Tim Simmons and Pamela Booker on Goddard Radio Show

14938142_10154666671617521_1774228707610239490_n11050306_10206098616163101_1428131764628501806_nKarla Haas Moskowitz recently interviewed GGI students Tim Simmons and visiting scholar Pamela Booker on ways of knowing strategies for changing the world, and what it means to be a change agent. The interviews, on the radio show “Ethereal,” a regular regular of WDGR aired Feb. 21, 2017. Learn more about Goddard’s radio station here. Listen to the show here.

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Personal Education, Resonance and Meaning with Faculty Member Jim Sparrell

Jim Sparrell, a long-time faculty member, discusses how personal and meaningful the education is at Goddard College.

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Student Workshops from the 2017 Spring Residency: A Sampling

Stefania (left) with students Rachel Economy and Jan Booth in Stefania's herb-filled home

Stefania (left) with students Rachel Economy and Jan Booth in Stefania’s herb-filled home

Embodied Plant Medicine, with Returning Student Stefania Patinella. Healers and medicine people across history and culture have used direct, embodied communication with plants to tap into the powerful medicine they hold for the human body, mind and spirit. In this workshop, we will practice such direct knowing by tasting an extraction of a medicinal herb and using our senses, intuition, heart and imagination to listen to and learn something about it. The plant will be unknown to you so you can approach it without preconceived ideas. We will then share our individual experiences as a group, and begin to weave a collective story about this plant’s medicine. Finally, I will reveal the name of the herb and talk about its materia medica–its history of use, medicinal qualities, origin, botany and folklore–so we can tie our personal experiences into the plant’s wider tradition.

Tracy Murphy

Tracy Murphy

Interfaith Gathering, with Returning Students Tracy Murphy and Jojo Donovan. Unlike a workshop or presentation, this time will be spent as an Interfaith gathering available and open to everyone. No matter what faith, tradition, spiritual, or general beliefs, you are invited and welcome in this space. We will take this time to gather together to witness unity and to honor the diversity of our beliefs. With an open heart and mind, we hope you will join us for music, a message, and silent meditation and prayer time.

Permaculture 101: Resilient Social and Ecological Design, with Returning Student Rachel Economy. Learn and play with ethics, principles, and practices of permaculture design, a system for using patterns in nature to create thriving human and ecological

Rachel Economy

Rachel Economy

systems. We will explore the hands-on agricultural and ecological applications of these principles, as well as the social and political possibilities it offers. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of permaculture design principles, a how-to understanding of the design process, and a framework for further places to learn and apply permaculture.

Radical Hospitality: Honoring Illness as Disruption and Unexpected Guest, with Returning Students Shomriel Sherman and Louella Morgan-Richer. For many of us, major illness, if and when it arrives in our life, is the great disruptor. Our schedules must change to accommodate it, our priorities must shift, and what we think we know about ourselves and our world is turned upside down. Whether illness is a chronic condition that we must learn to live with or a one-time event, we do not go back to the way we were. Our perspective is permanently changed. This workshop is inspired by the work of Dr. Lewis Mehl-Madrona, author of Coyote Wisdom: The Power of Story in Healing, and Narrative Medicine: The Use of History and Story in the Healing Process. In it we will be engaging in dialogue with our illness, however we define that, through guided meditation, art, and writing. The goal of this time is to begin to empower ourselves by transforming our relationship with illness through the practice of radical hospitality. By inviting into the home of ourselves this illness which has shown up on our doorstep, we can allow this disruption, unexpected and unwelcome as it may have been, to move us into greater awareness and integration.

Radical Pleasure: Feeling Ourselves Free, with Returning Students Brighde Moffat and Jojo Donovan. When our bodies are targeted, exotified, and policed, feeling good becomes an act of resistance. Framed by Audre Lorde’s groundbreaking essay, The Uses of the Erotic, this workshop will explore the radical potential of our capacity for pleasure. What barriers prevent us from enjoying our bodies? What power can be reclaimed through pleasures labeled as taboo, transgressive, or frivolous? Together, we will use creative writing, embodiment practices, and open discussion to move towards a shared understanding of pleasure as an essential force in resisting, disrupting, and transforming systems of power and oppression.

Zelda Johnson with graduating student Dan Kaminsky

Zelda Johnson with graduating student Dan Kaminsky

The Salutogenic Model of Stress: Using NLP, Music, Visualization and Medical Meditation, with Returning Students Amber Marie Ortiz, Susan Wilkes, and Zelda Johnson. The Salutogenic Model of Stress: Using NLP, Music, Visualization and Medical Meditation. If disruption is that which displaces something that exist and produces something new and more … then replacing stress by promoting calm is certainly a good technique to know and implement. What we say and how we say it internally and out loud impacts our homeostasis; our narrative can promote calm or intensify stress, liberating or imprisoning us. What music we listen to, and visuals we choose to view, can play an important role in how we respond to our feelings and use our bodies. Focused meditation techniques that correlate all our senses, for both promoting calm and performance, can change the perspective of managing stress from a pathogenic model to one of concentrating on it as a state of health and wellbeing – a salutogenic model. Four engaging segments will be taught supplementing ancient and modern techniques with audience participation and a gift for each at the end of the workshop. You will leave with techniques for promoting calm, academic performance, and a sense of joy.

Unshared Perceptions as Human Experience, with Returning Student Julia Fenton. In this workshop, we’ll look at alternative ways to understand voices, visions, and other sensory experiences outside of consensus reality. Participants will be given the chance to write/think critically about the lenses through which we view altered states of perception, and the language we use to describe these perceptions. I will share the history and philosophy of the Hearing Voices Network (HVN): a worldwide movement of people who self-identify as having experiences beyond consensus reality, which meets in non-clinical, trauma-aware support groups to explore and find meaning in voice-hearing experiences. We’ll discuss the origins of Western cultural assumptions about voice hearing, the complex role of traditional plant medicine in (suppressing or inducing) voice-hearing, and how cultural understanding of consensus reality shapes our approach to voice-hearers. The conventional medical model sees voice hearing only as pathological or disruptive – but understanding these experiences outside of this paradigm allows us to see the meaning and value in voice-hearing as a lived experience.

 

Posted in Activism, Arts-Based Inquiry, Community Building, Consciousness Studies/Transpersonal Psychology, Creative Writing, Creativity & Imagination, Embodiment Studies & Body Image, Ethnobotany, Food Studies, Health Arts and Sciences, Herbalism, Sexuality & Erotic Studies, Spirituality & Religion, Sustainability, Sustainability & Place Studies, Transformative Language Arts, Transforming Trauma, Visionary Studies, Workshops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Everybody Doing Something Different from Everybody Else: Karen Campbell

Listen to faculty member Karen Campbell discuss the diversity of student studies, and how it translates into greater intimacy and collaboration.

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Guest Scholar Pamela Booker on Eco-Meditations and “Where’s Your Tree?”

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Pamela Booker, MFA, our visiting scholar for the spring 2017 residency, is an author, educator, performance artist, and Lambda Literary Awards Finalist as well as an urban growing-sustainability enthusiast, Reiki healer and herbalist. Last past fall, she was co-plenary speaker on the topic of Race & Permaculture, at Northeast Women in Permaculture, 2016, Omega Institute. Her most recent publications include an essay for Anthropology of Consciousness, Interbeing Issue, (pending release 2017); featured performance- writer in the critically acclaimed Black/tino Queer Performance Anthology (Duke University Press 2016); and For Whom it Stands, an art exhibition book collection curated by the Maryland Museum of African American History & Culture and Smithsonian Affiliate (2016). She hosts greens4 squares.com, a blog that explores green issues and is the recipient of several Writer Fellowships/Residencies that include VCCA/Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center and the Norman Mailer Writers Colony. A graduate of the Goddard MFA-IA program in 2007, Pamela also served as core faculty in the undergraduate residencies from 2008-2016. Currently, she is Assistant Professor/ Writing Faculty at New York University, in the Global-Liberal Studies B.A. Program, is Community Board member for Open Meadows Foundation, and facilitates educational outreach at SWAG, a community-run farm in Newark, NJ. For more: pamelabooker.com and greens4squares.com. Here’s a summary of the workshop and keynote address she presented at the college in February:

Keynote Presentation: Where’s Your Tree? — Eco-Mediations, Roots, & Radical Rejuvenation. Human “emissions,” when released into the atmosphere, are as much driven by toxic particles, biases, complex metrics, emotional equations and carbon footprints. In her discussion, Where’s Your Tree?— an artist-initiated eco-project, Pamela Booker explores the partnering of art, nature, and eco-mediations/interventions driven by moral imperatives in the face of historic, environmental ruin of the planet and Black lives. With the understanding that “the ecological self is the ecology of the Earth,” her discussion considers the possibility of rediscovering generative, creative response and enacting sustainable practices in habitats where radical resistance, liberation, and freedom must continue to transpire in stewarding healthier plant and human ecosystems. Habitats addressed are distinguished by historical and current violations, shouts and hollers of shattered Lives, and include Underground Railroad sites and urban sister-cities in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Newark, and New York City.

Workshop: Where’s Your Tree? — Creating Eco-Mediations, Roots, & Radical Rejuvenation. Participate with Pamela in an eco-projects based workshop that explores how consciously performed “events” or “moments” can offer sustainable mediations/strategies for daily rigor, academic study, and be radically rejuvenating for whole human transactions. You can choose to participate in all events or select specific events of interest (see handout on GGI program site). Events will occur simultaneously. In each action, you are encouraged to keep notes and to consider what is ritualized, violating, or rejuvenating to spirit and imagination. We will close the workshop by sharing our experiences and discuss the environmental language of our current “American landscape.”

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GGI Students and Alumni Launch Hematopoiesis, New Digital Publication

Hematopoiesis is the body’s method of creating new blood cells. As a digital publication, our intention is to uplift marginalized voices and center the political and creative conversation in embodiment. Our team of editors include current Goddard students Brighde Moffat (TLA Fall ’18) and Rachel Economy (SIS/TLA Fall ’17), as well as alum Jennifer Patterson (IMA Fall ’16).

The theme of our first issue is Bone Remodeling, a process by which the body breaks down old or damaged bone in order to repair and create new bone. For our submission call, we asked, “what is the relationship between bones and language? How do you endure systemic bone loss? Why do communities and families fracture, and can they remodel? If blood is made within bone, then what else is in there being created/destroyed?” We received powerful and rich responses to this call, in the form of both written and visual work, work that delves deep, sideways, and new ways into bodies and bones. Our first issue is available in full at hematopoiesispress.com. screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-3-39-16-pm

Our contributors for the first issue are Arianne Zwartjes, Farrell Greenwald Brenner, Keiko Lane, Aubrielle Hvolboll, T.B.N.Reina Gossett, Grace Dunham, Jojo Donovan, James Shultis, Renée Barry, C. Kubasta, Virginia Grove, Rhonda Eikamp, and Sophia Terazawa. There were a lot of wonderful pieces, and we were particularly happy to publish fellow Goddard student Jojo Donovan’s (TLA) A Spell For Turning Off the Light.

Hema’s second issue will be on the theme of Infections. Look out for a submission call on our website and facebook page, this coming March!

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The Collective Poetic: Collaborative Poems from the Residency

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From the student-faculty-staff reading

At the February 2017 residency, different groups of students wrote collective poems, often writing a line, folding the paper so that the line previous to their own was hidden, then passing the poem to the next person to add a line. All the poems began with this first line: “Come, come whoever you are.” Here’s the results of our mysterious foray in the collective poetic.

 

 

1.

Come the tender,

come the sweet,

come the sacred.

the bubbly dancers,

the different-doers,

the new-thing-builders,

the life-bearing planets in search of a star.

 

Come the angry seed

to this place of earth and air

and find your breath

among the trees.

 

Remind them what it is to be new to this world,

to push up and break through,

to toil after an unseen sky.

From the student-faculty-staff reading

From the student-faculty-staff reading

 

Let them teach you of roots,

these small and fibrous fingerings,

this dark river that spreads beneath you even as you rise.

 

Let them, the old trees, teach you of the sky you’ve yet to see.

 

So come the survivor,

come the queer,

come the holders of many truths

and the one sweet body in which they are held.

 

Come those in need of rest.

Come the wearers of wolf-skin and the givers of stories.

Come the respecters of boundaries.

Come the sacred “No”

Come the joy of the freely given “yes”.

 

Come the platonic culddlers

and the friend-defenders,

the outward-facing spikes and the

inward-facing blankets of fuzz.

 

Come the friends of the plants,

come the pray-ers of new prayers,

the casters of new spells

the builders of new worlds –

 

come and be welcomed.

 

 

2.

come, come, whoever you are

bring your beautiful self to the table

and your ugly mess, too –

we’ll get you some sparkly glue

the cracks are the most sacred of spaces

to be cherished like the very pit of the ruby cherry

after you drank the whole jar of juice

felt really sweet, fiery and convicted to be in harmony

the harmony of the spheres

the aurora borealis of your life

 

 

3.

come, come, whoever you are

because you have something secret

because your secret has a voice

because we are listening

 

 

4.

come, come, whoever you are

the sun is out

and so are you

everything is warm and pushing up

 

 

5.  come, come, whoever you are

we miss you already

our future memories

our almost nostalgia

for that one time we wrote these poems, remember?

 

6.

come, come, whoever you are

no matter how whole or broken you may feel,

breathe, breathe into yourself

breathe into your work

breathe into the world

breathe like the dragon that lives next door

your fire is power

and your power is fire

burning down all that gets in your way

 

7.

come, come, whoever you areimg_3100

whether it be soft or hard

a salty sweet balance

lipstick on everything

put it in my box when you’re done

 

8.

come, come, whoever you are

my darling, my dear

i cherish your ear

and darling those most precious of words

hold me on my swaying branch

and listen to the song of my sweetest story

hear and listen to the truth, lovingly

feel it bathe you

nurture you

you were always whole

 

9.

come, come, whoever you are

with red rainboots or yellow flip flops

ducks so giddy – fly swim walk

the geese watch in wonderment

as songs of clouds whisper by

and sun dogs bark behind closed doors

while on the couch the cat sleeps with eyes open

having to write English feels very imperialistic

 

10.

come, come, whoever you are

bring the bubbly

to the party of the swing-ling

where an upside-down bohemian waxwing sings for her supper

finding the sustenance to stand right side up and speak, saying

I love you

 

11.

come, come, whoever you are

come to the place to find your true, inner star

while learning from the past you glean wisdom in your roots

yet not linger too long in history before putting on your boots

boots to take the burning questions where others have not tread

all the while being supported to help stamp out the dread…

“what if they don’t get it?”

I heart often in the dark

as I reflect on all the knowledge and experience as I park

all of my ideas in the chambers of my heart, to finally process

messy details into the beauty of my art.

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