“More or Less:” Looking Forward

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2013 turned out to be a year of unprecedented commitment and progress. Lived in Mexico. Organized a protest. Ran the Grand Canyon, Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim, in one day. Traveled to Colombia. Represented my sponsor Ultraspire at Western States 100, then teamed up with Anton Krupicka to pace/crew Joe Grant at Hardrock 100Went on tour with Ben Gibbard and The Postal Service. Started graduate school in Missoula, Montana. Got detained by police for protesting Montana’s coal export and sitting on train tracks to stop coal train traffic. Honored to have my work published in Camas Magazine, Trail Runner Magazine, irunfar.com and the Dirtbag Diaries.

2014 will be even richer. More bold, more urgent action, more participation in this mysterious and wild planet on which we live. Happy New Years to you. I love you. I love you. I love you. Thanks for reading the Jasmine Dialogues.

Now, it’s time. Time for us to fight for what we love. Time to dance. Time to revolt. Wildy, n

Published: New Print Article for Trail Runner Magazine

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Excited to announce that my article, “Wanted: Trail Running Coordinator,” was just published in print for Trail Runner Magazine!

The piece covers my time this summer touring with the band The Postal Service. Really honored to have this story shared on such a visible magazine (and to have also been published online for them in September.) This is my biggest circulated readership publication to date. December 2013, Making Tracks Section, page 14. Just hit the shelves, so pick up your copy at the local running store or magazine aisle.

And thanks for the visits and support for the Jasmine Dialogues. Simply put? I love you.

Published: “The Western States 100-Mile Healing Ceremony”

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On June 29th, I reported for both Ultraspire and iRunfar on the world’s oldest and most prestigious 100-mile foot race in the world, the Western States 100. Was a most incredible experience. Here’s my full article, “The Western States 100-Mile Healing Ceremony,” recently published on iRunFar. An excerpt:

“The art of long-distance foot travel encourages this kinship with the natural world while inviting us to venture into our own inner wilderness of possibility that, by conventional standards, discourages such drifting. When we forge this relationship, we are able to understand what some have termed the “ecological unconscious,” or shared emotional reciprocity with environmental conditions. When the world is under siege, we too are being attacked, and so we experience grief, anxiety, and pain. Conversely, when we enter healthy ecosystems exploding with vitality, we heal. The strength and diversity resonates within ourselves. So, for every training run, for every exploration into mountain hinterland, for every running log scribbled with hours and miles, it is critical to remember that we are simultaneously tracking the healing process of both ourselves and of the world.”

Read the full article.

On Acceptance

A simple weekend of wilderness solitude on the Oregon Coast turns into couch-surfing with recovering heroin addicts, evading gunshots while chanterelle foraging and learning the true essence of Acceptance.

“Accept and you become whole,

Bend and you straighten,
Empty and you fill,
Decay and you renew,
Want and you acquire,
Fulfill and you become confused.

The sage accepts the World
As the World accepts Tao;
He does not display himself, so is clearly seen,
Does not justify himself, so is famed,
Does not boast, so is credited,
Does not glory, so excels,
Does not contend, so no one contends against him.

The saints said, ‘Accept and you become whole’,
Once whole, the World is as your home.”

- Tao Te Ching

Going Out.

Tent. Sleeping bag. Ripped canvas sack stressed with books and notepads. Fierce cup of burnt coffee wedged between dash and glass, a mug unwashed. Ukulele in trunk, severely out-of-tune. To the West! Where Sun dips into the depths and Shadow dances in delight to its homecoming. To the jurisdiction of Soul.

Urbanism weighs heavy. Head and heart drenched and unruly, like a surrendered raincoat sticking to skin like cellophane. Returning to Portland after 3 weeks in Southwestern Colorado and Utah wilderness left me deeply inspired but supremely rattled. So much gained. So much to make sense of still. So much work to do. Endless notebook scribbles, cryptic dreamtime hieroglyphs begging to be deciphered. What better place to venture than to yet another threshold, one of rugged, wild coastline?

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Published Article: “Goodbye to Gravity”

This summer, I wrote an article for the Float Shoppe, a sensory-deprivation water therapy company in Portland. The friendly owners were interested in exploring the restorative qualities of epsom salt floats with endurance athletes. An excerpt below. Full article here. 

“The door shuts behind me without even a slightest gasp, and I’m alone. Alone, except for this dark blue plastic bubble pod in front of me. The float tank. Stripped down to my birthday suit, I open the hatch and peer inside the mysterious container. Subtle scents of warm mineral water escape from the dark cocoon and introduce themselves to my nostrils. First foot in, I find it warm and slippery, likely from the heavy dose of salts. Now both feet in. An awkward swivel move to shut the door and I am greeted promptly by a fierce…absolute…darkness. Crouching, wading, maneuvering. I struggle for few minutes to let body and mind accept the totality of such sensory deprivation. And then it commences. The silence. The weightlessness. The suspension. The float.”

Read the entire article.

The Cardiac Couriers

A visceral moment during our 50 Mile Rim-to-Rim Protest Run Against Nestle in the  Columbia River Gorge stirs up some thoughts for an honest future.

It’s Laura. She’s almost made it. And she’s crying wild tears.

We find this effervescent, middle-aged woman whittling her way slowly towards Mt. Chinedere, our first peak on today’s 50-mile Rim-to-Rim Protest Run against Nestle. 9 other runners and I already reached the summit and were descending, each swimming in a post-orgasm melted buttery bliss. Views from the top made royalty into all of us as we took turns wearing a crown of five snow-capped volcanoes. 4 hours of running so far. 15 miles in, 35 to go. Thousands of feet in vertical gain. 11 arrows released from the draw of gods, the fletchings of feather guiding us through a deciduous garden supremely greener than any Crayola chemist could create.

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On Interdependence

In the process of moving, I confront just how tightly enmeshed my life has become with the backyard woods of Forest Park, and realize that she might need me to stick around.

“A town is saved, not more by the righteous men in it than by the woods and swamps that surround it.” – Henry David Thoreau

I lay there in the snow, barely conscious. The winter wonderland that once constituted a short visit to this backyard forest has become a dark, cold and formidable opponent. Howling wind. Crashing snow. And the loud cry of my throbbing, swollen kneecap.

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The 99 Revolutions.

A simple lap around Chapman Square one evening turns into an extended meditation on rhythm, global resistance, and the discovery of meaning in the monotonous.

Friday night. Freshly ejected from work and suffering from a serious case of the Digieye. You know what I’m talking about—dry, cloudy portals glazed over, fighting to readjust to the outside world after extended periods buried alive in brick and mortar coffins, fake-n-baked by commercial fluorescent lighting, swallowed by ethereal electronic matrices. A digital drunk, I spill out onto downtown city streets wondering:

Where in the hell did the day go?

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Black Friday? No, Black Mountain

Choosing mountains over mayhem, I end up finding the best deal in town.

In an effort to buy nothing on our Western consumerist ritual Black Friday, I succeeded, save one small purchase: a York peppermint patty. In my defense, the acquisition of such divinity was hardly a gross deviation from normal purchasing habits, and I was most certainly not taking advantage of any holiday sale.

Claiming innocence, your honor.

Stay with me, the York is related. This purchase reminded me of a quirky commercial, where immobile geriatrics bite into peppermint candy only to be instantly whisked away into a winter wonderland, luging downhill. On this day, I had similar hopes of immediate escape. In the midst of our frenetic buying bonanza Black Friday, I wished to sneak out the back alley, to finger dark corners of a wardrobe looking for alternatives, to go some place distant from this bloated celebration of material—of cheap, disposable toys arriving from invisible shores, feeding our growing affinity for distorted pricetags.

I wished to shoot the luge.

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A Rubix Deconstructed: 1 Week in Beijing

Burning eyes peer into an inverted bowl of polluted soup to follow a swooping, swirling red rollercoaster that shoots through sour skies. A towering artificial display resembling Mont Saint-Michel provides an appropriate backdrop to this curious display of human entertainment.

I am surrounded by an army of jittery Chinese teens cooled by misting machines, all talking, texting and bobbing to a Chinese dance mash-up of Avril Lavine’s “Complicated”.

This is Happy Valley. This is Beijing.

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