In the fall of 2009 I left for a solo road trip that began in Colorado and aimed towards the Pacific. I was looking for stories, for space, and for bit of direction after being left groundless by a break-up, move and job switch. I found wind farms and wild horses. I found sun-bleached gas stations, homegrown beets the size of small children, and a yard sale—comprised entirely of one-piece ski suits—in the California desert.
Somewhere outside of Las Vegas I stopped for my last swig of water (while camping I carried a week’s supply of gallon jugs in my trunk) and contemplated the neon-lit geysers I’d seen spewing in front of the Bellagio the night before. Having worked for an eco-magazine and an environmental journalist, the topic of sustainability was on my mind. How can we live the way we want, without using more than our fair share? Wrapped in the mid-day desert heat and chugging my last bit of water, sustainability suddenly seemed simple: re-evaluating what we consume and what we toss out, and doing with a little less of both.
Less. It’s do-able, if we can get past the mental roadblock that “less” means someone else is getting more at our expense. And so “To the Bones” is an exercise in opening my eyes to what I have, without comparing it to anyone else, and without automatically scheming about how I can get more.
“To the Bones” is an experiment in shedding the excess padding that keeps me comfortable—whether that means turning off the AC and opening the windows, making from scratch instead of buying at the store, or looking someone in the eye when I don’t have (or don’t want or don’t know if it’ll help to) spare change. This blog is a celebration of scaling back—just enough to appreciate everything that I do have. Which turns out to be a lot. It’s a challenge to feel the world down to my bones, and document others doing the same.
~ Merete Mueller, 9.29.09
Hello there. I’m a writer and editor with roots in Boston, Massachusetts and Boulder, Colorado.
Armed with a degree in experimental fiction from the Jack Kerouac School of Poetics—a program created by Beat Poets Allen Ginsberg and Anne Waldman at the country’s only Buddhist-inspired university—I worked as Managing Editor of elephant journal, a magazine-turned-website, for two years. Currently, I’m working on a book about eco elitism with environmental journalist Simran Sethi.
I also work with slow food adventuress Peggy Markel, as blog editor, facebook and twitter manager, booking coordinator and overall scheming partner. And as a project manager for mobile media engine, Push.IO.
The (supposedly private, but I can’t help but share it) drawing board for another current project, a digital art/text collaboration with Alyssa Reese that is being funded by the University of Colorado, can be found here.
Yes Magazine: “It Took a Village”