Crafting in the Edgelands

Credit: Bridget Quinn

Some people only talk about wildness far away, remote, unpeopled.

Binary and separate.
See city. See forest.
But there is wildness within the cities, the messy manicured suburbs, the sprawling monocultures, and inside our juicy bodies. The wild carrot, chicory, sumac, poison ivy, foxes, and viruses live beyond our desires and plans. There is no simple bucolic vision here. On this colonized land chemicals leach from what was left behind. Beer cans and topographies of damp clothing remind us that other people have been here too, resting beside the creek seeking refuge. While the billboards and storefronts sing lullabies for neoliberal dreams, the edgelands hold traces of what we are meant to discard and ignore. Walking the desire paths, we are embraced by many limbs. The plants share their medicines, amplifying other dreams.

We were taught, through painful lessons, to be afraid, fast, and strategic.
But, within the edgelands, we practice a craft that is slow and spacious.
Tuning the sacred field of our attention

We craft a beacon from limbs of trees of heaven, broken glass, and washers. Slowly. Blurring the membrane of our skin. We invite the world to build forms within us.
We invite in what cannot be written.
We invite in what is here, even if it breaks our hearts.

Moving, if considered, becomes dancing
Collecting litter you are an editor, collaging bits together new forms emerge. What was discarded
has its worth honoured, and we are honoured too. Remember, we can make more than words with our mouths.

While we still have breath, our fingers craft something that cannot be owned in the edgelands between us reveling in our touch,
amusing and frightening others with our strange and free

Bridget Quinn is an artist, activist, and experimental nature therapy guide descended from European settlers living in so-called Warren, Michigan on Turtle Island. She invites you into circular time and creative acts of eco-communitarian healing through the Therapeutic Edgelands Zine Club.

Issue 67

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 67, Winter 2023, Craft at the End of the World .

Like this article? Subscribe to Geez and get more like this delivered to your door, ad-free, four times year.

View comments, or leave one yourself

Hide comments

(No one has dared comment yet.)

Start the Discussion

Please use Textile formatting. e.g. _geez_ → geez, *magazine* → magazine.
URLs will be linked automatically.

Get Our Newsletter

(Tasteful and spam-free, guaranteed.)

All content is © 2005–2024 Geez Magazine and its respective authors.   (Ascend)

Geez Magazine | 1950 Trumbull Ave. | Detroit, MI, USA | 48216