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thoughts

SOME THOUGHTS…

Hello, my dear readers!

It is so good to be back into the normal operations of this blog! As I said on last week’s Friday post, today we’re going to be diving into my heart rather than poetry or writing. While that is the focus of this blog, I do like to give you guys some insight into what I’m thinking every now and then.

Here are five random things on my mind right now, courtesy of my brain. I hope you enjoy, and that you share your own thoughts with me in return! ❤

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Mountaintop model, hmm? Yeah, probably not! (Mauna Loa, Hawaii // July 2019)

1. “ROUND AND ROUND” BY GEOWULF IS STUCK IN MY HEAD

I have been listening to this song by Australian dream pop group Geowulf for the past few weeks now. It’s pretty introspective, and it’s got a good beat. But we writers tend to gravitate toward the words we see and hear, and that’s what makes Geowulf’s song stand out so much in my head. With lines like “I’ve been running, running from myself” Geowulf asks its audience to contemplate what we’re running from.

Check out the song.


2. KINDNESS IS NOT GIVEN BY ALL

A few days ago I ran into someone whom I hadn’t seen in years. This person had once been a good friend of mine, but we eventually grew apart after an unfortunate confrontation. Just for fun, I decided to drop by my old school, where I happened to see her. I exclaimed her name, genuinely excited to see her, but she realized it was me, said a curt hello, and kept walking.

My heart hurt after this rudeness. Yes, we hadn’t left on the best terms, but her blatant disgust with me hasn’t dimmed in the past few years, which is ridiculous. To think that we’d once been good friends, had parted due to a civil confrontation, and moved on with our lives… And yet she was still acting as if we were seventeen.

The thing is that people are not always going to like us. There are jealousies, mistakes, and petty feuds. It’s how friends become enemies, and allies divide into factions. Though I was upset at first with the rudeness, I considered a few things and realized I’d rather share kindness and receive rudeness than share rudeness and receive kindness.

Hopefully one day I will see her again, and she will be more receptive towards me. Time will tell, especially when one lives in a small town.


3. MY BEST FRIEND AND I WILL BE REUNITED IN ONE WEEK!

Though you will be able to read into my summer updates post on Friday, I do want to say that I’m about to head back to school in California for my final semester of college. While I am not excited for classes, I’m definitely pumped at the thought that my best friend, Miss Givenchy, and I will be back at it again in one short week. 🙂

We’ve been separated for four months, and though it doesn’t feel like it has been that long, it is about time to be reunited once more!


4. PRAYING FOR PEOPLE IS PRETTY COOL

All right. Some of you are going to read this and cringe, but I’ve got to be honest with you guys. As a Christian I’m pretty vocal about my faith, and it’s gotten me through so many things. So I’m going to be as honest on this blog as I would be in real life.

This past summer my church started a program that’s pretty cool, and I think it’s something you guys should do in your own lives. The “Who’s Your One?” initiative is a chance for you to pray for one person in particular for an amount of time you choose. It’s pretty simple: Pick someone who needs some prayer, and spend a few minutes out of your day in thought for him or her.

Some of you are irreligious, but I’m telling you: Praying for somebody else is amazing. It’s not about you; it’s about the person you’re praying for, and to put positive energy out there is exactly what this world needs right now! 🙂


5. WE ALL MAKE MISTAKES, BUT WE MUST BE WILLING TO CORRECT THEM

A few days ago I was flying my airplane. I had to take park it in a very tight spot, and I was alone in pushing it back. Now Cessna 172s are not super easy to navigate (on the ground at least), and I’m a sponge when it comes to strength. So there I was, a noodle of a girl trying every maneuver possible to move this airplane off the taxiway, when I heard a pop! and my heart about burst and popped too.

I looked down and saw I’d broken a piece off the horizontal stabilizer in my attempt to move the airplane. Somehow, despite not having the strength to move my plane, I’d had the strength to break a piece off it.

Not my smartest move, not by a mile.

After finding a mechanic and reporting my error, I took a deep breath and thought to myself: Okay. You found the man responsible for repairs. You’ve offered to pay for it. You’ve done the paperwork. You’ve beat yourself up a bit, and there’s nothing more to do.

Sometimes our mistakes are big ones. Sometimes our mistakes are small ones, though they can feel much bigger in the moment. Whatever it is, we must remember our response to our human error is just as important as what we’ve done. Nobody’s perfect, and everybody should know that by now. 🙂

And guess what? We learn from our mistakes in the process.

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Why not post a random picture like this? (Somewhere in Chile // November 2017)

YOUR THOUGHTS!

Now it’s your turn. What are some things that have been on your mind lately? If you don’t want to share in the comments below, I challenge you to find a piece of paper and jot down five things that you can’t stop thinking about. 🙂

Thank you guys for being part of this blog. It means the world to me! I know I say that all the time, but it’s true.

Until next time,

-K. ❤

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poetry

seaweed (a poem)

seaweed like a corpse slices
across the beach, with tendrils
like emerald fingers clutching
for the briny, golden shore.

i walk to it, curiosity seeping
out of me, wondering why
it looks as if medusa’s scalp
has suddenly washed ashore.

where did this come from?
why now did the sublime sea
think it timely to spit up
this messy creature before me?

but eventually my interest
fades, just like the sunset
slipping across this
balance beam of horizon.

there is so much more here
than this beached seaweed:
there is the stab of mystery
that brings me to the edge.


AN EXPLANATION.

Hello, my dear readers!

I am sorry I have been MIA lately (check out next Friday’s blog post for the explanation). You guys give me so much inspiration, and I do feel like I have been missing out in the past few days, as I have not been active on WordPress. That being said, I am back and very much excited to be part of this community’s happenings!

“seaweed” is a poem I wrote for creative writing class last autumn. It’s not one of my favorite poems, but I thought it would be applicable to this blog, as we like to discuss philosophy and mystery here at Katie Kay.

There is something poignant about things we cannot fully understand. Maybe what I mean by this is that we see something as vast and powerful as the ocean, and despite knowing what it is, we’re not really able to fathom it completely. Okay, some of you skeptics out there are like: “Huh? What is this girl talking about?” But I’m here to say that when I look out into the vast beyond, I am normally quite astounded by the immense unknowns. We don’t know what all is there, despite having a basic understanding of what the ocean is.

Here I go again rambling, but I’m serious: Consider a place in nature, and think on it for a second. Maybe your place is a park in your hometown, or a mountaintop that has special meaning to you, or a beach where you dig your toes into the sand. Imagine yourself there, and then close your eyes. Hear the sound of the ocean, or the wind, or the whistle of the birds. Fully envision yourself there.

Now reflect on what you feel, what you’re thinking, what you’re imagining, as you dive into this place you’ve chosen. Probably you’ve found yourself wondering a whole lot more about your world than this special place in your heart.

Today I challenge you to take a moment and reflect on your life. We’re not guaranteed every day on this planet, so we must make the most of the time we’ve got. And for me, that’s finding solace in nature, even when things aren’t as pretty as they seem.

Okay! We will have a brighter post on Monday. I think Monday will be a “life” post, and then you can expect an “update” post next Friday, in which I explain what I’ve been up to.

I’m very excited to get back into the swing of reading your posts, and I mean that! Thank you for keeping up with me in the meantime.

-K.

 

writing

CATCH THE WIND (a short story)

EVERY WHICH WAY there are faces.

Black, white, brown, yellow, red, pink skin. Giant, small, lopsided, almond-shaped eyes. Broken hearts, swelling pride, fragmented dreams, wondering what happened to fuel them this far.

A billion stories reside within the souls of these people, and the depths of discovery here have no limit. There must be millions on these busy streets, in the swelling metropolis of New York City, as the hubbub of car horns blasts from the roads. But I don’t want to be anywhere else, even as their body heat turns my cheeks ruddy and a woman falls over me.

 It is chaos: A sweet, simple, human chaos. A chaos I don’t pay attention to often, a deep dream that is blurred by my career, my family, the city itself. Usually I am a thoughtless wanderer, off to work, off to the routine. But for a strange reason, today, I watch those around me.

A girl on her father’s shoulders stares out in the sea of bodies asking for cotton candy.

Businessmen and women chirp into phones, sipping on warm coffees, pupils aglow with the thought of greenbacks.

A hipster dances past, headphones deep in his ears.

A young teenager attempts to read a novel without bumping into anyone else. Good luck, kid. I wish I had that skill.

A few paces ahead, the dark red hair of a woman catches my eye–that luminosity, the shine, a color that stands out anywhere.

But it’s when my mind captures individual faces, I am astounded by the complexity of our world, and how this is where I am meant to be at this exact moment. For a reason. My heart swells inside me like a rushing tide ready to break free onto warm sand. Humanity is unimaginable, incomprehensible, and I am a witness to the individual facets of this species. 

And then I see him.

Up ahead, a tall man glides down the road, a peculiar hat perched on his head despite the cloudy day, the perfect weather. He glances back, sweat trickling down his cheeks like dripping candle wax. My eyes unfalteringly set on him. He blends into the crowd. His head bobs over the regulars and the tourists, but there is nothing special about him. Normal features, normal attire, normal everything, really. Could be a banker or a teacher, who knows. He tugs on his hat a few times, pulling it closer to his crown. Maybe he’s a murderer, I decide in the loneliness of my skull; maybe he’s an angel. He glances back around him, avoiding stubborn souls sweeping down the sidewalk.

Somehow–and for whatever reason–he locks eyes with me. As my gaze focuses in on his warm amber irises, it happens like magic: He is gone, a departed ghost. A mysterious flash, within the blink of an eye.

I stop in my tracks. A man barrels over me, and then like the parting of the Red Sea, people swim around me down the street. But I pay no attention. I look down the way to the spot where I saw this man disappear, and a squirmy ache in my heart sickens me. What did I witness? He was gone in a literal flash, like the sudden disappearance of the sun on a perfect day.

With careful examination of the crowd, I see nothing. Even if he didn’t disappear or I simply blinked and he was gone, I would never be able to find him, not with the hordes of people pushing past me now. They pass me by, their arms grazing my flesh, and I realize how lonely inside I am, how crazy I must be. People don’t disappear into the clouds. With a thumping heartbeat, I look up into the sky, as if this is a plausible way the man left the streets. Maybe it is. Maybe it isn’t.

Tiny teardrops of water hit my nose. Did anyone else notice? 


AN EXPLANATION.

Oh, my beautiful readers! This post is one of the weirdest I’ve done in a while, and that’s because of the story around it.

As some of you guys know, I’m working on a novel right now called Church Boy. It’s a 55,000 word Christian romance novel that I’m hoping to publish soon. And somehow as I was editing this book late at night on August 5, I stumbled upon my Submittable account. What is Submittable, and why does it matter?

Submittable is a way for writers to query multiple agents at once. It’s an easy tool to use, and somehow I fumbled upon my account and saw my previous works I’ve sent off to agents in the past few years. And “Catch the Wind” was one of them.

According to this entry date, I submitted this short story to a magazine in February 2015. (Over four years ago, what in the world?). Now what’s really wild is that I have no trace of this short story on my new computer, and I don’t remember writing it. That being said, I know this short story is important, because as I read it, I thought to myself: Why not put this on the blog?

“Catch the Wind” is a short story that made me stop in my tracks, now that I’m reading it four years later, because it convicted me. It made me think that I pass so many people on a daily basis, and I ignore them. It isn’t humanly possible to recognize every single person on the face of the earth, but I do think we have a responsibility to put our energy into the people who come into our lives unexpectedly.

In 2019 it is easy to hide behind a screen, especially in public places. We’re selfish people, and we tend to find momentary happiness in stroking our own egos, but I believe there is long-standing joy in strengthening our relationships with others. This can happen through budding friendships, waving at strangers, and casual conversation with an old friend.

What I mean is that we have a limited amount of time on this planet, and we need to make the most of it. When we see that someone’s hurting, we need to help him or her. When our intuition goes off and implores us to help another, we should follow this sense.

This life is much more about we can individually do. It’s about coming together, as corny as that may sound.

Because what if, going back to my story, we are the man who disappears into thin air? What happens then?

Okay, enough ramblings from me now. I just thought this story would be a perfect Friday morning blog post, and I hope you enjoy this little guy from a seventeen-year-old Katie Kay.

More on Monday!

-K. ❤

Volcanoes National Park, Hawai’i (July 2019)

poetry

on the cusp (a poem)

when life feels like an hourglass,
i seek solace in what i love most:
fingers strewn over the keys
of a dirty MacBook Air,
eyes strained from the creamy glow
of a blank Word document,
my mind finally relaxed,
a digital massage.

what can i craft, like an architect
and blueprints and concrete magic?
where can i go, like a world traveler
and tennis shoes and a weathered map?
who will i meet, like a writer
and a pen and a sheet of paper?
the possibilities are endless,
and they are mine.

when the stress is overwhelming,
and the real world clamps down tight,
i remember my sweet escape,
the riskiness of a writer and her
invented world. my blood boils
as i pan for gold, waiting on the cusp
of my world to unleash itself
upon my very fingertips.


AN EXPLANATION.

Hello, my beautiful and wonderful readers!

I hope you all are doing great as we begin this new week in August 2019. For today’s post, I wanted to share with you all this poem I wrote in autumn 2018, and I think it will relate to a lot of you who are writers and wish to showcase your emotions to the world.

For writers there is almost no greater passion than chugging out our thoughts on paper (or in my case, a Word doc hehe). We have thoughts and emotions bubbling to the surface of our blood, and there is no escape greater than releasing what we need to express. As a writer, I have found that this process is almost like taking a crucial test: There is buildup and anxiety that is followed by relieved elation at finishing the test. (Of course, the grader is one’s audience, but that is another story altogether.)

“on the cusp” can relate to more than just writing. Some of you have other passions that you must share with the world. I’m serious. You may think I’m lying, but I truly believe each and every one of you have an amazing purpose that has put you on Earth at this particular moment in time. So, if you’re not exactly sure what your “sweet escape is,” take a moment and reflect today.

What relieves your stress? What frees you from the pressures of this world? What gives you the greatest joy?

Consider, and make an effort to implement more of your time into your joy.

Much love,

-Katie Kay. ❤

poetry

barrier (a poem)

on a chilly golden shore
we stand, shoes forgotten
on the concrete. time
is our only barrier,
not the vast ocean before us.

there is so much to be said,
but no one wants to say
what we’re all thinking:
we are growing older,
wave by wave.

in only a little while, we will fade
away, a sunset of adolescent dreams
and wishful thinking, and so
the questions pore out of us
like crabs peeking from the sand.

who will we be, time? who will we
become? when we come back,
if we come back, things
will be different, and i will
always wonder why.


AN EXPLANATION.

I wrote this poem for creative writing class in October 2018. I remember reflecting on my friend group at the time, as we enjoyed taking late night escapades to the ocean. While some college kids prefer drunkenness at frat houses, my friends and I wanted nothing but a quick rendezvous to the sea, where we could run around like total goofs. This used to be a common theme for us. Someone would send out a text, and then we were rushing to a car to get to that ocean as fast as we could.

Over time this practice began to wither away. As the school year nudged on, we became busier with projects, homework, jobs, and flight time rather than being stupid kids with nothing better to do.

I will always be able to look back fondly at where the inspiration of this poem came, but I still appreciate how life operates. We are never guaranteed anything on this planet, and that’s okay. Relationships sour, and situations strike us down, but we have our memories until the day we die, and this can uplift us in times of stress and sadness.

Time is a blessing and a curse. It’s a barrier in the sense that it blocks us from eternity on this planet, but sometimes it’s the barriers that force us to realize what we need to do in our lives. Just because a barrier is there does not mean it can’t be broken.

Today I’m going to ask you to consider your own barrier. What is the thing that is constricting you in this moment? When did this barrier first become prevalent in your life? Why is it prevalent in the first place?

Just ponder for a few moments…

Malibu, California (December 2018)

THANK YOU!

Thank you, my dear readers. You guys are constantly inspiring me to challenge myself when it comes to writing, and I really appreciate it.

❤ ❤ ❤

-K.

writing

WRITERS, SEND ME YOUR MATERIALS

My beautiful readers!

Today’s post is going to be a little different than most, because I have a request to make of you. Though I could ramble on and on about nonsense to pique your interest even more, I’m just going to put it out there:

If you’d like someone to review your materials, I’d love to be that person.

What does this mean? Well, let me share with you guys. Over the past few months, a few of you have sent me your books, and I’ve loved every moment of reading and reviewing what you send. So…

For the people of you who want feedback, send me your books, poetry, etc. I’m not a full-fledged editor or anything, but I really do enjoy getting to know you more through your writing.

What I’m offering is simple: I’ll read your work, offer a review on Amazon/this blog/wherever, and let you know what I think. Why am I doing this? Because I want to. In the midst of wild life, this blog has been a source of escape for me, and you guys transport me to your worlds. You have that kind of power as a writer!

So if you’re down to share with me, I’m down to share in response.


THANK YOU!

This was a short and sweet little post, but I am super excited to write more in the next few weeks. This blog has grown so much in the past few months, and I’m super excited to see where it goes next. The sense of community here is amazing. Truly amazing.

❤ ❤ ❤

-K.

Smiling because I’m excited to see what you guys send me!
travel

5 DAYS IN HAWAI’I

Hello, my dear readers!

Now that we are done with the two-week poetry series, I am excited to share some other content with you guys. As you know, this blog is devoted to various topics, including writing, philosophy, and travel. Since it has been a while since we’ve done a travel post, I thought it would be perfect timing to share with you guys a recent trip of mine… To the Big Island of Hawai’i!

This was my first time to Hawai’i, and I have to say it was one for the books. I encourage you all to check out Hawai’i at some point, because it is a nature lover’s dream. (Really it is anyone’s dream. There is so much to do!)

Therefore I’d like to share some things I got the chance to do, and maybe this will sell you on your next vacation. 🙂

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A sweet Pomeranian named Precious, a friendly Hawaiian pooch. (Hāwī, Hawai’i // July 2019)


DAY 1

Stops: North Kohala Coast, Waimea
Activities: Intro to local area, shops, etc.

After arriving in the small town of Kona on the Big Island, my family quickly hopped in our rental Jeep and headed north to the Kohala Coast. We stayed at a quaint cabin called the Kohala Lodge. Gorgeous view, idyllic, pastoral scene–it was a perfect way to start out a vacation (and throw in goats and ponies down the hill!).

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Kohala Lodge, a premier cabin in Hāwī, Hawaii (July 2019)

After check in, we took a trek to Waimea, a small town nestled between green mountains and a Nevada-looking desert scene. I wish I had a good picture of the drive between Hāwī and Waimea, but unfortunately I do not. Just trust me, and imagine rolling hills with mountain and ocean backdrops!


DAY 2

Stops: Mauna Loa, Hilo
Activities: Encounter Mauna Kea protestors; travel Mauna Loa to its tip; visit Hilo, largest “city” on island

Day 2 was an opportunity to explore more of the island! We got up early, headed to the center of the island, and wondered if we were going to drive straight through an environmental protest… And we did.

Mauna Kea, the world’s tallest mountain (taller than even Mt. Everest, when you look at its oceanic base), is a sacred mountaintop to many Hawaiians. In the meantime, the company TMT wishes to replace a collection of telescopes on the tip top of Mauna Kea with a new, state-of-the-art telescope that could potentially pollute natural waters for the residents.

Hawaiians are very divided on this issue. On one hand, environmentalists wish to preserve the beauty and integrity of Mauna Kea; on the other, the telescope would bring endless opportunity for astronomers. The telescope’s construction would also provide economic opportunity for the island.

Whatever your position on this issue may be, my family and I just wanted to avoid a roadblock in the middle of this desert landscape. And we ended up driving straight through the protest, passing hundreds of people on a mission to block the telescope’s construction.

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My sister and I being dorks on the road to Mauna Loa (not pictured). What is pictured, however, is Mauna Kea behind us, the tallest mountain in the world. If you look close enough, you can see hundreds of cars in the background due to an environmental protest. (Mauna Loa // July 2019)

Instead we decided to traverse Mauna Loa, the world’s biggest mountain (not tallest!). After going up 11,000 feet we were tired, hungry for oxygen, and descended into the lusher area of Hilo, about an hour to the east.

We did not stay in Hilo very long, though the weather was pretty nice, despite Hilo’s status as the fourth-rainiest American town. We visited Rainbow Falls and headed north after lunch at none other than Taco Bell (blech!) to see Akaka Falls (pictured below).

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Akaka Falls (A short drive from Hilo)

After a quick stop at Akaka Falls, I found an abandoned airstrip on Google Maps. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a baby pilot who loves aviation quite a bit, and I made us head up an old road once used for the production of sugar cane.

We were probably pretty dumb doing this, but it was a lot of fun, especially when we got to the end of the road and realized we were already driving on the overgrown runway. Who knows the history of Waipunalei Airstrip, because I couldn’t find anything online, and I highly doubt many people today know of its existence. That’s why it was shocking to find it on Google Maps.

Whatever the case, it was a highlight of my trip: An abandoned airstrip with a lot of buried history.

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An abandoned road that leads to the eerie and also abandoned Waipunalei Airstrip (North of Hilo)


DAY 3

Stops: Kona, Captain Cook
Activities: Snorkeling Adventure, Captain Cook Monument, The Painted Church

Kona is located on the leeward side of the island, and it’s a town of about 12,000 people. Though we did not spend much time in Kona itself (a quick lunch at Denny’s and a stop at Walmart for supplies), we were much more invested in a snorkeling excursion in a little town to the south called Captain Cook.

Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of this activity, despite it being my favorite part of the entire trip, due to the fact that I didn’t want to lose my phone in the kayaking portion of the journey. However, you’ll just have to imagine brilliant blue water and a whole lot of tourists swimming about as kayakers push against the shore to see the Captain Cook monument. (Captain James Cook was a famous explorer who was killed by Hawaiians in this namesake town.)

This experience was made even better by our friendly tour guide, Lalu, a local who showed us the best places to snorkel while giving us a little history of the area and its ties to Captain Cook’s ultimate demise.

After the three mile roundtrip kayak experience, we headed back to our car, changed clothes, and stopped at The Painted Church, a Catholic church about ten minutes from our kayak point. The Painted Church is well-known due to its painted interior, as the first priests who journeyed to Hawai’i explained biblical stories to locals through paintings on the church’s walls.

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(The Painted Church // South Kona, Hawai’i)

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Cemetery at The Painted Church (South Kona Hawai’i)

 


DAY 4

Stops: North Kohala Coast, Waikoloa Village
Activities: Sunrise Hike, Zipline Adventures, Luau at Marriott

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Sunrise hike at Polulu Valley (North Kohala Coast)

My dad and I are fans of hiking, while my mom and sister are not. So when we suggested getting up at five to catch this ideal spot, my mom and sister laughed at us, and we went anyway.

The forty-five minute roundtrip hike spans incredible views of the Polulu Valley and coastline. Polulu is located at the very end of a main road on the Kohala Coast, so not many people were around–especially at the ungodly hour of sunrise. (Although we did run into a weird woman who was possibly worshipping a plant.)

The hike was stunningly beautiful, and a perfect reminder that sometimes you’ve just gotta bite the bullet, set your alarm, and run down a mountain in the darkness to wait for the perfect sunrise.

After our hike, we headed home, showered, and got prepped for a zipline activity in the nearby town of Kapaau. It was an incredible experience to zip through hundred-foot trees, but after so many activities I was quite ready for a nap by the end of our adventures (see the image below).

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Kohala Zipline Activity, and an eager Katie Kay (Hāwī, Hawai’i)

Post zipline, we showered once more and then headed to the resort town of Waikoloa Village in order to catch a sunset luau. This was my mom’s favorite experience of the entire trip, as it was a chance to listen to traditional Hawaiian music and see the hula and other Polynesian dances.

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Beautiful sunset luau at Marriott Waikoloa Village


DAY 5

Stops: Volcanoes National Park, Black Sands, South Kona
Activities: Quick hikes, Pu’uhonua O Hõnaunau National Park

Our last day on the island was a packed one. While we were staying on the Big Island’s North Coast, Volcanoes National Park is located on the opposite side of the island, roughly a two-hour drive away. Plus it was a foggy and rainy morning, which you can see in the pictures below.

That didn’t stop us from making the journey down to Volcanoes. There are no current lava flows (thank goodness, and hopefully everyone has recovered from the volcano issues from a few years ago), but there are various pockets of steam located throughout the park. We also journeyed to the crater of a volcano (although we stayed at the rim). If you look close enough at the picture below, you can see that there are trails in the middle of this crater, and people are walking in it! I was not that brave, to say the least.

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Creepy sight at Volcanoes National Park

After an hour at the park, which is not enough time, we had to hurry down to Black Sands, about a twenty minute drive away. This is a black sand beach that is pretty peaceful. Since we were in a time crunch, we could not stay long, but I’m thankful for the time I got there.

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Black Sands (Southern tip of the island)

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Pu’uhonua O Hõnaunau National Park (South Kona)

After Black Sands, we headed to Pu’uhonua O Hõnaunau National Park in order to learn more about Hawaiian culture. Pu’uhonua O Hõnaunau is located on sacred grounds, and it was very important to take a few moments to educate ourselves on traditions of the area.

While the other parts of the island were quite chilly in the fog and rain, Pu’uhonua O Hõnaunau National Park was humid and hot–too much like home for my liking.

After our stop there, we hurried back to the north, grabbed some dinner, and started packing for our ten-hour return trip, which was a beast of its own, as you can imagine. 🙂


PLEASE GO SEE THE ISLAND YOURSELF.

Hawai’i is an incredible place. It’s laid-back island living, and it would be so easy to get lost there for ages. That being said, I’m a pretty fast-paced person, and I found myself wanting to hop on a plane and go see the other islands that comprise this great state.

While the aforementioned stops were what my family did on our trip, I’m sure there are countless more places we missed. The island is an island, but its diversity is incredible. Where else can one drive through a desert to a tropical rainforest in an hour or less?

Go check out Hawai’i. Maybe I’ll see you there someday. 🙂

As for now, I’m back at home in the throes of studies. But do you want my honest opinion? Really there is no place like home, especially after a long vacation away.

You guys are amazing.

-K. ❤

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Laupahoehoe Point Beach Park (North of Hilo)

thoughts

SINS & VIRTUES

Hello, my dear readers!

Thank you for joining me today. This is going to be a simple post, but I just want you guys to know that I am so appreciative you have followed my two-week blogging marathon. Your support over these past few weeks has been incredible, and because of you I haven’t grown weary or tired when working on these collections.

Two weeks ago I began this series, dividing it into the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues. Now that I am done I can attest to the value of forcing myself to write, even when I didn’t want to. As I mentioned in a previous post, there was one morning where I cranked out a poem despite the fact that I had no interest in doing so except for the fact that I knew you guys were holding me accountable. Then that day turned out to be my highest viewed day ever. (Wow! If that doesn’t apply to diligence, I don’t know what does, right?)

This journey hasn’t been totally easy, but it has been fun. So before we say goodbye completely, I want to go over a few things I’ve learned from this poetry journey.

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SIN VERSUS VIRTUE

Parallels, parallels. The Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Heavenly Virtues perfectly parallel each other, and this really intrigued me. While some may argue that nothing is ever black and white, I saw a sort of equilibrium in my study, as if these sins and virtues are further proof of Newton’s Third Law of Motion that states: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. 

Here is how this is shown, and how I set up my poems:

SIN VIRTUE
Lust Chastity
Gluttony Temperance
Greed Charity
Sloth Diligence
Wrath Patience
Envy Gratitude
Pride Humility

Though I do appreciate a certain gray area when it comes to philosophy, this structured comparison chart made things easy for me to understand. Am I struggling with greed today? Well, let me check my handy dandy chart, and there is the antidote: Charity!

Obviously life is not that simple, but honestly we can aim for it to be. For example, the major thing with which I struggle on this list is probably pride. My pride is an enflamed sore in my side. Poke it, prod it, and it only burns more. But when I put a little bit of a salve on it in the form of humility, the sore begins to slowly sink away.

Okay, that was probably a terrible metaphor, but I know that when I’m getting a big ego, I need to sit down, take a breath, and recognize that there really isn’t anything special about me, because everyone is special and has special, unique talents.


YOUR GREATEST STRUGGLE…

Like I just wrote, I struggle the most with pride. A bunch of polluted air (probably from inhaling all that California pollution, to be honest) gets in my head, and my ego inflates even more.

Sometimes I find myself thinking, “Wow. I’m so ahead of the game. I’m doing this, and that person can’t even do this. Well, know what’s best for me, and what’s best for everyone.”

This thinking can be problematic. Why? Because it puts all the emphasis on me. The me, me, me mentality is an example of negative pronoun usage, whereas positive pronoun usage (the implementation of we, us, ours) involves more than just ourselves. It puts us directly in a relationship mentality, where our connection humbles us a little bit.

When I’m the center of my thoughts, I’ve found that my thoughts swirl around my failings, accomplishments, future, and past. To the point that I’m not only destroying my relationships, but I’m either inflating my ego out of the sky or deflating my ego to the point where I think, “Who would ever want to be friends with me?”

But let’s not forget the antidote to pride…


… CAN BECOME YOUR GREATEST STRENGTH.

If humility is the antidote to pride, then why am I not implementing it more?

One of the best qualities (in my opinion) that a person can have is humility. A specific example I have for you guys is from a chico I met this past summer (and for the sake of this story, we will refer to him as Chico). Now this guy is absolutely incredible. A friendly, motivated young man with endless opportunity, Chico would casually tell me little facts about himself when the conversation headed a certain direction. Not because he was arrogantly telling me that, yes, he’d graduated college by age twenty and was going to be a full-up regional airline pilot at twenty-one… But because he was kindly telling me that if he could do it, anyone could.

This isn’t the kind of thinking most guys at this age have. Not by a mile.

I remember saying, “How in the world did you do all this? That’s amazing! Not many people could have done what you’ve done.”

And he could have said, “Well, it was easy.” Or… “I just did it. I figured out how to use the system to my advantage.”

But he didn’t.

He smiled, and suddenly he didn’t seem as bubbly and talkative as normal. He became almost embarrassed. But what he said has stuck with me: “It isn’t that special, I don’t think. There were so many people who helped me and showed me the right way, the right classes… Anyone could do it, but I was just lucky to have people help me along the way.”

That didn’t stop me from saying: “Um, you were still the one who pulled it all off.”

The smile got a little bit bigger, and this told me a lot about Chico’s character.

Humility goes a long way, even when you don’t realize it. Chico probably has no clue that what he said has stayed with me all this time, but it has, and that’s the kind of power we all have with our words and our actions and our virtues. This is why it is so important to know how you carry yourself and what you say can have lasting impacts you did not know were possible.


STUDY THE SINS AND VIRTUES YOURSELF.

These past two weeks have thrown a lot of my thoughts your way, but now it’s your turn. If you want to dive more into your soul, then whip out a Bible, jot down some notes, and think to yourself: What is my greatest sin? What is my greatest virtue? What does all this even mean?

Isn’t that a great mystery of life anyway? What does this all even mean?

Now think for yourself. It’s your turn. And if you want to share with me, please know that I’ve got two ears ready to listen (or two eyes, ready to read, as we bloggers typically communicate with our written posts LOL). Don’t be afraid to send me your poems or thoughts, and I’ll get right back to you! Our conversations make my day, and I truly mean that. ❤

You guys are amazing.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

-K.

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The rewarding environment of nature! (Hilo, Hawaii // July 2019)

 

poetry

HUMILITY (a poem)

a humble spirit
is a spirit
psalmody

as it requires
sweet modesty,
sour honesty

the humble one
lowers his back
to carry another

and opens his door
to shield the alien
searching for cover

humility
is a virtue
from the cosmos

and yet sometimes
not even the stars
value its glow

HUMILITAS

the quality or condition of being humble; modest opinion or estimate of one’s own importance, rank, etc

Psalmody? What the heck does that even mean? To be honest I started this poem out with this following stanza:

a humble spirit
is a spirit
to emulate

While this is true, the rhyme scheme of the poem kind of took off in later stanzas, and I needed a word that rhymes with honesty. While psalmody doesn’t really rhyme, it came from a list of pseudo rhymes, and I was like, “What does that even mean, and how would it relate to a poem on humility?”

However, I did some more research and found that psalmody basically means relating to the biblical Psalms, or the singing of psalms or similar sacred canticles, especially in public worship. This perfectly relates to humility, as it can be an adjective to highlight how important it is to spread an attitude of self-modesty in order to promote others before oneself.

Humility is the opposite of pride (if you want to read my poem on pride, you can check it out here.) And despite its intrinsic value to all–as a humble spirit generally aids its host and those around–it isn’t praised enough as a value to emulate.

What do I mean by this? Look at any media source. The celebrities and politicians of today are not humble, by any means. Instead, our media flaunts images of wealth, grandeur, and deceit in order to sell a product, which we then buy into. Why isn’t it that our society is interested in the humble people who serve others even when it jeopardizes  their own safety?

Sometimes we see and hear stories of Good Samaritans, but it is no secret that those who are humble wish to conceal it. And a prideful society is going to promote the self-seeking rather than those with a different mindset.

What does a humble spirit look like? Well, each humble spirit is different. There are shyer humble personalities, and there are more outgoing humble personalities. There is no set checklist of how a humble person must act, except that he or she is doing so in order to help others.

Today consider yourself. Think of your heart, and how you can help someone else today. Be filled with gratitude and charity for others, and use your humility to aid others. Listen to a friend in help; challenge someone’s perspective through friendly dialogue. Do whatever you normally do, but remember to be a person who wants to see better in the world through others, not just yourself.


DAY 7 OF THE SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE.

Wow, guys! Can you believe it? Day 7 is done!

This challenge has been incredibly fun, but I am glad it is over. I love providing poems for you, but it’s time to move on to some new material. We’re going to head back to two-a-week posts (I’m sorry, but I’ve got a check ride to study for, guys) that will cover various topics such as travel, writing, and poetry. Honestly, I’ll write whatever you guys want to hear about! If there’s something you’re genuinely curious about, just leave a comment and I’ll write what you request.

On Monday, which is tomorrow haha, I will write a conclusion post on the Seven Deadly Sins/Seven Heavenly Virtues to tie up what we’ve gone over. I’ll probably go through my favorite poems of the series and go over some more sins/virtues I want to add a few more thoughts on. But then after that–we’re off to new material!

You guys are amazing, and I can’t wait to hear from you.

-K. ❤

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poetry

GRATITUDE (a poem)

saying a simple thank you
can change a life

just like telling the truth
absorbs one’s lies

gratitude is a virtue
to keep inside

one’s swollen heart
and fragile mind


GRATIA

the quality or feeling of being grateful or thankful

A thankful spirit is a cherished spirit. Think of the kindest people you’ve met, those who touch your heart, and I bet you’ll come up with some qualities from this Seven Day Challenge, including the virtue of gratitude. Someone who is thankful in what he or she does is a person who recognizes the mysterious and delicate qualities of life.

A thankful spirit understands that time on our beautiful planet is limited, so it is important to produce more positive energy than negative. A thankful spirit puts action into practice through these positive emotions.

Today I challenge you guys to thank someone you’ve never met before. Who knows who this person is, or what they’ve done, but find that person and say, “Thank you for…” Yes, this may put you out of your comfort zone, but I bet you it will make the other person’s day (and maybe yours too).

(P.S. Gratitude is the antithesis of an envious spirit. If you’d like to read my poem on envy, you can do so here.)


DAY 6 OF THE SEVEN DAY CHALLENGE.

And we’re almost done! I don’t know about you guys, but I’m pretty grateful for this challenge. That being said, I’m ready to move on to the next project, and I hope you’ll continue to read this blog with as much vigor as you’ve done in these past two weeks. Be on the lookout for our final virtue tomorrow, and then we’ll wrap it up with a concluding post on Monday.

Much love. And don’t forget my challenge to you! You won’t regret it. I promise.

-K.  ❤

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