I will not belabor this. I will simply try to explain. This promised, "Ever Changing Page" has been unchanging for more than two full weeks. And like a kid who has missed the deadline for her term paper--"The dog ate it." "It was lost in the mail."--I feel more than a bit chagrined to be offering excuses. There really are none.
I'll offer an anecdote instead. Somewhere in Minnesota 'Iokepa was bitten by a spider. It itched. It went away. It itched again.
Somewhere in Baltimore, the leg began to grow a red welt. In a matter of days, that leg began to resemble a tree trunk in size. (Yes, Native Hawaiians have extremely sturdy calves, but...) In a matter of hours, the red welt was the size of a baseball with a gaping hole in the middle. In a few more hours the poison began streaking up his leg.
We had a son in Baltimore who works in a hospital. This son insisted we go to his hospital's emergency room. ("They are not-for-profit; they must, by law, take everyone.") Within a half an hour, 'Iokepa's arm was hooked to an IV antibiotic, his leg was sliced open to drain, and he was admitted to Union Memorial Hospital.
I need say this (Perhaps, as an addendum to our, "On American Medicine" post): No one at Union Memorial blinked when 'Iokepa said that he had no health insurance. They didn't ask a single question when he told them that he no longer had a social security number. (His sole and primary identity is as a citizen of the Hawaiian nation).
The doctors, the nurses, the techs at this hospital were exemplary. They sent Return Voyage on the road after some days, with a shopping bag full of free antibiotic pills, and every manner of tool, instrument, medication and wrapping to pack and repack the wound on the road. There was absolutely no bureaucracy involved in any step of this. After we'd signed in at the emergency room, we never saw another piece of paper again.
These were simply human beings taking care of other humans beings. This was a genuine community--with common purpose and intention. This was intensely personal, vividly competent, and loving. It reminded us, most of all, of the indigenous culture we work to represent.
'Iokepa is well. The Ever Changing page is no longer frozen.