Paddy thinks I exaggerated about his driving. Nynke says the shark cave wasn’t that scary and doesn’t remember the Kalaupapa trail as strenuous, and Bill mentioned that clouds of gnats do show up every few years on Molokai.
I drive like a gawking tourist all the time, am unnecessarily nervous and have little patience for bugs of any kind. I hollered like a girl last night and slept with the lights on just because a giant centipede cruised through where I was painting. I like to rant, but the warm fuzzy moments I leave out are not a measure of ingratitude; I thank my lucky stars every day.
People who are fearless don’t even know what they do is extraordinary. How could they? I extol their virtues and report my foibles hoping to encourage trepidatious people like myself to do things regardless. I tire too easily and imagine real pain when face to face with life threatening carnivores, just like normal people.
Sadly, taking risks has not diminished my fear. "Do what you fear the most and the fear will go away" is crap, in my opinion, from my average perspective. When I push myself to my physical limit it doesn’t even nick the surface of human accomplishment. I walked to Kalaupapa and back, ran out of breath and got sore. The next day I flew to Honolulu to take photos for a friend of the elegant homes he designs. He had recently run a hundred mile marathon across Tibet, completing his goal of a marathon on every continent. He ran one hundred miles over steep jagged mountains at high elevation in five days and he wasn’t sore. I still managed to complain though.
Bill, thanks for letting me know about previous gnat blooms, I'll call in the future and plan to avoid them. Nynke, I have no doubt you could proximity fly off backside Molokai in a wing suit and run up the Kalaupapa trail without breaking a sweat. Paddy, you drive like the four time Purple Heart fighter pilot you are, so I'll stand by that story.
This week friend’s helped me hang five new paintings of native Hawaiian animals at the Ho’olehua Airport (thanks Mikal, Ian and Wade). The Catholic Church bought four paintings of St. Damien (thanks Bill and Dottie for delivering them) and I sat on a cliff with a friend on a remote stretch of the coast and took pictures of sea turtles. It’s been a good week.