"Pele Honi" by Bodhi Smith

 
a sweet kiss
breathing out
breathing in
each other's essence
so deeply intimate
so filled up with love
the divine breath
no words needed
everything is clear
a sweet kiss
 
 
MY THOUGHTS
Such a magical and colorful place, located at the edge of a tropical island. It's here that the land passionately kisses the sea, and the two become timeless lovers, both perpetually hula dancing along to the rhythm of their motion and the music of the tides of time ― Bodhi, Pele Nani
 
Here you see a collapsed lava tube at sunrise as it breathes in warm powder-blue sea water and then kisses it out. It's a scene fuelled by the powerful crystal clear waves at high tide, as they come in from the Pacific Ocean, endlessly ebbing and flowing against the rocky Hawaiian shoreline…
 
"Pele Honi" loosely translates to "sweet kiss" in traditional Hawaiian…there could not be a better name for this breathtaking impression of mine here. Such a magical and colorful place, located at the edge of a tropical island. It's here that the land passionately kisses the sea, and the two become timeless lovers, both perpetually hula dancing along to the rhythm of their own motions and the music of the tides of time...
 
For extra meaning, I need to break down the phrase "Pele Honi" a little bit further...
 
A proper Hawaiian "Honi" is very beautiful and intimate…when greeting someone you honor, love, and admire, you touch forehead to forehead and nose to nose as you exchange breaths with each other…thus sharing the Ha (divine breath) between you both…it’s one of the most blessed displays of mutual respect that can ever be seen between two people...
 
"Pele" is the Hawaiian Goddess of Fire and Volcanoes…in mythology, she's the creator of the entire archipelago of Hawaiian Islands, which are all made of volcanic lava. So thus she's also the creator of the collapsed lava tube that formed this sea well as it breathes in and out the warm blue crystal-clear ocean waters of the Pacific…
 
I just met her, and the very first 3 words she said​ to me: kiss me fool. ​So I jumped right in and kissed her! ― Bodhi, Pele Honi
 
This is a place so beautiful to behold, so powerful to become a part of such a mesmerizing display by Mother Earth...
 
My first morning on the Island, I just stood out on the rocks, taking it all in, studying the waves and their patterns across the lava rocks. Taking no pictures or even my camera gear out onto the rocks and into the waves on this first day. I'm scouting out POV spots from where I knew I wanted to shoot, making sure that they would give my Crocs laden feet enough grip to stand in place for even the largest of waves pummeling the shoreline (and possibly me too)...
 
After a trial run at high tide, testing out my sea legs along with my camera gear on the rocks and in the waves, I was confident of being able to safely photograph this sea well, known as Pele's Sea Well, in all the ways and angles I wanted to photograph it...
 
The following day did not disappoint me. Large sets of waves came ashore at high tide, and the awesome power of the ocean would grab me and take my breath away, as I prayed it'd also not sweep me and my camera away and flush us into the abyss of the sea...at times the waves would bluster in and cover me all the way up to my waist, as I desperately (and successfully) did everything I could to stabilize my position and keep my camera secure and unwavering, keeping the tripod it was mounted onto from moving any single bit in the slightest (so I could use multiple exposure in the same frame and blend into one single composition)...
 
Every beautiful wave says aloha as it kisses the beach...and the beautiful beach says aloha to every wave as it returns to the sea ― Bodhi, Sweetest Kiss
 
One rush of adrenaline after another would surge into me as the waves relentlessly came ashore, marching into me and the sea well one by one by one...
 
As I take it all in, I am amazed at all the tropical colors in front of me, everything fluidly flowing all around me, all over the place, many beautiful things disappearing into the waves and reappearing moments later. I am flat-out in awe of how the blue waters would get sucked up into the lava tube from underneath, to be squeezed up, bursting through to the surface, whooshing and splashing out all over the rocks, only to get swooshed back down into the sea well to repeat the whole crazy dance again and again and again with the next big waves coming ashore...
 
And the water here is wonderfully warm, and so damn crystal clear. And it's such a lovely shade of baby-blue from reflecting in its depths the blue-bird skies above...it's all one giant sweet kiss from mother nature to those of us who get it...
 
And I absolutely could not get enough, so I return to this spot four mornings straight, and I repeat the whole crazy scene each time over again...so amazed and in awe as I watch with a smile the ocean greet Pele at the shore, where they practice Honi together, creating a magical "Pele Honi" together as one...
 
There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away​ ― Sarah Kay
 
 
​This song “​Kiss.”​ goes along absolutely perfectly with my impression and blog today...it's without comparison my favourite tune from Prince (a.k.a."The Artist Formerly Known As") ...Released ​nearly forty years ago in 1986, ​it was an instant sensation rising in the charts all the way to #1...The verses of the song are sparse and minimalist, but the chorus is explosive, sexy, and full of energy. It's lyrics focus on the idea of a "kiss" but go much deeper than what they seem on the surface. The song is a call for authenticity and consent in relationships​ while stating clearly that social status​, coolness factor​s, and physical appearances do not matter as much as ​a genuine, authentic connectio​n and ​a shared experience​ .​.."​Kiss" by ​Prince and the Revolution.
 
There's also a stupendously wonderful cover of this tune done witty and stylishly by Art Of Noise with Tom Jones (I might actually like it better than the original believe it or not). It's one of my go-to good-feeling upper songs... "​Kiss" by ​Art Of Noise with Tom Jones (Prince Cover). 
 
The song even made an appearance in the hit romantic movie that is one of my favorite movies of all time, "Pretty Woman" starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. Julia is a call girl named Vivian who is taking a bubble bath while listening to this song with headphones on--she humorously sings along to the lyrics and all you can hear is her voice as Richard Gere's character Edward walks in the bathroom to make a business proposition to her: Pretty Woman Clip: Vivian sings Prince's "Kiss". Interesting enough​, Vivian believes that kisses are more intimate than just having sex, and refuses to kiss Edward on the mouth, saying "I don't kiss on the lips", until later in the movie when she falls in love with him, she kisses him, and their passionate kiss lets us all know how she really feels about him... (just click on the blue links to listen to any of the songs)

Uh
You don't have to be beautiful
To turn me on
I just need your body, baby
From dusk 'til dawn
You don't need experience
To turn me out
You just leave it all up to me
I'm gonna show you what it's all about
You don't have to be rich
To be my girl
You don't have to be cool
To rule my world
Ain't no particular sign
I'm more compatible with
I just want your extra time and your
Kiss
Ah, oh-oh
You got to not talk dirty, baby
If you wanna impress me (ah)
You can't be too flirty, mama
I know how to undress me, yeah
I want to be your fantasy
Maybe you could be mine
You just leave it all up to me
We could have a good time, uh
Don't have to be rich
To be my girl
You don't have to be cool
To rule my world
Ain't no particular sign
I'm more compatible with
I just want your extra time and your
Kiss
Yes, oh-oh-oh-oh...Ah
I think I wanna dance
Uh...Ooh
Gotta, gotta, oh
Little girl Wendy's parade
Gotta, gotta, gotta
Women, not girls, rule my world
I said they rule my world
Act your age, mama (not your shoe size)
Not your shoe size
Maybe we could do the twirl
You don't have to watch Dynasty
To have an attitude, uh
You just leave it all up to me
My love will be your food
Yeah
You don't have to be rich
To be my girl
You don't have to be cool
To rule my world
Ain't no particular sign
I'm more compatible with
I just want your extra time and your
 
 
 
KISSES TO ME
She said go slow, soft and slow, and as our lips touched, I obliged her ― Bodhi, ​Pele Honi
 
As both your eyes are deeply locked into the universe of each other’s inner sanctum, giving a deep passionate kiss is the most intimate thing two lovers can do…even more than making love, imho…
 
Kiss me, and you will see how important I am​ ― Sylvia Plath
 
I love giving kisses, but unfortunately I’ve still yet to kiss the girl who carries my heart inside her heart…at 56, I hope I’m not running out of time, though I have faith she will somehow find me one day… 
 
She’ll simply walk up to me when we first meet, and say her first three words to me: “Kiss me fool”, to which I’ll kiss her without hesitation, knowing I’ve just met the most beautiful soul in the world, because she finally found me…
 
A kiss is never just a kiss to me. It’s the most intimate thing two people can do ― Bodhi, Pele Honi
 
And together we can walk off into the sunset to our would of complete and utter love, making every moment we have together count, from sunrise to sunset, and sunset to sunrise, until we have no more time left…
 
My god, such a beautiful hope I carry in my heart every day…but until my one day and that last first kiss with her finally arrives, I’ll just have to continue to love the idea of kisses, and share special times filled with love with my doggie, Besos (which means "Kisses" in Spanish)…
 
I want morning and noon and nightfall with you. I want your tears, your smiles, your kisses...the smell of your hair, the taste of your skin, the touch of your breath on my face. I want to see you in the final hour of my life...to lie in your arms as I take my last breath​ ― ​Lisa Kleypas, Again the Magic
 
 
Here is another absolutely perfect song to go along with my photo and blog today...Released ​nearly 50 years ago in ​1976, it's about a man who hates to leave his girl when he goes off to work (in the end you find out his "girl" is his 3-year old daughter). This song always reminds me of the sad eyes I always get when I have to leave my doggie, Besos (which means "kisses' in Spanish), at home when I go off to teach high school for the day. And I know he is saving all his kisses for me, waiting until that moment when I walk back through the door ... "​Save Your Kisses For Me" by ​Brotherhood of Man. ... (just click on the blue links to listen to any of the songs)...

Though it hurts to go away, it's impossible to stay
But there's one thing I must say before I go
I love you (I love you), you know
I'll be thinking of you in most everything I do
Now the time is moving on and I really should be gone
But you keep me hanging on for one more smile
I love you (I love you), all the while
With your cute little way will you promise that you'll save
Your kisses for me, save all your kisses for me
Bye, bye, baby, bye, bye
Don't cry, honey, don't cry
Gonna walk out the door
But I'll soon be back for more
Kisses for me, save all your kisses for me
So long, honey, so long
Hang on, baby, hang on
Don't you dare me to stay
'Cause you know I'll have to say
That I've got to work each day and that's why I go away
But I count the seconds 'til I'm home with you
I love you (I love you), it's true
You're so cute, honey gee, won't you save them up for me
Your kisses for me, save all your kisses for me
Bye, bye, baby, bye, bye
Don't cry, honey, don't cry
Gonna walk out the door
But I'll soon be back for more
Kisses for me, save all your kisses for me
So long, honey, so long
Hang on, baby, hang on
Don't you dare me to stay
'Cause you know you've got to save
Your kisses for me, save all your kisses for me
Bye, bye, baby, bye, bye
Don't cry, honey, don't cry
Won't you save them for me even though you're only three
 
 
 
PELE'S WELL COMPARED TO THOR'S WELL
​The Hawaiian Pacific is warm, blue, and crystal clear. Oregon's Pacific is cold, gray, and opaque. The choice is easy for me, I'll take Hawaii ​anyday!  ― Bodhi, ​Pele Honi
 
In hindsight, now that I've photographed both Pele's Sea Well on the Hawaiian coast, and Thor's Sea Well on the Oregon coast, I can compare the two locations...
 
Thor's Sea Well on US Highway 101, Oregon Coast...image by Bodhi Smith called "Beautiful Ending"
 
Pele's Well is so much more enjoyable to photograph. The experience is so much more pleasurable all the way around (although maybe less dramatic) than Thor's Well...
 
To begin with, both the air and water temperatures are 25-30F warmer in Hawaii. Even in the winter months, at Pele's Well you can stand directly in the water and get gently battered by waves and not freeze your ass off like you would at Thor's Well after getting violently thrashed by a giant wave (even in the summer)...there's just something so much more enjoyable about spending time in warm blue waters than dark cold gray waters...
 
Next the tides and ocean currents at Pele's Well are so much more calm and gentle and less violent than the powerful currents and riptides at Thor's Well...plus there are less "rogue" waves that come in twice as strong and twice as large as the biggest waves normally would, like you'd see at Thor's Well during high tide in the Pacific Northwest. So many times I have been swallowed up by waves many feet over my head at Thor's Well. Battered severely by it's unforgivingly harsh and cold waters.  I can relax more at Pele's Sea well and have less worry about being washed away and drowned by the power of the ocean--although I still utterly respect the Pacific Ocean at Pele's Well, knowing to never turn my back on her and expect the unexpected at any time while I'm photographing her...
 
Lastly, the tropical Pacific waters are cleaner and much more crystal clear than the Pacific waters of the American Northwest by Oregon. There's more of a clarity to be seen in the water as it is less stirred up with less kelp in it. And as such, the colors of blue come through more prominently, rather than the dull grey tones in the Pacific Northwest, things are just prettier and more positive...
 
While I kept getting an adrenaline rush with every large wave stirring and coming ashore in Hawaii, there was so much less anxiety since the energy in the waves was more calming and less stressful, both physically and mentally...
 
From my experiences now, I can reflect and decide without regret that I'll never go back and photograph Thor's Well. Unfortunately, I just do not need to go there and risk my life and camera gear anymore. It's just not worth it, and it's been replaced by a place so much sweeter, a place that gives me "sweet kisses" instead of punches to the face. So, I now know that my days of photographing Thor's Sea Well have come to end. However, I'll most definitely return to take pictures of Pele's Sea Well in future visits to Hawaii...
 
 
 
SOME MORE APROPOS QUOTES
There's nothing more beautiful than nature early in the morning ― Vincent Van Gogh, Vincent's Letters
 
​Thus with a kiss I die​ ― Wiliam Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
 
The sunlight ​kisses the earth, and the moonbeams kiss the sea: what are all these kissings worth, if thou kiss not me?​ ― Percy Bysshe Shelley
 
You might not be the first to crawl into my heart, kiss me apart, or share my skin in the dark, but you could be the first one who matters; you could be the first one who lasts​ ― Beau Taplin , Worlds of You
 
She would have to send her kisses on the wind hoping that the wind would touch the boy's face, and would tell him that she was alive ― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist
 
If we’re going to kiss, it has to be book-worthy​ ― ​Colleen Hoover November 9
 
I kiss her every way I can possibly kiss her, because I plan on loving her every way I can possibly love her. Every single time we refused to cave in to our feelings in the past makes this kiss completely worth the sacrifices​ ― Colleen Hoover, Maybe Someday
 
He kisses me like I’m his canvas​ ― C​olleen Hoover, Confess
 
Her lips are in close proximity to mine, so of course I have to kiss them​ ― ​Colleen Hoover, Point of Retreat
 
I've been kissing her every day for over a year, and​ it somehow still gets better every time​ ― Colleen Hoover, Point of Retreat
 
And when her lips met mine, I knew that I could live to be a hundred and visit every country in the world, but nothing would ever compare to that single moment when I first kissed the girl of my dreams and knew that my love would last forever​ ― ​Nicholas Sparks, Dear John
 
In a universe of ambiguity, this kind of certainty comes only once, and never again, no matter how many lifetimes you live​ ― ​Robert Kincaid, The Bridges of Madison County
 
Kissing drops out of a marriage quicker than intercourse does​...In some ways, it’s a more intimate experience​ ― Ruth Morehouse
 
What is a kiss? Why this, as some approve; The sure sweet cement, glue and lime of love​ ― Robert Herrick
 
Give me a kiss, and to that kiss a score; then to that twenty, add a hundred more; a thousand to that hundred: so kiss on, to make that thousand up a million. treble that million, and when that is done, let's kiss afresh, as when we first begun​! ― Robert Herrick
 
A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous --Ingrid Bergman​ ― Ingrid Bergman
 
It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul​ ― Judy Garland
 
Make me immortal with a kiss​ ― Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
 
Kiss me, and you will see how important I am​ ― Sylvia Plath
 
There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away​ ― Sarah Kay
 
It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me...and I’m feeling good ― Nina Simone, Feeling Good.
 
​I want to become familiar with the way​ you purse your lips​, then let them part, just the slightest bit,​ when I lean in to your space​ and kiss you.​..I want to know the joy of how you whisper​ "more” ― Jalaluddin Rumi, Words of Paradise
 
When soul rises​ into lips​, you feel the kiss​ you have wanted ― Jalaluddin Rumi, Fountain of Fire
 
I would love to kiss you.​ The price of kissing ​me is your lif​e ― Jalaluddin Rumi, In the Arms of the Beloved
 
There is ​aq kiss we want with​ our whole lives, the touch of​ spirit on the body ― Jalaluddin Rumi, Hush Don't Say Anything To God
 
Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground​ ― Jalaluddin Rumi, Poems of Ecstasy and Longing
 
 
 
SPECIFICS ABOUT THIS PHOTO
Everything around me was moving​ in such a magical way, creating a beautiful blur I can never forget ― Bodhi, Pele Honi
 
Seen here is a photo of the colorful Pele Sea Well  during high tide at sunrise on the jagged lava-rock shoreline close to the Kona International Airport on the Big Island of Hawaii... 
 
To get the effects you see here, I needed to capture multiple photos all taken in the exact same frame, all-the-while knowing later I would be merging all of them together (nine in total) into one single composition. As a base for the photos, I kept the setting of ISO-64 (the native ISO for my my Nikon D850) the same for each photo, changing both the f-stop and the shutter speed to get the right amount of light in each image as the sun was rising on the morning of November 21, 2023. Some of the exposures are ultra long at 222 seconds, and others are much shorter at 30 seconds, 8 seconds, 3 seconds, and 2.5 seconds...This composition was created with the separate exposures spanning from about 10 minutes before sunrise to a nearly an hour after the sun was up (possible because the direct sunlight was blocked for 60 mins at sea level by Mauna Hualalai, an active volcano towering above the Kona coast at 8271ft tall)...
 
In my photography, I always use filters to create longer exposure effects, saturate colors naturally, and balance the light in my composition in-camera...I often use as many as four filters at time, and I always use at least one filter in my completed impressions...
 
And to get the effects and balance I was looking for in this composition, I used two ProgreyUSA Filters. along with the ProgreyUSA G-120Z Antarctic Magnetic Holder. to secure these filters to my Nikon D850 with a Nikon Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. ... 
 
Camera Settings: 
ISO-64, 26mm at t/11 (ranging down to f2.8) for 222 seconds (ranging down to 2.5 sec) around sunrise from 6:26am to 7:26am HST on November 21, 2023 using a ProgreyUSA 0.9 GND Aurora Filter. to bring the top third of the composition down 3 stops and help darken the bright sunrise glowing clouds in the sky, creating a better in-camera balance in the overall image with the shadows in the lava rocks and sea well, along with a ProgreyUSA 3.0ND Antarctic Magnetic Filter. to stop down the image 10 stops and permit for an ultra long 222 second exposure at f/11 (as well as faster 2.5 second exposures at larger apertures like f2.8) which helps to create the effect of the misty blue waters, smooth waterfalls in the sea well, plus smooth out the ocean waves, and help naturally saturate all the red, green, blue (RGB) hues in the image ...
 
All nine images shot in the same frame were then merged together using layers in Adobe Photoshop CC...
 
I wish to openly thank my sponsors who have always supported me through both the good and bad times...for truly this long exposure impression would not be possible without the use of my Induro PHQ3 Series 5-way Panhead with an Induro (now Benro) Stealth Carbon Fiber Tripod. in combination with the ProgreyUSA Filters. which I use with every photo I take...
 
if nothing else...if i open my eyes, if i hope, if i cry, if i think, if i sigh, if i giggle, if i dance, if i love, if i breathe, then i have lived a full days worth of life...nothing is wasted, nothing" ― bodhi, if nothing else
 

 

i do not want you to just be into my photography, instead, i'd much rather you take a journey into my pictures, and feel the impression i have created, feel it with all your senses" ― bodhi, into my photography
 
my photography is my way of keeping a diary ― bodhi, my diary
 
contemplate without thinking. be certain only in your uncertainty, content to be completely incomplete. stop the rush. slow down time. breathe and notice. slow down everything. let it all be. shut off the noise. hush. relax. seize this higher moment. reconnect. feel and sense what surrounds you. listen to all the colours of light whisper as they envelope you. see the melody and harmony that float about unnoticed. taste the solitude of all this wonderment. smell the beautiful silence. now discover your peaceful serenity. then, reach out and touch your faith with all your senses. this is my world. awaken! ― bodhi, my world
 
you were blessed with 84,600 seconds today, have you used one of them to say thank you? ― bodhi, blessed
 
I leave you today wishing that bright joy 
and spiritual peace fill your life...
imploring you to make every moment count, 
no matter what, always and forever, 
for that is the only thing that truly matters... 
 
And above all else,
I hope this message and impression find you well.
 
Namaste,
Bodhi
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