an archipelago of thoughts


I am writing this to you on the thinnest, most tenuous internet signal I’ve used in ten years – some ancient router an acre away through a rainforest just off the face of the Kilauea Caldera volcano, in a rental unit hidden behind dark trees on an unlit street off an unlit highway.

If you’re used to traveling vast distances, you forget how small Hawaii’s islands really are, even the Big one. We landed in Hilo a few hours ago, and it seemed like we were the only ones here, taking a rental car to Volcano Village, where nobody seemed to be awake (at 8:30pm), with our car providing the only light.

I’m not complaining at all; I love it, especially given the egregious light pollution of Los Angeles and New York. Even up in Columbia County, the Milky Way is brilliant, but there’s the glow of Albany far off on the horizon. Not here. Black, and almost silent save for the rain tapping on the huge, waxen leaves.

It’s so rare that you feel utterly in the middle of nowhere, truly in a corner of the globe that seems the most random point from your usual haunt. I’ve had many of them when single, a few with Tessa, but this is the first real “where could we possibly be” moment with Lucy, who didn’t bat an eyelid when we couldn’t find the place, and had to warm up by a “fire” with “animated flames” at a “bed & breakfast” that threatened to have neither.


‘Twas all I could do to upload this meager representation of a caldera – those of you asking for pictures will get more than you bargained for, come Monday. In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend and a hui hou, aloha nui loa!

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