During this heightened time of Leo energy, I’m challenging myself to re-vision all facets of my life by releasing that which is muddled, filled with worry, panic, and agitation.
Creating more art and supporting the health of the planet and people I love are at the top of my list. Yet issues steeped in the entanglements of the day-job, money, relationships, fractured family dynamics, the politics of place and isms–too often devour me. These are not trivial discomforts and I am not sad. Through cycles of necessary reeling, my emotional transgressions are filled with jarring laughter, searing anger, and ferocious expectation.
I launched my blog four years ago, (see: “Green and Grown”) but the writings emerged in earnest in 2014. My original impulse was to document the progress of my simple, square-foot box gardening endeavors and personal evolution as a custodian of the planet. Topics and interests have included everything from the urgent politics of climate change and environmental issues to the ongoing fights, triumphs, defeats, and voices that shape local and global, urban/suburban/rural farming and growing. Along the way, I began to explore more closely, the intersections of racial politics, particularly Black Lives Matter activism, justice and culture, and how everyday ecosystems criss-crossed the needs of sustainable, natural habitats. In truth, I approached my monthly writings as culminating responses to those previously mentioned urgent, emotional calls, that were as much creative and informational as profoundly curative.
On examining these intersections, I immediately saw how they proved critical to recognizing the conflicting agendas that saturated my own life. Over the years, my writerly explorations shifted to seeking out remedies and mediations to include alternative wellness training and knowledge gathering in Reiki, medicinal/culinary herbal plants uses and propagation, and facilitating workshops on women and race in permaculture. My most fulfilling relationships are with alliances of compassionate, urban growers and sustainability educators-activists in Newark, NJ.
What I’ve learned is that growth and change result from telling honest stories about ourselves. How we tell our stories maps the vast terrain of expression in our quest for sustainable arts practices, justice, cooperative citizenship, and moral responsibility to the planet, our humanity, and the many and varied social and sacred transactions that occur while on the journey. Moreover, when we “get clear,” move from confused and “scared” to sublimely “sacred,” we begin to pay ritualistic homage to the ecosystems in which acts of resistance and freedom transpire. Clarity is always restorative. So too, are Art. Nature. Healing.
Big thanks to my lifelong friend and gifted artist, Robin D. Williams, another Leo, for allowing me to use her Journey Woman painting. When she first sent me a copy, I was blown away by the figure’s inspired quiet grace, a still confidence, and fearless contemplation, as she moves into the spacings of her undetermined trek. Contact Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Robin’s compelling image reminds me of Joseph Campbell’s wisdom: “we must leave behind the life we planned to live the life that awaits us.” I claim Journey Woman’s heartfelt imagination and Campbell’s perception as my own. I’m off communing in the Vermont woods, listening to nature’s sounds and less the beeps and whizzes of modernity.
Greens4squares.com is on hiatus until autumn.
See you at a future new moon. Stay green. Stay square. Xo, Pb
Note: Title quote was inspired by The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer. http://www.simonandschuster.com/books/The-Art-of-Stillness/Pico-Iyer/TED-Books/9781476784724