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On The Fringes Of Place Posts

BKI.1 — What is the Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute?

I recently attended a conference called the Bartimaeus Kinsler Institute. The BKI, as it is called, was held on unceded Chumash territory in what is colonially called the Ventura River watershed of California. The leadership of this conference was comprised of local indigenous tribal chairpeople and educators, more geographically dispersed indigenous elders and leaders (Cree, Dene/Laguna Pueblo, Wakka Wakka, Oglala Lakota, Nadleh Whut’en), and Christian leaders Elaine Enns and Ched Meyers. The…

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BKI.2 — Rights vs. Responsibilities

At the BKI, facilitator and educator Dr. Jonathan Cordero (Chumash/Ohlone) said, “White people talk about their rights a lot, but not so much about their responsibilities.” Indeed, I myself often adopt a mentality of “I’m entitled to x ” — low-cost health care, being in a place at whatever time is convenient for me, filling up with organic peanut butter in the bulk section but labeling it as conventional, flying on airplanes,…

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The Paradox of Displacement: A Personal Quandary (or Jewish Indigeneity Part II)

Paradox #1: How do I hold being both an earth-based Jew and a displaced Jew – a social location that inevitably leaves me as an occupier somewhere, in someone’s mind and embodied experience? When I entered the field of environmental education in my late teens/early 20s, a set of implicit lessons were presented to me, some of which I unquestioningly accepted and some of which I tacitly endorsed while feeling there was…

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Are Climate Disasters Earth’s Responses To Trauma?

What is trauma? From the perspective of many Western trauma theorists and somatic therapists such as Peter Levine and Bessel van der Kolk, trauma is energy that gets trapped in the body during and/or after a traumagenic experience. “Traumagenic” refers to anything that could cause trauma depending on a variety of individual factors such as one’s previous trauma, target identities, resilience tools, support systems, age, physical condition, etc. You and I might…

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Tracking My Pulse

I recently attended a rhythm workshop for non-musical educators. I’m personally a musical educator, but there were many in the workshop who were not and for whom the mere idea of spending an hour moving to a drum evoked fear and anxiety. Damien Bassman, a New York City musician and music educator, taught the workshop. “What are some words you would use to describe textiles?” he asked us. We responded shyly: “Silky.”…

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The Leaf Charmer

Today marked my father’s yahrzeit (death anniversary). I am so grateful for the amazing dad he was to me growing up. I am also grateful for the ongoing relationship I have with him, and for how he still communicates and shows up for me when I need him. In an earlier post, I wrote: In terms of how I primarily identify, Jewish is tied with Woman at #1. Euro-American comes next. In the demographics…

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