I have dabbled in yoga for the past four years, and I like it when teachers ask the class to set an “intention” at the beginning of practice. Setting an intention allows me to have a more meaningful yoga class because it reinforces why I’m taking the time to be there. In that vein, here are my intentions as I begin Keeping Things Alive:

  • Courage: I want to fearlessly speak up about what I know and not censor myself.
  • Creativity: I want to express myself through writing, stories, and other forms of art.
  • Clarity: I want to present my thoughts and knowledge in a way that is easy for others to understand.
  • Connect: I want to connect with others who share my love for keeping things alive. I want to explore and appreciate the connections between everything on this planet.

Well, I didn’t mean for all of my intentions to begin with the letter “C”, but that’s the way it goes.

Bonus track! Check out the monarch butterfly my family and I “raised” this summer:

The monarch as a caterpillar.
The monarch as a caterpillar.


Monarch cocoon
The monarch as a cocoon.


cocoon shell


Monarch on pink flower
The monarch as a butterfly.

The Gathering

I’ve been waiting to launch this website at the right moment, when I have it all organized and full of well-edited articles. But that’s just not happening, so I’ve decided that the moment to launch is now.

Tonight I went to the Rise Up for Climate Justice‘s gathering on the eve of the Paris Climate talks. There was ceremony, singing, and feasting. The evening was simple yet powerful, and each person I met was warm yet serious about climate action. Even though I didn’t know most of the people at the gathering, I felt like I belonged.

Rocks of grief & ribbons of gratitude.
Rocks of grief & ribbons of gratitude.

I feel small and powerless about climate change and environmental issues right now. I’m not going to Paris. I don’t have a powerful environmental policy job. I’m not living a perfectly sustainable lifestyle. I have a lot of student loans.

But I know that my smallness and powerlessness is changing into something else. I am finding my path and my voice, and for some reason, I believe that a part of my journey includes this website.

So here goes nothing. It’s time for Keeping Things Alive to come alive.