The Era of I-Over is over. Deep We is calling.
Like you, we were assigned only human at birth—a severe abbreviation, to say the least. Too many ‘not-mes’ in us to remain an ‘I’, we surrender to the Immense We. This is us coming out/in as We.
Vast skies & deep soil live within—bacteria & bears, colors & con-fusions.
Most recently & disturbingly (in the best sense), Elder Fire & Ash Kin pierced us w/ questions we have no right to refuse. The midnight cries of the remains of those who didn’t survive flow through our nervous system, wiggling us towards liberation.
Though we try, we cannot flee our entanglements. The symphonies of howling disguise themselves as itching until we listen & accept them, offering refuge in our body-hearts. There’s no going back.
Prior to that—a kiss from, an indictment by, an apprenticeship to bear. It was from bear we learned to eat everything, to be with everything. We learned that if we didn’t learn how to embody the voices dancing inside, we would be destroyed—confirming the wisdom of Gnostic Thomas, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
Along the way rainbow eagle flew into our chest, tattooing the shape of sky in us. Dung beetle-dug in, turtle-moon paced slowly through our veins. Hermit thrush threw ever-widening iridescent loops asking us to keep opening—stretching w/ moonly silence.
Then came Riverever forever foriver—The ‘I’ was done for. We were born & are always being born. A cascade of unfolding co-becomings, erotic & eclectic.
We’ve relinquished mastery in favor of aspirational imaginaries beyond empire.
Impossibilities are emerging, as common as ants. Not just beyond the binary, but beyond the non-binary. Gender- & human-expansive. Trans-species, shapeshifting, micro-animist, archetypally-curious, Oneirogenic (dream producing), rhizomatic, symbiotic, omnivorous, and cosmic-fluid.
We are unmuzzling the beasts within. We R mutating. With-nessing something new. We are pulsating raw & riddled rhythms into the ecosystem of robust nows.
We are Wild Nature Heart.
The Full Moon has us.
Let’s speak softly for a moment. Close your eyes & whisper your longing & belonging to the moon. Are you here with you? Are you here with the untold multitudes of our other-than-human kin?
Open all your ears. What do you hear that is not the sound of all the stale voices out there propping up the Era of Back-to-Normal & Power-Over?
The election is on everybody’s minds (in everybody’s bodies). Yet it’s not the biggest, nor the final, story, regardless of what happens.
Our longings go deeper, don’t you think? You know the village ache & sacred wounds of separation of which we speak.
What stories do we commit to, who will we ally with, what will we place on our altars, what vast co-becomings will we open ourselves up to?
The proverb shared by philosopher-poet-prophet Bayo Akomolafe, “the times are urgent, let us slow down” has been with me, sticking in my bones, coagulating my blood that sometimes wants to race to sure things. The trickster wisdom in it is counter-intuitive when the hills are literally on fire & we can’t catch our breath, when institutions and ecosystems are unraveling.
But slowing down doesn’t mean complacency. We’re gonna fight. But we be fightin’ like a dung beetles and autumn otters. We be accomplices with the wind & deep time. We’re talking Trickster Values of the Great Composting. We’re not here to do the same ol’ same ol’ – we got work/play/rest/healing/love to do.
What if we intentionally walked across this threshold of collective initiation, opening into the thick-we-post-humanist world?
The Era of I-Over is over. Deep We is calling. Saying compost the dead & dying body of the Over-culture, decolonize our hearts, & dismantle identity-prisons that have us all by the throats.
Tuesday will come & go. Trump, Grandmother Corona-virus, & Elder Fire are our biggest teachers right now. Cracking things open. The decolonial pilgrimage continues as we collude to try something different—conspiring w/ wild others to #compostempire & smuggle in impossible questions, opening up new/old portals of re-membering & enact our Deep Belonging.
Will we re-ally with earth & re-learn how to inhabit home?
It is not a matter of whether or not you are caught in a web. We are all en-webbed. It is a matter of knowing which webs you are in, of knowing which webs you want to be and don’t want to be in. It is a matter of what gossamer threads you are casting and to where and with whom. The cosmos is sticky, choose well. What and who do you want to eat? By what and by whom do you want to be eaten?
Many of us on the West Coast woke up this week to eerie orange skies and layers of ash. It felt like the day the sun refused to rise. Some compared it to eclipses or the day the dinosaurs roamed confusedly after the comet crashed. The birds seemed to be behaving differently, quieter and more pensive. The Canadian geese still honked boisterously, but with a curiosity on their beaks.
Perhaps the sun itself is quarantining? Perhaps Fire is an Elder asking us to be broken open by our own consequences?
We’ve had to learn a new word, pyrocumulonimbus. You can look up the science, but the poetic translation is “fire-breathing dragon of clouds.”
Meanwhile, my home state of Iowa recently sustained millions of acres of damage from the fury of devastatingly high winds, those in the south and east enduring hurricanes, others unseasonable snow, floods or record heat. Wherever you are, it seems the era of escape is over, old strategies of fleeing are failing–the era of compost is here.
Something stubborn in me feels that inserting a typical story about climate emergency is too banal, and we all deserve a more creative story to match the root of things, worthy of our heart’s longings.
Yesterday was Mary Oliver’s birthday. Many of you know and adore her poetry and the gift of presence she brought to daily life and shared with the world. Recall her lines from Wild Geese: “You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”
And right now my soft animal body wants to heave with grief on my knees. It seems to want to experiment with frenzied yelps as I gulp the ashed air of our shared inheritance, “Hey lover earth, I’m fucking alive and listening!!” and “Elder Fire, I’m dying and being reborn with everything you destroy!!”
As we apprentice ourselves to new levels of loss, I am walking with these questions:
Could we weave our grief, unknowingness, sacred rage, and delicate unthwartable longings into previously undared and shared possibilities?
What if we are imaginal buds in the caterpillar’s dissolving body (our current crumbling patho-adolescent system) as it shapeshifts into the dawn of wingéd newness?
What if we embraced the moment and felt it all, re-imagined Seed-paths of Belonging seeking the sun through the cracked concrete of these discrete disruptions?
I invite you to join me in the halls of these questions too. Because we know that community is core to these transformative times. Silent suffering is one of the cruel myths of modernity. Yes, there is a time for solo journey through the underworld–parts of the journey where only we can face and embrace ourselves; yet, community is an essential container for knowing and being known, for navigating upheavals, for deep belonging.
Aside from the Deep Belonging courses and 1:1 soulwork, I am in the process of creating a platform, with regular Wild Nature Heart Circles, where we can explore the challenges of the the Great Unraveling and the seeds of new culture together.
Mary’s poem is a ultimately a poem about belonging. It ends,
“Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”
So may the sun behind veils and grief behind masks be invitations to new intimacies and wild remembrances. May we smuggle in contraband questions under cover of haze.
Take care of yourselves, be gracious with your own and other’s journeys, let curiosity spring from your beaks, lend your tears to the watershed, and tend to your heart and wild dreams,
With arms outstretched to assist in this Great Turning,
Director of Creative Earthiness
Writing from ancestral Wiyot and Yurok territories, Northern California