On being Hawaiian

9 01 2018

Hawaiians are gearing up for a ceremonial observance on January 17 of the overthrow of Queen Liliʻuokalani 125 year’s ago. I am Hawaiian.

I won’t be marching from Mauna Ala down Nuuanu Avenue and King street to Iolani Palace as I did in 1993 for the 100th observance, but I will be near the Iolani Palace bandstand in an information booth set up by the Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi Political Action Committee. I am a citizen of Ka Lāhui Hawaiʻi.

Last night I attended the first of several Mele Workshops taught by Kumu Hinaleimoana Wong to learn more about the songs of our nation. She entitled it “I Welo Mau Loa Kuʻu Hae Hawaiʻi / May my Hawaiian flag fly evermore…”

Kumu Hina

Kumu Hina wrote, “No matter the politics that divide us, let us unite through the bonds of our language, culture and our history.”

Mahalo e Kumu Hina.

I am compelled to encourage citizens to attend one of the remaining free workshops scheduled on Oahu. They are open to all. You will learn the songs, what the Hawaiian lyrics mean, and the tertiary kaona of the words. Kumu Hina’s manaʻo is inspiring and uplifting.

Schedule of Mele Workshops. Go!

125 years ago was not that long ago, Kumu Hina pointed out. When it was revealed at the workshop that I was the eldest person in the room, she said, “your grandparents’ generation.”

Yes, my maternal Chinese grandfather spoke Hawaiian, but his 15 children were forbidden to speak it in school. Unfortunately, I do not ʻōlelo either, but I love to sing Hawaiian songs.

ʻOnipaʻa kākou.

If you go ~ As I write this, the schedule of events for January 17, 2018, is flexible, except for the 10:45 a.m. raising of Hae Hawaiʻi at ʻIolani Palace, the exact time it was lowered and replaced by the American flag in 1893.


A show that celebrates peace and calm

6 01 2018

The Hoʻomaluhia New Year Invitational 2018 art show opened today with works depicting—you guessed it—Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden! At the base of the Koʻolau Mountains on Oʻahu, the park’s natural beauty is a “can’t miss” subject for any artist.

Go to the visitor center main gallery between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. any day this month through January 26 to view an inspired collection of works, including two of my oil paintings pictured below. Many are for sale. Greg Pai is the juror.

The public is invited to a reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, January 14.

Hoʻomaluhia means “let’s make peace and tranquility.” Enter the park at the end of Luluku Road in Kāneʻohe.

Mahalo for taking an interest in art! ~ Rebekah

“Clouds Lifting Over Lanihuli” reveal fresh waterfalls. 20″x 16” oil on canvas by Rebekah Luke

“Rain Fantasy,” 24″ x 18″ oil on canvas by Rebekah Luke

Welcome 2018

1 01 2018

Welcome 2018, studio fans. Wishing you peace, a lot of hope, and more love this new year.

View from the studio near the end of 2017. The waterfall started from the mega rainfall we had on the island.

In midtown Manhattan, a couple takes a selfie. Remember to LOVE.

Ready to receive

24 12 2017

Christmas Eve Day

Most of the presents are beside the small Christmas tree, although now as I survey the room I see that one of Santa’s elves still has some gift wrapping to do. I love the snowman.
This year we offered the studio early in December as the venue for a holiday party for some high school classmates. That was fun. Kaaawa is considered a “far” drive from anywhere else on Oahu. We started at 3 in the afternoon and folks could enjoy the scenery on the way to our place, as well as find their way in the daylight.

Mood set and home decorated, we mailed Hawaiian cards to friends and packages to family far away. Wreaths were a success again (see previous post).

My friend Kiana whose ministry is feeding houseless people (i.e., they don’t have kitchens or money for good food) planned a holiday meal for 200 and asked for help. Normally she does most of the food prep herself. I offered to bake some pies and managed eight of them. To donate those desserts was very satisfying to me. Can you understand?

Apple, pecan, pumpkin, and banana — photo by Lynette Cruz

Yesterday I baked a batch of “magic cookie bars” and divided it among our immediate neighbors. Later at a gathering Quinn, so cute, asked what they were because she didn’t get any; her brothers ate them all! I saved some that I’ll take to her today.

My hanai mom Ivalee, Pete and I enjoyed so very much the Windward Choral Society’s Christmas concert in Kailua this year. Choral Director Susan McCreary Duprey put together a fine program for her enthusiastic choir. What a lot of good energy.

I miss singing in a choir, small choirs, so my vocal coach suggested I join her church choir for Christmas Eve service. She needed a “reading alto.” Okay! That’s me, pick up singer. Tonight’s the night, 7 pm, in Kailua at Christ Church Uniting Disciples and Presbyterians.

Then, I will be ready to receive. A blessed, loving, and merry Christmas, everyone. ~ Rebekah 

Behold the wreath makers

16 12 2017

For many years now, about ten days before Christmas, I offer a wreath-making workshop for Kaneohe Yacht Club members, their guests, and my guests. Besides having a merry time with ti leaves and tropical flowers from the garden, it is a way for me to train and recruit lei makers for the summers when the Club hosts the arriving yachts in the Pacific Cub yacht race from San Francisco.

More than a dozen people came this morning, and as you can see from the photos, their designs are impressive. They were so tickled with their handiwork and having their pictures taken.

Fashioning fresh green wreaths for Christmas

Representatives of The Fleming Family: Bridget, Joan, and Leslie

Audrey Chang and Noma McLellan

Table decoration

Laurie Kim came with Bonnie Leong

April Nottage and Dana Nottage

Beauty at Longwood Gardens

27 11 2017

Whenever we’re in this part of Pennsylvania we pay a visit to Longwood Gardens. This time the designers decorated the halls and conservatories for the holidays for “A Longwood Christmas.”

We went in the afternoon and imagined how lovely it is at nighttime with the Christmas lights. No matter what the season, it is always a treat to see. Here’s my album.

Floating green apples and red cranberries for a design

Green apples and walnuts afloat in water

Close up of Christmas tree made of succulents

Phalaenopsis orchids cover this tree

Close up of the orchid tree

Amaryllis buds

Glass ornaments made by children

Merry Christmas

Life along a river

25 11 2017

Our journey brings us to the Chesapeake Bay/Severn River/Herald Harbor neighborhood. A morning walk with Poe and his master Dave revealed weekend homes along the river for the affluent and streets named after trees. The crisp air and red-leafed maple trees are sure reminders that we are not in Hawaii. Take a look at these beautiful views.

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