“Ecosystems are so similar to human societies—they’re built on relationships. The stronger they are, the more resilient the system.”—Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree
we keep dividing designating a hierarchy to pull what we share apart
and so each of us is missing parts each of us is incomplete
why do we cling to our separation our isolation who we think we are alone?
the foundation is faltering and still we hold on
collapsing into the deep hole of ourselves
During a presentation Suzanne Simard made, early in her career, about her research into the interrelationships between trees and other species in the forest, and how all were necessary in order for the forest to thrive, she mentioned also the threat to climate from disrupting these systems. “Climate change means nothing in Canada” one of the audience said afterwards.
finding myself I open the cages I travel on paths where I once was we
I open the cages calm and unafraid where I once was we everything begins again
calm and unafraid as intersected species everything begins again inside and out
as intersected species abiding in before and after inside and out following life’s tides
abiding in before and after I travel on paths following life’s tides finding myself
Sherry posted at earthweal this week about Jane Goodall and how her work with chimpanzees led her to start “Roots and Shoots, her program, now 30 years old, that inspires young people to plant trees and care for the areas in which they live”.
I knew I had posted before about chimpanzees as part of my endangered species series on methodtwomadness. When I went back and looked, I found that I had also talked then about Jane Goodall and her work.
Chimpanzees are our closest genetic relative. Of course we still have plenty of work to do learning to treat other humans with respect. We can start by opening the cage doors.
It seems like every day I read a new article about the need for a sabbatical from technology and the fast pace of the world. Those slow pandemic days are fading fast.
Some people talk about a secular Sabbath, some want to revive the religious one. Some people propose not only ditching technology for 24 hours each week, but creating new shared rituals and places for community during those times. Some talk about just taking a day to go and sit with the trees, to experience the world at their pace. I wonder how many of us could actually slow down and withdraw from our devices enough to actually spend a day that way.
And all of these ideas are a hard sell in a capitalist world.
the water reflects the world through the trees dappled sky moving over rocks and feet planted like hushed reeds waiting to sing the songs of quiet movement and transforming light
This drawing is part of my attempt to try different things in my art journal. Many artists write on their pages as well as draw. The image is based on an advertisement photo–I removed the models and the product (I can’t remember now what it was) and wrote spontaneously about the landscape. Whatever they were selling, I wasn’t buying. But I always notice trees.
The streets are quiet, eerie, the walls blank. I remain inside.
My windows are noisy with things I can’t see. I rarely reply to them because the response flies away on the wind, storm tossed and clouded, darkened by rain and the fading light.
What would I say to the ghosts of the children?– the ones not on the playground not on the streets no longer living in an apartment, a house, a country, a land– the ones no one can find anywhere?
How to say the word death and to also shield them from its consequences. How to explain why and how we have come to be
living in this uncertain tangle of lies ignorance violence– a place full of humans unable to even acknowledge or to bridge the rising waters.
The ones who would rather drown than make amends.
Sherry at earthweal has reminded us of all the grief consuming the world, and asks us to write about it. I wrote a version of this poem first in the midst of New York’s early pandemic. I’ve revised it a bit, but the ghosts of the children have not gone away.
always digging deeper– roots that grow below, restore– listening through decay beyond stillness,
a place that is neither dark nor light, yet full, aware, gathered germinating into witness,
distilled light casting words that linger as counterpart– revealing mysteries in all that is
held on the wings of birds, circulated through the heart, absorbed into the spiraling axis
It’s poet’s choice of form at Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday, and how could I resist a syllabic form called “kerf”? I meant this also to be for the earthweal challenge this week, earthcraft, but obviously did not finish it in time.
It’s a robin, I think, as the melody enters my consciousness through the window. But then it morphs into a litany of birds from cardinal to crow. There may even have been a frog thrown in for good measure.
I can’t locate the bird to see who is gifting me with its repertoire of local wildlife sounds. It could be a starling—I once lived in an apartment where the local starlings would sit on the roof railing next door every morning and tell me all they knew. But there are also plenty of both mockingbirds and catbirds hanging around.
city fades a sanctuary feathered skies
A meditation on sanctuary for earthweal. Also linking to dVerse OLN, hosted by MsJadeLi.
I can almost hear them echoed on repeat through my bones spiralled gifts collected in the overlap of landsea the fluid movement that follows after what hasn’t happened yet cleansing
sheer sound waves etched in side winds calling I can see them sometimes—doubled visions currents vibrating against a blurred sky gyring like the shadow of a raptor glimpsed briefly between the singing of reflected light sailed whole
In my mind the Prospect Cottage prompt from the Kick-About, below, intersected with the Otherworld of Brendan’s earthweal prompt and then merged with my shells, collected over years of visits to the ocean. The shore is where I lose myself and meet “Not Here” and Prospect Cottage felt like it was a portal into that suspension of the normal framing of time and space. “Like landing on the moon,” as the narrator said.
Most of my shells are still in storage, but I’ve carried some weathered whelks along with each move I’ve made, both to look at and draw. The spirals sing, and bring the sea to me. I drew three of them from different angles on the same page–first pencil, then colored pencil, then with a brush in gouache.
I decided to add grounds. It’s not always easy to tell when you’ve gone too far, but I think I definitely did so with the colored pencils. I may take an eraser to the ground to fade it so the shells don’t get so lost. I was trying to capture the garden of Prospect Cottage.
The pencil drawing was impossible to photograph well, but I like the weathered effect. I wrote words around and connecting the shells, which you can see better in the close up. These are quotes from the video interspersed with my own observations. This one has exactly the feeling I wanted, of secret messages, indecipherable voices on the wind.
The painted shells–it felt so good to get my gouache out of storage and paint with it again!–captures the colors I was feeling from both prompts–a sense both of otherness and belonging, of being just exactly in the right place without time.