June 15, 2002

Beloved Friends,

On the Big Island of Hawaii the Kilauea volcano lava still flows and the rain forest is abuzz with a non-human presence. For me, the island’s Puna Coast is a pulse point, where I can feel the rhythm of the planet’s life force course beneath, reminding me of who I am and how we are all connected to the earth and to each other. It is a place that asks us to give more boldly to the glory of all.

The ancient culture of the Hawaiian people seems to have developed from this type of understanding. I have learned that the Hawaiian word “aloha” literally means “the breath of life.” It makes sense then, that the breath of life is both greeting and departure, as well as an expression of love. At a baby’s birth, attention was given to the literal connection of human to physical place. The umbilical stumps of new babies were placed inside small holes in large rocks. This is the way that the baby, no longer physically connected to its mother, would be connected to the earth. Rocks containing rows of these small holes are still visible and some parents continue this practice today.

The sense of connectedness I feel there has become an important element in my creative process. After many visits during the past ten years, I have purchased a small home there as a creative retreat. My initial desire was to make creative retreat time on the Big Island of Hawaii a mainstay in my own life. Before even purchasing the property, however, I realized that I wanted to help others also have this opportunity -- at a lower cost than I have been paying this past decade -- to be present with all that is alive on the island.

This letter is an invitation to spend time on the Big Island of Hawaii in Kalapana Sea View and to let others who are interested in better knowing their creative gifts apply for residency as well. Here are the answers to some questions you may have…

Where is the place and what is it like?

The house is located on the Puna Coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. It takes about 90 minutes to drive there from the Hilo Airport (4 hours from Kona). The nearest town, Pahoa, is about 25 minutes away in a car. This two bedroom, 1000 square foot house has a view of the ocean from the front porch and a black sand beach (via lava trail access) is about one mile away. The house is modestly furnished and has one phone line for calls or for Internet access; there is no television or cable access.

Who may apply for residency?

Anyone who wants to spend time on the island for the purpose of personal transformation or to bring a creative project (i.e. writing, art, etc.) to fruition may apply for residency. Occupancy is limited to one or two people who may be working together, partnered, or a parent and child.

How can I apply for a residency?

The applicant should mail or email a one-page description of the work to be accomplished in residency and/or the reason for seeking residency at Kalapana. On this page, please include your name, address, phone number and email address, the name of the co-resident (if any) and the name of an emergency contact person. Please email at Bigislandretreat@aol.com for further details, or to request specific dates. The letter of application may be e-mailed, or sent to 2684 B Street, San Diego, CA 92102, though it wise to check the availability of dates before sending the application page.

How long can I stay?

Proposed residencies must be no shorter than two weeks. Generally, a residency will last between two and six weeks, though longer stays can sometimes be arranged.

What is the fee for residency?

I request that you give $200 per week to offset expenses. One half of this is payable as deposit when you reserve dates; the other half is due seven days before your arrival. Money is accepted by personal or cashiers check only. If you would like to discuss or suggest a work exchange project in lieu of monetary exchange, please e-mail your desires.

Just a few miles to the west of Kalapana Sea View, the earth is in genesis, pouring its molten brilliance into the sea, causing a plume of orange smoke to rise high into the night sky above its intense, methodical creation. Would you like the encouragement to pour your brilliance into the world? Would you like time to uncoil the constricting presence of your usual obligations and hear the calling of what must come next in your life?

I adore your intentions to live boldly and creatively. Please respond – and pass this information on to others whom you feel would benefit from a residency on the island of Hawaii as well.

Big Love,

Kimberly Dark