The perils of Binary thinking

Nearly every day on the radio I hear phrases like “both sides of the debate”, “both sides of the aisle”, “both sides of the story”. Binary thinking which divides people, things, situations and ideas into two parts is destructive, and it’s just plain not reflective of reality. And this language clearly drives shoddy-ass reporters who have a stake in our separation. People can be both and more- such as herbalist, client, farmer and medicine maker.

Politically, spectrum. Class, spectrum. Race, spectrum. Temperament, spectrum. Gender, sexuality, religion, ability, age, everything reflects back to us the vast-hell, even infinite-possibilities. And no it is not as easy as some might want it to be. But I am thankful and excited that we don’t have to choose one of two and stay there.

Yes, you can like sewing up a gushing wound and using flowers to move energy at the same time, and that is ok.

Yes, you can choose your values and opinions based on what works rather than what is on the list for yout “type”.

Yes, you can destroy people’s expectations and the way they would love for you to provide easy binary answers.

Go forth, or to the left or right, or all wavy-like, and seek and destroy .

Report-back from the Herbal Resurgence Rendezvous

Snuggly conference organizers JesseWolf and Kiva  Rose
Snuggly conference organizers JesseWolf and Kiva Rose
Fabulous driving buddies and  poolside thai food
Fabulous driving buddies and poolside thai food
after-hours
after-hours
great class on "nervines for the temperaments" by Jim McDonald
great class on “nervines for the temperaments” by Jim McDonald
photo by Stephany Hoffelt
photo by Stephany Hoffelt

Greetings, friends!
I have just flown in from the Herbal Resurgence Rendezvous in Mormon Lake AZ and boy are my arms tired.
Har har, Ok. So. I taught a class, exploring “Holistic body image and self-care solutions”, and thank you to all who attended. It was very exciting to me, and challenging, and I hope I/we all can keep developing the concepts. I am excited about understanding a lot of what underlies our emotional states, drives our actions and effects our decision making. Thanks for letting me share!
I attended several excellent classes including free clinics with the lovely Larken Bunce, post-disaster herbalism with the grounded Sam Coffman, Redroot with the cheerfully frizzly-haired Howie Brounstein, mental health with the extremely sensible 7song.
I got some excellent herbal goodies from Rebecca at King’s Road Apothecary and fed my body and mind with great conversation, tasty meals, herbalist hugs and very fresh mountain air.
I especially enjoyed the box-dancing music, after-hours discussions, the windy days and the plants. I did not like how long it took me to adjust to 7,000 ft, flying there, and having to choose only one class at a time.
I am now feeling super inspired, recharged, excited about herbalism and community as well as remembering there are a few areas of herbalism that could be more actively worked on.
Overall I do reccommend this for herbalists with a scrappy nature who like to be outside, like to be challenged and are able to figure out how to get there.
I would not reccommend it to people who have a very hard time getting around or to those who are easily offended by sometimes-challenging subject matter.
Thank you to the very interesting organizers, the teachers and attendees, and a huuuge thank you to those who are cleaning up after us, the workers without whom there would be NO herbal conference. It takes planning and work to make hundreds of people gathering together not smell like crap.
Much love and respect to all.

A little tour of late-summer plants in Paris, France

the blue door.
the blue door.
Behold! The beautiful artichoke! Digestive bitter, food and home decor.
Behold! The beautiful artichoke! Digestive bitter, food and home decor.
calendula!
calendula!
"weeds" labeled and placed lovingly in a medicinal plants garden? be still my heart!
“weeds” labeled and placed lovingly in a medicinal plants garden? be still my heart!
Gunnera spp. and me: for perspective,  I am 5' tall.
Gunnera spp. and me: for perspective, I am 5′ tall.
mimosa
mimosa
elder
elder
Hello, delightful plant lovers. I just returned from a little jaunt to Paris, where I spent a lot of time checking out plants, poking around in herb shops and feeling amazed at the wide availability of medicinal herbs everywhere–even in the airport. I especially enjoyed the practice of growing artichokes everywhere, including in random streetside plantings, botanical gardens, parks and flowerpots. I enjoyed Elder everywhere. I enjoyed glimpses of secret gardens in courtyards and behind fences. I enjoyed Mimosa trees and Lindens lining the sidewalks, huge sages buzzing with bees and vervain tea in every pharmacy. I also visited parks and botanical gardens and, though a few seemed a bit structured for my personal taste noone seemed to mind when i touched, smelled, even tasted massive rosemary shrubs, every possible flavor of scented geranium, pine resins, rose bushes and bitter greens.
I got the feeling that every inch of soil that COULD be used to grow something was, and that felt exciting to me. I have previously only visited Paris in cold months and this was a revelation-the riot of pollinators, the birds, the shades of green, the late summer babymakin’ flower explosion. So I’m feeling inspired, and here are a few photos for y’all: