Exploring animism, embodiment, deep ecology, vulnerability, and imagination . . .
Re-membering Animism: reflections on Dark Ecology short course at Schumacher College with David Abram and Stephan Harding
On the train leaving Schumacher after the workshop, all of the fragmented narratives I have absorbed begin to weave themselves together in my imagination.
All of my moments of being on the peripheries.. Of being drawn to the edges of worlds... the inside parts, the secrets... the pasts of places, the memories... I'm starting now to get a sense that maybe this longing has a name and a shape.
Our group goes into the forest to explore texture, how when we touch the bark of a tree, the tree is also touching us. We witness each gesture of the tree as a language directed to us. We embrace the feeling that when you are looking at something, that something is looking back at you. Standing in the middle of this forest, surrounded on all sides by trees, I feel the same kind of witnessing as standing in front of an audience. A witnessing making you feel very small and very big at the same time, holding you completely in a state of presence.
The moment it happened, I was with a group of students doing a deep time walk along the Devon Coast—expanses of fields, old stone walls, scrabbly grass. The guide, a scientist, told us that the duration of each step we took was 500 thousand years. We were still traversing the vast, amniotic part of our past in alternating freezes and warmings when, all of a sudden, we walked up the rising path and the ocean appeared.
My breath opens outward, my eyes relax, my heart latches on to this vastness—it feels like a string is attaching me to this vast being, matching the rhythm of my own aliveness to its peaceful undulations.
My curiousities entwine around the concept of “mythopoiesis" — literally "myth-making" — the creation of mythologies that nourish our interbeing with the earth.
My writing explores the betweenesses of different fields—deep ecology, indigenous wisdom, trauma resilience, living process, cultural transformation, sacred activism, grief rituals, play . . .
I am learning how to become a connoisseur of the felt sense, a savorer of the moments that create meaning and nourishment in the world.
I am apprenticing to traditions that practice compassionate witnessing, creating containers in which it is safe to release into the depths of emotion, to traverse the grief and holdings that must necessarily be released before healing can begin to take place.