Month: December 2015

My Grandpa, My Best Friend

What is your earliest memory? Describe it in detail, and tell us why you think that experience was the one to stick with you. The earliest memory I have is being 1-year old and crying at the back door of the house. My parents had gone to work and I was left alone with my grandfather who, because he was retired, was tasked with babysitting me. I stood there, tears streaming down my face, pounding on the door, wishing to be close to my mother, but unable to articulate exactly what I wanted. My grandfather picked me up and comforted me, holding me close, bouncing me slightly, while softly saying “shh-shh-shh” and walking me back to the living room. I remember crying in his arms for a bit longer and then the memory ends. My parents and I lived with my grandparents, so it was as if I had two sets of parents. Being an only child, I had no playmates growing up, so my grandfather became my best friend, and we ended up being an unlikely …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Now

I am meekly standing amongst all that is Kūkaʻōhiʻalaka, in the mist that drenches you without you even noticing, and welcoming Kānehoalani. I am still in awe of Ke Ala Polohiwa a Kanaloa two nights ago and especially during this particularly rainy season of Lonoikamakahiki. It’s kapu hua, so no ritual. I just needed to press the “reset” button this morning and get back to basics. There’s really nothing more basic, and profound, than slowing down to witness and drink in the beauty happening around us every day. May you all have a magical holiday season. … in response to Now Some interesting reads: Kino Lau: Finding the Spirit of the Divine in the Ordinary World Moon Phase Project Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death (of particular concern for cultural practitioners)  

To Roam or Not to Roam? That’s Never a Question.

In response to There’s No Place Like Home If you had the opportunity to live a nomadic life, traveling from place to place, would you do it? Do you need a home base? What makes a place “home” to you? I could probably do well living a nomadic life, but as I’ve matured, I’ve developed attachments that keep me tied to a home base. Growing up with little resulted in me valuing stability and comfort. Luckily for me, I have opportunities to break away, to live out of my suitcase for extended terms and to explore the world, while being able to return to familiarity and convenience. Other cultures have fascinated me my entire life. It has a lot to do with the fact that I began traveling at a very early age. Despite my family not having a lot of money, they still managed to save up and send me on trips to visit relatives and later, to international destinations for hula. Boarding school allowed me to further refine my independence. The love of …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Gathering

Gathering I spent 2 weeks in Taiwan this summer and looking back on that experience, what I loved was how people seemed to gravitate easily toward each other there. Whether it was spending time in a group or traveling alone, one never felt lonely. What first greeted me outside the airport was a thick wall of sticky heat. It’s not like I was surprised by it, since I had been tracking the weather for weeks prior, but it certainly took getting used to. When I met up with my long-time mentor, who now lives in Taiwan, he asked, “Of all the months, why are you here during summer? It’s the most miserable time of the year,” as he sat in the shade, soaked in his shirt. Well, after the first 3 days of saying “It’s hot,” I made the conscious decision to stop talking about the weather. There was so much more to get excited about and complaining about the heat was preventing me from opening up to new experiences. Over the course of the next two …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eye Spy

Eye Spy I traveled a lot this past year, mostly alone, so when I searched my pictures from my travels for this challenge, I realized that I’m definitely on the road to perfecting the half-face selfie, face mask optional. The creepy one in South Korea is probably my favorite of the bunch.