[permaculture] defining permaculture

Tommy Tolson healinghawk at earthlink.net
Sun Jun 24 23:26:15 EDT 2007

roxann wrote:
> Hi Tommy,
> I too practice shamanism, though not in formal ritualistic manner I once did. Part of me is high-tech geek (environmental scientist, metals analyst) and the other part of me is very much connected with the earth. So, I go to work each day and satisfy the nerdy part of me and come home each evening to immerse in Nature. I speak to the mountains on my way back down our six mile dirt road. I relish in the embrace of the hills, hugging close to me as my little car winds deeper and farther away from society. And believe it or not, the trees and the mountains and the rocks, and the rabbits and roadrunners and beavers all speak to me in their own way. This is not special, they speak to anyone - what is special is that I hear and respond, I think. Eventually, I think I would like to have both feet in the natural world and leave the high-tech world behind. 
All humans used to be able to hear the land and its creatures speak.  
We're much the poorer for having lost that capacity, in my opinion.  I 
had a tree class in my BA year at New College where we had to get so we 
could hear the trees speak, and I had to do it without journeying into 
the spirit world.  Transformative seems like a really tame descriptive 
term. You ought to keep a journal and now and again pull its pieces 
together and publish them.  You're a terrific nature writer.  Reading 
your stuff is good for the soul.  Perhaps writing might facilitate 
leaving high-tech?  Have you read Barry Lopez?  His stuff, what I've 
read of it, is like yours.  It makes you feel good from the inside out.  
That's what we called talent in MFA school. 
> something else i thought of after I hit the send button earlier is the way an ant will herd aphids for thier sugary exudations. if the aphids grow too many of themselves, the plant it feeds on will die. much the same way i think we can allow ourselves to herd cattle, sheep, or goats and if we are discerning at our job, we can maintain a balance and not kill the plant, or planet. I am not so sure the ants have much discernment, as I have had several plants die from too many aphids before. But if balance prevails, the ladybugs will help out :)
Alan Savory talks about reversing desertification using large herd 
animals.  He says you just have to take them off the land in time to let 
grasses take hold.  He's apparently done it in New Mexico and in the 
former Rhodesia.  He's not talking about two horses on ten acres, 
though.  They're turning giant hills of mine tailings in the western US 
into grasslands by mulching them with hay, turning herd animals on them, 
then taking them off when they've walked the hay into the surface.  They 
get a grassland in one season and ecological succession sets in. 
> I think the world will turn itself around eventually. Of course she will. What I am not so sure of is how humans will fare when all is said and done. We all just have to do whatever we feel is the best we can do, at whatever it is that we are doing. You gave me a very stimulating question earlier and I thank you for it because it helps me to further define my direction here. Any church you participate in will be lucky to have your questions and direction in organization!
I don't worry too much about the planet.  Until the sun goes out or 
water goes away, there will be life where they meet.  It may not be 
human.  I'm for saving humans, transforming them into symbiotes from 
parasites, which can seem pretty patronizing, I suppose.  It's apparent 
to me that you are the former.  You're giving back as well as taking 
from nature.  Both of my dad's grandfathers were farmers in Arkansas and 
both sides of his family carried the story of the extension agent coming 
out, talking about contour plowing for soil conservation, and the 
farmers saying, "Sonny, I've already wore out three farms.  What are you 
going to teach me about farming?" Maybe you had to be there.  Thanks for 
the kind words, and the sweet conversation.  Be good to yourself.


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