Kendall Rock


Road Trip: Wild & Scenic Film Festival

 I lived on the road for nearly an entire year, and I miss it sometimes. So when I heard that "We Eat Fish!" had gotten into the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, I stocked up my CRV with CDs and snacks and got back on the road. 

The only speedbump was the Surprise Portland Storm of 2017. Was it a speedbump, or an excuse for tea, biscuits, and sledding?

(it was an excuse for tea biscuits and sledding)

A long day of driving brought me into the arms of my San Francisco friends, and a shorter drive the next morning brought me to Nevada City and the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. 

Meredith Meeks, a friend and former classmate, a lady you should be keeping tabs on, a lady with some seriously cool shiz ahead of her, a breakfast date. She showed her film, Plastico, on Saturday at Wild & Scenic. 

Some of my favorite films of the festival - I encourage you to take the time to hear these important stories

There are a lot of things that worry me these days. Watching documentary after documentary about the current and future condition of our planet was terrifying, depressing, and exhausting. Knowing our new president denies climate change and has appointed Scott Pruitt to lead the Environmental Protection Agency is very scary. Knowing that I am just one person and there is only so much I can do makes me feel hopeless. 

The first film I saw at Wild & Scenic was How To Let Go Of The World and Love All The Things Climate Change Can't Change, by Josh Fox (Gasland). The film truly is "heartbreaking and ultimately inspiring." It guides you down some very dark paths in many parts of the world, delving into the deep damage that climate change is causing in so many beautiful places. Midway through the film, I felt completely, utterly hopeless, making goals to get outside every single weekend until I die, to enjoy this place while it's still enjoyable. Wondering if my children or grandchildren will be able to grow up camping and exploring nature like I did. 

It is a scary time. But there are people working hard to make a difference. There are strong voices out there, made stronger together. There are stories to share and spread, there is action you can take. There are good things happening all the time, amidst the bad. 

I feel overwhelmed when I think about all the big problems. Sometimes it's helpful for me to think small. Here are a few things I encountered on just my drive home that climate change can't change. Things my friends have shown me, little things that are big. 

Spontaneity, saying "yes, and," from my friend Izzy. We were going to do some chill headshots in Golden Gate Park but she said "how bout we climb that hill? I think we're supposed to go up there." And we were. 

Inspiration from Harry and Jaclyn (you may remember them from the too-beautiful wedding of 2015 where everyone cried), a couple giving the world hope for marriage, kindness, and generosity. They are vegan and are both studying veterinary medicine at OSU.

Love from my friend Kyle, who works with young children in Portland, bringing music to their classrooms every day. He is sweet, thoughtful, a good listener, and a joy-bringer to all who come in contact with him.

There was a lot of depressing business to ponder over the weekend. But there were also so many messages of hope in the Wild & Scenic films. In The Living Forest, a small community in the Amazon stand up against oil companies and successfully defend their land and way of life. In The Gnomist, a family secretly builds fairy houses in the woods to bring happiness and healing to those who pass by. 

I'm hopeful. People are taking action, big and small, to make a difference in their communities, their countries, and their world. I encourage you to share stories, put energy into things you care about, and go outside! 

Kendall RockComment