The Thermodynamics of Emotion

I’m starting a new project in support of the work I do here – if you’ve been following along and enjoying the posts and interviews on constructal law, and Immediate Moment Theory, come check out our new site for gatherings and news on this topic – The Thermodynamics of Emotion.

The Emotional Battery, Another Conversation with Kevin Behan

In this third conversation with Kevin we continue to explore a completely fresh approach to animal behavior, one that I think will become a fundamental part of our skill set as trackers.

Hold Your Answer Lightly

All “masters” (a difficult term but one I’ll use) eventually come to a particular ethic, the practice of holding all answers lightly. One can have passion, faith, move with confidence, but when it comes down it it all “answers” act as doorways to the next layers of question – or they hold you back. By… Read more »

Grief For Breakfast

Thoughts inspired by this Washington Post article: Historian believes bodies of 800 babies, long-dead, are in a tank at Irish home for unwed mothers “God knows who else is in the grave,” one anonymous source told the Daily Mail. “It’s been lying there for years and no one knows the full extent of the total… Read more »

Walking in the Garden of Wonders

What is Magic? In an interview with David Charvet in the October 1999 Magic magazine, Doug Henning speaks of his first awareness of the contrast between the perspectives of the performer and traditional tribal wizards: “…I was invited by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation to perform on Christmas shows for the troops. At one point on… Read more »

Animal Behavior Science Through the Lens of the Heart

An Inquiry Driven by Both the Heart and Brain Tune in to the Art of Tracking radio show where, with host Garth Olson, I interview Kevin Behan, author of Your Dog is Your Mirror and Natural Dog Training. We dive deep into an approach towards understanding animal behavior (including the human animal!) that requires both our… Read more »

Language Making Nature: Week 3

And our adventure goes on! With three new chapters this week, our book group discussing David Lukas’ Language Making Nature continues to generate deeply meaningful conversations. This week we read aloud and discussed the chapters Blossoming Language, Wisdom Sits in Places, Bibliography, and Patterns in Nature. We had an extensive conversation about when artistic creations feel… Read more »

Language Making Nature: Notes from the Book Club

You may remember I began facilitating a small group of peers in reading aloud and playing with the ideas found in David Lukas’ book Language Making Nature. We have made it 6 chapters in (out of 75!): Voices and Gods, Crossing Boundaries, Three Dimensional Words, Contractions, Word Manufacturing, Word Boundaries. I present some images of my language play… Read more »

The Land Makes Language that Makes the Land

I recently discovered a book that I have waited and waited – lacking the scholarship, craft, and patience myself to write such a thing – for some pugnacious and insightful soul to write. A book on reclaiming language as a folk art, as an engine of perception, as a cord connecting us to our ancestral selves, and… Read more »

Fairies, Lived Experience, and Meaning

I recently ran across a lovely talk by English historian of folklore and religion Ronald Sutton, wherein he showcases a remarkable poise and generosity to both the scientific tradition which trained him and the lived experiences of the people who live on this wild and wondrous world. Sponsored by the Manx Heritage program on the Isle of Man,… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Wicked Wings of Weeping

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    Cast off your wicked, wicked wings of weeping burn the cloak ‘neath which you’ve lain sleeping the hills demand that, which lies in your keeping the power to name all the things which died alone. No more secrets cry the waters of the earth. The voices call till their throats turn raw that you must… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    A Wind-Scattered History of Fallen Leaves

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    Turn the page, and burn the words. The voices call from the edge of the wood. Who can blame the one who falls into it, tangled in the roots. The brambles tug at your elbows, and whisper words spoken by the royalty of old, given to those found at the crossroads. The rainclouds earnestly fill… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Further Offerings at the Grave of Right and Wrong

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    These words may seem strange, but years from now we might meet someone who can explain them, unexpectedly some morning or evening. -Chuang Tse, [trans. Hoff] I’ve received a lot of feedback about the notion I’ve proposed (though not pioneered, certainly) that Right and Wrong do not serve someone who relates to the world through… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    Gold Coins for Copper Pennies

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    Once upon a time, there lived a man, down on his luck, travelling the roads of the world looking to increase his fortunes. He had worked for many years as a farmer, but his land had dried up. So, cast out of his simple life, he had begun his search for a new manner in… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    A Boy Named Num

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    Once upon a time, there lived a boy named Num, who had stopped feeling. As a child, Num had a cruel stepmother, who would often tickle him until his eyes bugged out and tears streamed down his cheeks. He would beg for mercy, but received none. This treatment commonly occured in his land, where the… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    Sleeping King I

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    “They’ve stolen the Sleeping King! The King has disappeared!” called out the Captain of the Royal Guard, as bells clanged and the sound of scattered stamping boots filled the air. Panic consumed the castle grounds, shouts and alarm swirled and rang. At the door to the King’s Bedroom, the Captain had found the bodies there,… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Chessboards Made of Wishes and Smoke

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    An afternoon sun walked in the blue of the cloudless sky. We sat there together, quiet at the table, our hot drinks breathing upwards from their nests inside the coffee mugs. I wanted to know, “why?”. Why should I care about the nature of “certainty”? What do the ghosts want, why do they rake my… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    The Ancient Way of Secrets

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    I feel a bit confused, and distracted. Tattered epistemological ghosts cling to my shoulders, whisper in my ears, watch the moon rise with me, the silver glinting on my face, illuminating their ethereal rags and bones. Epistemology n : the philosophical theory of knowledge May God save me from myself. Yet I smell it all… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    Walking the MythMap

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    They serenade her in the little wild places those bands of folk their faces open to the weather wandering the faery paths and highways making the Map with each step, sonnet, and hushed glance those singers of love songs those seekers of holy places they eat the food she sets before them they drink from… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    The Love of the God for the Goddess: Frank Miller’s Sin City

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    *** Disclaimer: I use both the graphic novel and the movie for this new way of seeing SIN CITY. So If refer to an event you don’t remember, check one or the other of those sources. For the sake of brevity (too late?), I keep to one storyline, that of Marv and Goldie, known as…

  • Deep Mythology

    Hidden Powers of the Primeval

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    A great feathered dragon sleeps, hidden amongst the sprawling urban landscape. Not well hidden mind you, but hidden well enough for most eyes, dull and glazed over, clouded as the mind behind them. For some of us though, we see the clues: a single, gigantic whisker, sprouting up tall through a sewer grate, twitching to… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    Superman, Spiderman, Batman: The Enemies of Coyote

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    In the beginning, Coyote created the universe. Or so many of the old native stories go… The Joker, Batman’s archnemesis, a madman, born from an accident at Batman’s hand, reborn as he emerged from a soup of industrial chemicals in a Factory vat… What does Coyote represent, anyway? Some say chance. Some say transformation. The… Read more »

  • Deep Mythology

    Les Nouvelles

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    He walked, tall as a titan, to the circle’s center. His ancientness glowed fresh and new in the Dawn’s light, as if born just a moment ago, in the dark beginnings before time, before word or memory. With a face of polished marble he faced the assembly and spoke in words made of deep distant… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Going E-Primitive

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    To be or not to be? That is the question. -Shakespeare E-Prime describes a version of the English language that does not use the verb “to be”. As you may find out with a little research on the internet, various reasons encourage the adoption of such a practice for writing and speaking. Your internet search… Read more »

  • Philosophy of Tracking

    Towards an Animal Tracker’s Celebration of Mystery

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    For a Tracker, no answers exist. Only questions, suspicions, hypotheses, patterns, tendencies. Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one. – Einstein To see a barefoot track upon the earth, does not mean the maker didn’t wear shoes. What if they had cut the bottoms out? To see seven black crows in a… Read more »