Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Under the Moon

Floating freely flowered and prime
Across the way and to the time
Bloomed and blossomed glowing bright
Pitter patter all throughout the night
Curtains closed and a flickering match
Will light the leaf and lift the latch
Which way will it go
Under the willow or to the toe!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Head In the Clouds

There is something cleansing about a long like. Just putting one foot in front of the other and breathing are the only concerns. With my head spinning from the demands of school and lack of free time I felt the pull towards solitude. The 7.5 mile hike up seamed desolate at first glance but subtly revealed its beauty. Slowly moving up the rocky trail was a real practice in staying present. Trepidations were nothing but loose threads dangling in the wind ready to be snipped, leaving me to think about nothing except what is and what will be. Just walking the labyrinth of thought, leading to the center of foolishness. My destination was red hill cabin, up 10,000 ft on the slopes of Mauna Loa. My aim was to run rocky trails in the thin air, search for fallen stars, dance under the moon, drink yerba mate all day long and into the night, read, laugh, sing, walk the tightrope between clarity and insanity. I followed the patches of fog as they floated on their pilgrimage towards the summit to gather and dance in swirls before journeying out to sea or evaporating into the shimmering divide.

The cabin was engulfed in a pocket of clouds and mist, to my dismay there were no views. I sat on the porch of the cabin bundled in my sleeping bag well into the night. It felt rejuvenating to feel the cold outside air from within the warmth of my cocoon.

(Sweet stove my dad made from a can)

(Spirits stir within the cabin)

I sat on the ledge saturated and damp from the silence that filled the air. A silence that could be felt and seen like a burning flame. That is the kind of silence that allows you to hear your heart and see your soul, to see in total darkness and breathe in a thousand lifetimes. A small break in the clouds around 2am offered a fleeting glimpse of the starry sky before being engulfed again by the bleak clouds. With a smile I went into the cabin and tried to fall asleep.

I was up early and out the door into the clear and chilly air. A momentary parting of clouds offered a glimpse of the snow kissed summit of Mauna Kea. The clearing did not last long, fog and mist ascended down upon the trail.

I started running with no plans of how far or how long I would go before turning around. Running through the mist and hearing the swoosh of lava rock under my feet was like an active meditation. Before I knew it I was at 12,000ft. I figured this was a good place to turn around since I had no water or food and had already been running a few hours. I love running at elevation, there is definitely something magical and inspiring floating around with the thin air. I often become manic and borderline lose control of myself and so was the case on this day. Hooting and hollering like a banshee I became a little lightheaded and had to sit and “sober up” before making the run back down to the cabin. Being able to access that kind of elevation and live by the ocean is a dream for me. Running trails and riding waves, always searching.

Hawaii snow falls
Like rain in the desert
Or joy that fills the heart of the earth
....It’s possible

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Through the Looking Glass

Up before dawn as steam flickers from the kettle, adding to the early morning ambiance through blurry eyes.

We drove into the fading darkness through coffee country down the winding road to Neverland. Every time I drive by this part of the island I nearly drive off the road from peering over the cliffs, looking for a way to get down to the ocean. The surrounding land is private so that basically eliminates getting to the coast by land. What better way to explore the rugged coast than by way of sea. The turbulent water off the point is the place where winds and currents converge making the ocean come alive! We planned on paddling to Wai’ahukini a white sand beach about a mile and a half away along the cliffs.

I had my lay down paddle board and my friend Patrick was on his stand up board.
With the winds whipping I somehow managed to scamper down the cliff holding on to my 14ft board without disaster.

Getting into the water was a little tricky; we had to time when a wave was coming and just jump and go for it. I made it into the clear water unscathed. Patrick was not as lucky, being hit by a breaking wave and thrown back into a rock. He didn’t know it then but one of his fins was knocked out.

The sun weaved webs of light that appeared to hang from the jagged cliffs as we paddled along with the wind on our backs. Going with the wind, we made it to the desolate windswept beach in no time.It was hard to find an opening amongst the jagged lava rock and breaking waves, trying to make it onto shore. Again we had to just go for it and hope for the best. We both made it in without hitting any rocks and marveled at the surrounding landscape of giant sand dunes, colorful cliffs, vibrant blue ocean, and Mauna Loa sitting quietly in the distance.

I had heard that there are a few surf spots near but access was extremely difficult by land. The big limiting factor is the near vertical cliff face that must be scaled in order to reach the ocean. I saw the rope dangling down and wondered how anyone could make it down with a board. We walked along the beach like shipwrecked wanderers over white and dark green sand beaches towards the old village of "K". Once a thriving fishing village until the lava flow of 1868, "K" is now just a name almost forgotten by time.
The small bay formed by the flow created a surf break that breaks when the stars are aligned. This day the waves were gentle and rolling. Smooth stone lined the shallow bottom making it fun for bodysurfing.

Rock wall ruins stood as symbols of the old village. The ruins created a feeling that was eerie, calm, and quiet but somehow peaceful at the same time.
Hoping over the jagged lava rock trail, we kept moving forward in awe of the surroundings and losing track of time.

When we turned around we were shocked to see the cliff where we started way off on the horizon. The giant cinder cone of Pu’u Hou towered in front and seemed to be rising from the sea. We kept walking towards it and found that unreal black sand beaches were at the base of the cinder cone.

The first thing I want to do when I see a pristine beach with no footprints is run as fast as I can along the waters edge, hooting and rolling around in the sand. Yes I did all of that! My footprints will be washed away for the next fortunate person who marvels at the place where the soft black sand meets with the cliffs and ocean.

When we made it back to the lone tree which we left our boards under and Patrick realized one of his fins was missing. As I started to laugh, a gust of wind sent my giant board tumbling down the beach like an inflatable raft. I chased it down the beach and watched in horror as it banged into sharp rock after rock. Yes there are many new dings and scrapes on my board but it’s hard not to laugh at such a thing. The paddle back into the now heavy wind was not was easy. I was laughing like a lunatic as my board went up and down in the chop, with the wind blowing a salty spray into my face. Patrick was like a sail trying to stand up and paddle hid board into the wind. He was forced to lie down and paddle the way back. An amazing day of exploring remote beaches and paddling through rugged and raw waters, feeling the heartbeat of the Ocean.

Seeing dreams in the reflections

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Windward Wandering

“I have a thirsty fish in me
that can never find enough
of what it’s thirsty for!

Show me the way to the ocean!
break these half measures,
these small containers.

All this fantasy
and grief.

Let my house be drowned in the wave
that rose last night out of the courtyard
hidden in the center of my chest.”


Noticing the flow
Becoming the flow
Letting daydreams
Unfold into reality

Sunday, October 24, 2010


The excitement is building! I’m getting ready to hop on an aeroplane over the sea and across the country to the Atlantic and Blue Ridge homeland. I can’t wait to feel the crisp Fall air in the mountains and run in the Mountain Masochist. This is by far my favorite race because it sparked my passion for trail running many years ago. It has been nearly three years since I last ran an ultra race, so needless to say I am really looking forward to it! That has been part due to lack of races around and just wanting to put most of my energy into other areas. It’s been an interesting past few months of running. In the beginning of August I finally got off of the week on week off schedule that would not allow me to run for a week at a time. The first thing I did was launch into weeks of 130+ mile weeks with long paddles with hikes in between. I knew something had to give after a run where I found myself crawling under a mango tree scavenging because I was thirsty and depleted, eating half rotten mangoes. Then one morning I fell on my face changing into my running shorts. My big toe somehow snagged a small hole which then ripped my shorts and made me crash down. Feeling dejected and burned out in all areas I knew it was time to take it easy. That led me to reflect upon the past few years of feeling good and remaining injury free. Why was I now feeling like crap just because I signed up for a race? Was it all mental? I found myself in the same position I was in 3 years ago the last time I ran in a long race, always feeling tired and uninspired. I knew I needed something so it was time for some alchemy and I went to mixing: the essence of fall, ancient spirits, misty mornings, starry nights, vast valleys and hidden waterfalls all reignited my desire. I went to my favorite places on the island to plumb the wellsprings of inspiration.

(Twighlight swim in the bay)

(Running through dreams)

I quit keeping track of mileage because it really doesn’t matter to me. The only reason I run is to feel good and enjoy the moment so that’s what I started doing. Then I then decided to run mostly at night and not wake up at 5am only to grumpily suffer through runs. I needed to embrace the darkness and start running inward.The night runs were introspective journeys. I was reminded of a book “The Pilgrimage.” Along the path the character had to eventually face the giant dog which stood for his fears, insecurities, and anxieties. In a way I felt like I was facing a giant evil dog in relation to my running philosophies. I used to not really try in races because I am not a competitive person. Over the past few years I have been able accept giving it my all in something while being completely detached from the result. I was told “It is time to claim your gifts because it is your birthright.” WOW, that statement has had a huge impact on me. Running in the dark is like moving through a worm hole in the mind. Shadows playing tricks, eerie noises, pitch black nothingness. I feel like I have overcome some sort of mental barrier. Three years ago I would have said screw it, just a stupid race and stopped running which is what I usually did. A therapist I worked with used an analogy when directing me how to work with a student. “………just like you wouldn’t train for a race and a few weeks before it say screw it and stop running.” That really put things in perspective for me because that is exactly what I did. Patterns are hard to break; at least I was able to recognize it and rally.

(Midnight paddles guided by the light of the moon)

(Mana Rd. Moonrise)

All of this brought back that certain swing in my stride and calm feeling that has me feeling ready to run like a madman through the mountains. I am looking forward to returning to my roots and running on the trails that sparked my love for running on a fall day seven years ago.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Just Flow

When moving at 1,000mph I have to remind myself to slow down and

"Be the rock"

Monday, August 23, 2010

Strumming Light Rays

Up the coast! Na Pali,Hamakua,Leeward, Windward,Wayward, all over the beautiful place is where I have been the past few weeks. Living at the root of it all.

This past Saturday I ran a half marathon in Volcano and had a blast! The morning of the run I was wide awake and feeling manic at 430am in my tent in the middle of a eucalyptus grove. I was pumped to be back in Volcano and breathing in the cool rejuvenating air. I jumped out of my tent, it was still dark enough for some moonlight dancing with the tree limb shadows that were swaying in the wind. I had just got back from Kauai where I was camping, hiking, and running with some good friends. The trip is still fresh on my mind and I have been floating on air, smiling at everything I see.

Kalalau is a majestic place! I was so wrapped up in the splendor of it all I forgot to eat or drink for almost an entire day, drunk on love and too excited to sleep. I have streaming thoughts of the misty peaks, secluded beaches, meteor showers, double rainbows, emerald eyes and angelic waterfalls.

Back in the valley were pools of cool water surrounded by blossoming white ginger. One of my favorite scents, soaking in the pools was transcending.

Back to the race, I wasn’t entirely looking forward to running on roads. I entertained thoughts of skipping out on the race and heading over to my favorite trails. The race ended up being a great time!! I felt good and enjoyed myself from start to finish. Running down the quiet streets amongst the ferns and blossoming yellow ginger that gave off scents of inspiration. I was surprised at how quick it went by and how good I felt. For me Volcano in such an inspiring place, I feel it flowing through my veins.

This painting was my prize for winning, it had a price tag on it for $1,200!

For now it's time to slow down a bit, work in the garden and spend time under the stars. Falling asleep and joining them shining up in the sky. I guess the sky is illuminated by the dreams of dreamers dreaming, so back down the path I go!