Finding alternative stories
Seeking possibilities of an otherwise
If you read the last Radicle newsletter, you may recall that I wrote:
“How do we begin to query (or queer) the stories and narratives that we have been fed and which inform our colonial view of the world?
Are we seeking out stories and narratives that give us different frameworks and possibilities for ways of being, thinking, sensing, believing, doing, and living?”
And if you have had a chance to listen to/read the recent GreenDreamer podcast episode I highlighted with Catriona Sandilands on “Botanical colonialism and biocultural histories”, in it she says:
“Colonialism is not the only story in…Western cultures. There are histories of mutuality and respectful relationships. It's important for folks who have Euro-Western backgrounds to look to those traditions, and not just the destructive [ones], [while acknowledging] the destructive legacies of capitalism and colonialism. There are seeds of other possibilities within our own stories as well.”
[Emphasis added by me, lest we forget to also hold this crucial element]
For those of you who might find themselves in this position but aren’t sure where to start, I thought I might introduce you to Sharon Blackie (if you’ve not heard of her before)…
She is a writer, psychologist and mythologist and her work focuses on Celtic myths and British and Irish folk traditions and the relevance of them to the cultural and environmental problems facing us today.
If you are not already familiar with Advaya, they regularly run brilliant courses and talks that centre around queering the frameworks from which we see, sense, think, do, believe and live. There are two courses coming up, Ecology of Love and Rewilding Mythology, both of which look very interesting (concessions and bursaries available).
Also, Sophie Strand, who is leading the Rewilding Mythology course, has a great Substack newsletter which I highly recommend and a book coming out in December, The Flowering Wand: Rewilding the Sacred Masculine, that I cannot wait to read.
If you still haven’t got round to reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer, then maybe now could be the moment to make time for it…? There is so much wisdom in those pages. A lovely read for these autumn months as evenings start to draw in and energy starts winding down towards winter?
A few months ago I listened to a talk, and I think it was a speaker from the arts/research collective Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF), who said that we should:
“Find affinity in the inquiry in this work. Not in the identity.”
I have found this advice really instructive and valuable. I come back to it and remind myself of it often. Perhaps it may help you too…
There is also so much generosity and guidance on the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF) website. I find it is particularly useful for guidance on how to be responsible as we move through this work.
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