Chapter 1: Koko Head
I am back in Oahu working on Juniper, for better or worse. The sun has faded the colors of everything that was left on deck. The sun is such a potent thing. Eventually everything in my life will fade beneath it, even me. I will fade until I am nothing but air. I will fade until I am nothing but flow. Until then, I will flow until I fade and fade while I flow.
It’s still so hot here on the boat that my brain and words and body all move slowly. Heat makes me want to lounge in the shade and suck on sugar straight from the cane.
On the days that I work on the boat, I inch my way towards accomplishing things. I do one task, take a long break, do the next task, shower, then the next task, then stare at nothing, next task, lie down and contemplate not moving my body for the rest of the day, the sun sets, I sleep, wake up, start over.
I wake up before the crack of dawn. Before the earth sings, before the clouds are painted pink, even before the wild roosters of Hawaii utter their first cock-a-doodle-do. I like to watch everything in the world awaken. I like the stillness and the silence that surrounds me, just before it does.
I try to climb something every morning to see the sunrise. The other day I went to the top of Diamond Head. From up there, the waves looked like white lines drawn onto the ocean in snake-like patterns. Those waves carried no consequence to me on that ledge, but still their power was palpable. I could taste it on my tongue.
After spending 23 days alone with the waves, I don’t think I could ever see them without wanting to bow to them, as if they are royalty, no matter how far below me they are. It is their perpetual state of unpredictable motion that I revere and sometimes dread.
Towering to the left I could see Koko Head. When sailing into Waikiki from San Diego, the first landmark I was looking for was that crater. Koko Head rises up from the southeastern edge of the island, like a goddess cloaked in green grass, and guides all seafarers into the Kaiwi Channel.
Science will tell you that Koko is an ancient tuff cone that was created in a hydrovolcanic explosion. Pow! Lava, water, and steam collided until the sky snowed sand and ash, which eventually solidified into cone-shape upon this earth. It’s a shape that can only be created when a volcano meets a body of water.
But to Hawaiians, there is a much more interesting tale of it’s creation…
Chapter 2: The Flying Vagina
Koko means “blood” but the original name for Koko Head was Kohelepelepe which means “labia minora.” It was named after this female body part, because legend has it that Koko Head was created by the detachable flying vagina of the Hawaiian goddess Kapo.
Kapo is the goddess of sorcery and fertility. She is sister to Pele, the goddess of volcanos and fire, and sister to the poison-tree gods of Maunaloa. Kapo also is the one who taught Ke-ao-melemele, the maid of the golden cloud, how to dance in the sky above the sea.
This is my rendition of how Kapo’s “Altar of Venus” created Koko Head.
It all started on the Big Island. The day was dreary. It was full of intimidating clouds that threatened rain, but never actually did anything. They were the kind of clouds with black hearts, hot mouths, and low voices.
Pele had been up late the night before running with the moon, and she was dead dog tired. All she wanted to do was lay around the beach of green sands and sniff wildflowers.
But Kamapuaʻa (“hog child”) who was half-hog and half-man, had a dark and dirty plan. You see, he had been in pursuit of Pele for a long time. He thought she was the most exquisite woman he’d ever seen- the bees knees, the cat’s meow, the caterpillar’s kimono. What he felt for her was beyond passion, it was total obsession.
At first hog child had tried tenderness to gain her affection. He hid his hoggish ways as best he could and whispered to her “My love, I will capture the sun from the sky and feed you day throughout the night.”
Pele was no fool. She could see through him as clear as day. She looked at him with disgust and screamed back, “You’re nothing but a no good pig! Even if you stole all the light from the heavens and left me blinded by the black pearl of night, I still wouldn’t let you touch me!” Then she spit out her flames and surrounded Hog Child in a pit of fire that could only be squelched by fog and rain.
Pele’s constant rejection mixed well with her beauty and put Hog Child under a strange hypnotic spell. He had to make her love him. He had to because insecurity paraded across every inch of him. Because his father had never truly loved him, so he desperately needed someone, anyone, to fill that gaping hole. And because he had nothing inside except a hollow heart and a rattled mind.
So, when sweet nothings didn’t work, Hog Child decided to take Pele by force. He was going to ravage her, to steal the flames of her fire and leave her breathless and shaking beneath the stains of his seduction.
Only a cowards at his core could cook up an act so cruel.
Hog Child saw how sleepy Pele was and determined that this day was the day. He hid behind a sandalwood tree on the cliffs above the beach and waited until he saw her eyes droop into the shape of a canoe. Once her eyes were more closed than open, he swooped down on her as if he was a hawk and she the rodent on which he preyed.
Pele screamed as soon as his sweaty, hairy, hoggy body was on top of her. “Get off of me you putrid Beast!”
Hog Child smashed his body more tightly against hers. His hog hair pricked her skin causing it to bleed. She squirmed, but he held her hands down in the green sand with his hooves and tangled his tail around her legs like the tentacles of a squid. His face was so close to Pele’s that it appeared fuzzy and she could smell his breath, which was rancid and rusty.
He snickered, “When I’m through with you, you’re gonna need me like the night needs the moon.”
Pele shouted back, “Aggh! Never!” The sound her voice was so strong that it traveled all the way to the forest where her sister, Kapo, was collecting leaves to make medicine. Kapo followed the panicked sounds of Pele until she found herself overlooking the beach of green sand.
As Kapo arrived she heard Hog Child say to Pele, “I’m gonna turn your lava rock into fertile soil.”
Without hesitation, Kapo lifted up her hula skirt, ripped off her vagina, and flicked it into space. Her vagina flew with wings of flesh until it hovered just above Hog Child.
Hog Child was instantly distracted by it. He thought he loved Pele, but he was overcome by a ravenous desire as he gazed at the headless vagina floating in front of him. He wondered what kind of magic might happen when he planted his seed inside a vagina with wings. Perhaps it would make him king of everything!
Hog Child also realized that a vagina without a body was indeed the perfect woman. It had no eyes, no mouth, no ears! He didn’t have to worry about her seeing him for the hog that he was. He didn’t have to listen to her nagging. He didn’t have to sing songs of devotion into her delicate ears. And most importantly, he didn’t have to worry about whether or not she loved him.
Hog Child peeled himself off of Pele and pursued his new valentine. The vagina was flying and he was running. The vagina curved to the left, Hog Child curved to the left, the vagina went right, he went right. He chased it through rainforests, through waterfalls, through mud, through rivers, through volcanoes, through beaches, and through deserts.
Along the way, Hog Child got hit by bamboo, bananas, birds and bugs, yet still he ran. He followed Kapo’s lady bits all the way across the Big Island. He was running, the vagina was flying, his dreams were almost coming true.
When the vagina flew across the Alenuihaha channel, Hog Child jumped into the channel, morphed into a Humuhumunukunukuapua’a (reef trigger fish) and swam after it. The vagina flew, Hog Child swam, the vagina flew, Hog Child ran, across Maui, across Molokai, across the Kaiwi channel.
Once they reached the southeastern side of Oahu, the flying vagina landed with a thud. Hog Child fell down next to it with a heavy breath. He was dizzy with passion.
Hog Child laid there, so drunk on his sexual dream, that he didn’t hear Kapo whistling to call her vagina back to her body. “Tweet, Tweet, Tweet!” He was so drunk on his sexual dream, that he didn’t notice the vagina lifting off the ground and flying away from him. He was so drunk on his sexual dream, that after he caught his breath, he started thrusting his naked body deep into the indention that Kapo’s flying vagina left on the ground beside him.
The only thing that Hog Child seeded that day was a pile of dirt and grass.
And that my friends, is how Koko Head got it’s sexy shape!
*Please note that there are many versions of this story and whoever holds a myth in their mouths shapes it based on the lessons that they wish to share. In some versions Pele was exhausted from all the lovemaking she and Kamapuaʻa were having and that is why Kapo sent her magical vagina. There are some myths that even say Pele and Kamapuaʻa had a child together. Also Kamapuaʻa is not always depicted so beastily, in many Hawaiian myths he is an unbelievably desirable man.*
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