All posts tagged: postaday


Transition Last December, I went through the rites of ʻūniki which, in the tradition of my hālau, is a formal graduation ceremony marking ones transition to becoming a kumu hula or a teacher of hula. Every tradition is different. Some hālau do not ʻūniki students, while others do. I share this image with all of you because it was a defining moment in the ceremony. It was the culmination of my lifelong career as a hula student and the beginning of a new chapter. A kumu hula from a different tradition tied on my pāʻū kaula and was the first to greet me into this prestigious guild of hula masters. Becoming a kumu hula has been something I’ve reflected upon hundreds of times in the past year. I continue to mourn the end of my time as a hula student and although my new role demands its own attention, I now have time and space to properly process my transition between death and rebirth within the hula realm.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Boundaries

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Boundaries.” I’ve always found torii fascinating, as they mark the transition between secular and profound, or profane and sacred, in Shinto religion. Although it’s human nature to gravitate toward and remain in what is more comfortable or worse, to neo-colonize those distinctly different realms to be the same, the process of going through a transition and stepping outside of ones comfort zone is always a good thing. It reminds us that being spiritual and being human are not mutually exclusive. 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

Even though we can’t watch the sun dip below the horizon from the east side of the island, doesn’t mean Hilo people can’t enjoy sunsets. Seeing the last minutes of sunlight serving as the backdrop of Mauna Kea is always a pretty sight. Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast:

Weekly Photo Challenge: Room

Earlier this year, my hālau performed upon the kahua hula at Kaʻauea in Volcanoes National Park. On that day, we prepared for the exhibition in this thatched single room hale. According to the Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation, the hale was originally erected in 1980 and has been maintained and restored throughout the years. On that day, rays of sunlight and stray raindrops came through the roof above, while smooth pebbles gently massaged the soles of my feet with every step. Hundreds of dancers whose hālau prepared to demonstrate their respective traditions once stood where I stood and hundreds more would do the same after me. I was grateful to join such an illustrious membership. The kahua hula we danced upon was the brainchild of Edith Kanakaʻole. Edith played an integral role in the proliferation of Hawaiian culture within and beyond traditional and western educational systems and I consider her one of my contemporary role models. Edith understood the importance of cultural education and devoted her life to the endeavor of perpetuating Hawaiian lifestyles for the well-being of our community. Dancing to Pele, Edith’s ancestor, smoldering at Halemaʻumaʻu in the distance, was a mahalo to Edith …

Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist

“Twist” is filthy with meaning: it’s the unexpected, it’s surprise, it’s even an amazing ice cream choice. What does “twist” mean to you? This past week, I was up close and personal with the long aerial roots of a young banyan tree. Since I was in a public space, I couldn’t possibly swing from it, like I did when I was child, so I pushed it to and fro, and enjoyed watching it sway. When I caught the clump of roots to push it again, I looked down to see black bugs, the size of small cockroaches, swarming from the center of the roots, even crawling over my hand. I had unknowingly awoken them and they began to swarm, panicked that their home was under attack. I suppose what’s fun for one person, isn’t fun for everybody… Weekly Photo Challenge: Twist |

Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring!

Share a photo which describes what spring means to you. The light during today’s late afternoon hike at Puʻu Huluhulu was absolutely magical. Spring is here! Weekly Photo Challenge: Spring! |

side orders | Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty

For this week’s challenge, you must write a fifty-word story. Not five thousand, not five hundred, but precisely fifty words. She ducks into her favorite booth, the tacky vinyl sticking to the backs of her legs as she slides toward her favorite part of the seat. Once there, she breathes in the familiar and usually comforting aroma of coffee and pancakes, but it doesn’t make her feel better. Not today.   I really enjoyed this challenge, since it allows me to dabble in fiction without fully committing. Whatever idea for a story, I can fit succinctly into 50 precise words and then step away. I like that. I might do more of it.  Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty |  

E is for Expression

Do you love to dance, sing, write, sculpt, paint, or debate? What’s your favorite way to express yourself, creatively? I have a variety of artistic outlets, but my favorite is dancing. I began dancing hula as a child and quit before high school. In the years I wasn’t dancing hula, I tried other dance forms, like jazz, ballet, latin, even modern. I also endured my fair share of dance-related injuries, including shin splints, sprains, and a dislocated knee. 6 years ago, I returned to hula and have been dancing regularly, twice a week, for 2-3 hours each practice. For me, hula isn’t just exercise. It has permeated all aspects of my life, informing my career, my life, and my relationships. It’s taken me to grand and humble stages around the world to learn about new cultures and dance forms, and to be able to recognize and honor their parallels to Hawai’i.  As Maya Angelou has said, “we are all more similar than different” and that truth has been reaffirmed in the connections I’ve forged, engaging with the people, environments, and myths of those locales, all while knowing myself …