Klipsun is a Chinuk Wawa word meaning sunset.
KLIPSUN magazine is an independent student publication at Western Washington University located in Bellingham, Washington. While Klipsun has existed in one form or another since 1920, it morphed into a magazine in the late 1960's. The oldest issue in this collection is from 1967. We are currently scanning issues from Western Libraries' Special Collections and will add them as completed.
The current version of Klipsun Magazine recently became a digital-first publication with new stories released each quarter. Each magazine focuses on features, multimedia, and issues affecting the Pacific Northwest.
Change is inevitable. Through actions ranging from small to large, change comes upon each of our lives every day. But while change is inevitable, positive change is not. This magazine is dedicated to the changemakers, those who take the time and effort to make positive changes in the lives of others. A changemaker comes in a variety of forms. A childhood that inspired a lifetime of kindness. A high school student who has dedicated their time to activism. A tribe who advocates for safer living conditions of orca whales. All are changemakers. I encourage you to challenge yourself to recognize those who have acted as changemakers in your life. Who has changed your life for the better? Will you live as a changemaker?
Rose H. Carr
Who are you? What qualities of your past have shaped you? What is your essence? Can you recognize the choices you are making now and what they will lead to?
By definition, essence is “the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something that determines its character.”
I like to think we make decisions based on what we know will happen indefinitely. When in reality, we are all trying to choose the best choice when life presents itself to us.
The accumulation of gut reactions, late-night turning and days of pensive thinking we’ve made along the timeline of our lives is what has put us where we are today.
Embrace and grow from past experiences to become the best version of yourself; they’re attributed to who you have become.
When I was a child, my father asked me, “How do you eat and elephant?”
“One piece at a time”, I replied.
This quarter, Klipsun delved into the curiosities that compel us all forward in our journey. Within these pages you will find stories about gritty 80-year-old ultra-runners, personal growth and the familial connections that bind us all together.
Success of any kind is attained through small, nearly unperceivable steps. We don’t always go forward. Sometimes we must step backwards, sometimes we make mistakes, sometimes we explore unexpected roads. That is the nature of any pursuit. It takes courage to give yourself a moment of rest.
I invite you to pause and find that bold stillness.
One piece at a time.
If there is one constant we can all expect in life, it is that there will always be change.
These changes, may they be destructive, dividing, didactic or opportune, are what define our future moving forward.
As we go through the motions, we rarely notice the quiet transformation, the metamorphosis of unassuming things from language to our environment and relationships to conversation.
That is the nature of evolution.
I’d imagine you picked up this magazine for one of two reasons. The first of these is that you have a connection to Klipsun. Maybe you know one of our writers, designers, photographers or editors. Maybe you’ve been in town long enough to recognize the magazine as a mainstay on Bellingham newsstands.
But the other reason you picked it up, and I’d guess the more likely one, is the striking nature of the cover. We are living in a country divided. If there is one thing Americans can agree on following our tumultuous election cycle, it is that. The lines split down virtually every socioeconomic, cultural and religious distinction. We’ve assembled our music, news, movies and even facts into our own tailored universes. We are slowly losing any semblance of a shared language.
This is not the way for our country and this not the way for journalists.
In the “Divided” issue, Klipsun contributors sought to push against the current national grain. They spoke to Trump and Clinton supporters alike, they examined both the science and spirituality behind chiropractic, they teased out the consonant and conflicting identities of a black female mountain biker.
Dig into the following pages. May they serve as an example that our current division is not destiny.
Life is full of the unexpected. We like to think we have it all figured out, predicting and organizing the static nature of our daily lives. Yet, in a mere moment, life can knock the wind out of you and it is suddenly changed forever.
It’s hard to cope with change, especially when it is an undesirable outcome. We are constantly fighting with reality, using our denial as a protective shield. We try to face change head on, but there is rarely an instance in which we can prepare ourselves for life-altering experiences.
In this issue you will find stories of grief and loss, the relationship between old and new and discovering brightness in the midst of our weary journey. Each story in this collection encapsulates what it means to look toward the future.
In the face of life’s seemingly infinite adversities, there is one constant: life goes on. There is no turning back, what’s done is done. We all must decide which path we want to take, but all any of us can really do is move forward.
Picture, if you will, a child with matted hair and a sunken lower jaw. Clutched in that child’s hands is a notebook, tattered and filled with sweeping drawings of dragons and the scrawlings of a dreamer.
If you asked that child to write about the real world, a scoff would have followed. “Why would I write about that? It’s boring! ”
As a 10-year-old, I was convinced of this mentality. I had tried writing about myself and I had tried writing about others. Nothing ever stuck. It’s hard to write about others without taking the time to walk in their shoes, and I lacked the wisdom to recognize that.
The day our campus shut down due to racial threats will forever be emblazoned in our minds. While it was neither the first time nor the last time our campus will feel divided, this moment will always stand out. Everything in the months that followed seemed to always be tied back to that day. For every pointed finger, for every whisper, it always seemed to stem from November 24,2015. Unity is a tricky thing. It’s not about just running within our own circles, never to disturb the status quo.
Unity is about stepping across the lines and reaching out. As journalists, we can do just that. We have the opportunity to step across dividing fines and reach out to those whom we’ve never spoken to before. It is our obligation, after all, to give a voice to the voiceless.
On a campus fraught with divisions and scars from recent trauma, we cannot afford to stand opposite of one another and wag our fingers. Instead, we must come together and learn the stories of those we appear to have nothing in common with.
It was my goal, as editor-in-chief, to encourage my writers to step out into the world and walk hand in hand with those they had never spoken to before. It is my hope that you, dear reader, will be able to walk in those same shoes.
'You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view ...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." To Kill a Mockingbird
Every day we have the ability to influence others and our surroundings. We share our stories in hopes that we can inspire change and create a conversation. Our stories can be tragic, happy or anywhere in between. But everyone has a story to tell.
As time passes by we realize how the little points in our lives can lead to bigger experiences. We listen to others while they motivate us to express our voices.
In life we may not always know exactly where we are headed but eventually we will find our path. As when the tides on a beach rise and fall the waves crash against the shore with a variation of intensity. These are the moments of our lives.
And with everything there is impact.
The flowering cherry tree has long symbolized the cyclical nature of life and death. Its blossoms arrive in the spring, delivering their beauty for only a short time. There is a transcendent quality to them, a sense of magic. The Japanese tradition of Hanami has celebrated these trees for more than a millennium and invites people to leave their home or workplace to admire the blossoms and watch them fall. This act is one of honor and regard for the ephemerality of life. It is a practice calling for recognition that as all things begin, thus they too shall end. The trees and the tradition they foster represent the fleetingness of life – nature’s one true promise.
There exists a value intrinsic to the decisions and actions that we make. A force to promote change and move us forward, into the future.
Decisions lead to acts lead to events and events shape our views of the world. Our frame of reference expands and we are within the human experience.
Please, take a moment and a deep breath. May you be delivered, now and always, to a sense of purpose.
If you’ve stood ankle-deep in the ocean, you may know the magic. I remember peering down toward my ankles as waves broke and rolled onto the shore. When the water would retreat, the backwards drag created a distinct floating illusion, as if the ebbing tide was pulling me out to sea along with it.
Or perhaps you’ve seen your share of Bellingham Bay sun sets. When the sky shifts and the sun sinks with it, if the right elements align, the diffused light creates a giant scoop of rainbow sherbet melting over the horizon.
The simplest sets of motion can produce grand moments. Flux is defined as “the action or process of flowing or flowing out,” or “continuous change.”
At Klipsun Magazine, we are constantly in a state of forward motion. With each new quarter and each new issue, one generation of writers and staff flows out as another flows in. The faces you see and stories you read while flipping through the spring edition are shed in time for fall and winter, but their significance is preserved in every past page.
Amid the inherent and perpetual change on Western’s campus and in the Bellingham community, Klipsun aims to keep evolving to fit our readers’ needs and interests.
Our previous issue. Timeless, marked a shift from a bi-quarterly to a quarterly and online-first publication. With Flux, we embrace the restorative nature of change.
We encourage you to observe each gradient in the next sunset, to find your equivalent moment of magic, or allow us to tell you a story and transport you to another person’s world for a moment. Step into an ancient bead shop or medieval village, follow a henna crown artist from a writer’s personal perspective, or learn how people in juvenile detention reflect and connect with paper and pencil.
I flip through the yellow pages of a navy blue hardcover book titled Klipsun; with each page turn, a musty smell fills my nose. My eyes land on a black and white photo of a tall, dark-haired man in a blazer and I read his name — Dingeman Bajema — my great grandfather. Here, I knew I had found something timeless.
From a yearbook that displayed the life of my great grandfather in 1924, to a features magazine that depicts the lives of people in 2015, Klipsun has maintained a storytelling tradition that captures life in the way it is at that moment in time.
In an effort to improve your reading experience, Klipsun has received an extensive makeover. The previously 20 page biquarterly magazine will now be printed once each quarter and will feature 40 pages of the faces and stories of our time. Stand-alone photos are used in this edition to capture life as it was in the 1960’s and 1970’s.
This edition of Klipsun is a time capsule, gathering the stories of today. By turning this page, you can delve into the life of a traveling vintage shop owner, experience past life regression therapy, witness the art of drag, celebrate merging cultures and be at different phases in the circle of life.
The human experience is ever-changing. Through Timeless, we’re aiming to celebrate the past while aligning Klipsun with the modern world.
Carina Linder Jimenez
One of my favorite novelists, James Joyce, once wrote, “I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today. I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.” These two sentences speak to the ongoing reality that is a person’s life.
Everyday people are looking forward toward a change or looking back at what they once needed. We live in a world that is perpetually unsatisfied but also entrenched with hope. To reach a world people want to live in they may choose to stand silently in a demonstration, or rush head first and fists crashing into a protest. Another person may simply be gripping onto each day as they let go of an addiction or escape a social status.
We here at Klipsun have also been feeling the pull toward something new. Currently, Klipsun is a bi-quarterly publication. We have decided to change to a quarterly publication. Why? Just like any person wants to reach their highest potential, we too wanted Klipsun to push itself to reach its highest journalistic ability. We craved a larger quarterly publication with more in-depth content for readers to sink into. We wanted an active online presence that included releasing articles that weren’t going to be in the printed publication. We’re going to provide more for our readers not only in quantity but quality.
The previous publication, Perspective, was one of our first moves toward an online-first publication. Before distributing the print publication, we released all the articles online. With Crave you will also begin to notice us release articles and multimedia pieces that aren’t related to the publication theme.
These are some of the steps we have begun taking toward keeping our readers engaged throughout the year. More changes will continue to occur and we hope you stay involved as Klipsun expands.
Carina Linder Jimenez
Thinking back to your childhood, I’m sure each of you has engaged in the simple fun of spinning in a circle. Your feet began shuffling as you pushed yourself to spin rapidly and erratically. Depending on your mood, you either shut your eyes tightly for the rush of possibly colliding or you kept them wide open to experience the thrill of losing focus.
Spinning and spinning. Faster. Now you’ve opened your eyes and continued spinning for a few more seconds.
Unable to maintain your balance, you fell to the ground and stared up at the sky - waiting for your focus to return. Your eyes feel as if they’re swirling around and flicking back and forth.
During this activity you’ve changed your perspective of the environment around you. While small scale and basic, the act of pushing yourself to experience a new viewpoint taps into the human need to connect. Either to connect to one another or an intangible idea, this publication provides a moment for you to step back into your childhood when everything was new and nothing was concrete.
Take the time to open your mind and view another person’s perspective on death, life, courage, service, dreams.
Carina Linder Jimenez
From the moment you picked up this publication to the time you sat down to read it you have passed someone who has lost a loved one, has achieved a fitness goal, who balances a mental disorder, has aced a final and who is advocating for a cause.
It’s easy to become engrossed in your own story and not realize the thousands of stories similar to your own. We all each achieve, suffer, balance. Whether for humanity, animals, the Earth or ourselves, everyone is forging a path that has and will encounter barriers.
One of my most memorable barriers was when I was 13 and my GPA was dwindling at 1.4. My teachers rallied together to put me into drug and alcohol counseling. My parents reminded me of college. At the time, I was not on track to reach any of my academic goals. This left me with two options: accept my situation and continue with it, or accept my situation and surpass it.
Within one quarter my GPA shot up to 3.4 and I was enrolling in honors classes.
This isn’t to say every limit should be surpassed. To see a limit as a barricade or safety is entirely in the eye of the beholder. A limit is an acknowledgment of a line that you cannot pass or you must break; a step in a certain direction to achieve the ending you’re searching for.
Klipsun thrives off collaboration. For this issue, 13 staff members and 22 writers were a vital part of the construction of this magazine. With the many unique personalities and ideas involved, our magazine is able to evolve with each issue and share some powerful and delightful stories.
At Klipsun, we believe it is important to incorporate clear words, stunning pictures and relevant, clean design to embody a whole story. Without one element, the others would suffer. Interacting with a story on a more engaged level means spending time absorbing the visuals as well as the words.
By making a magazine, we are able to bring real human stories to our readership. As humans, we have the ability to construct our lives and selves in many ways. Take your diet into your own hands and build it around wild, foraged food like some Bellingham residents, or embrace your childhood nightmares and turn them into an artistic career. Change your surroundings by building ships in bottles or growing an exact replica of a tree… in a miniature size.
All of these stories and more wait inside this issue, and it is no surprise that they inspired me to take a deeper look at the way I live my own life. Wonders of the Wilderness pushed me to consider ways to grow some of my own food while living in a city apartment, and Shop to Sheep made me think about where my clothes are made. As a person who is always on the lookout for new hobbies, Nurturing Bonsai and Bottling a Vessel were fascinating reads of unique pastimes.
The Klipsun staff can’t wait to share, so read on. Imagine the possibilities at your fingertips.
As a child, I spent my summers at the family pond, learning to swim and exploring the shoreline armed with rainbow goggles and a shrimp net. While I loved the florescent wings of the blue and red dragonflies resting on the cattails, I preferred to inspect their green larvae counterparts clinging to the dock pilings beneath the surface of the water. They looked like sleeping insects incased in murky, underwater cocoons. As the summer progressed, the larvae climbed up the pilings into the sunlight. A dragonfly would crawl out, stretching its new wings and fanning them in the air.
The dragonflies taught me the process of metamorphosis, emerging and breaking through several surfaces in a matter of minutes. And after they warmed their wings, they flew to the cattails, leaving a dried skin of another life behind.
For this issue, our staff and writers came together to decide what “surface” means to us. We were struck by the different definitions and interpretations of the word. As you read, we hope you consider what it means to you as well.
What exists on a surface may not be an accurate representation of what lies beneath. Read on and travel into caves with Washington state spelunkers, see a criminal strip club through the eyes of an undercover cop and dive into the depths of Puget Sound in search of lost ship- wrecks. Our writers bring you stories of all kinds of surfaces, both literal and figurative. Take this copy of Klipsun home and indulge yourself in the stories printed on the pages to come.
What comes to mind when you read the word “grow?” I remember standing against a door frame while one of my parents marked my height with a pencil, each small line showing the passage of time. I think of summers spent pushing the lawnmower over a field of grass that seemed to sprout back overnight. And now, as I write my last of four letters as Klipsun’s editor-in-chief, I consider how I have grown as a person during my time at Western.
College is a place for people to grow into themselves. Students gain a better understanding of the world around them and learn something new every day during one of the most formative times in their lives. They meet new people and make new mistakes. My time working for this publication has helped me understand who I am and established my passion for journalism. I have been lucky enough to be on Klipsun’s staff in some capacity or another for 10 issues and every moment on the magazine has been an opportunity to learn from. But how do you measure the experiences you have had?
If you are measuring the growth of alpaca fur or octopus tentacles, a ruler can easily answer that question. Measuring tree age, the number of days a dead body has been decaying or the amount of electronic waste we produce annually starts to get a little bit trickier. In some situations, growth can be easily quantified in units that may change depending on the continent. For others, growth is more subjective. How does one measure the impact of adopting a child or creating a community garden?
The Klipsun staff want to encourage knowledge and understanding that will have a lasting impact on our readership. Whether you are a student picking up a magazine on the way to class or a curious reader browsing our website from a far-away country, we want your view of the world to expand as you experience the content of our publication. As you read through our stories, we hope you think about what “grow” means to you.
In an era when time seems to pass at a break-neck pace, staying current is an important part of any publication’s day-to-day operation. How can we stay current as a publication when societal trends and global issues seem to pass in a matter of days and weeks but we only publish twice a quarter?
Klipsun stays relevant by telling the stories that matter not only to the people who pick up the magazine the day it comes out, but also to those who will read it years from now. For Klipsun, staying current means more than just keeping up with the times. The means in which stories are brought to readers is constantly changing. Readers are no longer passive consumers of media. The single downstream approach to storytelling is changing, allowing for reader participation and influence in what they read. We are trying to reach out and involve our readership throughout our process and allow them to help shape our final product. Our readers should know what life was like and what issues were worthy of being published when our staff sat down to plan the magazine. We want Klipsun to be a portal into what was important to the staff and community when the magazines were neatly stacked around Bellingham.
We want to convey to both present and future readers that finding clean energy alternatives and reducing waste is of paramount importance to our readership and staff. We want people to read about how technology is moving into an ever more digitally dominated realm while some people still hold on to analog methods. We want readers to connect with stories of people as they break world records, give death new life and live every day with a neuropsychiatric disorder. These are the stories we have decided to tell in this issue. We want them to interest, enlighten and fascinate you. Staying current for our readership is important, but being current is as much about looking to the future and learning from our past as it is about observing the present. Take the time to read through Klipsun and see what our Current issue is all about.
The Balance issue of Klipsun is aptly named. Hopefully by now you have read through our Impression issue, in which we pushed the magazine forward. We wanted to lift up our stories through design and photography in such a way that the reader could connect with stories and recognize the work of our writers and staff. Impression was created out of chaos. Many people came together as a team and figured out how to make a better magazine that was both sustainable and interesting. We wanted to bring the reader the best we had to offer and stories that would fascinate and inform. This issue saw the chaos organized and focused into something we are all very proud of. Klipsun achieved balance in its use of photographs and design. Our staff found balance in how we operate and how to best foster our writers while delivering the best stories to our readers.
This issue includes stories of both physical and mental balance. One writer tells a story about ice skating and how the physics of the human body propels skaters across the glistening ice. Another writer wrote about student entrepreneurs who realize balancing work and school is a small part of balancing the elements of a startup business. One writer tells the story of people who live with vertigo and work every day to find balance in their lives. Another writer profiles a student whose love of music and supporting friends helps him overcome having bipolar disorder.
At one point or another we have all tried to achieve some degree of balance in our lives. Whether we are balancing time, resources or our minds, most people seek to find balance in their lives in an otherwise unbalanced world. We live in a society of advancement and discovery. We always strive to progress forward as a people — that is nature of our nation and of humankind. The staff and writers of Klipsun hope readers will be inspired by the work in this issue and will seek to achieve balance in their lives. Together we can make the world a better and more balanced place for everyone.
When I was growing up, my grandfather kept endless rows of boxes filled with National Geographic magazines along the far wall of his garage. Every time I would visit, I selected a box and meticulously combed through every page of the 20 or so issues before returning it and selecting another. I would stand in awe at his collection of cameras and look through the 92 years of history he had cataloged throughout his lifetime in photo albums that were curling at the edge of pages. My grandfather passed away several days before we began production of this magazine. I was left to think not only of the impression he left on me, but also on how profound a simple impression could be.
Synergy has always fascinated me. The concept that two separate things, ideas or people can blend together and create something far more powerful than either one of the individual parts.
The concept can be seen as rather basic and easily understood, but I like to think of synergy as some sort of deeper, far more powerful occurrence than ourselves. Hidden elements blend together in unknown ways to produce something completely unique.
When things blend together they can have hidden repercussions and benefits. Something is as simple as blending a flying kite and surfing can lead to thrilling moments on the edge of life and death. The past can bleed into the present when modern day Civil War enthusiasts reenact battles that are so realistic it can bring onlookers to tears.
Rather than focus on how and why things blend together, I like to think about the end result - what we are left with. Looking back on my time at Western, I don’t dissect individual lessons from each of the course I took, I think about all these smaller lessons from my major and minors have come together to create my educational experience, the things I will carry with me long after graduation. So I encourage you to step back and drink in what happens when you combine two different elements. It can be truly magical.
I was always taught speed could be thought of as the rate at which an object covers distance. But my concept of speed has changed throughout the years. For me, it is about the progression of something or someone, the moments between the seconds.
However, I didn’t always see speed the way I do now. Growing up with an uncle named “Fast Mike”, who races cars professionally, speed was always about being the fastest. He would maneuver around the cones on the track in the blink of my eye, finishing first in a matter of seconds.
As I became older he asked if I wanted to ride with him in one of his races. My hands gripped the side of the seat as he started the engine. I was preparing for the ultimate fast-paced thrill.
But something funny happened. The memories of him whizzing around the track faster than my eye could follow didn’t match up to what I felt and saw while being in the car.
Time seemed to slow; every move he made was done with such purpose and precision. We were no longer racing at 90 mph but gliding slowly along the track, feeling those moments between the seconds.
In compiling this issue I learned even more about the importance and unique quality of speed. One man experiences what it feels like to set the land-speed record on a motorcycle, while a basketball coach with a heart condition has to slow down and show his passion for the game on the sidelines.
How one treats and experiences speed is the key, not how fast or slow something happens.
I sometimes like to think of myself as clever. Yet I still find it nearly impossible to come up with a witty answer when asked, “If your house was burning down, what’s one thing would you save from the fire?”
Trying to imagine the walls ablaze around me, I close my eyes and scan the eternal mess that is my bedroom. My line of vision crosses my bike, heap of clothes in the corner, musical instruments and laptop, as I evaluate which of these things I wouldn’t be able to live without.
“Assuming my family is safe, I would throw my mandolin on my back, grab my copy of “The Great Gatsby” and the Bible my grandma gave me, and then hop on my bike and jump it through the flames like Evel Knievel,” I would answer. But that’s cheating.
As I listen to others answer the same question, I realize the items I find vital are drastically different from what the people around me would save, and none of their items are similar to each other. As we start to hear about the family photos, laptops, cameras and cats that people would save, we start to see what each person values the most.
In this issue of Klipsun, we get a glimpse into the vital things in life, such as the Olympic hopeful’s decision to ensure his path to the podium, and the adopted woman finding closure in search of her birth parents. We also sweat along with a wrestler who has to lose 10 pounds in fewer than 24 hours.
In this issue, we see vitals in a new way. We give up our own idea of the things that are necessary, and we start to think about what the people around us might hold while leaping through the flames.
Time to come clean. I’m afraid of flying. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this until the airplane I was on started taxiing down the runway, preparing to take me and my family to the happiest place on Earth: Disneyland.
Heights are fine. I love to climb mountains, hike narrow cliffside trails, ride the glass elevators at the Space Needle and jump off unstable ledges into the lakes of Eastern Washington, but there is something about being unable to control my own rise and fall that gives me the willies.
What you are about to read chronicles stronger people than I. We found people who put their lives at risk for the thrill of backcountry exploration, people who climb trees for a living and people who climb ice for fun, even though they’re completely aware of the “screaming barfies” they may feel when they finish.
This issue of Klipsun tells the tale of the man who helped us discover Earth through a photo, and why owning solar panels in a state known for rain isn’t a terrible idea.
People stronger than I, the 15-year-old kid sweating bullets as the airplane banked in a circle around the runway to land. Clutching my stiff armrest and with my body pressed into the uncomfortable padding of my seat, I was almost ready to take my chances with a parachute.
Soon enough, I would be walking through the airport thinking about nothing but roller coasters and Splash Mountain, and my fear of falling from the sky would be far behind me.
When you read these stories, I encourage you to see the world through the eyes and lenses of the men and women who aren’t afraid to fall, and who see heights, both literal and figurative, as inspiration. I know I have learned a thing or two from these people already.