92 Comments

I know I'm not alone in anticipating your posts, and they never disappoint. I loved the poem. And woodpeckers are just awesome, aren't they? We get downy and red-headed here, little ones. I've seen one pileated, the big red-headed kind, and even though it was high up in a tree it felt good to see... and wonder how I was surprised that they are descended from dinosaurs. It's like a flaming pterodactyl!

Nature will be the healer if we let it. And start healing all the damage done.

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May 1, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

I loved this! It is a little peek inside your life.

My mother grew up in Council Grove, Kansas. What a sweet coincidence. My sacred space that I regularly visit is the country side in Kansas and the beach in Rockaway, NY. Both places hold special energy that renews my spirit. If I'm not out in nature regularly I get very grumpy.

On Poetry: " I take the writing of them seriously but I really don’t care what happens with them. They are almost entirely for myself. People don’t go to university for advanced degrees in writing the kinds of poems I do and that’s fine with me." I could not agree more.

And HECK YES I would be so down to take an online workshop with you!!!

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May 1, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

What a beautiful picture of the Lewis’s woodpecker! Thank you for the reminder to bring my mom out there soon- she’s still trying to see one.

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May 1, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

No judgment to anyone who sends those lists and no judgment to anyone who finds them valuable, but I usually delete them immediately because that's the only way I don't feel some weird compulsion to go through them, only to feel a sense of overwhelm and failure because I can't absorb that much. I would love to do a Zoom poetry workshop with you, but unfortunately I've already signed up for a local-to-me poetry workshop that is every Tuesday evening in June (same thing happened with the recent FreeFlow workshop). One day the timing will work out. As for sacred spaces, not in the outdoor vein, but I did my first public poetry reading on Sunday and although my hands were literally shaking, it was so joyful. I also just declined what seems like a dream job to stay in a job that is practical (and sometimes dysfunctional) because I think the universe is telling me that it's time to stop centering my dreams around a job; there are other more sacred spaces that need my time and attention and I have to take the risk of investing in them. That feels really scary, but I'm trying to be braver this year.

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May 1, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

Smiling stupidly at your description :

“I would rather glue all of those notebooks with some highly flammable epoxy to 80s-era pajamas stretched over my body like a sausage casing and then roll myself onto a bed of red hot coals than use AI for anything. But I didn’t feel the need to say so. “

😆 the AI burn. It’s real.

Also, if it wasn’t for time zones and being at work I’d definitely sign up for your course.

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May 1, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

"I was giddy to know my little relative – Amik, in Ojibwe – had been there getting the job done probably less than a dozen hours since my last visit. This is what I love so much about this place. This is what makes it so holy to me."

Grateful for your generous posts. Irritable and otherwise, you pay attention. I'd never seen a Lewis's Woodpecker and never been to your sacred places. You describe them so well, though, that I feel as if I am there.

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” (Simone Weil)

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May 1, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

Grateful for your poem. I love that you don't send a list of links. This way I can concentrate on the things that matter....like you're poem.

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May 1, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

Hi Chris!

I will try again.

What a beautiful woodpecker! I have never seen one like that! Really gorgeous.

I am so looking forward to the warming weather. I am scheduled to have my right hip replaced on July 27, so until then I have to cope with a considerable degree of discomfort, and great difficulty with being able to sleep. But, this will pass. Once I heal up I hope to be able to go for a walk on a local trail that has always brought me joy. We have an awesome network of walking/biking trails in our community. They all connect and join the downtown, in all directions, to the outlying areas. My favorite trail runs along the river. It is so magical, especially in the late afternoon when the light is golden. I have been sidelined now for about three years, dealing with a parade of health challenges. My prayer is to get back on that forest path and to inhale

the fragrance of the pines, and to walk, walk walk.

Sincerely,

Melissa

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May 3, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

Thanks for your gentle response to the friendly gym guy about AI. I'm also deeply suspicious of that technology and in some ways, the enthusiastic adopters need to be aware of the issues with it (like I know much about it myself) but even so, the decision to not turn the conversation negative to no good purpose feels like a lovely gift to both that guy and yourself. And something I'll ponder for a while. Thanks again.

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May 1, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

Hi Chris, Our school has a 10 acre property on its west side, 3 acres level with scattered 2nd gen ponderosa and 7 acres of steep hillside. We're working with a traditional elder/consultation to develop a walking trail through the property. The kids will build cultivated areas alongside the trail and try to grow medicinals and edibles such as rose hips, nettle, berries, camas and bitterroot, and other native cultivars.

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May 1, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

Eep, Lewis’ woodpeckers are so cool! I’ve only seen them once - last summer, a mating pair, in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. It must be incredible to have them near you more often.

LOL @ your AI revulsion. I kind of agree, at least for the context you’re discussing. It’s funny how different people feel they are being helpful, though; I bet that guy in the locker room walked away from your conversation with the idea that he had seriously improved your life. What a nice feeling.

And thank you for this poem, it makes me want to make time for 10-minute writes more often. I’ve been feeling the universe of bad news flowing through me lately, and that’s one of my least favorite experiences. It really is about letting it go, though, and not trapping those vibes in the body and self.

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PS please don't start doing those long lists of links.... I kinda feel like I ought to follow a lot of them, especially if they're shared by people I respect, but I just don't have time and there's already SO MUCH of EVERYTHING...

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It is very exciting to see all those notebooks piled up and think of what we might all be able to read someday. And I think teaching the class online yourself is a great idea. Miigwech for all you do and share in this world, Chris!

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Wow ! I identify myself with so many things right there 🤯 loved the newsletter and the poem, I’ve read it twice already ❤️ See you in class 🤞🏽

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May 2, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

Sooooo much wonderful-ness here, Chris, don’t know where to begin…so I won’t right now. Much to think about…but I DO know you better put me down for your online workshop!

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May 2, 2023Liked by Chris La Tray

I like that poem. Thank you for putting it in.

Also enjoyed the description of what you would rather do than use AI in your process. With you there.

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