Archive for May, 2012

Waging Peace: A Memorial Day March

Monday, May 28th, 2012


In the course of time, mankind has gotten more efficient in the act of waging war. As technology has blossomed, the business of the Military Industrial Complex has embraced the tactical advantages of tech, and implemented it to great effect in terms of kill yield.

Think about that. Tech makes for a better, more efficient visit of the Grim Reaper upon our adversaries. But that comes at great expense, monetarily, and in other ways. Never think that anyone escapes reaping what has been sowed. No one does. Not individuals, not Nations.

We all can lose sight of our goals. It is just an illustration of entropic law really: to morph the message.

Today is Memorial Day. A day when we endeavor to reverse that. But as happens frequently over the course of the passage of time, we have turned the day to suit our own emotional needs, and possibly to assuage our sense of guilt, as well as loss.

Honor Bound

Honor Bound

Maybe we ought to think differently?

“We can‘t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” – Albert Einstein

Here is a great piece written with a Historic perspective on Memorial Day. In it you may be surprised to learn that the Holiday was mandated during the Truman Administration, to be a National Day of Prayer for Peace.

Fly the Stone

Fly the Stone

Ever spend time in a National Memorial Cemetery? I have. I do, to this day. And not just on Memorial Day. Here is what happens.

I walk the graves. I pass my hand over the grave stones and feel the lettering, the coolness of the stone. I meditate on the life of each person there and those connected to that person, and the collateral damage to Family, Friends and our Nation.  Typically the experience makes me weep. But on a spiritual level, an anger and resolve embeds. These people were called, went, and ended their days in service. By proxy, that service was for me. So I did this. I killed them. I have a moral obligation to make damned sure that this level of sacrifice matters, moving forward. I, we, have a blood soaked trust.

There is a tendency in our Country to wave the flag. I appreciate that. I love our flag, and what it stands for. But I hope and yes, pray, that this Memorial Day, more people begin to understand that we have a moral responsibility to question our leadership. As a people, while tech spins out many of the key components of humanity and compassion, by virtue of it’s process, particularly as it implements death via modern warfare, we need to work on our own process.

Possibly as never before in human History, we need to reflect on our Philosophy and actions, and where those head us all, or we could be down a very dark alley, from which there is no return. Because as surely as the National Cemeteries are full of the bodies of our fallen, in EVERY Nation we go to war with, well, there are far greater numbers of dead, due to conflict.

Maybe we should reconsider our willingness to allow this?

Sacred Trust

Sacred Trust

I am genuinely concerned about what appears to be a grand disregard for Honor,¬† Sacrifice and Expense, on the part of Political Leadership. In this post modern rush at connection via net, I see us losing touch with our humanity, not drawing closer. It is not really what one would expect to occur, if ten years ago, someone were to tell you that a system was coming online, that would allow you to connect to anyone, anywhere at any time: that you would feel less, become calloused. The “net effect” is not intrinsically beneficial to humanity.

Seth Godin explains why.

So what can we do about that?

We could connect personally, and endeavor to impart accountability, honesty, and integrity. We could encourage, inspire, cajole and plead to “Please wake up my Nation. Let us wage peace.” It takes a strong country to do that. Let’s connect to that end. Let’s stop pandering to the weak, and let’s certainly refrain from electing them, or giving them too much of the moments of our own lives in the form of attention and money, as they endeavor to clamber into the Political arena and monetize their personal lives in process.

People seem to have forgotten that Political Office was not originally a life long career. Our Representative system of Governance was comprised of people who would serve, legislate and then return to Civil life to live under the legislation which they had created. You can see today the negative result of our Nation’s move away from this. The telltales lie dead in our National Cemeteries.

We need a more perfect Union, not more Politicians. As I studied this week, I researched the changes in both tone and example that occurred in the Legislative and Executive branches from Truman on through to today. In the course of that time, we have seen progressively less of the aspects of Leadership and far more of the tenets of reign, emerge.That appears to head us in the direction of more death, more damage to Families and our Nation. We seem to have become accepting of the inevitability of reign.

As you memorialize the fallen today, maybe think about the expense of that acquiescence, and begin to promote leadership. But here is the rub: it must begin with you.

Leadership is the judicious use of the power, wisdom and understanding, which as been entrusted to you, within the framework of your vision.

We need power, wisdom and understanding today. It is fairly simple to obtain. It comes from a relationship with God. Remember that funny exercise you did in grade school? That thing with the hand over your heart? The Pledge of Allegiance? We need to return to the essential, imperative truth in that.

Time to Pray. Time to lead. If not you, then who?

Memorial Day 2012, our National Day of Prayer for Peace, as we honor the memory of all of the fallen, and we are still standing.

Medal of Honor Holder, Col Lewis Millet

Medal of Honor Holder, Col Lewis Millet


Johnny Cash presenting a short, appropriate history, and performance of the Battle Hymn of the Republic. Yes we have a hymn for battle. That says a lot. The show was recorded in 1969. Doing this was incredibly gutsy while we waged “war” in Vietnam, and the pro peace movement made any allegiance to then President, Richard Nixon or anything to do with the War Machine, incredibly unpopular. Why did Cash do this? It was in the segue of the song: “I keep a¬† close eye on this heart on mine. I keep my eyes wide open all the time. I keep the ends out for the ties that bind. Because you’re mine, I walk the line”.

We must do that.


The Beauty of Story

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

I stepped out of a marriage of over 22 years into an odd situation at the age of 44.

Having been married for most of my adult life, and walked a less than conventional path, the roadmap of memories and tales was rather, um, let’s say: convoluted. I had done a lot of things which when examined from our cultural perception of “normal”, were far from any definition of the term.

That, surfaced immediately, when I began to ply the dating seas. I learned early on that it was best to not really talk about what I had done in life that was interesting to me. (why I did those things) and maybe pick a more banal means of explaining my life history. Made for a longer date, I found.

I applied myself to dating, in similar fashion to how I learn anything. I study, organize, and totally immerse myself in the experience. That modus left me with a long list of women to meet. So for a couple months I dated. The process is what taught me a lot about the art of the story, or for me, the weaning and reducting of the details, of the story of my life.

I would go on 1-2 dates per day. And in doing so, I learned that women tend to have a great mistrust of the tales we men tell them. The fly in the ointment being ,that I really had no agenda (for them). I just wanted to figure out what being single meant. So I dated. And dated. And dated some more. I met some really neat gals, and in process, realized that people tend to not believe much of what they are told, if it is secretly, what they want to hear.

I think that the very best example, was a woman I will call  Y. Y was a beautiful Oriental woman who worked for a local Biomedical Tech company. Particularly inquisitive, she pressed me for the details of my past and present life. Keep in mind that almost two months of dating college had transpired. I was about up to my neck fed up ,in masking who and what I was, in order to carry on what would pass for a normal conversation. So I let Y know what was in my past. My athletic careers, car racing and building, radio and TV work, Company development, Environmental work, my great kids and the fond and long term relationship I had existed within, with my former wife.

Then I told her about what I was doing at that moment. Traveling as an Editorial and Commercial Sports and Lifestyle Photographer and Writer, working in Motion Picture. I talked about some of the adventures I had experienced most recently. I did the Journalistic account of the life of David F Pu’u. Who, what, when, where, why and how.

And Y simply looked at me. Unflinching. Out of the blue these words came out. “I will never let you use me for sex”. Y left me going in circles with that one. But then I realized something.¬† People use the Art of the story, quite frequently, to gain a foothold in your heart. But the problem for Y and I, is that this was not my intention. I was simply fed up, after 2 mos of NOT telling my story, and conforming to the dance, which I had learned, really is descriptive of the dating process.

A somewhat awkward goodbye transpired, and I figured we were pretty much done. But three days later, Y called, and I reckoned that I could tolerate another date. Heck, maybe we just got off on the wrong foot. So we met in a Thousand Oaks restaurant, for a cocktail, me having driven down from Ventura, and pretty much right away, Y revealed her tack. I had not said too much this time, to be honest. “David, why are you lying to me? I told you, I am not letting you use me for sex”

My response was to tell her what I had done since we last met. Which brought up some of the wonderful women I get to work with. Y grew flustered, when I finally politely told her that I really had no sexual agenda where any woman was concerned, and that this dating thing, was me getting feet down on the ground, and learning, after being half of a couple all my life what being single really meant.

A strained hug and kiss on the cheek and a faint “see you” and I in a much relieved fashion, went back to my car. What had just happened? Well, whatever it was, I felt violated. I also realized that Y maybe had “issues” which possibly required me to run, as fast as possible, in the other direction. But here is the deal. I never run away from scary stuff. I always run at it. Makes for a better story if you know what you are doing.

So the next day I rang Y up. (I know, against the rules. Too soon) “I was wondering if you and I could meet for dinner next Friday? I am meeting friends down your way.” I had told Rick, a pal of mine who happened to live nearby in Westlake, and Kathe, a close friend and one of the women I enjoyed shooting with, the story of Y. They both reckoned she was crazy. But I maintained that I could be as much to blame as she. Well, Y said “sure”, and I went about the work week subtly, and possibly sadistically, looking forward to our “date”.

Kathe, as is her sense of humor and style, showed up looking  striking in a low cut top,  short skirt, 5 inch heels, and close to six feet of lithe brunette wonderfulness. I think Rick showed up looking like a version of Mr GQ rugged, on a superbike. (Three against one). The thing is, these were my dear friends. Family. We weathered the seas of change in life together. They were a part of my story, and I theirs. We loved each other. I was convinced Y was in a desert devoid of that.

So in the course of dinner and conversation, both of my friends, let Y know that I was a liar, by telling her the rest of the story about me, that we mattered to each other. As I looked into Y’s eyes and saw reality dawn on her, I got it. I understood being single, dating, everything. Anyone who a man or woman chooses to be with must merit (deserve) those precious moments that comprise the existence which we call life. Y did not. She simply was not qualified.

The next day, I was a bit surprised when my phone rang as I was on set working on a film (Vibrate mode) and it was Y. This is what she said. “Hey, I have a sister. I think you two would really like each other” Bingo. The win. She got it.

Love your life and story. It really is all that you have.

Here is a great and well timed blog by Seth Godin on A True Story.

Today I head up to Silicon Valley with my Fiance, Donna Von Hoesslin, and friend and colleague, Dr Andrea Neal to do a LOT of amazing things. But one of them, is to sit on a panel of people who are a part of a project called the Sea-Space Initiative. I just read 24 biographies. I look forward to THEIR stories and hopefully I can add some salt water from my own, as we examine Space, Sea and the destiny of mankind.

This film, by Dana Saint, and his girlfriend, is called A Story for Tomorrow. I always share it when possible. Watch it and you will know why. Have a tissue handy.

Below are a few images from the ridiculousness of my wonderful life. Each is a story. It is the only thing we have, our lives, and our story. Best thing that one can do for humanity, is to tell yours.



Significant Presence

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

In my morning rush to ply the pixel seas today, I ran across a notable piece of reading from Seth Godin. It gave me pause, as I looked at the laundry list of crazily diverse imagery in front of me. He writes about “Hard Work on the Right Things“. I highly recommend it, for a number of reasons. Principle one being, that the world at large, will endeavor to convince an Artist, that they have chosen poorly, and what is produced, will never be of any real significance. It does that with good cause and to appropriate affect: to weed out the insignificant.

Preparing for life

With most vital creatives, who operate in a space time continuum different from the diverse cultures that they can be found within, this is rarely true, in the context of a long view.

To illustrate, here in this post, is a little sampling of what was on my desktop this morning.

The depth of what could appear to be little reality grabs to the uninitiate, will prove to be far greater as time passes. I know that.

Which brings me to a key point. You need to know if your presence will be significant and obvious to all, on that day you leave the room. It ought to be.

The last note I read in my e mail this morning was from Scott Bass, on the passing of surf Industry Veteran designer and Shaper, Terry Martin, from Cancer.

Terry is significant.  You can ask any whose life he touched with his work. It all resonates still, in the ocean corridors, far beyond immediate kin and friends. He mattered. His work was significant.

Yater and Ancell

Two great craftsmen and artists

Your’s should be as well.




© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.