Content Notes: I do use the word “crazy” from time to time because I identify with that word as a mentally ill person. I also talk frankly about burnout, violence (in a dream), trauma, and similarly heavy topics. If there is something you need a specific content warning on, please let me know and I will add it. Continue reading
The last leg of the drive to Raven’s Knoll occurred in some of the thickest fog I’ve ever seen outside of the coast of Nova Scotia, and we could barely see three feet ahead of the windshield. I told my partner I’d blow the fog away, and he responded that he doubted my otherworldly abilities go that far. I teased him that I found his lack of faith in the force disturbing, just before I checked in with my breath, bringing my focus to every exhale. The fog lifted for brief stretches, a veil scattering the light from the car’s high beams which my partner flicked on and off. I suddenly announced, though I couldn’t see for shit through the fog: “The Knoll is right here on our left!” startling my driving partner and our friend O riding with us in the backseat. We had to pull a U-turn to double back to the entrance, and O asked me how I could be sure this was the place, as we could not see the sign that usually heralded the Knoll’s entryway. For lack of better words, I just did. Continue reading
“How are everyone’s shoes?” I wonder, looking at my four witch comrades.
We all take a moment to stare at our shoes. Most of us are wearing shoes with proper rubber soles or otherwise sturdy footwear and so I suggest: “Let’s follow that path.”
It’s a small path that snakes uphill into the forest, still grey and pale from lack of foliage. But as we climb the path, occasionally stopping to catch our breaths and look around, we see that there are beautifully green and delicate ferns and plants sprouting through the blanket of dead leaves between the trees. Continue reading
Our society is powered by a dark death that pools beneath us and all around us—this is mostly a poetic way of saying that Oil is everywhere. During my childhood, the conversation regarding fossil fuels all around me, at school, at church, with my family, was all about how we were running out of this finite, limited resource. There was a palpable sense of panic that we were going to run out of gas one day. Mainstream conversations have noticeably changed, two decades later, as shale gas, tar sands, and other unconventional methods of extracting fossil fuels are on the rise and heavily promoted as technological “bridges” to “greener” energy here in Canada. Where I live in the province of Québec, we just found conventional oil in Anticosti, in Gaspésie. Reports seem to agree that human demand for fossil fuels are outpacing current production levels—not to mention that climate change seems to be getting in the way of the production of North American tar sands, notably because of global warming-encouraged wildfires in Western Canada. The human thirst for Oil is insatiable—when “conventional oil” is nowhere to be found, we crack open the earth, the tectonic plates of our planet, to find shale gas or exploit tar sands.
The fire, the conifers, the constant chorus of cicadas, frogs, and toads. The pine needles that coat the forest floor, a soft tapestry soaked in cedrus deodara that protects and nourishes. I learned long ago that many conifers do indeed drop their needles (and sap), like many deciduous trees, and that this act is both aggressive, and protective. The needles soak the ground in pine essential oils, changing the acidity levels of the soil and killing harmful microbes and bacteria. Plants that cannot stand the pH of the pine needles will not grow here, and will be killed, but many other plants and creatures flourish here, protected by the pines that reach upwards and onwards for the sun. Continue reading