Love and Landscape (vol. 2, no. 2)

Here are a few things I’m sharing this month:

1. New blog:

  • The boys of Cleves were kings in beltless worn out blue jeans. They took me under their wings and instructed me in the ways of the swagger: Shirtless Swagger

2. New project:

  • Grassroot Garage – a step-by-step guide (and free online course) for social innovators from small towns and rural communities. Do you know any social innovators from small towns or rural communities? Are you one? If so, let me know.

2. Question I’m living with:

  • “I sat once in a graduate writing workshop on relationships to the land. The students…professed without reservation that they loved the earth. And then I asked them “Do you think that the earth loves you back?” No one was willing to answer that…So I made it hypothetical and asked, “What do you suppose would happen if people believed this crazy notion that the earth loved them back?” – Robin Wall Kimmerer from Braiding Sweetgrass p. 124

3. Quote I’m considering:

  • “The human body constitutes a live geography, as does the spirit and the identity that abides within it. To live one’s genius is to dwell easily at the crossing point where all the elements of our life and our inheritance join and make a meeting. We might think of our selves as each like a created geography, a confluence of inherited flows. Each one of us has a unique signature, inherited from our ancestors, our landscape, our language, and beneath it a half-hidden geology of existence: memories, hurts, triumphs, and stories in our lineage that have not yet been fully told. Each one of us is also a changing seasonal weather front, and what blows through us is made up not only of the gifts and heartbreaks of our own growing but also of our ancestors and the stories consciously and unconsciously passed to us about their lives….To live out our genius is to live out the conversation between our particular inherited body and the body of the world from which we seem to have been made.” – David Whyte from Consolations p. 78

4. Poem I’m pondering:

Lost by David Wagoner

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

5. Something inspiring:

6. Something that made me whisper “me too”:

  • “I hope there’s an animal somewhere that nobody has ever seen. And I hope nobody ever sees it.” – Wendell Berry’s daughter (Wendell quotes her at the beginning of his poem “The Unseeable Animal”)

If you’re reading this newsletter for the first time, you can read previous issues hereview lists of poems, questions, quotes and songs I’ve shared before here, and subscribe here.

Thanks so much. And, have a great day! – shawn