In this episode I talk with my friend, Rachael Rice. Rachael is an artist, writer, death worker and certified weirdo who crafts scroll-stopping content for people who want to shape change. Her work centers collapse-informed learnings about grief, death, myth, magic and meaning-making in pale times. A neurodivergent queer witch navigating multiple health diagnoses and broadly coded as a white cis woman, Rachael is of Swedish, Scottish, Irish, French, German and English ancestry living and loving with her partner whose income supports her work on the lands of the Chinook in Portland, Oregon. She works in a dozen kinds of media, plays four instruments, speaks three languages, parents two children, and hollers at one cat, usually not all at once. In this conversation, Rachael and I discuss what it means to be “collapse aware,” what death work is and how it relates to societal collapse, and ways you can engage with it.
In this episode of the Rewild Podcast I talk with David Ian Howe about dogs and rewilding. David is a professional archaeologist trying to popularize the science of anthropology, most often through comedic videos. He is known for his interest and expertise in understanding ethnocynology–the study of the ancient relationship between humans and dogs. As rewilding is in part, a critique of domestication, the relationship between humans and dogs is an interesting area of exploration: at what point does mutualistic symbiosis become parasitic, or vice versa and is the human and dog relationship reflective of that? Listen in as David and I discuss this ancient relationship, among a few other topics.
On this episode of the Rewilding Podcast, I converse with Carmen Spagnola about the necessary self and community care that comes with the realization that we are living in a collapse. Carmen works at the intersection of somatics, trauma recovery, attachment, and mysticism. Her approach to collapse – navigating the converging emergencies of large scale cooperation dilemmas – weaves Wendell Berry sensibilities with Octavia Butler realities. Her book The Spirited Kitchen: Recipes and Rituals for the Wheel of the Year, comes out in the fall of 2022.
Seven in ten Americans identify as Christian. For a movement like rewilding to gain more traction, it must intersect with the belief systems of the culture at large on some level. I am not a Christian, though I am interested in the intersection of rewilding and christianity. Since I live in the United States, I feel it’s important to understand enough about the dominant cultures here and where to find common ground in rewilding narratives. In this episode I chat with two friends of mine who are both pastors. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin and Aric Clark.
Rev. Solveig Nilsen-Goodin is an ordained pastor in the Lutheran Church, a spiritual director, grief coach, writer, author of the book: What is the Way of the Wilderness: An Introduction to the Wilderness Way Community, and co-editor and contributor to A Grounded Faith: Reconnecting with Creator and Creation in the Season of Lent. Solveig helped found EcoFaith Recovery, and founded and pastored the Wilderness Way Community for eleven years. She and her husband Peter are raising two teenage boys in NE Portland.
Rev. Aric Clark is pastor of Mt. Home and Sherwood United Methodist Churches. He is also a writer, a speaker, and an activist who lives in Portland, Oregon. He is the co-author of Never Pray Again: Lift Your Head, Unfold Your Hands, and Get To Work, a book which challenges readers to embrace a concrete other-centered spirituality, and editor of Faithful Resistance: Gospel Visions for the Church in a Time of Empire. When not pastoring, writing, or protesting he is parenting two teenagers and indulging a love of tabletop gaming.
Our conversation topics range from anarchism, feminism, death, grief, decolonization and the histories of the church, the challenges of working in institutions and much more.
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.