Preface

Okinawa, Japan. 1992. Photo Christopher L. Cook

Okinawa, Japan. 1992. Photo Christopher L. Cook

     Let me tell you a little about myself…I was born in one of the most beautiful places in the world, Kauai. No matter where I find myself, Kauai is there floating in the back of my mind. Often stories I tell from my life sound absurd or unbelievable to people, but if you know Kauai you know everyone who grew up here hasn’t taken the road most traveled.

     Life has been a whirlwind as long as I can remember. My parents were writers and I spent my childhood following them around. We survived a hurricane, traveled through Asia as missionaries, lived in an off the grid house in the middle of the property Mark Zuckerburg now owns in Moloa’a, and lived all over Kauai and the Big Island. Life’s taken me all kinds of places since then, and most recently I found myself bartending at an underground punk bar in the Lower East Side, Manhattan. 

     I finally caught a good swell while I was in New York. A great friend of mine Tyler took me to Rockaway beach to surf one of the jetties. The wave was a fast-barreling beach break. The water was cool but the air warm enough for board shorts. I struggled into waves, enjoying it. There’s no better feeling than getting out of the world and into water. I can’t wait to get back and surf when it’s freezing out and you have to cover yourself head to toe in neoprene, some sort of masochists dream. 

Smokey Mountain, Manila Philippines, 1992. Photo Christopher L. Cook

Smokey Mountain, Manila Philippines, 1992. Photo Christopher L. Cook

     Recently the longest romantic relationship in my life fell apart in slow motion while living in New York City. I’m still recovering. The past year has been the craziest of my life and things got completely out of control in the pressure cooker that is New York. I decided to get away from it all and get back to my roots. Bought a one way ticket from JFK to LIH and found myself on the hot West Side, surfing shark infested waters every day and quickly becoming tan. The City constantly calls me, the noise of the biggest cultural mecca in the US, a siren far to the east…but I find my heart softening and returning to whole in the company of dogs, baby chickens, family and childhood friends. Spending time with animals, planting things in your own family’s soil and sleeping under the brightest stars in the world beats anything culture has to offer. 

     The days are long and the mornings early. Each dawn I have a cup of cowboy coffee and work on renewing myself. Already I’ve swam 2 miles along the Na Pali Coastline trying to keep up with dolphins, hiked Hanakapi’ai, surfed an outside reef break looking on and laughing at the wonder of the epic green mountainous backdrop, broken open coconuts with my bare hands, photographed a wedding, camped at the end of the road with just my younger brother, making a fire with native Hawaiian hard wood, and floating in a tide pool at midnight looking straight up at the Milky Way dreaming about a future where human beings blast out along that bright milky arm off into eternity…

Na Pali Coast, 1997.

Na Pali Coast, 1997.

     I’m not sure where life is taking me, but who really knows. You can plan and plan and things may never work out. I’m following my heart and writing a record of the path that it’s taking me. This is my blog about my life and about my dreams. If I were to tell you a little bit about myself it would be that often you'll find me still, staring with my mouth open, totally lost in a moment of ephemeral beauty. These are the moments I live for, so please let me stare and please let everything go for just a second and join me. 

Some people call me Christian, but you can call me the Sunshine Drifter.

9/15/17

CC

 

Van life, months spent on 'Oahu living in my van. Self-portrait, 2013.

Van life, months spent on 'Oahu living in my van. Self-portrait, 2013.

Walls, outside Haleiwa. Self-portrait 2014.

Walls, outside Haleiwa. Self-portrait 2014.

Haneda Airport, Tokyo Japan. 2016.

Haneda Airport, Tokyo Japan. 2016.