Maui’s Fish Hook

Sheraton Maui

Travel + Inspiration = Poetry

God arrives wearing tight black boots.

building churches that belie

the real gods the gods of the rain, wind and fire.

how can Jesus compete against Pele?

did he bring the fire?

just rules and approbation 

the Christian god is harsh, died so you could

shape up and follow new incomprehensible rules

he triumphs, 

as terrible as a capricious dictator

but old gods have seen it all before

the new rules fade

worn shoes un replaced

 

new worshipers

money & planes

bare hopes of attracting native gods to smile

 a few days 

before they crawl back into the gloom of 

heels, ties and socks

placating their personal savior

begging him to allow their return.

Anyone not read Hawaii by James Michener?  It’s one of his better efforts and yes, it starts with grains of sand and volcano eruptions. Based on the history of missionaries in Hawaii specifically,   I am fascinated by the unintended consequences of doing good. There is no doubt in my mind that the missionaries who were sent away from the crowded farm or the failed college experiment were sincere.  But I also suspect that those who traveled far from home in order to “enlighten” or “help” the natives, were not very enlightened themselves.

I appreciated the stories about the Viking settlers in Greenland who starved because they refused to eat the local (and abundant) fish because the fish wasn’t what they normally ate.  Or the British soldiers who fell dead of heat exhaustion because they were required to maintain and wear uniforms built from layers of wool,  practical in Northern England, deadly in South India.  

When you are right – and if you are spreading the awesome and correct word of god so you are right – everything you do must be right: Your food, your dress your architecture.  And you would rather die than adopt anything remotely local.  And you did. Die.

Begging the question, do you want to be right?  Or do you want to win.

Cue the Jesuits who did a much better job of the whole enterprise.

God arrives wearing tight black boots. building churches that belie the real gods the gods of the rain, wind and fire. how can Jesus compete against Pele? did he bring the fire? or just rules and approbation the Christian god is harsh, died so you could shape up and follow new incomprehensible rules he triumphs, as terrible as a capricious dictator but old gods have seen it all before the new rules fade worn shoes un replaced new worshipers money and planes bare hopes of attracting native gods to smile a few days before they crawl back into the gloom of heels, ties and socks placating their personal savior begging him to allow their return. Anyone not read Hawaii by James Michener? It’s one of his better efforts and yes, it starts with grains of sand and volcano eruptions. Based on the history of missionaries in Hawaii specifically, I am fascinated by the untended consequences of doing good. There is no doubt in my mind that the missionaries who were sent away from the crowded farm or the failed college experiment, were sincere. But I also suspect that those who traveled far from home in order to “enlighten” or “help” the natives, were not very enlightened themselves. I appreciated the stories about the Viking settlers in Greenland who starved because they refused to eat the local (and abundant) fish because the fish wasn’t what they normally ate. Or the British soldiers who fell dead of heat exhaustion because they were required to maintain and wear uniforms built from layers of wool, practical in Northern England, deadly in South India. When you are right – and if you are spreading the awesome and correct word of god so you are right – everything you do must be right: Your food, your dress your architecture. And you would rather die than adopt anything remotely local. And you did. Die. Begging the question, do you want to be right? Or do you want to win? Cue the Jesuits who did a much better job of the whole enterprise.

Published by catharinebramkamp

Catharine Bramkamp is a successful writing coach and author. She has published over 300 newspaper and magazine articles in publications like Modern Maturity (AARP), SF Chronicle and Santa Rosa Magazine. She was a contributor to two Chicken Soup Books and has published anthologies of her work, non-fiction works and novels. Her work has also appeared in a number of poetry and fiction anthologies. She has experimented with the self-publishing world since 2001. She has published and self-published seven books through companies like Author House, author assist companies like 3L Publishing and through traditional publishers like Write Life. Her poetry collection, Ammonia Sunrise, will be released in August 2011 by Finishing Line Press and her mystery novel, In Good Faith will be released by Write Life in 2011. Catharine holds a BA in English from UCSB and a MA in English from Sonoma State University. She is a 25 year member of California Writer’s Club. She is an adjunct professor for the University of Phoenix. She works with authors of both fiction and non-fiction to make their dream of producing a book come true. For more information on that, visit her at www.YourBookStartsHere.com Catharine has lived in Sonoma County for 25 years and considers wine a food group. She is married to an adorable and very patient man who complains he’s never featured in any of her books. Her grown children who are featured in a few of her books have fled the county.

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