So excited to announce that my article “A Home Made of Heart and Twine” was just published in the Whitefish Review’s recent issue themed, “The Geography of Hope.” The piece is about living at the UM FLAT (Forum for Living with Appropriate Technology) and all what goes into intentional, co-op living. Honored. Excerpt below.
“After crawling out of the run, I pry open the deer fencing and enter the garden. Though modest in size, this plot of land explodes with vegetables, providing each F.L.A.T. resident with more than enough plant sustenance: fireworks of kale, knuckles of cabbage, bulging tomatoes and curling squash. Aster flowers and nasturtiums wink in confidence with their peppery edge. A fragrant teasing of perennial herbs huddles together near the fence.”
To get your hands on one of these beautiful issues and help support local environmental literature publications, click here.
Honored to have my article “Circumnavigation: The Revolutionary Way” and photos published on Territory Run Co.’s website today. Excerpt below. These folks from Portland, Oregon, are doing wonderful things for the sport and aesthetic culture of mountain/trail running. Grateful to be a part of it. This piece is hinting at a much larger creative book/photography project I’m working on now, aiming for Summer 2016.
“So, I ask: what is it about circumnavigation? What the hell difference does it make what shape your journey carves into the mountain, into the psyche?
Perhaps it’s just nicer not to backtrack. Maybe that’s it. Maybe circling something makes it easier not to get lost. Yet I would argue for more. I would argue that something happens when we move around things, not just through them or up them or into them or over them. As outdoor enthusiasts, as howling-wilderness-animal-yahoos, when we move and interact and dance in concert with our home, this planet, something just feels right. Something becomes calibrated. Aligned. I’m convinced that to complete such a circuit is to mimic greater ecological rhythms at play all around us–seasons, cycles, orbits, weather patterns, electrical circuitry. The list goes on.” Read the full article.
As co-editor of Camas Magazine, we are in our final week of accepting submissions. Recently, I’ve been dabbling into new worlds of the digital creative, designing a new website for the magazine and creating promotional materials (below). Also, here’s a recent blog update I wrote for Camas. Excerpt below. One more week; submit something!
Camas Magazine cultivates a community of writers and artists dedicated to promoting ecological and cultural diversity and resilience in the American West.
“…Emily and I both invited each editor to tape this mission statement to their binder, their mirror, and their forehead, because this is what anchors us, what holds us all together. It reminds us why Camas Magazine matters. We think it matters because the planet seems to be asking for honest voices to converse with, voices with varied backgrounds reflecting diverse perspectives–ethnicities, cultures, genders, sexual orientations, those handi-capable, and many others. After all, these are the varied and true voices of the West.”
- Read the full post “An Invitation for Honest Conversation.”
Photos and poetry from the most remote, wild, and committed travel experience yet.
Three weeks. 5,000 kilometers. Traveling overland across the entire length of Tibet. For the better half of August, I was fortunate to join a trip of 18 professionals, artists, spiritual leaders and explorers from five countries, guided by author, adventurer and art historian Ian Baker (The Heart of the World) into Central and Western Tibet.
I decided on this expedition for several reasons, but mostly to participate in and study the famous circumambulation of Mt. Kailash, considered by over a billion people to be the most sacred mountain on the planet.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of Buddhist, Hindu, Bon, and Jain pilgrims make the demanding trip to Mt. Kailash to walk 30+ miles clockwise around the base of this 23,000ft Himalayan giant. For four days, we made the circumambulation around the mountain, then spent the remaining days exploring ancient Buddhist cave kingdoms, hot springs, and Everest Base Camp.
I am currently in the beginning phases of a book project // thesis idea on exploring this particular form of ritual and its relationship with the natural world, and this was the first research stop for the project. Here are some of the better images captured during my time there, along with a short poem, “Kailash,” at the end. More words coming. Lots of stories. The sheer magnitude of the land and the people and the heart of Tibet aren’t adequately represented in photo. I tried.
This might be one of the biggest accomplishments of my life. So humbled and proud to finally share with you our short film, “The Crossing,” a 21-minute documentary about a protest I helped organize against open-pit gold mining in Baja, Mexico. Directing this film was so beautiful and difficult and time-consuming and…deeply fulfilling. The biggest ups to Mike and Alex (and Zoe!) at Ë Media. You took kindling and made a bonfire. So, here it is. I give to you, “The Crossing.” This will be only available for one month, as we will take it down at the end of August to submit to film festivals. Please watch when you have space, then share share share it with the world; I fiercely believe the planet needs more stories like these. Dedicated to all that remains untamed and free.
“The Crossing” © 2014 from Michael Hanich on Vimeo.
Words and photos from the past few weeks of visitations by good friends, talks and thoughts and travels through Wyoming wilds. Tetons + Yellowstone + Big Horns. Summer.
I SAIL IT
I sail it
A boat to travel;
Or dive deep?
I follow it
A path to meander afoot;
Through soft and tough,
Tangled bramble and view-sight-awe.
I scratch it
A wound to bleed;
On me on others on everything,
Purple scars stick around.
I hear it
A coyote to rise at dawn;
Snout-snot pointing at melting starscape,
Liberated yelp begs Moon to stay.
I browse it
A library to know to penetrate;
Ribbed rows of prose and bones,
Stillness and headphones and butterfly-catchers.
I find it
A key to unlock;
Shadowed cellar-box dusty and stale,
Only to discover another key.
I love it
A world to rest here-now-naked-alive;
Gifts of perceptual song,
Bubbling up from chambered mystery
Too grand for us, but of us.
Following a month of travel and visiting family and friends in California and Oregon, I met up with artist-beat-writer-poet-friend Trevien Stanger in Washington for a circumnavigation of the Olympic National Park. From coastal camping to running through the rainforest, this place sings songs, and we spent a few days joining in. Photos + quotes from Elizabeth Kolbert’s highly anticipated new book I just finished, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. Haunting and illuminating. (Spoiler Alert: We’re in it and we’re causing it.)
“What history reveals, in its ups and downs, is that life is extremely resilient but not infinitely so. There have been very long uneventful stretches and very, very occasionally ‘revolutions on the surface of the earth’…To the extent that we can identify the causes of these revolutions, they’re highly varied: glaciation in the case of the end-Ordovician extinction, global warming and changes in the ocean chemistry at the end of the Permian, an asteroid impact in the final seconds of the Cretaceous. The current extinction has its own novel cause: not an asteroid or a massive volcanic eruption but ‘one weedy species.’ As Walter Alvarez put it to me: ‘We’re seeing right now that a mass extinction can be caused by human beings.'”