This week rains began in earnest. Darkness arrives early amidst impossible colors and I find a soft comfort in all of it. We sowed cover crops of oats, vetch, buckwheat in the garden. It seemed fitting for both the transition of seasons and the shapeshifting of cultural and political landscapes.

There’s a fundamental faith and surrendering when sowing seeds, when stepping gently into growing shadows.

In her Parable of the Sower, Octavia Butler writes: “god is change and hidden within change is surprise, delight, confusion, pain, discovery, loss, opportunity, and growth. as always, god exists to shape and be shaped.” It is one of the central tenets of Earthseed.

It is impossible to track all the seeds of change. We’ve lost so much this year. More than we realize. And so much has been born. More than we realize. We’ll be catching up with it for a while.

But it is not necessary for us to track. To understand. It is enough for us shape and be shaped—to shape-shift. As we recombine the seeds of change into who we are, which is always a who-we-are-with.

We are designed to impact and be impacted by ALL of life. So as we shape-shift in all the conscious and unconscious ways, we become what Mystery is trying to be in the world. All is experiment. If anything, we’re allies of every seed. A sower is not a creator, but a collaborator in co-creation.


From 10,000 feet you can see 100 miles. From 10,000 years you can see 100 centuries on a clear day.

Some of these tree people were infants, little arbolitos, before there was such a thing as the Vedas or Greek civilization, before the great pyramid or Socrates teaching that wisdom begins in wonder. Indeed, before empire cast its myriad spells.

I am 100th the age of the eldest here. I consider how much I’ve grown in just one year and imagine thousands. Imagine what glorious mid-life crises they must have enjoyed!!

They do their Dolomitic dance and thrive on exposure—roots, bark, the elements. They can lose 90% of their bark, exposing their gorgeous striated inner wood, and still stand up straight to bark at the moon.

Talk about vulnerability.

It’s taken me four decades just to figure out which soil to grow in and how to be utterly and unabashedly myself. And I figure I still have roughly 49% bark left.

All hail the great Tree Elders!


Like you, I was assigned only human at birth—a severe abbreviation, to say the least. Too many ‘not-mes’ in me to remain an ‘I’, I surrender to the immense We. This is me coming out/in as We.

Vast skies & deep soil live within—bacteria and bears, colors and con-fusions.

Most recently & disturbingly (in the best sense of that word), Elder Fire & Ash Kin pierced me with questions I have no right to refuse. The midnight cries of the remains of those who didn’t survive flow through our nervous system, wiggling us towards liberation. Though we try, we cannot flee our entanglement. The symphonies of howling disguise themselves as itching until we listen and accept them, offering refuge in our body-hearts. There’s no going back.

Prior to that—a kiss from, an indictment by, an apprenticeship to bear. It was from bear I learned to eat everything, to be with everything. I learned that if I didn’t learn how to embody the truths dancing inside, I would be destroyed—confirming the wisdom of Gnostic Thomas, “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”

Along the way rainbow eagle flew into our chest, tattooing the shape of sky in us. Dung beetle-dug in, turtle-moon paced slowly through our veins. Hermit thrush threw ever-widening iridescent loops.

Then Riverever forever foriver. I was done for. We were born & are always being born. A cascade of unfolding co-becomings, erotic & eclectic.

The Era of I-Over is over. Deep We is calling.

Calling for a collaboration to compost the dead & dying body of the over-culture, decolonizing hearts, dismantling identity-prisons that have us all by the throats.

Impossibilities are emerging, as common as ants. Not just beyond the binary, but beyond the non-binary. Gender- and human-expansive. Trans-species, polyphyletic, shapeshifting, micro-animist, archetypally-curious, Oneirogenic, rhizomatic, symbiotic, omnivorous and cosmic-fluid.

We are unmuzzling the beasts within. With-nessing something new. We are pulsating raw & riddled rhythms into the ecosystem of robust nows.


It’s a mere 7 degrees and I take a shit on Bureau of Land Management – Land of Many Uses. I haven’t had a shower in more than two weeks, but I dip into the Dirty Devil River. Tumbleweed don’t care.

I’ve been Basin-and-Range-roving for days and I’m ready for the jackrabbit revolution. As the crow flies it’s three-quarters of a moon to the horizon and I’m fantasizing about being a guerrilla cowboy mystic named Tumbleweed Tom, tasked by trickster to uproot all the barbed wire fences in the West. Always ahead of the law, fast as the wind.

Suddenly, Tumbleweed starts in with a question: “Where were you when I created Leviathan?”

Excuse me?

“Where were you when the wind was born? Wind is the greatest conversationalist. Those who ally themselves to the wind eavesdrop on conversations that have been going on since before these mountains ranged. Its currents carry piñon prayers and ponderosa possibilities, Shoshone songs and sagebrush wisdom,” Tumbleweed says.

Then it boasts a bold theology of laughter at the end of the day. It speaks of freedoms; roads and fences are irrelevant. I ask questions.

🎵”The answer my friend is blowing in the wind” 🎶

It carries its own center at the edge of things.

Any thought I have is too little. Only a deep breath gets me anywhere near to the matter.

Eyes on the road, Tumbleweed Tom. I offer parts of myself I haven’t seen in years to parts I haven’t even met yet. The parts of myself I thought were a virus, so I had fought them off like a valiant, but confused soldier, thinking that it was best to be safe. Safety is Tumbleweed you can’t catch. I forgot that nothing is outside the circle, thinking for a moment I was not the same center as the wind. I had forgotten the thundering imperative of my audacious body, the wind-born destiny of my extravagant heart.


”I am he as you are he as you are me And we are all together” it sings to me. Whew, I suspected as much, but it’s great to get confirmation from one of the Rock Elders.

I first discovered I was eroding when I turned 14. I experienced it as calamity. Only after decades of composting did I understand: awe requires decomposition. The tender beauty of the breakdown is a prerequisite for the sweet beauty of rebirth.

Some of these stone people have been holding circle for 3 billion years. I can’t seem to hold my attention for 3 minutes. Deep time gives one perspective. And every second matters.

If you don’t think every second matters recall how you become god & goddess with each other in the rapture of sexual embrace, sinking into deep time; recall the 8 minutes, 46 seconds the blue knee was on his brown neck; notice the next time a fly lands on your head. If it’s 2 minutes & 3 seconds, it just might make the NYT.

A second can mean life & death; agony or bliss. 31,536,000 seconds/year. Imagine stacking seconds for eons & you’ve got something worth talking about.

Yet time isn’t a line pulled from horizon to horizon. There are moments when your psyche stands at the crossroads of all time: past, present, & future gather. They hold circle & chant Goo goo g’joob.

What feels like the hurtling imperative of time opens into a lotus of eternal present. No stacking required.

Today I topped my van out at 100mph on concrete poured through Jurassic landscapes & sat quietly in awe before ancient & modern petroglyphs. Symbols of the hunt. Sun worship. Mike Loves Angela. Dick-in-mouth.

We seek. We consume. We join. Let’s face it: We’re the sorts of critters who want to make our mark on things.

It has me confounded with questions that reverberate through my canyons:
Like this behemoth, what red rock layers of me am I willing to expose to the elements?

Will someone see something beautiful in me as they race to the next moment?

What delicate tracks & deep grooves am I leaving in the sands of time?

Whatever the answers, they are questions worth living. Ultimately, I suspect I can’t plan it—I can only present it.

The Nearby Faraway Day 365

E56199F5-46A8-4799-90E4-91C3ABAE6F4ENearby Faraway Day 365: Today marks one year of my experiment of living outside. When I went to the woods, I didn’t quite know what I was in for, nor that I was going for the long haul. It was as much out of expediency as experiment.

But then something happened—I started hearing things. I don’t mean in some woo-woo way, but rather hearing as in remembering, reconnecting, and realigning with the voice of the soul, of spirit, of the voices of the land. In the context of close living with nature through the seasons, I could hear my true voice, I could remember yes, this is our human birthright, I felt grounded and alive! I felt more creative, healthier, stronger. I felt a bigger self come online.

Then I made a commitment-I said I would apprentice myself to the land through the fall and winter. I would apprentice myself to the craft of poetry. And I would apprentice myself to sharing practices of reconnection with others who found their way to the threshold, as I called it. That is, the threshold between the city and wilderness, between their busy lives and the longing in their souls. This eventually became Wild Nature Heart which I started with my friend Katie.

And I did it! Through the autumn colors and dying back, through the cold and dark but green and rainy winter, until spring burst like a supernova of a thousand scents and colors. And I knew I couldn’t turn back. I had learned so much and found liberation in ways I could scarcely imagine a year ago.

The forest taught me, the muse taught me, my authentic self taught me-the alignment that occurs organically when one slows down and listens, and is not overwhelmed by the myriad voices, distractions, addictions of the dominant culture.

In the past year, I have stayed indoors for a total of only about 4-5 weeks, either house-sitting or visiting friends. Those times helped me in other ways, though I always felt the urge to return to my tent or open air, getting my fill of distraction and bad habits, and missing the fresh air, sunsets and sunrises, wild encounters, creativity, and sacred time that is now daily life.

So now on to year two of the experiment. And while it is uncertain what will unfold, it’s certain to be an adventure of learning and growth.