na iwi koena – remaining skeletons


Aloha kakou e na hoa heluhelu (Greetings to our reading friends),

Today was a day where time seemed to mix together. Alohalani and I walked from our B&B to the Colosseum. It’s roughly a five mile walk, give or take a

few feet. The walking was good as we have been eating more than we
normally do. We walked pretty quickly along the early morning streets. The lighting was perfect for photos. Kinda hard to take
a bad photo with Roman scenery as colorful and picturesque. The first thing we come upon is a lovely flower shop with yellow sunflowers as bright as our sun rising in the east. We pass restaurants with smells of fresh baked pastries and cappuccino, newstands with the latest about the disastrous mudslides down south. The morning light
brings out the reds, oranges and golds of the red brick walls all around us. The same colors again revealed to us by our welcoming sunflowers. Cars are bustling about as Sunday is the busiest day for the vatican and other historical sites.
We cross bridges that pass over the Tiber River and up through narrow streets. The cacophony of church bells resonate throughout the alleyways with discordant clangs reminiscent of someone hitting cast iron kettles.

We continue on as folks pass us on their way to Sunday services. The architecture here is so different here. Craftsmen still pride themselves over their work. Door knobs are not just doorknobs. They’re works of art. Light fixtures become dragons. Wind sills become art. We stop for a quick bite to eat. You must stand at the counter to drink your cappuccino and eat your chosen meal. For us this morning we had mozzarella and tomato sandwiches with the crusts cut off. You quickly

eat and drink as others are also waiting to eat as well. Off we continue towards history. We first stop at the foot of the Capitoline Hill and see modern buildings with winged bronze figures and chariots pulled by fierce horses next to broken remnants of fresco red brick walls a juxtaposition of what we are about to find just around the corner.
Then we climb up these majestic steps guarded by black marbled lions and the ancient twin gods Castor & Pollux, Nanamua & Nanahope themselves. We are standing on Capitoline Hill being watched by impending Roman statues. They look down upon us as if to remind us that we are short timers and they will be standing long after we’ve gone. This courtyard and buildings were designed by Michael Angelo himself in the 1500s. I’m thinking to myself that the Kaulike dynasty is ruling on Maui simultaneously. Trippy. We come upon Marcus Aurelius as he sits nobly upon his menacing steed. Romulus and Remus are also seen watched over by Minerva, the goddess of wisdom born of her father’s brain. I am quickly reminded of our Goddess Haumea who also was in her latter life born of the brain. I thought of Kamohoali’i who is also the keeper of ancestral memories, also born of his mother’s brain. Hoihoi keia ia’u. Romulus and Remus are set afloat the Tiber river to be saved and nursed by an Estruscan wolf mother. Remus is given the country but Romulus is given the treasury, the means to overcome and conquer over his brother. Very similar to Maui, Hakau & ‘Umi, Kiwala’o & Kamehameha. I cannot help but find similarities in Hawaiian & Roman history.
We come upon the Forum and walk through the prison of the apostles. We marvel at the great columns and remnant structures that are still standing, some 2,500 years later. The bits and pieces of once imperial buildings are strewn about on the ground. Remaining cobblestone pathways with ancient chariot ruts are reminders of the activity that once occurred here. The ali’i hill known as Palatino Hill looms over us with beautiful citrus, olive and flower laden gardens. Grottos, fountains and sounds of flowing water remind me that those who own water yield power.
Our next visit is the colosseum. I cannot help but remember Chuck Norris and Bruce Lee’s final battle played out within one of these circled walls. So silly, but that’s my immediate connection to the place. When you walk into the place the burnt and blacken walls remind you quickly about the fiery siege that took place at the fall of Rome. When we walk through the entry ways and find ourselves surrounded by the massive circular and arched walls one cannot help but feel small and insignificant. The central lower alleys and rooms quickly remind you of the horrified fascination some must’ve felt for the crazed gladiators and hungry exotic animals fighting one another. They say that the very first elevators were built here and that the whole colosseum was covered by a canopied top. Wow! Simply marvelous….. These iwi koena, remnant skeletons, of a society which once owned nearly the whole world are wondrous indeed.
We leave knowing that we must return as we really didn’t get to spend time in other areas. So I suppose we shall do that tomorrow. Stay tuned for the next posting of Hawaiians in Italy.
Ciao Gangeh!
Kalei Nu’uhiwa
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