Piece of Mind: Eugenie Frerichs

Eugenie Piece of Mind

 

 
As we focus our attention to the wildfires engulfing much of the West Coast right now, we are reminded of the powerful work of Eugénie Frerichs, a photographer and editor working at the intersection of art, activism, and the natural world, currently on a long-term photo project on the Oregon coast.
 
 
Four books I recommend:
Reading now: Sontag, Benjamin Moser, and Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art, Nancy Princenthal.
Next up: Thinking maybe something by Djuna Barnes. 
Changed my Life this Spring: The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion. 
Recently gave as a gift: Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency, Olivia Laing. 
 
If I had a billboard, it would say:
Northbound: SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMERS
Southbound: VOTE!
 
Being “successful” means...
Having enough work to meet my needs but not so much that the other facets of my life fall away; maintaining steady and authentic connections with family, friends, and colleagues; making creative work that feels true to my feelings and curiosities; elevating and amplifying the work of others who inspire me; having a true and deep sense of belonging in a community that cares about people and the planet; keeping my own footprint small; spending more time outside than in.
 
An act of kindness I do regularly for myself:
Ocean time. No better way to cleanse and recharge the heart and mind than to jump into the Pacific and let the waves do their thing.
 
Things I swear by:
A sweet dog as a sidekick. Doing things in the ocean. Walking slowly through a forest. Volunteering/stepping outside of myself. Meditation and yoga. Drinking water. A stroll in the evening with a small pour of whiskey, aka the Whiskey Walk. Love.
 
I define "feminine" as...
I’ve been thinking about this so much lately! Recently a friend called me a tomboy and when I asked him to describe his idea of feminine it was all about nail polish, makeup, clothing, hair. For me feminine refers to something deeper. I associate it with an intuitive connection to landscape, to the backcountry and also to the ocean, and as an awareness of cycles—of the tides, the moon, the seasons, the forests, the cycles in the body. It’s not a gendered thing, and it’s less about how we present ourselves, more about an overall approach to moving through the world. 
 
The other day I was reading about Diana, the mythical huntress who is the goddess of wilderness and also of fertility; adept in the backcountry, fluent in the forests, often shown with a dog, easy with all things wild. Sometimes when I need to conjure up some extra courage—paddling out into scary waves, or heading into a hard conversation—I’ll say under my breath, Diana!, and then move ahead. It’s silly, makes me laugh, but it diffuses the situation and the intention is real. She strikes me as absolutely feminine: there is strength, confidence in uncharted territory, some nurturing and deep listening, and trust in one’s own instincts. There can also be ruby red lipstick, beautiful dresses and perfectly painted nails, but there is dirt under those nails. This is the sort of feminine that feels right for me.