FALLING DOWN

WORDS: NICOLE STANTON
IMAGE: WILL RUSSACK

This afternoon my yoga instructor opened class with one phrase: “To fall is to learn to walk.”

A phenomena of the world I have come to notice is that if your senses are open, help is often in your midst. In the pages of a book on my bedside table, in an extra cup of coffee in the morning, in the words of a friend.

This week I have fallen, a lot. I have wobbled and tipped over, spilt coffee on white linen blouses, cut my knees and nose on desert rocks. My life, quite literally, feels off balance -- as though it may topple over into an incomprehensible mess at any moment. Work is changing drastically, an ex-boyfriend moved back to town, and future feels in amplified limbo.

To walk into a room of strangers in a Denver yoga studio and hear, “To fall is to learn to walk,” made the inevitable fall, exciting. How brave, to fall. How brave, to see what happens when you lose control.

For many of the makers we have shared on the pages of Loam, falling has been a pathway to success. The best ideas have fallen apart, their scraps living on to create the unthinkable. Often the people we profile do work that requires challenging life choices-- taking out huge loans to make a project happen or abandoning secure jobs for the uncertain ones. These leaps are scary, and may result in moments of devastation. However, it is the resilience of the passionate people on the pages of Loam, of the people around me every day, that give me hope. The change-makers are the ones who find the courage to pick up the pieces of a broken idea. 

It seems, in these moments of being off-balance, we are given a choice. I have spent plenty of the past days and weeks lamenting the changes in my own life, craving stability. What if, instead, I leaned into the discomfort? What if, I let myself fall? What if, I surrounded myself with people who have fallen as well? 

Loam has reached its first anniversary. Kate and I have reached the completion of our first year of post-college life. Moving forward, we resolve to fall. To find our limits and explore what art/words/humans/friendship/passion can do in the face of environmental crises. Only when things fall apart can they be rearranged anew, to find new life and purpose.

To fall is to live at the edge of your limits, to expand your imaginings of what you are capable of, and let the light in.

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