Wednesday, 17 of January of 2018

Tag » wilderness

Joanna Macy on Deep Ecology

Deep Ecology, when it appeared in my life, made immediate sense. To me it is more than a label, it’s the way our world is structured. I take it as a secular equivalent to the Buddha’s teaching of dependent co-arising–and use it that way in my work.

The term was coined by Norwegian philosopher Arne Naess to contrast with environmentalism for purely human interests. Deep ecology is both a school of thought (Naess’s ecosophy and Henryk Skolimowski’s ecophilosophy) and a movement (the deep, long range ecology movement, described early on by Bill Devall and George Sessions). Joanna-a-23.03.08

It has also inspired an array of experiential practices: deep ecology work, developed by John Seed, myself, and others. This form of group work helps to decondition us from centuries from culturally induced anthropocentrism, and to heal our broken relationship with the natural world. It’s an intrinsic part of the Work That Reconnects.

My Teachers: As for all of us in deep ecology work, the natural world is our primary teacher. Among key mentors in childhood I count Spotty, a wise horse, and a particular maple tree. From http://www.joannamacy.netmask4

 


Warrior Spirit

Warrioress
 
warriorTeach a class for poets who aspire to be warrior poets. A lot of it involves physical training, martial arts and meditation practice.

Then come back to the poetry, and appreciate it for the first time.

In martial arts you learn a series of movements; this is like learning forms in poetry. The practice of each, breath in, breath out, involves breathing. Breathing keeps the mind centered, the body aware.

The warrior takes care of her weapons so they will take care of her. The warrior poet does the same, taking special care to master the forms. Warrior-spirit is what links martial artist and warrior poet.

The clans of warrior poet and warrior both are marked by warrior spirit.

~Dennis Fritzinger
 


Rendezvous Wrap-Up by Dennis Fritzinger

West Branch Campground
 
This year’s Round River Rendezvous (known affectionately as the rondy) was held at West Branch campground in Northern California, about 4 miles (so I hear) from Poker Flat.

Advantages of the site were:

1) easy to get to;

2) numerous campsites and workshop sites;

3) a cold creek running through it where we could cool off during the hottest days, and draw our drinking and washing water from (upstream from there).

Kitchen was well-organized and Morning Circles were well-run. Organizationally everything was very smooth.

 
West Branch Campground2
 
 
Several days were in the hundreds, and on those days the nights were warm enough to sleep without a sleeping bag until about 5 AM when things finally cooled off.

We also had a few cooler days for variety, and cooler nights. The entrance road made a big loop when you reached the main camp, and there was a latrine not far away so that was convenient.

Fire danger was high, and fires were only allowed in a few select spots, namely the rowdy campfire and kitchen area. Other spaces made use of tiki torches, and that worked just fine. Rowdy Campfire

There were a fair number of dogs, and that caused problems occasionally, but that’s about par for a rondy. Interpersonal relations generally went very smoothly, but the conflict team was available in case there was a need. Everyone was respectful of the need to keep intoxicants out of the public and family areas, so I didn’t see any problems there.

The rendezvous was multi-generational, from infants up through grandparents, and as far as I could tell everyone self-identified as an Earth First!er except for a reporter or two and a very small contingent of Green Anarchists. General impression? Earth First! is as young as it ever was, it’s only me that’s getting older.

People we know who were there: KP, Garlic, Karen Coulter, Gedden, Rod Coronado, Jonathan Paul, Dana Lyons, Tim Ingalsbee, Dave Parks, Andy Caffrey, Jim Flynn, Chris Manes, Dennis Davie.

Workshops I went to: Deep Ecology, hosted by Gedden, Karen Pickett, and Karen Coulter. Earth First! History, hosted by the two Karens. Ancient DNA, hosted by Dave Parks. Journal, hosted by the Journal Staff. And a workshop on the Mattole.

Mosquitoes? Yes. A few at breakfast, but most came at dinner-time. Except for mosquitoes, butterflies were the most numerous invertebrates. I also saw a dragonfly, a metallic wood-boring beetle with beautiful metallic green wing covers, and a small scorpion that glowed green under Dave Parks’ ultraviolet light.

There was the familiar dawn chorus of birds, but birds seemed to be mostly silent during the day, or maybe I was just too busy meeting people to notice them. Except for birds and humans, there were no vertebrates around that I noticed — no ground squirrels, chipmunks, deer, bears or any other.

Trees: Doug Fir, Hemlock, and Madrone. Understory: raspberries, poison oak, other.

Skies: a few clouds now and then. No rain.

Warrior Poets Society Meeting: four attended.

Welcome Back party for JP and Rod, Friday, July 4th, up at the rowdy fire. We had a good crowd.

Rally, Saturday, July 5th, first two hours were down where we had morning circle every morning, close to the camp kitchen. I tried out some new material. Then we had a break and moved up to the rowdy fire, where it went on into the wee hours. People seemed to enjoy both parts of the Rally. Part one was in a general space so it was alcohol free. Part two had a keg.

EarthFirst
 
Sunday was the Journal Workshop, as well as planning for the Action. I didn’t go to the Action planning so I have no idea where the Action was this year, though my guess is it was at both the Mattole and at Seneca Biomass burner in Eugene.

One thing different about this year’s rondy is the amount of attention we were getting from the LEOs. They were stopping nearly every car that came up, and some were even stopped twice. If they found the smallest infraction they’d search your car, at least that’s what I heard.

So there you have it. My Rendezvous report.

(I should also mention that I brought a bagful of copies of Roadkill on the Highway of Love with me, and in two days I had given them all away.)


Walkin’ Jim – Evangelist for Wilderness

 

Early days of Armed with Visions website was everpresent with Walkin’ Jim

Walkin_Jim2

Poems of a poet who has walked as far as John Muir:
Rock Dream, Bull River Woods, Bat Cave, and Joshua Tree.

walkin_jim_coloby Dennis Fritzinger

I first met Walkin’ Jim Stoltz at an Earth First! Rendezvous. A very tall, lean, lanky man with incredible musical talent, I had never heard of him before. Then, Earth First! was a magnet with a vision that drew incredible musical and other talents to it.

Walkin’ Jim was exceptional in many ways. An accomplished guitarist and songwriter with a twinkle in his eye, he had a singing voice that was like no other’s — deep, raspy, colorful, it was quite unlike his speaking voice. It reminded me of the canyons he sang about; there was a quality of wildness in it, a quality of the wilderness itself.

Jim would go on these many mile hikes and hike for hundreds, maybe thousands, of miles across the U.S. — through canyons, over mountains, across prairies — following rivers, daring mountain passes, surviving heat and snow and encounters with large animals, and he took it all in — he took every bit of it in. Jim was a minstrel for wilderness, an evangelist, and his songs, filled with stories and sounds, reflect that, and continue to inspire us to this day.

“In his lifetime, he accomplished numerous long-distance treks including the complete lengths of the Pacific Crest Trail, the Appalachian Trail, an east-to-west cross-continent hike, the entire U.S. Continental Divide, trips from Yellowstone to the Yukon, and many others. In total, he hiked more than 28,000 miles of long-distance trips.” –Legacy.com

Jim hiked more in a year than I have in my lifetime, and went more places than I ever dreamed of. As he was hiking a trail somewhere, a song would come to him and he’d sit down under a tree or on a rock and write it down. Or maybe he’d be sitting in the tent he put up at the end of a long day, and amid the preparation for dinner and sleep, he’d pick up his guitar and Jim_in_treestrum a few chords and suddenly a new song would start to materialize in his head and in the air around him. The trees, birds, and little animals that live in rocks got quite a few free concerts from Jim!

Of course Walkin’ Jim wasn’t always out there somewhere walking. Like a latter-day John Muir he would return to home base now and then. John Muir we associate with Yosemite, but home base for Muir was in the Bay Area. It was there he wrote his books and articles that became so influential. Jim’s base was with his family in Montana. That’s where he returned to rest up, to organize his latest songs and poems and share them first with friends and relatives, and to replenish. It was also where the schedule for his many singing tours began, complete with slide show and many slides. Thanks to the magic of photography, he could show his audience he wasn’t just making it up.

An evangelist has to evangelize, and to do that you have to entertain. Even more than a John Muir, Jim was a latter-day kokopelli traveling America’s heartland, though with a guitar instead of a flute. I make this comparison because kokopelli always has a backpack, though it’s hard to tell from the drawings if he was as tall.

Jim was able to entertain because he was a superb storyteller. Humorous, he had the sort of voice that could keep you rapt in attention, just as you would be if you were hearing it at a campfire. Jim had the ability to turn a large concert hall into an intimate space, much like a campfire. The slides and the songs would transport you, and he’d always throw in an appeal to write a letter in support of some place or critter somewhere that needed help. That’s the evangelist side of the entertainer.

When we lost Jim we lost a powerful presence, a powerful voice for the wilderness, and I lost a good friend.

The Kid for the Wild Scholarship is a tribute to the memory and vision of Walkin’ Jim Stoltz and his “kid for the wild” spirit.
Walkin_Jim


3 Deep Green Poetry Editors

Besides the Earth First! Journal, which has always been a home for deep green poetry, there are three other publications worthy of note that have attracted many fine nature poets and published many fine poems.

They are Wilderness, published by the Wilderness Society; OnEarth (formerly Amicus Journal), published by the NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council); and Orion, published by the Orion Society.
onearth
Brian Swann, poetry editor for OnEarth/Amicus, has been on the job the longest, with John Daniel, poetry editor for Wilderness, close behind. Orion’s poetry editor, Hannah Fries, came to Orion as an intern in 2005.

Not only are these three editors of periodicals, two of them are also editors of anthologies, which are better for sticking in a backpack or pocket of a field jacket. These collections are words to share at campfires, words to read to the trees, words to declaim at the beach.

Out of all of them, Brian Swann may be the best of the bunch, though it’s a close call. Besides editing poetry for an incredibly long time (3 or 4 decades) he’s produced two books, the more recent being Poetry Comes Up Where It Can, which is a line in a poem by Homero Aridjis. It also pretty much describes the healthy state of so much fresh pure green poetry as works of living ecology and hydrology currently rising:
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among boulders charging madly upstream;
to feel its handle yank at and flutter half free
of your fingers; to catch that dim chime
stainless steel barely gives off, nicking rock
underwater; to wet shirt-cotton with dribbles
so icy the frontal lobes ache like migraine
after each swallow; then, as that fades,
to dip again to the bottom of the world’s well
which around here is snowpack so near to the sky
that’s pretty much what it tastes like,
you could borrow this cup.

(by Reg Saner, from anthology:Poetry Comes Up Where It Can)

And then in John Daniel’s book, Wild Song, there is equal beauty and wonder — it includes many of the same poets as Swann’s collection. Especially when it comes to throwing out a hook in the first few lines that drags the reader in. For example, the beginning of “Camping in the Cascades” by Joseph Powell:

Hungry for bootprints, shades of differences,
we’ve come to think like the earth.

Or the opening lines of “Chainsaw” by Roger Jones:

The way it pops and razzes
and grumbles under its breath,

In his preface Daniel’s writes: “Early in 1988 I wrote Tom Watkins, editor of Wilderness, urging him to publish poetry in the magazine. To my surprise, and perhaps to his, Tom wrote back, ‘Why don’t we give it a shot? You’re the poetry editor.’”

As editors of green poetry we’ve an obligation to not give up on unearthing (cultivating) a green poem in all its many varieties, whenever and wherever it arises. The poems these particular editors choose are the healing edge of Green Poetry!

bannerAll us editors recommend you try going through these publications and landing on any page (and any poem), it’s a real treat! Not just in “this is a great poem” sense, but “this is a great green poem” sense. The color of the poem makes a difference, after all.

And some may ask why does any of this matter?

First, I’m grateful that other publications, have devoted ink and electrons to the true task of the warriorpoet. Second, I’m grateful that major organizations are discriminating enough to find green poetry editors. And finally, third, the green poet’s/poem’s task itself: bring the non-human into the equation.

 

That task is what seems both ecologically correct and humble. The human animal is perhaps most human when it is most humble, or at least I think so.

Finally, I’ve come to the conclusion that the necessity that editors of green poetry are most concerned with is the necessity of quashing the human ego long enough so the rest of our living earth can speak and be spoken for. And this green poetic voice we curate, it’s still young.

May this young bear cub we call green poetry grow old and wise and one day roar like a giant mama bear protecting her young.

Howls!

Dennis Fritzinger
Chief cook and bottle washer
Warrior Poets Society


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