Page 2 - MidWeek - May 10, 2023
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         2 MIDWEEK MAY 10, 2023
         over our azure skies recently. Thankfully, we
Getting rid of superfluous worn-out junk was pretty easy, and I’m relieved that it’s now all gone. But as hard as I tried to argue with myself that some things were necessary, useful or a bargain, I couldn’t
• Memories. It came from our wedding, my first job, our trip with the kids.
make are products of my life, and investing time in them is part of what has made me who I am. As I have created, so have I been shaped.
were assured that it did not pose a threat and was not being controlled by some prying, foreign po- tentate. Apparently, it was released from a baby lū‘au as the crowd sang, “Happy Birthday,” and the over- zealous birthday boy wailed away due to his sheer exhaustion, but that might be just a cable news rumor.
So how, exactly, do things “spark joy”? Looking around my piles, I began to count the ways:
• Gifts. My husband or my students gave it to me.
All 10 of the strategically placed, red-light traffic cameras are now operating on O‘ahu, so we don’t even have to wonder if Big Brother is watching — he set ‘em up! Hopefully, people will not only slow down but actually stop at that red thing (aka, a traffic light), as well as heed the yellow light rather than consider it a pedal-to-the-metal indicator.
It was the last that most surprised me: All that bak- ing, sewing, music-mak- ing, carpentry, gardening, jewelry-fixing, camping, glass-beading (and so on) paraphernalia. I know, I know. It’s a lot easier — and faster, cheaper, more efficient —tobuyadress,aheadof lettuce or a bookshelf, than to sew, grow or build them.
SPEED BUMP by Dave Coverly
I guess I’ll keep the “clut- ter.”
Sparking Joy
“Take each item in one’s hand and ask: ‘Does this spark joy?’ If it does, keep it. If not, dispose of it.” — Marie Kondo
   I ’ ve been on a clean-out- the-closets spree of late, chasing an ideal of a
get them to “spark joy.” Whatever the thing, it just sat there — necessary, perhaps, but unremarkable and emi- nently replaceable with any number of other versions of the same thing.
even just looking at it.
• Connections. It was my
  YTruth Or Err
et another balloon was sighted drifting gently
lean, efficient space, free of clutter and filled only with beautiful, useful things.
grandmother’s, my father built it, my child painted it.
• Sheer beauty of art/de- sign. I love using, wearing or
• Self-expression. I made it; I do that.
The things that clutter our home are not valuable, but they are echoes of people and events in our lives, symbols of who we are, how we live, and what we value.
with Ruth Bingham
 New Century Schoolbook bold (scaled H 73.6)
Does anyone locally get busted for texting and driv- ing or texting while walking through an intersection? Surely some people have been nabbed in the act. The penalty? Scofflaws are fined and their information is sent to Santa Claus at the North Pole; he then places their names on his “naughty list.” It’s true! It was al- legedly reported on a national cable news show.
If a thing is just a thing, and if all you want is the thing itself, then buying and toss- ing work just fine. But what sparks joy for me is what those things represent. All those inconsequential items I
Ruth Bingham is a musi- cologist by trade. She is bliss- fully retired from the Univer- sity of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and enjoys traveling, family and friends, pursuing hobbies, and writing.
Chasing The Light is pro- duced by Lynne Johnson and Robin Stephens Rohr.
COVID-19 has been moved to a mellower list of en- demic diseases as federal government restrictions are eliminated. Upon finding out, COVID-19 said, “Oh, yeah ... you just wait, I’m not done yet,” and threat- ened to mutate yet again. I wish this was funny, but as 18 million Americans continue to suffer with long COVID symptoms of some sort, the ripple effect of this disease is no joke. You can surely make your own COVID-related decisions for you and those around you, but recall the 1960s when many parents allowed their kids get chicken pox from the youngster down the street “to get it over with.” Decades later, chicken pox can lead to the lovely (not!) shingles viral infection, a nefarious byproduct. No joke, indeed.
The author learned that it’s not the actual items in her home that give her joy, but what they represent.
         And finally, the monk seal Kaiwi gave birth to her fifth pup at Kaimana Beach on April 14. By month’s end, junior will hele on. Kaiwi last gave birth to a pup here two years ago, and while thrilled with that birth, she admits to the difficulties of raising kids now- adays, saying this about her now 2-year-old son: “... he never calls, never writes; he doesn’t even Zoom!” Well, that’s what they told me on a national cable news network.
             Think about it.

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