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lets-get-bagged

For my December art column for Moonshine Ink I interviewed three North Tahoe locals who make winter apparel: Carrie Cameron Hall, who makes ski jackets in her LetsGetBagged line; Ethan Rollins of Local Knits (see video); and Brandon Douglas of Nolan Apparel who makes ski mittens and just opened a Truckee storefront. Read my December column online here or pick it up on stands in Tahoe all this month.

My latest column for Moonshine Ink, “Art Is a Highway,” has a roadside theme as I came across quite a few cool projects that use the road as an audience, impetus or way of existence: The Nevada Museum of Art is showing a vintage neon sign exhibit, Sierra Nevada College recently purchased a Streamline trailer that’s functioning as a mobile gallery space, and San Francisco artist Jane Kim is working on a series of Highway 395 murals (part one of her Migrating Mural) to raise awareness about big horn sheep migration routes.

Buffalo neon sign photo courtesy the collection of Will Durham

Read my piece “A Winter in Avalanche Country” in this month’s Moonshine Ink. It’s been a long time since I’ve done some real reporting, and this story had me in offices and on the phone with retailers, avalanche experts, and mountain guides digging up some cool statistics about this winter in Tahoe and the rising popularity of backcountry skiing. You can also scope out my Top 12 Avalanche Safety Tips from my recent AIARE Level 1 course on Tahoe Mountain Sports’ blog.

I tackled a tough but necessary topic in my art column this month: death. It was a bit crazy how it all came together really: me finding artist Kath McGaughey, my recent experiences with death, the need for this discussion in my life. Read my column to see some of the coincidences, but another one that was too “out there” to explore in print was the fact that I was reading Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five at the time. Holy Tralfamadore! It was pretty cool to read this fictional planet’s take on death. Here are a few excerpts if you haven’t read it:

The most important thing I learned on Tralfamadore was that when a person dies he only appears to die. He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral. All moments, past, present, and future, always have existed, always will exist. The Tralfamadorians can look at all the different moments just the way we can look at a stretch of the Rocky Mountains, for instance. They can see how permanent all the moments are, and they can look at any moment that interests them. It is just an illusion we have here on Earth that one moment follows another one, like beads on a string, and that once a moment is gone it is gone forever.

This part in particular struck me after reading it and then seeing Kath’s show because one of her larger pieces, the crows lined on wires, references Rosary beads.

When a Tralfamadorian sees a corpse, all he thinks is that the dead person is in a bad condition in that particular moment, but the same person is just fine in plenty of other moments. Now, when I myself hear that somebody is dead, I simply shrug and say what the Tralfamadorians say about dead people, which is “So it goes.”

“I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations. It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find that we are all, as I’ve said before, bugs in amber.”

*top 2 photos by Lexy Eich

[fishing illustration by StudioTuesday]

In my DiStill Life column in Moonshine Ink this month (on stands Friday), I write about Tangled Roots Writing workshops, and the art of writing. I was so inspired by Karen Terrey’s workshops that I’m going to spend the next 6 weeks further exploring creative writing with her Monday night series. Will be fun to further hone my craft!

If you read my column and came here to see my poem from our “exploring a subject” prompts, here it is:

Rip!
It happens in the blink of his fish eye
One second he’s swimming
The next he’s adrift,
On a silent invisible string
Leading to a frantic finale
Of weathered hand,
A different set of beady eyes,
Doling out a fate that’s unfair either way.