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Cabin 16: inter-species kin

A lovely, gracious wind-down to the green-breathing season this year. I divide my time this week between a lovely old farmhouse where an ancient cat needs my care, and the well-come cabin in the woods, surrounded by my new inter-species kin.

Each time I return to the lakeside I’m amazed at how the place is bathed in sound: a chorus of frogs in cross-rhythm to waves on the shore; the crow family sharing news; squirrels who gather, sort and file.


The forest floor is already becoming obscured by leaves – green, still – that fierce winds have torn from branches this past week. The mushrooms continue to appear and recede, a steady, varied display of abundance.

Critters have new patterns in these last weeks of warmth. An astonishingly beautiful black toad visits my front door; caterpillars descend from the trees on threads I can barely see, looking for a place to cocoon.



The light changes. I can feel the planet tilting away from the sun in this mid-northern place. The arms of daylight are long and golden, filtered through a greater distance of sky than in midsummer.


I expand my heart back into rehearsal, pour my body back onto rivers of highway, my thinking brain back into academic and freelance writing research. It feels good to grow back into the larger world.

As I look for urban studio space I can feel my artist body-mind kick into active translation now: how will I tell this story in the world of people?


In Leaving my Father’s House: A Journey to Conscious Femininity (1992), Marion Woodman writes,

Individuation begins with the painful recognition that we are all orphans. And the liberating recognition that the whole world is our orphanage.

My experience this summer/fall as the only human in a living, breathing natural ecosystem has delivered epiphany after epiphany, inspired 500+ pages of notes and observations, filled up camera cards with video and still-image reference. Pages and pages of doodles and sketches – blind, seeking attempts to describe the rhythm of this place and it’s effect upon me.


In Conscious Femininity (1993, Inner City Books)Woodman offers this, like a warm golden thread stretching from past into future,

“Soul-making is allowing the eternal essence to enter and experience the outer world through all the orifices of the body … so that the soul grows during its time on Earth.  It grows like an embryo in the womb. Soul-making is constantly confronting the paradox that an eternal being is dwelling in a temporal body. That’s why it suffers, and learns by heart.”

and this,

“Live your own life and not the one projected on you.”


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