Monthly Archives: March 2014

thank you

day 187     writing this on my phone so bear with me. Revie fell asleep late and I’m heading for bed. But I just want to thank everyone who reads this blog and follows this project. Thank you for doing the work with me. Sometimes its horribly painful. Thank you for showing up. Thank you for being in love with the world. Thank you for doing your own work in the world. I love you. Thank you for listening, love Natasha


Let’s try and do it right this time

Day 185 and 186

photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

Earlier, Wil, Revie and I were goofing around, playing, kicking and throwing a ball, running around, laughing.

And suddenly,

my head swam

seeing our small son,

carrying features from each of us,

and some all his own,

running, and jumping, and smiling,

here in our small house, with the wood floor and sloping roof.

I just can’t believe

how after years of loving each other,

we suddenly have someone else to love as well.

And I wonder,

how I could have ever wondered,

if having a child was the right decision

in a world

very near collapse.

Because his sweet heart has the power

to love

much more than I’ve ever been able.

And really that’s my job.

Love him so much that his heart fills up,

and overflows

so it blends with the trees, and the water, and the soil, and the air, and the sky.

THIS is hope.

For the future,

for the people,

for the world.




And all the babies.

Let’s try and do it right this time.

Thank you for listening,



photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

By any means necessary

Day 184

photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

We’re not doomed.

Just made to feel that way.

There are ways to stop this monster in its’ tracks.

They’re trying to build a natural gas pipeline

through some of the last wild-ish spots

in this area.

The few small bunches of acres

where flood waters still tear through

and where small lizards with blue heads,

dart quickly from shadow to shadow

on the sunny rocks.

When I think about that,

the gas companies with their poison chemicals fracturing our delicate and ancient bedrock,

it takes my breath away,

squeezes my chest,

so I feel like someone is either pressing on my ribs or tearing them apart.

And I think,

that is how our own sweet earth must feel,

as she’s torn limb from limb

in this insane scramble for

the last drops of

precious and

irreplaceable  fossil fuels.



to stop

this madness.

By any means necessary.


Thank you for listening,



photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

Michelle Johnsen, thank you for loving the world with your kind heart. For showing me the beauty in the smallest things, with your photography and your writing. It is a gift to work on this project with you, I love you. Thank you for this guest piece tonight.
photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

What will you be when you grow up, weeping willow sapling?
Will you bend low, dip your hair into the quiet stream, bear catkins?
Gaze at your own reflection, feel the warm sun on your cheeks of bark?
Or are you destined to whistle to a stop on the taut skin of a race horse, a slender switch in the palm of a jockey?
Or you, tulip poplar, so tall and straight and strong; will you grow to the top of the forest, bear your sweet flowers, which fall to my feet and teach me to look up?
Will you lend your unbending strength to those of us who dare remember how to carve you into a canoe?
Or will you become forgotten ceiling beams, baring your streaky red heartwood breast to us below?
Oak fence, did you know you’d survive being clear cut, droughted, burned, blighted, and wilted, just to become a fence? To separate neighbors, be a wall between communication?
When your leaves fell for the last time, did you feel it?
Sweet pine, darling spruce, stately douglas fir, all gloriously evergreens.
Instead of pinecones hanging from you, there are ornaments and tinsel and gifts wrapped beneath you.
Did you guess you’d be sawed from the earth, strung with lights, and propped up in my living room, drying out while waiting for Dad to water you?
Dear baby trees, What do you want to be?
I hope you stay trees.
photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen


An ancient alchemy

Day 183

photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

Chamomile, Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Echinacea. Slippery Elm.

Feeling tired tonight, and a little run down. My throat’s a little sore.

Turning to the plants I trust to keep me well.

Simple herbs, safe enough for a child, which I need since Revie’s still nursing.


How many cups of tea have these herbs made? And the other herbs, the millions of green ones covering this beautiful earth? How many remedies have they gifted us with?

Over the years, throughout the course of human history?

How many steady hands have plucked the leaves and flowers,

have dug the earth covered roots from land both familiar and wild?

How many generations had to talk to the plants

before we learned to sit

and listen

to their advice, their properties, their medicines,

their stories?

Heat the water, chop the herbs,


watch the color saturate

turning slowly green, pink,


the colors of warm sunsets and fields of grass.

An ancient alchemy.

Now drink.

How many hands? How many plants? How many cups of tea

will it take

for us to find the way back home again?


There it is.

Wind through leaves,

and the almost silent stretching

of tendrils reaching for

the sun.

Thank  you for listening.



photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

Would you be ready?

Day 182

photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

If you had to leave tonight would you be ready?

If the lights went out, and the heat turned off, and the cars stopped in the streets,

If the world as you know it ceased to


Would you be ready?

What would you take?

To carry on your back under the cover of darkness?

Baby pictures, keepsakes, old letters, your favorite book?

Sardines, olive oil, a cooking pot, water?

Where would you go?

To your mother’s house, your best friend, the corner store, the woods?

Could you find food?

Aside from the supermarkets with their shiny plastic lined aisles,

where would you look?

Under logs, beside streams, in forests, in fields?

Would you dig roots?

Burdock, dandelion, spring beauty, the starchy corms of grasses?

Could you kill?

Animals fast and strong, and small and wily,

with flanks heaving, eyes flashing in the dim light.

Would you know how to end their suffering, where to cut, how to aim,

to make death come quick, and humane?

Would you make a bow, a spear, a trap a net?

Do you know how?

Could you make a shelter

warm and dry,

with twigs, and sticks, and mud, and bark?

Watertight? Able to contain heat,

a fire, your family. yourself?

What about fire?

Could you start it from scratch? Do you know the woods, soft enough to dent with a fingernail, hard enough to withstand the pressure of spindle on hearth, spinning, spinning, spinning.


Be ready.

Learn the skills of survival.

The way to live here,


Pack your bags, prepare.

Not because the world is ending.

But because

you want to live like it already has.

We don’t have to wait for collapse,

to walk away.

We don’t have to wait for collapse

to change.

Wildness is waiting.

Go to her.

Thank you for listening.



photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

Revie’s feeling stuffy with a little spring cold and sleeping lightly.

So just checking in tonight.

Hoping for dreams,

dark and earthy,

sunny, and sweet,

hazy like the grayest fog.


Thank you for listening,




Day 180

photo by Wilson Alvarez

photo by Wilson Alvarez

Thank you for listening,