Lucas Zhao Photography

The Story

Growing new leaves: ancestral traumas and love (2018)

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Life seems to be an experience of shifting out of seemingly endless process of transformation, and in special moments of each of our journeys, we can truly say with confidence that we have transitioned... emerged from a cocoon so-to-speak. It can be challenging to quantify those experience into one particular point, most of the time, as life tends to unfold in layers, each contributing to the fulfillment of the prophecy it is itself invested in. Transitioning out of the year 2017 and into 2018 has felt like some sort of subtle, yet irreversible stepping stone into a new breath of possibility, and new horizons. 

In the world we currently find ourselves in, on this date of January 15th, 2018 it can seem like a struggle to be well informed about the true intensity and reality of the planet we share and still truly find a place of inner balance. Each step seems to challenge everything we could ever hold dear sometimes. The fire of purification can be quite tricky when you're not fully aware that you're within it. The way that I see it is that suffering endowed with understanding of the purpose may transform that pain into grace and beauty. Suffering is our way to connect with the depths of the universal repercussions of our own individual experiences and impact into our life and this planet which may indeed create domino effects into higher possibilities for all of life. Within our own circles and every circle we are connected to, through this great web of life.

I have been in a perpetual state of wanting to manifest my words through writing through this blog but I'm not entirely sure how my mind and experience of life would be received through a blog format. So that is a limiting belief in my life that I am learning to challenge as Joseph Campbell said: "The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek". 

So here we go!

After having my life threatened and camera equipment/cellphone stolen at machete point in Maui last November 3rd, my life had gone into a state of intense purification and reflection. The man that had confronted me after a road rage incident was presumably high on amphetamines and chipped my tooth by hitting me in the face twice before I was able to put my hands up to defend myself- then progressed to finding a wood stick cutting my throat lightly by swinging it at me backed up against my vehicle just prior to finding a machete while his girlfriend distracted me... the chip in my tooth had been a reminder of the culmination of my life experiences in that moment of time in a display of such chaos and brutality. 

A couple months have passed since that incident. Having been able to crowdfund enough for a new camera (thank you!), the next step of the journey has been clearing out the closet of suppressed trauma from that incident. I intend to write about the healing process in my next post on here, especially the power of art within it. Until then, I let some of the images from my healing process tell the story...

"Glacial Recess" - Jasper National Park blended with Proxy Falls, Oregon 

Big Island, Hawaii 2017

Pele, Volcano Goddess 2017

Maui on the plane from Big Island

Volcano National Park, Big Island Hawaii 2017. 

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(Shot above)- After sitting for a few days in the intermittent rains on the Hilo side of Big Island, Hawaii I sat in meditation one night. In this meditation I caught a glimpse of a vision which appeared as two massive serpents crawling into the mouth of Mount Kilauea, the active shield volcano of Hawaii. I made a decision around 8 or 9 at night to drive up to volcano national park and see what the vision was all about. 

Storm clouds rolled in and out, some moments becoming so dense that you weren't even able to see the glowing red of the volcano, other moments revealed a divine display of spiraling volcano fire clouds before a pristine night sky. Not a single soul in sight at the viewpoint in the national park, the silence was so eerily peaceful as I went off the path and found a nice place to sit down with my tripod and a warm hoodie on witnessing the dazzling display before me. There was never a dull moment in the ephemeral dance of the transformations between rain, sky, earth, and fire of "Pele": Hawaiian Goddess of the volcano. I sat there until sunrise snapping away... 

(Click to fit screen)

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