— Can you tell us about an early memory you have of experiencing nature as a child?
My early memories with nature are so omnipresent, I‘m having a hard time picking one time and place out of my memory. Some have been mirrored back to me through family. My dad says he would often see me squatting far off from home as a child. He finally asked me what I was doing and said I responded bluntly, “I’m watching the ants watch me”. I still enjoy experiencing nature and observing how I’m experienced in return. The hawks circle above me familiarly as I tend to my garden. The water of the ‘uba seo spirals around me as I enter her. My body in motion shapes the flames of the fire I tend, and the heat moves me in return.
— What do you think your responsibility is as a journalist in today’s climate?
I think of my responsibility as a human being alive today. Those responsibilities move through my work in journalism as well as my work as a friend, and so on. We’re understandably used to defining ourselves based on job titles, I just don’t find it supportive to compartmentalize myself that way. I also have a hard time calling myself a journalist because I don’t think the word evokes what I actually do for most people. The institutional systems of news gathering and information sharing are beyond broken and that’s why I rarely report and author pieces myself. I find it to be an extractive process as a reporter and as a source, and I think that’s in part why we see such harmful environmental and climate reporting. I don’t know about you, but I feel left disconnected and limited after ingesting “the news”, and it really doesn’t have to be like that. I wonder how our ways of fixing problems, in the climate movement, in journalism, and in relationships, are the problems themselves. Story and cultural information sharing has continued to be a liberating, imaginative place for me and I try to work from there when I’m partnering with newsrooms to change their reporting practices or story topics.
— What are you discovering / exploring in your personal work at the moment?
I’m acknowledging the generativity of failure.
I’m diving into the transformative power of grief and its rituals.
I’m tending to wandering roots.
I’m heeding the invitation of hopelessness.
I’m making a sanctuary.
— Are there any slower practices you have introduced to your daily routines recently that you are enjoying?
I started engaging in somatic therapy a couple years ago and it’s in everything I do now. I try to start the day by letting my body guide me. Most times with the sounds of the aliveness around me, though I’ve enjoyed morning movements with New Song by Mizan K lately too. The louder my intellect gets the more I know I need to reorient to my body. It’s something we’re conditioned out of so early on, our society is very “out of body” and it’s seen as progressive. I’m continuously in awe of how transformative body-talk can be. I seemingly always knew what pain, anger, and anxiety felt like, and in their most extreme forms. Only recently have I created reference points for subtle discomfort, for joy, grace, peace, love…these are body feelings, where do you feel them? How do they emerge? Is peace hot? Tingly? Cool? Sticky, or flowing? Do they have colors?
— Coming into summer, what sort of landscapes or environments are you craving to have your body experience again?
I’m still very much in spring. I look forward to the summer solstice, but I can wait. I feel myself buzzing with the seeds coming out of winter sleep. I bring my awareness to all the rebirth and death around and within me. I don’t want to look away, to a “hopeful” future or again to a nostalgic past. I crave companionship that engages with the here and now in all its horrors and cracks of joy.
— How did you feel on the Anaak shoot, did the garments spur any new ways of being or moving?
The dresses reminded me to stand tall, rooted and rising, and they don’t constrict. This is important for me as someone who’s used to freezing and shrinking to stay safe.