Idle issue#5

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Idle



Idle Magazine

Edition number

out of 20


Cover by Chloe Mighton Huge thanks to everyone that submitted and worked on the creation of issue 5 of Idle.

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Contents 7.

Editor's note Can I call this an Editor's note?

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Małgorzata Lebda A collection of Małgorzata's poetry

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Hard Work Pays Off Ella shares her advice for when things get rough

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Mount Ulriken Challenging determination and loyalty

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Bursting Kylie's beloved mountains, jagged peaks and wilderness

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Explore Ourselves A beautiful opinion that is short but sweet

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Putting Down Roots A garden project for the homeless and troubled

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The Metaphorical Hike Catherine's tale of a misty hike may just have a hidden message

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One Foot, Then The Other Strength from within, in an unsual place

Evanescent A three year habit turned into something marvellous

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Time To Spend On Myself Anna tells us why she needed to escape and find time for herself

Change Of Plans Failing to produce studio work but staying optomistic

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Love And Other Work Could we be frank for a moment and talk about love?

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Be Mindful Of The Present Feeling refreshed with Chloe Mighton

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Put Enough Heart Into It Get a little bit closer to goals

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Northern Territories Adventures to the Arctic lands

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Faith In Yourself Inspiration gained from Poetry

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Seeking The New Emma's 2016 resolution

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Geborgen Staying in touch with loved ones

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Welcome To The Fifth Issue Of Idle words by Chloe Ray

Can I call this an Editor's note?

Our topic for issue five is Goals and Challenges and this issue certainly challenged us. We began the issue back in January and thought the topic was a perfect idea. A new year obviously means new goals. So we asked our contributors to share theirs and how they conquered over challenges. Were their goals life long, or short term? Or did they believe in setting goals? Had weather or wars challenged them? And did they have advice to share? We didn't think this issue would be so inspirational. But the stories we received helped us set our own personal goals and they're helping us stay motivated too. They've taught us to be disciplined, have faith in ourselves and put our hearts into everything we do. Therefore we hope this issue helps with your goals and when you face challenges, don't be discouraged by them but learn from them and be empowered.

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Hard Work Pays Off

words and illustration by Ella Potter

Ella shares her advice for when things get rough. There are always going to be amazing, wonderful, sides of being an artist. You can meet the most inspiring people that could show you so much, show you things you’d never even thought about. You meet the best kind of friends, and the most interesting, lovely people imaginable. But, as with any creative endeavour, it's a very hard thing to break into. A long time ago, when I decided to go down the route of ‘I want to be an Artist’ very few people took me seriously. However there will be people around you that will be encouraging you, no matter what you do. A lot of people repeatedly told me how hard it was to ‘make it’… whatever that is anyway. A lot of people ask me what I do and when I reply “I’m an illustrator” I get a lot of responses like “Yes but what do you actually do?!” and after a while all you can do is stop listening to it. It’s hard, when you spend years of your life building up yourself as an artist, and then to get comments such as that can sometimes make you feel like you’re back to square one. Once you stop listening to those people and stop measuring your success by the amount of things you sell (and I’m still trying to do that every day too) it becomes one of the most wonderful things you could choose to do.

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If you’re doing something that makes you happy, all I can say is no matter how many times people say you’re not good enough, or they don’t like you’re style, or that you just can’t make it… You can. The endless hours of work are worth it when you have people ask you to do commissions, or exhibitions because you meet the loveliest people along the way. The best advice I’ve ever received along the path of becoming an illustrator is that “Hard work pays off". Regardless of what situation you’re in or if you feel a bit hopeless at what you’re doing, all I can say is keep drawing, painting, reading, writing and learning. Because in some way or another you will get to where you want to be, and I don’t necessarily mean measuring your success by the amount of money you have, but by just being happy with what you do. see more of Ella's work at www.instagram.com/ellptr


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Be Mindful Of The Present

words and photos by Chloe Mighton

Having some time away from a city and goal planning could help you feel refreshed and bring you new ideas. Living and working in the city, it can be challenging to find time to go outdoors. Days spent behind screens and in enclosed spaces make it easy to lose touch with nature. The stress of city life, work life, can cause you to become fixated on goals; always looking ahead, planning, and working toward something. Sometimes you fall into a routine, where all of your actions are steps on a planned trajectory. It can be exhausting. While I certainly believe in the importance of goals - they can motivate you, give you direction, and purpose - I also believe it is necessary to step back sometimes. Take a pause. Be open to opportunity. Be mindful of the present moment. Explore something new. My photographs are an escape from everyday routine - an escape into open, wild spaces. I make an effort to spend time outdoors at least once a week, appreciating the nature that Canada has to offer - whether it is finding a new urban green space, or leaving the city for a few days. I hope these images inspire you to get outside; to embrace the physical challenges of exploring the wild. After a breather outdoors, you may return to your goals and plans refreshed, clear headed, and with new ideas. see more of Chloe's work at www.chloemighton.weebly.com and flickr.com/chloemighton

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Put Enough Heart Into It words and photography by Corentin Schieb

Corentin shares a little piece of advice that helps him get closer to his goals. This picture was taken during the summer of 2015, on the Isle of Sky in Scotland. I went on a road trip with three other friends in the UK, from the South of England to the North of Scotland, between mountains and seas. It was a beautiful and unique moment, shared with my friends. I think this photograph captures this spirit of freedom that I'm always looking for, and represents my main goal for the future: traveling. One of my biggest challenges this year so far is my graduation: I'm currently studying for my final diploma in Architecture. But besides that, I am also planning to travel around the world and to be on the road as much as I physically and financially can. My projects are about being somewhere on the road with my friends and taking that opportunity to shoot with my camera, trying to capture the ephemeral moment and to find inspiration (maybe somewhere in North America?) There is so much to see... On a greater perspective, I would say that my life goal is to surround myself with a positive and peaceful environment: friends, family, lovers. I didn't literally set it one day as a proper goal, but I slowly realized it was the way I wanted to live my life. Ignoring or fighting the negativity, enjoying the precious little moments, and turning frustration and angriness into a constructive thing, are day by day, a little step closer to this goal. And I think travel experiences like this one in the UK brought me to this state of mind. It's sometimes a hard feeling to express and to believe in – especially when you are getting through some hard times or personal difficulties. But we all can relate to some challenges we've experienced and help each other to break through them. If I had to give any advice, it would be "Do whatever you want to do in life, but be sure to put enough time and heart into it". see more of Corentin's work at www.facebook.com/corentinschiebphotography

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Northern Territories words and photography by Ran Benazra

Ran explains how his adventures away to the Arctic lands help him with his creative work. Two years ago I started with a tradition. I decided to travel and explore the high latitude countries during July and August Israel’s hottest months. I don’t really know why I am drawn to these northern territories. I assume it is because I grew up in a small town in the middle of the desert, where high mountain peaks, volcanic terrain and glaciers are absence. My first destination was Iceland, a vast and magnificent land that I would have to visit again. Even after three weeks of circling the island and hiking the famous Laugavegur trail I still feel like I’ve just scratched the surface. This was my first time hiking and experiencing nature in a whole new dimension. My second trip was Swedish Lapland, I was immersed in the sounds and the mountainous landscapes of the tundra for 9 full days. Subject to the erratic weather and the outdoor

elements, I hiked the northern part of the Kungsleden, all the way to Kebnekaise - Sweden's highest peak. It was quite an adventure for a person who just acquired this new hiking lifestyle. I feel so inspired being surrounded by this rugged and raw environment, being so close to nature and to see its remarkable forces and diversity. As a visual artist, coming back from these adventures always gives for numerous creative works combining both the emotional aspect and the unique aesthetics of the Arctic’s. This year’s destination is still unknown. see more of Ran's work at www.ranbenazra.com

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Faith In Yourself words and photograhy by Pauline Guillet

Inspiration gained from Poetry. "Dejenme solo con el dia. Pido permiso para nacer." These words from the Chilean poet Pablo Neruda and his poem “Pido silencio” are a beautiful promise. The whole poem is a promise for life, as this flower in the sky. Goals and challenges require listening to oneself – it needs a faith in oneself. Life and faith are in yourself. see more of Pauline's work at www.paulineguillet.com

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Seeking The New words by Emma Lavelle and photography by Anna Garcia

Emma's resolution for 2016 was to visit a new place every month. We find out why she made this goal and where she plans to go. I’m not one for traditional resolutions. I don’t like to set myself unrealistic and uninspired goals, and I know full well that I won’t be jaunting off to the gym once a day. So when it came to the first day of the year and the time for making promises to yourself that you probably won’t keep, I decided to make a New Year’s Resolution that was much more out of the ordinary than your standard fare. I love to travel, and I love to explore new places, yet somehow always seem to find myself returning to the same destinations over and over again. I keep finding myself in Berlin every summer, Copenhagen in the build up to Christmas, and I’ve visited France more times than I can count. It’s not just my travels abroad; when it comes to weekends away, festivals or hiking in the countryside, I return to the same places that I love every time. It was time for a change. As much as I love these locations, I needed to mix it up and head to pastures new. And so it was that I set myself the ambitious task of visiting at least one new place every month for the whole of 2016. There’s something about the excitement of discovering somewhere for the very first time that you just can’t replicate on subsequent trips. The thrill of stepping off a train or out of a car or off a plane, and having to consult a map to discover your whereabouts. The pleasure of seeing landscapes or buildings for the first time. The adventure of getting lost in a new place and having to find your way around. I wanted to feel that excitement again.

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Now, I don’t have a bank balance bursting at the seams, and despite enjoying my freedom as a freelance writer, I also have the commitment of a part time job three days a week. Therefore this wasn’t going to be a year of backpacking around the world, or jetting off to a new country every thirty days. Rather, I’m carefully considering where I head to on holiday, where I spend my weekends, and where I walk up mountains, seeking out new places every time. Let’s take January for example. I didn’t leave the country (or does a hen weekend in Wales count?), but I did head out into the Peak District for a hike among the mist in Edale. Despite being less than an hour’s drive from home and being one of the most popular walking spots in the vicinity of Manchester, this was somewhere that I had never before visited. And so, on the 2nd of January, my legs aching and my hair plastered to my head as we climbed up a steep hill in persistent rain, I felt a sense of accomplishment. I was two days into the year, and here I was, somewhere that I had never stepped foot before. I don’t actually plan to leave the country until June, so I’m having to get inventive with the places that I visit. In February, I ventured over the Pennines to Leeds for a day, meeting up with a couple of lovely people that I had met over Instagram. Not only was this my first time wandering around the city since I was considerably younger (if I can’t remember being there, it counts as being a new place), but it was also a first for taking a


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leap of confidence and meeting new people who I’d previously only spoken to over an app. Towards the end of the month, I slipped my hiking boots back on and climbed up mountains and down waterfalls in an area of the Lake District that was new to me. Last weekend, I took my boyfriend and our puppy to a tiny seaside village built upon a cliff, just north of Whitby. We ran along the beach, ate fish and chips, purchased succulents from an honesty box by the side of a road, and walked up steep hills until our legs ached. Without venturing abroad, I’ve managed to explore all of these places that are essentially in my own back garden. June is when it will get interesting. We have booked flights to Iceland and will spend ten days driving around the ring road, constantly experiencing new and exciting landscapes. This is somewhere that I have always wanted to go, yet I usually find myself resorting to my fail proof summer plans of hanging out in Berlin for a week. This year, with my resolution in mind, I took the plunge and booked the flights. What’s more, we’re heading to the Greek islands at the end of the month, to explore Crete and Santorini for the very first time. I’m going to be overwhelmed by new destinations That’s the extent that my planning has gone, thus far. There’s the possibility of Poland in August, but otherwise, I’m going to have to get creative to see my resolution through. There’s so many places located within the British Isles that I have never stepped foot in, and my goal has sunk this home for me. We, as a nation, travel abroad to discover new and exciting things, but more often than not, we neglect what is only a couple of hours drive away. And so, what I have learnt just a few months in to my resolution, is that I need to see more of the UK. I’ve never stepped foot in Bath, Edinburgh or Newcastle. I haven’t explored Cornwall, or the Norfolk Broads, or the very north of Scotland. I have never swam in rivers in the Yorkshire Dales, climbed mountains in Wales, or wild camped on the beach. The list of possibilities is endless, and I’m determined to see as much as possible over the remaining months. see more of Emma's work at www.fieldandnest.com and see more of Anna's work at www.annadosenes.com

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Evanescent words and photography by Maike Brinkman

A three year habit turned into something marvellous. When I was 17 I knew I wanted to be a photographer. A friend of mine told me that if I wanted to be a great one I should bring a camera with me everywhere I go. I followed this advice and have been taking an analogue camera with me everywhere for three years now. The photographs I took during those years became my personal visual diary. I can document particular moments far more detailed in photos than if I had written them down in a journal. Three years later I still bring my camera everywhere, though not just because I want to become a great photographer. I bring it because over the years I have learned how important it is to document the special moments you have witnessed. I think being able to look back is sometimes more important than looking forward. see more of Maike's work at www.maikebrinkman.com

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Change Of Plans words and photography by Susannah van der Zaag

Susannah van der Zaag lives in Toronto, Ontario and has been failing to produce studio based work since mid 2014 but looks forward to trying again in 2016.

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It's a bit silly because I wanted to submit from the perspective of shifting goals - or realizing your goals aren't going to work out and being ok with that. For me personally it was about wanting to be a Fine Artist once I graduated from Art

school, but realizing that my interests might lay elsewhere. As a creative in my early 20s I feel so much pressure to know what I want to do, and I'm struggling to figure that out and make new goals and then meet those goals!


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see more of Susannah's work at www.cargocollective.com/susannahvanderzaag

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Geborgen

words and photos by Christopher Parschat

Chris shows us how he keeps in touch with his loved ones, in this mini series. I haven’t been doing well when it comes to keeping in touch with my loved ones. Time flies and you get caught up in every day life. But we won’t be here forever. So I set out to stay more active and spend more quality time with the ones I care about. So, for the first time in ten years this February I went on a road trip with my father. It was a precious moment that put me right back into my childhood with a person I love and to a place where I can simply be me: my father's car. I brought my camera along and shot a mini series titled "Geborgen". see more of Chris' work at www.christopherparschat.com

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Małgorzata Lebda words and photography by Małgorzata Lebda

Małgorzata Lebda was born in 1985 in Nowy Sacz, Poland. She grew up in the Beskid village – Żeleźnikowa Wielka. Poetess, photographer and a university teacher (interested in the visual arts) – her poems have been translated into languages: English, Czech, Serbian, Slovenian, Romanian, Russian. The following poems were translated into English by Marek Kazmierski. see more of Małgorzata's work at www.facebook.com/malgosia.lebda.fotografia/

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M a Ĺ‚ g o r z a t a

processions it was said some of them carried asbestos fibres in their lungs through winter rinsing red mouths with damp snow and summertime (each evening) walked round wire wrapped hectares fancying black birds which they would hang upon thick beams their children avoiding bright lights heavy ailments of the skin and flesh they would scorch with red hot embers come may time processions they would carry gilded feretories smiling at us

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well we took upon our lips the autumn its tartness twisting our smooth faces in a time of burning shoots the roasting of ripe vegetables in a tiled furnace thunder moved on taking our unease with it silence settled before the coming winter vines wrapping up trees and the barn roof their dark berries ripened in glass vats which is why it was then that the open well drew us to it its black surface which father had pierced a few years back with a mysterious fish the well all our fattened stock drank their crystalline fill? into it that spring old rogowska fell they say you can sometimes hear her whistling down below hear all of her horrors

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fire it holds an obsession with fire hence whenever anyone in the village places a flame to some crisp barn bales a shiver runs through us we step out the front door watching the way the wind turns inhaling the black smoke of someone else's weeping and that coming night its unease after the fire dies down makes our fathers afraid makes them pay each other visits in cramped kitchens lending each other silver pellets to feed those air rifles they are hiding from who knows who only the morning brings clarity and dew around six the echo of horses' hooves and whistling those milkman cries are it would seem not the end

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heavy airs we should forget the nights when heavy airs hang over the village holding ruthlessness though there is blood and the calls which lure us from sleep outside the window dogs wandering heavy trucks shipping silent animals (as silent as is possible) their headlights trailing across ceilings later tragedies come something of vengeance demands and won't let off mornings full of unease only the voices of women walking to advent mass taking their holy signs and their cracked hands

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white bread dear sister let's invoke the night our hands tend to orate oracles our gestures focused and slow aiming in the direction of the woods but can you hear that? Father's heavy footsteps behind the door as he lays fresh pork out on the table in the morning he will light a fire in the smokehouse hearth farmers will pay visits thick-set women in their long aprons and children with glass beads for eyes we will approach them as if they were wild animals we will sniff around them we who are like wild animals to try recognition this is how it will be and mother will cover a cold plate with a slice of warm dewlap and of white bread

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Mount Ulriken

words and photography by Chloe Ray

Mountains and solidarity challenged, Idle creator Chloe, her determination and loyalty. Life was building up and I could feel my mind turning to mush with every passing day. Get up, go to work, come home, and maybe do some exercise. The routine was mind numbing. Now, this all sounds very depressing and to be honest I’m making it to be so, but it’s not. It’s just that sometimes you need a change, or a shake up, and for me this was needed now. I don’t know where my curiosity for Scandinavia came from, or why Norway was right at the top of my bucket list. One night I found myself clicking the ‘pay’ button on Airbnb, and the next day clicking ‘pay’ for a plane ticket on Norwegian Air. Guess I had to go then. I like visiting new places with other people. There’s a sense of security in being together, even if together you are hanging by your fingernails off the edge of a cliff. This time, I had no choice but to go alone. I was nervous that I’d get lonely and sad, but told myself the only way I was going to feel like

that was if I sat in my room all day. I needed to get over it and grow up. I had control over how this trip would go. I could do this by myself and I would. I arrived at the Airbnb apartment in Bergen, was shown around by my host, and then left to do whatever I wanted. I spent a lot of time that afternoon walking, getting lost and just taking everything in. Within five hours of arriving I had learnt and noted a few things: 1. On sunny days, portable BBQs are the best things since sliced bread. 2. Hills are inevitable and so are blisters. 3. There is no such thing as an ugly house. 4. Today (potentially the hottest day ever) was not the day for black jeans. So, I had got myself to a new country and survived a night in a stranger’s home. Which fear was I to challenge and

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overcome next? I packed a lunch, grabbed my boots and headed towards Mount Ulriken. I tried talking myself out of it, but I was loyal to the idea and began to climb. I mumbled under my breath that I was crazy and stupid and if my mum saw what I was doing she would be having numerous heart attacks. I felt vulnerable and at times thought I was being followed, but knew it was all a mind trick and kept climbing upwards. Eventually I came to a break in the trees, and a rest from scrambling up rocks, and I turned around to see the view behind me. I had made it well over halfway, and suddenly felt very emotional. I had proven to myself that I could do it. Of course, there was still a long way to go, but the higher I climbed, the better the reward was. I didn’t need another person at my side to do this. I just needed myself, and to believe that if I kept going I would be fine. I was right. Every doubt, every curse under my breath, and every drop of sweat was truly worth the view from the top. The city and sea were below me, and in front of me seemed to be an endless trail of mountains. So, what’s next?

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Bursting

words and photography by Kylie Mohr

A story of Kylie's beloved mountains, jagged peaks and wilderness.

I’m at the top. My lungs, struggling to adjust to the altitude, aren’t the only part of me that feels like bursting. I’m afraid everything – my rationale for the past, my plans for the future – is about to explode. It's a bursting feeling. I gaze across the valley as so many have done before me, in awe of the Tetons. But even as I stare, panting, ignoring the energetic dog barely winded from the climb and poking me enthusiastically with a stick, I try to keep what I’m seeing and what I’m feeling an arms-length away. If I love those jagged peaks too much, if I admit to myself that I am happiest here and places like it, I fear my chest will crack and split down the middle. And I’ll be exposed. Me, the real me. Stripped away from the prestige and the sleepless nights and the strides through concrete pathways, eyes on the next story and mind on the politics of the day. Not the me that gets lost in the pulsating hum of a city always pushing for more. A different me. The fragments that I’ve buried, the puzzle pieces of missing elements that I’ve lost. Wilderness. Adventure. Open spaces that beg to be explored, not crowded grids that take, take, take. I always come back to mountains. Pine trees. The solitude of wild places. Places so open that you don’t know what, exactly, to do with yourself. Jump and thrash in an attempt to take up just the tiniest bit of the enormity and claim it as your own? Or gawk peacefully, grounding yourself to this moment, this place, at least while it lasts? This is what I grew up with. This is what I love. I pretend I get the same high that I have on this summit when I’m striding to work, carving a place for myself. But in the

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crowded tunnels, I feel a crushing weight. I move robotically. My earbuds drown out everything but my pesky thoughts. The night sky is a post-apocalyptic, eerie shade of red from the light pollution. Quiet is a fleeting concept I claw at but can never fully find. This is why my eyes are getting misty at the top. This is why a bursting feeling is swelling inside me. I feel so alive. Can I feel this way anywhere else? How do I marry my ambitions and my passions, seemingly pulling me towards opposite poles? They’re always racing away from me, tangling and stumbling and looping back to clashing with each other. This year is the year where I can take a first step towards or a first step away. It’s a year of anxious anticipation. It’s a year of confronting the unknown, of being afraid to reverse my course for fear of making a horrible mistake. Will I miss the buzz, the energy, the people who inspire and terrify as they pull me upward towards greatness? All I know is that right now, right here, greatness is right in front of me. So I stare. The Grand. Buck. Owen. Teewinot. I take it all in, but with a buffer. Facing myself is too much of a challenge today. I swallow my thoughts and start the descent. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the next day. Maybe I'll start prioritizing the mountains, the wilderness, the places whose raw beauty makes me feel like bursting. Just maybe. see more of Kylie's work at www.kyliemohr.com


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Explore Ourselves words and photography by Fabien Vilrus

A beautiful opinion that is short but sweet. I see goals as a way to explore life and ourselves – to run away and discover new horizons. Goals show us the path and allow us to make a step further to everything we aspire. Sometimes the road will seem long and hard, but if we look in the right

direction, there’s always light. It’s a precious gift. see more of Fabien's work at www.fabienvilrus.com

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Putting Down Roots

words and photography by Jo Meston Scott

Putting Down Roots is a garden project for people that have been homeless in the past or suffered drug, alcohol and mental health problems. Over the past two years photographer Jo Metson Scott has been meeting the ‘Putting Down Roots’ gardeners and discovering their gardens all across London. Below is Cyril's story. “I can’t handle everything that’s going on it my head at the moment. I’m waiting for tests, and I keep waiting but not getting any answers. It’s the waiting that gets you down. I do get depressed, I know that. I get really down and sometimes that makes you think nothing’s working, everything is going wrong and its hard to not walk down the road and get a drink. But then I think, that isn’t going to help. In the long run it won’t help. Gardening is the main therapy for me now. I feel great walking away from the allotment. I look forward to a Wednesday, just to come to the allotment and looking at what work I’ve done, seeing the things I’ve grown. Its better than just talking all the time. You see you talk so much with the therapy and they are good, those sessions, everyone is talking and all that. But going in every day and all you’re talking about is the same thing, all week. I can’t

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keep repeating myself, can I? And then they said about gardening and that just helps me so much. Before everyone wakes up I like to water the flowers at the hostel I’m staying at. I do it every morning. I like helping out. I know it does something for the plants, but it does something for me too. Its funny, I was away this weekend and I missed the watering, and I really worried, not worried exactly, but I kept thinking, them plants need watering, no else is going to water them, I must get back and water them! And that really helps. Before I got there no one was looking after them and they were dying. But now I’ve been taking care of them. I like to see them looking just right, you know? And that’s satisfying. Giving life to something, I love that …. “ see more of Jo's work at www.jometsonscott.com


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The Metaphorical Hike words and photography by Catherine LemblĂŠ

Catherine's tale of a misty hike may just have a hidden message. This hike with my mother really was a challenge. It started with good weather – a blue sky and the bright sun. We knew the route from a previous trip in autumn without the snow. After walking a while with our snowshoes deep in snow and some obstacles with a huge fallen tree on the way, we took a break to picnic in the sun. We realized this hike was going to be much longer than expected but decided to go through to the top, from which we could descent to drink a hot chocolate on the other side of the mountain. Suddenly everything got all misty, snowy and white. The only silhouette I could see was my mom's. Before putting my camera away I took this picture of her. We could see nothing but white but knew which direction to walk. We kept walking. When we finally arrived on top the mist began to float away and we could descent with full sight. It was kind of a metaphorical hike. see more of Catherine's work at www.flickr.com/photos/clemble

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One Foot, Then The Other words by Ellen Halliday and photography by Ran Benazra

Ellen shares how she finds strength from within. And it's in an unusual place. I count when I walk. Every second step, as my left foot touches the ground and drives me forwards, the numbers climb in my head. I’m not sure why; its something I have done as long as I can remember. For me, walking is a meditative act. Mindful, if you will. I do it without thinking. I do it to clear my head. To “blow away the cobwebs,” as my father would say. And it takes me to a place where I am, at last, able to think clearly. A place where I can step back to see the world from a distance. It’s my way of finding perspective. One foot in front of the other; onwards and upwards. I’m not a religious person, and the word ‘spiritual’ makes me cringe a little. But walking is my ritual. My practice. The means through which I overcome the physical and psychological challenges in life, and a method to transcend the (often) chaotic contents of my mind. In a sense, walking has been my salvation. I walked to school and I walked home. I’ve walked hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles. Sometimes with a pack on my back, and sometimes with nothing but my feet in my boots and my

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hands in my pockets. I’ve walked north, south, east and west. I’ve never walked in Wales actually, but that’s nothing personal, Wales. I’ve walked into gales so strong I couldn’t stand up. That was Yorkshire, in March. It was horrible. My tent flooded overnight and my sleeping bag stayed wet for two days. And I got a nose-bleed. But when the going gets tough, I think of how far I have walked. The distances I have travelled, and the people I have travelled with. I think how the Himalayan monsoon turned our steep mountain path into a waterfall. And how, when the incredible volume of water soaked us head to toe, we sang until we could warm our feet around the stove. When the going gets tough, I think of the mist. How it cleared from around the snowy peaks, just for a second. And how, in that second, we were on top of the world. But there’s one moment I return to again and again. It was the night of the World Cup Final, 2010. I remember, because we heard our guides whooping and cheering, crowded round their little radio at 4200m above sea-level. I was

seventeen, just, and I was almost at the top of Mount Kenya. It’s the second highest mountain in Africa, after Kilimanjaro, and was certainly the biggest challenge I had ever undertaken. We set off from the summit camp at 2am, as it was necessary to climb in the dark before the sun rose and melted the icy rock to scree. We walked in single file, and were quiet. In our own heads, concentrating on putting one foot in front of the other. Another member of the group slipped and fell. She couldn’t get up and, as she lost her head-torch, she was plunged into darkness. She was petrified, and so was I. It was freezing, and the enormity of where was poised to overwhelm us. But when you are walking, there is only one thing to do. She found her feet. And as we set off once more up the mountain-side, I cast my light forwards so it lit the space ahead of her. If I stepped where she stepped, and she followed her predecessor’s path, we would be fine. We were fine.


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That’s the memory which I bring to the fore when things get hard. The fear and the panic but, more importantly, what followed. The silence, save for our breathing and the thuds of our feet carrying us upwards. And the fact that I was in the stars. There was nothing above me but stars. From horizon to horizon, the perfect dome of inky sky which seemed to graze my crown was unblemished. It was as deep and dark as the night sky should be. The stars were as bright as stars should be. I was as I should be. Where I should be. How I should be. At the summit, we watched the African sun rise on the horizon. And in a second, we were hit by its wall of light and heat. At 5000m, the plains of the Rift Valley spread out below, and I felt wonderfully small in the face of the world. We had achieved what we had come for. We had come to see the sunrise, but I remember the stars the most. Their profound permanence. And the privilege I felt, to have walked to the point where our world met theirs. So when I feel small, I think of how small I felt with that sky stretched out around me. How small, but how strong. I think about how I am still here, and they are still there. And how perhaps one day we will meet again. When I feel the need to be strong (or rather, to reacquaint myself with the strength which is in me), I know what to do. I lace up my boots. But I don’t run for the hills. I walk. see more of Ellen's work at and more of Ran's work at www.ranbenazra.com

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Time To Spend On Myself words and photography by Anna Garcia

Anna tells us why she needed to escape and find time for herself. Travel has always been one of my passions and one of my favorite things to do. It’s when I’m travelling and discovering new places that I really feel peaceful and relaxed. Since I finished my degree at the University, I started to need more time to spend on myself, to clear up my ideas and organize my mind. I needed to start looking at life with a different point of view, to think about the future and the things that I wanted to do. But as the months passed, I found the need to escape and find time for me. I set upon myself to always make things that make me happy; to find time to travel, to make little or big road trips when possible and to discover new places. It’s not always necessary to travel thousands and thousands of kilometers to discover great places. Although I wish to travel to remote locations, I’ve found really beautiful places in the most accessible locations. The last trips I've been on were only a half-day drive away from my home: Barcelona. Both of my last two trips have

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been to the Atlantic coast. The first one was to the region of Aquitaine in the French Atlantic coast. The second one was to the coast of the Basque Country, where I explored and discovered small towns and stunning scenery of the vast coast of Gipuzkoa. Furthermore, whenever I can I travel to the mountains with my cameras to disconnect. I love getting into a place or a location that I’ve never been before, get lost through the paths and landscapes and see this new scene through my camera. I enjoy capturing moments and landscapes that attract my eye and my attention. I hope to see plenty of landscapes, many places and new locations this year, always with a camera in my hand. It will mean that I’m travelling, enjoying the moment and the most important thing: doing what really makes me happy. see more of Anna's work at www.annadosenes.com

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Love And Other Work

words by Kay Smythe and photography by Fabien Vilrus

Could we be frank for a moment and talk about love? Arguably the most overused, undervalued word in human history, love can mean one of a million things. It is a relative term. An interpretation for one could be so severely juxtaposed to another that love morphs into a whole new worldview with each usage. For example, I would love to have a frank conversation with the Kardashian Klan about whether they are truly happy and analyse their answers using the reigning paradigms in sociological theory. However, I also recently realised that I am probably in love with someone once very close to me who is so damaged that I must move on. Both of these facts about my life use love as the base. One relates to my inherent need to understand human emotion from a scientific point of view and would definitely boost my career into orbit. The other revolves around the basic need for every one of us to find a true human connection that is exclusive to you and the other individual(s). After a life changing experience last year where everything I wanted to believe about love was hurled out of the window, I set about reading every book I could possibly find on how to psychologically survive in the modern adult world - a world I now realise was invented by Disney and Pixar. The two reoccurring themes in every text were as follows: • You cannot truly be in love with another, accept them for their flaws, and be there for them in every moment until you can do the same for yourself. To love yourself is to be able to love another. • Everything happens for a reason, and even if it doesn't then living by this mentality will perpetuate your happiness through constant optimism.

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These concepts are not unheard of but they are rarely listened to. I wanted to explore whether anyone I knew personally was well versed in this way of living, and in turn I would put words on paper about the subject matter and findings. I compiled two separate posts on Facebook. The first was on my basic homepage, the other in a specific group built for actors, artists and members of Anthony Gilardi's Hippo Life in Los Angeles (individuals constantly putting themselves out there to achieve their dreams). Both post contained the same question: what is love to you? The first group, open to every twit and twat in my friends list, was initially responded to by model Kodi Baker with 'tacos'. Baker's comment was then followed by nonsense from that one nutter everyone has on Facebook who uses the status update section to voice every one of their opinions without doing anything to actually contribute to the betterment of society. A Facebook Activist, if you will. After this it was a series of music videos and nonchalant misery. It was, in it's own way, heartbreaking. These were people who could, if they actually wanted to, be in love and find love quite easily. I fear that most, if not all of them were too lazy or too cynical to put in the real effort it takes to make oneself whole enough to enter into a serious romantic relationship with another human being. It was a peculiar realisation that led me to think about love as an abstract but graspable way to live life. I want to love my job. I want to love another person and be loved in return. I want my version of love to be a sense of faith, though I appreciate that it takes work to get there.


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Work is another thing most Millennials do not like to think about. We are constantly told that there are no jobs. We are told by our pessimistic parents that we should enjoy our youth through international travel and bullshit jobs. All that is happening is postponing your contribution to the world and those around you. Unfortunately, life does not begin at 30. Life begins when you know exactly what you want and you start working toward your happiness. So what happens when we stop believing in happiness? Well, just check out the comments from my Facebook feed and you'll see exactly how miserable most of you are. I say you, not us, because despite my current situation being so far detached from what I envisioned for this period of my life, I know that I am working toward that happiness and that everything happens for a reason, so why be miserable? The group of people that I refer to as 'us' are the members of Anthony Gilardi's Hippo Life. When the same question was posed, all of the responses were beautiful but one in particular by aspiring actor Kevin Sinic really stuck with me: 'It [LOVE] is the purest, most powerful feeling there is. It seems that in today's world people are more afraid than ever to fall in love. Much like falling on the ground, falling flat on your face, there's a flair of embarrassment in our society with falling in love. People are scared of feeling raw emotion. It's much more acceptable to get laid by a different person each weekend to hang on to one and figure this shit out...I believe that love contains the answer to everything. We simply have to be courageous enough to look through the veil of illusion and step out of our comfort zone. '

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My friends who complain about not being loved are the ones who project this embarrassment of true emotion. How can we fall so far away from a true human emotion and replace it with shame? Are we so utterly devoid of the ability to embrace the human reality that we are all the same. You're scared, I'm scared, let's try and fight this fear together and not laugh at each other for being spooked. We can do this but only if we work to make ourselves and then those around us feel whole. This sentiment was wonderfully put by actress and friend Krystal M. Harris who wrote, '"My other half" is a myth. Understand that you are two separate people. Love each other for your differences. They are there to teach you. You do not complete each other. You must be complete before you find each other only then can you have a truly wholly fulfilling experience.' The only similarity between the general public and the greatest artists is that neither group referred to work as a form of love, so I guess I have a ways to go in convincing the world that you can be in love with every element of your life even if you have no control over it. Defining love was a unique experience. For me, love is the idea of being able to look back on my life and think that I did not miss out, I do not regret my voice, and that I worked hard for everything I wanted even if it was never going to be mine. So, dear reader, what is love to you? see more of Kay's work at www.kaysmythe.com and more of Fabien's work at www.fabienvilrus.com

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A magazine for the quieter readers, who wish to get away from the mundane and chaos of the real world. For the five-minute biscuit break or the indulgent bedtime reading. We want to feed curiosity and shed light on overlooked things in life.

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