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Anxiety, Apathy and Choice

The other day I watched a talk by Renee Lertzman, a researcher and consultant who works on how to communicate effectively around the environmental crisis. Her approach has to do with using insights and tools from psychoanalysis and psychotherapy to support people in experiencing their complex and often conflicting feelings around these troubling issues. I noticed that Joanna Macy was in the audience where Lertzman was speaking and her work was frequently given the nod. Even so, the challenge...

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Six

There is a way she has of lying down behind me when I sit out on the lawn that is both invitation and request. I reach back and plow my fingers through the arctic fur to work the muscles in her neck. She presses a blunt white paw into my ribs for leverage and the fire in her hazel eye sparks and smolders. We remember the land bridge. The crossing we made together. And we confirm anew this old, mammalian pledge of fang and thumb. This co-dependence of six legs....

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Switching the Bubbles

I’m hearing a soft, flat whistle from somewhere in front of me, but it’s impossible to tell exactly which direction. Seep! Followed by silence. Something is making the birds anxious enough that they will no longer reveal their location. Later when we go inside, Jon Young explains that what I heard was a robin alarming. This particular call is strategically difficult to pinpoint. As he pieces together observations from others in the group, a pattern emerges. The alarms and subsequent wave of...

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The Apple Tree Episode

  My husband climbs into the car loaded with several sacs of apples and mutters, “I had an encounter with the New Boulder.” “Uh oh,” I respond. For my dear husband, late September often means apple-foraging. Through years of cycling the county’s backroads, he developed a mind map of the apple trees along the rights of way. A few years ago we planted a couple of trees on our property and foraging elsewhere has been unnecessary. But our trees, along with many others in the area, took this...

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Conscious Companionship

  Reading a few things lately by Daniel Pinchbeck, I appreciate the way that he’s willing to talk about consciousness. Even so, I find myself wishing he would go a little further. I want to step beyond the lonely, claustrophobic bubble of humanism, and frankly, the techno-utopias of transhumanism give me the fucking willies. We need to shift our consciousness to include a sensing of how we are companioned by other beings. We need to rejoin the others. This has to be something that...

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