Missing The Forest

Sacred Heart

I found home.At least for now.  You never quite know how things go.  Love, calamity, poverty, gentrification, fires, earthquakes...things fall apart quicker than you can ever guess.  A policeman could shoot an unarmed kid and the whole town erupts in riot because they do this all the time and they've finally had enough, and maybe the place you live gets teargassed and you have to leave.  Or maybe you could be the kid, and then you really end up having to leave, even though you'll stick aro … [Read more...]

Finding Identity In The Directions

Orca Scultpture in New Westminster, BC, Canada

I stood outside on the balcony at my friend's apartment, facing North. I began to sing a wordless tune, a devekut niggun. I pulled all the contents out of a little red bag that had once held a bottle of wine, probably as a gift from one person to another, but that now holds my pipe. A roll of green cloth. A bag of tobacco. A book of matches. I put each of these things on a chair, the only flat surface available to serve as an altar of sorts in this spot. I unrolled the green cloth carefully on … [Read more...]

Know your wild herbs: A is for Angelica

Angelica in bloom, surrounded by rose bay willow herb (fire weed) and with fields and hills in the background.

AKA plants I meet while walking my dog.Throughout this summer, I've noticed what a vast range of medicinally, magically, and otherwise useful herbs grow all around the place, here in the valley where I live. The diversity of plant life is one of the things that helps me to feel that yes, this is indeed home. It's one of the things I most miss when I'm away, or during the winter months.So I've decided to introduce you to some of my vegetable neighbours by way of an A-to-Z.A is for … [Read more...]

Sitting On This Speck Of Dust In The Cosmos

Starry night sky with two astronomical observatories in the foreground.

I didn't post on A Sense of Place yesterday. I wanted to, I really did, but there was nothing at all I could say that wasn't just a rehash of my personal struggle with belonging. This isn't the blogging that I used to do. I used to write about connection and learning from the voices in a place. Before Patheos I wrote about the seasons and the plants in Israel. Now, I fight my personal demon of loneliness and disconnection and I find my writing tiresome.Not that writing is tiresome. The idea … [Read more...]

Where They May Be Found: Dionysos

Pine tree

  Under Pine, Pining Behind words are other words.  Hidden, shadowed meanings, dancing in the edges we imagine are solid, like the borders between realms.  The closer to the boundried contours of the word and not the word,  definition slips.  Define a word, de-fine, show us its edges, its limits, its end.A word means another word, but what means means?  What is the meaning of meaning? What does meaning mean?I'm not playing with you, but play with me, play with this if you've time … [Read more...]

The Scythe… Harvest And Death

Scythe against hedge" by Richard New Forest - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

The summer has been hot and mostly dry in Seattle. The front lawn at the house where I've been staying has grown tall with grass, clover and plantain. The backyard is full of wild oats, dandelions and more plantain. A few three foot tall thistle plants grace the edges of the yard and one giant fennel plant stands about 6 feet tall near the side door. As I sit outside in the shade thinking, I dream of scything the whole lot.It's not that I don't like these plants. Quite the contrary. I love … [Read more...]

When water is cut off: from Cochabamba to Detroit, by way of my bathroom

Spring water catch box

In the mid-1990s, the water services of Cochabamba, a town in Bolivia, were taken over by the subsidiary of a trans-national corporation, Bechdel. Water bills rose at an astounding rate, and people were charged even for collecting rainwater from their own roofs.The people revolted.Despite pressure from both private and public security services, the people of Cochabamba won through in 1995, and made a declaration -- reiterating, in more earth-centred language, the UN's declaration of … [Read more...]


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