Calathus

Author: Myriem

Simple Living

I’ve been into sustainability for a long-time – and, for many reasons.  My preoccupation became “legitimate” when I found the term, sustainable, in a textbook.  On that day and for the first time, I saw my reflection in a practical and useful American word.

I’d been working my way through environmental economics.  I wanted to make sense of American tactical economic pre-emptive by learning the logic of political economics. The textbook in question was filled with deliciously complex economic jargon laced with sane environmental objectives.  I devoured it!   But, after a few years, I realized that all that complexity didn’t quite get at the simple truth – the truth of rational environmental choice.

So, now over thirty years later, I am reclaiming the word, “sustainable,” from the technologists.   Sustainability is a good word.  We don’t have to leapfrog over to “regenerative.”  Sustainable has that covered. I see sustainability as a throw back framework, that endures as classic – beyond time and into the future.  It’s not trendy, a fad or a brand.  Sustainability means a solid focus on the biosphere in every personal and public choice.

Living in principle has everything to do with sustainability.  As my years make me gray, I’ve refined what I know.  I’m advancing a policy solution while also trying to live as sustainably as I can muster, in every way real and authentic.

Gratitude is a wonderful sustainability habit.  I find beauty in just being where I am, who I am and eating good real food.  I have plenty, even though a few may think I have so little.  My joyful emptiness is abundance!

What other sustainability habits can I share?  I’m usually in good spirits, because I live my dream and keep at it. If something is not quite right, I breathe through my nose. I let it go. Try it!  It works.  I do use technology for outreach.  It is amazing to write this just now directly to the web. All the same, the ends never justify the means.  I want to be part of making technology more earth-friendly. And, the good work is not on the internet.

In any case, may these words find you in common cause.  Let’s keep at it.  Be who we are.  Not give up.  And, as you know, sustainability is everyday, in every way, and actually quite simple.

A Generative Story : Calathus

This blog is a timeline.  Each post is a point in time.  The blog reveals the story of one particular calathus – my own, and the fruition of vision.

The content draws from previous websites or from essays recently written as I reflect back.  I write about my aspirations, and the setbacks and milestones of the past ten years.  I write about the confluence of circumstance and about the marvel of endurance.  I seek to reveal that inner view which sustains my efforts – this despite an oftentimes faltering grace. 

From an early age, I wanted to earn a living creating beauty.  But not just art for myself and possibly to sell in its more appealing forms.  Rather instead, I wanted to energize beauty for good purpose, for ultimate purpose. I wanted to turn the tide on environmental degradation and the loss of local cultural wisdom around the globe. After an abundance of education about policy and economics, a close friend with corporate background thought I should look at things again differently.  He encouraged me to look at micro-economics and the making of a business.  Soon later, I started Calathus LLC, a Colorado company, to support environmentally-friendly approaches to economic development.

Fruition of Vision

Calathus means “the basket in which women carry their work.” 

Calathus is a Greek word selected to serve as metaphor. A basket is a metaphor for the void which births all vision, for the womb in which life forms, for the biosphere so unique to our beautiful planet Earth. A basket is a container, much like legal registration of a business is a container. So, Calathus metaphorically represents the protection of the feminine in a business entity. Calathus reflects a choice to stand for respecting the feminine way that protects and sustains. And so with an apprentice for witness, I created a consulting entity to stand strong in my voice as a woman. We chose Calathus to represent a nourishing way forward for all creation. We gave ourselves permission to be in our integrity, our knowing and our deepest longing to protect our beautiful planet, and to do this through greater awareness in our day-to-day lives and in our every choice.

Sustainability Projects

Have website, will travel

Those were the days:  a nice website landed the contract to protect water resources in the storied town of Durango. ¹

Thinking outside the box takes a certain temperament and willingness.  As an artist and creative, I’d disciplined a ready awareness and emotion into a grounded knowledge base for sustainability.  This took time.  So, with the advent of wysiwyg and G.I.S., it was only time before HyperCard would be ready for the web.  I’d been playing along this edge for years and then, voilà, iweb appeared.  I enjoyed the adventure.

When others abdicated to the geeks who labored over clunky html and blustering Dreamweaver, I waited.  I waited again.  Then 15 years later, there was iweb.  It only lasted a moment, but that moment gave grace to visual justaposition of heady planning jargon.  I’ve always explained by drawing in the air or with pen on paper  in animated conversation.  And so, iweb was a wonderful way to move the diagrammatic flow chart into something visually appealing and hopeful.

Concurrently somehow, the watershed position opened in Durango .  The 6 member stakeholder-based, hiring committee didn’t want another Boulder commuter.  They were looking for someone ready to move.  I said okay, for better or worse.  The worse in that:  there was little affordable housing and I seven hours from any city.  But, well: I loved adventure and wide-open spaces:  off I went.

If I’d not been a young women and suffering from a well-hidden spinal disability, I’d have held on there in the land of purgatory foresters, nuevo mountaineers, butch cassidy and his cowboy wannabes, and of course, the oil baron Indians.  But well, it was a bit much for me all the same.  The better in that I finally came across a brilliant diagnostician.

In early 2008, I was diagnosed with a benign meningioma which had me paralyzed at the arm pits.  A month later, I was walking again.  In the end: moving to Durango cost me my house, but I suppose it also gave me legs.

 

¹ Graphics in scientific communication generates understanding.  With digitital photography at our fingertips, the internet is alive.  Harnessing that imagery for good cause is a next step, and for another post.  Follow econ4peace to learn more. We need everyone’s brain power on the issues of our time.  Larger and better computers fabricate constricted models.  More and more computing is not going to solve the problem, because modeling is not reality.

Starting Economics for Peace Institute

 

Where I Live Now

Rain and mist is why I came.  Green fronds to remind me of my childhood Brittany.  Ocean spray and heads of butter lettuce.  Wide-brimmed tree upon tree is what lured me.  The smell of salt beckoned.  And so yet, my story meandered the peaks of the thunder belt instead.  I like it here. I have found trust with those families whose stories spring up simply, and hold true at the edge of forgotten rainforest, once upon dairyland and lost fisheries. I enjoy those conversations. Still, I wonder sometimes how newcomers and tourist culture ruined what must have been so quaint and lovely. Or, was it? Would the elders call how it may have been “resilient?”

I first arrived in Pacific Northwest in 2009 to deliver a workshop funded by USDA Pacific Northwest Forest Service.  I traveled by car and toured British Columbia before a short stay in Port Townsend.  I lived in the Four Corners of Colorado at the time.

I’ve visited and lived in various parts of Oregon and Washington off and on since then, making the Olympic Peninsula my home since the summer of 2016. I worked in organic farming, community gardening, and trained in natural building making many wonderful new friends that I cherish.

Now after three years on the Olympic Peninsula, I’ve made my way to rebuild the nonprofit, create a viable home space and train in accounting and small business management.   The time is right.  I am ready to resume my work as an environmental mediator and researcher.

Today is the third day of 2020.  I’m sharing this website with friends and family.  It provides an overview of my research and experience in sustainability and environmental dispute resolution.  Overtime, I’ll expand the content and share my personal journey in sustainability.

 


Photo: “Salish Sea Thanksgiving” creative commons @ 2019 by photopoet.earth

Participatory Conversations Matter

WEBINAR SERIES

How do we resolve thorny social issues?  How do we achieve sustainable social, economic and environmental outcomes? How do we sustain unified insight over time?

Participatory conversation is a necessity, not just wishful thinking.

We will explore appreciative inquiry, mediation, and social fieldwork as a way forward to unite our understanding.  Join with others in learning how to bring these essential tools to life in your workaday projects and for ensuring sound governance.

Click each tool for a quick intro:

→ appreciative inquiry

→ social fieldwork

→ mediation

The building blocks of a better future require understanding.  Understanding comes through good conversation. Let’s unite our understanding to protect what matters most.  Join us in practicing participatory conversation that matters.

every other Monday
May 4 to JuLy 13

4pm to 5pm PST
$25 series of six – sign up for series, join when you can
$5 individual drop-ins – limited number, register early

Register

Proceeds benefit Economics for Peace Institute, a 501c3 nonprofit.  Thank you.

webinars will be ongoing. Spread the word. Practice makes perfect.

After you register, you will receive a confirmation.  A week before the webinar, you will receive webinar details and materials.  Before each webinar, you will also receive reminders for which you can opt-in or out.


For webinar participants that would like a 1:1 consult to go over your questions, feel free book an appointment.  We can discuss next steps or clarification. I suggest a half hour session before, during or after the webinar series. 

Alternatively, you may wish to sign up for social fieldwork training and a chance to move forward with what you’ve learned in a local setting.  Sign up on the calendar at the bottom of the page here.

creative commons © 2021 Calathus

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