Sunday, November 28, 2010


How is your identity formed?

What do you identify with? Is it those in power? Your television set? Your credit card or bank account?

Who do you identify with? Is it your family and neighbors? The land you live on? Your body?

These are some questions I’ve been asking lately and I think they may be the most important questions that I can ask myself at this time. I (and too many people I know) have been living our lives identifying with people, systemic powers, and abstract ideas without ever asking ourselves these questions. I have spent years with anxiety and apathy because I was confused about what (or whom) I wanted to identify with and what (or whom) my actions inherently identified me with.

I know now whom (and it is a “whom,” not a “what,” like this objectifying machine culture would like us to believe) I identify with. I identify with the trees outside of my window because I know our lives are intertwined. I identify with the ravens and squirrels playing in those trees and they teach me more than anyone else about love, play, relationship, sorrow, rage, and community. I identify with my neighbors who selflessly offer their wisdom, kindness, and encouragement to me. I identify with the river who I live near, in all of his struggles to survive the murderous poisons he is fed by factories, and more broadly, this culture. I identify with those my best friends because they fill my memories with struggle, support, and knowledge. I identify with the wind because she caresses my face and wisps away the ache in my head with soft whispers. I identify with the people who’s land this is because they spoke the language and sang the songs and lived the life of the land I live on and I must fight for them. I identify with my parents who teach me what it means to nurture. I identify with my dreams who are given to me as vital messages by the spirits and beings of this place. I identify with the earth who knows infinitely more than science could ever try to discover. I identify with the soil because he teaches me about growth and regeneration. I identify with my own experience, my own body, my own reciprocal relationship with this earth. I identify with life and those who fight for it against the insanity and disease brought upon the world by this culture and it’s members. I identify with life because it’s spontaneous and destroys boundaries placed by machines. I identify with life and all of the living because there is no “me” without them.

How is your identity formed?


Since i was younger i have always been in love with my dreams. Sometimes the intensity of my love would leave me shaken to the core if my dreams delivered to me an uncomfortable message. Now, i am starting to understand that these dreams come to me for a purpose: the natural world is communicating with me complex and deep messages and it's my task to navigate and respond to them. (For more on dreams, be on the look out for Derrick Jensen's upcoming book, titled Dreams!)

Here i will post what i recall of a couple of dreams that visited me recently:

1) My parents came to visit me in my new trailer in the woods a state away. They stayed for only a little while and then left to go out for dinner. They were driving down the highway and i was driving a small areoplane around above their car. My parents and i both had walkie-talkies and we were speaking to each other. They told me to be careful. I tried turning to low (i think to get close to them or maybe to just try and show off) and i crashed. i didn't know exactly what happened, but when i came to there was a cop who told me the whole story. Then i was walking back on the road to my home in the woods, completely lost and confused. I was really scared and wanted to find my parents, but knew they were gone down the road.

2) There were raccoons and possums all over the house! They were everywhere! Some were running around, some (particularly the really chubby ones) were laying around on the sides and backs. My neighbor was trying to trap them in a way that i did not like, so i was trying to ask them to go and sometimes picking them up and leading them out so that he didn't get to them first.

(PS: For those who follow this blog, sorry i haven't posted much lately.)