a herd of two

What can working with horses teach us about power and communication?

Aeon (to see the 13 min documentary)

‘When you work with a horse, you are a herd of two.’

Growing up in a small Swiss village, Caroline Wolfer found herself much more at ease around horses than people. Now working as a horse tamer in Patagonia, she has developed an understanding of horses based on what she describes as male and female ‘energies’, with the behaviours of stallions rooted in respect, and the behaviours of mares rooted in trust. Wolfer believes that, in human interactions, these two equally vital energies are out of balance, with the scale tilted heavily towards the male. In her work teaching humans to interact with horses at a corral, she emphasises the value of both male and female energies, and the importance of being straightforward in communicating. In doing so, Wolfer feels that she has helped people with their everyday interpersonal skills, and also helped herself to find comfort around other people.

Director: Diane Crespo

Producer: Belle Casares

Website: Cicala Filmworks

Whisper Edition Benefit Auction for Rocking the Boat

Whisper Editions

I am very pleased that one of my photographs from Darien, Georgia has been selected to be auctioned off September 21 in New York at the Whisper Editions Lodge to benefit the awesome local charity Rocking the Boat along with the work of many talented and well known artists.

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Please reach out if you are interested in publishing the full story "Raised in the River," for the password to view the full Photo Essay, up on the site now.

Grace in Adventure

British Columbia, Canada

After years in sports, I know that showing up is not enough.  In fact the physical is the easy part, it is the mental, the mental management of the physical that is the key to it all, to performance, endurance and enjoyment.

And I had the pleasure of spending some time adventuring in the Canadian pacific northwest late this spring and was reminded that in back country sports, with a longer outlook, showing up with a combination of strength and grace is key.  I could not gut out these sports with my usual burst of energy, and use recovery days for sore muscles.  Rather on a paddling camp trip, on days after biking and hiking days, I needed to find a place in inner calm and really settle into each stroke, and be in the moment.  My impatience would not serve me. 

Instead it was a lesson in finding beauty in the moment and just being there in each paddle stroke, not considering the next one, or recalling the last.  If I worried or wondered too much, I would frustrate myself and burn energy. 

It was literally spatially constrained meditation, and was it stunning once I found the zen in it.  Soaring pine forested mountains, topped by retreating snows high over salty fjord waters lapped with kitten paw waves whipped up by the sunset breezes. One night we watched the shifting palette of sunset mark time passing and distance gained across the fjord, as we slowly paddled towards the fading light and camp.

And skiing in 75' weather high above the chilly Pacific winding through the waterways between the islands and the Straight of Georgia, well, it was heaven, let's be perfectly clear.  But it also again took a mental calm combined with cardio, to work through the heat and the excitement I felt about all the beauty to pace myself, in terms of energy, enthusiasm, and even hydration.  I couldn't "blow out my hip-flexors" as people tend to do, if I wanted to come back for many runs over many days of earning my turns, skinning laps. 

And in order to bring energy to the downhill I brought joy to the uphill, loving the duality of the work up and then flow down, which only make turns, and beers in between that much cooler and sweeter.  I am hooked on this mode of skiing, meditation muscle and flow!

And in a bigger sense, with my genetic gifted migraines picking up significantly under the load of my mothers illness these last few years, I am intensely reminded of the joy, and blessing, of a healthy able body, the feeling of sweat pouring down my back, my lungs working in concert with my legs, my core and my back straining in balance, as my arms swing in cadence with my feet, and pulling me up a mountain, across a sound, or (god help me) up and down a mountain bike trail. 

These are gifts not to be taken for granted, and the ability to play in the great outdoors is by no means a given.  So even when I get cramps on a run and settle into the fact that the aches and pains are the good kind, the healthy and alive kind, man, do I want to do this kind of fully alive living every day, every hour. 

Our physicality is the ultimate escape, and the great outdoors the best playground we will ever find!  So until next time, body - and by that, I mean tomorrow...

SXSW Interactive 2017 (in purple and pink)

Austin, Texas of course !

It seems that when I got out and about at SXSW this year the colors were purple and pink, that was not a trend or theme, or most importantly anything to do with futurecasting.

Working with Kenzen at SXSW was a grand success and such a learning experience as we move rapidly forwards.
And attending the National Geographic Explorer VIP party was a highlight-of my year!  These fabulous people and this organization is basically one of the drivers of why I am who I am, and I was far more star struck there by the amazing photographers and social impact and emphasis on truth and "the important thing is not to stop questioning" than I would have with any band, film or such.  Absolutely awesome!

It was also wonderful to see Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao and Asta Roseway and co win at the Interactive Innovation Awards for DuoSkin in the Future Now category.  I have watched Cindy work on this tech at the Media Lab for a while now and was thrilled when she partnered with Microsoft and by the huge press coverage, the award is well deserved and much to come I am sure!

And naturally any time at SXSW must be rounded out by a party with crazy installations, an epic house (which appeared purpose built for the party) and fun until I was too exhausted to stand. Cue flight home.

10 Life Lessons I learned Skiing

As someone who was on skis before she was out of diapers, skied every winter for 33 years, and raced on the D1 collegiate circuit, before relearning recreational enjoyment, I'd say I grew up on skis.  (Oh and my middle name is literally snow.)

And was the mountains are one hell of a school to attend.  I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I still remember the awe of my first double black, accomplished by the old school parenting, “you can do it” shouted as my Dad sailed away, and so I did. Hail storms, lighting storms, blinding snow storms.  Milestone victories I can still feel residual joy from and wrecks I was afraid pick myself up from.  I even fell into a lake once, but that’s another story. 

But to me skiing is mostly joy and camaraderie, absolute freedom in nature, arcing through whistling crystal blue silence, feeling muscles and metal carve through snow.

Distilled, here are hard won lessons learned in the mountains, but which serve me daily creating a meaningful life on and off the snow.

Ten Life lessons I learned skiing :

1. The first turn is always the hardest. Life is a head game, make that turn, and the rest will link up.

2. Check in and adjust as you go.  Be open to even the small opportunities for improvement.  In skiing, ironically, tweaking your hand position is often an easy fix for all sorts of big picture problems.  Never discount these chances to improve.

3. Be independent and enjoy the ride, but look to friends, in the tough times and in the good times, too.

4. Look past the obstacles, never straight at them, in order to sail right past. (Hello, tree skiing.)  I cannot state the importance of this lesson enough-mountain or life.  You will go wherever your focus on.

5. 90% of what actually happens on the mountain is about preparation. The hard work you do in land training and mental preparedness shape what happens on the slopes.

6. Be focused, but have don't forget to smile and enjoy— play your tunes, have munchies in your pocket, and take in the beauty you get to see on your courageous journey.  You are in your one precious life after all, this is not a training run!

7. Take care of your gear and your gear will take care of you.

8. When you land on your face, assess, and then allow yourself a good laugh.  You are human and allowed to make mistakes, falling with style is a good reminder of this.  (For added points, stick the landing with some flair for the judges.)

9. Never be afraid to ask for advice.  You will learn so much, make friends, and you truly never know who you will meet (in the lift line of life!) and what adventures will follow a simple conversation.

10. Whoop it up whenever you are feeling it.  Squash any thoughts of being mature and holding it back – you’re alive, your rocking your life and you are blessed.   Love it and celebrate it!

Berlin, a designer's dream city

With my design traveling 710 New Balance red sneakers on and ready to travel we headed out to get coffee in a city proud of it's coffee.  (Sadly getting down to my last pair of these amazing shoes Kai/NB!)

We organized our days around coffee and breakfast, and this turned out to be a brilliant strategy, as hip coffee shop = hip neighborhood.  And after the caffeine kicked in there was time to check out the amazing deep and intense history of Berlin.

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In preparation for his run, Ryan checked out the finish of the Marathon at Brandenburger Tor while some kiddo's warmed up for a short inline skating race.  I had never seen a roller blade marathon, but Saturday there was a full roller blade Marathon before the runners on sunday.  It was pretty cool honestly, and looked slightly more viable to me, though still rough.

 Brunch at Roamers, quite possibly the best in Berlin, a city of brunches!  And the people watching here, like all of Berlin, is awesome and the crowd here in particular could inform NYFW of what is coming next!

Brunch at Roamers, quite possibly the best in Berlin, a city of brunches!  And the people watching here, like all of Berlin, is awesome and the crowd here in particular could inform NYFW of what is coming next!

 Lazy Saturdays done right - the European way, unhurried over a beer and a cigarette in Volkspark Friedrichshain.

Lazy Saturdays done right - the European way, unhurried over a beer and a cigarette in Volkspark Friedrichshain.

After starting our day at Silo Coffee in Friedrichshain we wandered through the park, and I was reminded of yet another reason I love Europe, and miss calling it home.  These people know how to live well.  Whether it was a game of bocce, a picnic overlooking fields and then Fernsehturm (Television tower)  fly fishing lessons in the park or more dogs living the good life, weekends are taken seriously here.  And dogs like well, by the way.  Even at fancier, restaurants like Neni, where tourists make up half the guests, dogs sat politely under the table, and throughout the city well behaved dogs ambled alongside owners off leash.  I am pretty sure my dog Mia is a Berliner at heart.

The restaurant, Neni Berlin, atop of the achingly cool 25 Hour Hotel has a cool Ace Hotel vibe, but with a uniquely German and Berlin aspect.  Be sure to check out the Monkey Bar across the hall after for drinks!

 What remains of Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is stunningly beautiful.  Also be sure to go across the street and check out the Bikini Berlin, the other end of the design spectrum, and a must see stop.  Cool pop up shops for local designers, food stands and events abound.

What remains of Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is stunningly beautiful.  Also be sure to go across the street and check out the Bikini Berlin, the other end of the design spectrum, and a must see stop.  Cool pop up shops for local designers, food stands and events abound.

 Memorial to the Murdered Jews

Memorial to the Murdered Jews

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews is a deeply moving memorial to walk through the 2,711 tomb like columns which wind slightly and vary in height set in the location of a key Nazi administrative site in the 3 million murders. 
Looking across the Memorial to the Murdered Jews, into Tiergarten, the memorial bleeds out into the city, into daily life, in an uncomfortable way, intentionally reminding us of the ambiguity of difficult subjects like guilt and innocence. The Memorial has been controversial, one reasons being that it is only dedicated to the Jewish dead, and so further memorials have been created in Berlin to the many other groups murdered in this era, including Catholic, Homosexual and Gypsy.

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 As a creative, Scheunenviertel felt like ground zero for contemporary designers, thinkers and urban chic in the way that drew me in and felt like home.

As a creative, Scheunenviertel felt like ground zero for contemporary designers, thinkers and urban chic in the way that drew me in and felt like home.

Here are three boroughs which anyone artistically or architecturally inclined must check out after starting with your day gently with stellar coffee;
Ora in Kreuzberg
Silo Coffee in hip Friedrichshain
the Barn Roastery in Scheunenviertel area of the Mitte

 Ora in Kreuzberg was a must for us, recently created in an old pharmacy in the east, this chic coffee shop is open til 4am, with a simple menu but fabulous old school apothecary decor.

Ora in Kreuzberg was a must for us, recently created in an old pharmacy in the east, this chic coffee shop is open til 4am, with a simple menu but fabulous old school apothecary decor.

While planning the long weekend in Berlin, my father told me that as a young man he got a visa & went through Checkpoint Charlie, when it was the gateway between wildly disparate worlds.  No one knew that he had crossed the Wall, and the East Berlin people he met were desperate and scared, looking to him for money, hope, clothing-anything.  He said it was an extraordinary experience and also deeply unnerving.

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Walking through Berlin this weekend, finding how much I love this vibrant city and the warm people, knowing my father walked in a moment of its painful past, however briefly, really brought home how recent it all is. And how resilient this city is.

 

A weekend of Weddings and Vermonting

Woodstock, Vermont

 If you are looking for me, I will be moving in next week, and I will be on the dock behind the barn reflecting on life, and the mountains reflection on the pond, in this perfect Woodstock Vermont estate, a mix of classic New England modern and heritage, designed and intertwined seamlessly.  I am in love!

If you are looking for me, I will be moving in next week, and I will be on the dock behind the barn reflecting on life, and the mountains reflection on the pond, in this perfect Woodstock Vermont estate, a mix of classic New England modern and heritage, designed and intertwined seamlessly.  I am in love!

 FH Gillingham and Son's is a 130 year old General store.  I Love general stores, not because I want everything in them (per se) but more because I adore the quirky and extensive mix of "genuine," local and lifetime guaranteed products.  I want to live a life amidst such character, charm and utility. 

FH Gillingham and Son's is a 130 year old General store.  I Love general stores, not because I want everything in them (per se) but more because I adore the quirky and extensive mix of "genuine," local and lifetime guaranteed products.  I want to live a life amidst such character, charm and utility. 

 First course at the  Jackson House Inn,  my description will not do Rick and Kathy's artistry justice (breaded goat cheese, micro greens and chutney, all locally made and sourced)

First course at the Jackson House Inn, my description will not do Rick and Kathy's artistry justice (breaded goat cheese, micro greens and chutney, all locally made and sourced)

 Second course of one day breakfast at the  Jackson House Inn  (again, roughly, local peaches, foraged ramps, house cured old world bacon, on corn cakes corn meal ground locally.)  Every day the meal is totally different and seasonal.  Needless to say this award winning Inn would be worth staying at for the breakfast alone!

Second course of one day breakfast at the Jackson House Inn (again, roughly, local peaches, foraged ramps, house cured old world bacon, on corn cakes corn meal ground locally.)  Every day the meal is totally different and seasonal.  Needless to say this award winning Inn would be worth staying at for the breakfast alone!

    "We shall not cease from exploration,      and the end of all our exploring,     will be to arrive where we started     and know the place for the first time.                                        - T. S. Eliot -

   "We shall not cease from exploration,
     and the end of all our exploring,
    will be to arrive where we started
    and know the place for the first time.
                                       - T. S. Eliot -

 We all just stared at the MG in awe, and in the golden hour light, it all looked like a timeless dreamy moment.  Perfection.

We all just stared at the MG in awe, and in the golden hour light, it all looked like a timeless dreamy moment.  Perfection.

 Photograph of us getting Cris out the door, brides maids, casual in color and classic Italian flower girls, taken by the talented Italian photographer,  David Bozzalla .

Photograph of us getting Cris out the door, brides maids, casual in color and classic Italian flower girls, taken by the talented Italian photographer, David Bozzalla.

 The classy newlyweds made a classic exit.  So much love and joy to these two.

The classy newlyweds made a classic exit.  So much love and joy to these two.

Mountain Days

Big Sky, Montana

 Final Big Sky twilight.  Walking the upper meadow at twilight is always so meditative, I never thought mountains could provide the same peace as the ocean, I was wrong.  Big skies can do just that.

Final Big Sky twilight.  Walking the upper meadow at twilight is always so meditative, I never thought mountains could provide the same peace as the ocean, I was wrong.  Big skies can do just that.

 The flowers in Beehive Basin greeted us in full bloom, even under the smoke filled skies from wildfires in Idaho and absolutely scorching heat of full on high desert summer heat.  This place is one of natures great cathedral, truly sacred.  I cannot help feel awe here and reflect in the mountain lake.  Bear Basin next year.

The flowers in Beehive Basin greeted us in full bloom, even under the smoke filled skies from wildfires in Idaho and absolutely scorching heat of full on high desert summer heat.  This place is one of natures great cathedral, truly sacred.  I cannot help feel awe here and reflect in the mountain lake.  Bear Basin next year.

 Paradise Valley perfection, I think all of us dreamers imagine living in these tiny shacks when we see them, but I admit, while I do love Montana's -30 winters, out here the wind would be brisk.

Paradise Valley perfection, I think all of us dreamers imagine living in these tiny shacks when we see them, but I admit, while I do love Montana's -30 winters, out here the wind would be brisk.

(All images in my stories are my own, unless specifically noted.  If you would like to reproduce them elsewhere please contact me directly.)

Natures Colors

I am all about noticing flowers this year, maybe its after a relatively snowless winter (which most people loved) but I find colorless, but whatever it is there are brilliant textured flowers everywhere, in gardens and the woods, at the weddings I've been to, and delightfully, in my own home!  Enjoy!

New England Summer magic

There is nothing as golden, as delightful, as fleeting, as delicious, fragrant and precious as New England summers, and an ocean front July 4th with family and friends is the pinnacle of this!  Salt and sea, fresh food and tipsy drinks, walks down memory lane and rigorous construction of new ones to be told in the future, and the colors of the world - the ocean - the food - the sky, are all the ultimate treasures of summer, captured only by our eyes and minds.