but that would be the easy way out of explaining its evocative power. the facts are this: i went for a drive one winter afternoon along pula highway in upcountry maui past the tedeschi winery and onto the broken pavement of the back road to hana–the circuitous route along the southern flank of haleakala–desert-like with cacti and scrub interrupted by the occasional homestead of those hardy souls (natives, old hippies, the disenfranchised–dissatisfied with life in the company of their fellow man), cinder block residences as sere as the landscape. as i was tip-toeing my way along the highway (ignored by tourists, locals, and the roads and transportation dept. of the state of hawaii–and yes, you can “tip-toe” in a car, don’t question me while i’m on a roll) it took a sharp left away from the setting sun and i pulled over to watch the gold-plated ocean shimmer in the late light of the day.
as you do in hawaii, i had my camera with me and took this photograph. it may have been weeks later when i finished the roll of film and had forgotten all about this moment of time and perhaps even after getting the developed photos back, it could have been stuck in a drawer with the rest of them (the hundreds taken during our years in paradise.) but when we landed back on the continent (north american) it got framed and put out as representative of the glory of the beauty of island life. who knew it would be a reminder of the last days (our sunset) of our time there, that in its way, it was the change of our lives, my life, silhouetted against the setting of the pacific sun on the glorious edge of the world.