Tag Archives: god

my god lives under my feet

Day 237

photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen

My God

does not wear long robes and cast judgement upon those below from a throne floating somewhere in the sky.

My God

does not reside in cathedrals and churches, temples and shrines, with gold leaf and stained glass windows, boxed in by roof and floor.

My God

does not require confessions and communions,  penance,  purgatory or hell.

My God

is not money, power, or greed.

My God

lives under my feet

in the cool moist soil and the hot desert sands,

crawls like the millipede upon its many legs and wriggles like the worms the Robins like to eat.

My God

lives in the buzzing of the bees’ wings and the thunder of the storm. Dwells under rocks and inside caves, mysterious and dark.

My God is not father,

but mother,

all soft curves and milky breasts,




My God is not there.

My God is here

in the song of the wood thrush and the babbling of the brook,

in the track of the little deer and the monarch on the milkweed.

in the wails of the whales and the roaming of the bison,

in the cries of the wolves howling at the moon, and

in the soft, reaching tendrils of the honeysuckle covered with dew.

If my God

is the earth

and the earth is in trouble,

what does that say about

my God?

Thank you for listening,



photo by Michelle Johnsen

photo by Michelle Johnsen




what the river wants

Day 29

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

I keep trying to write something, but nothing seems like the right thing.

I think I just need to be quiet tonight. Maybe read,

but maybe just lay, with baby in arms, husband beside, dogs at feet,

and talk to God,

and listen,

and ask for dreams,

that will tell me the true names of things,

and what the river wants,

and where the deer go at dusk,

and what this land accepts as offerings,

of thanks.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for listening. Thank you for commenting. Thank your for talking about these things when I see you in person, and over the phone. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for the connection.

Thank you,

I love you,

I’m sorry,

Please forgive me.



photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

Tonight’s guest piece is one I think many can relate to. A confusion, a questioning, and a journey. Thank you Huckleberry Dre, dear friend and fellow re-wilder, for your honest, and beautiful words. Good luck in your searching, and reconnecting.

I appreciate this blog. I find it hard to spend time on the internet. But it seems to be a big way for people to connect now-a-days. Clearly, for me right now, the answer is to foster this rebellion where I am, in my community in Portland, Oregon. But I am unsure of myself. All I have to share is the feelings I have struggled with my whole life. Intense feelings of being out of balance. Intense feelings of loss. Intense feelings of grief.

Why do we act like we’re separate from the earth?

Why do we light up the night with electricity – all night – every night?

Why don’t we stop to mourn the death of an animal lying dead on the road?

I don’t have memorized statistics to support my feelings of “wrongness.” I’m not well-versed in the politics of the day. I feel small and ignorant. I know I have ingrained biases born of the fact that: I’m white, I’m a United States citizen, I’m in the lower middle class, I am a straight person, I identify as a woman, I’m married to a person that identifies as a man. I hate the labeling but I can’t ignore that the labels are there – like layers and layers of clothing. I feel trapped in structures of rent, utilities, and ownership. I feel suffocated by pavement and sidewalks. I feel overwhelmed by grief and anger.

I’ve always wanted to run off and live in an intentional community in the woods somewhere. I could become unlabeled and wild and reject modern culture as a whole. But yet, I never seemed to be able to get away from other people.

And, now, I have become a part of a community I love. And yet, it doesn’t feel like enough. It is because I am afraid to do my work. I am afraid to drop the veil of illusion and be true to myself. I’ve started to do it in little ways – but it feels like always having just one leg over a fence that’s a bit too tall. It would be much better to climb up and perch at the top –but once I do that, everything will change.

I will no longer be able to function at work the way I do now.

I will not longer be able to function in my relationship the way I do now.

I’m not even sure my relationship would survive the change.

I’m not sure of anything.

I fear for my heart – which for the first time would be displayed on my sleeve. In my mind, I imagine it being torn apart by backlashes of contempt, skepticism, disbelief, confusion, anger, and misunderstanding. I am afraid I would fall into being judgmental – an angry saboteur of relationships.

I am afraid of feeling even more torn apart than I already do.

Torn between living a life where I go to the grocery store and am overwhelmed by the choices and the many bullets to dodge: No GMOs, organic, local, in season, cheaper versus healthier…

…and dreaming of a life where my choices are influenced by my knowledge of what is growing in my garden, what is abundant, what is available from the earth depending on the season.

Torn between living a life where time chugs along relentlessly and I choose a stressful drive in the car over the sweaty joy of riding my bicycle…

…and dreaming of a life where time spins with the rising and setting of the sun and moon, and I walk.

Torn between living a life where I make do with the way the world works right now, afraid to speak my truth…

…and dreaming of a life where I reject all of it – abstaining from electricity, cell phones, cars, grocery stores, home ownership, office jobs, and interaction with the diversity of humans around me.

Either, Or?

Neither works for me. There must be a way to end this polarity of thought, this absolute mentality that wreaks havoc on my reality.

I believe that despite the many limits placed on humans – whether you are a human holding power over others, or you are a human that feels disempowered, or you are a human that doesn’t acknowledge all that power stuff, or all the in-betweens – we all have the ability to refuse moments of either/or in our lives. We all have the ability to dance between complacency and rebellion, to dance the song of in-between.

Maybe not every moment of our lives. Maybe not every decision we make. There are too many factors, too many complications. It would be disinformation to preach a perfect, 100%, A+ performance of the dance of in-between. Perfection, after all, is part of the either/or mentality.

But without perfection, there comes Balance.

And without knowing exactly what to do to fix things, there comes Trust.

And without knowing what is going to happen next, there comes Surrender.




I still feel grief and anger. But if I balance my dream of being a wild woman living in a forest against my reality of being a wild woman living in a city, I can see that no matter where I am, I am and will always be a wild woman.

I still feel ignorant and helpless. But if I trust that the choices I make reflect the song of in-between, then no matter how small and unnoticeable those choices may be, they make a difference.

I still feel afraid. But if I surrender to the realization that I don’t know what is going to happen – in my life, in my marriage, in the world, on the earth – then all I have to do is live, savoring the sweet nectar of my existence, releasing my doubt and fear into the joy of being alive.

Blessed be,

Huckleberry Dre


Day 18

photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

I’m thinking of birth tonight.

Our son, born at the foot of our bed, me on my knees. Like a prayer, Wil says.

My nephew, born on the day of the super moon, pulled here, same as the high tide.

My own birth, 30 some years ago, the first photos of my parents holding me, smiling, a little shellshocked, so in love.

My sister’s birth, me at 3, watching sesame street as she came wailing into the world.

And I think, birth is not clean or tidy. It’s not wrapped up in a neat package. It’s not cute.

It’s bone wrenching, wrung-out, blood- soaked, wailing,


It hurts. A lot. You feel like you’re going to die.

And you might.

Years ago Wil and I picked up a doe, killed on the road, abandoned. She was big, belly round, we had trouble lifting her into the car. We figured if the meat was no good, we could at least get her skin, tan it, make moccasins, a shirt, maybe a pouch as well. Bury the rest, pay our respects.

When you skin a deer, you make a neat shallow incision, right up the belly. The skin peels off exactly like a shirt from sweaty muscles. And it’s a pure, lily white inside, no meat attached, no blood, if you do it right.

Once the skin is removed, you make a slightly deeper incision. And then it’s messy. There’s blood, and ruby red organs, glistening liver, chambered heart. Miles of intestines. The smell of grass, and arterial blood, rich with iron.

But this doe, on this day, she, oh God, she, contained indescribable beauty. As we made the incision in her abdomen, we opened the womb that lay inside.

And out slid the two most perfect little baby deer. Twins. Long curled eyelashes, elfin hooves, and such delicate spots, you’d swear, it was just dappled sun shining through the trees.

Birth is looking into the face of God.

And if you survive, if you look into the face of God and come out safe on the other side,

After your bones have shifted, and your throat is raw from shouting, and your hair is plastered to the back of your neck and your heart is broken and mended all at once,

you’ll finally understand.

You’ll finally understand

what we’re fighting for.


must be born.







Thank you for listening,



photo by Michelle J.

photo by Michelle J.

Thank you Daisy, for this incredibly beautiful guest post tonight. Thank you for your words; for sharing.

A poem

by Daisy

We People,

Concrete and steel for hearts,

burning, gasoline-fire hands.

fucking trees and forests

rivers of acid,

acrid, rotting blood.

Dead fish,

We float below roads and bridges,

Harbinger of modern chemical


our nation of oleam.

We have come

to consume,

to climb.

Exist to progress,

shoulder shrugging, we powerless,

congealed mass.

Break away,

shining with knowledge

dirt covered faces

whisper magic birdsong

open lips

in awe of snake tongue spirit springs…..

and pau-pau.

Some day,

great wooden arms

will stretch and flex through our mass.

The river will be glass,

and the glass will be broken.

There’s mountains to move.