Support me running the Comrades Marathon

On my birthday (Lord willing) I'll be running 54 miles in South Africa in the Comrades Marathon. The reason I'm putting my body through the pain/struggle is to help children around the world get access to basic essentials like clean water, education, and hygiene. I'm asking friends and family members to sponsor a child through World Vision. It's $39 a month.  It's a big commitment, but it has an even bigger impact in a child's life and their community.

Shoot me a text or give me a ring at (630)400-3524 if you are interested in sponsoring a child and/or want to know more. I'm happy to answer any questions and share more about why I'm doing what I'm doing. You can also help by sharing/re-tweeting stuff I post on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram at @orionpahl.

Here is a link with more info about Child Sponsorship through World Vision.

Much love. Much much love. Your support means the world.


A pixelated picture of me running Comrades last year. This year (2017) is an UPHILL YEAR. We start on the coast and work our way up to the mountains.

A pixelated picture of me running Comrades last year. This year (2017) is an UPHILL YEAR. We start on the coast and work our way up to the mountains.

I produced this video in 2014 for Team World Vision. The time spent talking to Michael Chitwood, seeing the dedication/sacrifice of World Vision Kenya employees, and seeing the impact in Maureen's life changed me forever. The work World Vision is up to around the world is truly transformational. I'm humbled to be a small part of that work. I encourage you to be a part of it too. 

Posted on May 17, 2017 and filed under travel, personal.

"Wine in the Cellar" by Rebekah Pahl

Posted on October 21, 2016 and filed under personal, nashville, music, art, shout out.

Vote our Planet

"Sincerely, Mr. Buffalo #2" • Part of a Creative Action Network / Patagonia campaign

Vote everyday in your home, in your relationships, your neighborhood-city-state and country. Think of the water your great grandchildren will drink. Vote/choose on behalf of them: not corporate-greed and economic-ease.

Meet your neighbors. Talk to strangers. Spend time with people outside of your economic/age bracket. Entertain an idea that differs from the little-itty-bitty part of the universe you've grown-up-in and experienced. Embrace complexity. Find principles to live by. Be humble. Listen. If you're privileged and not lobbying/advocating for the underdog; rethink everything.  

The Creative Action Network is community sourced activism-art. If you are an artist and/or an activist or someone who empowers artists/movements, you'll enjoy the site. 

They get artists to contribute work for causes that need to be amplified. Creative Action Network gives 40% of the sales to the artists, keeps some for overhead and producing the poster/t-shirt/etc, and then donates the majority to the cause. I'm a fan. You should be too. 

Posted on September 26, 2016 and filed under art, design, nature.

Celebrating 100 Years of the National Park Service

A few things National Parks have taught me about life.

Grand Canyon National Park: Break the rules? Break the rules! - I remember my mom's anxiety as my brother and I ran around the rim. I don't recall the year. Maybe 1997? Ironically, preserved parks and spaces have always been a place where I've pushed the boundaries of human behavior w/ the-land.  The tension of letting things be and climbing to-the-top of an "off-limits" canyon rock. I learned yesterday that Title I schools (at-risk, low income schools) have a program where 4th graders and their families get a free annual pass to the National Parks. I hope those kids get out, off the trail. Steal a pine-cone and take it home. Climb the fence and touch the General Grant tree... if they don't connect with the wild inside themselves, I don't know if they'll get to a place where they care deeply about preserving that same-wild-thing in our world. Not sure where this photo was taken in the park.


Zion National Park: Relationships 101 - This is where Rebekah and I honey-mooned in Spring, 2013.  I remember seeing the red canyons and the huge chasm the Virgin River had carved through the heart of Zion... I could see how building a life with another human mirrored our relationship w/ the earth. Time makes it's mark.  It's dynamic. It's what makes us beautiful. We get life from the earth, but we also must give it our life-blood. Our role with Mamma Earth is not dominion; it's relationship. Photo taken on the hike up to Observation Point.


Joshua Tree National Park: The desert is our sanctuary - It's Rebekah's soul landscape. It's the space we sought to be still and make plans for the future. It's where we went to give movement to dreams. This photo has three light sources. Stars, fire, and headlights. It was taken at the Hidden Valley campground.


Alcatraz Island: Storytelling preserves life. You walk around with a headset and listen to incredible podcast-storytelling: sounds brining up new flavor for the other senses. I also went with friends, which made it a whole lot more fun. And there's a boat ride. And it's eery. But this place is an example of how storytelling can keep a thing (culture, story, belief) alive for a long time... This photo was taken inside the main prison cells. 


Mount Rushmore: Most people are scared of engaging the out-of-the-norm. My brother Caleb recited the Gettysburg address at one of the lookouts. Everyone kept walking by; no one stopped to listen, engage, or inquire. People are so bound to social norms and afraid to interact... fearing you might ask for money or be weird or ______.  I had a small small sentiment of what it's like to be homeless and not acknowledged by other living-breathing humans. Also, my bro has an impeccable memory.


Yosemite National Park: Life Ethic - The first time I saw Yosemite I was doing full-time activism for Invisible Children: living out of a van. I've since seen a few documentaries on Alex Honnold and other rock climbing dirt-bags. Our purposes were so far apart, but married together at the same time. We have one life and it's beautiful when people pursue it with zeal and intensity and purity. That was me. 19. Wild and passion-filled. Zealous and determined. You grow. You learn other peoples point-of-views... but there's still that whisper and call to be black-and-white again. It's not good or bad. It just is. Photo taken near the entrance when you first set eyes on Half-dome. 

FullSizeRender_Bryz Canton.jpg

Bryce Canyon National Park: Human Friendship - We asked someone to take our picture after running around Bryce playing tag. They remarked, "you can't really see the background". We sarcastically said, "It's about us". We had been road tripping from Nashville, TN to L.A. and had been sleeping on abandon newspaper roof-tops, drive-in grass and swanky Telluride condos. Maybe we meant it a little (insert your sarcastic + critical millennial comment here), but I think we also meant, "These cave-like spires bring us life and we've brought our youthful blood-filled bodies to this place; certainly giving it life too". I don't know. It just seems human connection is supreme, and preserving the natural world is embedded into that desire. Photo taken of another photo (sorry). It's an awesome photo-book Cameron compiled that chronicled the trip. 

I have other memories from Arches, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, Point Reyes Nat'l Seashore, Redwood Nat'l Park, the Indiana Dunes, and Mammoth Caves (to name the ones at the top of my head). So many. I hope you get to experience a new National Park for the first time this year. Let me know what you learn. Really. I'd love that.

p.s. If you're into Nat'l Parks, follow the writings/travels of my friend Tyler Dunning. For real. You won't regret it!  

Desert Inspired Album Kickstarter

Rebekah Pahl (mi esposa) is in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to record her first studio EP. She directed the feels for the Kickstarter video and I helped bring her vision to life. If you have 3 minutes to spare, give it a view and consider pitching in a few bucks to help her make some art!

The Tucson Airport

A few photos from Rebekah and I's travels from the Tucson Airport back home to Nashville, TN on 02/08/16. 

I took a few a few family portraits for our friends right before we drove to the airport... normally I would have my camera tucked away for travel, but kept it out. Glad I did. My eyes are always on super-people-watching mode when traveling. 'Twas nice to have the camera out to capture/share some of the moments.  I hope airports never cease to engage all my senses the way they do now. 

Here's to living with eyes wide open and getting in trouble w/ flight attendants.  

Posted on February 12, 2016 and filed under photography, travel.

Fall Walk

I took a walk around Rebekah and I’s home in the morning hours. The rain fresh and autumn burning and turning the world into something familiar and new. 

Here’s some of the moments and colors I captured along the way.

Enjoy. And walk in the out-doors. And breathe-in-deep. And be alive-to-it-all. And breathe-out. And change. And shed. Know and un-know. 

Posted on October 27, 2015 and filed under nashville, nature, photography, personal.

Wolf Pack

I made this design in collaboration with Earthjustice and The Creative Action Network to help reimagine our collective view of wolves. Earth justice has been fighting for decades to defend grey wolves (along with many other animals, places, and people). 

You can buy the design as a print, t-shirt, or tank top




Posted on September 23, 2015 and filed under art, nature, design.

Everyday life / Nostalgia / Looking back

I am editing a few videos for Team World Vision right now and have had to review footage from my trip w/ them to Kenya in April, 2014.

In some ways, I am a raw-video hoarder. For the past 8 years or so I've filmed many-many moments with no end product in mind. I could spend hours going through old photos, videos, and mementos. It all means something. It all happened. It's all connected. 

Just thought I'd share one of those moments with you.

Hope you're finding meaning in those everyday mundane moments - knowing that they're worth something; worth everything. 

Posted on September 3, 2015 and filed under documentary, video, travel.

Find the Gold

This is a poster I made for the Creative Action Network (CAN) campaign: Transcend.  CAN calls upon a global community of artists and designers to use their collective talents for good. 

You can support the movements and artists by sharing campaigns (word-of-mouth/email/social media), buying art, and contributing your own artwork

Click on the image (or this hyper-linked text) to see the description of this poster and to buy it for display in your home/classroom/office/etc. 


Posted on August 3, 2015 and filed under art, design.

"Tell My Daughters"

This summer I had the privilege of partnering with Abby Goodrich and Kaio Productions to make the launch video for Tell My Daughters. The weekend we filmed in Atlanta I was often the only guy on set - it was a humbling, inspiring, and rewarding experience. I tried to get out of the way as much as possible and let the powerful lives these women lead do the talking.

It's a lot of work to change how we talk about things... to reshape, re-frame, and restructure a societies perception. Whether or not you or someone you love has been a victim of sexual assault, I hope you'll take a few minutes to read about the work Tell My Daughters is doing and dare to be a part of it.


Posted on July 22, 2015 and filed under shout out, video.

Employment is Important

A few friends launched a Kickstarter today for a new clothing company called Victor Athletics that is going to create work in a rural Tennessee town. You should check it out. 

I got to help film for their Kickstarter video at the factory where Victor Athletics clothing will be made. There were over 100 work stations, but only a few of them were filled. It felt both hollow and hopeful.  So much had once been --- but thanks to Victor Athletics, so much was yet come.

All this to say, employment and work is important. At 25 years old, I'm still forming and figuring my ethic and approach to work, but what I've learned recently is that having work is a gift.

I recently polished up a documentary on a clock factory in Chicago that employs people who are legally blind.  I learned some profound things while there and I hope you can too. Regardless, I hope you are working and know that having work is a meaningful thing. If you're unemployed or in-between jobs, whatever you're doing, I hope you are pouring your whole being into it. 

You can learn more about all the programs at the Chicago Lighthouse at

Posted on March 17, 2015 and filed under personal, documentary, shout out.

A Poem on Wonder

Wonder is like a jar of air

That we fill with pebbles

One at a time


There is no wonder

If we don't look for small stones 

On the muddy, paved, and golden ground


There is no wonder

If we do not open our hands to cold hard things

And warm them up


I wrote this on January 25, 2015 in an email response to my father. He is a true-poet.

Posted on March 10, 2015 and filed under poetry, personal.

Caleb Pahl | Brother

I made this video 5 years ago to celebrate my brother & brotherhood.

Caleb carries a lot of titles: Man | Son | Brother | Husband | Father | Leader 

This video was made when he was transitioning from "brother" to "husband". An ode to the bond we had growing up and a celebration of his coming union with Claudia. I shot it on $25 point-and-shoot digital camera & I've never shared it before. Hope you enjoy!

Posted on February 20, 2015 and filed under personal, video, poetry.

Nashville Frozen in Ice-Storm - Feb 17, 2015

Nashville got a lil' winter ice storm last night. In the world of a child, it's awesome, beautiful, and beckons a bit of adventuring... but for most adults it just means no work, or difficulty in getting to work. Which side did you find yourself on? 

Also. All the icicles on the grill (pictured in the slideshow below) of my car kind of look like boogers. #JustSayin  ;)

If you want some more, I posted another photo on instagram that I took with-my-iPhone

Posted on February 17, 2015 and filed under nashville, nature, photography.

Nashville MLKJr Day / Jan 19, 2014

God never intended for one group of people to live in superfluous inordinate wealth, while others live in abject deadening poverty. God intends for all of his children to have the basic necessities of life, and he has left in this universe “enough and to spare” for that purpose. So I call upon you to bridge the gulf between abject poverty and superfluous wealth.
— MLK Jr.

My brother Caleb bought me "A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings of Martin Luther King Jr." when I was in high school. MLK is one of Caleb's heroes because of his commanding rhetoric of hope, his actions against injustice, and his involvement in change. My brother Caleb shares a lot in common with MLK Jr., namely his speech delivery, his servant-like approach to everything, and his close relationship with Jesus-Lord-God-Creator. I'm thankful Caleb has encouraged me to read the deeply inspiring, convicting, and motivating words of MLK Jr.  His speech "The Drum Major Instinct" has informed how I approach my competitive nature: daring use it to serve others rather than challenge them. 

If you have not seen SELMA, you should.  If you have not listened to the voice on the other side of things, you should. If you have not made an effort to become friends with people that are different than you, you should. When I look at the disparities that still exist between whites and blacks in our country, I do not sense hope, but he has taught us to declare hope.  May we be bold enough to engage the things that need changing. 

These photos are from the Nashville MLK Jr.  march and convocation at Tennessee State University

Posted on January 22, 2015 and filed under nashville, photography.