All posts tagged: Photography

Connect (Photo 101, Day 6)

I took this photo at Bongeunsa Temple in Gangnam, Seoul, South Korea. The peacefulness of this temple complex is a noticeable change from the bustling Gangnam that surrounds it and it’s definitely a place to both disconnect and reconnect. It was at Bongeunsa that a friendly woman motioned to my hula sister and me to enter into the building where she was praying. Once we reached the door, I noticed the room was filled with other women, some sitting in silent meditation or reading passages, while others were in the process of bowing. We removed our shoes and the woman who had welcomed us in, laid cushions on the floor for us to sit. Although she didn’t speak English, we followed her lead, entering quietly so as not to disturb everyone else. I sat quietly on the cushion and allowed all the elements of the room to engage my senses; the smell of incense, the hushed praying, the ornate statues. I glanced around me and made eye contact with our host, then bowed my head slightly to thank her for her hospitality while she smiled back. After 10 minutes of adjusting …

Solitude (Photo 101, Day 5)

On a hike to Sanbutsu-ji Temple, the cliff temple, I took this picture of my hula brother at a rest stop. Our hula tradition is based upon the concept of environmental kinship, so as he looked out at the mountains and the trees in foreign Japan, I could tell that he wasnʻt just resting and admiring the beautiful view, but that he was syncing himself and connecting to the environment around him. His breathing steadied, his body relaxed, and he would occasionally close his eyes to feel the gentle breeze on his skin and once, he was in harmony with his surroundings, he inhaled deeply and turned to me and smiled.

Water (Photo 101, Day 3)

There are several words for water here in Hawaiʻi, the most common ones being “wai”, a general term for fresh, drinkable water and “kai” for salt water. The first photo was taken at the base of the famed Hiʻilawe in Waipi’o Valley. I was fortunate to hike in with friends, but only after we received permission to cross through another friend’s property to see this historic waterfall. This second photo was taken at Hilo One (hee-low oh-ne), otherwise known as Hilo Bayfront. The water in the bay is usually calm due to the breakwater. As an extra, Iʻve also posted a scene taken at two different orientations. My personal favorite is the second landscape version. One can appreciate the fullness of the rainbow much better than the portrait version.  

Home (Photo 101, Day 1)

I’m very excited about taking my first Blogging U. course, Photo 101 and this is my very first entry! Today’s assignment is “home” and this is a picture of the sun rising over Kalapaki Bay, on my home island of Kauaʻi. I live on Hawaiʻi Island, home to the easternmost point of the Hawaiian archipelago, Kumukahi, where sunrises are well-documented in chant, hula, and literature.  This picture reminds of feeling at home in two places at the same time.

Weekly Small Pleasures (#6)

Dance and music have been the recurring themes for this amazing week. Back to Hula. Even though I “graduated”, my cohort was invited back to learn a new set of hula pahu (drum dances), so we have resumed twice a week practices for this month. These lessons also serve as preparation for our performances during the week of Merrie Monarch, both at the opening of the festivities and at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi. Learning and dancing again feels amazing, but I’m also grateful to be dancing next to people with whom I’ve danced for years and consider family. Here is one pahu set we performed two years ago which will be included in the  5-6  sets to be done at ʻImiloa. Enjoy and wish my knees luck these next few weeks! Solo Hiking in Volcanos National Park. I met with a lot of people this past week and being an introvert, by Friday, I was in need of huge doses of solitude and nature. After a week of miserable vog, today’s clear skies allowed me to do a solo hike. From the parking …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#5)

Diet Overhaul:  If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen those food videos from the likes of Tastemade and Cooking Panda that speed-up the prep and cooking of different dishes. The dish is shown from start to finish in a matter of a minute and only after my newsfeed was inundated with these videos was it confirmed for me, the amount of sugar and salt that’s in the American diet. Getting older means my body is evolving, so I can’t eat like I used to, not just because it’s not good for me, but because unhealthy food and large portions just don’t taste good or satisfying to me like it used to. Late last week, I decided to cut sugar, salt, pork, and beef from my diet for three months for a necessary detox. I’ve been told it’s commendable, but yesterday was day 3 of smaller portions, veggies, and tofu, and truth be told, I had a multi-sensory dream of eating wafu steak and a “traditional” loco moco the night before and it was not pretty. Being from Hawaiʻi, where food is so much a part of our local culture, it’s not surprising that …


  Yurihama is the sister city of Hilo and I was incredibly blessed to dance at the annual Hawaiian Festival one summer. On that trip, after meeting with government officials, we were whisked away to a beach and participated in an umibiraki ceremony. The ceremony was led by a Shinto priest tasked with declaring the sea “open and safe for swimming”. School children were then led by their teachers down to the ocean for a dip, officially kicking off the swimming season. Most Japanese adhere to the swimming season, so it was lovely to witness a formal ritual for something we take for granted in Hawaiʻi, where swimming season is year-round. Lately, I’ve been feeling like the world around me is so much more casual than I’m used to and it’s probably because there is not enough ritual in my life. For me, transitions marked by ritual, give me necessary pause. They allow for reflection on what has transpired and for visioning on how to progress into a next phase, so if I’m feeling like marked transitions are necessary for my own well-being, then perhaps incorporating ritual more intentionally in my life is a good …

Weekly Small Pleasures (#4)

Last month, I read a great New York Times piece by Sheila Heti, “Letter of Recommendation: Sick Days” and was grateful for the reminder that sometimes, being sick is necessary to get ahead. That being said, although I appreciated the article, I did the exact opposite and didn’t listen to my body when I started getting sick. I thought I could power through, but my flu blew up, which finally led me to see to the doctor, get some meds and a lot of rest, and now, I’m feeling a LOT better, so here’s to resuming my weekly small pleasures posts! As Doe Zantamata said so well, “Taking time to do nothing, often brings everything into perspective.” Amazingly Talented and Funny Singers. After watching Adele’s Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and her posing as an Adele impersonator for BBC, I was content to know that one of my favorite singers had a wonderful sense of humor, but then she went ahead and blew my world yet again. Adele showed up on the Ellen show this past week and pranked some poor workers at Jamba Juice and it was glorious! Then, as if that …