Bald Eagle on Nadu Harbour

 

We all had our own reasons for going to Haida Gwaii. Of course it was the On Root Project that brought us here, a one week artist residency designed to introduce us to the damaging affects of industrial logging and to immerse ourselves in pristine old growth forests.  Nevertheless we all had our reasons. Some didn’t make it, perhaps another time. For those who ended up on these shores at the edge of the world, the journey to get here, the place, the people and the journey home, left us cradled in a new understanding of belonging.

Buried in whatever wasn’t being said I wonder if the reason we do things is not for the thing but for a single moment tucked inside the bigger thing. Maybe we’re pulled to give in a way unknown to us before. Perhaps there’s something wanting to push us about but it had to wait until we got off a ferry in some remote bucket-list destination. Perhaps it was waiting for us to arrive.

Perhaps it’s a conversation or a piece of a conversation. Maybe it’s the tiniest of moments that’s been waiting for all the riddles to slide up against each other and rub a certain way. What if the reason was waiting for us to turn to the left just so it could speak  its voice.

Yes, each of us were extended an invitation from the On Root Project to spend an immersive week at an artists retreat and yes, there’s still an art show to pull off. But for those of us who jumped the hoops to get there and stay there and be there, we still had our silent reasons for going to Haida Gwaii.

Sometimes we’re the watcher and sometimes we’re the watched.

~ Savanna McGregor on the morning of her 31st birthday, Nadu Harbour, Haida Gwaii.

 

 

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Being Human: consciousness 101

Being Human: Consciousness 101
Tuesday Evenings
October 17, 24, 30
6:30-8:30pm
Location: Kelowna
Cost: $200
Contact: Lori Mairs
milkcarton04@yahoo.ca

Family drama?
Relationship patterns?
Roommates and workmates that seem to re-appear in brand new bodies even when you change jobs and apartments? What’s up with that?
Do you attract the ones looking for mommy or daddy? How do they get your number? And how come you keep picking up the phone?

I demonstrate a method of inquiry for people to discover their own answers and their own truths about what’s going on for them. I support you to recognize your power so you’re not at the mercy of your unsuccessful patterns.

I teach the mechanics of the emotional system and the mechanics of the thought system. I offer tools, strategies, insight and logic while actively demonstrating how messy situations can be handled. There are no quick fixes, what there is is knowledge of how subtle systems work and how, when they are linked, end up looking like the life you’re living. You can make new links. It’s a little tricky at first but once you get the hang of it you’ll never go back. Why? Because when you understand the basics of the mechanics you begin to be transparent to yourself and when you welcome the courage to see yourself clearly, others come into focus in a brand new way.

These concepts are part of the foundation for deep and lasting self-work.

This class is considered an introduction to these concepts.
Advanced classes also offered for willing students.

Contact: Lori Mairs
milkcarton04@yahoo.ca

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Talking To Trees (October 2017)

 Wednesday evenings
October 11, 18, 25, and Monday, Oct. 30
6:30-8:30pm
Location: Kelowna 
Cost: $200
Contact: Lori Mairs
milkcarton04@yahoo.ca

We talk about ‘saving the environment’ as if we’re not a part of it.

Dr Suzanne Simard (How Trees Talk To Each Other) and German ecologist Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees) tell us how plants communicate, have relationships with each other and how they do all this through biologic systems and electrical fields. But plants don’t just communicate with each other, humans also have electrical fields and biologic systems and it’s through these subtle states that we can enter the field of companionship with the more-than-human world.

These four evenings are an introduction to the kinds of relationships that are available between humans and the more-than-human world. Lori will provide practical tools, exercises, homework assignments and a guided experiential inquiry to help you move into an alliance with nature.

Lori Mairs is an ecological artist and academic researcher. She lived in the Woodhaven Nature Conservancy for 15 years as its Caretaker. Lori holds a masters degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UBC Okanagan and currently tutors students in the BFA and MFA program.

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The City Woodhaven

Well, I’ve landed, and landed well.

I dropped into mature pines, beautiful gardens, a quarter acre of land and right in the city. Who would have thought? Yep, I can hear sirens and a little traffic, mostly on nights there’s events in the big arena downtown but for the most part it’s really peaceful. There’s all sorts of neighbours: deer, squirrels, quail, red tailed hawk, magpies, dragonflies, bats, haven’t seen a bear (yet) and not convinced there’s cougars around but there might be. The human neighbours to the left are a lovely young couple and they have a pitbull-type dog I get to see when he’s in the yard – sweet as a mush. The other neighbours have two small dogs that ferociously bark when they’re protecting their territory but for the most part their squeaky toys make up the dog-soundscape. Pretty harmless. I can see three houses from my outdoor vantage point but they’re a good distance away and everyone is really friendly. The homeowners are fabulous! I’m not going to refer to them as landlords, it seems a little unbecoming of their generosity. They are simply lovely humans; family oriented and love the critters so much that when they thought about taking out trees they stopped because they realized that if they removed the pines the squirrels would lose their fly-highway. Seriously, go figure- what good people to care that much about the critters. They are good and kind and seem to be okay with me moving in at my own pace.

It was a lot of work finding a new home. I was up to my armpits in hunting down possibilities, seeing places, testing the waters, waiting, waiting, waiting. A little (or maybe a lot) of patience and a bushel of certainty that the right place would present itself and it did. Finally, on the 14th of August I went to see a place and the place was perfect, is perfect.

Honestly, there were many sleepless nights. I saw some fabulous suites and some derelict dumps that need to be reported to someone but I’m not sure who. In a climate of .06% vacancy people lowered the rent in my presence just to make sure they had a tenant for the first or the fifteenth of the month. Those were the people who knew they were renting an average or below average suite for the price of luxury (shameful really). I keep thinking I should write a ‘How To Find the Perfect Rental in a Zero Vacancy Market” type book. Why? Because it’s not about desperately seeking anywhere at a reasonable price, it’s about staying true to who you are and knowing there is somewhere that is also equally as true waiting for you. It calls for flexibility, patience, willingness to change your mind and the certainty that you will have to drag yourself through rat infested dumps to get there and those dumps (that need to be reported to someone but I’m not sure who) are vital to the process. You also need to make sure you’re willing to give as much as you get. Be a good tenant and you will find a good home owner. It helps to have brilliant references, a sense of humour and an understanding that people are trusting you with their investment. I know it’s not as simple as that but at least it’s a start in the right direction.

 

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There’s So Much To Know

After a strange and difficult morning I attended the convocation at UBC Okanagan where Alex Janvier was awarded an honorary doctorate. If you’re Canadian and don’t know his work I strongly suggest you google it. He’s a brilliant artist and one of the Indigenous Group of Seven. He talked about hope as a means to move through, he shared about residential schools and the insanity of injustice reaped on the First Nations people of Canada. I cried. It was a good cry, his words allowed for reflection and a time of understanding and revealing what colonization feels like. I get it. The wisdom of these elders in our presence cannot go unnoticed any longer. As an artist, his work is exceptional, as a human he gave the grace of  relationship to people looking for a future. What a gift.

Later in the day I had a call from my good friend Chelsea Robinson. She’s the mind behind a collaboration with Lisa White, a Haida woman and Director of Tluu Xaadaa Naay Society in Old Masset. These women are the bone of the On Root Project, an invitation to artists to come and witness the old growth forests and their horrible companion, clear cuts. I’m a part of this project and am so grateful to be participating as witness and reflector of these times. That’s in July. For the rest of June I’ll be teaching Talking To Trees classes (link below) and then at the end of July I’ll be in Rock Creek for a weekend saying goodbye to a brilliant woman whose life ended a year ago. In August I’ll be Nakusp for a celebration and then I’ll be gone from Woodhaven.

Amidst all the joy and loss there’s something inside that rattles at my bones, that takes a trip through the mycelium and loans its voice to this forest that has been my companion. That rattle shakes me up and drops me into the next step, always the next step. Thank you Alex Janvier for your words.

https://lorimairs4711.wordpress.com/2017/06/01/talking-to-trees-3/

 

 

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Talking To Trees 3

Talking To Trees 3
negotiating the space between humans and the more-than-human world

Wednesday evenings
June 14, 21, 28, July 5
6-8:00pm
Location: 4711 Raymer Road, Kelowna, BC
Cost: $200
Contact: Lori Mairs
milkcarton04@yahoo.ca

We talk about ‘saving the environment’ as if we’re not a part of it.

Dr Suzanne Simard (How Trees Talk To Each Other) and German ecologist Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees) tell us how plants communicate, have relationships with each other and how they do all this through biologic systems and electrical fields. But plants don’t just communicate with each other, humans also have electrical fields and biologic systems and it’s through these subtle states that we can enter the field of companionship with the more-than-human world.

These four evenings are an introduction to the kinds of relationships that are available between humans and the more-than-human world. Lori will provide practical tools, exercises, homework assignments and a guided experiential inquiry to help you move into an alliance with nature.

Lori Mairs is an ecological artist and academic researcher. She has lived in the Woodhaven Nature Conservancy for 15 years as its caretaker. Lori holds a masters degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UBC Okanagan and currently tutors students in the BFA and MFA program.

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Talking To Trees 2

Talking To Trees 2
negotiating the wuzzy line between humans and the more-than-human world

Tuesday evenings
June 6, 13, 20, 27
6-8:00pm
Location: 4711 Raymer Road, Kelowna, BC
Cost: $200
Contact: Lori Mairs
milkcarton04@yahoo.ca

Notice how we talk about ‘saving the environment’ as if we’re not a part of it?

Dr Suzanne Simard (How Trees Talk To Each Other) and German Ecologist Peter Wohlleben (The Hidden Life of Trees) tell us how plants communicate, how plants have relationships with each other and how they do all this through biologic systems and electrical fields. But plants don’t just communicate with each other, humans also have electrical fields and biologic systems and it’s through these subtle states that we can enter the field of companionship with the more-than-human world.

These four evenings are an introduction to the kinds of relationships that are available between humans and the more-than-human world. Lori will provide practical tools, exercises, homework assignments and a guided experiential inquiry to help you move into an alliance with nature.

Lori Mairs is an Ecological Artist and Academic Researcher. Her creative work includes sculpture, installation, photography and creative writing. She has lived in the Woodhaven Nature Conservancy for 15 years as its Caretaker. Woodhaven is a 22 acre nature conservancy in Kelowna BC and is comprised of four distinct bio-geo-climatic regions reflective of a cross-section of the eco-systems found throughout the Okanagan valley. Lori  currently tutors University students and teaches classes in Personal Growth. She holds a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UBC Okanagan.

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