Passionate and adventurous, Kathy Clarke has always believed in her own abilities and refused to let one day go by without being lived to its fullest. Maybe that's what happens when you're accidentally shot point-blank with a .22 rifle at age three and a half and you live to tell about it.
A challenging childhood prepared Clarke to accept life's capriciousness. "It seemed like a really good idea at the time..." could be her life's motto. "Good ideas" like dropping everything to strike out across the western plains in search of a meaningful relationship; acquiring a home menagerie consisting of multiple St. Bernards, a pissed-off cat, three turtles, a tortoise, a hamster named after a loser boyfriend and a housebroken baby goat; or building a career while raising seven children.
In lively and humorous prose, Clarke invites readers of My Life Is a Road Atlas along for the ride as she recalls her nomadic childhood, a roster of not-so-forgotten lovers and the controlled chaos of being a mother of seven "decent and imperfect human beings"-oh, yes, and that time that she got shot.
Compelled by the pandemic-induced Hawai'i visitor industry shutdown to finally sit still, Clarke spent her time writing her memoirs, causing some anxiety to her children. "Memories are how life teaches you when you are not looking," she muses. "In the next life, I hope I gain wisdom at a much younger age, considering how long it took me to acquire any this time around." Readers may not wish for a wiser Clarke, who one can only imagine would have fewer "good ideas" to laugh and cry over.
The Hali'a Aloha Series publishes personal essays, memoir, poetry and prose. The series celebrates moments big and small, harnessing the power of short forms to preserve the lived experiences of the storytellers.
About the Author
Born in Utah and raised in Northern California, Kathy Clarke lived on Maui for eleven years before moving to Hawai'i Island, her main residence for the past thirty-three years. Since 1980, Clarke has built a successful event and destination management company, operating on all Hawaiian islands. She has been a fixture on the local fundraising scene in her Waimea hometown, coordinating several cultural and community events for years. In addition to raising her seven children, Clarke has been a foster parent and involved in foster advocacy. She also enjoys sustainable gardening and cooking the literal fruits of her labors.