Best Of Cultivating Place: MAKING A LIFE, with MELANIE FALICK

Feb 4, 2021

Making A Life by Melanie Falick
Credit Christine Ashburn | Melanie Falick

This week to welcome February we revisit a favorite conversation from our last season - a good reminder to mind the way you spend your days - added together they are what will grow your life.  ENJOY!

Melanie Falick is a maker of many things by hand, and in her work from knitting to gardening, welding to baking, she explores the connection between what we do with our hands in our own lives and our quality of life and sense of wellbeing.

In 2015, Melanie left her 15-year corporate career in the publishing world without a completely clear sense of what she would - or wanted to do-  next. Her intuition told her that whatever it was, it would involve engagement with the handwork – knitting, sewing, time in the garden – that she loved, but that she had moved away from personal direct contact with in her career.

Credit Anne Marie O'Sullivan

In the course of making many things following her “retirement" of sorts, it while crafting a simple folded paper box, a box of incredibly basic utility, that she had an epiphany: “in a circuitous way” in all her creative making, she was trying to connect to her own survival – and that impulse was tied inextricably to her own sense of self, capability, and connection to others – ancestors, descendants, community. In these past few months of shelter in place, I think many of us, male, female, old and young across the globe, have had a renaissance in our own psyches of this same impulse.

Melanie and I actually chatted in February, before the shut-down, which seems prescient somehow in hindsight, and I think speaks to the fact that this growing global dissatisfaction with what we have been told  “success” is, has been in the making for a very long time. Enjoy this conversation about her newest book, “Making a Life, Working by Hand and Discovering the Life You Are Meant to Live” (Artisan Press, 2019), in which she explores how others have been manifesting this impulse and leading lives of great connection and meaning long before Covid-19, and how they might be role models for any one of us in making our own lives.