Wednesday, July 4, 2012

My Own New Leaves

My Own New Leaves: Personal reflections in April 2011

This collection of writing is a personal one. It was not easy to write. I wrote it mostly because I felt I had to, for myself. I’ve been holding in me manic inspiration and manic struggling for a long time and I’ve gotten too good at holding it all inside until I can’t anymore. I want to give these feelings away; share them and let go.

My life and who I am has changed so much. I’m always learning and growing, despite the periods of impossibility and defeat I face in between. I’d like to share now. As always my perspective is ever-shifting and where I’m at now as a person will be different than where I’ll be in the future; yet another reason why it’s important for me to put this writing out.

Trusting myself. I’m working on it. There are words and relationships and moments that fill me with passion. Inspiration to strive for a better world and to be the best, most honest and loving person I can be. When I feel this way, I feel wholly alive and like the whole world is just so inspiring.

Today, I had to work with my headphones in to not hear the awfully offensive and oppressive so-called jokes coming from this person’s mouth. I never go to see movies anymore and I can’t bear to hear the radio. Being in cities makes me quite and lonely. This culture has the strength to leave me trembling with fear; fear that surrounds me almost all of the time.

I find myself zoning out, searching my head for these words, relationships, and moments that once animated me. Where are they now? Who am I?

I’ve heard humans are social creatures. What happens to us as people in this sociopathic culture? The current social themes are patriarchy, nature-hating, racism, and dominance. As a radical, I’m obviously entirely opposed to these things, but why then do I sometimes lose my voice—even my heart—in the face of some of the largest, most clear manifestations?

The reason, I think, is a lack of trust in myself. It’s hard to believe my heart when I was raised in a way that leads me away from it, from my honest feelings and knowledge. Trusting myself can seem impossible. I can’t do it alone.


Like the plants who rise in the spring, I turned slower, quieter in winter. This past winter was a time of untangling knots, of letting myself die, of learning to love and making plans for the spring. It was different this year, though. Many winters have slipped past, ignored or unappreciated by me. My surroundings were a backdrop that I simply moved around.

This year, the winter was my partner, my lover, my teacher. Cool winds caressed my face, coming right through that scarf I knitted. Every day I suited up in layers for a walk somewhere quiet, somewhere with trees and animals and life. There were so few cars, so few human people around. I loved it. The snow insulated me so this forest was the whole world. I trudged through snow to stand in some beautiful place where I could look around and to the sky, letting the snowflakes gently fall on my face.

There was also mental struggle: loneliness and isolation added to other already existing issues. Though, maybe those were the issues. I learned to sit with them; just take my time and sit with them. After winter, I rose from the ground, in a way. But, the wisdom in the ground is what keeps me alive.


Mangled. Squished flat. Crushed and cut. Bloody. The sides of roads are littered with the bodies, carcasses of unexpecting mothers, brothers, fathers, sisters, nieces, lovers, friends. Such callous disregard as the speeding hunk of metal carries onward its course. Lives stolen, lost forever: raccoons, mice, snakes, birds, possums, skunks, deer, caterpillars, lizards, ants, bees.

I once heard a story about a deer who was hit so hard she flew into another oncoming car. The impact literally tore her legs from her body. This is her land; their land. The roads are ever-expanding—it’s a war. This culture hates life. Just look on the sides of the road. You’ll see.


Empowerment. Being part of such a solid and loving community empowers me to keep living, keep fighting. We share our dreams with each other and then we fight like hell to see them realized. When we struggle, we do it together. We are each other’s allies, each other’s guidance, and we’ll never stop learning.

Val is in Ireland right now, farming. Ariel and Jordan are hitchhiking across the southern part of the country. Caleb is about to leave for an open-ended adventure on the West Coast, stopping at anti-civilization gatherings along the way. I’m here, working on the community space we all started. I miss them dearly, but we’re still as close as ever.

We bring our new experiences and understandings to each other and let them change us how they will, but always still loving and fighting together.

1 comment:

  1. This is beautiful, made me cry and warmed my heart, knowing I'm not alone wandering this path.