Yuna Winter currently works on a transitioning permaculture farm, is very concerned about the future of our world, and writes down a lot of thoughts whenever they happen.
Letting myself feel like my thoughts are important enough to write down has helped my writing infinitely, but more importantly it has helped my self worth and esteem, sense of self as a whole.
Your tweets are legendary. When I joined twitter I had a person I knew from high school recommend you, even though I was already following you. What are your thoughts on your relationship with twitter, both artistically and personally?
Wow thank you, legendary is a very hefty word for twitter, that is very kind of you to say. It makes me feel incredibly honored to have been an already confirmed recommendation. Also wow, my thoughts on twitter.
Generally, I think that twitter is an accessible medium for expression and communication and is used in all kinds of ways of varying productivity.
Twitter was there when I was really sad as a place to work on my self worth through simply learning how to value my thoughts enough to manifest them into words and then make those words public. This repeated action has been profound for me. It has helped me more than I think I can understand even right now. I know already that it has helped me a lot.
Right now in my life I am not sad. I am not lonely. I am, I feel, doing better every day. A big thing that has helped me to get here, right now, is expressing myself honestly and my twitter account is one of the ways I do this.
I was a really sarcastic youth. I was also really sad. I’m not sure about the correlation exactly, but I know sarcasm feels empty of true meaning because it is empty of true meaning, that’s the point. To both be saying things we don’t mean, but somehow both understand we don’t mean them is the in-joke of sarcasm and it is frankly a lot of work, time and energy to keep up, especially when I already feel sad. Sarcasm is the opposite of sincerity and I have become a big fan of sincerity twitter. Sincerity twitter has been and continues to be so kind towards so many types of honesty.
Artistically, twitter is great, twitter is accessible poetry, twitter is accessible art. Not all art or poetry is very good. I work on a transitioning permaculture farm it is a literal blessing from the void. Every day that things are green is so incredibly beautiful, like large amounts of fruits and vegetables and plants and flowers, that is art. I love being able to document this and show it to real people.
I call myself an artist in my twitter bio, but I don’t know if it’s true, I am pretty sure I’m just capturing the art and sharing it with people through the internet, and the internet is informing the information through a lens that can be seen by others as not only information but art. Either way, it’s beautiful, I’m so glad to be here and be able to do this.
You value your own voice and actions greatly, often encouraging others to make ethical choices (like doing various things to take care of our planet) or to be kind and tender towards others. Have you always recognized the power of your own voice and actions?
I most definitely have not always recognized the power of my voice and or actions. Even still now regularly I have to stop myself from thinking that my thoughts are worthless by virtue of some universality. Like the thoughts I am thinking are not original, have been thought before, are not innovative or containing new perspectives, surely this has all been mapped before by someone and mapped more intricately than I ever could type of thoughts.
But the more I write my thoughts down and the more people respond to them, positively (and negatively) the more I realize the perspective I have on some things is not be visible to others and that it is very cool to be able to share different perspectives.
Every day I am grateful for the internet, and it’s capabilities to allow for not only the storage of thoughts into words but the communication of them to people who can communicate back. So almost unimaginably cool. Like, every day, this technology shocks me, makes me feel amazed at being alive in a time when the written word is so easy to communicate.
Five hundred years ago printing a word was intensive esoteric stuff and sending that word out took a ridiculous amount of time and energy. I ask my family what it was like to be alive in a time before computers, indoor toilets, colour television, telephones, sometimes when we are hungry waiting for a meal at a restaurant. They tell me some ridiculous stuff and then the meal is suddenly there.
Now that a lot of people have access to the communication of the written word, I think maybe we have forgotten just how difficult it originally was to produce and disseminate. I had taken it for granted for a long time, I think even when I started using twitter I took it for granted, how much intensive work it took, privilege of access to technology and historical time period I had, to be able to tweet something like
“imagine if everyone at the oscars were eating hardboiled eggs”
or self deprecating and sad like
“little known fact: i coined the phrase “garbage person” in 2009 after eating an entire family sized bag of doritos while crying”
and have people read it, react to it, encourage the production of more words from more thoughts.
It can become a scary cycle, where something negative or empty of real meaning is written because the online community formed will reward it with an icon (a star, a heart) of approval. It’s a fine line between interpersonal online support and a performer/audience duality of positive reinforcement for a negative behavior. a fine little line.
I’m not sure I can define exactly my feeling of being rewarded for empty content it’s like a mix of feeling shitty and expressing it through sarcasm and feeling stuck expressing feeling shitty through sarcasm.
It’s a scary thought to think I could be generating negative empty content because I did not want to lose the approval of the community I had formed, or that the community that supported my negative thoughts doesn’t support my positive ones.
But over the last two years, since I’ve started writing down my thoughts, sharing things on the internet, farming, living alone, caring about food, I’ve become much more appreciative and mindful of the internet as a luxurious and seemingly limitless resource, as my thoughts and words being a means of positive and honest expression.I think even when I started using twitter I took it for granted, how much intensive work it tookClick To Tweet
The more people read my writing, the more I realize that my writing is read by actual human people and that I would like to leave good traces of myself in the world to the best of my ability.
What do you consider your greatest strength as a writer?
My greatest strength as a writer by far is the degree to which I choose to document my thoughts. The best thing I have ever done to improve my writing hands down, was to start writing.
About two years ago, I just decided to give my thoughts enough worth to make them physical things, enough time and energy. The worst that could happen is the thought is out of my head, the best that could happen is the thought is out of my head and it is a good one.
Letting myself feel like my thoughts are important enough to write down has helped my writing infinitely, but more importantly it has helped my self worth and esteem, sense of self as a whole. win/win.
What do you think people should be concerned with most right now?
Respect. Priority one.
To preface, I personally believe that all this experience is truly a fractal. Life is a circle. Everything is connected. A small part of the whole contains the whole, influences the whole etc. etc. I feel like of course everyone should be free to do what they want to do but that respect for yourself, respect for others and respect for our environment is key to making all of this feel good. Respect feels good.
This is a deceptively simple guideline (right? maybe?) and yet I think we do not practise it very often, maybe it’s an ideal yes, but as an enacted realized behavior, no it isn’t the norm. We do not give ourselves or others or the world, animals and plants and land, the deserved amount of respect.
And but so remember, it’s a fractal. It works from all ways, respecting our environment directly benefits our quality of life, respecting the lives of others directly leads to more positive opportunities for ourselves because we have made positive instead of negative connections in the world. Respecting our physical, mental and emotional health allows us to be more physically, mentally and emotionally available to help others and our environment.
Because of, or maybe, simultaneously occurring based on my interests in plants, gardening, sustainability and farming, I have found a great and simple place to start respecting things, is with my food and what i eat.
Food is probably one of my top favourite things keeping me alive right now. Water, air, sunlight, dirt, blood. All really cool things too. But the food we choose to eat is a really special necessary habitual occurrence, towards which we can and probably should focus more respect, culturally, holistically.
In order to really care about food, we ultimately, eventually, need to care about the environment in which food is grown, the quality of lives of the people who grow, harvest, pack, ship and sell the food, and the person/people who are eating it. Maybe this could all be one thing, this at one time and in some places of the world, is actually one thing or a much more closely linked circle of food production and consumption. Our global food supply is a large (huge) contributor to global warming, the thing making food production more difficult and the current agricultural industry uses a lot of poison – either directly as pesticides, or indirectly as synthetic fertilizers, diesel tractors, black plastic – causing the workers to have higher cancer rates, the food coming from these places after enough repeated exposure is probably also not good for the consumer, or also the bees and butterflies and. It’s a fractal.Right now in my life I am not sad. I am not lonely. I am, I feel, doing better every day. Click To Tweet
So I guess this focus on respecting food has led me to feel a lot better, about myself, my ability to help others, and my ability to change the world into something more environmentally sustainable. My gentle suggestions for myself and others if they want? If you have access to land, grow a garden. If you have access to farmers, buy their food. If you have access to influencing municipal government, consider lobbying to create access farmers markets or community garden allotments through grants or increased government funding.
Really, the biggest of the reasons I felt sad had to do with a lack of hope for possible solutions in the future, and I have discovered a lot of potential solutions to our environmental degradation just using resources on the internet, which I am incredibly grateful to be able to put into practise through working on an ecologically centred farm and garden.
The farm I work for is unique and awesome, but it by is no means the only unique and awesome transitioning permaculture small farm. I like to remind everyone that half of all agricultural land will change hands in the next 15 years, and even right now some farmers will just let you farm their land for free because they pay less taxes if it is in use as farmland. Just some cool thoughts to think about. Possibilities etc.
I include a lot of links to positive environmental, farming or food resources on my twitter so here also is a threaded series of tweets containing internet links to other free information resources if you want:
What’s your favorite publication you read right now?
I haven’t really been reading any publications. I feel very out of the loop of the online or otherwise literary world right now, my fault entirely. I’ve been occupied with very farm activities and I still use twitter often and see a lot of beautiful thoughts and art on there, but I have been avoiding indulging in beautiful literature, like avoiding inspiration because it’s just intuitively not time for that yet, I am too busy with physical dirt and plants that my mind and body both say not yet.
If I read things lately, they are mostly facts, like wikipedia articles on plants type of facts. The last books bought recently from the used book store (the first books in a few years) are both how-to manuals. One is called “Eco-Farm: the definitive guide to managing farm and ranch soil fertility, crops, fertilizers, weeds and insects, and more – while avoiding dangerous chemicals” and the other is called “The Art of Dowsing”
That being said, I am aware of and have even personally talked on the internet to a of a lot of cool artists and writers and their cool online publications are very inspiring and deserving of mention, like http://fogmachine.life/ and @spykidsreview and http://www.onmetatron.org/ and also @notlithouse does a micro/macro zine (that I sometimes help to edit), all really cool real living human people doing art and connecting other cool living people together. really beautiful. I am definitely forgetting other cool stuff and people, I know, I’m sorry.
Describe yourself if you were a plant.
Right now I identify most easily with the animal-like plants maybe the carnivorous ones. The bog plants maybe, Nepenthes (pitcher plant), Drosera (sundew), Dionaea muscipula (venus fly trap). Or the Mimosa pudica, called “the sensitive plant” because it reacts to physical stimuli so quickly we can actually understand it is reacting, I mean all plants react but humans are just moving at a different frame rate most of the time. I don’t feel very plant-like right now to be honest, but that’s probably just because I’m not a plant yet.
A thought you’ve been having lately?
Well, ok so, I have a lot of time to think while doing monotonous farm and garden tasks, and a lot of the time i’m thinking about right now. How right now isn’t 2000 years ago or 2000 years into this future and earth is still very very beautiful and forgiving. Right now.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how right now is incredibly special and won’t happen again and whatever garbage planet exists in the future and whatever terribly scarce resources and access to technology existed in the past, right now I can do something here with so much more than I could have at any other time, because it’s right now. I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately.