Fern Growing in Lava  [Flickr page]
We who breathe air now will join the already dead layers of us who breathed air once. We arise from dirt and dwindle to dirt, and the might of the universe is arrayed against us.
—Annie Dillard, For the Time Being
One Ali‘i Beach County Park, Molokai  [Flickr page]
Happy the man, and he alone,
  He, who can call to-day his own;
  He who, secure within, can say,
“To-morrow do thy worst, for I have lived today:
  Be fair, or foul, or rain, or shine,
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine;
  Not heaven itself upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour.”
—Horace (c. 65 BC), tr. by John Dryden
North Molokai Shoreline Near Kalawao  [Flickr page]
They came like lambs, speaking softly. Well might they speak softly, for we were many and strong, and all the islands were ours. As I say, they spoke softly. They were of two kinds. The one kind asked our permission, our gracious permission, to preach to us the word of God. The other kind asked our permission, our gracious permission, to trade with us. That was the beginning. Today all the islands are theirs, all the land, all the cattle—everything is theirs.
—Jack London, “Koolau the Leper”
Hikiau Heiau at Kealakekua Bay  [Flickr page]
Whatever can be threatened, whatever can be shaken, whatever you fear cannot stand, is destined to crash. Do not go down with the ship. Let that which is destined to become the past slip away. Believe that the real you is that which beckons from the future.
—Robert M. Price, The Reason-Driven Life
Gold Fern in Lava  [Flickr page]
Who is there, my friend, [who] can climb to the sky?
  Only the gods [dwell] forever in sunlight.
As for man, his days are numbered,
  whatever he may do, it is but wind.
—The Epic of Gilgamesh
Upcountry Maui  [Flickr page]
[G]rass is the master of the planet, because it has employed us as its slave. We plant it, in the form of wheat and rice, where once forests stood. We tend it and loyally fight its enemies.
—Matt Ridley, The Origins of Virtue
Molokai Pali  [Flickr page]
You are here because this is a beautiful place. The water is pretty. There are good things to eat here. The Pirahãs are nice people.
—People of the Pirahã tribe to the then-Christian missionary Daniel Everett,
in Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes: Life and Language in the Amazonian Jungle
Leaf with Holes and a Neighbor  [Flickr page]
We are terrified of future catastrophes and are thrown into a continuous state of misery and anxiety, and for fear of becoming miserable, we never cease to be so, always panting for riches and never giving our souls or our bodies a moment’s peace. But those who are content with little live day by day and treat any day like a feast day.
—Poggio Bracciolini, letter to Niccolò de’ Niccoli, May 18, 1416.
Quoted in Stephen Greenblatt, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern.
Olowalu Petroglyphs on Maui, Hawaii  [Flickr page]
Imagine a dinner table set for a thousand guests, in which each man is sitting between his own father and his own son. At one end of the table might be a French Nobel laureate in a white tie and tails, and with the Legion of Honor on his breast, and at the other end a Cro-Magnon man dressed in animal skins and with a necklace of cave-bear teeth. Yet each one would be able to converse with his neighbors on his left and right, who would either be his father or his son.
—Björn Kurtén, quoted by Brian Fagan in
Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans
Life in Lava: ʻŌhiʻa Tree Leaves  [Flickr page]
Our life is a faint tracing on the surface of mystery.
—Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Araucaria columnaris (or A. heterophylla)  [Flickr page]
[Not] by the longest life we can attain,
One moment from the length of death we gain;
For all behind belongs to his eternal reign.
When once the fates have cut the mortal thread,
The man as much to all intents is dead,
Who dies to-day, and will as long be so,
As he who died a thousand years ago.
—Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (c. 50 BC), tr. by John Dryden
See also these blog postings with photography from Hawaii: Paradise, Coral, Madame Pele, and Haleakala.
Click on individual images to enlarge, or check out my most “interesting” photos on Flickr. All are Copyright © 2013-14 Edwin A. Suominen. You may freely use them for non-commercial purposes, with attribution, under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.