Monday, June 30, 2014

In Praise of Taproot Magazine

I make my home in a huge, noisy city and am raising two teenagers. I carve out necessary peace for myself in a variety of ways. I take pictures. I make collages. I also read Taproot Magazine.

I've been a magazine reading person for 40 years. I've enjoyed the intellectual, the lowbrow, the practical, the fanciful, the feminist and the fashionable. There's usually a stack of magazines near my bed. I especially like reading them when I'm almost ready to go to sleep, or at breakfast time.

Taproot is different from all of these. Four lovely times a year it arrives, inviting me to slow down, savor and retreat a little. There is something powerful about a magazine that can do this.

Taproot is lush and gorgeous. There are beautiful photographs and illustrations that range from quietly contemplative to riotously colorful in palette and texture. There is a lot to feast your eyes on here.

It doesn't take long to realize what is missing from this magazine. There is no advertising. Taproot is independently published. It's wall-to-wall articles, art, poetry, patterns and recipes. The words that keep coming to mind are “static free.” Reading Taproot is a static free experience.

One of my favorite things to do is pore over the Contributors pages. The people who write and create art for Taproot are a fascinating group of farmers, city dwellers, travelers, people living off the grid and plugged in.  There are authors, painters, herbalists and bakers. People seem to have multiple projects in different modalities going at once. I love reading these teeny biographies and look forward to creating time for myself to check out their blogs, books and websites.

It's all about handmade vs. mass produced, slow vs. harried, growing rather than tearing down.

In many ways, Taproot and I are an unlikely friendship. I love the farmers market, but do not want to grow the food myself. I'm not tempted to knit anything called a Lola Shawl or a Northport Baby Blanket. I don't want to live in a Yurt, homestead or make my own Sauerkraut.

On the other hand, my husband's family has a place in the country and I look forward to tending a tiny rectangle of an herb garden later this season. Jeremy and I are excited to try making infused liquors to spike summer cocktails. I love reading about how other people live, and think of many of the articles as mini-memoirs. This may be the very essence of where Taproot and I overlap.

Life can be harried. It can be stressful. If you're anything like me, Taproot can provide an antidote to the subway platform, the email, the traffic jam and the obnoxious PTA meeting. It's really good. Give it a try.

For more information: Taproot Magazine

The collage accompanying this article was crafted using color copies of pages from Taproot Issues #9 and #10. I made color copies because I didn't want to cut up my issues.

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