Saturday, July 20, 2024

Summer days

You are so much sunshine in every square inch.

~Walt Whitman

Oahu, Hawaii
photo: bruce behnke

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

why we are happy

A recent article on CNBC's website listed Honolulu and Pearl City in the top ten happiest cities in the United States.  The reasons cited included factors such as health status, employment, etc.  But, reflecting on my own community, Pearl City, I believe a community's happiness is more related to the values of its people.

In 1986, the State of Hawaii formalized its values in state statutes:

"Aloha Spirit" is the coordination of mind and heart within each person.  It brings each person to the self.  Each person must think and emote good feelings to others.  In the contemplation and presence of the life force, "Aloha", the following unuhi laula loa may be used:

     "Akahai", meaning kindness to be expressed with tenderness;

     "Lokahi", meaning unity, to be expressed with harmony;

     "Oluolu", meaning agreeable, to be expressed with pleasantness;

     "Haahaa", meaning humility, to be expressed with modesty;

     "Ahonui", meaning patience, to be expressed with perseverance.

     "These are traits of character that express the charm, warmth and sincerity of Hawaii's people.  It was the working philosophy of native Hawaiians and was presented as a gift to the people of Hawaii.  "Aloha" is more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation.  "Aloha" means mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return.  "Aloha" is the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence.  "Aloha" means to hear what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable."

I believe these values are well embraced in our community and bear a stronger relationship with our happiness than most other variables.

photo: Pearl Harbor from Pearl City bicycle trail.

(c) bruce behnke

Monday, February 26, 2024

Spring is for everyone


in my province
grass blooms too...
cherry blossoms


~Kobayashi Issa

Kobayashi Issa was a poet and a Buddhist Jodoshinshu priest living and writing in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  This is one of Issa’s cherry blossom haiku with a hint of satire and social commentary. In it, the sakura stands for rich nobles, while the grass represents ordinary people.

photo: bruce behnke

Saturday, February 10, 2024

my teacher

Study water flows in a valley stream,

 smoothly and freely between the rocks. 

Everything - 

even mountains, rivers, plants and trees - 

should be your teacher.

~Morihei Ueshiba  植芝 盛平

(founder of Aikido)

photo: bruce behnke

Thursday, December 21, 2023

winter solstice


Today, the shortest day of the year, marks the end of autumn and the beginning of winter.

With all the warm weather and fall leaves images of Japan I've been posting I needed to rely on this wonderful woodblock print to remind me of the months ahead.

Kazuyki Ohtsu ‘Sudden Snow’ Woodblock print

Japan, 1954

Thursday, December 14, 2023

an even later autumn in Japan 三溪園


despite a little rain, autumn lingers a little longer in Japan

三溪園Sankeien Garden, Yokohama, Japan

December, 2023

photos: bruce behnke 2023

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Yokohama Christmas

Yokohama Japan December 12, 2023

photos: bruce behnke