“The belief that what currently exists must necessarily exist is what corrodes all visionary thinking” - Murray Bookchin
I want to preface this update to share my gratitude for the support I received to attend Cycle I of the Healing Biotope Student Program in Tamera, Portugal. I am always amazed at the generosity and support of my community. Abundance in my life has shown up in many ways, especially when I have a clear path, and I am grateful for it all. Thank you, Gracias, Nya:weh.
I've been deep in a writing process since I left Tamera in November of last year, and I have been slower to share. I felt myself recalibrating, to not rush into “supposed to”, but to really receive and process what I was immersed in for three months. With 60 others from around the world, we lived in close quarters, witnessed each other in our processes with grief, love, how we are all affected by the world situation, in both similar and different ways. And while I haven't shared much out in the world, I have been cultivating my blog which reflects more of my spiritual experience in Tamera and the months afterwards.
I could share so much as I had many very powerful personal healing processes that passed through me during this time. I give thanks for being in a group of people that I learned to trust, and could witness me in my processes. This can be rare in our current societal structures where we grow up in nuclear (and often toxic) families, without spaces to be seen and develop relationships with allies whether they are humans, animals, the elements, and other non-human entities.
Living at Tamera, a community that practices animism - the belief that all beings are sentient that come from a living source with purpose, and can communicate information about the world to us humans - was an immersive practice of living a different worldview. I felt relieved that I could reach out to the Earth and all the elements to support me in my healing. I was validated in my Pagan practices and beliefs, I was encouraged and supported to be in ceremony, to honor my cycle, and to reconstruct my life along ecological lines. I was reaffirmed in my skills and passion for facilitating group work, that I am more deeply myself in community, and that it meets so many needs. I awakened my dreaming capacity, receiving many dreams night after night that were clearly stories that I believe were shared by my ancestors after deep prayer asking for communication from them. I am now in the process of writing short pieces for my blog and eventually a book that weaves these stories with the present-time world situation.
Even as I write this, I notice how daring it feels for me to share these experiences. But it is necessary to validate that other ways of thinking and receiving information are real and important to cultivate in these times. I give thanks to all of the indigenous teachers I’ve ever learned from; for this is central to decolonizing my worldview. The dismissal, denial, and deliberate attempt to erase indigenous thinking is to eliminate human’s connection to the earth so that it may be more easily exploited for means of power and capital.
Returning to the land of my ancestors, re-inhabiting spiritual practices that pre-date christian hegemony, and honoring the indigenous peoples that still exist throughout Turtle Island - the land upon which I was born - is a direct contradiction to the status quo of the erasure of indigenous ecological knowledge and existence.We need to inhabit these principles once again across the whole of humanity in order to survive and thrive in the changing climate and pending collapse of current societal structures.
That includes a consistent practice of listening to the whispers that come again and again to remind me that my task on this planet is to deepen my knowledge of human’s relationship with water, to learn more about how we care for it on local levels and how the globalization of water is causing harm to all parts of our ecosystems.
So I am here again in Tamera for three months to participate in Cycle II from August-November 2019 and part of this time will include a Walking Water Pilgrimage where we will walk from Tamera to the Ocean along a river bed, witnessing the local situation and the impacts of globalization on this region’s watershed. I’m inspired to reawaken this focused work in my life and find Tamera a fitting place to deepen my education on this topic.
During this time, I'd like to expand on my undergraduate thesis, which explores the question of how volunteerism, participation, and research within rural communities can contribute to the ability to act with an alter-globalist impact with the intention of countering neo-liberal globalization and development.
While I analyze development in relation to global water issues, international relationships, national politics in Ecuador and its impact on the local community in my thesis, I intend to frame and expand these learnings during my research in Portugal. This will be possible via the Walking Water Pilgrimage. Similarly to my study of a rural village in Ecuador, I will use my experience to illuminate grassroots development and support local stewardship of water resources.
I also have the opportunity to research the initial stages of the development of a sustainable refugee resettlement site, and my focus would be on the use and management of water. We are collaborating with the existing Blueprint 200 team but have a unique experience of having the opportunity to live on site.
Here is a video about our time building the site last year:
I’m constantly inspired by this quote from Bernd Muller, a water ecologist at Tamera:
“Water, energy, and food are freely available for all human-kind when we no longer follow the laws of capital but the logic of nature. We must not get accustomed to a state where something that is actually self-evident appears to us as an unrealistic utopia. A world in which all people have free access to sufficient water, energy and food is completely feasible.”
We need to adjust for deep adaptation for this to be possible. “Deep Adaption” is a concept laid out by Professor Jem Bendell that calls for “resilience, relinquishment and restoration” in the face of “severe disruptions of our lives and societies to a degree than renders our current institutional arrangements largely irrelevant”. This is what we are working on and preparing for as activists and community project leaders from around the world through the Healing Biotopes Student Program.
Deep adaptation is something I am called to prepare for, and I am still finding my way, my seat, following the thread of what is mine to do. I have been bouncing between many different intentional communities throughout the past few years, and I see myself as a butterfly. Observing the environments of different places, getting to know them, migrating, and carrying information here and there. I am in a time of learning and finding my way as a young adult but one thing I know for sure is that I have this orientation to the politics and poetics of water and being a student, and ultimately a midwife, of the Great Turning.
I'm excited to announce that I am planning a few Work That Reconnects & Deep Adaptation workshops with folks who have been organizing Extinction Rebellion actions in London during November, and intend to bring this work with me wherever I go.
And thank you, for anyone and everyone who has supported me in this education, on this path, with my wonderings and wanderings as I continue to weave it.
Thank you for generosity, love, and teachings.
Here is a video that explains more what we will be up to together, and an ask for you to support us as a group:
If you have the means and feel inspired to support me in continuing my education for the next cycle, I am accepting donations via paypal using the email email@example.com or via our collective fundraising page.
In service to life and love.