Ishle Yi Park

“When I want my writing to flow freely, I go to the water. I go to the sea. I dive: deep, search coral, float, om, purify, cleanse, let go, pray, give thanks, sing to Yemaya, sing the songs of the Jejudo haenyeo, hula, and release all that does not serve me. Then I take long strolls down the shore, to the sun and back to black rocks, and dream my stories and birth new verses to songs on the walk—something in the movement and mind. Body spirit connection is untapped in flow state, I feel. Finally, I end a day like this luxuriating in a hot bath with rose mist, and it is here, most likely, that new ideas will float easily to my mind’s surface, and I try my best to capture them in a journal before drifting to bed. I pray and ask for guidance. I ask to be a vessel. Eating superfoods like cacao, jaboticaba, and acai help me feel awake, as well as yerba mate and mushroom teas, kava to feel dreamy and timeless, and plant medicine from da’aina for mystic journeys. Instrumental music and drumming really help me get into a vibe and can transport me to different eras. During the writing of Angel & Hannah, I definitely listened to a lot of hip-hop and sometimes a song would unlock a door to a memory that became a fiction that became a sonnet: a key, a song, a memory, lyrical alchemy. Health is wealth, so yes—long walks, deep dives, fresh water, prayer, and pure food give me the nourishment I need to be more awake and receptive, creatively.”
—Ishle Yi Park, author of Angel & Hannah (One World, 2021) 

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  • May 26, 2021