In this episode I converse with writer Sophie Strand. I’ve found her writing to be particularly inspiring to my rewilding journey in terms of understanding and thinking about masculinity. However, we cover much more than that. Our conversation branches off in many directions, though the main thread is around connecting our personal narratives in rewilding to the larger cultural narratives found in our mythologies–and the mythologies that make the most sense from a rewilding perspective. It was such a pleasure to converse with someone as deeply researched and passionate about this topic as Sophie is. She has many insights to share and I’m honored to have her on the podcast. Looking forward to reading her book when it comes out this fall!
Far right fascists have laid claim to the conversation of overpopulation. This was easy for them to do, considering the most famous historical promoter of this idea was a classist and racist who proposed killing the poor. Though he is wrong about population in so many ways, the basic ecological framework is real: animal populations grow to meet their food availability. The more food available, the more a population grows. The human population has increased exponentially since the “neolithic demographic transition” or in lay terms, the invention of full-time agricultural society, or, when humans began creating their food and became their own managers of the food supply. This makes population growth, and overpopulation, a central component of civilization. Understanding and speaking about overpopulation is a necessity, because it is a reality. We must wrestle this conversation away from fascists so that we can discuss it through a lens of reproductive justice as the collapse of civilization intensifies.
My guest today is Jason Godesky. Jason is an old friend and colleague of mine. We met in the early 2000’s on an internet chat board called “Ish Con” short for Ishmael Conference. It was a place to discuss the ideas presented in the books by Daniel Quinn. It was here that I gave Jason the nickname, “The Machine Gun” for his ability to remember and rapidly deploy facts, journals, studies, ethnographies, and more to back up many of the positions in what we would later call Rewilding. When ishcon closed down in 2006, I bought the domain rewild.info and invited Jason to help create a new online chat board specific to rewilding. Jason is well known for his essays on his now defunct blog, The Anthropik Network. A few years ago when Rewild Portland acquired rewild.com, I asked Jason to write the content to help people describe what rewilding means. These days his main focus is on using storytelling and gaming to promote the concepts of rewilding. Though, every once and a while he’ll post a new essay on a particular topic of interest. It’s his latest essay, entitled “Overpopulation” that we’ll be discussing here on the rewilding podcast today.
In this episode I return to the theme of this podcast: rewilding. It’s used in so many contexts now, from video games to outdoor clothing to lifestyle branding. But what does it really mean? Where did it emerge? How can we stay authentic to the meaning as it gets absorbed by mainstream capitalism? This is a good refresher for those familiar with my work, as well as a nice starting place for those who have recently come across the podcast.
I’ve lived with depression for most of my life. I’ve learned to manage my symptoms in order to function and live a more fulfilling life. I’ve dedicated this episode to working through some of the areas of overlap between depression and rewilding. This is a very personal topic that lives close to my heart. I was originally planning on doing this one solo, but I realized that it would be more impactful if it were in conversation with someone who shares similar but different experiences with depression.
My guest on this episode is Sheila Henson. Sheila received her BA in History and an MA in Education, spent twelve years as a behavioral respite worker for children with special needs, working for many of those years at the Serendipity Center in Portland. Today she is an ADHD Coach, and is a well known and respected educator on tiktok. The drive to understand how to be kind, collaborative, and restorative within our social and ecological communities led her to Rewild Portland, where she now serves on the board of directors, heading up our transformative justice committee. Sheila and I also co-teach a Rewilding Your Health class through Rewild Portland.
Lisa Wells is the author of Believers: Making a Life at the End of the World, The Fix, and winner of the Iowa Poetry Prize. Her essays have been published by The New York Times, Harper’s Magazine, Granta, The Believer, n+1 and others. She lives in Seattle and writes a column for Orion Magazine called Abundant Noise. She’s also one of my oldest and closest friends. In her latest book, Believers, she sought out many different people all seeking to find a way to live sustainably in the world, as we sit on the precipice of a collapsing civilization. In this conversation, we chat about the book, some of the subjects (including myself), the writing process itself, the role of storytellers as culture building, and much more.
In this episode I converse with someone who has greatly inspired me, Delia Ann Turner. Delia co-owns and operates The School of the Greenwood: For Creative Rewilding. Delia is an amazing craftsperson and educator. Our topics wandered from making hand crafts, living off the grid, traveling to learn from communities where hand made crafts are barely holding on, integrating what we learn back in our own communities, to her philosophy in carefully crafting adventure and fantasy camps for children, to running a small business and the contradictory aspects of living a wild life but also utilizing tools like social media to increase the reach and impact of her work. It was a wide-ranging conversation and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
In this episode I’m chatting with my friend and colleague, Jessica Carew Kraft. Our conversation ranged from what taking rewilding ideas to the “mainstream” might look like, dissecting some larger trends with rewilding themes, taking a look at rewilding through the lens of motherhood, and much more. There were some technical issues with this recording, and our mutual friend Fern (who I conversed with in my Embodied Anthropology podcast) did some pretty fine editing to minimize the issues. So I want to send my thanks out to Fern for assisting us with that.
Today I’m chatting with Clementine Morrigan, a prolific writer and podcaster covering a range of topics. In this conversation we talk about “cancel and call out culture” and the challenges of transcending punishment and imprisonment, in order to move toward a more egalitarian, transformative justice process when conflict arises–as it inevitably does–in our communities.