Indigenize!

Rekindle Your Wild Joy and sense of deep Belonging through spiritual ecopsychology and the arts, incl. bioregional awareness, animistic perspectives, strategies for simple living, & low/no-tech DIY fun.

Japan! May 14, 2019

I’ve not posted here for some time, having frittered my labors on Facebook instead. Welcome back to all of us!

Hopefully this short series will be fun for you to read. I’m off to Japan for 12 days with my BFF Julianne Skai Arbor (aka TreeGirl). We will go to INFOM, the international conference of Forest Medicine, and also visit Shinrin-Yoku sites on our own for independent research. Plus, Japan!! I’ve never been.

I landed in Narita/Tokyo last night after a 12 hour flight from Denver. Non-stop. Even though I’ve lived with it my entire life, my father being a pilot, I will never stop seeing flying as anything but a miracle.

Looking out of our hotel window, I was amazed to see that we were 12 stories above a giant forest! I thought of this whole area is being one giant city but I was wrong. In my jetlagged sleep, half in and out of a hypnagogic state, every time I came back from the bathroom or whatever, I repeatedly dreamed that I crawled back into bed in the hollow of a giant tree; part of that forest outside the window. I was held cozy in the tree’s body. It happened so many times that it seems it must have been true. So I already love Japan.

Then breakfast included fish! What other delights await?

 

Really Seeing a Tree January 2, 2011

I travelled much in my youth,

and continue to today.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts (near Harvard Square)

between the papers and discussions,

I walked outside

seeking asylum from the reeking of my mind

(my brain so numb I had to consult my notes

to remember my own words!)

The first time out all day.

A one-block walk was all I had time for. But grace

has a way of descending in strange times.

I met a golden maple,

glowing with evening light leaves

and I stopped, entranced. For years I stood,

looking up, feeling her skin, awed.

Looking at the dancing lights, looking at the bark patterns,

the movement, the subtle colors.

And Seeing,

falling into the beloved through the eyes.

It would take me the whole day

to draw the intricacies of this thumbnail-sized piece of bark

in as much detail as I could,

and even then that would not begin

to scratch the surface of what was there.

How long would it take to illustrate the entire trunk?

let alone the branches, the roots, the changing leaves,

the entire living body of this tree?

And then there are the changes!

Every day brings new differences —

“Oh no, I have to do the painting over again,

that leaf has been nibbled; another is yellow today!

And the third from the left is gone!”

Several lifetimes would be needed

just to observe this one tree,

and even then skimming, a thin summary

of its possibilities.

Amongst travelling people, strange shifts can occur in fall.

I have left lovers because I felt bored with them,

thinking I knew all there was to know

yet now

I feel ready to settle and be contented

just really knowing one tree, and

its birds who visit,

its leaf changes,

its singular song in the wind.

Falling into one millimeter of bark

at a time —

This for the first time is satisfying;

it’s enough.

Maybe I am approaching middle age:

Small things hold tremendous import

and easy ability to renew my soul.

– Tina Fields