Monday, June 20, 2011

Latte

This weekend I took twenty people on a Heritage Hike down to Haputo which is on a Navy base in the Northwestern part of Guam. The spot is a favorite of those with military base access and a spot which many who don't pine for the chance to visit. The hike down takes less than 10 minutes, and you are greeted with a secluded, shallow water beach, which is great for fishing, sunbathing and just relaxing. Haputo was once an ancient Chamorro village and the area above the beach to the base of the cliffs is full of artifacts. Some of the most beautiful latte that I've every seen on Guam we found there during our hike. For those who don't know, while the iconography of latte has them looming tall in the sky, most latte were small and stature, especially on Guam. That is why, when you find latte which are six feet tall, and still standing, haligi and tasa intact, it is truly a treat for the historical mind.

The past few months of my life have been full of latte. I've written about them, lectured about them, painted and drawn them, and found and photographed hundreds of them while hiking. I've wondered why latte, the foundations of Ancient Chamorro homes and the markers for where you can find many of their burials, have been such a big part of my imagination.

Since I've come back to Guam after finishing my Ph.D. in San Diego, the summers are always an interesting time, full of changes and uncertainty. When I moved back, my relationship to Jessica, the mother of my two children was confusing and contradictory, and once again that uncertainty is spilling back into my life. With uncertainty on this front always comes worries about my kids and what sort of future they'll have. My job situation at UOG, where I've been fortunate to get two limited term contracts to keep me employed these past two years, always gets tossed into the air in the summer as I never know what I'll be teaching in the Fall or if they'll even hire me back at UOG. There so much more that I could write about, but all in all kalang mabo'ok yu', taihale' yu', and that feeling is always a mixture of anxiety or fear, but also excitement, that something interesting or exciting may lie ahead. As the the world and ways in which I once understood myself starts to crumble and crack, yes there is a possibility that everything beneath my could disappear and I could get lost somehow, but there is also the chance that new things will inspire me and define me.

I wonder if my halacha' na fascination with latte is from this feeling that foundation of my life is slipping away, might soon be gone, or will be revealed to have never been there in the first place. Guess I might unconsciously be in search of some new foundation for myself.

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