Bhewtics ~ nature mentors

Me and my gal. I hope I have been a good bhewtic for her.

 

Quite astonishingly, we don’t have a special word in English for those who would mentor others in studying nature, in finding connections with nature, and in being part of nature.

I want to be able to give credence to those who would do such work. In finding the word, I am simply going back to our roots: to the Proto Indo-European language and keeping it simple.

Bhewtis ~  nature.

With the suffix “ic,” meaning pertaining to, as in the word “medic” which means pertaining to heal.

Bhewtic – pertaining to be of nature. A medic heals. A bhewtic mentors one in and of nature. A high calling.  It sounds rather beautiful too, don’t you think?

~~~~

 

 

Audio:

Flumilightenment – The Great Mental and Emotional Convergence.

Convergence of root to trunk, Cage Brook, Herefordshire. Photo by me.

Flumilightenment: A resistance to birfurcated thought, and a rejection of the word “environmentalism”.

For too long, environment has been treated as something external to us. We are drip-fed news about the non-descript environment as if it were:

  • External to us – somewhere “out there”.
  • A choice, option, preference, or hobby.
  • Something that others make a fuss about because they don’t have to worry about daily traumas such as racism, all other kinds of prejudices, conflicts, ill-health, paying the rent.

This is a blind alley, and perpetuated through words, phrases, and headlines every day. We live with language and meaning as something that shapes how we live. We shape all because of it.

Our young are being cultivated, too, in this now damaging misnomer ~ the “environment”.

I am suggesting nothing short of a new Enlightenment.

~~~

The physical reality is that ALL IS FLOW, AND ALL LIFE FORMS (EVEN IN DEATH) ARE INTEGRAL to all. Nothing is truly separate in the realm of reality.

What has been separated is our mental and emotional state of being. And continuing to use separating language perpetuates planetary catastrophe.

We must now DROP the term “environmentalism” for the sake of saving life itself.

Fluminism is the reality.

~~~

What we *think* we are putting into the *environment* is actually going into living beings and ourselves in our one shared biosphere.

As symlings, we are infinitely connected at every point within our porous bodies, and the bodies of all symlings, and our porous bionts (our microbiome, including bacteria and their viruses), with all other dazzling matter AND their wave effects within our biosphere and beyond.

Every moment, we are penetrated by atoms and electromagnetic waves, chemicals and biologies of so-called others. And we do the same to and with them. We are flow.

It’s like a kind of giant melding, a sexstorm, a kinmaking, the ultimate anti-racism, anti-speciesism, anti-anthropocentrism, a oneness in flow.

Sometimes, our imaginations are able to envision, though the crisis of imagination right now is profound. Sometimes, we may even think we feel it (I call this sanguimund – bloodearth). I want us to be able to protect it all (I call this praximund – processearth).

Life-changing, Earth-saving stuff.

~~~

This is not an Indra’s net I speak of, nor even an entanglement (suggests that we are still separated, at least by a single barrier), but an incredible, complex, porous flow, from the cosmos down to quantum level, in constant exchange in what I call the nagorasphere, which I write about in more detail in Humans and Nature’s Kinship Anthology series published in September later this year.

Within the chaos of the formation of this universe, at least, come patterns and exchanges (Bookchin) that exist through our every cell, breath, heat, and every cell is a symbiosis of other beings (Margulis).

~~~

It IS our absolute existence, even without sensing it with biological organs (we glimpse so much more via the tools we have created). But now our minds and emotions MUST follow, and the way we express all through our utterances and the way we live our lives, each and every day. Please, don’t use the word environment without, at least, considering fully what I am saying.

A FULL KNOWING of fluminism and being it every moment in complete union is a new enlightment; the physical reality, but also the mental and emotional consciousness of this reality. A Flumilightenment: The Great Mental and Emotional convergence.

I hope this makes you feel alert and empowered. You need to be.

~~~

Audio:

Ghosts, introducing anthroturbs.

Last summer, I am swimming in the cool Arrow just west of ye olde Penebrugge, keeping my nose above the silk-smooth, trying to find a rhythm against the strong flow. The sun is strong, and all winter’s ghosts abandon me for the ocean.

Under me swim a million Atlantic salmon lost to hunting and distress. Above me are the spectres of a thousand white men culpable for the loss. I’m not grieving for the men today.

I get out of the water, and warm blood returns to my cold skin, flush-blush, and I breathe deep the oxygen offered free by the immigrant balsams that shoot from anthroturbed, hot, shade-less, phosphated banks.

 

Man ~ anthro ~ disturbs ~ turb, from Latin “to stir up”. Anthroturbs.

 

You ghosts! I ache for you to come back to me, animated and full of the essence of life, like the blood returns to my epidermis, as real and vivid as you ever were.

I look up to a mewing raptor circling under a bright cloud in a deep blue sky ~ a fantail. Buzzard in all her glory, kindred buzzard; your lungs take in my air and mine yours. What are you saying to me? I think I might know. Your polarising eyes bear witness to my dullness under all the silver drops of water and soaked, sun-bleached hair. You’d rather talk to the others who might come to you, and avoid my predatorial shadows. I understand this. I am whiteness, and with all the river washing, I cannot get rid of that.

But you are utterly safe today in the brightness, as I neither possess the inclination to kill you nor a gun. My love for you is about as iron-strong as things are. Do you know it? Others are harming with poisons, and game rearing, and poultry sheds, and I do fear they will turn you into a ghost if you don’t stay away from people who look like me.

Can we ever stay away? “Stay away” is really an impossibility of matter in our dimming biosphere, because we are altogether in flows, bound into processes, like it or not, even in death. You are inside me, and me you. I’ll just sit here and warm for a while, and smell the undergrowth, and keep my eyes open for any other symling to greet who flows into my senses. The river will do its thing, taking my skin cells and some of my microbiome with it.

~~~

This early Spring, dressed hard for cold weather, in boots and jeans and overcoats, there is a human path I follow worn down under cracked willows, where the tree creepers hop from bottom to top. It’s a place forced under pressure between the sewage works ~ subcontracted to a profiteer by the not-for-profit water company ~ and the banks of the Wye just South of Bartonsham Dairy. Raging floods dig down deeper into the buried shingle of ten thousand years, like salt in a wound.

I’m going to check the sewer outfall for a point-source phosphate pollution event.

The path here is the beginning of a chasm, and there’s a terrible and awkward dance to walk it. I call it the Bone Path, where salix roots finger across it like skeletal hands.  Fishermen come here with their maggots, their carbon rods and alum hooks. I sometimes find the nylon bits in tweavelets, and they do anger me on behalf of all the animals.

I find the outfall and it is spewing white foam that reeks of soap. White foam of phosphates, the wastes of capitalism down the supermarket aisle where you and I buy our plastic bottles full of washing liquids and chemical softeners. I take pictures, imagining the entire journey to get these eutrophiers here.

There are three fishermen waste-deep in the channel across from the spewing, and I am not sympathetic. But then I change my mind, worried. So I shout across through twigs and willow tits, and suggest they take care with all the phosphates coming straight at them.

“I do not know what you are talking about,” one man shouts back in a heavy accent above the din, and continues to throw his line.

I repeat my concern and he waves me away like a bothering mayfly. They laugh at me. I reach for home, passing more flood erosion, where the river in its fury took more lives from the soils and dumped them somewhere downstream and unappreciated. Ghosts.

I am thinking about the freshwater, which is hardly water at all, so full it is of symbiotic life. Here is where all is easily indivisible like me swimming below buzzard kin and breathing balsam air. We are to them, and to everything in the air, and everything that has been stolen. All matter leads to the ocean, oceans to oceans. We are all ghosts, and that is my exquisite grief.

I have just sent my pictures to the non-profit. We’ll see how it goes.

 

Audio:


The Arrow at Pembridge
The Bone Path
Bartonsham Sewer Outfall.

Galunaissance: Snowdrop Time.

Snowdrops. Photo by me.

 

Candlemas bells, Galanthus, you still sound just north of the Levant, drifting across the northern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. You came to me via the piety of Benedictines serving the faith in rejection of most else—they brought you from Renaissance Subiaco on foot or on horseback, in canvas bags tucked inside leather satchels— and they poured you out into the sunlight, then buried you in chimes a stone’s throw from their dark nocturns and early morning prayers. They did love their gardens, the monastics, as they loved God. They must have loved you.

The candles that were lit in these cold, stone buildings each February, where congregations gathered to beeswaxed pews from all corners of the shire to pray, now spill into the graveyards in the form I find you today on the Goggin, all the way from the Abbot’s fields of Lazio. Now you are the candles and the incense burnings along the lane, up on the mown verge. You ring far beyond the Church of England walls, and we are glad, pushing up the hill into the coppice. You are the flowing immigrant to enshrine the earliest of Spring, the short days of hibernation breaking into longer spells.

The light and the change-ringing is coming back, in you.

Your little bell-bulbs are set strong in the hedges and woodlands, and even your seed will sprout if the Queen Bumblebees are early. We love this kind of campanology, and the shadows you cast on crushed, rusted bracken, when the early sun rises low to the East, and your heads bow low to the breeze that swings in from the Baltic and then from the Irish sea. The glistening cells of your petals are clean vellum in that light. You are a bright manuscript awaiting attention; the illuminations of that life, the gold leaves at sunset.

Thank you for it all, dear snowdrops of the Galunaissance. Your familiar sound is a salve for me. If you didn’t ring, what terrible sign that’d be. My genes chime deep in the Brythonic, pre-Roman. But Celts too hailed from elsewhere, from the South. You are an Islander bell, just like me, and all incomers, aged and new. We all wash over these lands in the change-ringing. In the time we are here, best to care for it all.

 


Note: There is no certain origin, as yet, for the introduction of snowdrops into great Britain. I am making a calculated guess, is all.


Audio: MP4

 

Audio: M4a (apple)

Medambulare.

BarefootintheWoods_vm

We know the forces for good in walking as part of nature. And I do it myself. So I have been considering a word for it.

Walking doesn’t have to involve legs, let me just say. It might mean all kinds of devices as extensions of our bodies ~ enabling. Moving through time/space at walking pace.

Med ~ PIE root for “take appropriate measures”.  Also root for meditation.

Ambulare ~ latin for “walking”.

Medambulare ~ walking as welldoing for wellbeing. Also, the closer within nature’s flows we are, the growing fluministic love we have for all life, the more we will defend and protect. Soul food.

The School of Medambulare.

Verb ~ to medambulate.

As a study, medambulology.

 

See also “going in for a walk“.

 


 

 

Pridhem.



 

Trisense ~ an essay in three parts.


1. Emily
2. Lynn
3. Ginny

 

Emily

1


 

It’s barely possible to imagine the hem of her black or white dress resting close at the knee of a leather boot belonging to a soldier with so many children borne to another woman.

Metallic scents of expensive ink on expensive paper linger not in her room, but in her father’s office downstairs. She writes by hand, of course, in her bedroom, at a small, crafted desk and seated on a chair that is cut and waxed from some of the grandest trees of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The glories of lilac and generations of bees flavour an ordinary lead pencil, maybe a sharp knife too, laid on the desk to carve a point. Her neck is long and pale, black hair wrapped into itself at the nape, and pinned.  The line of her spine drops plumb as she breathes quick and anxious.

In bitter winter, Emily looks down through her window at a horse raising his snow-dusted hooves through drifts, the wheelwright’s toil rolling behind. They travel along the road to a neighbour, delivering to the town’s elite. Her brother’s children, released from next door, laugh in these memory grounds beneath the cold, white blanket surrounding the yellow house. She’s observed robin search for his worm at the edges, pecking at the frozen leaf piles. Her secret lover makes boot prints through her father’s garden to his place of work. He glances up to her window with a wry smile beneath his flamboyant well-groomed moustache.

Spring has raced through this year—the bulbs bursting with colour in the borders—purple crocuses, yellow daffodils with orange hearts, and pink and blue hyacinths—and then abandoned her. How must she feel? The petals have shaped her thoughts into words, but she is anxious that it will all end soon. This keeps her in with her thoughts.

In a summer heatwave, the warmth of wet soil in clay pots, and spiced leaves, drifts into her hair, and Emily throws open the conservatory windows. A bead of sweat runs across her brow when the nights are sultry. And there is fresh-pressed lavender-scented linen on her bed when thunder comes, especially when the leaves redden and fall to the first frosts.

Emily writes each letter one at a time until they make words, and lines like tiny rivers on the back of used envelopes, and orange telegrams—Baltimore orioles—and any scrap paper she can find. There is a slant of light, of truth, yes; that bright New England kind that contrasts even the palest patterned walls and white skirtings.

She writes again in her beautiful garden. Blue jays are gifts, red cardinals shock. The loud warbles of tiny Carolina wrens float along the perennial borders of the Homestead under an orderly, painted, hickory fence. Even the Magnolia tripetala leaves swelling through the winds of the Fall gently vibrate that same, perfectly hand-stitched hem just when their rosy red fruit cones are in their prime.

For now, thanks to Austin, I read they flourish beyond Homestead northward about two hundred miles from their native range and a degree of centigrade.  You are all visionaries.

Emily mouths her own words quietly and sends them silently to a huge appetite denied in public spheres. The repression bubbles up, coded in decorum. Blood flows to her lips and through her fingertips. Skin on skin, under the skin of him, and her, then through the hand; hand through wood and lead; lead on manilla, and into her pocket. She can keep him there constantly, and no-one would ever know. She smiles, politely, at Lavinia.

If Emily had split a lark herself, somehow without harm, and peered into the microscope, she’d find her neighbour Lynn searching for the slanted truth, and source codes, and yellow, deep in a cell and the organelles. This place is where all the energy is, and all that lays in her pocket.

 


 

Lynn

2


 

She’s young on her wedding day—nineteen, like my Mum. She looks happy, swept into the folds of intellectual love. As a child, she has a bright mind free to roam the woods, unhindered. Now, it’s a strong will to study, and to be with him, and to inspire. They have a child together—Dorian. They divorce.

We divorced.

From the liberal arts to a passion for the inquiring, challenging mind, science history, she keeps her hair tied, or short. And she cycles to a humming lab where she dwells on processes, where the black and white microscopes stand in rows. Soon, she is eye-deep in the cell and the organelles through the glass—the glascella—where she splits the minutiae larks, to think and theorize a new understanding. It’s that slant of light falling across all those pale, patterned neo-Darwinists with her rolling-into-words, honey Illinois.

But she takes all her nature in with her; all of it. Worms, termites, termite gut bacteria, birds, slimes, eukarya. And she knocks on the doors of the journals and they turn her away, until one day, the world just gently shifts on its axis. Life, it is proven (until disproved) is to be less anger, after all, and more love; an inter-kingdom of unions and sex and symbiosis, not war.

And Lynn falls in love again. We all do if we’re fortunate. I did. Two more children, all now flourishing, then another divorce—she’s a dedicated first-class scientist and author.

She writes her notes by hand/in type. Spirochetes spin their corkscrews in white cups, and she looks to all those men again and gently laughs. Her time is big moves, from Chicago Chickadees to the Dark-eyed Juncos of Berkeley and back again to the East. And more, to NASA, to Russia, to international councils of men, and time with mics in studios, and interviews with great writers. She’s blazing trails to lecture halls the length of the land.

Finally, Lynn finds her way home to Emily’s town and the grandfather’s college, where she is content as a botanist can be. She has moved next door to those Dickinson memory grounds. And they meet somehow over the hickory fence. Spring has raced through very fast this year—the bulbs bursting too late in the borders—and as Lynn writes through finger tips and plastic keys and memory boards in a summer heatwave, a bead of sweat runs across her brow. This is her place now, her Amherst. It’s friendships, yes Lovelock’s rainbows on Hungry Hill, and the geosciences where they also make art for her, and this is magic for her: an Earth so in sym as to be the sum.

As her children’s children laugh, her love grows for the sauce code in decorum written on manilla and chocolate wrappers just next door; Emily’s yellow. I’m listening to you, Lynn, as you swim forever wild in your Puffer’s Pond.

 


 

Ginny

3


 

I have two lives. One is before Mum’s suicide and the other comes after that. Before, I am steered by the great events of those I love. After, comes a life of trauma and healing. In healing, I emerge, though trauma is never a singularity.

As a child, I have a bright mind free to roam the Herefordshire woods and streams, and listen to larks, unhindered. My hair is long, until the chemo, tied back into a wild bunch. We meet at college, where I design with black ink on whiteboards and read Zevi. He maps gold and reads Lopez. Then, in Welsh borderlands, he gives me tandems, and our dog, and daily walks. And I know these hills like the memory grounds. After walks under rainbows on Hungry Hill, our daughter comes, and life seems the best adventure. We go to that New England light (Chickadee) and wade through Pacific waves under the Aotearoan cloud (Tui). And I still love him for that. Big moves.

But the after comes, and terrible trauma brings anger and control, and it takes a long time in the city between the Taff and the Ely for me to leave. But I do, and I find new, deep love. And so to this intellectual bird love—of  Cardiff Dippers and Albert’s Lyrebirds—I too receive a wry smile—and the hems and leather boots are in symbiosis with visions of a new epoch itself. I have scribbled in pencil on manilla envelopes our word, mirrors. They also know before and after, a lonely place to be.

How dull would life be without you, Emily and Lynn, and I pocket all the slant light and symbiogenesis I can mine in your words, forming my own thoughts and words, pushing all the hickory fences back. I mouth my own words to a huge appetite denied in public spheres. Love is never sentimentalism. Blogs (light of all the seasons) are my instruments—plastic keys— and Twitter, though there is control there and it can make me unhappy. There’s a beautiful book too, thanks to my friend Riechmann, in a language my daughter knows well. And I relish, too, the visceral art with Lyons under Welsh sleet ~ ah, the Elan horses.

You see, I grew up in my mother’s rambling garden with hardly an edge into the wild of the wood and the streams. And I tended a glasshouse, just like Emily, the warmth of wet soil in clay pots, and spiced leaves in my hair. I climbed mountains and even flew them (the Red Kites). But it was Dad who always tasked me to question. We cared for each other in the after, and I held his hand as he breathed his last. I miss him.

And to abandonment and cancer ~ how must I feel? I am still here above red sandstone, standing at the confluences. Deep down here, there are all the five Kingdoms in symbiosis spreading to cover the entire Earth. I can’t tell you, Lynn, what ten thousand miles away means, and what ten thousand miles back feels. Straight down, beneath my feet, all of time. And then to record them, and the loss ~ each mile ~ with my tiny, black mic, pinned to my pale, patterned blouse.

Daughter’s voice has grown strong in justice and language, like the river, and I learn from her. Meanwhile, I wait and write, and walk each day to Kingfishers and Goosanders, with Heron-like patience; at other times none at all, like the gleam of a Peregrine’s strike. I live Rilke’s questions, searching along my own Amethyst Brook or Connecticut—The Edw and the Wye—  imagining all the spirochetes, searching too for the light beneath my own versions of Magnolia tripetala and all their subsoil mycelium lovers and sunshine. Nothing is separate: All is flow, my rivers, yellow, and that gentle shift of the axis.

Lynn, you asked me for new words, a source code, so I give them to you. Emily, I understand you and the blood to the lips. I feel like we are the lichen on my Mum’s grave, the trisense; it takes three in symbiosis—the alga, and two types of fungi  (an ascomycete and a newly identified basidiomycete yeast), but all three must have that colour.

 

End.


 

Anthropomode

Cardiff Bay Sluice Gates. Photo by me.

 

The Anthropocentric mode of being. Norm of the Anthropocene. A problem.

Anthropo, of the human. Mode from modus “measure, extent, quantity; proper measure, rhythm, song; a way, manner, fashion, style” (in Late Latin also “mood” in grammar and logic), from PIE root *med- “take appropriate measures.”

Business-as-usual.

Tethering any potential vitanance of ecosystems to an ill-ecological disunion or dominion of human behaviour ~ mistake.

Economies, law and other human modes of existence are not fully diverse, inclusive and based on ecologism.


 

Ecolartia (eco-l-art-ia)

Riverbank ~ image by me, entered into the New York International Photo Competition 2012

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