Happy New Moon, dear friends!

It’s a grey, grey day here, this Friday in Lethbridge. No snow, yet marching into Winter. Here in my studio I enjoy a bright, busy, cluttered cocoon, hopefully creating something beautiful something true. I’m about halfway through the editing of my book with the new working title of We Belong With Each Other: Developing an Inner Life as a Political Act. It goes well, and I’m hoping to get it to my beta readers before Christmas. Remember, if you would like to be one of my first readers, please let me know. I do have enough first readers to give me the feedback I need, but would love to have a few more, just for the variety of worldviews of the readers. (Deep thanks to those of you who have already contacted me.) What’s involved: I will send you the whole book, and ask you to read one particular chapter (that I choose for you) and give me feedback. What I’m looking for is checking for the usual grammar, spelling, typos, etc., but also “Does it make sense? Is it easy to read, or did you have to stop and reread anything to understand what I was saying? Does what I say ring true for you? If not, let me know your thoughts. If you had written this book, would you feel good about it going out into the world as it is?”

It would be your choice whether to read anything more that the one chapter that I ask you to comment on; you may want the context around “your” chapter, or not want to wait until its published to read it in full. (Personally, I vastly prefer “real” books rather than reading online!) I hope to send it out before Christmas, with a hoped -for deadline of mid January to get your feedback to me.

Here’s an excerpt from the chapter on Embodiment:

“When we do reflect on our physical bodies, what is it, exactly, that we are thinking about?  We almost always focus exclusively on the aspects of ourselves that are enclosed within our skin, the boundary that separates you from me .  Yet none of us can survive more than a few days if we’re not taking into ourselves parts of our earth in the form of water and food.  What we take in becomes the actual cells and organs enclosed within our skin.  So, how are we actually separate from the waters in the rivers that we use as our drinking water?  How are we separate from the plants and animals that will become a part of our physical bodies, even though at this moment they might still be growing in the fields around our cities?  What we excrete from our bodies, though no longer enclosed by our skin, breaks down into nourishment and moisture for the soil or for microorganisms.  Gases within our bodies are excreted by our breath and become nourishment for the plants which rely on this carbon dioxide.  The plants and trees then excrete through their pores the oxygen which we ourselves so need in order to survive.

But many of us have become so numb or so distracted from these processes that we don’t even notice when the new coal companies bring new poisons into the watershed along with the few new jobs they promised.  Clearcut forests are literally hidden behind strips of trees lining the highways in order that the public doesn’t get upset seeing all those bare stumps.  When there are few trees to absorb carbon, where will the carbon go except into an atmosphere that slowly warms, and warms, and warms?  Where do our own bodies begin and end, when even our skin boundaries absorb sunlight —- and the chemicals in the sunscreen lotions along with?

So as I talk about embodiment here, keep the question of where your own body begins and ends in mind.  How does your own awareness of what constitutes your body impact what choices you make?  Do you even know what choices you may have? I am well aware that each of us and all of us have huge limitations as to choice, but I also know that I haven’t yet met anyone, including myself, who is aware of and makes use of all the choices that we do actually have in each day that influence our own bodies/the world.  How might we know more, become aware of so much more all around us without overwhelming ourselves?  How do I  do what I can, when at the end of an ordinarily stressful day just figuring out what to make for dinner can reduce me to tears?”

Many blessings to you, as we enter into the darkness of the year which has so many Holidays (holy days) of Light Returning. Our times have much pain, and it’s sometimes impossible to see what we might be able to do to be of help. Let’s take as much hope as we can from the stories of Light in the Darkness!

Much love,

Cat

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