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.
Here’s the teaser for “The Crossing” an incredible video project I’m currently directing and co-producing with Mike Hanich at E Media. Really happy with how it came out. Really good responses so far, and Kickstarter will be coming within the week. Stay tuned.
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.
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.”
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 100. Went 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
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?”
“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.
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.
“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.”
Poetry generated from a particularly poignant moment while wandering through Colombia.
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.
Mind the gap, would you?
That bleeding, gaping
Screeching white noise.
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,
Great Chasm, indeed.
Only those with enough rope
May afford to breathe.
High up in Emerald Caves
Scans subtle movements,
Eye shadow of rust.
WD-40. Apply like napalm.
King of the Hill swirling,
Distended tummy curling.
Watches atop empty piles
Of dirty riches and on-sale bitches.
Whose teeth to kick in
Spoon-fed hopes and dreams.
Costumes cost lives.
Hiding tears, entombing fears.
Petro pollutant Periwinkle.
The Department of Dignity
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 raped shadow.
So grab your biggest stick.
Wrap open-pit gold chains
Scaly, white, quivering.
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.
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.”
Took my cousin out into the High Sierra for a few days of wandering North along Ebbett’s Pass to Raymond Lake. This area is one of California’s finest and best-kept secrets (shush). Images paired with some notes from Bill Plotkin’s new book, Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche. Plotkin is a true visionary and someone you should be following. Psychologist, wilderness guide and unbelievable human being, I got to spend some time with him last Fall and it definitively changed the course of my life. A dedicated revolutionary and leader for the co-creation of sustainable, life-enhancing cultures.
In this book, he explores a pan-human, nature-based map of the human psyche. I’ve included some basic characteristics of the four dimensions of human wholeness, but there is so much more to it, so I recommend picking up this or any of his other books.
Swapping hemispheres for a few weeks is a surefire way to pack home some stories.
Second day in, joined hundreds in Bogota (and millions around the world) in a Global Day of Action against Monsanto. Serendipitous encounter with a fellow foot travel activist, Juanita Ariza, who ran from Tierra del Fuego to Guatemala for world water rights. Humbled and inspired. One full week in Cartagena, a coastal town spewing magic from its tragic roots as slavery port. Meeting up with old-time family friend Karina Bell. Spanish classes, salsa-dancing on repeat, swimming backstroke deep inside a mud volcano. 5 cups of coffee per day at least. To finish, a solo, 10-hour, pant-crappingly harrowing bus journey south of Bogota to the mountain village of Salento. Two days weaving through coffee plantations, sampling local trout and posting Fastest Known Times by terrorizing trails on a fluorescent bike full of squeaks, trying to keep with a fleet of Colombian kids in polychromatic Raybans.
All while devouring Craig Childs’ newest book Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Ever-Ending Earth. Certainly one of his best and not nearly as depressing as it sounds, I promise. Absolute mastery, the highest recommendation.
New camera, new possibilities. Quotes + Photos.