Category Archives: Language

E Pluribus!

5/6

Blood draw at Kaiser’s South Kona Clinic. I don’t think I’d been drawn  by Lewis before: he poo-pooed any talk of wiggly veins and popped me in my left arm, first try. Good man.

The hospital where they will do radiation work is about 2 miles further down the pike, so a 65 or 70 mile round trip, five days a week. Not looking forward to it.

Knitwits meeting at 1:00. I have lucked into a group of friendly, intelligent, and tremendously supportive women, and am very grateful for it.  At least five of the women are cancer survivors, so we talked about that for a while, then veered off to other subjects. I don’t know how we got on the subject of odd names, but I told the story of Nell collecting names when she worked pediatric reception at Kaiser Oakland, back when I was a kid. I mentioned Windorla and Edmonia and Captain Wolf Perry (a newborn), but when I brought up E Pluribus Eubanks, Anne chimed in with the last name, and laughed. Anne’s partner had worked as a paralegal in the criminal justice system in Alameda County, and E Pluribus had been a fairly regular  visitor, for a variety of misdemeanor charges. Small world indeed.

Rainbows on everything.

License plate

The rainbow is the official symbol of Hawai’i, and here it is on my brand new license plates. I like the ZAZ part — the last California plate I had included the letters VAK, which always made me think of a vacuum cleaner. Yesterday I spent three hours at the motor vehicle department, registering the car and getting new plates, but also getting a Hawai’ian driver’s license and registering to vote. I am now, officially, a citizen of the Great State of Hawai’i, and pleased to be so.

About the “Aloha State” motto: just as the word “shalom” means a number of things, the word “aloha” can mean a tremendous number of things, depending on usage: love, affection, and the object of those emotions; compassion, mercy, sympathy, pity, kindness, sentiment, grace, charity, kind, compassionate charitable, to show kindness, pity. Hawai’ians refer to the Spirit of Aloha, meaning a spirit of courtesy, sharing, and mutual respect. (A footnote: my sister’s partner, Burny, slowed his truck down to let someone merge ahead of him, but the other driver (probably a tourist) just froze. “Not ready to accept,” Burny said, shaking his head, “the Spirit of Aloha.”)

Even used as a greeting, Aloha has shades of meaning:

~ Aloha ʻoe, may you be loved or greeted, greetings (to one person).
~ Aloha kāua, may there be friendship or love between us, greetings (to one person); ~ ~ ~ Aloha kākou, same as above, but to more than one person.
~ Ke aloha nō! Aloha! Greetings! (The nō may be prolonged for emphasis.)

Here’s an interesting essay on The Deeper Meaning of Aloha if you want to read more about it.