Table of Contents


Introduction to the Fall Gatherings
John Scull, editor

Celebrating the tides -LowTide 2000
~some ICE members


Lesson from Nature:  Disappearing boundaries
~Allison Weeks

Moon Gravy - sights and sounds offshore
~Alan Keitt

New Beginnings
~Jan Brooks

Running towards the moon
~Sylvie Shaw


Echo of a sigh caling me
~Damian Finn

~Bob Worcester

Connecting with Nature
~C. D. Redman

Fear Dog
~Alan Keitt

Scenes from a Shoreline
~Tana Worcester

Sensible Incomprehensible
~Michael J. Cohen


Waterlog - Wild Swimming
~Harriet Wood

first you have to row a little boat - Life as a Cruise
~John Scull

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Seeking Ecopsychology

The Fall Issue: November 2000
The Fall Editor ~ John Scull
Fire llustration by Alexi Francis

maggie and milly and molly and may

by E. E. Cummings

maggie and milly and molly and may
went down to the beach(to play one day)

and maggie discovered a shell that sang
so sweetly she couldn't remember her troubles,and

milly befriended a stranded star
whose rays five languid fingers were;

and molly was chased by a horrible thing
which raced sideways while blowing bubbles:and

may came home with a smooth round stone
as small as a world and as large as alone.

For whatever we lose(like a you or a me)
it's always ourselves we find in the sea

The children in E. E. Cummings' poem  show us the underlying paradox of ecopsychology -- that we can best find ourselves by searching outside our small selves.

In this issue of Gatherings we share some stories of our voyages of self discovery in, on, and near the water.

Sit down by the fire and enjoy the stories and verses, then go outdoors and create some tales and poems of your own.  It's always ourselves we find in Nature.

 -the editor


Welcome to the November Gatherings

This issue moves away from some of the scholarship and history of earlier Gatherings and towards reflections on our direct experiences of nature.  The editor, John Scull, explains more in introduction to the Fall Gatherings. 

We are fortunate to have permission to reproduce E. E. Cummings lyrical poem maggie and millie and molly and may.  This lilting verse reminds us that we can approach nature as children, even though we may find more than we expect.

ICE began as an email discussion group.  Last May we had a chat about our connection to the tides and the theme of this issue of Gatherings grew out of this conversation, presented in edited form in Celebrating the tides -LowTide 2000.  The participants in this exchange were writers Amy Lenzo and Harriet Woods, environmental educator Ann Jarnet,  and ecopsychologists Robert Greenway, John Scull, and Sylvie Shaw.

Project Nature Connect (PNC) is the creation of ICE member Michael J. Cohen.  PNC is an experiential program in which Nature is the teacher, so it is sometimes difficult to communicate the key ideas of PNC in words.  Mike communicates about Nature's intelligence in verse in Sensible Incomprehensible.  Poet C. D. Redman, after attending three community PNC nature meditations, wrote Connecting with Nature.  Activist and teacher Allison Weeks attended an advanced training with Dr. Cohen and reflects on the experience in Lesson from Nature:  Disappearing boundaries.

We learn lessons about ourselves in nature, and we have three narratives about these lessons.  In Moon Gravy - sights and sounds offshore Alan Keitt describes his experiences sailing offshore in a storm.  In New Beginnings, wilderness adventure guide Jan Brooks writes about contrasts as we cross natural boundaries.  In Running towards the moon Australian graduate student Sylvie Shaw describes her connection to her place by the sea.

We are blessed with lots of poetry this month.  Echo of a sigh caling me by Damian Finn, Orbits by Bob Worcester, Connecting with Nature by C. D. Redman, Fear Dog by Alan Keitt, Scenes from a Shoreline by Tana Worcester, and Sensible Incomprehensible by Michael J. Cohen.  These poets speak for themselves.

The two books reviewed in this issue are about the self knowledge that comes from doing things in or on the water.  In Waterlog - Wild Swimming, Harriet Wood looks at swimming and in first you have to row a little boat - Life as a day sail  John Scull considers small boat sailing.

About the Writers

Most of the contributors to this issue of Gatherings have participated before and you are referred to the earlier issues for their biographical information.  We have several new voices in this issue (in addition to E. E. Cummings).  C. D. (Dave) Redman is a poet living in Crofton, British Columbia.  Allison Weeks is an ecological activist, facilitator, and teacher living on Camano Island, Washington.  Tana Worcester is a graduate student in marine management in Nova Scotia.  Jan Brooks is a wilderness experience leader in Colorado.  Thanks to all of you for sharing your words with us.

"maggie and milly and molly and may" from COMPLETE POEMS: 1904-1962 by E. E. Cummings, Edited by George J. Firmage (ISBN 0-87140-152-50, is used with the permission of Liveright Publishing Corporation. Copyright 1956, 1984, 1991 by the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust. Also in SELECTED POEMS OF E. E. CUMMINGS (ISBN 0-87140-154-1).

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