Tuesday, January 22, 2008

a pinch of moana

I've been pinching myself often lately. I expect any moment to wake up in my apartment in Crestwood and feel my familiar old bed rattling as the Metro North express train passes on its way to White Plains. Instead, it's 6:30 am and I've been wide awake for two hours, listening to waves beating on the Waikiki beach just below our balcony. I also awake of late to the sound of sirens wailing 34 floors down, and I lie and watch the sky lighten over Central Park, turning the midtown high rises outside the window from gray to green to gold. Sometimes pigeons circle, flapping down to roost on this or that cluttered rooftop.

My life has changed at speeds of which I didn't think myself capable. I still don't, which is why I pinch myself, or alternately lie down under my desk after work (the one place in my daily life which has remained the same) and close my eyes and pray.

I'm in Hawaii to get married for the second time to the same person (Charles and I got married at NY City Hall on December 31st, 2007). Fr John Schroedel will be marrying us in a few days in Kona, Hawaii, and then we plan on getting married to each other at least two more times in the next few months. It's occurred to me that these spaced-out weddings actually serve to soften the intensity of the change, not to mention that small events are easier to plan and offer a charming spontaneity.

There are so many things to write about--the beauty of finding the "next right thing" to which to address oneself, the difficulty of having to make decisions with another person who doesn't always naturally agree with me, the surprising ease of being married to a man who regularly makes wise decisions without worry, my unease about having a doorman or a cleaning lady. It all, quite honestly, seems unreal.

I was pinching myself again last night when we arrived at our hotel. We drove into Waikiki at sunset after having spent the day touring the parts of the island where Charles' grew up, went to school, body surfed. Waikiki is different from the rest of the island and I was lamenting having to stay at a hotel here. "It's so touristy. Like a big mall, " I complained. Charles said nothing. We passed yet another Louis Vuitton, another glittery hotel. Sigh. And then we pulled into the most magnificent building I've seen since arriving in Hawaii. A historic landmark, the beautifully restored Moana is the oldest hotel in Hawaii. Built in 1901, it holds a grace and elegance that instantly shut down my whining. Our room has a balcony overlooking the ocean, and from where I sit at my computer all I see is blue waves, the tops of two palm trees and a handful of morning surfers bathed in early sunlight.

I'm adjusting.


Jenny said...

What a wonderful post and joy to read about your adventures there--I can't wait to see you tomorrow!

It's all lovely, Amber.

Ser said...

Jenny only told me about your upcoming wedding a few days ago. How wonderful! And you so beautifully capture here how life can take a turn and all of a sudden be so familiar and yet completely different.

Julia said...

It does seem as if your entire life has been swept up and reshaped into something like a dream. But, Amber, I believe it's all good, and I'm so happy for you.