Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A reflection on the Capitol's design

Do you realize how amazingly cool our State Capitol is? Well, I didn't. I'm kicking myself this very moment for being so unappreciative of our state's history and architecture.

While on a tour of the State Capitol today with other newbie colleagues, I realized how jaded I've become about Hawaii and what it has to offer. When you live in one place for almost your entire life and have visited everything at least three times, the far away lands of Europe and Asia seem so much more appealing with all their ancient history and foreign culture conglomerated into a huge chunk of land.

I've visited the Reichstag building in Germany where a glass dome, glass interior walls and glass panels represent the transparency of the united German government, and allows visitors to see the German parliament at work 24/7. You can look into the Plenary Chamber from all sides and from above as you climb the spiral ramp that leads you to the top of the dome. Leave your skirts at home ladies.

It was magnificent!

But do you want to know something? After taking the tour this afternoon, I prefer our State Capitol to that 'ole modernized dome thingy way over there in Berlin. The Reichstag is certainly grand and well-designed with a hint of the past and an intense proclamation of a new future -- but it's not home and it's not Hawaii.

In the glass dome, you wouldn't feel the warmth of the sun kissing your cheeks when you realize that the eight pillars along each side of the Capitol resemble palm trees. You wouldn't blush in embarrassment for not noticing that the fountains pouring water into the pond that surrounds the capitol were shaped like Hibiscus'. You wouldn't experience a panic attack when you forget that you aren't in a volcano surrounded on all sides by water. You wouldn't feel your skin slowly prickle from your fingers to your elbows like dominoes while walking by the statue of Queen Liliuokalani.

I saved the best for last.

You wouldn't have been able to play "Fishing Derby" from the fourth floor of the capitol building. Rumor has it that when there was Koa fish in the pond surrounding the Capitol, Derby contestants used string, paper clips and lunch bits to hook and reel in dinner. Rumor has it.

Visit HERE for some of the ghost stories I heard on my tour of the Capitol.

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