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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Talking to Trees

 

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

Monday evenings
May 22, 29, June 5, 12
6-8:00pm
Location: 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 Consciousness and Stewardship. She holds a Masters Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from UBC Okanagan.

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The Augur

early birdsong
choir into steel skies
long dissolved to ash
the fire sleeps

precious cargo sapped
wrapped like a sausage
the Sandman on snooze
before the coming step
always steps

it’s a full time job
waiting on the Augur
to declare the coming
of a two-crow day

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Beyond the Snow-time


I know that winter is coming to an end when the deer start eating the snowberries and the squirrels take to what remain of the campion flower. That’s the thing about longevity in place, the habits of critters tell me far more than the weather channel.


It’s been a relatively smooth snow season here with the exception of course when I got trapped inside for a few days by the ice-wall at the gate. I even managed to gauge just the right amount of wood needed until mid March and still have a little left over. I burn the stove hot and clean with good dry wood, there’s an art to it. The radiant heat of fire not only warms the house but has become the winter staging ground for conversation that otherwise might not have been had and believe me, there’s been more than a few prescient conversations in front of that fire.


I don’t know if I’m quite ready to go beyond the snow-time, the early winds rattled about last night, swept low through the snowberries in the evening then picked up gusts at the top of the big cottonwood and cedar in the gully. The shift from one season to the next is never a straight up dividing line, there’s always a crossover of signals in the emergence.

The woodshed needs cleaning.

I heard a junco yesterday.

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Trapped!

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I’m the only human in this gated community and I can’t get out. The city grader was here all morning scraping the streets. The other driveways have about six inches of snow up against them but here, it’s over 3 feet high in some places and a wall of solid ice. Even my snow-guy couldn’t get through it today. The other driveways fare better because there’s an opening every 40 feet or so. Not here. I have the entire fence line with no breaks. The grader drives full barrel down the southeast fence line and everything it gathers, especially the crusty ice that’s heaviest and sits on the floor of the bucket, gets dumped at the point of least resistance, which is the entranceway to Woodhaven.

So there’s a wall. Not sure what to do with it. Appeal to a neighbour? Give the snow-guy a pick axe? Complain to the city? Ask the RDCO for help? Maybe it’s a fundraiser looking for a place to happen, heaven knows the activities planned at the last Burbridge Dinner could use a little cash infusion. What if people sponsored $5 for every shovel full the snow-guy moves? we’d be rich!

Whatever happens I need to get out at some point, I do a car share situation with Gwen and the library will start to worry if she doesn’t show up for her weekly rations. Any votes for what do to? I’ll play.

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  • note: When we had that big dump in December some kindly neighbour came around a few times and cleared this for me, I think it was a quad with a blade on it. Perhaps she/he will show up today, if so there’s a bottle of something exquisite and local that’ll be handed over.
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