“The Crossing” Short Documentary Film Debut

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.

I Sail It

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.

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I SAIL IT

I sail it
A boat to travel;
Tack wide,
Or dive deep?

I follow it
A path to meander afoot;
Through soft and tough,
Tangled bramble and view-sight-awe.

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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.

iamit6I 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.

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Extinction and the Olympic Peninsula

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.)

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“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.'”

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“The Crossing” Kickstarter Campaign is Live!

Calling all creatives, all revolutionaries, all architects of a new, more sustainable, resilient and authentic future. Please take a minute to watch our new video teaser and consider supporting this project. After the first two days of its launch, we have already fundraised a 1/4 of our goal. Share with your worlds, and please join us in celebrating and defending wild spaces. 

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In Photo: Todos Santos and the Countdown

Photos from 3 weeks in Todos Santos, Mexico. After living there last winter, it was restorative to spend time with family, old friends, and mountains. Quotes from Alan Weisman’s (“The World Without Us”) newest book, Countdown. Incredible achievement covering the complexities of our world population predicament. Heavy. Bleak. And important as hell. Read it.

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A World Bursting its Seams. “Even if today’s breeding generation is having fewer children per family, because their grandparent and parents had so many, every four-and-a-half days, there are a million more people on the planet. Even to a schoolchild, that does not sound very sustainable.”

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“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

Trail Runner Magazine: Blog Symposium Submission

This is a blog entry I am submitting to the Trail Runner Blog Symposium for their November 2013 prompt: “Do Trail Races Result in Unnecessary Harm to the Environment?”

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“As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”

- Henry David Thoreau.

15 Thoughts on Trail Races and Environmental Harm

1. We have a choice.

2. We can pursue an interest in our running practice with thick padding, blue-rubber alley bumpers, to distance ourselves from the great perils our planet faces. And we can just train. We can just race. We can scribble down our miles and our hours and wash our socks and armpits and then do it all over again. And we do. Lots of us do. I do. I forget. I often get lost in my goals, my adventure-mind wanting to experience longer races, ones with higher peaks and more prestige.

3. Or we can wake up.

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Published: Trail Runner Magazine, “Disposability is Dead.”

Trail Runner Magazine just published my article, “Disposability is Dead.” The article focuses on environmental responsibility in the endurance community and our personal agencies for changing the game. Enjoy. Excerpt below.

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“As we enter this “Golden Era” for endurance sport, we must stop courting convenience now. With race entrant numbers shooting steadily upward, we must look downward, to the ground, to the Earth. We must reject consumer models whose focal point is solely what’s the cheapest, the easiest or the fastest. I find this to go against the very spirit of ultrarunning, where races are often designed to avoid convenience, and instead to favor challenging terrain and aesthetic passage.”

Read the full article.

Mind the Gap

Poetry generated from a particularly poignant moment while wandering through Colombia. 

Photo: Alejandro Nunez

Travels to Colombia this June brought many incredible memories. It also exposed some harsh realities of a widening cleavage between the rich and poor. On a balmy afternoon in Bogota, I was sitting in a busy plaza when a homeless boy, 10 years at most, collapsed face-down in front of me, quite possibly dead, a shadowed casualty of huffing glue, aloneness and a system putting profit well before people. I’ve been witness to such tragedy before, both at home and abroad, but this scene rattled me to the core. A few words surfaced shortly afterwards.

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Mind the gap, would you?
That bleeding, gaping
Socioeconomic wound
Screeching white noise.

Overdosing adolescent,
Bit and bat, split and splat
Sipping, gripping, tripping
Into diaphanous dentures
Of broken class-glass.

Pillow fluffed, overstuffed
With bills, pills and oil spills
Suffocating the Forgotten,
Silhouetted surrender.

Great Chasm, indeed.
Only those with enough rope
May afford to breathe.
High up in Emerald Caves
Crumbling.

Squeaky camera
Scans subtle movements,
Permapupils anxious,
Eye shadow of rust.
WD-40. Apply like napalm.

King of the Hill swirling,
Mustache twirling.
Distended tummy curling.
Watches atop empty piles
Of dirty riches and on-sale bitches.

Whose teeth to kick in
For traction?

Middle-Class Clown
Spoon-fed hopes and dreams.
Costumes cost lives.
Coagulated make-up
Hiding tears, entombing fears.
Unimpressed mirror.

Wastebasket Legacy.
Plastic-pilled drunk-tank,
Petro pollutant Periwinkle.
Attention! Attention!
The Department of Dignity
Is downsizing.

Ropes tied to limbs,
Horses wild and cantering,
Allies of riotous Wind.
Warm animal blood
Rubbing and surfacing,
Braided now into tethered lashings.

Rise. Rise. Rise.
Social climate change
On the rise.
Sweeping with it
The inequality,
The syringe,
The raped shadow.

So grab your biggest stick.
Wrap open-pit gold chains
Around knuckles
Scaly, white, quivering.
Death Round.
Go.

This is War.
War of the Illusion-Chasers.
War of Immortality.
A race to the bottom
Surely no one to win.
But everything to lose.

Rope is nearly gone.
Just enough for a noose.