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The Way of Orphanhood

Posted by on 8:05 pm in Blog, society | 6 comments

I have often written about the need to create a new life-affirming culture as the most pressing task before us. The hypermasculine story of rational hegemony and the promise of technology is toxic and urgently needs to be replaced. But with what? And how? Recently I heard Bayo Akomolafe, a Nigerian intellectual, speak about similar topics. His personal story involves leaving academia and decolonizing himself by returning to traditional Nigerian village life. He is a cultural refugee of sorts. It’s a lovely story and I rejoice that he has been...

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End of the Road

Posted by on 2:52 pm in Ecospirituality, society | 4 comments

Thanks to my husband’s regular reminders, I’m aware of the phenomenon whereby we selectively register information that reinforces our existing views. Perhaps I am guilty of that. I’m the first to admit that I am skeptical of gadgets and the way that our over-reliance on technology distorts our experience. Given those disclaimers, I find myself wanting to share the news story about the man who drove off an abandoned freeway, inadvertently killing his wife, because he was apparently paying more attention to his GPS that his surroundings. Shit....

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Meeting the Wolf

Posted by on 2:44 pm in Poetry | 4 comments

    Meeting the Wolf Because I was always a little afraid of my grandmother, I was not surprised when Red Riding Hood met the wolf in the forest. Later I saw that the girl was neither innocent nor weak And that the wolf, who was her equal, would not be satisfied with bread and fruit. Now I understand how the wolf inevitably becomes an old woman. The better to see, hear, smell, taste.

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Posted by on 9:14 pm in Ecospirituality, Poetry | 2 comments

  I abandon my assignment. I will not follow instructions, but sit impassively with the pine trees listening to a distant chainsaw and a dog barking questions. My eyes trace the curves of the southeastern hillsides, remembering the fire and studying the shape of the burn. I will not return at the appointed hour. I walk along the edge of the mountain’s granite apron to the skull of a bobcat, where I busy myself collecting its teeth, fitting them carefully into each socket. At sunset I arrive in the circle and find that my sisters have...

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Reading Mark Strand

Posted by on 10:15 pm in Poetry, Teachers | 6 comments

  Since Mark Strand died last weekend I’ve been re-reading his poems. Years ago I wondered to myself what his passing would be like. Death seemed to be a constant muse for him. I was spooked by his ability to stare at it in such a sustained, unflinching way. And I admired it. In my youth I couldn’t imagine a more difficult subject. Perhaps that’s still true. Strand seemed to stalk Death as much as it did him. What would the consummation of such a courtship be like? Now he is there. These days I feel the pull of writing strongly. Yet I am...

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Posted by on 9:43 pm in Ecospirituality, Poetry, society | 4 comments

At the end of my 9 miles I saw them. Three enormous bull moose by the parking lot. So did everyone else. Part of me was annoyed that these people should get to see them too. Some old belief about the necessity of earning joy. Carloads of pale, soft-bodied Walmart shoppers shuffled over to the edge of the willows. Please shut the hell up. Please just look. The woman on my left asks her companion, “What do you suppose they’re for? We don’t use their meat… or their fur…” “You mean, what’s God’s plan for them?” Sometimes I feel bad for Jesus. Yet...

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On Outdoor Re-creation

Posted by on 6:55 pm in Ecospirituality | 7 comments

I’ve always enjoyed exploring the wilderness. I have never understood why more people don’t do it, though perhaps deep down I’m grateful not to have hordes of other humans out there.  It’s like this ridiculously well-kept secret. Why? This piece on the death of backpacking asks the same question. The author believes backpacking in particular is not popular “because younger people are leery of the unglamorous labor required for stepping off pavement, and too occupied with the easiness of TV, Play Stations, X-Boxes, Facebook, smartphones.”...

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Posted by on 3:14 pm in Ecospirituality, Poetry | 6 comments

  The trouble began with the lies about Eden and Eve. I hid my nakedness. Pressed my school uniform. Conjugated verbs. Rode the subway to my cubicle. Took notes in meetings. Aspired to productivity. Trailing the deer my long confinement in shame is fading. The snake coiled by the stream says nothing of separation. Water flows through the aspen grove where the many are one and I weave through their fine trunks on hooves of light and belonging.  ...

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Whose Agenda?

Posted by on 4:48 pm in Ecospirituality | 3 comments

  A friend of mine teaches outdoor survival skills. Things like friction fire-making, animal tracking, finding water, bow hunting, and so on. Something that came up in a recent conversation had to do with the way humans are always bringing our agendas to nature. We generally go into nature not to give, but to get something. A few of the people my friend works with are interested in deep nature connection and awareness. But most come to her because they see this as a way to feel capable and powerful. “They want to be Rambo,” as she puts...

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Become My Body

Posted by on 10:16 am in Ecospirituality, Poetry, Teachers | 10 comments

    I have not blogged in a while because my beautiful german shepherd Saxon died recently. It was sudden. And utterly heart-breaking. The thing about loving a dog is that they make it safe to give your whole heart. And they give themselves to you completely. We human beings inevitably hurt and wound each other… carry resentments and grievances… but with a dog the love is pure and without shadows, and to lose such love is devastating.   Before the Beginning ~ by Rainer Maria Rilke God speaks to each of us before we...

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