In Photos: Circling Mt. Tamalpais

A photo essay from last week’s 15-mile circumambulation of Mt. Tamalpais, retracing the footsteps of a historic route set in 1965 by beats Gary Snyder, Allen Ginsberg, and Philip Whalen. Part of a larger book project in the works. Powerful experience. 

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Four Vows for Spiral Walkers: 

Sentient beings are numberless;
I vow to save them.

Consuming desires are endless;
I vow to stop them.

Bio-relations are intricate;
I vow to honor them.

Nature’s way is beautiful;
I vow to become it.

– From “Opening the Mountain” by Matt Davis and Michael Farrell Scott

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Published: “War Paint” and “The 99 Revolutions”

Honored to have two pieces of my work “War Paint” (my first poem in print!) and “The 99 Revolutions,” published in this year’s Clackamas Literary Review

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This is a beautiful publication and they included some really great writing in here, including work from Rafael Alvarez, writer for The Wire. He was also the keynote speaker at the Compose Creative Writing Conference this past weekend near Portland, Oregon. I was invited to run a workshop on environmental and advocacy nonfiction, which went incredibly well.Thanks to Jeff McAlpine and CCC for having me. Honored. Onwards!

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Summer of the Written Word

The next several months have turned into a lovely string of environmental writing events, presentations, and retreats. 

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1) Compose 2015, Saturday, May 2nd. Oregon City, OR: Clackamas Community College Creative Writing Conference. The blurb of the workshop panel I am leading:

“Telling Stories of Revolution:” How can we find our voice when writing and filming stories that help transform ourselves and our cultures into more eco-centric, resilient ways? It’s hard but necessary work, but the future of our planet demands that we do, now more than ever. In this workshop, we will discuss how to create and deliver stories through writing and film about environmental and social activism, about advocacy work, and about unique approaches to turning heads about specific issues and causes that matter to you.

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2) Orion Breadloaf Environmental Writer’s Conference, June 1-7, 2015, Middlebury, VT.
Will be working on craft with some of the greats: Rick Bass, Scott Russell Sanders.

asle3) ASLE Conference, June 23-27, Moscow, ID – Presenting a paper on the ecological undercurrents of circumambulation, a type of circuitous pilgrimage.

4) Environmental Writing Institute, September 9-13, Missoula, MT. Working with David James Duncan on craft.

5) Banff Mountain and Wilderness Writing Retreat, (Pending) Oct-Nov 2015.

Published: “A Home Made of Heart and Twine”

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. 

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“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.

Published: “Circumnavigation: The Revolutionary Way”

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.

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“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. 

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