Finding Galleon’s Lap

by John Wickham

As a child I was perplexed why mountain climbers would return empty-handed.  They always ascended as if hunting for something lost or left behind.  Then venturing up with my parents to Camels Hump in Vermont, I too looked around.  But the journey down lasted 30 years until I climbed back for  the meaning of the summit.

Still a youth, my descent from the mountain began with a emotional detour.  I weathered internal, opposing forces.  While discovering the passion of the guitar and composing, I was playing war with friends as soldier-boys.  As a young adult I pursued both vocations, music and the Army.  But lurking in the underworld were the disharmony and battles for my soul.  Psychic-combat left no victors, only a downward trail into fog and darkness.

My last Army duty was at Fort Carson, Colorado.  The Post sits like an armpit wedged between the Great Plains and the jutting Rocky Mountains.  Fierce lightning storms would often park there in the Summer.  It was then I felt a magnetic tug upwards to misty peaks that seemed to pierce through into sunlight.

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Partnering with Nature

by Catriona MacGregor
partnering with naturePartnering With Nature
Receives 2010
Best “Social Change Book” Award

A simple book with a powerful message that illuminates the fact that our connection to nature, animals, and the earth is a vital part of our existence.

Dragging the Demons with us into a Sustainable Future

Photo by Amy Lenzo

by Ben de Vries
As we take control of the course of our lives and communities to create new more viable futures for ourselves, problems emerging from the existing system(s) may follow us if we let them. Our current capitalist, militarist, imperialist system is based upon a hierarchy of those with capital and power exploiting those who don’t. This hierarchy pervades every aspect of our existence so long as we are living by it, and the problem I wish to address in this article is features of this system that might be carried into future systems, and the difficulties interfacing any new system into the existing one.

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Humanity’s Inherent Earth-First Value Preference

Photo by Amy Lenzo

by Leon Miller
It is possible to have a more advantageous view of nature by maintaining a perceptual focus on what enhances the human experience while avoiding that which diminishes human well-being.

Humanity’s understanding of the nature of existence is primarily based on perception.  Humanity has long held a perspective on existence where nature and human culture exist in dichotomy.  But this perspective of nature has not always been the view through which humanity perceived and experienced the environment and is not the only view through which the nature-human relationship is based.  It is clearly possible and preferable to have a perspective that allows taking advantage of nature’s signaled opportunities for flourishing while avoiding what would diminish human well-being.  Being able to take advantage of this improved nature-human relationship is a matter of perception.

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by David Sparenberg

Photo by Amy Lenzo

Since Bach first made a fugue
the simplest melody of a flute
on a hill
has been looked on as poverty.
But a hill is not poverty.
Day, daylight, the sun, seasons
breathed through the flute player, sent
dancing through the wooden throat
of a finger-holed flute—
this is not poverty.  Go aside
‘til you find the paradise of simplicity.
Ask yourselves there in that
kingdom of God:
What is the worth of philosophy?
What is the truth of ecosophy? Continue Reading →

Lead Us Not Into Extinction

Prayer Of the Animals
by David Sparenberg

haeckel's art forms from nature

Our kin,
who now possess the land
where once we roamed,
plentiful and free,
lead us not into extinction,
but deliver us from the devouring
dis-ease of human greed.

Give us this day
(even unto the seventh generation)
a belonging-place to be
what we are, and in harmony
with All Our Relations.

For yours is the power
to restore or further destroy
the Sacred Hoop of Creation.

Make a warrior’s choice
by honoring unity in diversity
of the Great Mystery.
Let Spirit guide you
back to Creator’s vision-dream:
We Are All One Family.


by David Sparenberg

We progressed until we reached the latest rung in the Inferno.  There before us were two seething pits of new made hell, carved like gouged eye sockets in the fearsome, rude desolation of blind punishment.

The first of such was as a lake, thick and deep with blood.  Over this body of violence an angry wind whipped in bursts of crazed fury and waved in rippling obscenities of gurgling cries, gagging groans and ugly screams of pleading agony.  Awash in the blood thick muck, swilling and knotted into fist sized clumps, circulated currencies of all the world—some nations contributing more to the horror, while others less.

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Healing Natures, Repairing Relationships: New Perspectives on Restoring Ecological Spaces and Consciousness

Healing Natures, Repairing Relationships by Robert France brings together a leading group of distinctive voices to explore ideas underlying the restoration of environmental and human integrity in what pioneer restorationist Aldo Leopold once called our damaged “world of wounds.” This emerging paradigm—referred to by the editor as “Restoration Design”—is defined as the process by which participants creatively develop physical and conceptual relationships to engage nature through the architectural transformation of their inhabited ecological space as well as their internal environments. In this collection of essays, restoration design is shown to be a comprehensive process involving elements of sociology, anthropology, philosophy, ecopsychology, environmental art, ecological science, and landscape architecture. Continue Reading →

Sacred Earth

Submitted by Martin T Brown, of Third Planet Pictures:

A new film by Emmy Award winning director Jan Nickman, titled “Sacred Earth“, moves beyond the discussion “about” nature and instead takes the viewer into a deeply personal experience “with” nature.

Here’s a trailer:

Humanistic Design

by Daniel Schwab

This is a delightful exposition of the themes explored by an avid student of Life in his Senior Thesis for Evergreen State College. Daniel’s range includes the environment, design, mathematics, biophilia, pattern, modern technology, and community. Download pdfs for Daniel’s introduction and visual summary.

Tending to Trees

a poem by Mary Sokol, PhD

Newly arrived,
this Spring day and I
to this place.
walking the perimeter
exploring color and texture,
of land,
Woods reveal
to me,
frame in
my land
my home,
woods defining me.
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Transition culture, social tolerance and moral courage

Why Permaculture Activists Must Work for Human Rights and Social Justice
by Lisa Rayner

Photo by Lisa Rayner

Permaculture began as a foresighted response to the needs of energy descent. Initially, permaculturalists focused on food production. As the movement has evolved, it has begun to merge with the Transition Culture movement. There is an emerging awareness of the social side of descent culture among permaculture activists. Transition Culture spurns individualist survivalism and emphasizes the need for neighbors to work together to make our communities more resilient. The Transition movement is rooted in community.

As high-energy societies like ours descend from the peak and experience accelerating levels of economic and political instability, we are at risk of losing centuries-worth of human rights gains. It’s a well-known fact that resource scarcity leads to conflict and the mass migration of refugees, which in turn have an unfortunate tendency to inflame xenophobic, in-group/out-group tendencies in human nature, with a resultant scapegoating and persecution of minorities. Download the pdf to read more.
Lisa Rayner is a permaculturist and Transition Town community organizer in Flagstaff, Arizona. She is the author of the permaculture book Growing Food in the Southwest Mountains, The Sunny Side of Cooking solar cookbook and her latest book Wild Bread. More at