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It was Friday afternoon. Adamus had just made his final remark, “It was a – I hate to overuse the word – but amazing gathering of Shaumbra,” on our 4-day workshop Masters in Communication. We had just gathered on the little green hill at Villa Ahmyo for group photos. I skipped hugs and goodbyes, and made my way down the stairs, as my partner Tim had come to pick me up.

Our host Scott had graciously offered to take us to the summit of Mauna Kea in his mighty Jeep Wrangler later that afternoon. What a dream come true! Mauna Kea is the highest volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, sacred to the Native Hawaiians. It could also be considered the highest mountain on Earth if you count from its base more than five thousand meters below sea level. I carefully packed my layers for summer to autumn to winter and at 3:30pm, we set off. The weather was the clearest we could ask for. The 2.5-hour drive was stunning, with spectacular changes in landscapes along the way. Scott was an amazing guide for us. When we got to the visitor’s center, the unexpectedly crowded parking lot reminded us it was the American Thanksgiving long weekend.

Everyone is encouraged to spend at least half an hour at the Visitor Centre to acclimate to the altitude. We wandered around the visitor’s center and vicinity for twenty minutes before joining the line of jeeps waiting to drive up to the summit. When the journey to the summit and observatories started, the real excitement began—that feeling of being on top of the world, land, water, clouds, and sky. But the very slow pace of traffic started to stress Scott out, as the sun was getting ever lower on the horizon, and we began to think we may miss the sunset. “Well, there will be colors,” Scott tried to comfort us, or maybe himself. The sky was ever changing. The clouds below us rolled away in waves. The drive itself was so – I hate to overuse the word but – amazing that, sunset or not, I was already on cloud nine.

Just then, an unmarked left turn appeared, and Scott took it without hesitation. We ended up on a hill surrounded by observatories with no other people, just in time to see the red sun sink into the horizon.

The white domes of the astronomical observatories decorating the mountaintop magically began to open. So did my arms open to embrace the sky as my heart soared. We then drove the short distance up to the summit and stayed until the park rangers came to clear away the tourists so the observatories could do their work, free from the stray beam of a random flashlight or headlight.

Back down at the visitor center we set up chairs and brought out our sandwiches in the picnic area. Scott surprised us by bringing out a spotting scope, through which the new crescent moon revealed its unreal grey texture on the surface in shadow.

We picked another shining star to look at, a planet that seemed to have three moons lining up on its left side. It was Jupiter, we all decided. Then came the time I truly wanted – to sit down and give myself a moment to absorb, admire, and adore the STARS!

That time never came.

To get myself comfortably ready, I decided to go to the ladies’ room first. Stepping back out, the dazzling night sky and Milky Way immediately disoriented me. I spun underneath their gaze, while my feet took me to the parking lot. Walking between cars to the picnic area, my feet met a little raised curb. I stepped over the obstacle and, instead of finding a landing place, my foot just went down, deeper, and deeper into nothingness.

I landed on my left hip, palm, and elbow, then rolled to my back. Oh, the stars! Let’s get up, my mind said, but my body felt the ache and shock. I would lie there, for just a moment, to catch a breath.

A small group came over. “Are you okay?” a woman asked.

Always. But now that you ask, I want to say no. How did they even know someone fell? It was almost pitch-dark.

“Oh, I heard it. Loud!” the woman said. She came down and gently raised my feet with her hands. “Close your eyes and take some deep breaths,” she commanded.

No, I just want to see the stars. But I followed her instruction. She could make a decent hypnotist, I thought. More people gathered, shining their phone lights on my awkwardly dressed body (two pairs of pants underneath a long skirt, bright yellow rain jacket on top; I hadn’t come up the mountain planning to be the center of attention).

Thankfully, all the layers gathered at my hip area, creating a cushion for the four-foot fall. While all my attention went to the left side of my body that hit the ground, the next day I discovered my right knee was sprained.

After confirming there were no broken bones, Kona Community Hospital gave me a long knee brace to wear. All my upcoming valley and coastline hikes had to sadly be cancelled – you don’t know what you have until you lose it.

Beyond all the new travel adjustments, my biggest regret was still the immediate loss of the opportunity to sit and gaze at the stars. When they found me on the ground, Scott and Tim had decided it was time to head home. Every moment on Mauna Kea was beautiful, but it still felt deeply unfinished.

With no hikes to do, we shifted our focus to beaches. Out of all those listed in the Complete Guide to Big Island Beaches, I picked Anaeho’omalu Bay (A-Bay) beach. The beautifully sandy beach is between the ocean and two ancient Hawaiian fishponds. Two bodies of waters, palm trees dotting the white sand. What could go wrong?

I brought my protective wet shoes, but “forgot” them in the car. Tim insisted that I go out with a boogie board to not put too much strain on my right knee. Soon, I drifted to a coral area that was too shallow to paddle the board, and too jagged to stand up and walk across. I leaned on the board, walking my feet in the water.

Excruciating pain pinched the bottom of my left foot, like hundreds of needles piercing it all at the same time. Ouch! Was something trying to bite me? I raised my foot, but the sharp pain continued.

Finally back at the shore, once again a crowd gathered around me. A woman from Virginia told me I must have stepped on a sea urchin. “There are 18 spines in your foot!” Did someone actually count? I felt utterly helpless. A man from Ottawa kept digging the sand below my foot so the sea water could soak it. A young girl came by to say she heard urinating on the foot would help. A great idea which was dismissed by my quickly assembled care team. “A tweezer, who has a tweezer?” The Virginian woman requested. Tim said nothing and went off, asking everyone on the beach for a tweezer. Should I have hope? Should I curse? Should I panic? Should I stay optimistic? Maybe it meant I needed to slow down. Maybe there’s a blessing in it… I could only sit on the beach.

Tim returned empty handed. It turns out nobody goes to a tropical beach with a tweezer in their bag. The Virginian woman tried to pinch the skin on my foot. “No, I don’t want to make it worse.” Soon she gave up. The pain subsided, or was I just distracted? She suggested that I visit the nearest Urgent Care clinic, which would be closing soon. The Ottawa guy and the Virginian woman’s brother used their hands and arms to make a “chair” and carried me to Tim’s car – because remember, I had a sprained right knee and couldn’t hop. Google told us no Urgent Care clinics were open; it was still the long Thanksgiving weekend. I told Tim we could go back to Kona Community Hospital. After all, I had just set up a patient profile with them two days ago.

Noticing my mouth was very dry and my head buzzing, I remembered someone saying there might be some venom. Maybe I was reacting to it? Was it deadly? Could my body endure the 52-minute drive? I knew I needed to use the power of my mind to ensure the infection stayed on the foot. But what if they need to amputate my foot? I am going to stay on the planet as an embodied master, AND I want to stay with my feet!

“Maybe, you just need to drink some water?” Tim suggested, as he sped through the traffic. What a magic solution for a serious problem!

The guard at the hospital emergency brought me a wheelchair, asking, “May I know what for?” I told him the story.

“I’m pretty sure the nurse is going to tell you the same thing. Just go home and soak your foot in vinegar.”

I looked at him. Right, this is Hawaii. It couldn’t be that I was the first case of someone stepping on a sea urchin. Maybe he had a point. The doctors and nurses at the emergency room were nice, but if I could do without them, I’d prefer that.

I stayed in Hawaii five more days after A-Bay. With my right knee still sprained and my left foot now hurting, there wasn’t much left to do. My biggest regret was that I never had a chance to really enjoy A-Bay beach.

A sudden disruption, vacation unfinished.

“Let yourself be touched,” Adamus had invited in our final session of the workshop. But by a sea urchin?! What kind of Master of Communication is that? A sharp pinch is too much of a reminder that I exist.

“So many things happen when you finally leave here,” his Merabh voice soothingly echoed in my mind. “You know, you go back to harsh reality…” Yup, so many things happened that life was unfinished for the rest of my stay on Hawaii. Snorkel trips were cancelled; my five swimming suits stayed in my suitcase.

That first night at home, I slept 14 hours straight. Early the next morning, I was enjoying a very engaging and meaningful dream. My hypnotherapy mentee Candice was leading a group of teenagers. They came to a big building where Obama lived, and Candice was demonstrating to the group how they could get what they desired when they expressed themselves clearly and confidently. She called Obama to the window and expressed her need for him to meet her group. Obama came down. I knew it was time for this young lady to teach me something.

I walked toward the group and a nice musical tone rose. But the tone was repetitive. “It must be Tim’s alarm o’clock. How annoying! But no, I am not going to wake up yet. I can either go on in the dream pretending it’s a soundtrack for me, or I can suspend the dream until the ring tone exhausts itself.” I waited and waited. The tone finally stopped, but I forgot where I was in the dream. Then my own alarm o’clock sounded. It was time to get up for work after the vacation.

Dream unfinished.

How can I ever start a new chapter when the old chapters are not even finished?

It seems the question is an oxymoron. I don’t need to start a new chapter; a new chapter starts for me. I don’t need to move on in life; life moves me on, obviously. Damn it.

A memory surfaced. When I was a kid, I saw life as an experience. I told my friends life was not for anything, and there was no meaning but experience. “Therefore, everything is it, because everything is an experience.”

“What if things don’t go my way? That’s bad,” they said.

“Then you get to experience something else. You will never stop experiencing something. No matter what happens, it’s impossible not to experience anything. And that’s the point of life, to experience what comes.”

“What if I do a crime and go to the jail?”

“Then you experience being in a jail. You may even like it! It doesn’t have to be bad. It’s life’s experience. Everything is meant to be an experience. No experience is better than another when you go through it. Only your human standards make you suffer or not.” I said it so firmly that I surprised myself. And yet it was extremely comforting to my child-self at the time to realize I could never fail because no experience is above or below another. And whatever came my way, I could choose how to experience it.

Experience, continued.

Life, unfinished.

Kemila Zsange found Crimson Circle exactly when Adamus showed up, in 2009. After being on her hands and knees for years, it all started to make sense. Born and raised in China, she now lives in Vancouver, Canada, and practices hypnotherapy in a martial-artistic way. She loves to wake people up using trance, so her true work is undoing hypnosis with her clients. A lifelong traveller, she finds home is “elsewhere.” She loves children but doesn’t have one. She loves animals but never had a pet. Now in her 50’s, she’s finally learning awkwardly how to take care of herself. Contact Kemila through her website:

2 comments on "The Unfinished Life"

  • Ellen Jacover on February 28, 2023 3:28 AM said:
    Thank you for sharing your story “ I don’t need to start a new chapter; a new chapter starts for me. I don’t need to move on in life; life moves me on, obviously. Damn it.” Really liked that line! X
  • Olgi on February 22, 2023 3:28 PM said:
    That is beautiful ☺️ Thank You for sharing your story 💜

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