“One of the world’s largest telescopes is being proposed for the top of Hawai’i’s most sacred mountain, Mauna Kea.”
The beginning line from this beautiful story of why Hawaiians, the residents of these islands, and all those who understand the value of sacred spaces are defending this sacred mountain, and protecting it from an 18-story concrete telescope.
“If you believe something that immense will not create repercussions, I ask you to rethink that deeply…. This time we speak for the mountain, and the mountain says no.”
I myself am not Hawaiian, nor will I ever claim to be. But since learning about it this year, I’ve felt strongly about it and been drawn to the call to make a stand.
From how I see and feel it, the sacred lands of Hawai’i represent all our sacred lands – and more importantly, all that is sacred within us. If we do our research we’ll know that to stand with true science doesn’t mean we have to be on the other side as the Hawaiian people and their Mauna Kea. (READ: Hundreds of Astronomers Denounce Arrest of Native Hawaiians Protesting Thirty Meter Telescope)
For me, denouncing TMT was a very easy call to make because… I just will always be the kind of person who choses spirit and heritage over development that doesn’t mean development FOR ALL . And, now that I’ve gone up Mauna Wakea twice, with my most recent visit being one to stand with the kia’i (protectors) of the mountain – the call isn’t just easy to make. It’s just the right thing to do.
Deciding to go up Mauna Kea alone was both hard and easy. I knew that I felt drawn to go and so it was extremely easy to feel motivated.
Hard because, I hadn’t traveled alone in quite a while and as much as I tried to, I couldn’t get in sync with friends’ schedules to go with anybody – in the end, something I think was meant to be.
Hard because, the last time I went to Big Island I felt like it chewed me up and spit me out. Each island of Hawai’i has its own energy and my experience of Big Island thus far had been of intense emotions, testing encounters, and general discomfort – an experience I’ve learned quite a few people have had on their first visit to the island with active volcanoes and Pele energy.
And hard also because, I was nervous. I didn’t realize it until I questioned myself but, I was nervous because… I’m not Hawaiian. Would it be weird for me to go up there? Did I have the right to stand with them on their sacred mauna? What do I have to contribute? Am I strong and grounded enough to be kia’i even for a day? Questions I asked myself, didn’t know the answer to, questions that discouraged me from going… but I went anyway.
If you’re reading this and contemplating going alone, know that it’s safe. Do your best to prepare and pack, be responsible for your own safety by being smart, donate what you can – but it is undoubtedly safe. It’s possible. It’s recommended (by me). But it’s also a test to see how much your heart can handle, and how grounded you can be in your truth. At least that’s how I felt when I arrived and there was police all over.
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This injustice is happening RIGHT NOW on Maunakea. Police in swat gear are destroying a children’s library build on Hawaiian crown lands. They even cut our flag. Glass shatters, natives wail, but we stand together—may each act of colonial violence and provocation unite us even more. #KuKiaiMauna #WeAreMaunaKea (RP: @secretshawaii)
How I ended up being there on such an intense day, I don’t know. It showed me though, that we are all needed there, and we are all Mauna Kea.
When I saw and realized what was happening, just the sight of the policemen in blue and the structure going down… I felt actual pain in my chest – like I was the one being violated. Like it was my home, the place I lived and slept and loved, that they were tearing down. And that they seemed to be doing it without feeling or remorse? It was painful. I really have no other words to describe it so you can just imagine for yourself.
How would you feel if policemen who were supposed to be protecting you were instead, tearing down your house and you didn’t do anything wrong and you couldn’t do anything about it? How would you feel if they cut your flag? How would you feel if they were violating you?
If you felt pain imagining all that, then you understand. You are Mauna Kea. Do not let a telescope be built upon you.
I never should have doubted going up there, or going alone, because Mama Mauna is so generous. As much desecration she’s experienced, and pain her people may be going through, she still gives. I came there to give my support but in the end I felt like I came home with all the gifts. The gift to show me that I am strong and courageous. The gift of knowing how much my heart can handle. Most of all, the gift to know that I am connected and cared for. Mahalo, mahalo, mahalo 🙏
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The magic and power of Hawai’i and its Mauna are undeniable 🙏🏼 In just 6️⃣ days, I went alone to Mauna Kea and saw police tearing down a library built by loving kanaka who wanna reclaim what’s theirs 〰 had the best time alone, with friends, and with God that reinforced in me something I hadn’t believed in a while – that I *can* be happy all on my own 〰 got LAID OFF (!!!!!!) bec of lack of profit (!!!!!!) and told that I would have THREE days left of work and no more 😳 〰 went through the agony of questioning how I would support myself in the week/months to come and would I still be able to live in Hawaii??? 🙈 〰 after deciding to just take a leap of faith and accept being jobless, in the literal next second, got a simple job offer working with enviroment, that could lead me to work in conservation and sustainability way down the line, which is my ultimate goal…. . . .All in 6️⃣ days 😳😳😳 I’m literally reeling at this craziness, decompressing from the stress and trauma of being laid off and having the rug pulled under me…. but mostly, in complete awe of the divinity happening in my life . . .Dang 😝 ….. I hadn’t really even begun to process my trip to Big Island and Mauna Kea and now there’s this whole whirlwind to add 🌪 The whole being laid-off thing was a reality check of how this world can be, but what I can say to that is – the damn real world of profit and inconsideration can’t get me down 🙆🏽 …. Aaaaand I may never work in a for-profit organization again. Grateful but, First time and likely the last time 🤷🏽♀️ . . . “If something or someone wants to leave you, let it” …. And if something is so violently taken from you can only mean divinity is wanting to take up a bigger space in your life 🙏🏼 Mahalo Ke Akua!!!! Aloha and Ram Ram 🌺