IN CONVERSATION (continued)

Yes, and just bringing that back into focus. 

That is so important. So important Especially how I imagine and sense  how you are doing it which is artistically, because then people don’t feel judged. That takes a special person to bring that in. I think K has a lot of that with her working with young… all people, just how she has transmuted her challenges through music, through sound, through her body, through now her words. I haven’t read anything she has written, but… I had this incredible woman here on Saturday and she is, and I am still trying to digest her wisdom. She is only 46 years old, Philippine- Chinese, Irish, Bask decent.

Wow

She is another one of your, this young.. the reason I am mentioning her is like you and K, and now this other woman Jaz I’ve met in that generation. That are doing incredible things, incredible. Bringing in information in a way that you can hear it, you can hear it, you can digest it, you can feel it, and there is no judgment. You know my generation there is a lot of judgement and I work with that as a practice. It is actually in my muscle memory. And I know it is a constant ongoing practice and it can be overcome, and it is just to say I don’t sense that in you, in K, in this woman Jaz, and I am just in awe of these young women who are only 20 years younger than me and I am like yeah! Yeahhh… Thank you Goddess, thank you God.

Well thank you, for that generation too, to be given those judgments and have them installed in you and the recognition to transmute them into open space. Because that open space, allowed us, as a younger generation to step further into what is the more harmonious way of approaching

Right.  Yes, and I share this with my husband all the time. As far as mens work and women’s work, and he is 75. And he is working with people from 60-down to 20 and mentoring hands on with all aspects of how to bring story through film, in a socially responsible, and ethically, and not that they are separate, but it is starting to show up in our life, again, again and again. That these 40, 37… 35-50 year olds are actually being able to take hold of that, like you said, that shift that we were able to create, we didn’t know it, we weren’t doing it this consciously, on the foundation, so they grow deeper, go down deeper into the root system. So it does take all the generations. One of the things just absolutely love about Hawaii, is that, that practice of generational acknowledgment is in their daily life. They eat it, sleep it drink, they don’t even walk around not thinking that land holds the elders and the ancestors. I haven’t spent a lot of time around American Indians, but like that. But there is no anger. The transformed young people that have done a lot of work, I think they were angry in the seventies but you don’t sense any anger. I don’t at least, and maybe I’m just not in the thick of it. So what happens, is that we get to benefit from that. Think about it. I am 400 years away from my ancestors and removed geographically. Like when we are talking about Orcas, we have to do the geographical math. Otherwise it is easy to forget that. Well, Who was there? How long ago? When did they get removed? And how do make sure they can have a sense, that Europeans have a sense for rightful action. And I know we have lots of conversations around this. Who is the voice of the First people. See here, they never lost their voice. It was hidden, it was buried, but they never lost it. There is something really enriching. 

 You aren’t going to know a place until you are living with it.

I am curious to hear your observations about this place, Orcas. How you introduced yourself. Who you sought out to introduce your self, not saying a person necessarily.

That is such a beautiful, powerful question. I practice something called geni-loci, genius sub-location. It is a way of inquiring into, it is Goethe practice, out of Goethean science, there is a practice called the geni-loci. So I did this. I don’t know if you want to know, I did that. Every time I am invited to some new place, I will undertake that work.

You go through the four kingdom, the mineral, the plant, the animal and the human kingdom. After you do this work a lot, you can go to a place and immediately know if you are meant to be there. So, I did this work 20 years before I moved to Orcas, and the Realtor was taking us down this dirt road, and I asked them to stop and they said, of course, sure. And I got out, put my left foot on the ground and it just shot through me as a yes. My husband didn’t know anything about this work 20-21 years ago. He and I have only been together 21 years and we bought that property pretty shortly after we started dating. He was just getting to know me. He just knew that I was a Stiener teacher. You know, he didn’t know me personally, deeply. So that is an example of this practice you’ll know where you are being drawn. It’s like a compass. You are a sailor, so you know how to follow your North Star, I’m talking fugitively.

We have been practicing that as a faculty with a school that my husband and I founded for work with autistic youth. They aren’t young, they are 21-30. What happened was the faculty that wanted to do the work, they couldn’t pierce how to problem solve a social issue that kept re-emerging, which was ownership. “That’s my fort, no that’s my classroom, these are my students.” Very typical in teaching where there is a claim on spaces, and because of that there was so many blocks, creatively, I wasn’t asked to come in and do this work, so I did it with the faculty, not the whole faculty, because it is just deep esoteric work, just the five faculty that have a background in Steiner education, and you don’t need to have that but you do need to have the interest. And what was reviled, was that the, and this is after six weeks of intense spiritual research. At the end of the sixth week, what started to happen is that the individuals that were there for self centered purposes started acting out. I’m not talking about the kids, I’m talking about the faculty. They started acting out and one by one they left the organization. And this is brand new, just two weeks old. Just as of Friday, one of the real trouble makers just left the organization. And I truly believe that the Spiritual world sees people who are here to do work of service. And when you are not, if you have a practice, if you don’t have a practice and you are here for self pleasing, selfish reasons it won’t get reviled to you unless there is a practice in the culture. 

There it is.

And in the early days of Orcas, there was way way way more of that and we have lost our way. We have lost our way. 

I just wanted to point out that. That we have lost it in our culture. We don’t see it anywhere, we are not taught it, and it is not woven in, and how do we recognize it. These are all questions I ask myself. 

That’s the thing see. Once it is not recognized by the human soul, or Spirit, it disappears. It’s like sailing. Once that goes away, it is gone. Someone can teach them selves that. But if we are talking about a massive cultural capacity to act in ways that build consciousness for the Earth, and that disappears, well, this is the result.

Yes.

What happens is you overbuild, you waste the water, it just goes on and on and on. This sweet woman named Jaz who I just met on Saturday, she is real interesting. We were giggling the other day about how fragile we all are. And she said, What happened to us not asking her (Earth)?

Yes. Inquiring… What do you need? What can we do for you? 

Going back to the original question. How did you introduce yourself. I mean even that formulation is huge. So on a spiritual level I did the geni-loci. On a physical level, I stayed way under the radar for 3-4 years. I only sat with local kids that grew up there. Not even kids, I was just turning 40 and they were 25.  And in those days, there were huge gatherings, and there might still be, where people would get together and drum and dance. Make big bonfires, and there was a lot of that. My husband and I would somehow find out about a gathering. 

The other thing I realized, that could help fill out that question is I, after living there two years, I realized. This is before the farm, this is on 1000 acres on the sound, in a 600 square foot cabin. I realized the Lummi’s are water people, they are not land people. I spent a lot of time in Japan as a US Athlete, and I learned the from the Pacific rim, these people live on the water, they don’t live on the land. They don’t eat deer, they eat fish. And when I sensed that, something  shifted in my relationship to the island. Which was, Oh, we are land, I am from land, County Quark. My Dad was a boat builder, and my Grandpa. I’m from an island, of island. And then we moved to the Great Lake Eerie, but I am a land Lover. I’m not Asian, I’m not of the Sea. And then when I put it all together. 

Because when I was here, I would do programs from the top of Haleakala, all the way down to sea, but when I got to Orcas, the children taught me, the 7-9 year olds, no you got it wrong, You have to start from the Sea and go the Mountain. I was totally turned on my head. I was like, Of course! And the way they taught me, was not by installing the curriculum on them, but by watching where they were drawn.

Oh I see. They didn’t say it, they just showed you.

Yes, the just moved it.

That is a little piece of what I was trying to touch on. Navigating yourself, as a person of Land, from a different place and then coming into and finding a place where you can relate to this Land in a respectful manner. And it helps when you know where you came from. Not even just your parents and grandparents, but beyond that. Tying that in with the culture, and how we lost that. I was having a conversation with another friend the other day, and she was adopted and I don’t know much past my great grandparents so you feel like you are kind of cut off at the trunk, or you don’t have roots and that is where the culture comes from. How do you draw those out?

What we can do when we don’t have those links anymore, because our body is so permeable, because the intrinsic wisdom of the body, listen and test it, like muscle testing, and she is never wrong, our body is never wrong. Now our mind, our feeling life our emotional life, let me take that back, it could be, if there is trauma in the body. It’s big stuff, to heal the trauma, by doing the work, listen and be drawn, and take enough time to be honest with yourself. 

It feels like the practice to getting to know that land is a part of that healing

That is so accurate, and that is the process. The process of doing that work is the healing. If you have consciousness of one, like the Tao consciousness, Universal consciousness you could be anywhere, because you are everywhere all at the same time and do the work. At the level I am at, I need actual material. I have to work with matter, I am not that elevated. I need the fire, I need the soil, I am still at that very material level where I get healed through the work of transforming matter. I know there are many people who don’t need that. 

How does that show up in your soil practices?

That is a fun question too. I can give you some examples… When the soil has been left to its own environment, to do what is its natural gesture, and we haven’t augmented it. Let’s take Orcas, on our little farm, it was fertilized with commercial fertilizer for 30 years. There was a woman, sweet woman, and she grew flowers and she sold them. The fertilizer was nothing caustic, liquid nitrogen, it would grown these showy flowers, we aren’t talking about seeds, nothing native just something that would grow in that climate. It took me seven years to get the soil to recognize itself. 

And how did you do that?

First by letting it go fallow, and seeing how depleted year after year, and allowing it to be depleted to see what it was asking for. So I brought in nettle, I looked in the forrest, and I looked and I looked all around to see what lives here. Ecosedem, Horsetail, thistle, yarrow, these incredible medicinals. And I would bring them in and make a tea, you know just to poeticize them and I would spray, or sprinkle or dump, doesn’t matter. I didn’t even do compost up there and it took about three years for it to recognize its original DNA. By bringing from the forrest perimeter back to the land. You know before the farm was there it was the forrest. So kind of inoculated it with its own.

We were just talking someones roots only goes to the trunk in her biography, or your to your great grandfathers. Okay there is some reason you are drawn to the water, that is in your original DNA somewhere, maybe, maybe it’s not, maybe it is something you needed to go do and experiment with. We can find our roots, by living, and this is huge privilege, by being able to live the way we are being told to live in our soul. And you can do the same thing with soil. And in my work in education, That is what I do in education. I don’t tell the kids what to do, or the teachers. It is an offering. And they can say no, and it isn’t like I don’t have a plan. It is a bit like being adrift on a boat, you are going to go somewhere if you are going to survive. You could sit there, you could, and you will starve, unless you have a way to get fresh water and a great relationship to the fish but, you know what I mean. For me, it is a particular way to relate to sentient beings. Is to listen and allow and observe and not change it right away. 

Like I am looking right now, all this dirt is soil, it is all soil. I am not use to red. Red, red, red, and the chiropractor told me this morning, after she did body work on me, You’ve been uprooted. I can’t believe you just said that, I just had my wisdom teeth pulled literally yanked out of my head. So I went to go see her because I have this pain in my hip, it is so de-habilitating, it drops me to my knees, and I have never had it before in my life. I can be walking and it can just absolutely… it is like an ice pick coming right into your hip bone. Never ever experienced anything like that before in my life. And I know this body worker that has helped with this sciatica pain and she recommended this woman, I went to her, barely could get there and she is just talking about red. And I’m thinking, I hate the color red. I can’t wear red. She says, “You need to wear red”. I don’t wear red. “Well then, just get into red dirt.” And I am at this house that is built on the Haleakala crater, about 20 feet down. So, yes. Getting more and more and more grounded. She says, “Your root system has been blocked.”

And you and I are talking about our roots. Being able to listen to what is missing. 

So now after years after doing that work on the little farm, now we have an abundance of potentized, deeply nourished soil.

Because you listened.

Yes, and didn’t try fix anything.

You know in our school, there is a lot of people that come towards us and want to work with us because they think these young kids need to be fixed. And I just say, they are perfect. They don’t need to be fixed. Their created out of God’s image, I don’t say it like this, but there is a lot of people in special education that believe that they are there to fix them, or give them opportunities that they wouldn’t have otherwise and okay and that is okay, but they impact them instead of getting to know them. Having conversations with them, listening to them, observing them, just leaving, can you just leave the tree alone before you prune it. It is pretty tricky stuff, but you know…

So I left that land alone, long enough to where it was screaming at me and then I just okay. I’m going to bring in some, what is in my environment. Here is the sad thing about that. Most people don’t have that ability to go from their front yard, go off to the right for a mile and draw in the elemental forces that were there once. You know. They just don’t. And that is part of the big plan. Separate everybody, give them their own little house, have them believe it is theirs, and on and on and on.

I’ve grappled with land ownership for years. And it come to the commons. It comes into the space to work in a rooted space with the elemental teachers, but with the human world with these open communal spaces, just the culture that comes from that alone. I am just sad that it is not here anymore and I want to recall that space again. 

I really believe that is primarily one of the reasons young people just check out. The 15 to… right? they just go uh uh, no way to grapple this, there is no way of rectify this, I just have to leave.

I relate to that. When I was a teen, I just totally checked out. You just don’t know what to do. I mean, I was in the middle of the suburbs. I would watch whole hillsides be built upon with shitty architecture and mini malls and you don’t know what is wrong or what your body is feeling. The sadness that is happening, you just don’t even know.

Nope. Especially if no one in your immediate surroundings is embracing that change. You know what I mean. I was just shattered by the time I was 15. From 0-5 I was in Ohio on a Great lake and then I came to Sacramento in the suburb, like you, was like What is going on? It didn’t seem to bother anybody else. I didn’t know if something was wrong with me, or if I don’t belong to this planet, or those kind of conversations that are so vital for mental health.

When I had this tooth pulled last week, it was infected and they gave me three doses of anti bionics, and 2 refills of hydro coding, that is a narcotic. Excuse me doctor, no offense, I will not be taking this, I don’t wan’t to take this. And this is what his rational was, and this was on a Friday, if you suffer pain between now and Monday, I can not help you so please take it just as an emergency. I just thought, what, where, how did you get brainwashed? Wow, you know it was like $180, just ridiculous. That was the very drug we just worked with a young girl. That was the drug

I have heard about that particular issue, both locally and worldwide. It has come through a conversation here, and I just perked up to it because I have a soft spot for lost young women, a little sensory of myself at that age, that is where people exit. At that fragile age, and how to rework that so people don’t go towards numbing the pain, they go towards what is causing the pain, towards healing the pain. Having tools to be able to navigating a smoother, more beneficial pathway because that radiates out into their environment and into all life.

When you described the community you’d envisioned being in, with shared space. I’ve always thought, I’ve always tried to, I didn’t try, it just asked me to create that for young people. And the more we can do that and be really specific to what we are doing. We have an interesting dilemma the non profit we own and run, don’t put the message out too big or it will scare them off, which is reconnecting to nature, self, other and community, you know it is a Steiner based thing. And I have really struggled with that. No, you get the messaging right. But you see, here is the touchy part. It is not those young people that are going to sign up for you. It is the parents, that are desperate. I would love, somehow to have a community of people, like yourself, really think about how to change that dynamic. What is it that is going to get a 14 year old. And as an example, More of those, here is engagement with the equine, here is engagement with….

…growing food. 

And this is why, so we can have a full picture again. We are not whole without all the elements and all the kingdoms in our life everyday. And somebody, someday, will teach that in school. That will be part of their  curriculum in public education. I know it will be. It’s not me, I’m on the other side. It will be someone.

That’s beautiful.thought. That’s a beautiful thought.

I really believe that. It’s part of our journey.

I have thought about that a lot. And it is interesting because I don’t have children. This last year, what wreckage schools have gone through. But at the same time witnessing the calling in of what is needed from teaching. What are the kids really learning, and how is it really benefiting them. Showing where the holes are in the teaching.

Yes.

Those kind of thoughts, of interactive teaching, would be so beneficial to future generations. Those kids are the next generation that will be caring for place. The sooner the better. Because the older you get, the less malleable you become unless it is a practice, like you said. 

Yes

Recorded April 2021, Orcas Island