https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/lani-trock The Embodiment Phase Manifesting a New Paradigm with Lani Trock https://cdn.accentuate.io/384571375690/10756843601994/2020-02-18-05.35.18-1-v1582237791743.jpg?1050x788 installation view of "new earth" courtesy of Lani Trock by Diana Welch images courtesy of Lani Trock CLEANSING BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/cleansing-balm DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream BODY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/body-cream What would a world that emphasizes empathy, softness, stillness, and rest look like? What would a society that prioritizes wellbeing over productivity feel like? These questions are central to the creative expression of Los Angeles-based artist Lani Trock. Informed by a childhood spent exploring the wild spaces of Hawaii, California and Maryland, her growing body of work seems to operate solely within this optimistic framework. In Lani’s world, we are all one, part of the interconnected fabric that is the multiverse, humans and plants alike.  Take, for instance “the galactic wave,” a participatory music and movement performance, co-facilitated with friend of HAOMA Carlos Niño, which demonstrated that the voice of each person present was essential to the fabric of the piece itself. Or “the bridge,” a collectively-written archive of stories imagining the future we all want, inspired by the journals of the great American thinker Octavia Butler. These public programs are both part of Trock's ongoing project, “the national peace service (NPS)," which she initiated in 2017. Through radical thought experiments made into tangible, temporary expressions, the series imagines a decentralized, post-capitalist future; one that mirrors the effortless, symbiotic flow of nature’s zero-waste, circular systems and  in turn builds a more just, equitable, loving and peaceful world. In a recent NPS workshop co-facilitated by Celeste B. Young, participants engaged in a walking meditation in Barnsdall Park, followed by a heart-mapping and future-visioning practice inside of “the unified field,” a site-specific installation Trock created as part of a group exhibition at The LA Municipal Art Gallery last fall. During the same show, Trock presented “free food,” an intimate workshop that explored self-reliance, sovereignty and the de-commodification of food systems through the regeneration of backyard farming and communal sharing practices. Offerings included saved seeds, homegrown herbs, gleaned citrus, and Meyer seedlings that Trock sprouted and cared for in the months leading up to the show.  “I frequently work with fragile, evolving and ephemeral materials,” she explains “I frequently work with fragile, evolving and ephemeral materials,” she explains, “exploring ideas of non-attachment to more closely represent the ebb and flow of life on this planet – and to embody the true, transitory nature of existence.” This fragility was apparent in Trock’s most recent site-specific installation, which was supported by HAOMA as part of a recent group show curated by Nicodim Gallery and Deitch Projects, “Hollywood Babylon: the Re-Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome,” which kicked off this year’s Frieze Art fair. Installed in the former location of Spago, the infamous restaurant and gathering spot on the Sunset Strip, the show was an homage to the work of Kenneth Anger and featured pieces by Genesis P-Orridge, Kembra Phaler, and Gus Van Sant, to name just a few. Amidst works that spoke directly to the somewhat darker themes of the occult and celebrity, Trock’s pieces cast a different sort of spell.  Trock’s pieces cast a different sort of spell creating the correct vibrational conditions to allow divine intelligence to flow through Part of an ongoing series called “new earth,” which Trock describes as “a physical representation of this potent period of time" where "we now begin to ground heaven on Earth,” the work featured plant matter and fresh fruit, delicate porcelain, and flowing textiles. While previous expressions in this series depicted the early phases of awakening (ie: breakdown, becoming empty for a time, and creating the correct vibrational conditions to allow divine intelligence to flow through), Trock explains that this incarnation of the series illustrated our collective movement into the embodiment phase of the ascension process – a phase that she believes we can currently inhabit. “In this pivotal moment of human evolution – the ascension into unity consciousness – we can begin to operate from an integrated awareness, felt in the physical body, of our fundamental interconnection through our transpersonal collective consciousness," she says. "From this understanding springs a natural empathy, grace, and compassion that reverberates throughout all of our creations, manifesting in what was so rightly named in Charles Eisenstein’s visionary tome, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible.” “These pieces are about the empowerment of the divine feminine,” she continues, “and the natural abundance of the earth rising to counter and reimagine the collapsing structures built in the age of separation, dominated by the ideals of toxic masculinity. [We are] planting seeds for the future amidst the rubble of the old. The work invites stillness, and the pleasure of slowness, to counteract the capitalist imperative to be in constant motion, in production. How do we slow down? How do we cultivate new, collectively-owned, systems of care? Systems that meet our basic needs and beyond, equally accessible to all, in which all beings are considered to be of equal value. What does a well-rested world look like? What would it feel like to prioritize wellbeing over productivity?"  Lani Trock’s next exhibition opens at The Philosophical Research Society (PRS) on March 25th, 2020. In conjunction with the exhibition, she’ll present a series of free public programs, including another iteration of "the galactic wave" co-facilitated by Carlos Niño & Friends and The Open Source Community Choir as part of PRS’ artist-in-residence Mandy Kahn’s "I like Peace" series.  
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/haoma-radio-arp Haoma Radio Arp https://cdn.accentuate.io/384574980170/10756843601994/HAOMA_Journal_Radio_Arp_Assets_DSC8462_ShawnBrackbill_01-v1582316414306.jpg?1050x788 photo by Shawn Brackbill TEMPLE BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/temple-balm TOTE BAG https://haomaearth.com/products/tote-bag BODY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/body-cream The HAOMA Radio is a growing feeling curated by Mark "Frosty" McNeill – hand-selected sounds that tap into the inner-verse in an effort to nurture growth, peace, and general good vibes among humans and plants alike. Tune in Alexis Georgopoulos, who records as Arp, is an atmospheric enhancer whose sonic compositions trace the spaces where earthly matter converges with invisible planes. His otherworldly recordings are at once rooted into the deep humanity of our world while attuned to the oceanic feeling of eternity. The luminous "Autumn Piece (For Jiri Kovanda)" is featured in the latest flow of Haoma Radio. WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF A PLANT? The earliest memory I have of a plant was the tree in our living room. I'm not sure what it was — maybe a ficus? But it was big, a proper tree — it was probably three times as tall as I was at the time! I loved having such a large, green, leafy presence inside the house. And though it was in a pot, a basket really, it made a mark on me in that it blurred that line between "inside" and "outside." WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU HAVE EVER LEARNED FROM A PLANT?  You can learn a lot taking care of plants. Because, in some ways, we're not terribly unlike plants. Their need for basic, elemental things — in particular, sunlight, the right amount of water, and clean air (ideally) — mirrors our own need for the same things. Though we like to overcomplicate things, the truth is, we need the elemental things most. And, often, when I'm feeling over-extended/spun out, it's paying attention to those things — often forgotten — that brings me back into focus. WHAT IS THE KINDEST THING A PLANT HAS EVER DONE FOR YOU?  Producing oxygen is pretty kind! Providing shade — in certain terrains, certainly, is worth more than gold. The color green soothes the eyes, something you can't help but notice after living through a monochrome grey New York winter. And flowers, well, I think they speak for themselves. Listen to "Autumn Piece (For Jiri Kovanda)" by ARP on HAOMA RADIO now  
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/olive-ardizoni-green-house An Intangible Garden Step Inside Olive Ardizoni's Green-House https://cdn.accentuate.io/384372965450/10756843601994/DSC00482-v1582230216087.jpg?1050x700 by Mark "Frosty" McNeill https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0260/0452/1034/files/GREEN-HOUSE_INTERVIEW_FOR_HAOMA_JOURNAL-Final_Mix-No_Host_Intro.mp3?5945 CLEANSING BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/cleansing-balm BODY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/body-cream FACE SERUM https://haomaearth.com/products/face-serum Click on the audio player above to stroll through the garden. In the Thai Town neighborhood of Los Angeles, there’s an apartment radiating especially good vibes. It’s a compact space with inviting mid-century modern furniture, glistening crystals scattered about, and racks of neatly stacked synthesizers. The tranquil atmosphere is grounded by a happy family of houseplants soaking in the soft sounds humming through the air. The lush tones flow from Olive Ardizoni, whose recording debut as Green-house, Six Songs for Invisible Gardens, is out now on Leaving Records. The non-binary artist, who was inspired by their own energetic exchange with plant life, finds freedom in the expansive potential of ambient music and created Green-House to sonically soothe environmental stressors. "This music is giving space for vision and imagination. It's really the garden of your mind, an intangible garden." - Olive Ardizoni         
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/anouk-van-kalmthout Beyond Earthly Things The Surreal Sensualism of Anouk van Kalmthout https://cdn.accentuate.io/384389087306/10756843601994/AnoukvanKalmthout_CometOfSalt_2017_1_Lowres-v1581110076159.jpg?1050x700 Comet of Salt by Anouk van Kalmthout Interview by Diana Welch All photos courtesy of Anouk van Kalmthout BODY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/body-cream CLEANSING BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/cleansing-balm NIGHT CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/night-cream A red river slices through a frozen expanse, a soft pink mountain rises from the earth. Figures bend in prayer in or near pools of water and a heartbeat forests fill the frame. This is our world through the eyes of Dutch photographer Anouk van Kalmthout, whose breathtaking technicolor fantasies pulse with a surreal wonder, rooted in the splendor of our planet's naturally varied geographic forms. We spoke to her from her warm, plant-filled home on the outskirts of Amsterdam, where her daily relationship to the natural world is evidenced in some of its simplest and truest forms: electricity from the sun, warmth from the wood-burning stove, and an abundance of fruits and veggies from the garden. She took a moment to share her thoughts on how her connection to Nature informs her creative process and overall sense of well-being, and also shared images of her home, some self-portraits, and the stunning personal work that she creates with friends. Self Portrait by Anouk van Kalmthout Where did you grow up? What was your childhood like? I was pretty shy as a kid, so I remember feeling anxious a lot, but when I was out in nature I could relax, observe and fantasize about the world around me. Even though nature didn’t play an important role in my family life, I was always attracted to it. I still feel at home amongst the trees. They make me calm and provide me with clarity. Anouk's Home Garden in the Netherlands, courtesy of Anouk van Kalmthout Where do you live now? How would you describe your daily life? A year and a half ago, I moved into a tiny house with a garden in an allotment garden park on the outskirts of Amsterdam. I’ve rebuilt the place in a sustainable way and am currently exploring a thriving edible garden. Next to growing a variety of veggies and herbs, I hope to plant fruit trees and make the whole garden into a living oasis for abundant ecosystem and nurturing myself with foods. Going along with abundant flowers for bees and butterflies. I don’t use poison and try to design my garden only with natural materials. I build my own wooden structures. My electricity comes from the sun and I have a wood-burning stove for winter times. Most of my furniture I’ve found on the streets, the rest I’ve bought secondhand. All the paint I use comes from chalk, clay or linseed oil. Inside Anouk's home, courtesy of Anouk Van Kalmthout Moving into this place made me realize how hard I was working all these years and how I was ignoring physical and emotional signs of my body. I lacked deep inspiration in my art already for a while at that point, I was scared I had lost my mojo. Feeling more connected to a natural living has made me aware I should always only choose the things that are good for me. I took a lot of time off last year, which sometimes was pretty difficult because I lacked focus and direction in life, but it has healed me tremendously in the end. I am finally feeling inspired to create art again. I am still working less, cause arranging empty blocks and days in my schedule allows me to live more spontaneously. What are some your self-care rituals? I have made a little crystal altar where I do daily rituals. Depending on the day it can be journaling, setting intentions, meditation, yoga or moon rituals. I got pretty addicted to essential oils as well and use them for a variety of things, supporting my emotional and physical wellbeing. They contain the essential healing powers of medicine plants, modern medicine is actually based on these powers. I like mixing them with my water, putting them in my food, on my skin, on my pillow before sleeping or creating perfumes with them. Sometimes I make healing blends as a gift for friends and family if they struggle with disease or mental discomfort. Our skin is our largest organ, so I find it important to know what I put onto my body and knowing where it comes from. I create lots of the products I use myself, which is so much fun to experiment with, and much easier than most people would think. Comet of Salt and Metanoia (2020), both by Anouk van Kalmthout How would you describe your relationship to the natural world? Sometimes, when I sit in my garden house and watch the sunlight on the shimmering leaves in the big trees above me, I can feel the strength of nature pouring through every fiber of my being. It’s like a wave of energy and tropical plants and birds and a cacophony of sounds. It feels so important, especially because of these times we’re facing. The natural world holds such mystery and aliveness. Feeling connected to it can take me to a different place, beyond earthly things. From Earth, Anouk van Kalmthout How does nature inform your creative process?  I feel like we perceive our surroundings mostly in a way that is not necessarily the truth. There are so many more layers that go beyond human sensory interpretation. For instance, we are actually not that different from a tree, but we just speak a different language. Most people see trees as a dead object that we can use to produce materials for society. But trees actually have a heartbeat, and they are extremely social. They have a gigantic network underneath the ground where they communicate with each other, providing others with food and nourishment or release warning signs if a threatening insect is biting their leaves. They are pretty magical creatures. Ever since I’ve found out about this, I’ve looked at my surroundings with a whole different view. If we could see beyond the visible spectrum of the eye, we could notice everything around us is so alive and surreal. I try to put that in my work as well. "I can feel the strength of nature pouring through every fiber of my being." On the Edge of Heaven, Anouk van Kalmthout My work has a romantic and bright surreal feel but it also carries some unpredictable darkness. I see it in nature as well, where shadow and light are weaved evenly into existence and need each other to thrive. There’s no shame in shadow in the natural world, whereas we as humans often have a repulsive relationship with it. Meanwhile, if we can integrate this primal black energy, it also holds our biggest strength. My next project ‘Metanoia’ (2020) will be about my personal transformation from last year. First diving deep, later feeling connected to myself and my surroundings more than ever before. You describe your work as an exploration of "the Earth's intelligence." What does that phrase mean to you?  We are such a big part of nature ourselves, though often we assume we can control her. While nature does not need us to thrive, we do need her to survive. We are facing challenging times and things are going to be scary, but I believe in the collaborative connection and the restorative power of mother Earth. If mankind would go extinct, this planet would only need 30 years to fully recover. How amazing is that? She functions with effortless ease, with an intelligence that is beyond logic and reason. It is the same genius that lives in all of us. I find that very inspiring and hopeful. The Last Summer of Reason, Anouk van Kalmthout Your personal projects all share some similar qualities, but each one tells a slightly different story. Can you talk about what went into creating these images?  When I create photos for my personal work, it’s usually during holidays with friends. Working with friends makes it easy for me to wander around and create on the spot. I do have some ideas beforehand so I bring some props, but I don’t plan out too much. We improvise on location most of the time. I react on existing light and surroundings and choose organic scenes that already have some surreal elements in them. The most work comes afterwards. I experiment a lot by using manipulation, which is fun, but takes up a lot of time. I usually remove or add elements, emphasizing atmosphere and play around with colors to create something otherworldly with a spark of magic.  On the Edge of Heaven, Anouk van Kalmthout  
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/haoma-radio-1 Haoma Radio Suzanne Ciani https://cdn.accentuate.io/384335020106/10756843601994/SILENCE_Light_IMG_2235_HERO-v1580487550924.jpg?1050x700 Photograph by Maximilian Ho for SILENCE at Descanso. BODY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/body-cream DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream NIGHT CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/night-cream The HAOMA Radio is a growing feeling curated by Mark "Frosty" McNeill – hand-selected sounds that tap into the inner-verse in an effort to nurture growth, peace, and general good vibes among humans and plants alike. Tune in Suzanne Ciani has crafted some of the most iconic tones to have graced our universe. An early proponent of the Buchla Synthesizer, Ciani helped bring the instrument's distinct characteristics to widespread ears and her sound design output seeped into the world's subconscious through commercial jingles, pinball machines, and corporate audio logos through the 80s and 90s. Ciani's most beloved work though, comes in the form of her lushly contoured albums which have garnered five Grammy Nominations in the Best New Age category. Now more than ever, Suzanne Ciani makes music on her own terms and from her seaside home in Northern California she continues to compose works that transcend circuitry to elevate the soul. WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF A PLANT? I used to sit in a huge tree across the street from my house and put my arms around a big branch, sit quietly and listen to its life pulse for a timeless expanse. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU HAVE EVER LEARNED FROM A PLANT? Patience. WHAT IS THE LONGEST RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE EVER HAD WITH A PLANT? My husband and I planted a tree together as part of our divorce therapy. That was 19 years ago and the tree is now a towering redwood and measures our ongoing friendship!   Listen to HAOMA RADIO now  
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/when-a-tree-falls When A Tree Falls Dan Anderson's Contemplative Communion with Nature https://cdn.accentuate.io/383831670858/10756843601994/IMG_9662-v1579820000262.jpg?1050x700 Written and photographed by Dustin Beatty CLEANSING BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/cleansing-balm LIP BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/lip-balm TEMPLE BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/temple-balm When you look at a tree, it’s hard to imagine it as anything other than a majestic display of evolutionary beauty. Its branches stretch towards the heavens, soaking in the sunlight from above and converting it to energy which, combined with water and nutrients, travels through the soil below, vibrating in a slow growth that is invisible to the naked eye but evidenced in its rings as the tree comes of age. When that same tree falls, weather – and a host of organisms – will return its trunk to the soil in a delicate dance that perpetuates the cycle of rebirth and makes room for new life of all kinds. But sometimes, this period of decomposition is interrupted by human intervention, and the tree is given a new life of a certain kind: an heirloom piece carved by the artist Dan Anderson.    Wood objects as relics are central to Anderson’s practice. Still, it’s hard to imagine that first cut as a thing of beauty while he rips through a one hundred pound stump gripping a grunting chainsaw, wood chips gathering at his feet like the first dusting of snow. Like a sculptor begins with a nondescript lump of clay or marble, this is the first step in “identifying the essence in the material,” he modestly puts it.  "Sometimes it’s a spiritual exchange working with a material that is life" “Sometimes it’s a spiritual exchange working with a material that is life,” he explains further. Wood has its own form of aggregate evidenced in the patterns of its rings and knots as it grows out from the center responding uniquely to a host of environmental factors. “Those happen independent of the shape you put on it. There’s a kind of feedback that happens between me as a human and this natural form.”   Once a stump is roughly cut, it’s lifted onto a lathe where it spins and starts to take form only by human instruments. Anderson uses a range of gouges and chisels that dig deep to create sharp edges on some pieces while others are more finessed into round, billowing feminine angles. When asked about his process, Anderson explains,“the lathe is like a potter's wheel. I can esoterically record my feelings and thoughts into those objects. I think about that as transmissions of energy.”  "I can esoterically record my feelings and thoughts into those objects" Each finished piece is then loaded into a solar kiln where the desert heat bakes away any moisture and relocates any critters still living within the wood. Auto body-grade sandpaper is used to polish each one that is further accentuated by applying oil and sometimes honed to a mirror-like finish.  Though they both serve different functions, his tall totems and shorter sculptural furniture all go through a similar process, often landing in the pages of high-end design magazines, exquisite gallery settings and elite hospitality locations. Each piece inspires an internal dialog and a curiosity for context. "When I first started, I was most interested in thinking about ruins and I created a narrative in my mind about stumbling into an alien landscape like Stonehenge. I like the idea of making primitive work but not referencing that work as I understood it. It’s more about imagining it in a fictitious historical or future place," he adds.  Anderson’s history of making things dates back to his youth growing up in the woods of Eastern Washington where he recalls memories of his father building his childhood home with his own hands. Later in life, art school informed a few ideas that were further manifested as full-scale installations when he was afforded the ability to experiment at his Portland-based design studio, Von Tundra.  Through that experimentation—and the odd job detours that are as often compulsory stops on the long road to becoming a successful artist—Anderson freed himself from the economic constraints of city life by relocating to the high desert enclave of Joshua Tree, CA. He quickly found his footing working in the studios of Alma Allen and Andrea Zittel, two artists internationally lauded for their exploration of form, function and how objects relate to space.  Anderson’s time with both Allen and Zittel further inspired a marriage between practice and environment, leading to a flow state that blurred the line between everyday life and art. Often, 4x4 trips across the desert not only lead to finding source material but also served as an archeological practice that brought the outside in.  "There might be some timeless wisdom in plants that has been lost but can be found, nurtured and maintained" As you look around his desert home and adjacent studio, it’s fairly easy to gather that Anderson is living his art. His symbiotic practice is intended to be reciprocal much like our communion with nature and the more we learn about unlocking its secrets. After all, “there might be some timeless wisdom in plants that has been lost but can be found, nurtured and maintained,” he suggests. Ultimately, we’re all still learning what that looks like and turning to artists like Anderson to bring us closer to that discovery.   See more of Dan's work:  danjohnanderson.com
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/plant-spotlight Blossom of the Winter Sun Plant Spotlight: Calendula https://cdn.accentuate.io/383705677898/10756843601994/JLY_HAOMA-7303541-v1579803198170.jpg?1050x700 By Brennan Courtney Photographs by Jackie Lee Young BODY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/body-cream CLEANSING BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/cleansing-balm DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream HAOMA Resident Herbalist Brennan Courtney is a teacher specializing in interactive plant identification, ethical foraging, and land management  – as well as medicine making preparations, single plant study, anatomy and physiology, botany, and ethical practices for handling plants. Here, she walks us through one of the key ingredients in HAOMA’s Spiritus Vitae blend. Affectionately known as the Blossom of Winter Sun, Calendula is a powerful ally for fortifying the body and spirit during the cold, damp winter months. The vibrant golds and oranges offer an opportunity for a sunny disposition, even in the darkest hours.  Its rich colors align with the sacral chakra and solar plexus, igniting creativity and a strong sense of purpose and direction. In astrology, this Mediterranean annual is ruled by the sun.  It gently warms and clears away impurities in our physical and emotional bodies, offering resilience and hope. It is also an herb of protection and magic, known for clearing energetic stagnation and inspiring opportunity for luck and wealth. It is also believed to ward off negative spirits when hung in doorways or grown near the entrance of your home. When it comes to skincare, Calendula is a terrific ally in more ways than one. The phytochemistry of this powerful yet gentle plant is a combination of beneficial triterpenes, polysaccharides, saponins, flavonoids and carotenoids. Used over time, it softens and smoothes the surface of the skin by metabolizing dead skin cells and encouraging new skin cell growth. It is a gentle anti-inflammatory that assists with skin irritation, itching, redness, burns, scars and so much more.  When taken internally as a tea or steeped in vinegar, Calendula heals the digestive lining, improving the complexion in a holistic way by enhancing nutrient absorption. Used in this way, it can also help with cystic acne and breakouts related to food intolerances and lymphatic congestion. The secret to the health and vitality of any system of the body, especially the skin, is always multi-faceted.  By supporting the lymph system, liver and digestion, lasting results can be seen in the appearance of the skin. Calendula assists with all of these processes and is a true ally for holistic skin health. 3 simple ways to incorporate calendula's benefits into your daily routine: Calendula Cream As an active in our Spiritus Vitae blend, this powerful ally is present in all of HAOMA’s skincare offerings. From our Cleansing Balm to our Body Cream, Calendula’s beneficial action builds over time, brightening the complexion and leaving skin feeling soft and supple. Calendula Tea A cup of Calendula tea taken before or after a meal improves digestion, is gently detoxifying and warming. Taken regularly, Calendula fortifies the immune system and stimulates the lymphatic system. Calendula Oil This is a really simple way to experience the topical benefits of Calendula. This oil can be used as an all over moisturizer from head to toe to brighten complexion, soften and soothe. A more concentrated infusion can be helpful for burns and bug bites for more of a first aid application.  It can also be used with castor oil to minimize the appearance of scars through therapeutic scar massage. Massaging oil into the skin from head to toe also resets the nervous system and can be a very calming practice at the end of the day after bathing.
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/nahnni-reforestation Raised in the Woods Growing up in the Reforestation Movement https://cdn.accentuate.io/383681167434/10756843601994/85520004-v1579207886609.jpg?1050x685 by Rebecca Bengal Featuring photos by Daniel James CLEANSING BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/cleansing-balm FACE SERUM https://haomaearth.com/products/face-serum BODY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/body-cream For the first years of Nahanni Arntzen’s life, she was raised in the woods. Her young parents were part of a crew of tree planters who lived in camps in the remote Kingcome Inlet region of British Columbia, north of Vancouver Island and accessible only by boat or float plane. In the late 1970s, they and fellow workers would arrive by barge every February to set up communal camps, weathering the elements for eight months at a time and planting 1.5 million trees every spring. They weathered the elements for eight months at a time, planting 1.5 million trees every spring. Born inside a teepee within a First Nations community, Arntzen was very nearly named after her father’s beloved Dodge truck. (Instead, she was named after the Nahanni River in the Northwest territories.)  When her mother returned to camp a few days after her birth, Arntzen’s crib was a treebox.  Now the designer behind the Portland, Oregon-based label and shop that bears her own name, Arntzen has worked as an actress, a boat building apprentice, and a furniture maker. She’s also a documentarian with various film and book projects in the works. Several years ago, the first of these projects was the photobook Nahanni Reforestation, inspired by a brief move to Utah, where Arntzen sought to reconcile the new and unfamiliar landscape with her own memories of growing up in the middle of a remote and dense forest. She wanted to show her young daughter pictures of her own childhood—“not a very traditional living situation,” according to Arntzen, even after the tree planting years, and definitely one without family photo albums hanging around the house. So she reached out to her father, Daniel James, who retrieved a collection of Kodachrome slides stored for years in his basement—pictures his daughter had never seen—a record of her own childhood, and a rare, beautifully rendered, comprehensive archive of a vital and little-known period of ecological history. A rare, beautifully rendered archive of a vital and little-known period of ecological history “Here was the visual proof of all these things that had become part of my memory system,” Arntzen says from Portland, where she lives now. “All my recollections of the place are through the filter of being ‘the kid at camp’—hanging around the dogs and cooks at the camp kitchen shacks when everyone headed off to work all day, sleeping in tents during rainstorms, playing around the logging roads outside in my own little worlds. But the photos also showed a larger story.” In the 1970s, Canada’s silvicultural industry was in the midst of a notable shift:  Loggers left behind vast swaths of barren earth, and soon independent growers began taking on extensive tree-planting contracts to promote regeneration and create sustainable forests in remote clear-cut lands. It was work that appealed to Arntzen’s father, fresh from a Kerouac-inspired hitchhiking trip across Canada and eager to keep living off the grid. “My mom was 19, my dad was 20 and already running his own crews, doing prep for this huge amount of time in the wilderness,” Arntzen says. “It’s pretty incredible to me now what they did.” Loggers left behind vast swaths of barren earth People from the tree-planting days still recall her father’s camera slung around his neck, but few of them remember him actually taking any pictures. Sneakily candid, Arntzen favored verité-style pictures of camp life: dirty, happy planters piling into trucks, the campfire guitar sessions after a long day’s work, the sheer feeling of knowing you were standing in the midst of an isolated place that very few people would ever get to see. He chose Kodachrome as his medium, so that he could mount slideshows at the wrap parties held at the end of each planting season before the workers all left camp. The photographs, eventually collected in the book Nahanni Reforestation, and on an Instagram account of the same name, are vivid and near-idyllic, despite the hardships they also document. Crews lived in primitive camps through heavy spring rains, snows, and all kinds of weather. “They relied on the shittiest vehicles for all this work,” Arntzen says—in Nahanni Reforestation, her father’s handwritten journal pages and essays detail flat tires and other mishaps. “They called the trucks they drove”—including the one she was almost named for—“‘crummies.’” Once, she was so jealous she begged to tag along with the crew on a day of work.  I’d tell my parents, ‘You guys all come back all filthy and dirty and I wanna go out with you!’” The excitement faded after a few hours in the field, but long hours wandering on her own instilled a lifelong attachment to the woods. “To this day my brain really doesn’t function properly unless I’m outside” “To this day my brain really doesn’t function properly unless I’m outside,” Arntzen says. “I just knew I had to create whatever I wanted to have fun. I didn’t have a lot of constraints on me about what I believed was possible. So I never get bored. And I’m not afraid of being alone.” Daniel James' last tree-planting contract wrapped in 1986, but tree planting contracts still exist in Canada today. In her late teens, Arntzen gave it a shot herself, joining a crew managed by an uncle and a cousin for a season. “I learned exactly how hard it is,” she says.   At the time, workers were paid about ten cents per tree planted. On her first day, Arntzen struggled to plant 75 trees—the equivalent of about $7.50. Camp costs were about $20 a day; at this rate, she calculated, she’d owe hundreds of dollars by the time the season was over. But she stuck it out, working up to a thousand trees a day. “It’s a quick thing to get you in shape,” she says. “You make friends with everyone you work with and you don’t spend money. And you’re a part of something.” In Vancouver, several of the tree planters from her parents’ days share a neighborhood and a history—seeds for another of Arntzen’s future documentary projects. “They’ve got these amazing photo archives and journals too, of this magical time that influenced the rest of their lives,” she says. As countries from Ethiopia to Ireland launch major tree-planting initiatives and the United Nations is promoting tree planting as a way to mitigate urban heat island effects and slow the effects of our climate emergency, reforestation has a renewed urgency. But planting trees the way Arntzen’s family and friends did inspires something greater – and harder to come by. “When I look at my dad’s pictures, they’re about this necessary happiness that we sometimes lose sight of—the communal experience, the romantic aspect. This idea of community and communication becomes more important as people grow more distant from each other,” Arntzen says. “It’s something that, deep down, I think we all want to get back to.” Pick up a copy of Nahanni Reforestation here.     It is time to plant trees!  Every HAOMA product sold plants one tree  Learn more about our Reforestation Initiative.
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/haoma-radio HAOMA RADIO Carlos Niño https://cdn.accentuate.io/383535153226/10756843601994/Carlos-Nin%CC%83o-by-Samantha-Lee_1050w-v1576269666619.jpg?1050x1050 photo by Sam Lee TEMPLE BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/temple-balm LIP BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/lip-balm TOTE BAG https://haomaearth.com/products/tote-bag The HAOMA Radio is a growing feeling curated by Mark "Frosty" McNeill – hand-selected sounds that tap into the inner-verse in an effort to nurture growth, peace, and general good vibes among humans and plants alike. Tune in This month, we sat down with legendary Carlos Niño, whose soaring, meditative piece "NewOcean (Duet)" graces December's Radio flow. Carlos' work spans genres, mediums, and the globe, but the common thread is always spreading a message of love. His new record, Bliss On Dear Oneness is out now on Leaving Records. We are so grateful to have him be a part of the Haoma universe! WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF A PLANT? My earliest plant memories are of growing up in a home full of plants that my mom Carla had. They were hanging everywhere in her elaborate and beautiful macrame worlds. My mom was a master of macrame. WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU HAVE EVER LEARNED FROM A PLANT?  Plants have shared many things with me. I'm so enthusiastically appreciative of them all! They taught me to be as uniquely myself as I can. WHAT IS THE KINDEST THING A PLANT HAS EVER DONE FOR YOU?  The kindest thing plants have ever done for me is to gently and magnificently inspire me into greater realizations of my Spiritual Consciousness. WHAT'S THE LAST PLANT YOU ATE? The last plant that I ate was yummy massaged kale leaves. "Thank you very much for merging with me," I thought and said.   WHAT'S THE LONGEST RELATIONSHIP YOU'VE EVER HAD WITH A PLANT? I have eternal relationships with some of my plant friends!  Listen to HAOMA RADIO now  
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/walking-in-two-worlds Walking in Two Worlds with Black Belt Eagle Scout https://cdn.accentuate.io/383490359370/10756843601994/BBES-Journal-Body-05-v1576086142225.jpg?4376x2474 by Sam Hockley-Smith DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream TOTE BAG https://haomaearth.com/products/tote-bag TEMPLE BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/temple-balm “I grew up in a very magical place,” says Katherine Paul, the artist who records under the name Black Belt Eagle Scout. “I grew up where my people have lived since time immemorial.”  Raised on the Swinomish Reservation located on the eastern side of Fidalgo Island in what is now known as Washington State, Paul talks about the landscape of her youth as an interlocking ecosystem of cedar trees close to the Pacific Ocean. But it’s the simple statement that she uses to describe where she’s from that both gets at her own past and the ancient history of the land around her: “It feels like home because it is,” she says. Video stills from "Indians Never Die" directed by Evan James Atwood Paul’s emotional connection to the earth is strikingly captured in the video for her 2018 single “Indians Never Die.” Roaming the ancestral lands of Chinook, Chinnuk Wawa, and Tillamook tribes, she taps out a rhythm in time with a wood block – on a rock, on a tree, on the tip of a stick. “It just made me feel connected to where we were,” she says of the mesmerizing visual thread. “It made me feel like I was present with what was going on. We just let nature guide us, I guess.” "We just let nature guide us, I guess.” It’s a breathtaking video for multiple reasons: Paul’s voice is a wisp — quiet but not remotely fragile. It’s the kind of voice that makes you stop what you’re doing to reckon with your surroundings and the world at large. It’s also breathtaking because of the work of her close friend, the queer Diné artist Evan James Benally Atwood, who directed the video.  Atwood has a clear reverence for the land on which they filmed, an understanding of the power of nature, and an eye for capturing the wild beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  “Indians Never Die” comes from Paul’s debut album Mother of My Children, a raw record that is not only about the well-worn musical tropes of love and loss, but also what it means to be an indigenous person in the United States of America.  When Paul left the reservation for college in Portland, Oregon, the transition wasn’t easy. “I had a really hard time in school. It was weird to be one of very few people of color in my classroom and one of the few people who are on financial aid and scholarships,” she says. “I was beginning to realize...holy shit, where am I? Why am I here? It was that total imposter syndrome of, like, I don’t deserve to be here. I was struggling, and then it hit me that it was because I had moved away from where I come from. I no longer have that direct connection to my roots. I couldn’t just step outside my door and be surrounded...be part of the community I was from.” Childhood photos courtesy of Katherine Paul Though she’s always been deeply in touch with her heritage, it took leaving the reservation for Paul to understand her connection to her land. “I started realizing how much I missed home and how much I missed being surrounded by people like me. How much I missed being Native American, essentially,” she says. “I was walking in a different path.”  “I was walking in a different path.”   “Native people have this phrase that’s called ‘walking in two worlds,’ where you’re walking in your indigenous world that’s with your family, and you’re walking in the white world,” she explains. “I feel like there are some problems with that statement, but for the most part I can understand why people think that way. It’s because you are immersed within this culture that not a lot of people know about. Every tribe has their own way of doing things. Every tribe is different from one another. We have our own customs, we have our own traditions and no one except [the] people in the tribe and those who are invited to witness know about that stuff.” Whether she’s exploring the parameters of the emotions that come from losing an important person in your life, or processing what it means to grow up indigenous on colonized land, all of Paul’s work as Black Belt Eagle Scout is imbued with a strong sense of place — her home and history on Mother of my Children, and her newfound community of friends on the follow up, At the Party with my Brown Friends.  ... a sonic world of unending vistas, treacherous terrain, and a frayed, wild understanding of self. Through it all, the music is ragged but beautiful, intimate but impossibly expansive – a sonic world of unending vistas, treacherous terrain, and a frayed, wild understanding of self. It is an encapsulation of Washington State both as it is now and as it once was, long before colonizers gave it that name.   
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/a-world-she-s-grown A World She's Grown Celebrating the Radical, Transformative Work of Agnes Denes https://cdn.accentuate.io/383488884810/10756843601994/One_AD_Absolutes_Intermediates_2019-v1575586558800.jpg?1050x708 Agnes Denes, Wheatfield—A Confrontation. Two acres of wheat planted and harvested by the artist on the Battery Park landfill, Manhattan, Summer 1982. Commissioned by Public Art Fund. Courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects. Photo: John McGrall. by Rebecca Bengal DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream BODY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/body-cream TOTE BAG https://haomaearth.com/products/tote-bag Agnes Denes, 2018. Photo: Jeremy Liebman. Courtesy The Shed. When you talk about Agnes Denes’ public works, it feels necessary to reclaim the now-overused word “visionary”  ... and restore it to an artist who truly embodies its meaning. Denes, the 88-year-old pioneer of Land Art, has long devoted herself to art in conversation with the earth in radical, transformative, and future-thinking ways –– as evidenced in the long-overdue retrospective Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates, on view at NYC's The Shed through March 22, 2020.   Installation View: Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates, The Shed, New York, October 9, 2019 - March 22, 2020. Photo: Dan Bradica. Courtesy The Shed. Born in Budapest, Denes was raised in Sweden and educated in the United States; she has lived and worked in New York City for 60 years, where she was also one of the feminist founders of the longtime artist-run organization A.I.R. She is perhaps best known for her 1983 project “Wheatfield,” in which she turned two acres of lower Manhattan into a golden harvest, growing tall brilliant grasses and chaff in the shadow of the World Trade Center. That project harkened back directly to “Rice/Tree/Burial,” one of her earliest large-scale works which debuted in Sullivan County, New York in 1968.  Denes later expanded on the piece – which involved a large-scale rice planting, chaining of trees in a sacred forest and the burial of a time capsule – by camping for seven days on a crumbling ledge near Niagara Falls in 1977. “Wheatfield” also prefigured some of her more recent environmental commissions, such as “Model for a Forest for New York,” in which Denes envisions a future for an island landfill near Queens, as a last respite from the city’s condos and shopping malls.   On view until March 2020, the retrospective at The Shed reveals the diverse scope of Denes’ artistic trajectory, including her post–Hurricane Sandy models of “mega-dunes” to fortify New York against future storms, her “philosophical drawings” and pyramid sculptures, and the hologram film she made to depict plant growth process – which was, in 1980, the first 360-degree integral hologram ever created. Some of the sprawling exhibit’s true standouts, though, are the documentation of some of the artist’s best-known public works, artistic constructs with long-term ecological implications.  Rice/Tree/Burial. Artpark, Lewiston, new York, 1977-79. Gelatin silver prints courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects. Agnes Denes, Model for A Forest for New York, 2019. Plywood, MDF, foam, natural branches, paint, sand, plastic. 54 1⁄4 x 42 1⁄8 x 7 inches. Photo: Stan Narten. Commissioned by The Shed; courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects. Wheatfield–A Confrontation The full name of Denes’ most famous project underscores the tension at the heart of the artist’s relationship to her adopted city, “the richest, most professional, most congested, and without a doubt, most fascinating island in the world,” she wrote. For “Wheatfield—A Confrontation,” which she began in May 1982 as a commission by the Public Art Fund, Denes chose a symbolic location at the foot of the World Trade Center just a block’s distance from Wall Street and looking out onto the Statue of Liberty in the harbor.  Agnes Denes, Wheatfield—A Confrontation. Two acres of wheat planted and harvested by the artist on the Battery Park landfill, Manhattan, Summer 1982. Commissioned by Public Art Fund. Courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects. “It was insane. It was impossible.”  "It was insane, It was impossible," Denes writes. But, by and by, her call for humans to rethink their priorities and their relationship to nature started to take visual shape. Videotape and film documentation of the project unspool the story of a farmer’s harvest: dumping dirt and topsoil onto flattened landfill, creating an irrigation system, the planting and the tractors. Surviving an unusually rainy season, months of city pollution, and the winter’s first snows, Denes’ crop weathered the elements, eventually yielding 1,000 pounds of healthy wheat, planted at installations around the world  – the hay was given to NYPD horses, and the seeds, she writes “were carried away by the people.”  Agnes Denes, Wheatfield—A Confrontation. Two acres of wheat planted and harvested by the artist on the Battery Park landfill, Manhattan, Summer 1982. Commissioned by Public Art Fund. Courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects. Photo: John McGrall. She lies down in the tall grasses, looking ecstatic.    It was both a political and an artistic statement. An extended interview with Jane Pauley on “Today,” playing on loop in the gallery, makes clear just how impactful this large-scale re-introduction of plant life was in New York City, how it allowed this normally saturated corner of Manhattan to briefly breathe and grow. Films and photographs of Denes roaming through the whipping fields of wheat record the artist’s sheer glory in communing with a world she’s grown—she lies down in the tall grasses, looking ecstatic.  To anyone walking the real estate-clogged streets of present-day Battery Park City, the thought of Denes’ urban heartland is a balm—the amber waves of grain in full view of the Statue of Liberty. Peel away the layers of billboards and high-rises and pavement, and it is possible to imagine the prairie as she did, a place that echoed the farms, and before that, the land of the Lenape Indians who were its first human inhabitants.  Tree Mountain In 1983, decades before the phrase “climate crisis” entered the lexicon, and before reforestation was as widely promoted as a strategy of reversing human impact of the environment, Denes conceived of her massive, longitudinal project “Tree Mountain—A Living Time Capsule—11,000 Trees, 11,000 People, 400 years.” A work of art with ecological and global implications, “Tree Mountain” was officially dedicated in Finland in June 1996, and Denes intended it as an elliptical structure whose shape and size could be adapted to other landscapes. Her designs depict spiraling rows of trees, a virgin forest planted on what once was a gravel pit, land that would slowly be reclaimed and returned to nature, restoring oxygen to the air and making a home for wildlife.     Tree Mountain – A Living Time Capsule—11,000 Trees, 11,000 People, 400 Years (Triptych), 1992—96, 1992/2013. Chromogenic print, 36 × 36" (overall). Courtesy the artist and Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects.   Denes insisted that the project remain undisturbed; she views “Tree Mountain” as “a living time capsule.” The trees, she writes in an essay accompanying the retrospective, “live on through the centuries—stable and majestic, outliving their owners of custodians who created the patterns and philosophy, but not the tree.” Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates is on view at The Shed, 545 W 30th Street in NYC through March 22, 2020. 
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/listen-to-music-outside-in-the-daylight-under-a-tree Under This Tree An Exercise in Community Building https://cdn.accentuate.io/383490326602/10756843601994/L1040043_02-v1576014664779.jpg?1050x1086 Image by Sam Lee an audio piece by Mark "Frosty" McNeill https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0260/0452/1034/files/matthewdavid_interviewed_by_frosty_for_haoma_2019-FINAL-smaller_file.mp3?4348 TEMPLE BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/temple-balm LIP BALM https://haomaearth.com/products/lip-balm DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream The Tierra de la Culebra is an earthy little pocket park in Los Angeles’ Highland Park neighborhood. If you are lucky enough to pop by the park on the right Saturday afternoon, you’re likely to find the terraced, leafy oasis filled with a diverse array of deep listeners. Giggling children hanging in branches, young couples embracing on patterned blankets, and intent heads swaying on bodies nestled in the curves of a mosaicked serpent. They're all tuning into the energetic center of the park, which is a large tree. Under this tree, there's someone  – either a world-famous musician or an emerging bedroom producer – emanating some natural, sonic wavelengths from beneath the latticework of branches. You've stumbled onto "Listen to Music Outside in the Daylight Under a Tree," a bi-monthly, free event hosted by Leaving Records founder Matthew David McQueen, also known as Matthewdavid. As opposed to a recorded music exchange, "Listen to Music Outside in the Daylight Under a Tree" is an opportunity for curious humans to commune with each other and their environment. It’s an exercise in community-building and a celebration of our connection to nature. It brings people together as it sketches the outer edges of sound. Step through the Haoma portal with Frosty as he visits Matthewdavid in the park to talk about listening to music – outside, in the daylight, under a tree. Images by Sam Lee       
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/haoma-radio-ami-dang HAOMA RADIO AMI DANG https://cdn.accentuate.io/383317311562/10756843601994/25MB_Ami_Dang_official_press_pic_2019_credit_Missy_Malouff-v1573672006997.jpg?6774x4492 photo by Missy Malouf DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream EYE CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/eye-cream NIGHT CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/night-cream The HAOMA Radio is a growing feeling curated by Mark "Frosty" McNeill – hand-selected sounds that tap into the inner-verse in an effort to nurture growth, peace, and general good vibes among humans and plants alike. Tune in photo by Jacob Marley We sat down with the Baltimore-based Ami Dang, whose meditative "Raiments" kicks off the musical flow of HAOMA Radio. Her psychedelic take on the traditional sitar raga creates an otherworldly vibe that is at once calming and stimulating, intellectual and emotional, minimal and layered. Growing up in a Sikh-American household, Ami's childhood soundtrack was a blend of sacred sounds, 80's Bollywood, and early 90's techno-pop, the amalgamation of which has rendered some of the most interesting ambient music being made today.  WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST MEMORY OF A PLANT? My earliest memories of plants involve my maternal grandmother, who lived with my family for most of my childhood. She used to pinch snapdragons to make them move, and say that they were like yappy little dogs, "bow, bow."  We also had a small apple tree in the backyard, and she would make an Indian pickle with the small, sour apples. I wish I had her green thumb! Maybe it's not too late? WHERE DO YOU GO TO FEEL CLOSE TO NATURE? When I'm home in Baltimore, I enjoy going to Lake Roland or Loch Raven Reservoir for short hikes. Over the past year, I built in a lot of time in my touring schedule to visit many national parks and forests. It was an amazing experience!! My partner and I visited Joshua Tree National Park, Mojave National Preserve, Wenhatchee National Forest, Rocky Mountain National Park, just to name a few! I played sitar in some of these spots. It was pretty amazing to play in a public place but still feel totally isolated and get in the zone.  WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU EVER LEARNED FROM A PLANT? You need love to thrive.  Listen to HAOMA RADIO now  
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/some-plant-stuff-man Some Plant Stuff, Man Tending the Global Garden with Milford Graves https://cdn.accentuate.io/33038434378/10756843601994/MILFORD-GRAVES_ShawnHanna-0889-v1570210777235.jpg?1050x700 By Rebecca Bengal Photographs by Shawn Hanna NIGHT CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/night-cream DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream EYE CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/eye-cream Milford Graves is a man of many talents. Best known as the legendary experimental jazz musician who created landmark recordings and performances with the likes of Sonny Sharrock, Sun Ra, and Pharaoh Sanders, he is also a visual artist, a practicing acupuncturist, and a longtime Bennington professor. He has been a musical collaborator with Butoh dancers in Japan, and he is the inventor and teacher of Yara, a style of martial arts that fuses elements of West African dance and warrior movement. He is an investigator of the human heart – in 2000, he won a Guggenheim grant which he used to study the connections between cardiac rhythms and music and healing. Milford Graves is also a gardener. He has been tending what he calls his “global garden” since 1970, the year took over his paternal grandmother’s house in Jamaica, Queens. Before you step into the garden itself, you’ll see the home Graves shares with his wife: a wooden structure like a fairy tale on an otherwise sleepy stretch of street, its walls covered in an intricate, colorful mosaic of rocks and tile. Lush greenery peeks above a fence that wraps around a side yard. Inside is a preponderance of flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Bright hibiscus and leggy lavender lure a flurry of bees. There is a path of stones Graves calls a river and other winding trails that cycle through a fence of bamboo and secret gardens tucked in hard-to-reach corners. And there is Graves, peacefully perched against the outer wall on a stool probably intended to hold a planter, dressed in an African print shirt and a vest, shades of sun and sand on a blazing July afternoon. His talk is charged and vigorous, a jazz riff. He’s surrounded by several of his students—most of them men in their fifties and sixties who have been working with him for years. They are sparring partners, learners, helpers, friends. “These guys are cool, and I want ‘em around because they’ll probably hear me say some things they’ve never heard me say before,” Graves says. Dappled sunlight falls on his face as he speaks. He moves little from his seat, but his talk is charged and vigorous, a jazz riff. A neighbor, Pastor Moses, who is another longtime friend, drops by. Another disciple, Peyton, a young saxophonist who met Graves at a performance at Brandeis, wanders in and settles among the plants, listening. They all call him the Professor. And when you hang with the Professor, you hang among the plants that have been healing Graves for most of his life. Fennel grows by tomatoes; flowering Vietnamese coriander rises up across the way from a leafy plant labeled simply as “miracle fruit”—the berry it will yield is said to make sour foods taste sweet. Graves is continually experimenting, adding new plants at whim and putting together others based on the way they arrange themselves. “You see certain plants all looking healthy all growing together, that means they have companionship, they like to be together,” Graves says. He might whip up a meal or an herbal remedy based intuitively on the synchronicity of neighboring plants.  One day, he says, he’d like to have a rainforest. One day, he says, he’d like to pass it on to his granddaughter, Tatiana, a college student and a budding performer. But he’s patient with the garden, letting it find its own pace. “It’s how we advance, through observation,” Graves says. Those who have seen the 2018 documentary Full Mantis should be familiar with this pattern of patient observation. The film got its name from Graves’ decision to base Yara in part on the actual movements of a praying mantis. “I went straight to the source,” he has said. “Back to nature.” This sums up his approach to most everything. “I went straight to the source. Back to nature.” Graves is 77; he grew up in housing projects just blocks from where he lives now. As a child, the pioneer of avant-garde jazz was a mid-century Boy Scout who made a tin-can telegraph system with his friends and was hooked on westerns. “I still look at my cowboy pictures!” Graves says.  He was equally transfixed by The Jungle Book and Tarzan films. “What was fascinating to me was the healing process that was taking place in those movies,” says Graves. “When someone was wounded, they didn’t have prescription bottles. They got some plant stuff, man. And I did the same thing with my friends. If someone fell and got hurt, I’d say ‘Go get a leaf and put it on that.’ I didn’t know what kind of leaf it was!” Sometime in his teenage years, as Graves puts it, he started taking the wrong kind of medicine. “We drank that cheap wine and we’d get drunk as hell, crawling up the stairs to our houses,” he recalls. “All these guys I knew, they got wiped out, man. Ruined their lives in their twenties.” When he was around eighteen, a doctor told Graves that if he kept on drinking, it would kill him too. Seized by severe pain and bleeding, Graves cut out the cheap wine. He stopped eating meat. “I started drinking raw cabbage juice, raw potato juice,” he says. “They weren’t any damn juices like there are now! I’d take raw potatoes and put ’em in a cheesecloth and squeeze that juice out. I read that in a book. I said to myself, let me get back into these herbs.” "I said to myself, let me get back into these herbs." “People saw me,” he says. “’What have you been doing man? You look totally different.’” The change coincided with a deeper pull towards music, but Graves credits it to the earth. “That’s when I said: Plants! The plants! The plants! I didn’t get into it cause someone said this is something you should do. It wasn’t no hip thing, man. It was necessity. It was illness. I became a vegetarian and I started hanging out, listening to the plants.”  In an essay, “Music Extensions of Infinite Dimensions,” Grave likens eating food to creating electrical energy, which ultimately feeds music too: It pumps the heart and that heartbeat sounds the drum.  Last winter, Graves' heartbeat began to sound differently. A doctor initially gave Graves six months to live, a prognosis that is difficult to fathom in his vital presence—he’s outlived their predictions and is working as hard as ever, with recent performances at Roulette, Gavin Brown Enterprises, and Jamaica Arts Center. “What does the hell does cardiovascular failure mean?” he says. “Or congestive heart failure. They say I have an enlarged heart.” The results, he says are frustratingly inconclusive.  “They never listen to your damn heart,” he says. “They don’t listen. All they do is imaging, man… They don’t wanna hear rhythmic and tone changes. I hear them. I listen to myself all the time. I got my own EKG. And you know what? I got more things to do on this planet. And all this, it’s causing me to go back to the root.” "I got more things to do on this planet." That root, of course, is the garden itself, and a concept Graves calls cosmic energy, supplied from plants. Recalling a much older friend who used to visit George Washington Carver, the environmentalist-minded, peanut-farming agricultural innovator who died in 1943,  Graves says: “He’d take ’em out to the woods and he’d go up to all the plants and say, ‘Good morning!’ Like, ‘Good morning, dandelion, how are you? Is there anything I should know?’ All this stuff now about albums of plant music, that’s not the real deal. You want to hear the music of the plants? You go out and look at the shape of this plant and that plant; you look at it microscopically, anatomically. You watch how it moves.”  His speech attains its own patter and rhythm as he bridges connections between sensation, expression, creation. “The music of that plant is gonna be how you interpret it. How you taste it. You got to taste it, you got to smell it and get into whatever that groove is man and take that and you’ll be completely liberated. Go to your instrument. Some plants you take it and smell and you say ‘oh man, wow.’ That’s how you get the music. You want to hear the music of the plants, you gotta live with them! You gotta hang out, man. Eat the plant, taste it.” “You want to hear the music of the plants, you gotta live with them!” Of course, Graves concurs, it’s not a bad thing to play music for plants. “If you like playing music to your plants, if you have certain ideas about your landscaping or putting this color and that color plant together, if that’s what’s helping you out, then do it!” he says. “But a plant’s still gonna do what a plant’s gonna do, and it’s up to you to listen to it. My research comes from the basic elements of the dadgum cosmos, that’s what’s helping me out.”
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/healing-through-hearing Healing Through Hearing With interactive ecologist Mileece https://cdn.accentuate.io/33032798282/10756843601994/mileece-hero-v1569763322354.jpg?1050x720 Portraits of Mileece by Megan T. Baker. All other visual content is courtesy of Mileece by Mark “Frosty” McNeill https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0260/0452/1034/files/mileece_haoma.mp3?232 DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream NIGHT CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/night-cream EYE CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/eye-cream Humans are healed through communion with nature.  We are in energetic exchange with the environment each time our skin touches soil, green leaves flash their brilliant greetings or we breathe in rich oxygen. Still, even with these constant reminders, settling into a productive symbiosis can be challenging when urban artifice keeps tugging for our attention.  When multiplied, disconnect creates risk-and every gaze away from nature is a step towards collapse. Luckily, Mileece is dedicated to helping us avoid systematic meltdown. The sonic artist, environmental designer, and renewable energy ambassador is creating opportunities to remind us of our innate relationship with the natural world.  She facilitates connections between people and plants through the development of purpose-built wilderness environments and by sonifying botanic biorhythms in interactive forms.  Want to hear how her immersive installations and plant-based serenades may swing us back into balance? Click on the audio player above to join Mark "Frosty" McNeill on a sonic journey through Mileece’s vine-entwined Los Angeles laboratory. “Every breath we take is the exhale of another species.” “As humans we’re intrinsically connected to nature.”
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/between-body-and-earth Between Body and Earth Ana Mendieta's journey home DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream NIGHT CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/night-cream EYE CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/eye-cream Hard coded article.  Do not change SEO handle without speaking to dev.
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/ode-to-an-earth-lover Ode to an Earth–Lover The groundbreaking work of Anne Brigman DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream NIGHT CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/night-cream EYE CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/eye-cream Hard coded article.  Do not change SEO handle without speaking to dev.
https://haomaearth.com/blogs/journal/journal/listening-to-the-language-of-the-flowers Listening to the Language of the Flowers with Veronica Ortuño DAY CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/day-cream NIGHT CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/night-cream EYE CREAM https://haomaearth.com/products/eye-cream Hard coded article.  Do not change SEO handle without speaking to dev.