All posts filed under: Writing

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Re-connecting With the Land

A spiritual connection with nature has enabled the villagers to live harmoniously with their environment and create cottage industries that are sustainable and non-polluting.   Over its 5,000 years of civilization, Chinese culture has traditionally lived in harmony with nature – giving birth to Taoism, Zen Buddhism, and Traditional Chinese Medicine that all emphasize living in balance and harmony with the natural world around them. The recent eroding of this traditional practice has, undoubtedly, resulted in the extreme pollution and environmental crisis that China experiences today. A new generation is growing up without access to fresh air, eating produce grown in contaminated soils, and living in cities dominated by artificial plastic products. Their long-term health (with rising cancer rates) has suffered as a result. It is time to reverse this trend, educate the people on the environment, and reconnect the Chinese back with the land. Today, 80 rural villages a day are destroyed in China – and with it, the connection with nature and understanding of the land. One can learn how to live in harmony with nature by …

How It Began…

While searching for hand-embroidery of the Miao ethnic minority in southwest China five years ago, I discovered a magical place where people lived harmoniously with the natural world around them: elders drank water from fresh mountain springs, children played in clean rivers, and families let their pigs and horses roam as free as they pleased. Trees were revered as spirits, fish were raised in rice patties, and bird migrations informed farmers when to sow their seeds. These cluster of villages felt pure and untouched by modern times, like peering into a window two centuries ago; yet here it was before my eyes, and the year was 2010.   I came to this part of China in search of the Miao people and their stunning textiles. Their magnificent costumes were showcased in museum around the world, and I had flown down to the villages in the hopes of developing these fabrics with them for wider notoriety and broader dissemination, but more importantly, to preserve an ancient art. But like all things of rarity and beauty, reproducing these …