The Paradox of Macro

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Macro. It is about getting very very close to something. It is about tricking our vision until we fall into the rabbit-hole of the tiny and everything else disappears for a moment….It is basic magnification but it is more than that too. Magnification is magical. 

We live in a paradox. How can everything be totally unique and special yet at the same time all just expressions of connectedness? Well, it’s true. We are all of the same source, and to the source we will return, following  patterns of birth-growth-death-compost. This can be scary or it can be comforting, depending on what your deal is. Maybe a little of both.

Emergence and decomposition are a spectrum, a cycle. And humans are not JUST observers here. We can include ourselves in this paradigm too. Or, rather, whether or not we think of it this way we ARE included….And I am a huge fan of the big picture, really. Taking a big step back, systematic approaches,broad perspectives, the long view. But it is a folly to see the giant and the tiny as mutually exclusive.   Each contains the other, supports the other’s existence. It seems so easy to look for what is wrong….instead of looking for what is not so easily seen. Look for the tiny. It requires a slow moment, a will to re-focus, it requires getting down and perhaps dirty. Maybe salty.

And that is the slow medicine, the snail medicine, the joy of a slime trail or a tiny puff of ant breath. There are multiple levels of macro worlds outside supporting us, giving and taking life, making this whole Earth go around. The medicine is a  letting go of day-to-day vision. The medicine is seeking a new perspective. It is a medicinal curiosity which I’d call “feeling alive”.  Seeing the universe in an Acorn cap, the galaxy in a swirl of mycelium, the dawn of time in a nibbling springtail… letting ourselves dream another dream, letting ourselves imagine a new way. Because medicine is not just what we take…it is what we DO.

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This is What a Medicine Maker Looks Like

I am a medicine maker. I grow plants on a tiny farm, forage and gather plants on land (which shall not be identified) and I process my harvest into herbal medicines. I also distribute these medicines and talk about them to everyone who can’t outrun me.

"If a sunbeam wounds me I shall succumb on the moss."-Arthur Rimbaud
“If a sunbeam wounds me I shall succumb on the moss.”-Arthur Rimbaud

Sometimes I overhear people talk about going back to the land, farming or foraging and living a more “natural” life. I feel like it is nearly impossible to grasp what this “feels” like until you do it.
It is so easy to disparage land-lovers as dirty hippies–and I am indeed soiled– or romanticize the relationship plant folks have with their land. The truth is, as usual, somewhere in between.

This shade of purple MUST be able to fix something!
This shade of purple MUST be able to fix something!

I can imagine nothing more authentic for myself than my relationship with the plants I love. I am deeply grateful that hunting for a root or mixing up an elixir is my JOB. It is not always easy–folks on the receiving end don’t always grasp that I am a tiny business or the variables within that paradigm. I run out of bubble wrap and my Blessed Thistle seeds all float away. It pours rain and I fall over and the TSA confiscates my darn Felcos. But mainly I am very very lucky to be able to serve.
bark of Liriodendron
bark of Liriodendron

But more than serving the plants, which I love, and serving the humans, also interesting, I am thankful to be an example of what a medicine maker looks like. I am saying, with my being, that we can do this! I am healing our idea of WHAT medicine IS. And I do not mean to discount standard Western medicine. Not at all. I mean to expand it. Expand our vision of what is possible. Expand our vision of WHO makes medicine, and where, and how. Expand our feeling about medicines, our connections to medicines and our medicinal lineages, rivers that have ebbed and merged but still DO flow.

Birch bones.
Birch bones.

There is still value in a medicine that has my hands in it, my heart in it and perhaps a memory of the soil it grew in. I accept the responsibility of making medicine with nothing less than joy, I go out to dig and snip and gather with a mission dammit a purpose and thank you, friends, for helping me to heal myself too. I am feeling grateful for the community support and the opportunity to contribute. Heck I even go to the post office with joy because life is just too darn short to lose sight of my mission. I love how there are multiple ways to BE and various ways to heal!
So thank you, friends and community, thank you for listening, for your support and sharing.
Yes, it's Poke.
Yes, it’s Poke.