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...]

Buying Land

This nomad is dreaming about a small piece of land she can call home. All the other attempts at making a home seem to have failed so far, but a girl keeps hoping. Beyond that, a string of personal events that are on the horizon of the timeline require a place that can be called "home", an address that is both legal residence and actual physical space where family members can live. And, sure, I could just rent an apartment, but having found a place that I can buy for about the cost of first and … [Read more...]

Home.

Today, I was going to write a long post. About how happy I am to be home after two years of rebuilding. About what home means. About how good it feels to walk around 'our' land and know each plant and bird and critter by name. About how happy those beings seem that we're back -- the non-corporeal ones, too. (I'm sure the sweet things I left in the trees and the little "Happy to be home!" song I sang helped with the latter.)But as happy as I am, I'm surrounded by boxes, the house smells of … [Read more...]

The Witchcraft of Place

pokeweed

Every so often, I teach a workshop I call "Ditch Witch:  Magical Uses of Common Roadside Plants."  When I first started working on the idea, I sat down and wrote all of the names and uses of plants I could think of, restricting myself to ones you would normally see just walking around.  When I got to twenty-five, I decided I had enough to go on with and started culling it down to the few most useful and common ones, to prevent overload.It helps that I have the vast well of knowledge that is S … [Read more...]

Infinity in the palm of your hand

Helix Nebula, from Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA

“To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.”  -  William BlakeWhat is a sense of place, anyway? What place?  I tend to focus on the human scale, most of the time, as most of us do.  But the universe is a place.  Your body is also a place.  To a mitochondrion, a cell is a world, and you are a vast, unimaginable universe.  (Thank you, Madeleine L'Engle.)  Less poetically, but still true, to the myriads of m … [Read more...]

The Dance of Desire and Delight

It is strange to be a writer, particularly in the midst of life.Those of you reading this who also write may understand, perhaps agree or disagree, but it seems to me there exists an often difficult and fascinating conflict between the voice of narration and the body of experience.I am writing this in a notebook.  The pages of compressed wood-pulp glare garishly white at my return glance as I attempt to interrupt its pristine nothingness, its blank receptivity, with ink scrawls of black. … [Read more...]


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