Posts Tagged ‘Sea Space Initiative’

A Blue Voice

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

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In the moments after the Sea-Space Summit at Google ended in 2012, and some fantastic work had initiated, Charlotte Vick, who heads up the Sylvia Earle Alliance (and so much more) approached me and posed a very direct question.

‚ÄúDavid, what exactly is it that you do?‚ÄĚ Ever meet one of those people, who as soon as you connect, the recognition that you are of the same tribe becomes apparent in an innate manner?¬† That was how Charlotte struck me. What she really wanted to know however, is who I was.

Hers was a very direct question. In fact, I doubt that you could find out the real answer if you Google that, and me. (funny video eh?)

Google will not tell you everything, btw. You still must know a person. Knowing is a spirit soul and body process, and will never be digital. Knowing is important.

In the past few years I have found myself immersed in project after project where incredibly gifted, educated people come to the table, and on their own dime, explore large issues concerning the Earth and Humanity. They come for various reasons. Some of these people come due to a self interested, job related reason, some are steeped in crystal clear altruism, others just want to help: anyone. They have high skill levels, each one.

I seem to be getting asked back or otherwise am invited to join the conversation in yet another think tank type event, as soon as the work is completed from the prior one. People want to hear, what I have to say. So I go, listen a lot, and contribute a bit.

Today I am just home from a meeting of what would appear to be far lesser consequence. It was an Advisory Council Meeting for the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, where Dr Andrea Neal, Blue Wolf, a Chumash Indian, proponent and advocate of Chumash Culture, and myself, went to observe, as a part of a commitment to be stewards over our local waters.

 

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In the course of the meeting, two young ladies, high school students, got up and gave a rather lengthy presentation on Marine Protected Areas. A subject which has been in front of me in several elite Science and Engineering based groups these past few years. The information communicated was basically a regurgitation of all that these children had been taught about MPA’s and the Ocean.

When they had finished, and the busy and time pressed chair of the Council asked if we had questions for the girls, I asked a few. Here they are.

  1. In a year, what sort of things do you do in the Ocean?
  2. What is your first memory of the Ocean?
  3. How does the Ocean make you feel?

These very self motivated and well meaning young ladies, who could be doing anything that would be more fun than hanging out with the likes of us, communicated something telling.   It was not based on info regarding the MPAs. It was that they did not know the Ocean personally, or intimately. They only knew what they were led to believe, about the Sea. Big difference between those two things: Believing and Knowing.

At their age, I would not have been caught dead in a meeting with the likes of us this day, talking about Marine Protected Areas. I was out in the Ocean engaging as a native, the very waters they were talking about. They simply did not have the same upbringing, opportunity and choices I had been given. (I wish that they did.)

So their talk  saddened me a bit. It said a lot about what this culture programs into children, and how we inadvertently indoctrinate them, and in process, separate them from Nature, thereby making them proselytes rather than active members of a vital ecosystem.

This is a great tragedy.

However, the idea of the Ocean inspired the girls, and gave them a sense of scale, and of their significance in the grand scheme of things. Sadly though, they really could not nail down a specific memory of their first introduction to the Sea. That last part said a lot. It is what motivated me to write this piece- accounting.

 

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 So, this is who I am.

 

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My name is David Franklin Pu‚Äôu.¬† I am the son of David Wahinealoha Puu, a Native Hawaiian waterman, who served this country in the Military,¬† Defense and Aerospace industries, who was the son of¬†Kalani Pu’u, a Hawaiian singer and entertainer.¬† I am Kanaka Maoli, by virtue of my genetics, and relationship with the Sea. (That video reminds me of my Grandfather, especially the voice)

The family history sort of meanders a bit at times, but most accounts trace it back to the Big Isle, where my ancestor,  Chief Kalani O Puu, who appears to have been the Uncle of future king, Kamehameha, played a pivotal role in the slaying of Captain James Cooke, at Kealakekua Bay.

When my Father got out of Engineering school at Marquette University in Milwaukee (where I was birthed)  the family pediatrician explained that due to genetics, my two brothers and I would likely never be healthy unless we were raised in a warmer climate.  So my parents moved to California

I am 53 ocean years old. I was born to the Sea, on a warm Southern California afternoon when I was four. On that day, the water had become my home.

Imagine that,  53 years in the water.

I remember the moment I met the Ocean with crystal clarity. As I stood on the sand and watched a surfer glide to shore, I knew with no doubt that this was where my life would be spent.

And at the chronological age of 57, I am here to tell you, that my life has been and still is, wedded to the water. The Sea has taught me much. But more than that, she makes me happy, and gives me peace, and a sense of well being.

For 50 years I have engaged on a daily basis, my home waters, which range from  the Malibu Coast up to Point Conception, and out to the Channel Islands, much as any Hawaiian would.

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My colleague and friend, Hawaiian Historian Tom Pohaku Stone, once told me something that resonated. It did not create any bright flash of enlightenment for me. But it will help you understand who and what I am. This is what he said.

‚ÄúThe Sea is our home. The land is where we go to rest‚ÄĚ

That is a key element if you really need to know what I am about or anyone is, who possesses an Ocean heritage, for that matter.

I have swum, paddled, sailed, surfed, dove, fished and worked a plethora of jobs and careers in, on, around and about the Ocean. I have traveled and experienced many seas, as was the way of my ancestors, who were explorers, and have learned a lot about Island people and the various globally scattered water tribes.

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To this day I spend every possible moment in the water, and as a Film Maker and Photographer see it as routine, the 240-300 days a year I get to be engaging the Ocean globally. It is my home.

I have swum with all manner of marine life, and am currently on swim-encounter number 38 with Great White sharks. I began to keep track of them much as a WW2 flying ace would of his victories, about 18 years ago.

I swim with Dolphins and Seals a lot. Sometimes with enough frequency, that they get to know me, and we create a tenuous, yet wonderful, human-wild creature relationship.

I once spent 10 days in the Maldives, without touching land, swimming morning to dusk with a mermaid, content to rise each morning and meander with light, and  current, in a life attached only to fluid passivity, and my mermaid subject’s wonderful, illusionary embrace.

Water is  life to our planet, but I know beyond any doubt that the Ocean has been the source of  education, development and sustenance, spirit soul and body for me. God Himself touches me when I am in the Sea and through it I feel His pleasure, and have learned His ways.

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The legendary Hawaiian waterman and cultural emissary from Hawaii , Duke Paoa Kahanamoku, was quoted as once saying: ‚ÄúOutside of the Ocean, I am nothing‚ÄĚ.

I admire the man’s life and leadership style of aqueous precept and example.

He was a pinnacle of human endeavor and life in the Sea. It is what Hawaii is all about.

But I disagree with Duke in a manner of speaking.

Outside of the Ocean I am something greater that I could otherwise ever be, were it not for my 53 years in the Sea. Because when I disengage from my daily environment, I can share with those who will never ever be able to experience what I have. You see, the people who need to know the Ocean, are those not IN the Ocean.

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When I stand up in a meeting,  before those who may not really know the Ocean intimately,  there really is no doubt in me about who or what I am, or what to say.

 

I am a Blue Voice.

 

The Wisdom of that voice can help create the brotherhood, and change which Humanity needs.

We all need to aspire to become a great, educated, connected, Blue Voice. For ourselves first, but for our children and future generation’s health, happiness and well being, after that.

Think Blue, become Blue, speak Blue and be the change.

We ought to not only learn of Nature. (That does not help so much)  We must become a part of it, and the human segment of the solution to the equations addressing our Blue Marble’s evolutionary progress.

This link is to an Ocean brother’s TedX talk at San Diego recently. His work is far more significant than many may guess. Dr Wallace J Nichols, a Blue Voice.

If, as you get to the end of this, you are more interested, or just want to otherwise question who and what I am, here is a small cross section of my stills work, cut together to the Blue Voice of Hawaiian, Justin Young.¬† “Walking On Our Waters”

If it is true that a picture is worth a thousand words, this piece is a novel, albeit a hastily thrown together one. We got to see Justin perform last week here in Santa Barbara with Anuhea. The thought of it still makes me smile. Happiness comes from the Sea and Islanders love to share that.

 

Aloha Oe.

 

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Sea-Space Summit DC 2013

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

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I head to DC on Monday with Dr. Andrea Neal to participate in the Sea-Space Initiative Summit, which is headed up by Guillermo Söhnlein of Opus Novum.

Our intention is to get a look at the ongoing crisis in Japan, and examine some of the socio-political architecture which led to the catastrophic failure event at the six reactor Fukushima-Daichi Power Plant.  It is a disaster of massive scale. However, in that lies a great opportunity to create some fantastic change.

http://seaspaceinitiative.org/participants-dc13/

The last Summit was at Google, and this was what we did (among other things). I was in Dr. Lu’s study group. Ed identifies an issue and develops a plan that literally could save Earth. Then he implements it. (Doing is everything) Want to save something, I mean, really truly help? Donate to this.

http://b612foundation.org/tedxmarinedsept2012/

Since that time, our group (Blue Ocean Sciences LLC and Ocean Lovers) has been created and have developed a means of detecting and removing nuclear contaminants (aka persistent inorganic pollutants) from the water column. In fact, the system is able to remove a large variety  of water borne contaminants. (Our Teams and  Boards in both entities are highest bar)

We have solutions at our fingertips. Will we be able to implement them as a collective, to benefit mankind?

 

In a note to George Orbelian, one of the Ocean Lover Advisory Board members, regarding the upcoming Summit, I received an educated response and proposal for resolution. I have simply pasted the correspondence below.

 

Dear David,

 

Looks like a great group.

 

I think that it is time for less talking – and more doing.

 

We should have a 3D model of the planet earth and the universe – Google has it – Ojingo could add it to the Hasbro my3D concept and port it to smart-phones and social networks.

 

We put voyage tracker – the same stuff we got a Google Earth Hero award for – on everybody’s smart phone for free.

 

Everyone / Anywhere can send in what they see – we see all the earth in real time and can have scientists confirm the spots that need attention.

 

All the educational, scientific and business efforts are linked to this global network so that issues can be identified, solutions designed and implemented.

 

The ultimate reality show – our planet / real time / right now / real issues.

 

SURVIVOR – but this time it is for real – and for the children of the future.

 

We need to pull back the curtain of ignorance that is keeping people in the dark. We need to start implementing existing solutions now.

 

Apply this quote to the conference – and you’ll have something.

 

Justice is the first virtue of social institutions, as truth is of systems of thought. A theory however elegant and economical must be rejected or revised if it is untrue;

likewise laws and institutions no matter how efficient and well-arranged, must be reformed or abolished if they are unjust.

Each person possesses an inviolability founded on justice, that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override. For this reason justice denies that the loss of freedom for some is made right by a greater good shared by others.

It does not allow that the sacrifices imposed on a few are outweighed by the larger sum of advantages enjoyed by many. Therefore in a just society the liberties of equal citizenship are taken as settled;

the rights secured by justice are not subject to political bargaining or to the calculus of social interests. The only thing that permits us to acquiesce in an erroneous theory, is the lack of a better one;

analogously, an injustice is tolerable only when it is necessary to avoid an even greater injustice.

Being first virtues of human activities, truth and justice are uncompromising.

¬†From “A THEORY OF JUSTICE” BY JOHN RAWLS

 

Think what we would have if we wired all of our best institutions, libraries, laboratories and minds together – we have the technology to get the entire planet collaborating and working together today.

 

Best,

 

G

 

Many of us have a sense of direction in the determination of the future of the  earth via the Sea-Space connection. Being the son of a man who spent a lifetime as a Hawaiian waterman, as well as having a lifelong career in Aerospace, designing in most of our Space programs, I grew up with this connection between Sea and Space.

Not that I myself matter all that much, being one tiny cog in a massive collective of incredibly brilliant, connected, scientists, researchers and social change architects, but my life has been led in the Sea. Within my time-spatial reference is a deep understanding regarding the Ocean by virtue of the massive number of hours, days months and years I have spent in and on it in all parts of this blue marble.

So that is why I am going. To be that voice in the room.

George and I refer to Buckminster Fuller and the value of understanding Earth architecture a lot amongst ourselves.  This is well worth the watch, a 20 minute film which could help frame a new world view for us all.

 

http://vimeo.com/55073825#

 

We must come to the understanding that there is an exceptionally high value to be recognized in Human Virtue, and as a global society we have a key choice before us in this age, whereby we may select the option of being the source of solution, or in a veering away from the benefit of human virtue: the agents of negative change.

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Let us choose, with knowledge, wisdom and compassion as our filters.  A beautiful future may rest in us.

 

Aloha nui loa.

 

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The High Value in Story

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Surf story

All of us as creatives, are storytellers.

That is worth something.

So the integrity, skill and life experience of a creator, matters very much.

We function within a socio-economic system that is quite leery of the increasingly open source access to “their market”.

In a conversation with two sage colleagues in Photography today, I had to point out something. Basically it was this.

Just because surf publishing has deigned to not let you play, does not mean your voice is not valid. In fact, it is the opposite. Established fiscal entities do not necessarily WANT the broad market to know of you. Because then the market will look at you, and being fear based, that bothers many surviving publishers, whose park between the lines mentality is enforced each day by Corporate rule.

We laughingly refer to this mentality today as the “Race to the Bottom”. Seth Godin nails it here.

This may not be in anyone’s best interests. I am going to illustrate in a couple quick stories.

I met Ed Lu at Opus Novum’s Sea-Space Initiative Summit at Google last year. Ed is a water guy. He is also a Scientist and Astronaut. He had a question. So did many of the amazingly talented people there. The question was one of funding. At the end of the two day series of derivative workshops, we all sat in a circle. Three people sought answers to traction based funding questions. Absolutely the least educationally qualified in the room, the answer to their dilemma was crystal clear to me. In short, this is what I said.

“I know how you guys can solve this. The answer is you. No one knows who you are. You operate in agencies anonymously. You all simply need to tell your story”

Here is  Dr. Ed Lu, telling his story. I am a huge fan of Ed and his work. Indeed,  of everyone who cares, and is good at what they do. We all should be!

Here is Tom Waits telling a story in Hell Broke Luce. I will leave it to you to discover the grace which exists within his Art. STORY. It is an excellent example of collaboration in the Arts.

At Ocean Lovers, our new collaborative organization, a vital aspect is to get the story tellers together, all those which create. Our intention is to give them traction in our Socio-Economic system, and do it culturally. In so doing we affect culture and perception with a Philosophically accurate, Science based message that promotes community via Social and Economic sustainability.

This could work.

Tell your story.

Mojca, and her story for Betty B

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.

 

 

© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.

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