READER RESPONSE
Issues#10, 9, 8, 7, 6

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Issue #9     -     Issue #8     -     Issue #7     -     Issue #6     -     Archives: Issues #1-5

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ISSUE #10 – March 2020

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Feedback: In the precious morning hours, the only hours that are my own, I have read and savored this issue. Lise, it was so fun to watch your face as you reacted to the beauty and wisdom of the elder. It was a delight to become a tree at the end. I loved every minute of this journey among the wisdomkeepers, human and non-human. Thank you to all.
Laurie Markoff, Holliston, MA

Feedback: What a wonderful collection of powerful stories and deep sensitivities. Thank you.
Camille Hanson, Minneapolis, MN.

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Lise Weil, Interview with Manulani Meyer

Feedback: Thank you. This was deeply moving.
Maya Spector, California

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Feedback: This idea of seeing and insight blows me away because I know I see - I am not looking, I am seeing and it is this seeing that brings insight and I have never heard this discussed in this manner. I also love this idea of everyone thinking of themselves as Indigenous. I would qualify that statement by saying appropriation of ritual etc isn't helpful - to become Indigenous we need to develop our own relationship to the land, develop our own rituals etc. because as Manu says it is indigenous that endures …
Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

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Nancy Windheart, “Aspen Ways of Knowing”

Feedback: The beauty and necessity of somatic communications with our non-human kin so that we can receive their "teachings in communication and interdependence" speaks directly to this moment in time. Thank you for this gorgeous essay that calls for us to open ourselves and BE, as we all "breathe the planet awake."
Anne Bergeron, Coosuk Abenaki Land, Corinth, Vermont USA

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Lee Maracle, “Nobody Home”

Feedback: "Challenging assumptions presumes that individuals have unravelled the lies within themselves and sought out their own private truth.." This is HUGE!
Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

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Gillian Goslinga, “Interview with Kate Tirion of the Deep Dirt Institute”

Feedback: Very inspiring. makes me see the land I belong to in a new way! Thank you.
Laurie Markoff, Holliston, MA

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ISSUE #9 – OCTOBER 2019

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A Word from Deena Metzger

October 12, 2019 - Topanga, California
I have been reading this issue slowly but steadily, in a parallel tempo with the eruption of the SaddleRidge fire 18 miles to the north, a synchronicity deserving attention. Though our power has not been shut down in Topanga, as it has for over 800,000 people in California, the replacement of our solar panels did require the electricity to be shut off for the day, so I shared a little discomfort. Yesterday, the smoke was heavy and I could not be outside but this morning the fire is seemingly stalled at 12.5 square miles, the heavy smoke abating although for the last hour, the Santa Ana winds which had died down have increased here, my estimate is 25 mph… This is the field I am in this week as I respond to the field of concern created by the essays in Dark Matter
Download a pdf version of her email to the editor HERE

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Deena Metzger, “Extinction Illness”

Feedback: This is so well said and described— the connection of surrender to healing, and the profound importance of delving deeply into that major portion, the mystical consciousness, of ourselves that is key to all of our healing—whether that be physical, emotional, spiritual, with ourselves, others, and the greater world. Thank you for these beautiful reflections and insights.

Jenny Evans Peresm, Wilson, WY

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Ruth Wallen, “Walking with Trees”

Feedback: I have been walking with trees my whole life and thirty years ago I began to listen to what they were telling me when virtually everyone thought I was crazy. They were talking about the great dying then -only I didn't get the big picture - that what they meant was that not only would they die but all life was threatened...Trees talk to me in dreams and by my listening. I have been grieving for so long...and tried so hard to get people to listen. This winter solstice I had an experience of reversal in which for the first time there is a level of acceptance of what is that I have never experienced before. Your words really moved me:Walking among these trees, slowly I come to accept that there is nowhere to hide. It is not about what happens to me. It is not about individual survival. No one can survive alone. I am fortunate to be with these trees. Even the barren branches offer some shade and comfort. I will listen. I will ask for guidance. How can I serve them? I will love, and appreciate the love they give back. Amen.

Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

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Feedback: I felt I was back in the Cuyamaca Mtns or the Redwoods walking with you - weeping with sadness but sometimes with tears hopeful joy. I am inspired by your words and ideas of how to connect and help others connect with the realities - good and bad - of climate change.

Petra Mudie, Halifax NS

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Wendy Gorshinsky-Lambo, “What the Worms Say”

Feedback: I love this article... because I am in love with nature and that includes worms. Your words reflect the wonders of relationships that occur between humans and nonhuman species. I KNOW that everything alive needs and responds to love because I experience it with trees, plants and animals on a regular basis. I use different language but the underlying meaning is the same: The Earth’s field responds and synchronizes to humans’ harmonic heart fields.

Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

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Sandy Ibrahim, “The Descent of Inanna’s Descendents”

Feedback: It is a beautiful juxtaposition to position Inanna's descent to our current necessity to come out of our addicted fascination with sky-god images and trinkets, and to make the voluntary journey of stripping off the layers of false identity. You ask good, strong questions, Sandra. You don't shy away from the tasks before us. But you give us a story that guides the way. There are no guarantees in this story, as there are no promises of clever solutions for our planet's enormous difficulties, so when you point to the necessity to come into a completely new relationship with the Earth, to let go the many shades of our hubris, you are wise to point to this ancient story. It is exactly the tale we need to remember!

Andrea Mathieson, Port Hope, ON

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Carolyn Flynn, “Beyond the Watershed”

Feedback: Stunningly beautiful words, images, thoughts… both known and unknown. Deeply touching. My day will be spent differently today because of it.

Merrilee Orr, Lismore, NSW, Australia

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Feedback: Carolyn’s loving wisdom of place is a true gift. Thank you ! I too awake every day with prayers of gratitude upon my tongue, for the towhee, scrub jays and mockingbird who sing the morning into being, for the light licking at my window through the trees, for the ten million creatures in one inch of soil in the garden. Blessings.

Regina O’Melveny, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA United States

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Juliana Borrero, “Landscapes at the End of the World”

Feedback: I was breathless reading your words, Juliana. Thank you for writing straight from the bone, through the torn flesh, through the heart, your wail soaring into the world. This is an act of freedom and hope. I love that you also call it a divorce! Keep writing. Please. Your song is a critical catalyst. Thank you!

Andrea Mathieson, Port Hope, Ontario

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Anne Dellenbaugh, “Only Time to Love”

Feedback: Deep bows of gratitude for your thoughtful and moving writing, and for the crack of possibility. For introducing the mystical into the what we see in the world of form. And much more. Bears many readings.

Nora Jamieson, Canton, CT

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Feedback: Reading this, I felt that she was really speaking from the place I come from. I loved there being no difference between preparing for death and healing, and of course form and formlessness and what surrender and emptiness opens us to, ultimately to love and service: “Firstly we are called to the mystical…..the second task: tending to the dying.” (And of course the dying are all around us right now…I guess that’s what Deena may be talking about…both physically and spiritually.) Anne’s essay feels the closest yet to the knowledge that the opening to non-self, to release of the ego is essential for healing of self and others and for the peace of inter-being and for real love. I felt grateful reading it.

Cynthia Rich, San Diego, CA

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Feedback: This is so well said and described— the connection of surrender to healing, and the profound importance of delving deeply into the mystical consciousness that is key to all of our healing—whether that be physical, emotional, spiritual, with ourselves, others, and the greater world. Thank you for these beautiful reflections and insights.

Jenny Evans Peres. Wilson, WY

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Lac Café Medley

Feedback: Cynthia Ross and Nancy Windheart catch me at the exact time I am reflecting on an assignment due tomorrow for a seminar I'm attending urging participants to go deeper into their poetry through memory, mythology, childhood sense of place, etc. What Buh told Nancy “I send my energy deep into the earth, I delight in its lusciousness--we are all the same being. My belly--the air the ecstasy in my bones--the pleasure in my cells--I love. Love Love,Love. It's like a great water bowl of Love” precisely fits what my own cats in the sukkah told me this morning while I was trying to hear what the wrens flying three stories higher by reddened grapevines on a sixplex were saying. How easily one can be distracted! Also, “There is a great unburdening at this time,” words from the eleven-year-old Atlantic right whale in the St. Lawrence, seems to explain an image my sister mailed me from Reno two days ago of a black bear on the prowl two houses from my sister's home that was filmed at 1:30 in the morning of the day the video clip was sent to me. What on earth could a black bear be doing in the suburbs of Reno down there in the valley save lumber along asphalt in dismay, unburdening, unburdening?

Marcia R. Goldberg, Montreal, QC

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Lise Weil, Trebbe Johnson’s “Radical Joy for Hard Times”

Feedback: I so appreciate this review of Trebbe’s book, combined with Lise’s own experience of the dammed river. Orphaned landscapes call forth abandoned parts of our own psyche, not something we easily or automatically want to encounter. This book is a call to face both what IS in our world now, and to also open to the life-force at work deep within the broken, wounded landscape. For beauty still lives in the brokenness. Life still pulses in these devastated places with a deeper, darker language. If we can turn into these places and abide there for some time, they will mirror what is agonized and buried within us and also offer poignant clues about how to adapt and how to surrender without collapsing in despair. Trebbe’s book is all about the power of witnessing, which is precisely the agenda of this journal. Witnessing with keen, clear eyes and an open heart. Witnessing to feel the pulse of the world beneath the destruction and loss. I’m thankful for Trebbe’s marvelous book (which I am reading slowly now) and the beautiful lens of this journal, peering right into the heart of the darkest matter, the effects of our wounded psyches on this beautiful world.

Andrea Mathieson, Port Hope, ON

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ISSUE #8 – APRIL 2019

Gillian Goslinga, “Love as Fierce as Death”

Feedback: Thank you for this wonderful dedication to the work of Deborah Bird Rose. However Gillian Marie Goslinga’s statement that “in academia, Aboriginal knowledge (all indigenous knowledge for that matter) is acceptable as an object of study or a playground for theory, but not as a legitimate claim on what this life asks of us” is actually erroneous. There are dedicated native-led “Indigenous Studies” and “Native American Studies” departments open to all students in major universities and colleges all across Turtle Island right now (Trent University and the University of New Mexico come to mind as long-standing faculties). These departments are recognized as full partners within the university, that IK (Indigenous Knowledge) is equal to all other knowledge systems, that their special role is to “re-indigenize” the academy, and that they offer traditional knowledge held for millennia. For all non-native folks referencing Indigenous Knowledge today, it is extremely important to promote (or at least be aware of) these flourishing institutions, thank you.

Pegi Eyers, Peterborough, Ontario

Nancy Windheart, “Life is Love”

Feedback: This was such a touching and heartfelt description of what these amazing mammals bring to this world and beyond! It truly brought me to tears…to live fully in love and joy, among family and community, despite the sad state of our planet, is the best we can do with the precious life we have. Thank you!

Judy Mishkin Miller, Asheville, N.C. U.S.

Britta Love, “Heal/Weave: Learning from Plant Medicines and Altered States”

Feedback: I am also much taken with Datura and grow my own plants from seed. Two years ago when I brought a plant back to Maine for the summer I had an amazing experience. I was absolutely sober, sitting on my porch one evening listening to the rain and the folk song “The Tree of Life” when suddenly I heard something else singing. I turned off the CD and realized that the singing was coming from the Datura plant that I had brought inside to protect from the rain. She was blooming…That plant sang to me for about 45 minutes and I taped her song. I was so entranced…

Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

Jen Skunk, “This Moment”

Feedback: Thank you helping us truly taste “sweet forest ecstasy”. This is a marvelous poem, full of brimming body sensuality together with Gaia.

Wendy Gorchinsky-Lambo, Rawdon, QC

Gillian Goslinga, “Love as Fierce as Death”

Feedback: I wish I had met Deborah Bird Rose, but then I did through you. I love the expression “Way of the Living World,” it brings to mind the Ouroboros. My work with worms eternally speaks of Life/Death/Life. To know that you and Deborah both work with the erotic, the Sacred Sexuality of the “Way of the Living World” from Aboriginal Wisdom, makes me feel a whole lot less lonely.

Wendy Gorchinsky Lambo, Rawdon, Quebec

Nancy Windheart, “Life is Love”

Feedback: This article brought tears to my eyes and reminds us that we are all connected to every species on the planet. Allowing species to become extinct is allowing a part of us to become extinct as well.

Lauren Osornio, Mexico

Nancy Windheart, “Life is Love”

Feedback: Thank you so much for passing this message on to us. As an empath who often weeps & despairs at the global destruction happening, & the awful impact on earths innocent animals, today I can take a breath, & know that these gorgeous belugas are, at least happy. Thank you.

Patsy-anne West, Australia

Nancy Windheart, “Life is Love”

Feedback: “Perhaps healing is learning how to live life fully in the presence of immense grief, aware of the certainty of death, of the impermanence of all things, including each individual life and the collective lives and particular gifts of each species.” This is the only way healing makes sense to me. Certainly the animals teach us that. While reading your story I had a sudden visceral memory of being in the Amazon with the pink dolphins and on the last day of the last trip how I longed to say goodbye and as my guide and I set out in a dugout they appeared one-by- one and eventually closed a circle around us… I was awed –but I KNEW they would come.

Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

Jacqueline Freeman, “Prey-er”

Feedback: Spell binding. It is also the way my daughter and I feel about the agreement between predator and prey. Thank you for sharing your life- directing cathartic experience with us.

Wendy Gorchinsky Lambo, Rawdon, Quebec

Anne Bergeron, “How I Came To Be with Water”

Feedback: Oh what gorgeous images… The words you heard “Be With Me” are words I hear every day - staying with what is is the greatest challenge of my life.

Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

Anne Bergeron, “How I Came To Be with Water”

Feedback: This pictorial essay was sublimely graceful, simple and nourishing. Thank you for doing it - doing the writing, taking the pictures and seeing life as you do.

Wendy Gorchinsky Lambo, Rawdon, Quebec

Ann Drake, “The Universe is Vibrational”

Feedback: Thank you for this. It was in the jungle in Peru that I first learned about soul loss in children and understood viscerally what had happened to me.

Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

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ISSUE #7 – NOVEMBER 2018

The Entire Issue #7

Feedback: I often resist reading this journal because it requires me to sit at my computer. I am reluctant to spend more time interacting with technology than I have to for work.

However, I have read it, in the dark, at 5:00 in the morning, with my coffee. I followed each reading with meditation. It was a VERY satisfying experience.

I think this issue is and is not a portal. I want to say it is a portal to a kind of consciousness that we need at this time. But it is not a portal because this is the consciousness I live in, the consciousness I want to stay in, and which it is sometimes so hard to stay with as I live in the dominant culture. So it is, perhaps a portal to my actual home and a way to be with the community of others who share my understanding of the world. And a way to show me that there are others who share that way of being who I do not know. Many, many others. And so reminds me that this web of connection, this tribe, this consciousness is large and growing and from this my hope comes. So thank you so very much.
With love, blessings, and gratitude

Laurie Markoff, Holliston, MA

Sharon Simone, “Fired Anew”

Feedback: This woman is amazing, brilliant and a gift. Talk about offering hope to so many suffering people. She will now set in motion a movement to save our earth…Bless You, Sharon Simone

Patricia Foley, Brockton, MA

Eve Rachele Sanders, “The View From The Ground”

Feedback: As a Tree Woman I was deeply moved by your need to turn to the trees for help…There is something about these extraordinary beings that helps us return to ourselves.

Your Redwoods speak to the deep community that appears under our feet. That all trees are suffering today is a reality. I wonder what we can do to help them heal, when they are being burned and logged to extinction. Healing each other – this reciprocal relationship remains a door unopened for most. You stepped through the veil…

Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

Lawrie Hartt, “At the Stillpoint of Village Medicine”

Feedback: What a deep and moving piece, a lovesong to the interconnectedness that we share with everything in the field of this earth and beyond, whether we are aware of it or not--and a call to be aware of it if/when we are not. I am particularly touched by these words: “There are moments when attending so fully to one member of the village, the whole village is present. The space of Medicine is that big. Nothing is excluded.” What an expansive vision of healing, of existence.

Sarah Braun, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Andrea Mathieson, “Listening to Bugs”

Feedback: Thank you so much for your rich and profound essay. For the last 10 plus years I've been host to lyme spirochetes and other fungi and bacteria, viruses too, and this experience has taken me on a deep spiritual journey which has landed me in the same paradigm that you describe in your beautiful essay. “Magnetic listening” and “homeopathic listening” are powerful ways to practice the shift needed in our consciousness to restore right relationship with these creatures and our own selves as well, not to mention all of life. “Quiet and still as a tree, I let my entire body resonate with ….” YES! The metaphor of war, not love, had oriented my early responses to what was happening to me: My immune system was embattled, I was invaded by foreign entities, I could only be free of them by targeting them and killing them and then cleansing myself of their death waste (detoxification). The battle was desperate because “they” were taking everything from me: my body, my mind, my career, my belongings too, “contaminated” by mold and rendered toxic to me. I fought “them” for years and aggressively. I only got sicker. It was not until I surrendered to something very close to “homeopathic listening” that the tides began to turn for me. I began to make peace with, to sit with, and to listen, a form of honoring and showing respect really. This ushered in a turnaround of not just my consciousness but also my physiological self. I started to feel better, do better.

These creatures were not enemies. They were only flagging a terrible injustice in how we humans have come to relate to earthly and bodily things and though small, they are mighty teachers, able to short-circuit the well-practiced logics of my warlike conditioning. I see them now as guardians of a consciousness threshold we are being called to cross at this time, a mighty turn to Love. (Green Hope Flower Essences owner Molly has written a wonderful essay about this, Beyond Lyme, a communication from the flower devas, available online.) Theirs is a love song, too! Machig Labdröat;n, the 11th century Tibetan female lama, surrendered to “demons” in this way, too, turning them into allies. Her meditation practice was a love song as well. YES, some of the most meaningful conversations are love songs that occur on the edge of death…
Blessings, Gillian

Gillian Goslinga, Cornville, AZ

Aftermath: 11/9 “The Brown Tide”

Feedback: What an incredibly startling and intelligent self-scrutiny we are taken into with the dream and how the author returns to it to feel it, enter it. We go into it too. The statement that sends her looking beyond toxic waters to another Tide, the migrants, who she sees she/we want to wash off when the Tide gets too up close and personal… I am amazed at the power of this dream and the closer look the author/dreamer risks so that she becomes undressed… from privilege and distance. I am so moved by this dream and its possible implications for us right now/me right now. Grateful.

Sharon Simone, Los Angeles, CA

After•Word: “Climate: a New Story” and “The Book of Joan”

Feedback: yes, Eisenstein is right (as was Macy years ago), we are being called into an initiatory ordeal – to FEEL takes enormous courage and endurance - and we MUST feel the interconnectedness of all things (and the terrible losses) on a visceral level as uncolonized indigenous peoples do. What else could power the reversal that is needed to begin the kind of healing you speak of - healing that brings humans back into alignment with the Earth – healing through prayer, art, ceremony, listening to the powers of Earth and Water…

I also like the idea of reducing carbon by restoring our forests, wetlands, coral reefs etc. It gives people a place to start.

And you are right – this way of being with the Earth is not new!

Sara Wright, Abiquiu,New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

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ISSUE #6 JUNE 2018

“The Wisdom of the Breakdown” by Cynthia Travis

Feedback: I am not coming up with much to say other than THANK YOU from my whole heart for writing and sharing this. This is everything.

Nicholas Tenney,Bozeman, Montana, USA

“Jaguar Medicine” by Karen Mutter

Feedback: It may be the greatest challenge before us: not healing from an illness but pulling ourselves out of the magnetic field of the mental construct that rules our culture, our minds—the illusion that science is supreme over nature. In order to do so we need to break the spell that keeps us separate from our very truest nature.

Sara Wright, New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

“The Seven Jars” by Anne Bergeron

Feedback: Amazing dream. Your words speak a fundamental truth that any woman of the Earth is only too aware of… no wonder we suffer. “The knowledge of how to survive lies deep in female consciousness, in female awareness, and has been occluded and buried. Yet, it remains.”

Sara Wright, New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine

“Making Love with a Three-Billion-Year-Old Woman” by Wendy Gorschinsky-Lambo

Feedback: I love this article. I am fascinated by your story about red wiggler worms because coming from the northeast I am a lazy composter – but here every bit of precious compost matters and my friend Sabra is giving me some red wiggler worms while I prepare their home. I am excited to learn about the five hearts, the bio-photons — all of it — and can’t wait for my new friends to arrive!

Sara Wright, New Mexico/ Greenwood Maine


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