Saturday, August 11, 1984

Letters to Pele, Hawaii journal, Volcano

At Volcano House, on Kilauea crater, people are returning chunks of lava called Pele's tears. It is kapu to remove rocks from the Big Island. Pele is a jealous goddess.


May 24, 1983: a man bought the international truck from the Park Service but began to have bad luck. The windshield wipers kept falling off, and the turn signal would quit for no apparent reason. While changing the shocks he found Pele's tears on the suspension bars. He returned the rocks and said the truck works fine now.

August 30 1983: a man returned his shoes to the island. He said, I feel foolish doing this but after 30 separate incidents of bad luck I am returning a box of Peles' tears that I stole from the goddess. And the shoes too. (He's taking no chances). Please absolve my sins by returning these to the water.

A man from Santa Rosa says: My conscience tells me the horrible rains in California may be related to Pele. She finally discovered that I stole all those tears. These are all the tears I took, honest. Please ask Pele to stop the rain in Northern California. Too many tears.

Another person writes that the kids are returning Pele's lava. They are tired of all the bad luck.

November, 1983: Jeff Williamson returned pahoehoe and said he lost an airline ticket, he went broke, and a trees fell through his house, etc. He also sent back pine incense to be burnt to make amends at the crater.

Another writes: Nothing bad happened with these rocks but my family is full of hicktown idiots who will believe anything.

Here's a testimonial for your files. I was in Denver in a monstrous snowstorm that ruined my family reunion, and another one the week before. Well, enough is enough. We are returning to Pele all of her rocks, and all of the pieces of coral we took as well in the first case. Please tell her to release us from her terrible spell.

One woman said that the curse were true and she wants her wedding ring back. She said: My love life is terrible. Could you relay my sincere regrets to the goddess for me? Being a goddess, she knows who I am. PS I took pieces from the younger Pele.

Another said: please return these rocks. I'm a believer.

1969: Seattle: I took six trips to Hawaii and I have had numerous injuries: broken elbows, torn knee, sprained toes, punctured eardrum, you name it. So I'm returning these rocks.

Please return to Madame Pele. I picked them up in 1937 while serving in the U.S. Army. Now, maybe my luck will change.

!971: Not that my life has been so bad but there have been difficult times. So nothing seems to been quite right since my wife left, job is poor, I'm thinking it's Pele.

1978: Dear People, I deliberately took the enclosed rock of lava from the volcano knowing the legend of the goddess Pele, not being a person who believes in bad luck. I thought maybe that was just superstition. Five years later, and 10 car accidents, two unsuccessful business ventures, and twice brokenhearted, I admit there might be something to it. Enclosed is a rock of lava, please return it to where it belongs. Thanks in advance.

Halemao'oma'u is Pele's home. As I stand in front of the seismograph, I watch four earthquakes, and two volcanic tremors being recorded within three minutes. It's a seismic calligraphy dance.

This morning I asked Ed if he wanted anything from the crater. He said, Nothing, thanks. Just don't bring back any lava.

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