Sunday, July 1, 2007

Pronoun Problems

At first, it was clear to me that Kona was me with a different personality. But that didn't last long. As it seemed that Kona stayed behind when I roamed away from the house, or anyway, he wasn't accessible when I was with Lani and Lono, the illusion was created that he had a separate physical existence. Since I was only just turning three, that illusion could overcome my limited experience with the world. I came to think of Kona as capable of splitting off from me.

The use of the word "me" gets problematic. At first, Kona is a creation of my imagination. He's an idea that has been allowed to take on a life of its own.

But people who have thought deeply about human existence carefully for thousands of years will tell you that we are all ideas that have been allowed to take life. All existence is illusion, right? This is part of what that means. The me that did the creating of Kona was a fiction to the same degree that Kona started out being.

Once Kona could be believed in, once the illusion was strong enough, Kona had as much right to be the "me" that the first imaginer had. I should say imagined imaginer. Alaka'i didn't really imagine Kona into existence. Kona came into existence by the same imagination that imagined Alaka'i into existence, and that imagination simply imagined that it was Alaka'i.

At any rate, it's admittedly a tangle, and I dealt with it at the time by using "me" relatively. "Me" was whoever I was at the time. There were 3 names. Alaka'i meant the original personality. Kona meant the new one. Wesley meant either one, depending on who was active.

By the way, my English was still not very good. I mostly pronounced words in accordance with Pidgin rules for changing English sounds into Hawaiian sounds. That means b and f become p, that s, t, d, z, zh, sh, ch, and j and g all become k and sometimes t, that r becomes l, and that vowels are inserted after consonants that don't already have them. So "Wesley" was actually "Wekali" to me, accent on the first syllable.

I still wouldn't use Wekali with Lani and Lono, because it meant nothing to me, except that my parents gave it to me, and I detested it.

That's not to say I detested all of my parents' gifts. My Father was by now in the habit of spending a small amount of each payday's check on cheap presents for me. There were jacks, marbles, toy cars, toy soldiers, pinwheels, balloons, and sometimes picture books. Not all bad. I learned that Fridays meant stuff.

As my birthday approached I kept asking if that Friday's stuff included the promised ball, only to be told that my birthday hadn't arrived. I didn't know calendars yet.

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