We all have the freedom to choose simple awareness and consciousness.
Continuum, a film about the ailing health of our planet, has reached a Kickstarter project goal of $86,519 recently. Thanks to all who donated. This film, along with others from Planetary Collective, is another awe-inspiring promotion of our planet (think Planet Earth meets Baraka, with a philosophical narrative) and its’ health decline. As one interviewee explains, ” Today, we have not only an ecological crisis, we also have a kind of story crisis. That is to say, there is something very wrong with the way that we understand who we are and our relationship with the Earth.”
What is your relationship to the Earth?
As a lover of stories, I can’t help but be completely enamored with the way the film presents the problem. It’s not that the Earth is sick, but that we have a worldwide cultural issue of not seeing how we are each a part of that story of sickness and decline. We’ve cut ourselves away from the planet, like we’re operating in our own world, but it’s the one system that we need to survive. Do you agree?
As skiers, I know that each of us goes out in the snowy, windy, and cold elements to feel something. Instead of consuming items, what would happen if we focused on consuming experiences? In many ways, I think we’re already heading in that direction. No one flees to the city when they’re looking for simplicity, discovery, and peace. They always embark to find dirt, rock, water, ice, and snow. They go to the mountains. They go out into the world seeking something real—a breeze on the cheek, sun burned lips, muscles firing with fatigue—something they can feel.
Your relationship with the planet is a lot like your human relationships. Do they feel real to you? Does it move you in a way you can’t explain? Strive for it. Make your relationship with the outdoors as powerful as your first love. If it takes surfing or skiing to light that fire, that’s okay (sometimes we all need a third wheel to shift the dynamics). As outdoor enthusiasts we can all be a part of a shapeshifting movement, showing others what an enthusiasm for the planet can achieve.
A few ideas/projects/affirmations that I am working on to improve my relationship with Earth:
Continuum’s Kickstarter page: It’s already funded, but worth a look.
This spring I went to Haines with Sweetgrass Productions to finish filming for their two-year project, Valhalla, which comes out this fall. On the last run of the trip, I tore my ACL. It was a bitter cold (-25 Celsius) and windy day and the snow had lost its’ Alaska dreaminess. I dropped into my line, quickly navigated the rocks, and was on my way to the spine below when I had to cross my sluff (for non-skiers that is a small surface avalanche) with speed and hit poor, crusted, South facing snow. It was such a silly crash, but I knew immediately what had happened. Over the radio I let our crew know, which they didn’t believe–it was the second torn ACL of our trip. On our first run, a new friend and skier, Stephan Drake, suffered the same injury. We opened with a knee injury and closed with one–bookended by bad luck it seems.
Thankfully our guide Gabe (who has experienced 6? or 7? knee surgeries) knew exactly what to do. Once I skied down to the glacier where the helicopter would pick us up, Gabe iced and wrapped the knee immediately, which decreased the initial swelling and has made the overall healing process much easier.
A few weeks out of surgery and I am enjoying the California sun with my family. Already planning for a return trip to AK next spring, I am also utilizing every moment of rest and recovery that I’ve been granted during this time. Life sometimes just forces you to slow down. In this quiet time my mind is flourishing with ideas and opportunities. Injury is tough, but if you’re lucky it is just temporary. And if you’re wise, you’ll use the time as a culture cultivator. Learn a musical instrument, write, read, pick up the language book you’ve never opened, etc…
A few products of my culture cultivation:
Any other ideas? I am open to them all. Knee injuries are just one way to recognize that in every moment of life exists a hidden opportunity!
Where there is demise and despair is an opportunity for art and ideas to flourish. Detropia, a film about the fall of Detroit, shows that ideas (and great films) sprout from the necessity for change. In Detroit, where people’s lives have floundered following the decline of the American auto industry, there is also a story of revival. The local government has suggested moving the population of the city inward and using the surrounding land for farming, international artists have relocated to Detroit (because of affordable real estate and therefore a realistic place for them to practice their art), and the people of Detroit have discovered that in matters of money and economy there is no security. But, there is always the possibility for life.
“Turn back the pages of history and see the men who have shaped the destiny of the world. Security was never theirs, but they lived rather than existed.”–Hunter S Thompson
Surfing, Italy, and delicious landscapes, Bella Vita, looks like one I won’t miss! For more info on the film and surfer Chris Del Moro, check out the post on Clif Bar’s blog.
From the folks over at Duct Tape Then Beer is 35, an inspiration for the day on why we are moved to consume experiences instead of things and how you can be happy living out of your car:
If you weren’t able to attend the Cascadian Collection: Maiden Voyage event earlier this winter at Innate, please check out the video below. All proceeds from the art auction and raffle went to Lydia Place and DVSAS in Bellingham, both shelters that help females in Whatcom County.
Episode 4 of the Outdoor Research Tiny House Tour had us camped on Roger’s Pass in BC for three weeks. During that time we made the daily commute to these pillows for days upon days until a Pineapple Express chased us up to Alaska. A few days before leaving, maniac and ski extraordinaire, Zack Giffin, finally skied a line we had all seen the first day we arrived–the Dragon’s Tail. See the helmet camera footage and a few other camera angles on the line in the last seconds of this episode. Enjoy!
Episode 3 brought us and the house to Utah. We skied Big and Little Cottonwood Canyon, in addition to a few days in the Uintas. It was special to get back to Alta Ski Area, the place where I got my roots in ski bumming!
Thanks to friend and photographer Re Wikstrom for the collaboration on our second Backcountry Magazine cover. I remember this moment vividly…
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