Lehua's Refuge

Current Events

Green Goddess
Mom & Kev enjoy Lehua's green hair

Green hair for Christmas

Thoughts on Politics
Under Republicans, man exploits man.
Under Democrats, it's just the opposite.
  --- bumper sticker seen in Santa Cruz, 2/18/97

Thoughts on Religion

"I am sorry, because if he had stayed I might have converted him," said the knight-errant.

"Much better whack him," Sancho advised.

  --- The Adventures of Don Quixote de la Mancha,
      Miguel de Cervantes

In this issue:
Current Status
Back Issues
Current Favorite Sites
The Lehua FAQ


A very dear friend remarked that we were providing each other with a refuge, in which we needn't discuss nor even hear about governmental sex lives.

This provoked me to finally express my feelings about the inner lives of unattracive strangers:

I got really sick of sleazy people and their sleazy doings some time ago.  I can't remember exactly where it began.  Possibly Diana's & Charles' marital affairs, or the Bobbits, or the Buttafucos, and it has continued with Marv, the Simpsons, etc.  I read newspapers -- barring the business section -- every 3 or 4 weeks, sometimes less than that.  In the doctor's waiting room, I avidly read Time's science section.  Those times when I do read the paper, I'm always sorry.  Little good goes on in this world, to judge by the media's accounts.

I'm someone who can tell you the scientific name and country of origin of cape honeysuckle, and the different things it can mean if your cat sneezes, and how to change a watercolor pigment-mix from celery to celadon, and all the different gene mutations that are known so far to promote cancer, and how to pick a perfect avocado, and how to make a killer teriyaki sauce.

I'm someone who can't remember the name of Clinton's new puppy, who is contentedly unclear on Diana's (or anyone else's) position in the peerage, and who probably spells Buttafuco incorrectly.

Alice Walker (Color Purple) struck a chord with me in an interview, saying in effect that there's a spiritual counterpart of "we are what we eat" -- i.e., we are what we experience and think about and allow into our heads.  I felt like cheering.  At last, someone who believes as I do, and could say it clearly.

I truly believe, as she does, that this type of wallowing pollutes us, weakens us, and lessens us.  Like working in a "sick building", with toxins in the air.

I think that we all have an obligation to know what's going on, including the evils afoot.  If you don't know about the enslavement of Korean women in WWII, you need to find out.  If you don't know about racial discrimination re househunting, you need to find out.  If you don't know about Wounded Knee, you need to find out.  I am conscientious and serious about that.

But... but:  having found out, I refuse to wallow.  I could watch all the awful movies about all the awful injustices.  Or, I could do as I did, and spend years and years of my life on the streets, encouraging recovering addicts who are fighting the urge, showing addicts' children a better life, buying job-interview clothes for homeless mothers, ...... I did this until I became too sick to do it anymore.  I still do as much as I can.  But wallow?  No, I refuse.  Having learned about the injustices, it will profit neither me nor my community to watch injustice movies over and over, and wallow in injustice news on TV.

The same position applies to sleaze.  Having found out that infidelity exists (and murder, and wife-beating, and every other sorry act), and having studied to some extent the causes, I know all I want to know until someone finds out something new (like a cure).  Where I can help (assisting battered-wife shelters, etc.), I do.  Where there is nothing I can do to help, where I have nothing to contribute, I close the door until such time as I can.  What I won't do is writhe in ceremonial agony day after day, depleting my energy, and my psyche.  This would seriously interfere with those things I CAN (and do) do.

In heaven's Answer Room, I'll find out whether this was the right decision.  Until then, I'll assume that the gateguards there will be glad that I collaborated with my niecelet to sew her a school outfit, rather than taking that time away from her to tisk ineffectually at a bunch of gormless strangers.

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Back Issues of
Letters to the World

Note:  Letters highlighted in heather are those that might be of interest to anyone facing chemotherapy, radiation, or mastectomy.

5/19/95, First Surgery In the beginning...
5/24/95, First Cancer Verdict Uh-oh!
5/26/95, By Their Lymph Shall Ye Know Them Lymph dissection surgery; Malia's cello.
6/1/95, Bone scan Half a lizard; Lou's reply; reply to team.
6/6/95, Pride Goeth Before a Fall Hello, chemo.
10/27/95, Mid-chemo Chemo ailments; recalling May's discovery.
11/95, Tales of Hawai'i My pilgrimage to my homeland:
  1. Arrival: Fragrance; the right stuff; gardening in lava.
  2. Flaming Mame & Veranda Life.
  3. Madame Pele.
  4. Mele o Hawai'i (Our Music).
  5. Family, Blood & Hanai -- and My Mother's Death.

2/2/96, The Varian Monster Percussion's portability, and the joys of radiation -- See a photo of Lehua in the roasting pan.

2/25/96, Radiation Burns Radiation burns; believing I was nearing the end.
3/26/96, Autumn Leaves & Walnuts Clearing up my late mother's belongings.
4/12/96, Rip Van Winkle Returning to work; carpal tunnel surgery.

4/16/96, Adventure in Bonny Doon Spring flowers; siphoning gas.

6/8/96, Unwanted Champagne Recurrence -- It's ba-a-a-ack.
6/26/96, Why Vacation; Why Tom Includes photos of Tom.
7/16/96, Cancún & Cozumel Tales of the Yucatan; guppies' grandchildren.
7/23/96, No Singing This Time Top 10-plus reasons to jettison your hooters; preparing for mastectomy.
8/6/96, Art Therapy for Surgeons The mastectomy; intravenous chocolate; escape.
8/15/96, Purple Hair Recovering from mastectomy; the dratted drains; easy-open cookies.
9/22/96, Horse Needles Continuing mastectomy recovery, preparing for 7th surgery, Kevin's nik-niks.
9/29/96, Blue Faces A review of Braveheart; after the final (?) surgery.  [It wasn't.]

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Current Favorite Sites

What's amusing me or enchanting me lately?  Check out links to my current favorite sites.

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The Lehua FAQ
Any question I've been asked more than 10 times
can be found on this page

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Updated 19-Jul-2006