Based partly in Carlsbad, CA and in Keauhou, Hawaii, Kalim Smith and I met a few years back at a ski race in New Hampshire, after which we discovered we had a mutual friend/relative and since then we’ve enjoyed some great times in both London and California, with some wonderful conversations.
After becoming paralysed in 2011 he recognised the healing power of plants and now spends much of his time growing gourds to make traditional rhythm instruments in both San Diego and Hawaii. He’s made them for some of Hawaii’s most prominent musicians, teachers and dancers.
Prior to his injury Kalim achieved a great deal, with his fingers in multiple pies. He was studying for a PHD at the time of his injury, while teaching Native American languages and working as a stunt actor on the side, amongst other things. Coming from an interracial family, Kalim also has a strong interest in genealogy.
In this episode we talk about our shared adventurous spirit and how our spinal cord injuries fuelled that side of us, in many ways. We talk about what it's like not to laugh for two years or more and how caring for something else can be nurturing, whether it be a pet or plants.
Kalim talks about the importance of connecting with someone in a similar situation after such an injury and he reflects on how difficult it was for him initially post injury and how he found his way, through recalibrating his self of self and finding things to be grateful for.
Kalim is a keen plant man and shares his enthusiasm for the healing power of plants and whole foods. He experiences extreme nerve pain and has found that nature has been the greatest healer. He also shares a recipe for turmeric tea - which has potent anti-inflammatory properties.
We mention the spinal injuries charity Back Up and their mentoring service.