Tag Archives: 31 days

State of the Union

It can feel hard to know what to believe.

The truth is, even the scientists can’t say for sure what’s coming. But something is definitely coming. Some of it is already here. And whether you think it’s just a “cycle” or the end of days, there are things we can learn, things we can do, and ways we can get creative to help make this life, and change, a little easier.

Tomorrow, I’ll share one filmmaker’s post-apocalyptic vision and start brainstorming about avoiding or surviving that potential future.

The Apocalypse Garden

Once upon a time, there was a girl who grew up in earthquake country. Despite the fact that her family home was built on bedrock, she grew up just knowing that, any day, the big one could hit and take  everything away.

Now, maybe it was that. Or maybe it was the stories that her father read to her each night, filled with wild rides, and one ring to rule them all, and other battles of good vs. evil. But whatever the reason, she grew up obsessed with tales of the apocalypse.

And as she got older, she learned to store extra food, and how to turn off the water and gas, and stay indoors during lightning storms. In late 1999, she bought extra water and boxes of Duraflame logs in preparation for Y2K. And when she bought a house of her own, she made sure it was seismically up to code.

This house of hers had a huge garden and a second-story window that looked out over the ocean. And when it came time to plant, she didn’t choose flowers. Instead she created an apocalypse garden, where each tree and bush and seed would grow to serve more than one purpose–herbs for cooking and to attract pollinators, cherries for fruit and one day wood, winter and summer squash for food and to shade the delicate roots and stems of newly planted apple and plum. But her favorite was the black bamboo grown in barrels along the back fence. The shoots could be eaten, the stalks could be used to build, and the grove blocked a neighbor’s ugly yard.

That house belongs to some someone else now, and the girl has traded her ocean for the wide skies of New Mexico, but she still carries that garden within her. And in this increasingly uncertain world, those books that inspired her feel less like fiction or fantasy and more like a map for the road ahead.

And So it Begins

Tomorrow starts the 31 Days writing challenge. My first response when I heard about it was, “like I need another project,” but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it could be just what I need. You see, I’ve been struggling with a Big Project–the kind that feels like it could be The One. But the more I got into it, the more difficult it became, and not just wrangling the profusion of ideas. The paralysis increased as I looked closer at what my actual day-to-day might look like, and hit crisis mode when I realized that wasn’t anything near how I wanted to spend my life.

I put that project on hold and in the open space another project that I’ve played with here and there for years began to raise its head. What better way to see if it’s something that could really work than to spend 31 days immersed in its world.

So here I am, with a new blog on a domain I bought back in 2008. Six years is long enough to wait for a place in the light.

Day 1: The Apocalypse Garden
Day 2: State of the Union
Day 3: Never Look Away
Day 3.2: Feature Friday: Pumzi
Day 4: Water, Water, Everywhere
Day 5: Stitching Resilience
Day 6: Connecting Climate and Human Health
Day 7: Disaster News Update: Japan
Day 8: Once More with Imagination
Day 9: Small Lessons from Daily Life
Day 10: Feature Friday: The Sand Storm
Day 11: Hobbyists as Heroes
Day 12: The Benefits of Practice
Day 13: 4000+ Is Not Just a Statistic
Day 14: Risk to National Security
Day 15: Wordless Wednesday
Day 16: Ebola Number Crunching
Day 17: Feature Friday: All That’s Left
Day 18: Thinking About Pandemics
Day 19: Get Rid of Stress in 60 Seconds
Day 20: The Best Weapon
Day 21: This Week’s Apocalypse Update
Day 22: Wordless Wednesday
Day 23: Throwback Thursday: October 23
Day 24: Feature Friday: Ebola and Panic
Day 25: The Meaning of Apocalypse
Day 26: To Sleep, Perchance…
Day 27: Pele Visits Pohoa
Day 28: An Ounce of Prevention
Day 29: Wordless Wednesday
Day 30: Remembering Sandy
Day 31: Feature Friday: Ambition
Day 32: 31 Days Recap