GaiasOrphans.org Updated

Gaia’s Orphans is coming out on October 31 — just a few weeks away! Therefore, I’ve done a major site update to prepare for the book’s release. Let me know what you think.

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Poetry, Radio, and Happenings

It’s been a busy week or two… here’s some of the latest:

*** Poetry. I still don’t have most of my newest poetry online yet. BUT, I do have some of it online now, along with links to the older poems: treesong.org/poetry

*** Radio. For those of you who don’t know, I have a radio show with my friend Aur every Friday at 10 am on WDBX 91.1 FM. The podcast is available on our website at yourcommunityspirit.org.

*** Happenings. There’s so much going on in the near future that I may just stay home and take a nap instead of trying to sort it all out. But in case you’re interested, there’s a movie at the Big Muddy IMC on Friday; an AIDS fundraiser and “T-Shirt Party” at Upside Downtown on Saturday; and various other things coming up soon.

Pretty soon, I’ll have more news to share about the updates to this website (treesong.org) and the two sites for my two latest books (Earth Conscious Revolution and Gaia’s Orphans). Earth Conscious Revolution is already available locally at Rosetta Stone Bookstore, and Gaia’s Orphans is due out Halloween 2006. (A post-apocalyptic novel coming out on Halloween! Brilliant, eh?)

Anyway, thanks for listening… and as a reward for your attentive reading, here’s a link to Weird Al’s website, which contains some funny new songs:

weirdal.com

My personal favorite is White and Nerdy. When I have more time, I plan on starting up a quiz that rates just how White and Nerdy each of you may be based on the lyrics of the song… 🙂 My plans to go to the Ren Faire next Saturday (sirenfaire.org) will surely boost my score…

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Earth Conscious Revolution

In honor of the upcoming release of Earth Conscious Revolution, I’m going to be holding two events here in Carbondale: a book party and a book signing.

The pre-release book party is on Friday, Sep 22 at 8 pm at my home. Everyone who knows me is hereby invited. And if you’ve never seen the movie McLibel, you can swing by the Big Muddy IMC (214 N. Washington) at 7 pm and then head to the party when the movie’s over.

The book signing is on Saturday at noon at Rosetta Stone Bookstore (214 W Freeman). I’ll be reading a passage or two from the book, discussing its overall approach to revolution, and answering any questions you may have.

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Earth Activist Training

I just returned from the Earth Activist Training at Diana’s Grove in Missouri. After two weeks of intensive learning about permaculture, activism, and beyond, I have plenty to share…

First of all, on a personal level, this was a profoundly renewing and healing experience. Diana’s Grove ( http://dianasgrove.com/ ) is situated on about 100 acres of beautiful land in the hills of rural southern Missouri. My ride and I rolled into the Grove a couple of days early, so I got to spend some time adjusting to this environment by walking the land alone and helping out a bit with preparations for the coming weeks.

There are no words to convey the magic of this land! On top of the main hill, there’s a community building where meals are served and many classes are held. There’s also an extensive dog rescue program that takes in stray/abandoned dogs and locates new homes for them. So throughout my time at the Grove, my classmates and I were often accompanied by canine companions ranging from adorable little puppies to older dogs of many breeds and sizes.

At the bottom of the hill, there’s an open barn that has been converted into a community meeting space. This is where we had several of our classes, along with our end-of-session talent show and dance party. Nearby, there are two gardens, a couple of cabins, and a gift shop that supports the work of Diana’s Grove.

Just beyond the barn and at the foot of the big hill lies a great field filled with tall grasses and plants. This part of the land includes a large mowed labyrinth, a lone tree preserved in the midst of the field, and pathsways to the camping areas, stream, and other parts of the land. Included among these other areas are meeting spaces, ritual spaces, and my personal favorite — Brighid’s Grove, which is a meeting and ritual space sacred to the Goddess Brighid.

Living in a cabin on this land for two weeks was a wonderful experience — and yet, even this was overshadowed by the Earth Activist Training program itself.

The two main teachers for this EAT were Starhawk, whose writings I’ve read with great enthusiasm in the past, and Charles, a man I was less familiar with who has a great deal of knowledge and experience to share about earth activism and permaculture. They also had a student teacher named Chris who supported their efforts and presented on a number of topics of his own. Together, they lead us in a course of lectures, discussions, and hands-on learning and design activities that kept us very busy for the full two weeks. To be honest, each individual day felt more like several days worth of learning because we covered such a range of information and activity… 🙂 But somehow, they managed to weave a little time magic and pack all of that education and experience into two weeks.

The information was incredible, and hard to convey even in an extended blog entry. Our topics of study included:

* Basic permaculture principles;
* Protracted observation (actually LOOKING at existing systems before doing your design);
* Permaculture activism (events at mass demonstrations and events in local communities);
* The design process and group process (consensus);
* Political activism related to peak oil and other topics;
* Working with water as a renewable resource;
* Bioremediation;
* Soil ecology, compost, and soil health;
* Plant guilds and animals;
* Microclimates;
* Green building and renewable energy;
* Media literacy and activism;
* Making biodiesel;
* Urban permaculture strategies;
* Agroforestry;
* More on group process and consensus decision-making;
* Community Economics;
* Climate Change;
* And beyond! 🙂

It would be impossible for a single human being to be an “expert” in all of these areas. But it’s possible — and in fact, essential — for us to know the basics of all of these topics and how to apply their wisdom in our daily lives and our community infrastructure.

Before attending the EAT, I had already been aware of most if not all of these issues on some level. But during the course of the training, I learned more about each issue and how to weave them together into the design of our living systems. It’s not enough to simple consider these issues as abstract and disconnected points of discussion. Instead, we have to learn as much as possible about them so that we can weave them into a holistic understanding that will serve as the underpinning of how we look at living systems and design them in accordance with ecological principles and observations.

In addition to all of this learning, it was wonderful to connect with others who shared in this interest in permaculture and community involvement. There were 20 students total, along with the three instructors and the staff at Diana’s Grove who sometimes joined in on lunch discussions and open evening sessions. Spending two weeks with such bright and loving people was an experience that I will always treasure… and I hope that many of our connections will stay in place even over the geographical distances that now separate us.

Between the joys of the land, the power of the training program, and the opportunity to connect with all of these wonderful people, I feel incredibly blessed — and incredibly empowered to continue and renew my active involvement in Carbondale and Southern Illinois. It’s going to take me a while to digest all of this and find the best ways to apply it in our community… but in the meantime, I’ll be reaching out to many of my friends here to share what I experienced and learn what I can from all of you about the best ways that we in Southern Illinois can work together to create a better life for ourselves and our living planet.

I’ll have plenty of news soon about new projects in our area and current events with the many wonderful projects that always exist. In the meantime, feel free to drop me a line and say hello…

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My name is Treesong. I'm a father, author, talk radio host, and Real Life Superhero. I live in Carbondale, Southern Illinois. I write novels, short stories, and poetry, mostly about the climate.

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