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.
I lost empathy when I was young and have since spent my time searching for it. Empathy is a capacity that is messy and unnatural; it is a pain in the ass for us selfish folks. My search for it began in high school. Later, in a college literature class, I rediscovered my infatuation for empathy when I read Leslie Jamison’s “The Empathy Exams.”
“This was the double blade of how I felt about any thing that hurt: I wanted someone else to feel it with me, and also I wanted it entirely for myself.”
Considering you and I have hurt, that we do hurt and that we will hurt in our lifetimes begs the question: do we hurt less when others hurt with us?
I chose this theme hoping to answer this. I’m not sure if we did. Isolated in my room, I met my staff through a laptop screen and encouraged them to be empathetic journalists who ask empathetic questions and seek out empathetic stories about empathetic characters. And, of course, the lack thereof.
We challenged whether or not this capacity is inherently human. We considered if everyone deserves it, how we can earn it and how we claim it for ourselves. We clarified the difference between it and its deceptive neighbor, sympathy.
Besides interviewing people pre-pandemic style, reading this quarter’s stories is the closest I have come to finding empathy again. Hurting with my writers, with my editors and with the characters you will discover gave me a glimpse at something I lost a long, long time ago.
Read with someone else. Then read it again — entirely for yourself.
Dearest readers, This is the section that my predecessors have carved out to write something profound about Klipsun’s theme and the stories you will find with- in. Yet, as I write this, I realize there isn’t anything inherently profound to say about pride. Pride is something most people understand from a young age. Life is filled with proud moments. Pride in education and sports, pride in family and pets, even pride in our ability to meet milestones like talking and walking. As I list all these moments, I wonder why it was so hard for me to feel pride growing up. I was only 13 when I real- ized that for many queer peo- ple, pride is a hard-fought bat- tle. Sadly, most of us are never given the tools to fight it. Being forced in the clos- et by societal norms and fear of retribution caused us to hide any outward no- tions of our pride and sulk in the shame of something that was unchangeable. When other layers of identity are added onto this, that battle for pride becomes even tougher. I learned to fight my battle, and now here I am writing this letter in my own magazine edition, themed after the very thing that has taken me so long to obtain. Here is the mandatory call to action: take a second to set this down and think about what you are proud of. (I’ll give you extra space to think about it, too.) Do you have it? Now think of what it took for you to get there. Imagine what life would be like if it brought you shame instead. As you finish this let- ter you will move on to our magazine and discover the stories of pride found with- in our communities. Our writers have worked hard to tell these stories and I hope they bring you even the slightest amount of joy. Once you finish this magazine—you are gonna finish it, right???—I recom- mend you go out and do things with as much pride as you possibly can. Or else, what’s the fucking point? With Pride, Colton Rasanen Editor-in-Chief
For the Reader, The lake is silent on a cool spring morning. As a thick mist rises from the water’s glassy surface, there is a harsh rumble, and a white speedboat rushes through. All that remains, when the buzz fades to an empty echo, is a white-capped trail, rippling, rippling, gone. While the wake of one boat disappears as quickly as it comes into existence, add one, two or 50 more to the mix and, well... just imagine the insurmountable waves. It is not difficult to picture this familiar wake. But to recognize this metaphor on a greater human scale is another story. As members of Generation Z, we are quite literally capsized in the middle of this body of water, shouting, as well as we can, to be heard. The results of human disregard for nature and humanity alike have thrust us into a social and environmental crisis with no tangible solution. But still, we try. Because the consequence of silence is ruin. As Greta Thunberg, one of the foremost members of our generation has said, “This is not the time and place for dreams. This is the time to wake up.” These pages are filled with many hard truths and necessary lessons, alongside stories of metamorphosis, peace and unbridled joy. For within this dichotomy, we may hope to find the answers we so desperately seek. These are the words we have to offer you, generations of the past, present and future. Take them as you will. Truly, Zoe Deal
Dear Reader, When we think of the archetype superhero, we often conjure up an image of some perfect, impenetrable being. As humans, the realities we face are seldom that simple. As I reflected on my experiences in journalism thus far, I kept coming back to what I felt made stories both important and compelling – the people at the heart of it all. No matter the topic, there is something inherently captivating about the human experience in that it always drives a component of the article. Otherwise, what would compel us to care? And so, I chose the theme “Superhuman”, a perfect balance between the two worlds. It reminds me of how powerful our voices are, and of the incredible things people are doing to make our world a better place. Comparatively, it also reminds me that humans are flawed and rarely have a perfect story to tell. In these pages, you will find a collection of articles and narratives that represent what it truly means to be superhuman: keeping resilient in the face of opposition and transcending our own limitations. We are all capable of making an impact and effecting change – you don’t have to be a hero to do that! Best, Ray Garcia
Dear reader, Klipsun Magazine has hit the stands for fifty volumes now—it transformed from student yearbook to a storytelling publication during a time of war, civil unrest, uncertainty and an ever-present sense of indignation. Our writers pursued ledes with that feeling at heart. In this issue you’ll read stories about the long fight to renew the college of ethnic studies, one student’s year-long struggle with homelessness, why one man put a dent in his savings to run for city council, how one person has persevered since her sexual assault and more. I would like to personally thank the Klipsun staff, writers, and advisor for their contribution and dedication to this special issue of Klipsun. We all feel indignant about something, but it’s our course of action that counts. That’s why we report. We write. We must—it is our proud duty. Respectfully, Questen Inghram Editor-in-chief
Dear Reader, I invite you to savor these pages and indulge on the flavors of life within these stories. I invite you to have a large appetite, to bite off more than you can chew, but to finish anyway. I invite you to always leave room for vulnerability, resilience and change, but with joy as the main course. Maybe you’re like me, finally graduating after a victory lap, stumbling on the pressure cooker of, “what’s next”. “Next” is taking risks. Welcoming failure. Knowing when to ask for help. Never settling. Having the courage to try new things. And not ever waiting on luck. To sustain not only your hunger, but your heart – make it count. Earn your seat at the table. On the good days, tip your servers and read the news. Within these pages I hope you taste a piece of yourself, and that it leaves your belly rumbling for more. Stay hungry, Angela, Editor-in-chief
Being ourselves takes courage. Courage to be honest and courage to be vulnerable. I chose authenticity as the theme for this issue of Klipsun because I wanted genuine and honest stories. What I received were stories about fighting for identity, what we can learn about ourselves through the lens of cross-cultural psychology, confronting the past to better understand who we are now and more. When we muster up the courage to tell honest, authentic stories like these, it can remind us we’re not alone. Sometimes that’s all we can ask for. When we’re honest with who we are with each other, we can find what it truly means to be ourselves.
As winter extends its icy hold, I often think about life and the journey that lies ahead. There’s something about the frosty mornings and endless grey light that lends itself to self-reflection. If you, like me, find yourself diving into an internal dialogue, you may discover you have an idea of where you want to go, but are caught without a roadmap. Along this path of life, there will be times of uncertainty. Of narrow alleyways you have to pass through in order to get where you’re wanting to go – of passage. But it’s the choices we make during these moments that hold potential to transform us into the person we want to be. This quarter, Klipsun writers have sought to capture this idea through various interpretations. They’ve crafted narratives about the passage of time, the passage to safety or of passage in its literal form - transportation. Allow these compelling stories to move you, the photography inspire you, but most of all, I hope this magazine makes you feel like you have a place in this cosmic universe. Be brave enough to cross through your passage.
Our roots define who we are. Of course, that definition is loose. Some think of it as our core values, our history or our home. Others interpret it as an unseen network that grounds us and helps us grow. Undeniably, roots shape the stories we must tell. I invite you to explore your definition of roots as you dig into the pages of this magazine. In this collection of stories, you’ll find a struggle for preservation, unlikely friendships, and reflections on our innermost convictions. Each story expresses the countless ways to define roots. We all face trials and tribulations, but like a tree that weathered a storm, we grow stronger and our roots grow deeper.
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.