23 November 2015

Expanding and the journey continues...

Several days in the forest and I feel healed. I dreamt of barn owls and rattlesnakes, slept in the back of my truck in a grove of white oak and manzanita. So many things to think about, so many ways to grow. 
I wove a basket from willow and usnea. Made earrings from buffalo teeth, turquoise, deerskin and bone. I gathered madrone berries and strung them like a rosary to give to someone I love. 
But can I learn to love without any fear whatsoever? 
To be present instead of patient?
To say yes to all forms of love, rather than rejecting that which does not fit into my heart-shaped box?
Can I expand without breaking, stretch without giving up? 
How do you know when you are loving someone in the very best way for both of you? How do you love someone all the way through, past the judgment and expectations, past the ill-fated fantasies about who you want them to be?
Tomorrow I head South and then East, probably passing through Arizona, New Mexico, Texas on my way to Louisiana. NOLA, I'm coming for you! 


Decolonizing Permaculture: Bridging the Gap Between Privilege and Oppression

 Bridging the Gap Between Privilege and Oppression; 
Navigating an Uneven Terrain

As Published in issue #98 of Permaculture Design Magazine



First of all, I want to say that I do not represent anyone but myself, and though I have vetted this article with several peers and mentors, I do not presume to know the needs and desires of anyone else. However, it seems to me that there are ripples of injustice coursing through the permaculture community, manifesting as a pattern of landowners and/or self-proclaimed leaders doing things that hurt, offend, oppress, and devalue others. These behaviors discredit the permaculture movement at large, and unless we can overcome them, our ultimate goal of sharing a true and authentic sustainability will remain far out of reach.

We can whisper the names of the beasts: racism, sexism, ageism, xenophobia, misogyny, hate, fear, anger... we all experience these things from time to time, and we see the resulting backlash and judgmental attitudes. Perhaps it is the willingness to play the superior that is the root of the problem? Self-righteousness is certainly not a principle of permaculture, and yet we divide ourselves so easily, bickering over the details and competing for resources.

I recognize that these issues need to be studied and dealt with through an intersectional lens. Nothing is separate from the other. But for me, the central problem that divides the permaculture community is class. It seems to me that the unequal distribution of wealth and opportunity, while often connected to the other -isms, is at the core of many of the bad (poorly designed) dynamics in our community. Not to say that racism, sexism, ageism and other -isms don’t cause problems, but ultimately it is the control and ownership of money and property that allows people to abuse their other privileges.


15 November 2015

Gratitude = Survival

Been crying all day. 
For my own fragile heart. 
For Paris. 
For Beirut and Mississippi and Africa and Mexico and Portland and everyone else who keeps getting hurt by all the rage and inequality and sorrow that seems to thrive in this beautifully flawed world. 
I have been crying all day today and all day yesterday. Somebody broke my heart. 
I'll get over it. 
Somebody broke your heart too, I bet. And together brokenhearted we have to try and cry again. 
Does peace = death? Probably. I don't mind. 
Does gratitude = survival? 
Tomorrow, we will try again.