchdown Honolulu, or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Da Kine

“Place inspires me to be.”

-Me

Here are some pictures to tide you over until I am back from vacation. That will be Sunday after I attend the birthday celebration for Queen Lili’uokalani. I have at least one interview and some locations to post. Until then, enjoy ;)

Landing in Honolulu

Light and Dark

Looking into the TRADEWINDs

The surf at Sandy Beach

Sunset viewed from the Windward side of the island

 

Brought to you by: The all-nighter

Oahu Island location

Image via Wikipedia

It’s 5am and I’m still working on this site. Lucky for me I have you guys around to give me something to do while not being able to sleep. My plane leaves at 4:40pm from the Louisville International Airport. Then I’ve got roughly 24 hours before landing on the island of Oahu.

I suppose it will be fitting if my all-nighter leaves me in a dreamlike state for the entirety of the flight. I will try to scribble down some in-flight musings to share with you when I land.

In the meantime I thought I would take this opportunity to give you some general updates. I will arrive in Honolulu around 1030am on August 31st. The first week there I am going to consider my vacation, so you might not hear from me. If that is the case I will try to unload a few entries on you when I come back to the computer.

TWG has been in the works for a little over a month now. While I haven’t been able to provide all of the content I would like, I think it will be for the better that I started getting everything worked out before my move. In theory I should be able to focus on content when I land, rather than the format and outline of my site.

Time for a confession. . . I created a twitter account for the site. This is a form of technology that I have been refusing to embrace but I thought I would give it a shot. For anyone that is interested in tweets carried by the WINDS: theTWgazette is where you will find them.

I think that is about everything. Start looking for “On Location” entries. A new landscape will provide a burst of inspiration for my writing. Haha, and every place I visit will be new and noteworthy.

Take care and I’ll see you in Hawaii!

Mappa mundi

I just figured out what I’m doing for the next 30 minutes. Follow the links at the end of the segment if you want to watch the entire video. Here is the link for the BBC website: The Beauty of Maps. Show some love and visit Brain Pickings for introducing me to the show.

National Geographic: A Star in the East?

They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him.”

Matthew 2:2 (CEB)

Click to Buy (Amazon.com)

Here it is, the moment for which I know you’ve all been waiting. It might not lead you to the Inn that let Mary and Joseph crash in a stable for the night, but anyone interested in religion should check this out.

The internationally renowned cartographers at National Geographic have created a companion guide to the Common English Bible. The guide accurately puts biblical events, well, on the map. 21 full color maps, to be exact.

The guide has several features that should keep you from getting lost on your biblical journey: a narrative describes what is being shown on each map and even highlights the chapters and verses that are being illustrated. If you’re still lost you can simply thumb to the guide’s index for help.

Or maybe you should contact Garmin.

Lost and Found: Is this your Atlantis?

Detail of Pillars of Hercules from TabulaPeuti...

Image via Wikipedia

“In those far-away days that Ocean could be navigated, as there was an island outside the channel which your countrymen tell me you call the ‘Pillars of Heracles.’ This island was larger than Libya and Asia together, and from it seafarers, in those times, could make their way to the others, and thence to the whole opposite continent, which encircles the true outer ocean.”

-Critias to Socrates

It seems a bit absurd to claim that Atlantis is “lost.” That doesn’t mean I believe I will sail to an Atlantean shore and sip rum on the beach, but I do mean there is a lot of evidence suggesting Atlantis did exist, and where it was located. (Atlantis.rar for all data used)

Mr. Blog’s Tepid Ride provides an entertaining and informative rundown on the history of Atlantis.

To the left you will see an old map of the Pillars of Heracles.  (the northern pillar is the Rock of Gibralter and the southern is either Monte Hacho or Jebel Musa) These used to mark the limit of the known world.

But slightly west of those pillars . . .

Let’s use Google Earth to look for something that would be larger than Libya and Asia put together. To get an idea of the supposed size of Atlantis, here is a map of the known world as drawn by the ancient Greek historian, Herodotus:

Note: Asia extends into what is modern day Pakistan and the southern extent of Libya is a little past the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula.

The world looks a little different in the map of Herodotus but it does create a better spatial scale. Now let’s use Google Earth to look at the ocean floor to the west of the Pillars of Heracles:

Imagine if the sea level were lower and the landmasses hadn't been exposed to thousands of years of erosion. Can you see what might look like another continent?

Here is that same image with an added polygon to demonstrate what that continent might have looked like:

If you are still skeptical, think of how this continent would fit into a supercontinent like Gondwana. Keep in mind, this image would likely exaggerate the size of the actual continent.

If this were to be the continent known as Atlantis, it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to accept the islands in the Caribbean as the islands to the west that made the Americas accessible to seafarers of that time. I will bring up one more feature that can be viewed in Google Earth that has recently caused a bit of controversy in online forums.   31°19’2.13″N  24°25’42.69″W contains markings that appear to be on the ocean floor. The markings look like they could be the remains of a city, and are also within the polygon of the supposed Atlantean continent. Here is an image:

Google claims these lines are caused by the ship's sonar when they scan the ocean floor. I just wonder why this would be the only spot on the ocean floor like this, and why the ship would travel on that course.