Collaborations are the Best

Back in February I met Rosie Summers and some of her Leeds College of Art classmates at a Greenpeace Leeds meeting in the UK.

They asked if they could animate one of the water / climate change stories that I recorded. They chose a story from Noelline Gillies, a woman in her 80s from Omarama, New Zealand who I recorded in 2015.

Here’s a trailer of the result.

I am so, so happy with their work! Enjoy.

“The Power of Slow”

Hey, world! I have an essay in the September 2016 print edition of Bicycling magazine about the power of slow cycling.

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.15.32 AM

You can read the essay online here: http://www.bicycling.com/rides/adventure/the-power-of-slow

Screen Shot 2016-08-12 at 12.18.11 AM.png

In listening, I give the whole of myself—my ears, my heart—to a storyteller. In cycling, I give the whole of myself—my body, my spirit—to a place. I move through the landscape and the landscape moves through me. Slowness has become part of my daily practice.

Check it out!

http://www.bicycling.com/rides/adventure/the-power-of-slow

Arohanui,

Devi

Yours Truly on the TV

A few months ago I did an interview with NationTV 22 in Bangkok for the show Mong Rao Mong Lok / มองเรามองโลก.

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 6.30.46 PM.png

zooming

Screen Shot 2016-07-20 at 6.39.55 PM.png

nation22.jpg

me & Veenarat Laohapakakul, who asks wonderful questions

Here’s the full show that aired this weekend in Thailand –– it’s in Thai, but the interview is in English with subtitles! Hope you enjoy:

On Spirituality & Social Justice

“How can I help? What power do we have to overthrow an exploitative system? Am I enough?” 

I have a long-form article out today in Anchor Issue 05, published by Still Harbor — check it out!

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 11.26.36 AM.png

You can view the article here: http://view.publitas.com/still-harbor-anchor/anchor_issue-05/page/56 

And the whole issue here: http://stillharbor.org/anchor-magazine/#anchor-online 

Big love for the space that Anchor provides for conversations at the intersection of spirituality and social justice.

 

On the Texture of the Air

Tonight I read three poems to a room full of climate activists in Aotearoa.

IMG_1015

Activism is hard work. It’s exhausting.

After listening to the poems, someone told me how re-energized she felt––poetry the counterpoint to a long day of planning direct actions for the coming year.

“I was exhausted ten minutes ago,” she said. “Now I feel lightness. What a difference.”

Poetry changes the air in a room. This much I know.

Over & over I’m reminded of the importance of art in our movements, the necessary breath.

There are as many ways to be an activist as there are people on this planet. There is value in standing with a cardboard sign in the streets. There is value in being loud––many voices speaking for a single cause. So much planning goes into a single march. I have deep respect for that work.

There is value, too, in sitting down in a silent room with a pen and a piece of paper, the quietness of writing, of meeting oneself on the page without knowing what will come next.

I move through both worlds in my activism. The one doesn’t exist for me without the other.

& there is always more to do.

It’s autumn. I have things to tell you.

Fine people of the internet:

Holy goodness, it’s been a while. I have so much to tell you! This is going to be a long post, so fasten your seat belts, friends. Pour a cup of tea. The last month has been full of life.

Autumn always makes me think of new beginnings: the start of school, most intimately (I’m two years out of university, but the feeling still lingers)––classes and lectures and rowing practice and long shadows in the afternoons. It’s a time to go internal, to breathe deeply in that slippery light.

kapiticoast

Kapiti Coast

 

Everything starts in blue, right?

In mid-March I ventured north from the Kapiti Coast to volunteer for three days at WOMAD New Zealand, a world music festival that takes over New Plymouth once a year. The acts were something out of this world. Tami Neilson’s Album “Don’t Be Afraid” has been on heavy rotation in my world for the last six months or so; it was divine to see her perform live. You best believe I danced my socks off.

tamineilson.jpg

Seriously, go listen to her stuff right now.

And then there was DakhaBrakha, a Ukrainian quartet who wear funky hats and dedicate themselves to preserving Ukrainian folk songs. Their creative process is something like this: 1) go to the remote mountain areas in Ukraine, 2) find the oldest living women in the mountain villages, 3) ask them to sing the folk songs they know, 4) record said songs, and 5) reimagine the songs for today’s audience.

The result is AMAZING. Talk about kick-ass percussion. And of course my inner folklorist is dancing.

From Taranaki I traveled north to Auckland for a wedding. Because sometimes surprise things happen on the road.

aucklandtrees

Speaking of which, I’d love to introduce you all to my travel buddy from here on out… Charlotte Chadwick!

me&c

We clean up okay. This was at Charlotte’s high school bff’s wedding in Auckland. 

Charlotte is a singer-songwriter, poet, and theater-person extraordinaire (actor / director / playwright / etc.) from Aotearoa New Zealand who also happens to be an awesome ESL teacher. She’s traveled all over and tells great stories, to boot. You can listen to some of Charlotte’s music here: charlottechadwick.bandcamp.com

The journey will be solo at times, together at times, and delightfully messy, as per always. Because that is what journeys are. Journeys change. And this change is most definitely good.

happydays

Happy Devi is happy 🙂 

From Auckland, Charlotte and I headed to Tauranga to learn some coding skills from the delightfully talented Robert O’Brien, a software developer who has generously given his time to make the next phase of the One Bike One Year journey a reality. His son, Max, has also kindly volunteered his design talents.

tauranga3

Octocat, a new friend

Ya’ll know how I have been alluding to making a map on a website where you can click on a point and listen to a story from that place?

Well, it’s coming to fruition. Slowly, but yes. Things are happening. Stay tuned.

nationalibraryaudio

Doing metadata research at the National Library audio archives in Wellington & geeking out over all the old audio equipment 

Then Charlotte & I started to plot a way out of Aotearoa. This wasn’t easy, because I had made a commitment not to fly.

tauranga

tauranga2

Friends, we tried everything.

I went back and forth for four months with a cargo ship executive who had promised me a free trip out of New Zealand. Long story short, he couldn’t make it happen. There were insurance problems. Oy.

Then we tried for super yacht / sailing positions. But it’s the wrong season to sail towards Southeast Asia. The cruise ship companies we talked to didn’t have positions that would suit our needs, but we applied anyway and heard nothing.

Then, grudgingly, we looked at flights. There was a ridiculous sale going from Wellington to Bangkok in mid-May.

webookedaflight

We bought the tickets.

I’ll be writing more about this soon, but weighing the value of travel and continuing to collect stories vs. the carbon footprint of a flight (or even a cargo ship trip, for that matter)… it’s sticky stuff. And stuff that it’s necessary to talk more about.

Honestly, poetry helps get me through.

maryoliver.jpg

And while I do have a small place in the “family of things”, it’s my duty as an activist to tread lightly on this planet while doing the kind of listening work that has become my life.

“You only have to let the soft animal of your body / love what it loves.”

So many questions. Mary Oliver is a goddess of questions.

In other news:

The cardboard sign turned three years old! HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the wrinkly piece of cardboard that has helped me collect hundreds of stories in five countries during the last 3 years. There will be a new incarnation of the cardboard sign in SE Asia, most likely with words in more than one language. Woot!

storysignbirthday

Baby cardboard sign / day one of story collecting / Boston / April 2013

chronicles of a story listener — 1.5 years and counting

A post shared by Devi Lockwood (@devi_lockwood) on

 

the well-worn sign in all its glory #tellmeastory

A post shared by Devi Lockwood (@devi_lockwood) on

 

Speaking of multi-lingualism, my work was featured in a newspaper in Vietnam:

invietnam

And last week was pretty big: I did an interview  with the German enorm Magazin for their June issue, plus an interview & photo shoot with Bicycling Magazine in the good ol’ US of A. Not sure when that print copy will be out, but I’ll post some sneak peak photos as soon as I have them to share.

It was a windy afternoon on top of the world where Jacob Howard took the photos for Bicycling––you check out some of his other work here. The big uphill climb up beyond the Brooklyn Turbine was totally worth it.

upontop

Big wind, big sky, bigger things ahead.

Onwards,

Devi