I’m living the question: how do we live well in this time?

My writing on this question comes to you from beautiful, unceded palawa country/Tasmania.

“If you perceive the universe as being a universe of abundance, then it will be. If you think of the universe as one of scarcity, then it will be…”

Milton Glaser

I’m a curious and worried human, constantly on a quest for ideas, answers and hope. And from my wanderings (both cerebral and physical) in this quest, I jot down my findings here on Substack. I reckon it’s important to share any abundance of ideas, answers and hope, because hoarding is isolating, and now more than ever we need to be reaching out to connect with one another.

What to expect from this newsletter.

I‘ll write you roughly 1-2 times a month on a theme that I’ve been digging into. At the end of each dispatch there will be some recommendations for excellent things to listen to, read, or watch. You can read an ever-evolving list of them here.

A few themes I tend to dig into:

  • paying attention, connecting + celebrating the seasons and nature

  • how we can find clues for the future from ancient knowledge

  • rest as resistance, questioning social media + the attention economy

  • imagination + creativity

  • community + connection

  • storytelling

  • enoughness

  • everyday rebellious climate action + more

A little about me…

I’m an artist, activist, editorial and commercial photographer, food + flower grower, mender, maker + late-diagnosed autistic.

You can read a little bit more about me here.

Why Temporarily Not Compost?

So, the title of this newsletter, Temporarily Not Compost, was wholly inspired by a pin designed by Molly Costello, which says ‘We are all temporarily not dirt’. Find their deeply excellent art in their shop.

It speaks to the ephemeral nature of being a human in the context of the mind-boggling immense time scale of the universe. We are here, making our lives and our art (some would say those are the same thing) for such a tiny nano-moment. The atoms that make up our physical bodies and all the things around us, spend vastly more time on this planet being other things, like compost.

We are all temporarily not compost.

Isn’t that wild? And doesn't that make you feel like each day is pretty significant, and that it’d be good to spend them more intentionally, meaningfully, and more connected to the people + nature around us? I kinda do.

If you’d like to subscribe, the posts I write will be dispatched directly to your email inbox, you’ll never miss a thing. And there’s no real need to sign in Substack, unless you’d like to.

Once subscribed, you’ll receive a welcome email, where there is a link to my phone wallpapers that I give away for free to share some joy. See a few examples above.

I hope you enjoy my dispatches. Really looking forward to connecting with you.

I live and work on beautiful Mumirimina Country, on the eastern shore of nipaluna / Hobart. I deeply respect First Nations peoples, and their elders, who are the Traditional Owners. They are the knowledge + story keepers, and their continued intimate connection to the land is vital to the health of the ongoing story of this country.

Always was, always will be.

Thanks for reading about Temporarily Not Compost. Subscribe for free to receive new dispatched and support my work here and in my studio.

Subscribe to Temporarily Not Compost

A newsletter about big thoughts, living gently + the art I make.


Nat Mendham

An artist, activist, photographer, designer, grower, mender + sewer, making a life with my small family in a small house on a small island at the bottom of the world - palawa country/Tasmania.