The Belly Button of the World

A reading from Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. 2013, p. 274-275.


Umbilicaria is often the victim of its own success. Accumulation is its undoing. Slowly, slowly,


The Next Three Months

We’re in the lead-up to a tumultuous time.

I have been listening to the O’Parables podcast. Octavia E. Butler’s trilogy is prescient. She wrote it in the early’90s, set in the 2020s. She is literally describing conditions so many are already experiencing and most of the rest of us (the non-billionaire class) are heading into. The podcast features Adrienne … Read more...

Introducing “Communication Dynamics”

Like all good students, they have questions about the introductory slide show. How detailed will the quiz be, do they need to learn every detail, how much they should try to memorize, etc. “It’s all over the place!” one of them exclaimed.

Another liked the game-type set up, the mystery of searching for the links and the fun of clicking … Read more...

#042: MaddAddam, Riots

An excerpt from MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood, p.33, read by Steph.


“Physical objects have shacked their tethers; mine, yours, his, hers, and they’ve gone wandering off on their own. It’s like the aftermath of those riots they … Read more...

#041 Good Medicine – Braiding Sweetgrass


“You can’t listen to the Thanksgiving Address without feeling wealthy. And, while expressing gratitude seems innocent enough, it is a revolutionary idea. In a consumer society, contentment is a radical proposition. Recognizing abundance rather than scarcity undermines … Read more...

#040 Maple Sugaring – Braiding Sweetgrass


“When my daughters remember our sugaring adventure now, they roll their eyes and groan, ‘That was I much work!’ They remember hauling branches to feed the fire and slopping sap on their jackets as they carried heavy … Read more...

#039 The Council of Pecans p.19


“The pecan trees and their kin show a capacity for concerted action, for unity of purpose that transcends the individual trees. They ensure somehow that all stand together and thus survive. How they do so is still … Read more...

#038 The Council of Pecans p.16


“Forest scientists describe the generosity of mast fruiting with the predator-satiation hypothesis. The story seems to go like this: When the trees produce more than the squirrels can eat, some nuts escape predation. Likewise, when the squirrel … Read more...

#037 Dueling Consciousnesses: White and Black

An excerpt from How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi, pages 33 and 34, read by Steph.


History duels: the undeniable history of antiracist progress, the undeniable history of racist progress. Before and after the … Read more...