Sustainable Bonanza

June 22, 2017

Dust angel

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Kirsten @ 9:00AM

Driving from Reno after a flight west and supplies run, the car filled with equipment and what had been strangers just hours before finally arrive at the gate.  Dust kicked up by cars driving across the dry lake bed swirled through the open window as our tickets were scanned.  Driving forward to the Greeters where the packed car of travelers would be given the official welcome to Burning Man.

It was my first year.  I had read everything on the website, gotten sage advice from friends who had been before, but while the open playa before me was filled with expectation it was empty of actual knowing what would happen in the coming week.

We got out of the car facing the costumed Greeters at our station.  We received the WhatWhereWhen Guide, a map, and a brief orientation of where to head.  One S&M leather clad Greeter asked if we had any virgins and I raised my hand.  I was invited to lay down on the playa to make a dust angel.  My travel companions, both returning burners, looked on with eyes glittering as they encouraged me to lay down on the ground.   (more…)

June 20, 2017

Zipping into life

Filed under: General — Tags: , , — Kirsten @ 11:15AM

One bare foot after another pressed uncomfortably into the thick rope of the cargo net.  The angle steepening until it became sheer vertical.  Reaching to the U shaped staples fastened around the thick post to finish my climb to the top of the tower.  Determined to make it.  Actually, unsure if not making it is an option.   (more…)

May 1, 2017

Birth and Death

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Kirsten @ 1:07AM

In the cycles of life are birth and death; points between, milestones, emerge as well, but we often look to these two big points for our deeper meaning even as it is found day to day.

I began my morning in the barn.  Sometime last night our goat, Hannah, gave birth to three babies.  Initially we thought there were two for it was the two does that were dry and romping about the stall learning to steady their legs, heads butting everything in sight as they sought to connect that action to ultimately the one that would find them nursing their mothers full udder.

Kids will butt their mother’s udder to get the milk flowing, but then they need to learn to suckle.  There is something so comical about them attempting to nurse on everything in sight.  But then in the joys of those awkward first moments I noticed what I thought was a placenta in the corner.  My mother said it couldn’t be so I looked closer and found a dead kid.  In disbelief she came over and looked: we discovered the little pile of fur was a still wet, and now cold, buck.  Two are more common than three so we weren’t looking for that body even though eventually I found it.  When it had died or why was uncertain. (more…)

February 7, 2017

Watching the storm approach

Filed under: General,Spirit — Tags: — Kirsten @ 4:14PM

I can see a storm coming from my desk on the third floor of my home overlooking Mt. Tom.

It begins in the distance over the mountain.  As it slowly moves closer the mountain will become more and more invisible until it cannot be seen.  At that point it exists as a white blur of sky.  Depth abandoned. Calling for presence in this instant.

I look forward to these storms and the swirling snow or driving rain.  They put me into my center and let me be with myself gently.  These are the days that I don’t feel compelled to go out.  Inevitably productive as long as you are capable of understanding that sometimes that nap your body is calling for is really essential to the day.

Sitting quietly.

November 7, 2016

Autumn’s Gold

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , — Kirsten @ 10:48AM

This is my love letter to autumn.

Dear Autumn,

As I was driving the other day I was struck by your beauty.  I confess that while I’ve always found you beautiful and necessary, I also often think of you as being the death foretold as it relate to the coming winter. But this day as your colors shimmered across the nearby hills I realized that you are not only the harbinger of death, but the precursor of a necessary dormancy; the time to go internally in order to nourish inner seeds. (more…)

October 31, 2016

Blending in.

Filed under: General — Tags: , , , , , , — Kirsten @ 9:49AM

When I was heading out to North Dakota I stopped near Fargo at an outdoor gear place.  I was thinking about picking up a few things that I’d need for being at Standing Rock for two or three weeks (a machete, water purification tablets, a bladder for carrying water around, etc.) but I was also curious to see if I noticed something that I otherwise didn’t know I needed.  (This is a horrible idea for me to do.  I’m am notoriously a gear head and LOVE to pick up new things to make my outdoor experience more seamless and lightweight.) (more…)

October 29, 2016

Buried Treasure

This year Halloween falls the day after a new moon: the darkest point of the month and the prime time to set intentions to root down into the Earth new intentions for transformation.  What a perfect time to bury a golden treasure!

The treasure I chose to bury has a lot to do with one of my pastimes, herbal medicine, although it is more akin to the Hippocrates quote ‘Let food be thy medicine.’  Have you guessed yet?   (more…)

October 27, 2016

Open Access Week: Editing Wikipedia

I invited by Madeliene Charney to join in on an event at UMASS Amherst to celebrate Open Access Week by bringing together members of the community to edit Wikipedia.  The community was editing and writing articled related to the #NoDAPL protests going on at the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota.  Being as I’ve just recently returned from the site I elected to use my knowledge to aid in the effort. (more…)

October 26, 2016

Getting in the (Gardening) Zone


Every year sometime between when the sap starts to flow, or before, and when the first tree leaves have burst from their buds to encase the natural world in a layer of pollen and chartreuse leaflets I begin to feel the stirring in my blood.  It must be the same inner sense that tells the skunk cabbage to start blossoming, emitting massive amounts of heat and becoming the first food available  to bears as they come out of hibernation because it certainly isn’t the temperature or a massive amount of daylight.  The days are getting longer its true, but that isn’t what makes me reach for the box of seeds stored for the long winter in the basement. (more…)

October 23, 2016

Networking Nightmares

Networking Nightmares and how to solve them.

For someone like me who loves to get out and meet people the idea of networking can still be a nightmare.  Don’t get me wrong.  I find the idea of going out and connecting with new people several times per week exhilarating – as most extroverts do –  but despite the enjoyment I derive there is still something in my systems thinking heart that cringes.  The nightmare is twofold.  First that we think that getting together over drinks is going to help us make deep connections when often people split into groups they already know or breeze through as many conversations as possible to ‘do their job’ for the night.  Second the idea that surface level conversation can possibly develop a relationship that can challenge the deep issues in our society is simply incorrect. (more…)

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