Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Stories on My Walls
I've had the Napa Valley Mustard Festival poster sitting around since 1994. I finally had it properly framed and am putting it my kitchen eating area. The poster features a rabbit jumping over a crescent moon. I have always liked that image. After all, I am a "moonchild" (born in July and much nicer than "Cancer the Crab"). My mother tells me that when I was a little girl, I used to refer to the crescent moon as "a piece of moon" (like a piece of pie).
The rabbit on the moon is a motif in Japanese folklore. It's sometimes called the "moon rabbit" or the "jade rabbit". I've always liked this image. The artist who made the little blue dish was also inspired by the moon rabbit, as she explained in a note that came with the piece. I happened to find it in the window when I was walking past a small art gallery in Philadelphia.
Recently, I have taken several of my favorite posters to be framed. I have always loved them, but just had them in inexpensive do-it-yourself frames that weren't very sturdy. The Tolkien poster is probably my all-time favorite because of the subject matter and the style of the drawing. The title is "Bilbo Comes to the Land of the Raftelves". I love the look of the trees and the sinuous lines. I noticed they used similar lines in the designs of the elvish domiciles in the movie "The Lord of the Rings". When I was in Rome, I saw some real trees that looked just like those, in a park. I've always wondered what kind of trees they were.
I bought the "Asilomar" poster in the 70s. I liked the design and the colors, and there was something about the name that intrigued me. Years later, driving along the Pacific Coast near Monterey, we actually came to the place with that name. It was near Pacific Grove and it was beautiful. There was a field of wild flowers on one side of the road and the Pacific Ocean on the other side. We stopped and had lunch at a little diner nearby. Then, years after that, we stopped again at the same place for lunch with good friends. Nice memories.
I've had this one for a long time, too. Many people who see it don't understand why I am so attracted to it. It looks magical to me; the strange way the flowers are glowing, the tiny pinpoint stars in the sky, and of course the crescent moon. Looking through the window is kind of Twilight Zone-ish I think.
This poster isn't really a poster at all. It's the map that we used the first time we drove the Road to Hana. I cherish this map because it recreates for me one of my favorite places in the world, the wonderful Road to Hana. Thirty miles long, narrow and winding, it's Hawaiian paradise. Breathtaking views, hairpin turns, waterfalls, old stone bridges. My husband and I have made the drive three times; I always talk him into it when we are on Maui.
The artsy little town of Paia is the jumping off point to the Road to Hana. You can stop here and buy drinks and snacks (and great pastries) for the drive. (I've also heard that Willy Nelson has a home nearby... lucky guy!)
There are 54 bridges along the Road to Hana, most of them wide enough for just one car at a time. Each bridge has a name, and they are all listed here.
Maui towns are listed along with the interpretations of their names: Wailea means "waters of happiness"; Hana means "the four pillars of the universe".
See the nature walk? There is a sign there that says "Quiet, trees growing".
I think I'd like to visit Uncle Harry's!
At the end of the long drive... heavenly Hana! The tiny town on the "quiet" side of the island. No busy resorts here, just a general store, a very small airport, some low-key places to eat, and a few very nice hotels. On our fourth visit to Maui, we finally decided to stay in Hana. My husband said he was relieved not to have to make the return drive for once. We stayed at the wonderful Hotel Hana Maui, which had been a long-time dream of mine. The "hotel" is a grouping of private cottages widely scattered around the seafront property. It's a wonderful hideaway. Heavenly Hana, indeed... I never wanted to leave.
Above is the view of the ocean from our cottage. Below is a view of some of the cottages with the ocean in the background. Can you see why I didn't want to leave?
This place on the map marks the gravesite of Charles A. Lindbergh. It's also the end of the paved road. We visited the gravesite and the little church there, then we turned around because we didn't have 4-wheel drive. That's where it says "drive at your own risk". I would love to try it, though. I love to go to the ends of roads and see what lies ahead.
His grave in the photo below:
The gravesite with the church in the background:
Inside the church:
At the end of the road: