Welcome to Namakani. Thanks for dropping in.
Namakani means - among other definitions - "the winds" in the Hawaiian language. This site features stories and other compositions by Al Arney.
Allow me to introduce myself. I was extremely lucky to to grow up in Honolulu, Hawai'i, as our family moved there in 1963. Hawai'i had become the 50th state of the United States in 1959, and was just starting to experience tremendous social changes that continue to this day. We came from north Minnesota, and were part of a wave of American immigrants / carpetbaggers that arrived in unexpected and overwhelming numbers. I had experiences that were both exhilarating and devastating, and I have wanted for years to share those by writing about them.
It is now 2016 - fifty three years later. It has been a long time, but I'm finally starting to get these out in a public format, thanks to extreme good luck and the grace of God.
Some stories just have to be told.
INIKI was the name of a hurricane that hit the Hawaiian islands in September, 1992. I was near the summit of Mt. Haleakala, on Maui, when it struck. Even though the storm did not hit Maui directly, the winds in the upper elevations were enough to fling me through the air, and chill me to the bone. I consider it a miracle that I survived, and you can see why here. Hawaiian words will show up, like Iniki, Haleakala, Maui, and more. If you aren't familiar with Hawaiian words, don't worry. They will be explained in due time.
POLAWA is not a Hawaiian word, as far as I know. It stands for: Police Officers Lopes, Aina, Wingo, and Akagi, and is an account of my personal experience of police misconduct. From an initial physical assault, through the courts, to a settlement out of Court, we follow various steps in pursuit of justice. This is intended as a report only - all litigation in the matter is over and done with, and I believe that you can fact check my version in the public record.
It is a personal report, though. To say that it is "fair and balanced" would imply that I write from the perspective of some omniscient "objective" reality. Polawa is as true as you are going to get - it is the truth as I experienced it. You will see resentment in just about every paragraph, and that resentment is lasting and true, it's not going away. Believe me, though, I cleaned it up a lot. There are many terms I could have used to characterize the officers, but I've tried to stick with "criminals." They probably won't like this. Hard luck … they should have considered that before they decided to commit criminal acts.
I sat on a wall with my hands in my lap and let these officers punch my head until one of them knocked me unconscious. Then they used their positions as officers to bring false charges against me and try to give me a criminal record. That's their half.
I fight back with these words. There's your fair and balanced.
The first part of Polawa is as I first wrote it in 2002. It is a document of its time, in several ways. In 1996, when the assault took place, police were already changing from friendly neighborhood cops to armed squads. The Honolulu station had been a former Sears building, and was replaced by an ultra secure fortress. I was still expecting Honolulu Police officers to bring calm, and try to defuse situations, rather than exacerbate them.
By 2002 I had spent years clawing my way up from injuries, financial ruin, and struggling through the legal system. They were stressful and traumatic years, and I don't care to revisit them. Some re-writing is appropriate, and I'll get to that in the second half - after a brief intermission - but please take the first three sections as they are. They are true to what actually happened, and how I felt about it. You will see me interrupting my adversaries constantly, as I pick apart their stories, and see resentment on every page. Sorry about that, sort of. One of the points I'm trying to make in Polawa is that certain police officers and policies create lasting resentment from all of their victims, and that resentment lingers, and extends to all police officers. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction.
TIM / MILKY WAY / DEPTH OF FIELD is a celebration of and memorial for my brother, Tim Arney, and a celebration of our place in the universe by way of looking at the "whole sky" view of the Milky Way. These two concepts weren't originally supposed to be together, but have been united by time and circumstances. Tim was a passionate artist, and few things could excite him more than discovering a new point of view, or finding a way to share a new perspective. To me, the best sight we have from planet Earth is of the galaxy we are part of, and Tim agreed, when he was able to see it. (He lived most of his life in Alaska, which is so far North that the galactic center isn't really visible)
Anyway, the Milky Way Observance should have been presented while he was still living, and dedicated to him, but since he's died, it's become part of his memorial.
This is an attempt to get as many humans as possible outside at night, to a place where they can see and appreciate the tremendous panorama that we live in. This used to be our birthright, but so many people live in cities nowadays that they are lucky to see any stars at all, let alone get a perspective on our galaxy. You are NOT going to get that perspective here or on any screen - you will probably have to work a bit, and get to a place where you can see the sky from horizon to horizon.
Once again, welcome to Namakani. This is just the beginning. Hopefully, there will be much more added in a few months, so stay tuned. So far, all text and images are by Al Arney, except for:
The beautiful Milky Way Panorama, by and courtesy of Axel Mellinger.
The Joy Today - an original poem by Tim Arney, and the accompanying photo of him by Liz
The memorial essay by Tim's "old friend" Barbara.
Otherwise it's just Al.
NOT in Namakani:
Cookies (at least not authorized by me)
Narcissistic fluff (well, you could consider the whole thing my narcissistic fluff, but we don't need to go there…)
Blogs (Sorry, I'd love to have some conversations going, but I'll be lucky to
finish what's already pending before I get old and decrepit)
Content and opinions mandated by corporate owners of the media