Going Skin to Skin

autumn haptic wisdom metal element sacred rest Nov 11, 2022


Essentializing is the theme as we collectively walk closer towards winter’s gate. The quiet of the living world seems to go on forever with an unfractured mind. My senses, less overwhelmed now, have the space to wander, to notice the urgent interchange of lover cardinals, the labyrinthine patterns on tree trunks, the sound of a shooting star brushing against the cold skin of the night sky.


Perception is archetypal, ancient, our earliest knowing. 


I seem to be particularly obsessed with a haptic style of perception, the tactile intimacy of finger tip against …. For some time I seemed to think this touch-based relationship building was based on me pressing against someone else. Palm against tree trunk, my hand initiating contact. But what if all this time it has really been bark rising to meet me, two bodies simultaneously moving, cresting in a fluid interface of human and tree skin? 


Disrupting our deep conditioning that we are living on an inert Earth, perhaps you might explore this new way of seeing too. What if with every step, black dirt universes are pressing up to meet you just at the very moment your foot touches down? What if with every breath, the primordial wisdom of cloud beings is pressing towards the raw edge of your inhale?


Admittedly, attuning to this level of “sympoiesis, making-with, versus autopoiesis, or self-making” (Donna Haraway) takes a retraining, a slowing down. What if slowing down is not really a function of speed or timing, but entirely a function of presence? Ferocious presence perhaps.


In my latest conversation on the Woman Who Rubs the Mountain podcast, I had the great pleasure of exploring ferocious presence with my friend and colleague, Alana Greenberg. We squirmed around together, pressing up against some initiatory questions like: What does it mean to re-embody indigeneity? What’s up with our collective obsession with the end of the world? How does our human body reflect the land body and vice versa (and are there any ways that we might take this sense of “mirroring” too far?)


And just in case you missed it, I highly recommend catching the previous episode as well, with two time TEDx speaker and eco-spiritualist, Chris Omni. Chris’s enthusiasm for life is entirely contagious and our conversation is one big celebration of Black joy in green spaces.  As Chris says, “There is a frequency to Black joy, the way it moves through the body, it is a statement that is both verbal and non-verbal, it is a stride.” 


Dear ones, I am grateful for you. I hope you are able to sink deeper into rest as we progress further into the winter solstice birth canal. Rest like the stargazing of grandmother boulders, the snoring of blackholes, the easy dreaming of hibernating ladybug families. I wish you this.

In Kinship,


(Excerpt from the November 2022 newsletter)