"Let life enchant you again." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Creativity // Simplicity
November 7, 2018

Seventeen Trees

Seventeen Trees is a new podcast, exploring simplicity, creativity, and living in harmony with nature.

I love podcasts. For three years I co-hosted a film review podcast, and when that ended in 2016 it left a hole in my heart. Since then podcasts seem to have only grown in popularity, and the tools for distributing them have made it easier than ever to launch a new one.

It was inevitable I’d have another go at podcasting. But meanwhile I’d developed a set of personal rules; things I’d learned from my last podcast venture that would shape any future project. This kept holding me back.

I wanted to start the kind of podcast where two or three people discuss their craft and process. Something like Making It, Make Do, or Cortex. This would require finding a co-host or two.

But I didn’t want to do a Skype-based show. I hate talking into a void – I don’t even like phone calls. Managing the inevitable hassles of digital connections, wondering if my co-host was listening properly or typing into their smartphone, and just trying to compensate for the lack of energy that comes naturally from being in the room with someone – it was all too much. So any co-hosts had to be based here in Tokyo.

I also didn’t want to be stuck again in a ‘record and post in the same week’ routine, so the episodes would have to be planned ahead, perhaps with several episodes recorded ahead of time, and a solid broadcast schedule.

However, in nearly two years of searching, I found no potential partners.

I started to think about what was possible. If I were to do it alone, it would have to be shorter. That was OK; some successful podcasts were starting to slip short, single perspective reflections into their stream, like On Being, and Happier.

After playing with several ideas in the studio I’ve come up with a format that I hope you’ll enjoy. The podcasts are 10 to 15 minutes long, the kind of thing you can listen to during a short commute or a long coffee break, or while preparing a meal.

For the first 20 or so, I’ll be looking at things I’ve written on the blog here and reflecting on how they came to be written, what I learned from the reaction to them, and where my thoughts have gone since. If you like the tone of the blog in recent years, or what you read in No Missing Tools, or the Modularity Zine, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy Seventeen Trees.

Here’s episode one. Please have a listen. Of course you can subscribe on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher, and the show will be available soon on other podcast platforms.

Nathan 6 years ago

Austerity never really sounds like a positive word, does it? Sounds like UK’s gov and the way they make their people live there. But it can also really sounds like Thoreau’s way of living, stoic and simple, just what you need, and nature.

Anouk 6 years ago

Snow is the epitome of simplicity and minimalism, covering everything we see with a white veil, making it uniform in an enliving way. This piling up of billions of snowflakes on everything we know just turns the known routine into this exquisite white canvas that clears our mind. In this case, more is less.

Melissa 6 years ago

I think that’s my problem, I feel like all my skills are all over the place, and that I need to gain all these other magnific skills that I admire in others and that interest me but I end up completely disregarding my own and it’s sad. Then you come across somebody’s work and you are all like “I could’ve done that!“ And yeah, but you didn’t… Be it because you think it’s all over the place or you think it’s too simple or familiar or not good enough, you maybe didn’t even think about creating something in that way and that other person did.

Lila 6 years ago

At the moment I feel so overwhelmed, finding it really hard to make ends meet and finding it really hard to find jobs that pay well in my field and this is just what I needed to hear today, so thank you for your words. I, too, hope for snow, as when Im sad I hope for rain. But rain feels more about washing away with beauty and snow feels like soothing and smooth settling.

fernando 6 years ago

Lila – Thank you and I hope you can find some beauty and peace soon.

fernando 6 years ago

Melissa – very true and we can waste a lot of energy either judging other people’s work or holding back from doing our own.

fernando 6 years ago

Anouk – nice, thank you.

fernando 6 years ago

Nathan – yes, austerity is a word that’s become a little difficult. For some reason I always used to associate it with rural living, the kind of simple purposeful homes farmers choose to live in. Austere could be beautiful, elegant even, but I guess now that is something we might call minimalism instead.

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