**Note to my beloved teachers and editors of punctuation and grammar: I have not forgotten you. I am on vacation. And I am still open to feedback. **
A common question I was asked leading up to my graduation was, “What are you planning to do after graduation?” My reply: “Hawaii.” Having grown up with the privilege to vacation and soak up the graciousness that is the Aloha Spirit of these Islands, Hawaii has always held a special place in my heart. For as long as I can remember, I have felt it hold me in a way that feels like a home of sensory delightfulness (more on that shortly). So after working and thinking hard for the past few years (28 of them) and having a girlfriend who stuck a needle (and then an earring) in her ear to remind her of her sense of belonging and need to return to this beautiful paradise, Kauai was where it made sense (aka made my senses yearn) to be.
My intentions for this leg of our trip were to revel in the glory of the land by ways of hiking, swimming, camping, meeting and spending time with new and old friends, and relaxing. And so we lived 5 weeks in what could be imagined as an overgrown, delicious smelling, sometimes (VERY) muddy garden with innumerable waterfalls and roosters, surrounded by water and in the middle of nowhere (but no worries there is a Costco that grows here). The smell of blossoming oranges and plumeria, the aqua and cerulean colors of the water, the green of the, well, greenery, the pinks, oranges, and purples (!!!!) of the fish, the sounds of the never ending crashing of the waves, the taste of local tropical foods, the dizzying sights of the raw, jagged, towering cliffs, the gentle cocooning warmth of the air and soft basalt beneath my trekking feet are all truly reminiscent of a dreamy paradise (and supports my fan club of God as the bestest artist in the whole world).
Dreams, both real and imaginary, are vivid and strong in this garden. It was a place that was quick to reflect my projections and expectations back as though pushing me to wake up. Illustration: I think Robyn is upset with me or that we are on the same page about something, only to realize, after discomfort of an impasse, that what I thought was obvious truth was in fact made up. The reason I share this with you is to really share that our trip to Kauai gave me an opportunity to watch the dances of my mind and its nature to trip fantastically. I’ve also learned that true relaxation leads to a sense of vulnerability which is a challenge for my ego to embrace. It is at this point when projections emerge, communication sucks, and it seems more comfortable to distract myself from fears of the unknown that lurk in my vulnerability.
Something else that we both found interesting was how the magical and dreamlike landscape lured people to escape their previous lives to immerse in the island lifestyle. We were intrigued with invitations to do the same. This sparked conversations and reflection about the reality of our lives fitting into Kauai. Could we see ourselves living here? How would we support ourselves? What would we do if we lived here? Would we be fulfilling or sacrificing our passions? This paradise inspired me to consider these questions that challenged me to see beyond the beauty of the island and realize its limitations. I was provided the opportunity to deeply examine what I think I want versus what I know I want. This is me getting real with who I am.
Although this section of our trip has come to a close, I am not done with this holy garden and I think we both look forward to being called back to share our dreams with the reality of this place whenever the time may be.
I hope that the pictures we post will give you a sensory taste of our time on this luscious island.
We are most grateful for our experiences here and give thanks for the land and its people, our friends (and parents!) who shared their homes with us, friends who came to spend time with us, and all those who helped us out in some way or another. Aloha!