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

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Christine Ashburn | Melanie Falick
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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.

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Anne Marie O'Sullivan
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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.

Jennifer Jewell is the creator and host of the national award-winning, weekly public radio program and podcast, Cultivating Place: Conversations on Natural History & the Human Impulse to Garden, Jennifer Jewell is a gardener, garden writer, and gardening educator and advocate. Particularly interested in the intersections between gardens, the native plant environments around them, and human culture, she is the daughter of garden and floral designing mother and a wildlife biologist father.
Matt Fidler is a producer and sound designer with over 15 years’ experience producing nationally distributed public radio programs. He has worked for shows such as Freakonomics Radio, Selected Shorts, Studio 360, The New Yorker Radio Hour and The Takeaway. In 2017, Matt launched the language podcast Very Bad Words, hitting the #28 spot in the iTunes podcast charts.