Rekindle Your Wild Joy and Deep Belonging to the Earth

Fungus Amungus September 25, 2013



Look how big some of these beauties are!

Found at Walden Ponds, just east of Boulder, CO.

At least somebody is benefiting from all this rain.





Relationship with Stuff: Toy Stories September 22, 2013



Gabriele Galimberti wandered the world to photograph children with their favorite toys. He would first play with the children so they would get to know one another a bit, then he’d do the photo shoot.

I think the project reveals some interesting insights into peoples’ relationship with our stuff — not only in the photos themselves, but in the photographer’s experience of doing the project.

The first interesting observation is that cross-culturally, the toys were not that different. Dinosaurs, cuddly stuffed animals, dolls and boy dolls – er, that is, “action figures,” toy trucks and the like showed up across the globe.








Of course, the favored toys naturally

“…reflected the world each child was born into: so the boy from an affluent Beijing family loves Monopoly, because he likes the idea of building houses and hotels, while the boy from rural Mexico loves trucks, because he sees them rumbling through his village to the nearby sugar plantation every day.”

These toys were of course provided by the parents, who offer their children implements of their own lives: the taxi driver bought her son a lot of miniature cars, and the farming family bought small plastic rakes, shovels, and the like.

With the exception of computer games, these are also, Galimberti noticed, the same kinds of toys that have been around for the past 30 years — a continuity that gave him a sense of calm belonging.






But bigger cultural differences appeared in two ways. The first is the way the parents dealt with the child’s participation in this project.

“Parents from the Middle East and Asia, [Galimberti] found, would push their children to be photographed even if they were initially nervous or upset, while South American parents were “really relaxed, and said I could do whatever I wanted as long as their child didn’t mind”.”

The second big difference lay in the way the children play with these toys.

“But it’s how they play that seemed to differ from country to country. Galimberti found that children in richer countries were more possessive with their toys and that it took time before they allowed him to play with them (which is what he would do pre-shoot before arranging the toys), whereas in poorer countries he found it much easier to quickly interact, even if there were just two or three toys between them.”






Both of these hold significance when looking at the world ecopsychologically.

The first brings up the question of whose will is more important and sovereign: the outside authority, or your own smallest family member?

The second begs the large question, how does the number of possessions we own correlate to the quality of interaction we have with others involving their use?

In other words, does a richer standard of living naturally lead to more possessiveness, and a poorer or more simple one lead to more sharing? We could make the argument that the first part has indeed been so since the dawn of agriculture, which allowed for some groups to store great quantities of food for the hard winters while those without such walled, rodent-proof containers sometimes starved — unless the walled-in folks were generous with their surpluses, or unless the nomadic hunter-gatherers began raiding.




If more wealth does indeed lead to more possessiveness, is that still the case if the entire community attains a certain level of wealth, or only if there’s great discrepancy between the haves and have-lesses or even have-nots?

Regardless, can recognizing the likely possibility of behaving in a stingy way lead certain folks in affluent societies to deliberately keep themselves poorer in a subconscious (and likely misguided) bid for deeper community connection? I ask this question for myself, often: does my deep-seated fear of becoming an entitled jerk keep me from having a surplus of money, even a modest one? I’ve always had enough, but something deep in me fears extreme wealth and keeps me from having it.


But I do have a lot of stuff. What I miss, living now in a new place, is people to want to come play with it.




What about you? What is your relationship with stuff like? And how might we move toward a more caring, sharing society and world while still enjoying our toys?


All quotes and photos from

Please go there to see more of his excellent work.

Images are published here with permission.


Happy May Day May 1, 2013

… from Boulder, Colorado.


May Day 2013. (Image by Tina Fields)

One of my colleagues said today that it feels like we’ve slipped over the line into Narnia, where it’s “always winter but never Christmas.”  (–C.S. Lewis: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe).

Cue the music here:  ☆*♥¸.•*¨`*•♫♪♫♪   Someday our Spring will come…


Treegirl Spotted in Avatar Grove April 6, 2013



My dear friend Julianne Skai Arbor made the news in Canada by making love with their old-growth trees!

According to the news article, the tree she’s pictured in here, known as the San Juan spruce, “is the largest spruce tree in Canada at 62 metres tall, with a crown that spreads over 23 metres. It does not have any official protection.”

I hope her action (and these journalist allies’ reporting of it) helps bring about an official policy from the government of British Columbia that will protect that magnificent grove.

We need these ancient wild places to remain unmolested for so many reasons. First, there are the physical gifts they bring: oxygenating our air for better breathing; providing habitat for countless animals, birds, bugs, and more. Then there’s the intangible side, of beauty and wonder. Seeing such giant trees close-up evokes wonder in tourists from all over the world, particularly those from heavily populated areas who might never have experienced anything like them, or even been in someplace that is silent. Finally, these forests can confer a quality that’s hard to articulate but known to nearly everyone who encounters them – the deep soul peace that comes with just being with these ancient giants. When people encounter such enormous and old trees — our primordial birthplace and heritage as a hominid species — something deep and rich inside, something rooted, wakes up. We can begin to feel healed of the terminal speed and interminable distractions of western civilization. This doesn’t easily happen everywhere. As Julianne observes, “The peaceful feeling of being surrounded by nature’s life force in an old forest is very different from feelings generated by a clearcut or tree farm.”

You can read the whole Times Colonist article here: The naked tree-hugger makes her way to Port Renfrew, by Judith LaVoie.

The photo, very similar to much of Julianne’s work, was taken by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigner and founder TJ Watt.

(As an aside, I must admit to feeling taken aback by the name of that British Columbia newspaper. It’s actually called the “Colonist”?! Sounds like a hard road to hoe there regarding relationship to place, esp. indigenous peoples’ views.)

To see more of Julianne’s naked photos with special trees (or to learn more about being a treegirl or treeboy yourself), go to

And if you’re interested in the idea of making love with the earth, see also Annie Sprinkle and Elizabeth Stevens’ new work on ecosexuality. (I’ll write more on that yumminess later.)

You go, treegirl!


Happy New Year! January 2, 2012

Filed under: Announcements,Humor,Photography — BrujaHa @ 9:13 am
Tags: , ,

My resolutions are to dance, loaf, and not go on any diets.

This year, I’ve decided to be realistic.

Happy new year!  May it bring you much joy.


“Women in Rubber” – downeast Maine

(I’m the one with the ridiculous fanny pack.)


Happy Ending Revealed May 25, 2011

Filed under: All My Relations,Photography — BrujaHa @ 12:53 am
Tags: ,

You never know when a small bit of grace will hit.

Perhaps during something quite mundane – like walking to get the mail. So we’ve gotta be ready to receive it at all times. This just means paying attention.

Seeing this poster on the fence across the street made my day!

So glad that Fern’s family bothered to tell us the happy ending.



Duck Sex Stops Traffic April 26, 2011

Filed under: All My Relations,Photography,Spiritual Ecopsychology — BrujaHa @ 2:07 pm

Spring is in the air! The other day as I was out for a walk, I noticed the traffic stopping, with no real reason that I could see – until I came around the front pickup.

A group of ducks were doing it in the middle of the road. (The Beatles live!) You can click on this picture to make it bigger. Check out the priceless look on the dog’s face.

More ducks came running across the street to join the orgy. The waiting cars piled up, with some drivers at the back of the line growing impatient.

I couldn’t help laughing out loud. I can hear the radio traffic announcement now: “Sebastopol: slight holdup on Pleasant Hill Road due to duck sex.”

When the folks in the hindmost car realized what the holdup was, they started laughing too. The weather was warm enough that their windows were down, and our laughter rang out all down the street. Some cars honked, but those ducks weren’t about to budge until their business was done.

Laughter now; baby ducklings in future. This little delay in traffic flow was a good moment.