Can we connect with and feel the wonder of the many fragments of Eden that still abound?

This week, I want to tie together two threads, and magically weave a tapestry from them.

First, on Friday, my friend, mentor, and the priest of the church I grew up in, Der Yeprem, came by for breakfast while he was in town. That was monumental just from the fact that he entered our home. A year ago we would have been waving at him from across the yard (and in reality, as he lives in the Midwest, he wouldn’t have been here anyway). But it was also a blessing because Der Yeprem is a spiritual leader that I have…

An exploration of media addiction and an entirely new meaning of “cancel culture”

“That nymph can’t compete with me.” Echo observing Narcissus observing himself, John William Waterhouse, 1903, via Wikipedia

And then, realizing that the beautiful youth in the water was only he, himself, Narcissus was overwhelmed by the unobtainable nature of his passion and transformed into a flower. And thus that’s where we get the Narcissus, or Daffodil, genus of flowers….

This concludes our special presentation of Narcissus, starring Chris Hemsworth. Up next, in our “Narcissus through the Ages Film Marathon” the silent movie classic, Narcissus. Followed by the 1940s version, The Reflection of Narcissus, starring Frank Sinatra. But first these important messages from our sponsors.

I was thinking about the myth of Narcissus this past week as I…

Should we really pretend like COVID never happened? Or should we instead understand it as revelation?

Image by geralt via Pixabay

Here’s the thing: there’s a COVID pandemic raging around the world, with more than half a million new cases every day (and someone dying from COVID every 7.2 seconds). But in the US, we’re suddenly in a happy little bubble where infections have fallen and people are heading to restaurants, gyms, and organizing their summer travel plans.

I was afraid this would happen — where we would make up for lost time in consuming even more in 2021 due to perceived losses to our consumer freedom (to travel, to eat out, etc.) in 2020. …

A recent excavation turned up the lost journal of the Lorax, along with a series of shocking revelations.

These journal pages — most likely written by the Lorax — were discovered recently, buried under a small pile of rocks. Please note, the language gets more pained in the final entries and the reader may find them upsetting. In those entries, you can sense the looming end, and the effects the prolonged campaign of terror Onceler’s Incorporated had exacted on the Lorax. Also note there is none of the poetic singsonginess of the authorized version of The Lorax — more evidence that that version is a highly refined piece of corporate propaganda or revisionist history.

If only the Lorax had known what the Once-ler’s arrival portended…. (Image from Dr. Seuss via Brightly Storytime)

The Lorax’s Journal

Day 1

Today I…

Do you fast? Do you pay attention to the moon cycle? Why not do both by partaking in a monthly full moon fast?

A Super Blue Blood Moon at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Pop quiz: do you know what phase of the moon it is today?

As I write this, the moon is in its last quarter phase— heading toward a waning crescent, and then a new moon in another week.

For the vast majority of my life, I had no idea what phase the moon was in (and I still need help of a calendar). I didn’t know what the terms meant, I didn’t even know where (or when) to look in the sky to find it (still learning this actually). I don’t think I’m the only one, either. Between spending most…

With Gaia increasingly threatened, should Captain Planet be called back into action?

I recently read an essay calling for the reboot of the nineties cartoon Captain Planet, where five teenage planeteers from around the world work together to stop evil villains who are hurting Gaia. The author made a strong case, arguing for the diversity of the cartoon cast, the opportunity to introduce viewers to the many countries and cultures (as the planeteers fight around the world), and of course exploring positive, and more nuanced, environmental messages.

Gaia in distress at witnessing the havoc wrought by man. (Still from IMDB)

Some months before that, I had actually shown my son the first episode, remembering it fondly from my own childhood. And while I wanted to…

Are you suffering from COVID burnout? Or just the exhaustion that comes at the end of a long race?

I couldn’t recognize the feeling until just now. I’ve been dragging lately. It’s been hard to motivate, whether writing, sending notes, even doing karate. It’s that feeling when you just want to quit.

Of course, with all the news stories about “COVID burnout,” that’s the easy answer, but it was a feeling I recognized from long ago — something a bit different, more fleeting. Then, finally, it clicked.

Not out of the woods yet…. (Photo by Elena via Flickr)

It’s that feeling in the last mile of a cross-country race. Before you can see the finish line and start the final sprint. Before the adrenaline kicks in but after your muscles…

Maybe it’s not meditation but just better breathing that offers health benefits

(Photo by Emma Li from Pexels)

I recently finished the book Breath: The New Science of a Lost Art by James Nestor, and it taught me a lot about the physiology of breathing — even about why so many of us (including me) get braces and our wisdom teeth extracted in the modern era (short version: growing up, we eat soft food and breathe too much through our mouths).

Most importantly, it helped further ground my meditation practice. I’m not one who trusts tradition unreservedly — there’s been too much recent tradition (e.g. the last 2,000 years or so) that has brought us down some very…

A holistic investigation of the Suez Canal mishap

The Ever Given being towed. (Photo from Suez Canal Authority)

Did you hear? A supersized cargo ship got wedged in the Suez Canal on March 23rd? If you didn’t, you must do pretty well at avoiding the news, social media, and late night TV. But the short of it is: the Ever Given somehow lost control (sandstorm strength winds have been blamed, as have human errors) and crashed into the bank of the canal and lodged itself in.

So what? Is this really news? Or just a sensational story to distract us from the pandemic, which, one might argue, is itself a distraction from the rapid unraveling of Earth’s systems…

Should we really be frightened of getting vaccinated? Or should we be excited?

It’s funny, I just finished watching Utopia, an ultraviolent TV show on Amazon about a group of ‘deep state’ operatives who create a vaccine (and a disease as well, “Russian Flu”) in order to inject everyone with a vaccine that will sterilize 95 percent of the population. Honestly, it was quite an engaging show but I’m not surprised that Amazon declined to make a second season considering, well, the current pandemic raging and worldwide vaccination effort! (EN1)

When that’s in the cultural background, and fearmongering around vaccines…

Erik Assadourian

Sustainability researcher, ecophilosopher, Gaian, and father of one.

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