"magical is just a word, but the vision it represents in our mind's eye is a memory, or a dream, or a love of something that is just too magical to describe with merely a word" ― bodhinku, magical
easter island is one of those places that is just to0 magical to describe with one word...but if i had to, and could only use one word, one word only, then that one word would be "magical" for me...
my first visit in 2015 was special, and i left the island in awe, not wanting to leave...so i returned, twice more, once in 2018 and again in 2019...and each time i arrive i always have to leave, and i leave, but i leave wanting more, i'm not done yet, not even close...i want to go back again because i know i still have things i want to do, and unfinished moments there to spend, to live, to just be...i am not even close to being done with easter island in my life, i feel like this is all just only the beginning for me, my relationship with rapa nui is only just starting to develop like a grand and epic love story...for greater adventures and so many more beautiful moments still lie ahead of me the rest of my life, together this island and me...
however, i have noticed regrettably now-a-days, that most people create a "bucket list" of places to go, and it also seems more and more people are adding easter island to their list... but personally i hate the term, because it means you are going to visit somewhere you have always wanted to go before you die or "kick the bucket," then check it off your list as a "been there, done that" item, and move on to the next item on the list, and then never go back again...
but to me, this is crazy, for after that initial magical romantic "first kiss" visit to a place, it is all the revisiting moments that are my best times, and much more meaningful and magical moments always happen during the times when i revisit places i have already been... especially as a photographer when my best impressions happen after i go to a location numerous times...i can relate more of myself to the place with more visits, plus i do not have pressure that i "must capture that image now" for fear i will never get another chance...going back over and over just makes a place more familiar, more personal, more beautiful as you discover more each time about yourself and the place, discoveries which you did not notice the first time...
this past summer in june-july 2019, like i said above, i made the trip to easter island (rapa nui) for my third time in a span of four years...but why in the world would anyone travel to one of the most remote places on our planet, spending a nice sum of money to get there once again, when they have already been there twice already? simply put, and as i alluded to it above, it is the meaning behind the title of this image you see before you today, the place to me is purely "magical" to me ("magique" is the french word for "magical")...and i will be going back again very soon...
rapa nui, isla de pascua (a.k.a. easter island) is one of my favorite places to go on this earth, i have such a strong affinity for it...there is just something about it that draws me in, draws me back to it time and time again, i truly love it there...a mystique that i just cannot stay away from no matter how hard i try, and i find again and again, that i am compelled to travel to this tiny and remote south pacific island, returning over and over and over, so strangely beautiful, captivating, fascinating, and magical for my soul...ella esta mi isla de suenos...
when asked about easter island, i always tell people that if you want to travel to a tropical island, sit under a palm tree on a sandy beach and drink a frozen margarita, then this is not the island for you...easter island is tropical, but there are few palm trees, even fewer sandy beaches as it mostly volcanic rock, and no ice or blenders to make a frozen concoction on the island...this is not a resort island where a beautiful location is combined with modern luxuries of comfort and convenience...it is none of that..
and this island is my favorite because it does not have those kind of amenities, so it still keeps away many people who would not appreciate it for being such an unspoiled place on this planet, a true breath of fresh air and peace...the whole island is considered a national park by its parent country of chile, so it is protected by legislation to keep out development and exploiting commerce...i just hope it stays that way...
what is missing from rapa nui (easter island) is what makes it so appealing, so beautiful to me...there are no neon signs, no billboards of advertisements, no city lights, no freeways or speeding cars (maximum speed limit on island is 60 km/hr), no commutes or road rage...no buildings taller than 10 meters high, no corporate parks or warehouses, no mcdonalds or fast food chains, no starbucks or walmart or department stores or giant supermarkets with huge parking lots, no cell phone towers and satellite dishes, no drones flying around...no western corporatocracy, no traffic lights or smog, no drive-thrus or 7-11 convenience stores, no beggars or homeless people on the streets or trash and litter anywhere, no graffiti spray painted about...no condos and apartment complexes or housing developments, no big luxury resorts or even any hotel chains, no outlet stores and auto malls...no amusement park, zip-lines, wax museums or red-light district, no crazy noise and street corners full of protestors...always so very few people scattered out on this tiny island that is only 23km across...
...but unfortunately it seems more and more tourists are on the island as i have been noticing with each subsequent trip that i make to the island...now latam air is offering two flights a day to isla de pascua (easter island) from santiago chile, instead of only one in the past, which is opening up more and more access to tourism...just hope the extra influx of tourists do not spoil, corrupt, and ruin the island's beauty and rusticness...but still, even with all the extra people flying in with the added flight, it is only 200 or so extra a day, with 200 or so extra leaving a day, compared to all the other places in the world, there are still so few people traveling to this island...
still, no matter what, rapa nui, a.k.a. easter island, a.k.a. isla de pascua, is simply magical always to me...
"i know the secret magic of a rainbow...rainbows were meant to remind me that you are that magical treasure at the end of my rainbow" ― bodhinku, magic of a rainbow
"love's my miracle, a magical segment of a rainbow, so pure, which i hold within these arms of mine, giving me hope, joy, and peace in a better life" ― bodhinku, rainbow segment
“two bubbles found they had rainbows on their curves. they flickered out saying: it was worth being a bubble, just to have held that rainbow for thirty magical seconds” ― carl sandburg
“magic exists. who can doubt it, when there are rainbows and wildflowers, the music of the wind and the silence of the stars? anyone who has loved has been touched by magic. it is such a simple and such an extraordinary part of the lives we live” ― nora roberts, vision in white
“love is the very magic of life. it is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. yet it is not found only at the end of the rainbow. love is at the beginning also, and from it springs the beauty that arched across the sky on a stormy day”― gordon b. hinckley, standing for something
“into this new love,
die the old ways
your path begins
on the other side
become the sky
take an axe to the prison wall,
walk out like someone
suddenly born into
the color of the rainbow,
the original name for easter island is te pito te henua...in rapanuian this means "the end of the world"...and again, one thing that attracts me for more future returns to the island is its remoteness, keeping the entire small island relatively unspoiled from the reaches of greedy capitalism and destructive corruption...
so, last july 3rd there was a partial solar eclipse (about 85%) on easter island, and i wanted to see it for myself, and capture impressions with my camera as well, so i booked my third trip to rapa nui and paid the island another visit...i did manage to get some very unique images of the eclipse from the rano raraku quarry, as well as numerous new star images around the island (of course, if you know me), and some beautiful and unique sunrises over the lava rocks and surf...but i think my best image of the trip was this one of a rainbow over the ahu tahai complex (which translates to "stands alone with") a few days earlier on june 29th...
and pictured here is the ahu ko te riku (translates to "eyes looking to heaven") which is the only moai on the island with eyes, they are made of white coral and black obsidian...and at this location there are three separate ceremonial ahu (not seen in my image, just out of frame), along with the tomb of william mulloy who helped restore the fallen moai around the island (and his wife) and collectively the location is named ahu tahai and these are the the closet ahu to the main town on the island, hanga roa, just a short walking distance north of the village center...
this image was captured in the morning during a rain shower with the sun magically breaking through to create a magical rainbow, and i got totally soaked by the warm rain, but i did not care for it was a treat to witness this scene with my own eyes, and my camera (and also shot a video of this - see link in section below)...and as i have stated in previous blogs about easter island, i love how the statues, called moai, face inland, with their backs to the ocean, watching over the people of the town of hanga roa, guardians of the island...and in this case, the addition of their rainbow to their station just makes things more so magical...
“there is no envy, jealousy, or hatred between the different colors of the rainbow. and no fear either. because each one exists to make the others’ love more magical and more beautiful” ― aberjhani
“my heart leaps up when i behold
a rainbow in the sky:
so was it when my life began;
so is it now i am a man” ― william wordsworth
“be thou the rainbow in the storms of life. the evening beam that smiles the clouds away, and tints tomorrow with prophetic ray” ― lord george byron
"the true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the magical tints of morning or evening. it simply is a segment of the rainbow which i have clutched”― henry david thoreau, walden
"you know, i do believe in magic....i was born and raised in a magic time, in a magic town, among magicians. oh, most everybody else didn’t realize we lived in that web of magic, connected by silver filaments of chance and circumstance. but i knew it all along. when i was twelve years old, the world was my magic lantern, and by its green spirit glow i saw the past, the present and into the future. you probably did too; you just don’t recall it. see, this is my opinion: we all start out knowing magic. we are born with whirlwinds, forest fires, rainbows, and comets inside us. we are born able to sing to birds and read the clouds and see our destiny in grains of sand....but then we get the magic educated right out of our souls. we get it churched out, spanked out, washed out, and combed out. we get put on the straight and narrow and told to be responsible. told to act our age. told to grow up, for god’s sake. and you know why we were told that? because the people doing the telling were afraid of our wildness and youth, and because the magic we knew made them ashamed and sad of what they’d allowed to wither in themselves....after you go so far away from it, though, you can’t really get it back. you can have seconds of it. just seconds of knowing and remembering. when people get weepy at movies, it’s because in that dark theater the golden pool of magic is touched, just briefly. then they come out into the hard sun of logic and reason again and it dries up, and they’re left feeling a little heart-sad and not knowing why. when a song stirs a memory, when motes of dust turning in a shaft of light takes your attention from the world, when you listen to a train passing on a track at night in the distance and wonder where it might be going, you step beyond who you are and where you are. for the briefest of instants, you have stepped into the magic realm....that’s what i believe....the truth of life is that every year we get farther away from the essence that is born within us. we get shouldered with burdens, some of them good, some of them not so good. things happen to us. loved ones die. people get in wrecks and get crippled. people lose their way, for one reason or another. it’s not hard to do, in this world of crazy mazes. life itself does its best to take that memory of magic away from us. you don’t know it’s happening until one day you feel you’ve lost something but you’re not sure what it is. it’s like smiling at a pretty girl and she calls you “sir.” it just happens....these memories of who i was and where i lived are important to me. they make up a large part of who i’m going to be when my journey winds down. i need the memory of magic, if i am ever going to conjure magic again. i need to know and remember, and i want to tell you" ― robert r. mccammon, boy's life
"contemplate without thinking. stop the world. slow down everything. shut off the noise. breathe in. breathe out. relax. seize this moment. reconnect. feel and sense what surrounds you. listen to all the colors of light that envelope you. see the melody and harmony that floats about unnoticed. taste the solitude of all this wonderment. smell the beautiful silence within your peaceful serenity. then, reach out and touch your faith. this is my world. awaken." ― bodhinku, my world
above all else as always, i hope this message and image find you well.
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