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September 6, 2021 was the last time I published an episode of Salmonfolk Radio, my podcast that is a critical part of Salmonfolk. This was not the last episode of the podcast, but it was the last time I had the energy, space/creativity/mindset required to work on this. What happened after September 6th that has so delayed more episodes? I was a full time caregiver for my father then. In November of 2021 Dad moved into a retirement community. I was tasked with and sold the family house. I dealt with massive amounts of accumulated “stuff” my parents had in tow after 50 years of marriage. Also, I was still wrestling with my mother’s death in 2020. Before I was looking after Dad, I had been a full time live-in nurse for my mom as she died from cancer and dementia. Needless to say…I needed a break. I had been a full time caregiver for my parents for 2 years. The first 5 episodes of Salmonfolk Radio were my only creative output in all of that time. And honestly, I don’t even know how I had the energy to do that many.
By November 2021, I needed to have fun for a change. I needed recovery. Also…that’s an understatement! I desperately needed recovery time and space, and lots of fun. So that is what I did. I traveled the country starting in November 2021. I visited friends. My focus was on enjoyment, laughter, good times with good friends.
We all were just coming out of the pandemic. For most friends I was the first in house visitor that they had received in nearly 2 years. I had to relearn what normal felt like. Most of us did at that time. I eventually landed a job at the University of Vermont in Burlington VT. in Spring of 2022. I was teaching students how to become outdoor trip leaders. In my free time I could be found on the inland sea known as Lake Champlain. Crystal clear water with 20 feet of visibility. A former part of the Atlantic Ocean now marooned and freshwater. I did a lot of open water swimming and stand up paddle boarding. All the while I was aware of how there were landlocked salmon swimming in those waters. I then took a job that I had been dreaming of for about 30 years. I worked at a family owned ski resort and spent the better part of Winter 2022-23 on top of a VT mountain. I taught skiing and snowboarding, helped run the Rentals shop…I even worked as a lift operator. The season wrapped for me on April 2nd.
For the entire time I was driving cross country, or teaching map and compass to sophomores at UVM, or teaching hilarious kids to snowboard at the mountain…one project was tapping on my shoulder; Salmonfolk. When would I get back to it? When would I hit the magic recharge status for creativity? I am happy to announce that I am finally there. Conservation work stretches out before me and feels more critical than ever. After years of pondering Salmonfolk what became clear to me is that having an open runway would be important. I needed to find an artist in residency program…if possible. I targeted the end of the ski season as my start point for a program and set about self designing one. My goal? An entire month of Salmonfolk Radio work.
From April 30th – May 30, 2023 I am beginning a self designed artist in residency in Montpelier VT. I will be staying in a cute cabin on the edge of town, dog sitting some cute dogs and nothing but Salmonfolk…and the occasional morning yoga or SUP outing to clear my mind. I kind of can’t believe that I am finally doing this or that life saw fit to allow me to do so many wonderful things to recover from such a difficult past. But I am filled with gratitude that I am here and about to embark on this project once more.
The month will be focused hard on editing the already recorded content from 2021. I interviewed so many important activists and thinkers back then. And their voices and perspectives need to be heard. The relevancy of these interviews is likely even more poignant today. I have also had many new listeners report back to me about how much they enjoyed the first 5 episodes that have been out there since 2021. This has also been very encouraging. I have had 18 year olds tell me that after listening…they will never eat farmed salmon again. One day I walked into the Rentals shop at my ski resort, after wrapping up an on snow lesson…and the entire staff was listening to Salmonfolk Radio over the main speakers while working! Their reaction? “I had no idea!” And that’s really the point. No one who isn’t doing the research would know the truth about how salmon is farmed. What’s also true is that once people learn how…they never want to eat farmed salmon again. As well they should not.
So it’s off to the races once more. After May I will still keep going on Salmonfolk. My goal is to find angel investors of some kind who believe in the work and the goal…so I can keep highlighting this globally important topic. This is obviously my first post in a VERY long time. I have a lot of catching up to do here in Salmonfolk world. This website, for example…woefully out of date. Old links to old Gofundme initiatives…missing information. The salmon farm map! Egads! That salmon map!!
Onwards! For Wild Salmon!!! If you would like to help me keep going on Salmonfolk 100% then at least one link still holds relevancy…you can be my patron. That’s the best way to keep me on task.
On another note, I have had a LOT of fun in general. And now I feel the imperative to do one thing…to only for work for conservation causes. From here on out my position is that conservation is where my writing, filming, podcasting and photography will be zeroing in on.