In the last ten or so years that I’ve been a freelance writer, I’ve been accustomed to living far from the venues in which my work has been published. This has meant a kind of comfortable anonymity in that for many years I never ran into someone I knew who had read one of my articles. Perhaps that was because I was always moving around, from Hawaii to Montana to London to Philadelphia to New York, and “someone I knew” was a pretty small group. Even in London, only a few other reviewers or authors saw my pieces in the The TLS.

Since I’ve been back in Hawai`i, even before I began writing regularly for the Honolulu Advertiser, that has all changed (as I’ve discovered before, but certainly during the 2nd Annual Hawaii Book & Music Festival last weekend). Former colleagues have told me they saw something I wrote for Hemispheres when flying to the mainland; hula sisters and friends told me they saw my reviews and column in the paper; former students and even my childhood dentist told me they saw my article in Spirit of Aloha when they were flying to an outer island. Anonymity? Not here.

Don’t ever think that people don’t read in-flight magazines, an editor told me, and it’s true. But I do hope they’re reading the latest issue of Spirit of Aloha, a gorgeous all-photography issue featuring a collection of startling, surreal and captivating shots from Hawaii-based photographers who aren’t unknown but aren’t the best know either: Sergio Goes, Ken Briner, Linda Ching, Scott Tylor (his website needs a good editor), and more.

I wrote the centerpiece, The Image Within, about the power of the Hawaiian image in particular. Here’s a taste, but click on the link above or the title of the post to read it in its entirety. (Then, of course, you can view the photos) :

“Over the years, the image the world holds of Hawai‘i has been shaped more by the intense gravity of photographs than any other communications source. Even though millions have visited in those years—some 200 million since the end of World War II—it is the many photographs of the place—beautiful, poetic—that make peo­ple feel connected and inspire the way visitors who haven’t yet arrived think about the state’s character and land­scape. Like writing, the photographic image be­comes a conversation between two distinct imaginations: The viewer anticipates and expects, the photographer presents. … “

Photo linked to Spirit of Aloha Magazine, with thanks!