CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: REAWAKENING RESILIENCE

So excited to share that Loam is now accepting submissions for our next issue! Reawakening Resilience will be our only print publication next year. We're seeking journalism, visual art, prose, poetry, personal essays, and interviews that explore cultivating resilience and nourishing a narrative of regeneration during our current climate crisis. Our hope is to create an issue rich in resources for resilience that everyone of us can use as a roadmap as we work toward a livable future. 

Please send submissions to Kate at connect@loammagazine.com. And if you have any questions, reach out! As a publication, Loam is committed to inclusivity and intersectionality in our work and we want this issue to truly reflect our community. 

POWER TO THE PERSONAL: EVERYDAY IDEAS FOR RESILIENT LIVING

IMAGE: AUSTIN COPE

POWER TO THE PERSONAL: EVERYDAY IDEAS FOR RESILIENT LIVING

Sun, October 29, 2017
10:30 AM – 12:30 PM EDT

During this immersive and illuminating workshop, Kate Weiner of Loam and Jess Drawhorn of Be Zero will share strategies for cultivating social, spiritual, and ecological resiliency through our everyday practices. We will explore tools for trash-light living and resources for self-sufficiency in a creative and collaborative workshop environment.


The first half of the workshop will center on compassionate and creative responses to the climate crisis through an engaging lecture followed by a Q & A session. We will focus primarily on ways you can reduce your carbon footprint, reframe your relationship to the land, and reenergize your community through personal practices. During the second half of the workshop, we'll turn from conversation to creation. This DIY unit will be an opportunity to learn how to craft multipurpose skin and self-care products from plant-based materials—such as oils, essential oils, and herbs—that nourish the body and feed the soul. Every participant will take home a sample self-care product.


We're so excited to start this conversation on resilient living with you all! If you have any questions about the workshop, please reach out to us.


This event will be held at Welcome Home Studio, a multidisciplinary safe space that provides both tattooing and community based gatherings, workshops, and lectures. Founded by Tea Leigh and Kelli Kikcio in Spring 2017, WHS offers a comfortable, calm, and inviting environment to both guests and contributors.

TRAVEL//TEXTURE WITH MANDY BERNARD

WORDS & IMAGES: MANDY BERNARD

Loam is so excited to be collaborating with the rad Mandy Bernard of Homesteading Roasters in the coming month. A passionate conservationist and artist (her gorgeous paper and textile work will nourish your heart!) Mandy is especially gifted at capturing the exquisite small wonders alive in our surroundings. Herewith, Mandy digs into her creative process. 

I've always been good with details. I won't remember your name the first time we meet, but in the meantime I'll think about how you kept using your hands to tell a story about your sister, the color of your coffee mug, and what the weather was like. Being detail-oriented is a favored resume trait, and it's a skill that has always served me well at work: logging accurate records of microorganisms in a Petri dish, scanning state statutes and city codes for a particular regulation, reviewing land title reports for potential risks, drafting nonprofit policy and procedures. This is where my Type A behaviors really shine. 

But the devil, as they say, may very well be in the details. And after about a decade of this attention, I needed a break. After implementing a careful transition plan, I have been enjoying the varied rhythms of a freelance/part-time life for almost a year now. Getting to this liberated stage was a personal sea change, and I've never been happier with the decision to spend more time on creative pursuits. My days are more open, my head is quieter, I'm able to focus on the things that really matter to me. 

All this introspective time has been incredibly nurturing for new project work and ideas. I understand that as a printmaker and textile artist, I've already chosen a medium that lends itself to precision. But this break from my detailed conservation career work has divulged the surprising realization that in my artwork, I am still focusing on the little things. I live in Alaska, a state full of sweeping mountain vistas, ancient glaciers, and vast wilderness. And as much as the unparalleled scenery still takes my breath away, I've found myself ignoring the forest for the trees—or in this case, the trees for the lichen and mollusks.

When seeking inspiration for my textile work, I tend to focus on the macro details within a larger landscape: the color of dried flower stalks against a snowy white backdrop, the tiny cup-like saucers growing out of a patch of moss, or the shape of a densely packed cluster of bivalves on a rock at low tide. These colors, shapes, and textures progress from photographs to illustrations to abstract silkscreen and embroidery surface designs.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to unearth these natural details to a broader context through this cross-country collaboration. As an honorary guest poster on Loam's Instagram account, I'll be sharing some miniature landscape photography, hand-drawn designs, and detail-inspired stitching tutorials. Whether you regularly find yourself in the weeds or taking the 30,000-foot approach, I hope these posts will provide some small-scale inspiration in your own life, however it may be structured.

THE SUSTAINABLE LIVING TOUR

I recently had the opportunity to connect with Shayna and Bryan of Earth Journeys, a company that supports change makers through immersive eco education experiences. Shaped by the guiding principles of spiritual ecology—especially that of the rad Joanna Macy—their transformative twelve day retreat, The Sustainable Living Tour, is a rich exploration of what we can do to cultivate regenerative practices and nourish collective healing.

Over the course of a week and a half, you'll visit permaculture sites, eco villages, and community centers across Southern California by biodiesel bus. From hands-on workshops to conversations with trailblazing sustainability experts to succulent autumn nights camping under the stars, The Sustainable Living Tour is a rare opportunity to reconnect with the natural world and to find community.

I first learned about this opportunity from a patron of Loam—who told me that it was "truly an incredible experience, and one that I credit for where I am in life today"—and am so inspired by the change that The Sustainable Living Tour is activating in this world. I hope you'll join me on this earth journey to heal our hearts and mend our world. Use the referral code LOAM when you sign up and you'll help support the movement we're growing here too.

SHARE YOUR SUSTAINABILITY STORY

WORDS & IMAGE: KATE WEINER

Earlier this week, Erica Neal of Yellow Swing Garden shared a gorgeous meditation on the power of storytelling in shaping sustainable living. Erica's essay—the first in a fresh series from her on holistic homesteading—has given me a dose of hope during these rocky days. Writes Erica:

When we set out to accomplish a goal with story in mind, we set intentions. We envision progress and challenges along the way to a stunning destination. We generate or gather imagery and language that invokes passion.  And most importantly, we create a space in our memory that can recall these vivid dreams when our hope needs help. Even a dream as simple as sustainable living deserves the support of a vibrant, intentional story.   

Erica's words were just what I needed to hear this week. Newly unemployed and unsure what I am doing and where I am going to live next, I've been searching for ways to ground my passion in action. I feel like I have so many opportunities in front of me, so many places I can go and things I can do, that I've found myself struggling to make a decision. I'm overwhelmed by possibility but I'm also afraid of making the "wrong" move. 

That's why I so treasure Erica's essay. She inspired me to take a deep breath and to think about the story that I am telling about myself. I know that my story will evolve as I do. I know there will be many things I can't control that will shape my next steps. I know, too, that creating a narrative for myself takes me out of the nebulous fog of what next? I've been floating in and plunges me into a story I am an active agent in. At its heart, storytelling is a way to be our own permission—to dream deeper, dare bigger, and do more—in spite of the everyday trials and tribulations we might be struggling with. 

That's why I sat down one early morning and wrote my sustainability story. I won't share ALL of it with you (when I've got a fire in my belly, I'm not a good editor) but here's a little of what I poured onto the page:

I want to continue to tell stories and create art that inspires positive environmental change. I want to grow into my role as an environmental activist and deepen Loam's reach. I want to make something—art, love, a fresh-from-the-farmers'-market meal for friends—every damn day. I want to find work that helps me embody hope and gives me a space to support others in their pursuit of sustainable living. 

When I sat down and sketched out a story of who I want to be and what I want to do, I found it easier to inhabit the present. The restlessness in my belly isn't so damning when I can recognize it as part of my journey of becoming.

In that spirit, Erica and I want to invite you to share your sustainability stories with us. What are your big dreams for living lighter on this earth? How do you want to grow into your work as an environmental advocate? What places do you want to protect? Whatever it is that moves you, share your sustainability story with us at connect@loammagazine.com over the course of the next few weeks. We'll compile our favorites into a post that we hope will serve as an inspiration board for our luscious Loam community.

Here's to dreaming and doing, today & everyday. 

 

SUPPORT LOAM

After wrapping up my residency at the magical Woodland Keep last week, I've been thinking long and hard about how to grow Loam this year. We're living within the midst of a sociopolitical and climate crisis and I believe so deeply in the power of art to heal deep wounds and inspire tangible change in our communities and in our country. Because of our beautiful community, Loam truly has grown from a magazine into a movement. I love hearing from you that an article on renewable energy inspired you to switch to solar in your home or that one of our Artist-in-Residents gave you a fresh frame for rethinking your relationship to activism. That's the embodied power of environmental art.

To move forward, Loam is going to need a little more support. Asking for help is hard but I believe in what we're growing with Loam and I know that together we can do good in the world.

If you love Loam, I'd like you to consider donating $1 a month to our Patreon. With these funds, my vision is to:

(1) Continue to create content that activates change, 

(2) Provide stipends to our passionate crew of contributors, and

(3) Offer our environmental workshops at little to no cost to our communities.


 Of course, there are many ways to support Loam that go beyond financial contributions! You can apply to be an Artist-in-Residence or contribute content to our site. I love collaborating and truly welcome new ideas.

 I'm so thankful to each and every one of you for your support and love—in all its permutations and possibilities.


With love,

Kate

MY NEW ROUTINE DURING THIS REGIME

WORDS & IMAGE: KATE WEINER

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling—their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability [...] Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. 

Arundhati Roy

The world is very different than it was a little more than two weeks ago. Because of Trump, our environment, our communities, and our bodies are infinitely less safe. 

We need to cultivate daily routines that bring self-care into balance with radical collective action. These are challenging times, rife with the threat of catastrophe, but they are also a liberating opportunity to be ungovernable, to really put the power back into the hands of the people. I'm scared. I'm angry. I'm determined. And I am striving to take small, strategic actions that reflect that.

Herewith, ten things I'm doing every week (sometimes every day) to resist, rebuild, and renew. Share what strategies you are integrating into your routine in the comments! 

CALL CONGRESS

Every morning I wake up, nurse a nourishing mug of golden milk, and call Congress at (202) 224 3121. Check out 5 Calls for suggestions on who to call and scripts for what to say.

EARTHING EXERCISE

Spend time in nature every damn day. Take a hike with friends, soak up the sunset, settle into a sitspot. Love for our one and only home is what will sustain us during the hard fight ahead. 

TUNE INTO A STRATEGIZING SESSION

MoveOn hosts weekly strategizing sessions (more than 25,000 people tuned into their first call) that help you prioritize where to direct your energy as an activist for the coming week. 

SIGN UP FOR ACTION ALERTS

Action alerts via text from the Sierra Club, MoveOn, and the Citizens Climate Lobby have helped me focus my energy the last few weeks as well as remind me to reset and resist in the middle of my workday. 

SET UP MONTHLY DONATIONS

I have set up monthly donations to 350, NRDC, Food and Water Watch, Citizens Climate Lobby, and Yes! Magazine. There are so many incredible organizations who need our support and it doesn't take much shifting in your budget to find the money to invest in people who are working fiercely on the frontlines to create meaningful change. 

RALLY EVERY WEEK

I've been traveling the last few weeks and haven't had the opportunity to participate in as many rallies as I would like. But I've been buoyed by my friends from across the country who have been showing up in the streets and at their Senator's offices several times a week. Dedicated protest is our new norm. 

VOLUNTEER

I've been volunteering with Be Zero for many months but my work for this awesome organization has never felt more important. Plastic is oil and I want to inspire people to divest from fossil fuels by rethinking their relationship to waste and redefining their real needs. Find a cause you care about—regenerative agriculture, animal welfare—and carve out two hours a week in your schedule to volunteer for a relevant community organization. There is tremendous power in the local. 

INVEST IN RENEWABLE ENERGY

I've made it my mission to sign up one person for Arcadia Power every week, a clean energy company that makes investing in renewable accessible to everyone. I am also working with my apartment complex to install solar panels. If every one of Loam's 22,000 readers were to commit to inspiring just one community or complex to support clean energy, our impact would be huge! Trump's climate policies are terrifying. But as consumers, the power is with us. If you want clean energy, do your part to support clean energy. This is true of everything we want for this world.

HOST HUDDLES

Make time to break bread and share ideas with those you love. Create the grounds for collective art; make a game plan for mobilizing change. We are not alone in this, no matter how panicky some days can be, and we are not without power, not ever.

 

I have never been angrier in my life but I also have never been more suffused with love for the world and committed to protecting her. I am reaching out more to old friends, extending love to my sweethearts, practicing abundance, exercising gratitude—and this renewed interest in unapologetically living the life I want to live is bringing me hope in the dark. This is a wake-up call to fight harder and love freely and I am working, every day, to rise up. 

 

 

THE GRACE OF SLOW CHANGE

WORDS: LILY MYERS

IMAGE: KATE WEINER

I walk the same route to work each morning, trailing my boots over the grey sidewalk. I’ve seen this same patch of sidewalk go from sun-lit, to leaf-strewn, to snow-piled, all in the span of several months. Each day I feel pretty much the same as the day before, and yet below my feet the earth demonstrates its ongoing change. Slowly, one day to the next, everything shifts.

Change is on everyone’s mind this time of year. We’ve made resolutions, we’ve opened our fresh planners, we’ve created goals for 2017. That’s the fun part: counting down among fireworks and swearing we’ll be different this year. But now that we’re a few weeks into January, how do we actually enact that change?

Just like the earth does. Slowly.

It often feels like we’re stuck in these dreary winter months: the days of January and February are long, grey, nearly identical. But even when they feel endless, they do somehow end. Somehow we get to the sun-filled days of spring. And how does this happen? Oh-so-slowly, one day at a time.

We get frustrated with ourselves when it feels like we’re not changing fast enough. We haven’t mastered our resolutions. We’ve fallen back into old habits. But look back to two years ago; five years ago; ten. Weren’t you vastly different then? Haven’t you picked up new habits, new routines, new rhythms since then? Huge change did happen. It just happened so slowly that it was nearly imperceptible.In nature, growth is imperceptible.

Each morning you look no different than the morning before, yet somehow you’ve grown from an 8-pound newborn to a full-grown adult. Each day a tree looks no bigger than the day before, yet where did our gigantic oaks and towering cedars come from? Seeds. The tiniest beginnings.

That’s why my motto for 2017 is “direction, not perfection”. I’m not looking to enact all my changes at once. I didn’t begin all my new habits on January 1st. I’ve tried that in previous years, and it only leads to frustration and guilt, because we don’t work that way. We’re animals living on planet Earth, and we grow just like any other animal does. Yeah, you guessed it: slowly.

“Direction, not perfection” means it’s more important where I’m aiming than how fast I’m getting there. It doesn’t sound flashy or exciting, but actually, I take this as very good news. Unlike strict rules and timelines, it allows for spaciousness. It allows time, patience, room to really develop into our new selves. It allows time for strong foundations to be built, time for us to really understand why we’re making this change. And it also allows room for setbacks and mistakes. If we know we’re heading in the right direction, than a hiccup or a tumble doesn’t matter. We still know where we’re going.

Ironically, the resistance to slow change often stops us from moving at all. Often, I’ll put off beginning a project or task because I know it’s going to take soooo long. So I don’t start it at all, and then it ends up taking even longer. But if I take just one step forward in the process, just one tiny micromovement, the process begins to look easier. One micromovement leads to another, and to another, and before you know it you’re six feet tall. Your sapling has grown. We’ve made it to spring.

I employ this micromovement trick with anything I’m resisting. If I don’t want to clean the sinkful of dishes, I’ll just clean the first one. If I don’t want to go on a run, I’ll just put on my running shoes. If I don’t want to start a writing piece, I’ll just open up a blank Word document. The first micromovement has been made; the journey has begun. From there, it becomes manageable to take just one more micromovement. Pick up one more dish. Step outside the front door. Type the first word.

Yeah, but doing it that way will take so long, the complainer in my head says. Yeah, I retort, just as it should. Just as everything here on earth grows. Out of a billion micromovements.


It’s cold here in the middle of January. But I know that each day as I walk the same city block, the air is getting infinitessimally warmer. The days are getting infinitessimally longer. I know that one day, I’ll look down and see cherry blossoms.