This is my 300th blog, and it needs my recognition. This is no small feat considering my personal story over the last seven years.
From just a laptop with a wifi connection—a Twitter account, a blog— to a Masters, to my current PhD position, I’ve worked as hard as a beaver in the Johnny Mack river to find channels of flow for my ecophilosophy Fluminism.
It is, at last, beginning to travel from person to person—already flowing through wild teresapien lives and nature-intimate ways of human life, of course—but now journals and websites too, and a beautiful little book of my dissertation (thanks to fellow symbioethicist and ecopoet, Jorge Riechmann) in the Spanish language and internationally. And I am so grateful for this, on behalf of all life.
Seven years solid writing and creative neologisms, more knock-backs than I can convulse a stick at, huge losses, a few literary mentions, powerful art conversations and collaborations, and, I contend, a healing ecophilosophical symbiosis of new biological science and ancient understanding that once understood there is difficulty ever going back.
From the wellsprings of the mycelium of the woodland floor (Simard) and the symbiogenesis of the mother/daughter cell (Margulis) to the latest ideas on oceanic life adapting to climate change, it seems, perhaps with the exception of the bruticulture of industrial Homo sapien—hence our troubles—life works in this beautiful form of love, by communing, a love by devotion to cause – the cause of life.
From all my observations on that little river in the Maine woods, when my sixteen year old daughter was a babe in a backpack, to my explorations of the latest scientific biological and ecological studies, lives are not simply “entanglements” (Haraway, Morton).
Instead, I look to the flow and waves of quantum and out to the cosmos, the physics—the music (Meyer)—of the exchange of dazzling matter (Margulis) and energy, dark and light, and all in between, a dynamism, a processing, entropic and enthalpic evolutionary communities, collaborations subsuming competition, like breath (there is no competition between the out-breath and in-breath), where membranes are so penetrable as to be fully open not closed.
Therein lies the risk we must all take, to trust in that openness and the flow, and then to assume a communal responsibility (not a Right), once “seen”, for humans to understand the consequences of belonging or not belonging, and that what we place into the flow needs to proliferate life in diversity and abundance, not the opposite.
For some, this is a hard notion to embrace. This has been a sadness, but not unexpected. I think some may consider that openness is a threat to their own individual identities, thus agency. But it is not.
Remember, it is the flowing relationships, the organic and inorganic processes between all life—the exchanges themselves that are the things of highest worth and deserving of the most protection when it comes to life-love. Take the risk—love and love again—because doing so preserves the lifelines that sustain us all to flourish both as individuals (symlings, at least) and as the whole living community that is Life On Earth. Take the risk to resist the crushing Anthropocene (human dominion), giving way to exciting and loving life-love opportunities instead.
I have written about mycelium and love, pollination and devotion, the river continuum and the confluences as a celebration, beavers as demonstrative Fluminists, the microbiome and healing, tree sentience and woodland succession, compassion in conservation, ocean life and kinship, cities and the moral imagination, welldoing for wellbeing, the Flowering Mind, the leveller (and power) of the small things, including viruses, rewilding and locacede. There is also Patientism, an idea I wish to explore more (my gratitude to the late, great Wendy Wheeler for early endorsement via Twitter), political Cherishism, and other inquiries in terms of the inseparability of all, including climate volatility and symbioethical relatedness, human trauma, equity and inequity.
Each piece, each resistance by the instrument of love, and each neologism pushes the bounds a little bit, of language and life-love, but also invites you, in no uncertain terms, to step into the flow—the experience of a lifetime that is life-love. Even in death (ecological/emotional death).
It is healing though there are elite human beings who would still see you refuse it. Please resist them. I am glad to say, new biological discoveries tend to support my ecophilosophy not destroy it. What remains is an exquisite mystery, a Fluministery (as Gavin van Horn, Center of Humans and Nature, has so delightfully coined via Instagram), and I call all to nurture our collective moral imagination in order to give a semblance of place and trust to it.
My work to date moves in various flows, and I hope to begin, at least, to bring it together at the confluences via my learning at Manchester Writing School, to send it on by some gravitational force to the estuaries (volatile but rich places) and then to vast oceans of human perception through language and its evolution (Spring Theory).
I’ve also endured a flood of big life-death events and unexpected emotional riffles and pools that have nearly drowned me. In a way, I cannot believe I’m still standing, but I am. I certainly know who my friends are – joyous symlings, friends and family – but I also know there are some—and it has been a shock—whom I now can never fully trust.
A collaborative and supportive publisher in the English language would be wonderful, my own protective riparian zone that understands what I am doing here. But finally, after a long search, I have landed on my feet with a Director of Studies who really gets it, and supports me as I never imagined, and I also have a supervisor who is an exquisite master of the craft of writing and willing to teach me. Learning is a life-long devotion. My Fluministic gratitude to them both today.
300? What’s a number? There’ll be more!
Thanks to Nick at Handpressed, all my blogs posted over the last seven years are now listed under their various titles in a new tab on the menu above named “Archives”. Enjoy!