A Walk with the Rocky Mountain Land Library


Editor’s note; a version of the below text appeared in the May 10th Walk2Connect Co-op newsletter

See also; over at Twitter

I had the pleasure to spend May 4th walking and workshoping in Globeville, with the Rocky Mountain Land Library; a 501c3 nonprofit co-founded by Jeff Lee and Ann Marie Martin. Two long-time employees of the iconic Tattered Cover Bookstore. Their “ultimate vision is to open Buffalo Peaks Ranch as a year-round, residential retreat center and library, while hosting additional programs and outreach through our Metro Denver locations.

The Globeville location is one of three locations they have. I visited their Waterton Canyon branch on one of the early High Line Canal walks, with Chris Englert aka “the Walking Traveler”. Last year I visited their location on the South Platte in Fairplay, to attend Re/Calla curated art and communal experience that celebrates the natural environment…the intersection of art and nature…the ethereal and tangible.” The Globeville branch is their current/main book storage/processing location. It also has a special ‘Walking and Trails’ collection/room.

Our group, led by Ann Marie, spent the first part of the morning walking along the South Platte. After foraging for ink-making feedstock, we spent the next few hours experimenting with: charcoal, terra-cotta, willow-flowers and more. Do you even know how to mordant..? I didn’t before, but I do now!

On our walk we encountered a rich urban ecology of flora/fauna: dicots, wild-rose and willows. Birds of prey, coyote tracks and hooded merganser ducks. We even saw signs of beavers rewilding.

As I read that day, Wendell Berry writes

“Think of the genius of the animals,

every one truly what it is:

gnat, fox, minnow, swallow, each made

of light and luminous within itself.

They know (better than we do) how

to live in the places where they live.

And so I would like to be a true

human being, dear reader – a choice

not altogether possible now.

But this is what I’m for, the side

I’m on”

maintenance vs. sustainability

That’s the difference between maintenance and repair. Repair is when you fix something that’s already broken. Maintenance is about making something last…Perhaps maintenance, rather than sustainability, is the more useful framework for a green transition, because it can account for how human infrastructure is now deeply entangled with the environment in the age of the Anthropocene…Maintenance isn’t a program. It’s a practice.

Via Noema

re: the global apartheid of “border crises”

Boston Review published an essay by Harsha Walia on abolishing borders along with “a global colonial racial social order that fortifies the rich against the rest“.

To wit;

Abolition, Ruth Wilson Gilmore teaches us, is concerned with collective presence and building life-affirming institutions…These actions create liberated zones of belonging beyond and against neoliberal, nationalist conceits. These ecosystems, even if small in scale, model different forms of social relations, solidarity, and kinship through the process of joint struggle. And the everyday unsanctioned movement of people—defying borders and risking death—is, in itself, worldmaking and homemaking.

re: decentralized, localized, and user-generated modes of production

Matthew Wizinsky surveys case studies which provide “perspectives and inspiration on the many ways designing can be done beyond capitalist structures and logics — even within capitalist societies.

Featuring among others; Full Grown UK, Thing Thing, Biocouture, Filabot, The Protoprint Project and work of Chloé Rutzerveld.

re: sabotage

If we are to think of sabotage as a process that negates productivity, it’s a negation that can’t be disentangled from the structures of productivity itself…What sabotage names is specific and internal to capitalism as a lived historical form…It’s the mark of an intimate and highly practical understanding of a system and its abstractions

Via The New Inquiry

re: open-pit mines, decarbonization et al.

“The urgency of impending death by climate change (for most of us) brings home the NMA’s clumsy tagline even more. An energy transition away from fossil fuels will necessarily require some minerals, and we will have to mine, at least a little bit, to get them. I hate it, but there isn’t going to be any way out of this rapidly warming carbon death pit without mining. And mining is pretty bad. Sure, all those big machines and drills and holes and rocks and explosions are cool and stuff—I love that shit, to be honest. But mining is also atrocious. It’s the epitome of maximized extraction”

Over at the Hypocrite Reader, Charlie Macquarie put together a scene report on mining pits of the Great Basin. Besides covering the cultural and geological history of various mines, the piece calls out the greenwashing of extraction and Indigenous erasure/expropriation that are inherent to talks of any energy future-transition.

a crisis of global apartheid

Harsha Walia makes a case for a world without borders.

Border controls manufacture spatialized differences not to completely exclude all people but to capitalize on them…Workers’ labor power is captured by the border and this cheapened labor is exploited by the employer…Given the violent deathscape for literally millions of people around the world, what alternative is there other than to fight for a world without borders?

via truthout

41 and seeing the Milk Way for the first time

I went camping, for first time with Chelsea, Sam, and some friends, at Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park. Which I’ve long wanted to visit. Long before living in CO.

Originally for the “blackness” and legendary narrow, remoteness of the canyon.

Although it rained and the night-skies weren’t clear, the first two nights, the last night was perfect. Attended the 9:30 PM ranger talk on the stars. Saw the Milk Way with my own naked eyes. Watched the skies, sat by the fire, listened to the quiet and fell asleep to the “crickets” (suspect they may have been grasshoppers, but not clear to me the difference).

Overall, an A+ way to ring out the first year of my 40s.

Looking forward to continued personal and professional growth, as well as deepened and more intentional relationships with friends and loved ones.