Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Love Research!

I know. I'm a nerd. I love research. I can't help it. I open a big fat history book and can't wait to unearth the gems hiding within the pages of mud. Sorry, writers of history books, but many paragraphs of your scholarship are tough to slog through. Yet, there are amazing facts that jump out and make the slogging worthwhile.

I know. I'm a nerd.

Here's a great example. In preparation for my next book of historical fiction, I've read books on Hawaii's trees and shrubs, the history of the Kamehameha kings, the life of Father Damien, the gods of ancient Hawaii, to name a few. Now, don't get me wrong they were all necessary for background, and were mostly interesting, but once in a while I found myself nodding. Then--a gem! And, not just a portion of this book was a gem, but the entire book. The Sayings of Hawaii. I know, you're probably rolling your eyes, but let me give you some examples and see if you can feel the heart of the Hawaiian culture in the words. Wonderful words!

Ua hilo 'ai i ke aho a ke aloha. Braided with the cords of love or you are held in the bond of affection.

Ua mau ke ea o ka 'aina i kapono. The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness.

Ha 'ule no i kana 'auwaha i 'eli ai. Fell into the ditch that he himself dug. (caught in his own trap)

O na hoku na kiu o ka lani. The stars are the spies of heaven. (The stars look down on everyone and everything)

E lei kau, e lei ho'oilo i ke aloha. Love is worn like a wreath through the summers and the winters. (love is everlasting)

See, being a research nerd has its rewards. Aloha!

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