These days I rarely start the day without being 61% salt-water by volume. 

I rarely start heating the water (from the mountain spring) for my forest fresh tip tea without my body being 99% H20 by molecular count. 

I see these morning dew drops on ponderosa pine needles (thanks to the delicious dance of gravity, adhesion, and cohesion), through beautiful gelatinous globes of water I call eyes (98% water). The needles will begin carrying H20 down through the mostly-water trunk to the roots. 

In addition, my 75%-water brain comes equipped with a miraculous mass of cells that specialize in visual processing. Which is another way to say, light and salt water playing at intimacy inside my body. 

I like to keep a hundred million or so neurons (55% water) there to help my body touch the other parts of the world with light. Not only are they 55% water, but they absorb and release water when they relay electrical messages. 

How they don’t short-circuit in that environment I don’t know. Maybe the are really micro-eels? 

These days, I rarely take a sip of Water without saying ‘I love you.’ Sometimes silently. Sometimes vocally. Sometimes with a silly song. 

Water smiles. Water in me smiles. The we float in the smile. 

I’m not so much ‘taking’ a sip, but giving a sip of one part of Water’s body to another part of Water’s body. A tribute to every tributary. A cosmic adventure holding the memory of the whole shebang. 

In some circles this is called I-Thou relationship. I call it good manners. I call it holy water joining holy water. I call it altar to the tender pulse. I call it being alive in the Mystery.

Honoring the Season

Moments like equinox and solstice are great markers of transition from one season to another; yet we know the energies of transformation are always afoot, wearing different garbs and guises.

There’s the change we want. And there’s the change we don’t. Regardless, change IS. Sometimes it is sudden, or bold, like a storm or illness; sometimes it is too magical to fathom like caterpillar into sphinx hawk moth; and sometimes it is subtle, creeping up on us, inside us, until from some shapeshifting of color or texture or feeling we come to realize we’re living a new season, a new culture, a new life, a new us. 

I used to be one to want to jump over the seasons. Now I find myself immersing myself as deeply in each season as I am able, and on my better days, in each intimate moment. I call it honoring the season, whether that be an actual season, or a moment, a feeling, a birdsong, or a truth that is emerging.

When we think what season we are in with regard to the collective, we know we are in a challenging threshold moment. It is no secret that so many ecological indicators are going in the wrong direction, in various stages of collapse.

How can we be with these realties? I’m convinced we can, and we must. But none of us can be with them alone. It is just too big. Only together can we be WITH-NESS to the unfolding crises, and the complicated energies they evoke in us. Earth IS these energies in us. And We ARE the unfolding Earth. Only together can we dream what is coming next. I think that is our task now. I’m reminded of something Joanna Macy said, “The most radical thing any of us can do at this time is to be full present to what is happening in the world.”

We feel that aspects of the old are dying, & we are not sure what is on the other side. Or IF there is an ‘on the other side.’ Yet there are also countless regenerative actions and beautiful emergent unfurlings that don’t get in the headlines:

Dams are coming down (see previous post about the undamming of the Klamath), #LandBack is happening is many regions and in many ways, indigenous and black voices are finally being listened to by more, the people of Ecuador democratically rejected oil drilling in one of the world’s biodoversity hotspots, people are questioning more deeply than ever the systems and structures that got us here, and people are practicing and deepening their emotional, somatic, earth-based and other skills. And last week, tens of thousands of people of all ages showed up in NYC and dozens of other cities to demand the end of our fossil fuel based economy and the declaration of a climate emergency.

The beautiful and challenging thing about this moment is the utter uncertainty of everything inextricably intertwined with the radical possibilities seeding. We put our shoulders to the Wheel of the Great Turning as we learn to hold and cultivate both.

The Beautiful Undammed

“That’s still the water that runs through my veins.”—Mike Polmateer, Karuk 

One of the many regenerative stories that has captivated me and feels like a bright ray of hope is the undamming of Rivers. 

The undamming of the Klamath River is one that deserves a wide telling. The Klamath is a ~260 mile mighty & beautiful river. It’s also a mightily dammed & diverted river, like many western rivers, with devastating ecological consequences, from water quality to fish runs.
The hydroelectric dams have blocked fish passage and altered river flows for over 100 years. 

Now, after decades of indigenous advocacy, 4 downstream dams are being taken out. The first removal is complete, the remaining 3 next year. It is being hailed as the largest river restoration project in history. Prior to this, the Elwa river dam in the Olympic Peninsula was the largest such project.

“We believe wholeheartedly that once the dams come down, the fish will return,” —Mike Polmateer, Karuk

One of my odd habits is following rivers. I love mouths of rivers, love learning & listening to their meandering paths, love visiting the headwaters of rivers. I’ve walked down the American River from small mountain seeps to the first dam. When I moved to so-called Humboldt, the first thing I did was walk Baduwat River 15 miles inland to the mouth as it undulates into the Pacific.

The Klamath returns to the sea just north of there in Del Norte County. I’ve visited parts of the flow from the coast to interior mountains. With the saga of the dams I wanted to better know this river, to experience the dams firsthand. So I went to the headwaters in Oregon, followed wild meandering mountain roads overlooking deep rugged canyons from juniper and ponderosa pine perched, tracing my way down to the dams back over the CA border.

In some ways, reservoirs created by dams can be beautiful; yet for me there’s always something a little off, even apart from accumulated algae, warmer waters, disturbed shoreline and development. The difference between domesticated and wild rivers seems to register in my body. 

I turns out I couldn’t get close to dam removals (Copco #1 & #2), as there were significant project security perimeters. But I did spend time with Iron Gate, the furthers down river. My somatic experience, like with other damns, is one of constriction. Of incompleteness. A wounding and yearning for flow. 

The restoration of this magnificent Being is difficult to convey in words. I can only imagine the impact on those who are its ancestral river people, the Yurok, Karuk and others.

This is a story I believe goes even beyond releasing of water and the return of salmon. Perhaps it is archetypal, releasing flows of energy, stories, and healing that we may not fully fathom yet. 


Intention can be an important part of crossing the threshold during a wilderness rite-of-passage, life change, or any liminal transition, including our current collective initiation.

My way of holding intention and threshold has shapeshifted over the years.

Intention is not a goal. It’s good to have goals—they can be core parts of the journey. For example, “I am going to be with sunrise for 4 days; this month I am going to finish X amount of Y; or I am going to look at the relationship with my parents.”

Intention is performing something different. It is not a proclamation of future action, but a recognition and honoring of what is, and what is emerging. It is a species of presence that authentically names what is already here—in us, in life.

It can be hatched as an “I am” statement: “I am a compassionate person who brings gifts of X to the community.” Or “I am a woman who honors her body, rhythms, & boundaries in order love herself & the world deeply.”

Affirming. Evocative. Honoring.

Yet that way of carrying intention can retain flavors of exclusively human design, if it is unhitched from a deeper truth.

Namely—Threshold of Unrelenting Mystery.

If there’s one thing confirmed over and over upon crossing the threshold: things unfold beyond our prediction and control. The other-than-human world hums along & we are one syllable of a bigger conversation. A fierce wind blows things out of us; a shooting star elicits awe; a fire devastates; a fox touches you; lies we’ve been performing die.

Mystery will have its way.

These encounters transform us, beyond anything we plan or intend. They continue to work us long after.

Practicing a beautiful devastation of not-knowing can subsidize the journey. A sweet surrender is an attitude worth cultivating. Before the next footstep, utter, “I don’t know” & “I am open to listening.” As a whisper perhaps; as a roar if we find the brutal truth of it in our belly.

Only then might we inhabit our proper place in the symphony of beings. Instead of crossing the threshold clutching a bouquet of wants, what if we stepped in with this:

What’s the largest conversation we can have with the world?

🦋THRESHOLD: Earth Intimacies & the Art of Transformation (Begins Sept. 29)


“𝘈𝘭𝘭 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱𝘴 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘴𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘮𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳. 𝘌𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘪𝘯 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘯𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘵𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘥𝘪𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘴 𝘣𝘦𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘦. 𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘢𝘨𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘤𝘵. 𝘕𝘰 𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘶𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘮𝘦. 𝘞𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘶𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘭. 𝘞𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘭𝘸𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘺 𝘴𝘸𝘦𝘱𝘵 𝘶𝘱.” —𝘈𝘯𝘥𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴 𝘞𝘦𝘣𝘦𝘳

When Grasshopper flies into your ears
You have a duty to send your ears out hopping across the land

Chomping on the big and little
and allying with the wind

You’ll be forgiven for thinking
you know what the wind is,
some dull breeze or background

When Wind is the wing-lift
of every sky-bound being

Is the pheromones, the pollen
ash kin and Ever-born,
bearer of unconventional truths.

Sex and death and wisdom
in conversation with one another.

Just as Rain isn’t always grief
and Thunder isn’t always anger

but ways to communicate intimacy
with what is.

When Grasshopper flies into your mouth
You don’t know what to say

So you say it
with a strange and dusty accent

Just as Water speaks
a thousand dialects
in their undying pilgrimage

And when Grasshopper flies into your heart
their green gears grin
at all your precious purities.

You find yourself
no longer fearing
the depths of entangled love

You become impure, a porous prism
pulsating raw and riddled rhythms—

Your presence, an homage
Your feeling, an inter-folding
making the world anew
in each moment