Exploring animism, embodiment, deep ecology, vulnerability, and imagination . . .
Desire lines cover this territory.
Small acts of rebellion.
A refusal of the concrete roads restraining us in a prescribed expedition—the straight line wounds covering this land that keep us estranged from the wilderness—never intersecting or questioning or doubling back.
Not that prescriptive path for us.
Instead, we shed our social bodies. Leaving behind our skins, we journey into the wilderness of ourselves.
What does finding a path mean to you?
Uncertainty is terrifying but it is the only way forward into uncharted horizon.
Unravel the clew of thread that guides you through the labyrinth, the voice that sings to you through the darkness.
A cartography of imagination sketched by improvisational journeys deep and wide.
We make the path by walking.
But how do we know where to walk?
Desire lines cover this land. Found and walked. Embodied intuition.
The flower does not know the roadmap of its journey into blossom as it sleeps a closed seed in the frozen earth. It is only later, when things begin to thaw, in that wild and terrifying growing season when tender shoot emerges into compact darkness—rich soil all around, no clear indication of direction—that it somehow begins to grow towards the sun.
They call this journey instinct, but maybe a better name for it would be “agency.”
When we look closely, we see that everything creates desire lines… Migrations across continents, impossible journeys to gather at the edge of the forest, each tree a vibrating presence of iridescent wings. Mother turtle marking the sand with her flippers, documenting her journey to immerse her hatchlings inside the dark nest of sand. Salmon color the river, an undulation of flesh and scales flowing toward the sea.
At the end of each desire line is a birth. Some new beginning reaching her way out of chrysalis or shell, some yearning for yet more exploration.
At the end of each desire line is a death. A relinquishment of a previous identity, a return again to a larger inside.
And yet, in this linear culture, it is important to mark that each desire line is also a cycle, a trail travelled there and back again.
But the return is never the same as the departure, because something else has been brought back with you. Some increase of meaning, unquantifiable but fully felt, a wandering blossomed in on itself to overtaken the forest in song.
And the paths intersect also.
From above, the desire lines form a language on the ground, a unified articulation of intention, lost to each individual perspective below.
The birds see this and they call. They tell us we are creating something beyond our solitary imagining, a pattern of our becoming that breathes itself across the landscape, the neural network of a process traced by our desire lines into the snow.
2/15/2017 08:21:46 pm
Your words swooped me out of my chair into a thought cloud full of birds flying in heart formation. Ya got me!
2/16/2017 08:12:53 am
Shante. Great to see your continued pioneering.
Shante' Sojourn Zenith
2/16/2017 10:08:17 am
David, thanks so much for the resource of Diana Samuel's work— I will definitely look her up. I would very much love to read your thesis—it would be phenomenal if you're able to send it my way! Thanks so much! —Shante'
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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.